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McDonalds works with NC School for the Deaf on Drive-Thru Access

NCSD, McDonald's Install an Inclusion Solution

By Julie N. Chang, Morganton News Heard 2/26/2012

About three weeks ago, the five students in Rene Skelton’s occupational causes study (English II) class at North Carolina School for the Deaf started working on a project about how to make businesses deaf-friendly.

Around the same time, Heather and Patrick Joyner, owners of four McDonald’s locations in Burke, started looking for ways to make the drive-through lanes of their restaurants more deaf-friendly.

Both groups separately found an answer in Inclusion Solutions, a company run by Patrick Hughes, through searches on the Internet.

On Friday, Hughes spoke to the NCSD student body before heading out with Skelton’s class to McDonald’s on South Sterling Street to install a device that will help the deaf and hard of hearing use drive-through lanes.

A common thread throughout the morning from Hughes, Heather Joyner and students was that deaf or hard of hearing people rarely use drive-through lanes because they don’t feel comfortable using the lanes.

People can’t identify deafness in a video, nor do deaf people drive cars with “deaf” written across them, Hughes said. His company’s solution creates a “dignified experience” for the deaf and hard of hearing community.

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Thanks to NAD and Feta Fernsler