Deaf People And Drive Throughs

Last year, I made a comment on Facebook about deaf people going through drive throughs and how difficult it is for them to do that. That comment came up on “On This Day” on my Facebook profile today, so I thought this would make a good subject for today’s blog entry.

Even though I can speak and I can hear (somewhat), I still have my own issues going through a drive through at a fast food place. For one thing, there is no person for me to face and read lips. Pretty much everything sounds the same when not reading lips, which is why I don’t make phone calls either.

Years ago, drive throughs had those old speakers that would have too much static on it and garbling the order taker’s words too much. In addition to that, there was no confirmation screen next to the speaker. Whenever I would have to go through one of those drive throughs, it was hit or miss if I got my order right and it was a lot more miss than hit. I would avoid drive throughs for that reason alone and would only use it if I had to, such as if I had small children in the car with me or if the dining area is closed.

Today, most modern drive throughs have clear sounds on their speakers and have an order confirmation screen. My kids are now grown and I’m usually the only one in my vehicle. However, I still avoid them whenever I can. I usually walk inside a fast food place to get my food as it is a lot easier for me. But if I want the late night munchies, then yeah, I’ll go through the drive through.

Even with clear sounds on the speaker, I still have a hard time understanding the order taker. So I listen for key words like “One moment, I’ll be right with you.” or “Good evening. May I take your order?” If I hear those key words in the latter phrase, then I’ll say something like “I’ll have the #2 cheeseburger combo with a coke.”

I then wait for the order to pop up on the confirmation screen and if it matches what I said, I say, “That’s it.” and I pull up to the window to pay. I’ll have my money ready because the confirmation screen also indicates the amount that I owe. I  don’t usually have any issues ordering at a drive through this way. But even then, I still prefer to go inside.

At least I can still use a drive through if needed. But what about the deaf people who can’t hear or speak? I’m curious to know what do they have to do. I know sometimes they can just pull up to the window and write down what they want, but I’d like to know their experiences on this subject. Please comment below, message me at my Facebook Page or email me at and I’ll do a followup to this article if I get enough comments.

Until then, stay tuned 🙂

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