Disability accommodation brainstorming thread

This was @KiannaMcDowell 's idea. The Last week’s NAR story about someone using the drive-thru on foot (they’re asked too by the employees).

For disabled people especially those whom are visually impaired have been having problems since 2017 in getting fast food late at night from restaurants like McDonald’s, Taco Bell, Wendy’s and the American-only Chain of Jack in the Box because when they want to get food (at about 11pm or later) the lobby is closed due to staff safety so only the drive thru is open. If they don’t have family or friends to drive them they don’t really have a way of getting fast food. Ride shares are out because supposedly the rideshares can’t go through the drive-thru. And if they take a taxi thru the drive thru that might be the risk of the driver stealing the customer’s information from the bank card (not unless that the customer was sitting behind the driver). And the cost of deliver apps are very expensive as opposed to going in-person to the restaurant. Look at the Table 1.

By having to take a taxi or having to rely on a family member or a friend to drive you through the drive-thru, it means a loss of independent and that’s something a lot of disabled people actually want is to be able to be independent.

There’s are three active cases all in California it seems (there were four but the one visually impaired guy lost their lawsuit against McDonald’s) of visually impaired customers (different customers) not being allowed to use the drive-thru on foot at three different fast food joints but yet the drive-thru was the only thing which was open because the lobby was closed due to “safety” reasons.

So what could be the solution to this problem? That restaurants if they can should have a “walk-thru” window for when the lobby is closed?

P.S. And I don’t think “Find another restaurant” would be an idea solution because they will all have the same problem of only the drive-thru being open.

I’m going to try very hard to stay calm and be respectful on this thread

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Honestly, I think the only reasonable solution is to order food. Yes, it’s more expensive, but it’s the only option that isn’t outright dangerous.

Unless there was a service that delivered food to disabled individuals for free, but that would never work.


I guess that’s only idea that might work. My only other idea is allow the visually impaired customers to call in advance and then let them in to the lobby so they can order (and get food) at the counter.

Something I didn’t mention (I didn’t realize until I read more of the two of the three cases I linked too)- is that one of the potential Wendy’s customers were at a movie that ended at 10pm with friends and the location was near a Wendy’s. It doesn’t say if the other friends were also visually impaired but I’m going to assume so. So what should they do in that situation?

In that case, if the theater was still open, they could have checked to see if the theater was still selling food. Some of them are open past midnight.

Another option is to see if there are any grocery stores or convenience stores that are open 24 hours. The primary grocery store in my area is open 24/7 and they have premade food or food that doesn’t need much prep work. Usually, it’s cheaper than fast food.

There is a particular type of beer that I like that as far as I have found is only available at two stores in my area.

Store 1 is closer to me and sell the beer for fairly cheap but closes at like 8PM

Store 2 is farther away and sells the beer for a pretty significant mark up but is open until 11PM

So if I want to have that particular brand of beer on a Friday night my options are to

  1. Plan ahead and go to store 1
  2. pay more to go to the other store
  3. settle for an option that I dont like as much but is available

Sometimes thats just the way life works. Its physically not safe to walk through a drive through. Especially if the person walking has a form of disability that would make it difficult for them to see and quickly react to vehicles. Its inconvenient but it is a reality. Similarly, people hanging out in the lobby late into the night is a safety concern for those working. Again an inconvenient reality.

The best option might be a walk up window near an entrance door. But if you compare the cost of construction vs actual revenue generated no corporate board this side of the atlantic would ever approve it.

Practically speaking if you cant access the drive through due to disability or even just lacking a car you have the same three options I have with my beer.

  1. plan ahead
  2. pay extra
  3. settle for something else

So it means basically people whom don’t drive for any reason (disabilities or not) can’t be as spontaneous as people whom can drive? So that means that those people can only get McDonald’s, Wendy’s or Taco Bell during the 8am-10pm lobby hours?

And as I mentioned already- “getting something else” doesn’t seem to be a solution since its seem to be a big problem in California cities where basically all Fast Food joints (or at least Taco Bell, Wendy’s, and Jack in the Box, McDonald’s barley comes under here since the original lawsuit was against Louisiana location but the guy came out to test in California) have the same “drive-thru only poilcy after 10pm”

The only other “solution” would be like @KiannaMcDowell suggested and either have delivery or find a convivence store or grocery store nearby which I think would be disappointment if they actually wanted something like Dave’s Cheeseburger and a Frosty,

Im going to be honest you arent going to like my answer. I live in a part of the US where public transport is a joke and nothing is within walking distance. If you dont have a car there is no possible way to be spontaneous. Traveling between places takes time and you have to plan things out.

Not all businesses are 24/7 nor are they obligated to be. Its on the consumer to plan around the hours.

How many NAR stories are there about people banging on doors screaming that the store has to be open despite it being established what the hours are?


I live in an area that’s 20 minutes from McDonald’s and 30 from Burger King. I don’t have a car. You know what? I deal with it. Like @Opinion there isn’t any public transportation where I am. I am an adult. I wait until my husband and I go somewhere for our date night once a week.


Technically you’re comparing an apple to a banna. There’s a major difference between those customers who banning on the doors and versa some visually impaired customers whom want to get some late-night fast food and can’t because only the drive-thru is open. They don’t want to have to loose their independence just to use the drive-thru.

The other Sept I dreaded the thought of having to use the drive-thru of Dairy Queen during business hours because they weren’t offering take-out except through the drive-thru.

Pretty much. Businesses can choose how they want to be open. Some of them physically close, but allow people to call in. This is perfectly legal. And restaurants can close at any time they want even if people want them to stay open. This includes partial closures, like closing the lobby. Or, in some cases, closing the drive-thru but not the lobby; this could be discriminatory to people in wheelchairs who need a specialized car to get around, but they’re still allowed to choose how they’re open.

Being able to choose a particular brand of food is not a right. Even if they were literally starving, the business is not obligated to open to give them food. And if they were literally starving, they’d take whatever food was available.


And as I said the only public transportation a visually impaired person could maybe use would be a taxi. Since supposedly rideshares aren’t allowed to go thru the drive-thrus.

And then unless they’re in the backseat the taxi it can go thru a drive-thru might have the risk of the driver stealing the customer’s information unless the POS is on a pole of some kind which is highly unlikely

Can I ask a question? You know there are lots of people in California right? You’ve cited three cases. And again read my information I’ve sent you time and time again about whom. It’s easy to remember. If you can substitute the word HIM
use whom if not use who.


I will try. But could you tell me where I need to fix it? Since I’m not sure where so I can fix it.

Most of the time when you use it it’s wrong. Just use who.


And as for what they can do if they don’t have a car or can’t drive because they’re visually impaired, like was suggested on the other thread, order it for delivery. Like thousands maybe millions of people did during the Pandemic. Most people have a cell phone so they can do this.


Let me ask you this. What if McDonalds decided to side step the whole issue and close the drive through at the same time they close the lobby. Would you have a problem with that?

Because objectively that would mean fewer people are offered the service but it would be equivalent. Would you consider that a valid solution?


Another alternative is that they could get a self-driving car. The tech for that isn’t too far off.

But I have another thing to discuss on the topic of disability accommodations, if it’s not too far away from the subject. I’m writing a fantasy story. Some of my main characters are disabled and I want there to be a broader acceptance. What kinds of magic would they want to use to make their lives easier? Magical equivalents of existing tech and prosthetics would be a good start, but how about things that we don’t have the technology for, would be impractical to implement, or that aren’t physically possible?


Just going to leave this here.


Personally I think fantasy prosthetics are really underutilized. Lets say you are missing a hand, sure you could have a wizard make you a prosthetic had that works just like a typical one but … why? Our hands evolved when we were incredibly primitive with primitive tasks to do. The modern world would be much more specialized why not have more specialized/interchangeable non human looking prosthetics.

Also any kind of anti gravity/levitation would be helpful for a number of physical limitations. But if you introduce it into the world it would also effect how alot of people lived their lives even if they didnt have physcial disabilities.

I would avoid any kind of like spectral projection imaging kind of things as I think that very easily paints disabilities in a bad light. But thats my opinion.


It depends on what kind of disabilities do the characters have? Visually impaired, Hearing impaired/Deaf? Mobility issues like can they use their arms, can they use their legs? Were they born this way or did they have an accident or illness at some point in their life? What point in their life?

Yeah I know a lot of things to think of.