Deaf M’sian expresses disappointment at being denied her right to order at drive-thru

Source: @aira_meor

For those of us who are able-bodied, everyday tasks may come to be a trivial experience that we may not even think twice about. Such as ordering food from our favourite fast-food restaurants. However, for those born with disabilities, these daily experiences can pose to be challenges in their own right, if accessibility facilities are not present.

Deaf customer faces difficulty ordering at drive-thru

One such instance was highlighted by local TikTok user @aira_meor, who had recently uploaded a short video detailing her experience at ordering from a local KFC outlet. Aira, who is deaf, had explained that she visited her local KFC drive-thru with the intention of purchasing a meal.

Aira describing her experience ordering at a drive-thru.
Source: @aira_meor
Aira explaining her circumstances.
Source: @aira_meor

As is the case with most drive-thru outlets in Malaysia, she explains that she drove up to the order screen. In normal instances, an able-bodied individual may simply speak to the wait staff on the other end of the order screen to place their order. The order would then be paid at a separate window where you could interact physically with a member of the restaurant staff.

Aira says she does not want to taint the image of the fast food restaurant in question.
Source: @aira_meor
Aina explaining that she is deaf.
Source: @aira_meor

But due to the fact that Aina was deaf, she could not place an order by using the microphone at the drive-thru order screen.

“Before this, a staff member that I knew told me that I could drive past the order screen to place my order.”

“They would write down what I wanted, or show them what I wanted on a menu. The staff were always nice, they understood that I was deaf.” she adds.

Aina describing how she usually orders her food.
Source: @aira_meor
Aina explaining that she would write her order down or indicate it on her phone.
Source: @aira_meor

Staff told her to order in the restaurant instead

Aina explaining that the experience was different the second time around.
Source: @aira_meor
Staff at the drive-thru told Aina to order in the restaurant
Source: @aira_meor

However this time around when visiting the very same drive-thru, another staff member told her to park her car and to place her order at the counter in the restaurant instead.

“I asked why couldn’t I just order at the drive-thru? I’m deaf. Do I need to go into the restaurant all over again?”

Ain asking why she can't simply order at the drive-thru.
Source: @aira_meor

Another staff member then told her that as they couldn’t receive her order through the drive-thru screen, they had no choice but to request Aira to place her order at the counter in the restaurant.

Aina asking why she has to order from the counter in the restaurant when she is deaf.
Source: @aira_meor
She expressed that she wasted her time trying to show the staff what she wanted to order on her phone.
Source: @aira_meor

“It is a complete waste of my time. I tried showing them pictures of what I wanted on my handphone. The staff apologised, and asked that I order in the restaurant.”

“I was disappointed. My rights were being denied for a second time.”

She states that staff insisted that she enter the restaurant to order.
Source: @aira_meor
She expresses her disappointment over the ordeal.
Source: @aira_meor

KFC has since apologised over the incident

She then decided to leave the restaurant despite still being hungry, as she didn’t want the incident to take up any more of her time than it already has. Visibly affected by the ordeal, she has maintained that her intentions of creating the video was not to create a media furor over her experience, but to highlight and raise deaf awareness within the community, as well as the challenges faced by individuals like herself.

Aina explaining that she made her video to raise deaf awareness in Malaysia.
Source: @aira_meor

Aina expresses her hope that the management of KFC would take her concerns into consideration and upgrade their order screens with disabled-friendly accessibility options, and that her video may help further improve the dining experience at their restaurants.

KFC's apology over the incident
Source: @aira_meor

KFC Malaysia has since taken note of Aina’s video and have issued a public apology over her ordeal. They add that the necessary steps have also been taken to address the issue.


Sy kecewa sikit buat kali 2. Xpe sy merayu pihak KFC HQ menaik taraf screen utk Pekak. #kfc #tiktokmalaysia #bahasaisyaratmalaysia #fyp #deafawarness

♬ Sadness – Official Sound Studio

Aina’s video has since gone viral across TikTok, garnering as many as 82,000 reactions as of writing.

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Also read: Kind M’sian offers bagful of groceries & money to starving, unemployed migrant worker

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