Do It Myself Blog – Glenda Watson Hyatt

Motivational Speaker

Deaf Mom Denied Service

Filed under: Advocacy,Living with a disability — by at 11:24 pm on Wednesday, January 23, 2008

The Steak n Shake logo with a red circle around it and red line through it

Ironically, two days after Martin Luther King Jr. Day in the United States, my friend Karen Putz (aka DeafMom) was denied service because of her disability, her deafness. After picking up one child at one school and before picking up the next, she decided to treat her son and herself to milkshake at her local Steak & Shake drive-thru. Because she drove up to the window to place her order, rather than placing it at the speaker, which she can’t hear, the guy refused to serve her, even after she explained she is Deaf and requires accommodation as legislated in the Americans with Disabilities Act. He still refused to serve her.

Karen has contacted the corporate office and a lawyer. Tonight, with a crash course, she has set up a Twitter account where she plans to share updates on her fight for her rights. Please join our Viral Activism in Action!

Perhaps appropriately Do It Myself Blog has advanced to round two of the Canadian Blog Awards, in the Best Activism Category. Voting is now open until January 30th, 2008 11:59 PM PST. Thanks for your support!

If you enjoyed this post, consider buying me a chai tea latte. Thanks kindly.

Random Posts


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  2. Accessible Everything - Inaccessible Milkshakes


Comment by Lucy

January 24, 2008 @ 1:36 am

Shocking! and it must have been very distressing for her too …

Comment by Karen Putz

January 24, 2008 @ 3:19 am

Thanks for the support, Glenda!

Comment by OkieJ

January 24, 2008 @ 6:24 am

great story, Glenda. I am glad to hear that Karen is fighting back. I would be interested to know what the response was from their corporate office! someone should have lost a job!

Comment by Lisa Marie Mary

January 24, 2008 @ 6:37 am

Thank you, Glenda – for letting us know about this! I voted for you! 🙂

Comment by Karla Meachem

January 24, 2008 @ 7:52 am

How disappointing…:(

Round 2, here we come!
Thanks for sharing Glenda. I’ve already voted and will be passing the information on to my friends.

Karen, I’m sorry you were denied service. 🙁 But, I’m glad to hear that you have a blog; I will be sharing it with others as well. 🙂 Sharing your story online is a great way for people to learn more about you and your family. Way to go!!!

I will be staying in touch with both of you!

ALWAYS stand up for what is right!

Comment by Angela

January 24, 2008 @ 9:16 am

Whatever happened to customer service in this situation?

The only other thing I would ask is why didn’t your friend go inside the fast-food place to place her order?

Comment by Deaf Mom

January 24, 2008 @ 12:13 pm

Hi Angela,

Going inside is certainly an option, but I believe I have the same rights as any other person to use the drive thru. I’ve used it many times at other places and even at that same restaurant. Most people are willing to take my order at the window once I explain my situation.

Comment by Kathy

January 24, 2008 @ 1:59 pm

where is the link to vote for you?

Comment by Stephen Hopson/Adversity University

January 27, 2008 @ 5:50 am


I blogged about it too in my weekly gratitude post. My gratitude went to Karen Putz for having the courage to stand up and be counted in the face of withering criticism and pressure. Her story both inspired and pressed some deeply hidden buttons that I didn’t know existed!

Thanks for helping a fellow blogger spread the news – she’s my buddy too!

Comment by Ruth Ellison

January 28, 2008 @ 9:04 pm

Thanks for the link to Karen Putz’s blog and twitter feed. I’m glad that she’s sharing her story which highlights the accessibility problems of services (whether web or physical service). I’m also glad to have another blog to follow 🙂

As for voting – done! Good luck Glenda!

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