Cynthia Walker is a deaf woman who entered a fast-food restaurant as she had done so many times before. However, this Chick-Fil-A experience changed her life.
This 20-year-old deaf woman is no stranger to the complications of public communication as regards her inability to appropriately converse with people who don’t know sign language. Unless a translator is present, it can be a frustrating ordeal for Cynthia Walker.
However, recently, 20-year-old Cynthia entered a Fayetteville Chick-Fil-A. The location was on Raeford Road. Once in the restaurant, Walker approached cashier, Taylor Anez, to have her mother, Terri Buelman, place her order. Yet, the deaf woman was met with a pleasant, socially-changing surprise.
At 11: Meet hearing-impaired woman behind viral video. Cynthia Walker able to order food by signing, for first time. pic.twitter.com/SoMmb5NmbI
— Steve Daniels (@DanielsABC11) March 9, 2016
The cashier knew sign language and proceeded to handle her order accordingly. You may say, “Why’s that important?” Well, for this deaf woman, it was the first time she ever got the chance to order anything for herself, anywhere. According to ABC-7 News, it was a “surprising and overjoyous” experience for both mother and daughter.
Cynthia Walker’s mother was so thrilled by the Chick-Fil-A experience that she took to Facebook to express her satisfaction and gratitude towards the cashier. In her video upload, she noted as follows.
“I would like to say how much we appreciate your new employee named Taylor, at the Raeford Rd location in Fayetteville, NC. My daughter Cynthia Walker has never experienced a chance to order for herself without people just staring at her.
“Taylor did not miss a beat on greeting us with a warm smile, and asking my daughter first what she would like. My daughter was so surprised and happy. She even asked me how that lady knew how to sign to her.
“Taylor has only been employed there for a couple of weeks and she is already so efficient in her job. We will make this location our regular stop. Everyone there was so courteous and walking around checking on customers. Great job to the manager for having an awesome team!”
You can watch the viral video in the Facebook post below.
Cynthia Walker reportedly has a GoFundMe page dedicated to a special cause. As a deaf woman, she is eligible for certain special services. In essence, this deaf woman is in need of a service dog, and that is why the page was constructed.
According to Cynthia Walker’s fundraiser page, she was born with Charge Syndrome. As further elaboration, the description notes as follows.
“I have multiple conditions such as Coloboma of the eyes, Choanal of Atresia, Cranial Nerve Abnormality, ear malformation, deafness, heart defects, genetial abnormalities and OCD behavior. There is more but this at least gives you an idea. I will always have to live with my parents. I am unable to be on my own but mommy works to make sure I can try to be as independent as possible.”
Her family notes that they only want to better Cynthia’s quality of life. Since they’ve started the donation drive, Cynthia’s family mentions that they found a service provider who would train, equip, and certify a service dog for Cynthia — also matching the amount Walker’s family accumulates via GoFundMe.
Right now, the goal is set at $15,000. They’ve raised about $2,700 so far with 54 donations. Via the page, Theresa Buelman quotes as follows.
“We have a way to go still, but I want to Thank everyone who has donated so far. It means more to us then you know. So many times we tried and things would fall through, to finally seeing it happen. Cynthia is over the moon. Sending our love and Thanks to all.”
As for “thanks,” a big one goes out to Taylor. According to ABC-7 News, Taylor Anez is a high school senior, and her reputation precedes her. The source mentions that, after so many uncomfortable fast food encounters at other restaurants, the mother and daughter had heard of a cashier at Chick-Fil-A who knew how to sign. Cynthia and her mother happened to walk inside on the right day and time.
The source also mentions that Taylor’s manager had no idea that sign language was one of the employee’s abilities. As an elaboration, the cashier pointed out that various members of her family are deaf. So she learned to sign in order to communicate with them regularly.
So maybe Cynthia Walker and her family have found a new place to dine? Sources report that this deaf woman truly enjoyed ordering for herself without feeling scrutinized by the employees.
All in all, what’s your stance on sign language and its ability to help those with communication barriers, such as Cynthia Walker? Feel free to share your thoughts in the comments below.
[Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Image News]