Woman Claims Dunkin’ Donuts Workers Refused Her Service Because She’s Deaf

by : Emily Brown on : 16 Sep 2021 17:47
Woman Claims Dunkin’ Donuts Workers Refused Her Service Because She’s Deaf@shannon_heroux/TikTok

A woman who recently attempted to buy a drink from Dunkin’ Donuts has said the coffee company refused to serve her because she is deaf. 

Shannon Heroux, who works as an Uber driver, took to TikTok this week to share the negative experience she had at a Dunkin’ Donuts in Encino, California, claiming she had simply wanted to order a peach passionfruit tea when she was met with the unaccommodating staff.


Shannon usually wears a cochlear implant in order to help her hear, but as she was not wearing it when she went to order her drink, she instead had to rely on lip reading.

TikToker claims she was discriminated against at Dunkin (shannon_heroux/TikTok)shannon_heroux/TikTok

Unfortunately, the coronavirus outbreak has made it difficult for people who rely on lip reading to do so, as people across the globe attempt to protect themselves from the virus by wearing masks over their nose and mouth.

One such person was said to have been a female staff member at the Dunkin’ Donuts, with whom Shannon attempted to place her order. Speaking to UNILAD, Shannon said the employee ‘walked away before [she] could even order’, so Shannon had to call her back over.


She explained, ‘I was in a rush, so I think it triggered the manager when I called her over to just place my order. I had to tug on my mask a bit so the sound of my voice could be heard since I speak so soft without my processor in.’

Shannon had asked the female worker to remove her mask so she could lip read, after which she claimed the manager started ‘going off’ at her. Though his mask covered the bottom half of his face, Shannon said his body language in the beginning was ‘aggressive’, so much so that she could tell he was ‘not being very nice’.

Hear more about Shannon’s experience below:



The TikToker couldn’t hear what the manager was saying, but she could tell he kept repeating the same phrase as he ‘point[ed] to the door’.

She commented, ‘He refused to take my order. I had no clue what he was saying. I said before I left, ‘You’re not going to take my order?’ and he shook his head no. That is when my heart dropped and I didn’t know what else to do other than exit the premises.’

She claimed the manager ‘didn’t believe’ she was deaf because she speaks so well, and stressed that ‘no deaf person should have to go through this’.

Shannon went on to demand an apology from the company for discriminating against her, and in the wake of the video Shannon told UNILAD Dunkin’ Donut’s corporate office has been ‘very attentive’.

TikToker claims she was discriminated against at Dunkin (shannon_heroux/TikTok)shannon_heroux/TikTok

The franchise owner reached out to Shannon to apologise, and together they have organised a time and place to meet to ‘discuss the situation and how [they] can move forward to make sure it never happens to anyone ever again’.

Shannon is also set to go to the store where the incident took place so the manager can apologise and take care of her order.

Addressing her TikTok followers, Shannon pointed out that people who are hard of hearing have already struggled during the pandemic, adding, ‘Enough is enough.’


Discussing some of her previous negative experiences, Shannon recalled how her partner was ‘attacked’ by members of the public for pulling his mask down to say things to her at the start of the pandemic, and said that things have only got worse as the situation continued.

TikToker claims Dunkin refused her service (@shannon_heroux/TikTok)@shannon_heroux/TikTok

She said: 

Whenever I go shopping I try to wear my cochlear implant. But unfortunately after a year of this, I’m mentally burnt out from listening to people through the masks. It gets so exhausting.

I’ve been in numerous situations where the cashiers pull their mask down or write things down [but] I’ve also had people be so ignorant to me… even with my processor in. The discrimination I’ve been through was never as bad as this… but it has taken a deep mental toll on me.

I had a meltdown around Thanksgiving last year because I was so tired of being treated horribly because people don’t understand what deaf means or how well I can communicate with my processor on but still struggle when they keep their masks on.

In sharing her experience at Dunkin’ Donuts, Shannon hopes to raise awareness to the issues faced by people who are hard of hearing face.

If you have a story you want to tell, send it to UNILAD via [email protected]

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Emily Brown

Emily Brown first began delivering important news stories aged just 13, when she launched her career with a paper round. She graduated with a BA Hons in English Language in the Media from Lancaster University and went on to contribute to The Sunday Times Travel Magazine and Student Problems before becoming Senior Journalist at UNILAD, where she works on breaking news, trending stories and longer form features.

Topics: Life, California, deaf, discrimination, Food, no-article-matching, Now, TikTok


  1. @shannon_heroux/TikTok

    I was refused service at a Dunkin Donuts because I’m deaf. I want to spread awareness on how this is not okay. Part one of the video