Cynthia Walker, 22, is permanently deaf due to CHARGE Syndrome, a genetic disorder that affects her eyes, heart, genitals, intellectual capabilities and behavior. She’s dependent on her parents, but on a recent outing to Chick-fil-A in Fayetteville, North Carolina, an employee identified as Taylor helped Walker expand her independence by helping her order in sign language.
“Taylor did not miss a beat on greeting us with a warm smile, and asking my daughter first what she would like,” Terri Gioia, Walker’s mother, wrote on Facebook, in a video that went viral when it was shared by the page Love What Matters on March 6.
“My daughter was so surprised and happy. She even asked me how that lady knew how to sign to her,” Gioia said. “Taylor has only been employed there for a couple of weeks and she is already so efficient in her job. We will make this location our regular stop. Everyone there was so courteous and walking around checking on customers. Great job to the manager for having an awesome team!”
Commenters on Love What Matters’ post were supportive of Taylor having reached out to Walker.
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“So sweet! I wish sign language was taught in schools more often so that people who are deaf or like this young lady feel like they can communicate a little easier,” wrote Facebook user Cailey Marie Sparks.
Others shared their own stories. “This is awesome! I'm a court clerk and I speak a small amount of Spanish that I always offer to use for Spanish speaking defendants until we can arrange for a proper interpreter,” wrote Melissa Kapuszcak. “Just being able to tell someone when their adjourned date is and how to call for an attorney can greatly decrease their anxiety.”
According to a GoFundMe created in October 2015 to help Walker obtain a service dog, Walker enjoys eating out, writing with the help of her mother that, “My daddy and I share a pizza night once a week and mommy and I have a Chinese night.”