No words can explain how devastated I am to have experienced this as a conference visitor, simply to have a good drink with great professionals. I decided to stop by at the bar station to order a drink instead of seating at a table. I requested paper and pen to communicate. The bartender gestured that I had to go to the other side where there would be a group I could order with. I was confused by his direction, and advised him that although the group was Deaf, that didn't mean that I was with them or needed to order with them.
He rudely insisted that I had to go to that group, and walked away, leaving me standing there. I was still confused, so I decided to do what he said. I approached the server on the other side and requested a drink. She took my order, and I had to wait more than 30 minutes. I became impatient and went back to the bar station to request paper and pen again. That same bartender said, "NO, I will not take your order. You have to take your order with the group." He again walked away from me. So my friend had to ask other hearing customers, who we had never met before and didn't know, to order for us. They obliged, and we gave them money to pay for the drinks.
Our drinks immediately arrived after the hearing customers ordered for us, but as soon as the bartender saw us about to pick up our drinks, he quickly grabbed our drinks and said, "NO." We requested to talk with the manager. The manager came and advised that we join the other group. We quickly explained that we were not with the other group, and that I hadn't gotten my drinks for more than an hour after ordering through the server.We knew we were being discriminated against because we were Deaf, and that refusing to take my order via paper and pen was discrimination as well. The manager decided to "allow" us to have drinks, and communicated with the bartender. We finally got our drinks after an hour.... but that wasn't all. They continued to refused to serve Deaf people from the bar station after they saw us drinking. Just unbelievable.