COVID zealots at a Dunkin’ Donuts shop in Encino, California, reportedly refused service to and seemingly yelled at a deaf woman after she asked them to briefly lower their masks so she could read their lips.


Immediately following the incident Tuesday, the woman, Shannon Heroux, published two emotional videos to a newly made TikTok account describing what had happened.

“A little while ago, I got refused service at a Dunkin’ Donuts because I’m deaf. I didn’t know how to process it. I was confused. I couldn’t hear anything. I wear a cochlear implant, but I was not wearing it at that time,” the video began.

According to the Mayo Clinic, “A cochlear implant is an electronic device that partially restores hearing. It can be an option for people who have severe hearing loss from inner-ear damage who are no longer helped by using hearing aids.”

“I’ve never been refused service before. It hurts. It hurts really bad. Dunkin’ Donuts is my favorite place to go,” Heroux continued.

Watch the first video below:

She proceeded to describe the treatment she experienced at the Dunkin’ Donuts, which according to her description is the one on Balboa Blvd.

“I called this girl over, told her I was deaf, I have to read her lips. She didn’t take her mask off. She goes to the manager, and I’m an Uber driver, so I got a ride and I was like ‘hey, I have to order my drink, I have to go.’ The manager comes over, and I could just tell by his body language, his face, he was going off and he kept doing this,” she said, waving her hand in front of her face angrily in emulation of the manager.

“And I kept saying I can’t hear you, I can’t hear you. … He refused to write anything down. He refused to pull his mask down. We’re six feet apart through the Plexiglas to the side. I’m wearing my mask,” she added.

Heroux then broke down emotionally as months of exasperation and frustration poured out of her.

“Like what more do you want from us?! We struggled so much during this pandemic! Like enough is enough! People don’t believe I’m deaf. And I could sense and feel from him that he didn’t believe I was deaf because I speak so well. It’s a blessing and a curse,” she said.

“I shouldn’t have to go through this. No deaf person should have to go through this. I’m at my breaking point in this pandemic!” she added in a second video that can be viewed here.

By Friday morning, both videos had accumulated over six million views on TikTok alone. Meanwhile, the first video had gone uber viral on Twitter, provoking massive outrage directed at Dunkin’ Donuts, prompting the company to draft a generic statement that it started issuing to everybody who complained about the incident:

The good news is that the doughnut chain eventually stopped tweeting and actually did something substantive by reaching out to Heroux, though she wasn’t impressed, as she revealed in a new TikTok video uploaded Thursday.

“Corporate reached out to me and they are giving me an update by Friday about what’s going to happen at the Balboa Dunkin’ Donuts. And the general manager of that location also wants me to go in to get my apology and take care of my order,” she said.

“And I felt that wasn’t going to be enough, and that’s why I reached corporate in the first place. It’s just important that change get made and I stand up for the deaf community,” she added.

Indeed, because she’s not alone in facing such treatment, nor are Dunkin’ Donuts employees alone in being insensitive to the needs of the deaf.

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