Facebook user Juliana Mohamad shared that she was heartbroken because her son who has a disability and did not know how to use the self-ordering kiosk at McDonald’s was called a ‘orang utan’ by an employee of the fast-food chain. She did not name the restaurant, neither did she specify what kind of disability her son had.
Juliana said that she was training her son to be independent and that this was not the first time he had tried to order his own food from McDonald’s. Juliana had ‘shadowed’ her son on his previous attempts. Shadowing is an informal way for a person with disability to learn something new while an individual follows around (or shadows) the person already in the hope that the person eventually gains independence at the task. Juliana said that her mother was shadowing her son to the eating outlet when the incident happened.
Juliana said her son wet for his morning jog before heading to McDonald’s for his breakfast. She had prepared for him a screenshot of what to order, and had even instructed him on how to order a meal, instead of à la carte.
Her son did not know how how to order a meal and so he ordered à la carte. He also sent his mom a screenshot of what he had ordered. She was alright that he did not know how to order a meal and had incurred a higher bill. “He needs to learn from there,” said Juliana.
When a McDonald’s employee came to serve him his order, Juliana’s mother asked her if it was meal. The staff said, ‘yes’, but as she walked back to the counter with two other McDonald’s employees, she could allegedly be heard saying: ““𝒟𝑜𝓃𝓉 𝓀𝓃𝑜𝓌 𝒽𝑜𝓌 𝓉𝑜 𝓊𝓈𝑒 𝓉𝒽𝑒 𝒜𝓅𝓅, 𝒪𝓇𝒶𝓃𝑔 𝒰𝓉𝒶𝓃”. According to Julaiana, the 3 of them then giggled together.
Juliana said that her son locked himself in his room after the incident, as he felt humiliated and discriminated.
Juliana’s post has gone viral with almost 300 shares. Most Facebook users who responded shared that they were sorry that such an incident happened to her son. They asked Juliana if she confronted the restaurant.
Juliana said that she went down to the restaurant to talk to the manager as she felt sad that it was undoing her attempts to try and make her son more independent. When the restaurant manager approached the employee in question, she denied that it was her. The restaurant manager apologised on the behalf of his staff regardless.
Some commenters said that McDonald’s needed to train their employees, even the temp staff they hire, that such treatment of persons with disability is not acceptable.