Monday, March 17, 2008

Steak 'n Shake--Will We Move Forward?

"What's happening with Steak 'n Shake," a friend asked me recently. I figured it was time to blog about it once again.

First, I have to say that the Steak 'n Shake incident has turned my life crazy upsidedown. The latest to pick up the story was Diversity, Inc.:

Second Class Citizen: Deaf Mother of Three Denied Service At Restaurant.

Protecting Rights of People with Hearing Loss: What Does the Law Say?

A few days ago, my husband came home from work and told me that a co-worker heard the situation being discussed on the radio.

As it stands right now, I am still waiting to hear from Steak 'n Shake to see what their solution is to providing drive-thru access for people with disabilities. I want them to do more than just slap a sign on the speaker telling us that they'll serve us at the window. Their lawyer has stated that they are close to reaching a solution that they will present soon.

I have not filed a lawsuit-- I am working with the corporation to reach a solution that will ensure that every person with a disability who goes through a Steak 'n Shake drive-thru will do so with access.

Stay tuned!


mishkazena said...

You are awesome, trying to find a workable solution with the corporation lawyers first before going for a lawsuit. I would do the same thing

way to go, karen! :)

Lisa C. said...

You rock! I would do the same thing. We haven't been to Steak 'n Steak for a while.

Jim said...

As Paul wrote in Romans 5,"patience leads to character", sometime we have to wait and give large companies like Shake & Steak time to go over the policies, procedures and training. This all takes time but I do hope they are keeping you up to date so you won't be in the dark.

Thanks for the update, Jim

groovyoldlady said...

Stay in there and stand your ground!

kw said...

WOW! You're a true advocate the way you keep following this situation all the way through!! This is a tremendous lesson for all of us-- that standing up for our rights does pay off! Thanks so much. YOU GO!!

Rachel said...

I haven't had a chance to comment your unbelievable story about this, and now that I'm on spring break with lots of free time, I definitely want to take a moment to comment this. You are doing just an awesome job in dealing with this situation. I faced a similar discrimination a few years ago and took similar actions before going for a lawsuit, and the end result was very good, and I'm very glad that I didn't take the time to file a lawsuit. You're a one strong woman, and I appreciate how you're handling this, and I'm sure you'll get a good result!

Deb Ann said...

Way to go, Karen!

Stephen Hopson said...


You are a role model for the rest of us who encounter situations similiar to yours but don't make headway like you are.

Keep going! We're behind you all the way.

Karen said...

Thanks everyone for your encouragement and support!

Abbie said...

This is a step in the right direction and I applaud you for being so patient with Steak n' Shake, I don't know if I would be able to! You are an inspiration to us all Karen!

Becky said...

I'm tagging you for a Blogland game. Come see what it's about.

Good luck with Steak 'n Shake!

Vanessa said...


I found your site through the 5 minutes for moms site. I wanted to commend you for what your doing. We all should stand up for ourselves more often.

I read your story and wanted to say hi. I have always had an interest in American Sign Language since I had a deaf friend when I was young. I had to learn different signs in order to communicate with her. That was a short friendship because she moved away but it was the most amazing thing to me. I never got serious with the signing until I had my daughter who is now 15 months old. She was born with a genetic disorder and with this comes speech delays so I decided to start signing with her when she was young. The only way for her to communicate with me is through sign and I'm trying to learn as much as I can to keep up with her. She is so eager right now and literaly like a sponge and soaks up all the signing I teach her. I have met a lady in my town who teaches sign language to babies and toddlers but have only met her once. I am going to meet with her again and see what kind of advice she can give me right now. I know you haven't always used ASL but do you have any suggestions for me? My daughter just had a hearing test done because her disorder also has a high chance for hearing loss and her test came back normal but the chances of her aquiring it over time is high so I want to keep up with the signing as long as she'll do it.

Wow...didn't mean to go on forever but wanted to introduce myself and let you know I truly admire you for your motivation in this matter. I look forward to getting to know you better.

Take Care,

Rachel said...

Today, I went to McDonald's for the first time in a long time with my dad and noticed that the drive through had a TV screen on the speaker. They typed up the orders as we said them. Is that something that Stake n' Shake could add, along with closed captioning on their TV? Because I'm not truly "deaf," it's hard for me to make the judgment on what's best for you and other deaf people, but that's just a thought. Anyways, I hope that they will come up with a good solution.

Vi said...

But if you went for a lawsuit perhaps all fast food drive thru's would learn,

Abbie said...

I'm truly deaf and I feel that any solution or assistance on Steak n' Shakes side would be a step in the right direction.