Date of Defense


Date of Graduation




First Advisor

Susan Caulfield

Second Advisor

Jamie Rix


People who are deaf or hard of hearing deserve fair and accessible accommodations, which include drive-through restaurants. It is not a fair solution to force this population to go inside an establishment to order, especially due to the fact that many restaurants close the inside of their restaurants at night but will leave their drive-throughs open. According to legal cases and surveys conducted, accessibility at drive-through restaurants is a prodigious issue for members of the deaf and hard of hearing communities in the United States. Based upon these findings, there is a major lack of accessibility, in addition to discrimination, for those who are deaf or hard of hearing and wish to order at drive-through restaurants. This raises the broad question whether or not some drive-through restaurants across the country are violating the law of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). The question this honors thesis attempts to answer is, do drive-through restaurants in the Kalamazoo/Portage area allow adequate accessibility for those who are deaf or hard of hearing? This question will be answered through attempts at ordering at various drive-through restaurants in the Kalamazoo/Portage area, in the same way a deaf or hard of hearing person would possibly order, by driving up to the payment window and seeing what happens next. No identifying information will be disclosed including, the time of day, the names of each restaurant, or any names or defining characteristics of any employees. Data is collected on the procedures followed when attempting to order and whether or not the attempt was successful, including any setbacks or advances. If an issue of accessibility is found, this project will also provide steps that can be taken to remedy the obstacle of insufficient accessibility. This project does not attempt to call out and criticize restaurants in the Kalamazoo/Portage area, only to bring about an awareness on whether or not this issue is occurring.

Access Setting

Honors Thesis-Open Access