Do It Myself Blog – Glenda Watson Hyatt

Motivational Speaker

FOX Airs Deaf Mom’s Fight for a Milkshake

Filed under: Advocacy, Living with a disability — by Glenda at 3:49 pm on Friday, January 25, 2008

Karen Putz continues her fight after being denied service at her local Steak & Shake drive-thru because she is Deaf. FOX News aired her story late last night. Ironically, the online video is not captioned and a transcript isn’t provided, making it inaccessible to people who are Deaf and hearing impaired, as well as those who’d rather read the story for various reasons.

Is Heaven accessible?

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Deaf Mom Continues her Fight for a Milkshake

Filed under: Advocacy, Living with a disability — by Glenda at 6:41 pm on Thursday, January 24, 2008

Yesterday Karen was denied service at her local Steak & Shake because she is Deaf. Today she was interviewed by two tv stations. Here is the ABC interview. Don’t deny a woman her milkshake!

I’m proud of you, my friend!

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Deaf Mom Denied Service

Filed under: Advocacy, Living with a disability — by Glenda 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!

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What We Can Learn from Rudolph

Filed under: Advocacy, Living with a disability — by Glenda at 1:22 pm on Monday, December 17, 2007

Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer poster

From age two to ninety-two, we all know these fun lyrics:

Rudolph, the red-nosed reindeer
had a very shiny nose.
And if you ever saw him,
you would even say it glows.

All of the other reindeer
used to laugh and call him names.
They never let poor Rudolph
join in any reindeer games.

Then one foggy Christmas Eve
Santa came to say:
“Rudolph with your nose so bright,
won’t you guide my sleigh tonight?”

Then all the reindeer loved him
as they shouted out with glee,
Rudolph the red-nosed reindeer,
you’ll go down in history!

But, how many of us see the valuable lesson here?

Rudolph is teased and ostracized because he is different. He is excluded from reindeer games for the sole reason that his nose glows bright red. How heartbreaking is that?

In the classic Christmas special, a dejected Rudolph and his elf friend, mocked for his dream of becoming a dentist, head out to find a place of acceptance and happen across the Island of Misfit Toys; segregation at its finest.

It takes the fog to come down for the big guy (possibly the employer) Santa to realize the value in a bright, shiny nose. And that’s the point when Rudolph is duly recognized for his unique ability, giving us the Christmas story that we know and love.

But this story leaves me thinking about the other parts of the story – the bits that didn’t make it to the song. I am left wondering how many other reindeer before Rudolph were discarded because their unique ability or talent wasn’t valued. However, I am comforted in believing that discriminating practice will not be repeated when Rudolph and his reindeer friends retire and new flying reindeer are chosen to pull the sleigh. After all, believing everyone is welcomed and accepted is part of the magic of Christmas!

Rudolph teaches children young and old about the importance of valuing diversity and inclusion. Without this reindeer’s different coloured nose, Christmas was surely doomed to be cancelled that foggy night. With him, that lesson went down in history!

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When Is Help Indeed Helpful?

Filed under: Advocacy, Living with a disability — by Glenda at 10:59 pm on Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Three crows sitting on a park bench
(Photo credit: Jari Leivo)

A few months ago, I watched from my home office window as a couple of crows built a nest in the spruce tree. The eggs have since hatched and the babies are growing. Today must have been flying lessons. I looked out as the crows were squawking yet again. A well-intending woman was chasing after a fledgling on the ground, with two angry bird parents circling above her, reminiscence of Alfred Hitchcock’s The Birds. She carefully scooped up the baby and placed him on a lower spruce branch

Although the woman meant well, she was trying to help in a situation that didn’t require help; a situation I can relate to, well. Having a physical disability and being in a wheelchair leads people to assume I need help, even when none was solicited. Strangers have kindly assisted me, even after I cheerily responded, “No, thanks,” to their offer. I am then left feeling obliged to be appreciative for help rendered.

At times assistance is greatly appreciated. At other times, despite being slow or not being graceful, help really isn’t required and, sometimes, can be no help at all. When in doubt, simply ask if I would like help. Then respect my response, please.

There is one way you can help me at the moment. I will be sincerely appreciative if you would vote for me daily so that I might be paid to blog for a year. Thanks!

As for the baby crow, it’s probably best to leave it alone, unless it is obviously injured or in danger.

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