Cafe refused to serve disabled man, sister claims

 

A BRISBANE woman has created online outrage by claiming a local takeaway shop refused to serve her disabled brother because he was a "messy eater."

But the owners of the store told couriermail.com.au they were concerned the man needed assistance to eat and were unable to provide assistance as they had done in the past.

In a Facebook post, that has been shared about 7000 times and commented on almost 3000 times within 21 hours, Paula Winn said she was angry and advised customers to reconsider eating at Wynnum Takeaway at 105 Bay Tce, Shop 2, claiming they refuse to serve disabled people.

"Some of you know I care for my older brother who has Primary Progressive Multiple Sclerosis, for those that don't know much about PPMS it is a debilitating disease that takes away a person's ability to function 'normally'," she wrote.

"He needs assistance with most things in everyday living with the exception of being able to ride his scooter and feed himself."

Ms Winn wrote that every six to eight weeks, her brother rides his mobility scooter down to Wynnum to have breakfast and get his hair cut.

"He doesn't have to hop off his scooter this whole trip so he loves that there is one thing he can do independently," she wrote.

Wynnum Takeaway on Bay Tce. Picture: Google
Wynnum Takeaway on Bay Tce. Picture: Google

Ms Winn said when her brother returned home from his rare independent outing on Wednesday, he informed her he was refused service when he tried to order breakfast and "wasn't told why."

She said she drove to the takeaway and spoke to a couple behind the counter.

"I politely asked why they refused my brother service their (sic) response … because he made a bit of mess when eating," Ms Winn wrote in her Facebook post.

"And yes at about this point I saw red so I asked very clearly so there was no mistake "You are telling me, you knowingly refused service to a disabled person because they made a mess when they ate?," their response "Yes".

"At this point there was quite a crowd plus the patrons already in the shop which all left just as disgusted as I was that they refused a disabled person service because of a little mess."

A man who answered the phone at the Wynnum Takeaway today told The Courier-Mail he and his wife served the "customer in a wheelchair" yesterday and that they were unable to serve him.

Part of Paula Winn's Facebook post.
Part of Paula Winn's Facebook post.

Ngyuen Tiap said he and his wife, Lee, could not "look after him".

"We cannot look after him when you must help him eat," he said.

"He had no family with him to help and we have helped him eat before.

"We told him next time you come to my shop you bring one person to help you."

Mrs Tiap then told The Courier-Mail she spoke to a lady about her brother yesterday.

"Yesterday … a lady asked me why not I serve (sic) her brother, and I tell her I can't serve him because when he come before to eat he missed the table (sic).

"I helped him put on the coffee, helped him with food before … now this time yesterday I tell him I can't look after him when there's so many people here and nobody to look after him.

"I tell the lady who came here … that he drop (sic) everything on the table.

"Too many customers see that he can't eat … and I worry that he might die at the table and I can't call the ambulance."

Thousands of people have commented on Ms Winn's Facebook post, with most expressing disgust at the situation and support for the man.

"If they do that to a disabled person, how would they treat a parent with messy toddlers?," Kathy Kraut wrote.

"Terrible way to treat people."

Richelle Rock wrote that she had been to the takeaway named in the post many times.

"They were always very polite and I always saw them taking care of disabilities people (sic) with loads of kids or just anyone really," she said. "I am very surprised to read this."

A spokeswoman for the Department of Communities, Disability Services and Seniors said she was concerned about the allegations.

"People with disability should be included in their communities the same as everyone else," she said.

"Access and inclusion is at the heart of our current priority of creating an All Abilities Queensland, where Queenslanders with disability can participate and be included in their communities and enjoy social and economic wellbeing.

"We have worked hard to transition Queensland to the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) over the past three years.

Anyone who believes they are experiencing discrimination as a person with disability can also complain to the Queensland Human Rights Commission.


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