Shannon Heroux, who is 32 years old and makes videos for TikTok to raise awareness about deaf people, just put up a very emotional video on her channel. Shannon cried as she wrote about how a Los Angeles Dunkin’ Donuts wouldn’t serve her because she was deaf and how hard this whole thing has been for her.
The woman talked about a time in the past when she was confused and couldn’t hear anything. “I have a cochlear implant, but I didn’t have it then. “I’ve never been turned away before, and it hurts,” she said, with tears running down her face. She said that the manager wouldn’t let her pull down a mask so she could read lips.
This woman has recently filmed an emotional video where she tearfully explained how Dunkin’ Donuts refused to serve her because she is deaf
The video was watched 13.8 million times, and the caption said, “I want to get the word out that this is wrong.” It started a very important conversation right away, and a lot of people joined in to show their support for Shannon.
When I was four years old, I lost my hearing because I was born with “Enlarged Vestibular Aqueduct (EVA),” which is a rare birth defect that lets brain fluid leak into the ears and drowns the hair cells. EVA is strongly linked to hearing loss in children.
Shannon said that people who didn’t understand her hearing loss have treated her badly her whole life. “The deaf community has called me names, treated me badly, and even ignored me because I use hearing aids.” Because I couldn’t hear, I was also treated in ways that made people look at me differently,” she said.
But when Shannon got the cochlear implant, everything changed. When I was 15, I got a cochlear implant. It was a big change in my life, and people treated me like an equal. Because of that, high school was great. Everyone knew me and could see how much better I was after the implant, so they treated me even better.
Shannon was very confused about what happened at Dunkin’ Donuts. I wasn’t sure how I felt. I felt a huge wave of emotions and realized that I had been treated unfairly because I was hard of hearing.
The incident made her realize how much discrimination has happened because of the pandemic and how much more she has dealt with in the last 1.5 years than in her whole life. Shannon told us, “It was time to step up and do something to get people to understand that this is emotionally draining and incredibly hard on mental health.”
Shannon then met with the Dunkin’ Donuts manager, who apologized and they talked through the possible solutions
Image credits: sionnan_x3
Shannon said, “Being deaf isn’t something you can see, so no one should ever be judged or asked about it.”
“I wish more people would understand that not all deaf people have the same level of hearing loss.” Many of us rely on lip reading, and it’s how we communicate effectively with or without hearing aids. It’s important for those who are able to do so to take that extra step to help create a good environment for communication so that no one feels embarrassed or uncomfortable.
Also, people who are deaf are more capable than people think. “The masks make it hard to talk to each other, so please pay attention if someone needs extra help.”