While many people take the simple luxury of ordering food for granted, a blind teen in Ohio experienced it for the first time after she was offered a Braille menu at a local Red Robin restaurant.
On Monday, 17-year-old Annalicia Herrera’s life changed when went out for dinner with her brother, sister and grandmother in Grove City and was given her very own menu to read for the first time, Buzzfeed reported.
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When the family dines out, they typically read the menu out to Annalicia, her 16-year-old sister, Alyssa Herrera, said.
“She just orders chicken and fries,” Alyssa told Buzzfeed.
When the family arrived at Red Robin, they were “surprised” when the hostess asked if Annalicia would like a menu in Braille, which Annalicia uses to study at the Ohio State School of the Blind.
The simple gesture was enough to inspire Annalicia to explore something other than her typical dinner fare.
“My first thought was, ‘Let me see what they have!’” she said. “…I was like, ‘What should I order now?’”
After perusing through the menu, she ordered the teriyaki chicken burger and fries.
Alyssa, excited about her sister’s newest accomplishment, decided to share the shining moment on Twitter with a photo of her using her hands to read the menu.
My sister has been in this world for 18 yrs and today is the first time she has been offered a menu at a restaurant pic.twitter.com/Yve18jhw8k
— Alyssa (@alyssaherrera33) March 27, 2017
“I was excited that she was able to read her menu and order her own food,” Alyssa said of her sister, who turns 18 in April.
The tweet struck a chord with the social media world and quickly went viral, with thousands of people commenting on Annslicia’s momentous accomplishment and expressing support for the blind community.
@alyssaherrera33 i work at Cracker Barrel and we offer them too! I'm surprised it took that long tho!
— Katlyn Reynolds (@katlynrey4) March 28, 2017
@alyssaherrera33 I feel you. This is my bro, a blind bad ass interning at the AZ House of Reps ✊? pic.twitter.com/MUrDPjza9X
— MegMoon™ (@Meghan_Mooney) March 29, 2017
@alyssaherrera33 realizing how privileged I am because I've never thought of that. Wow that should be a requirement for every restaurant.
— Camilla (@Camilla_33) March 28, 2017
@alyssaherrera33 this is so awesome
— S (@sareeezus) March 27, 2017
@renegadescoat @alyssaherrera33 I JUST ZOOMED IN ON THE PICTURE OMG THATS AMAZING THANK YOU
— smiles!!! on ice ❄️ (@blushinVicturi) March 28, 2017
@alyssaherrera33 @SuzyQHayes my dad, also blind, has only been offered menus at Red Robin and once at Cracker Barrel! This is awesome!
— corn beef hASHLI ? (@ashdmitch) March 28, 2017
@alyssaherrera33 @oliv_criss Long overdue! Something that really needs addressed.
— david williams (@dantivirus) March 28, 2017
@alyssaherrera33 beautiful. ?❤️
— nessie (@grantgustusa) March 28, 2017
@alyssaherrera33 This got me. 18 years… unbelievable. pic.twitter.com/fsj7nkpnIL
— Samezzoguile (@samezzoguile) March 29, 2017
Annalicia said she’d never experienced the kind of “attention” her sister’s tweet attracted, adding that she hopes more restaurants making similar accommodations for the blind. She plans on exploring more foods at restaurants in the future.
A Red Robin spokesperson told Buzzfeed in a statement that he takes pride making the Herrera family’s dining experience more personal.
“Attentive hospitality and personal connections are in our DNA. Red Robin takes great pride in our team members’ ability to go above and beyond to create memorable experiences for Guests like Annalicia,” Jonathan Muhtar, Red Robin’s chief marketing officer, said in a statement. “Red Robin’s commitment to living our core B.U.R.G.E.R. Values ensures that our Guests and team members alike are better for being here.”
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