Disability attorney and former Labor candidate for Dickson’s headquarters, Ali France, has revealed the shocking treatment she received at a Brisbane cafe last month.
47-year-old France, who ran against Peter Dutton in Dickson’s general election last year, said she was on Jan.. She was led away from a table by security at the Jamaica Blue Cafe in Indooroopilly Shopping Center in west Brisbane on November 23, despite pain after surgery.
France used an electric scooter after surgery on her left leg that was amputated above the knee after a car drove into her in a parking lot in Brisbane in 2011. France waited at the outdoor table with their 14-year-old son while his other 16-year-old son went inside to order hot chocolates.
She said a waitress told her she couldn’t sit at the table if she didn’t order, and was then informed by a male staff member that the department she was sitting in was going to be closed, despite another family next to it you sat.
France said it was her first shopping trip with her children after recent surgery and « movement damage » and she needs to « rest and refuel ». .
« I said I had an operation, was an amputee and wanted to stay while I waited for the order, » said France.
« I asked him to let us stay until the order came and said I had just come out of the hospital. He said if I didn’t move he would call security. »
France said she was then told she couldn’t sit unless she ordered food, not just drinks, and she also didn’t sign the COVID form on the counter – she couldn’t access it.
Then a guard arrived, as did the drinks ordered, and France, now in tears, was brought out.
« There were a lot of people watching and staring around us. I hadn’t even had a chance to take a sip of the hot chocolate. I got back on the scooter sobbing, ”she said.
On International Day of People with Disabilities, France said it took a while to uncover the incident because she was « deeply upset » about it.
« The general public finds these stories shocking, but in fact, they are not uncommon for people with mobility problems, » she said.
« I was embarrassed for my kids and it really impressed me. After that, I sobbed for three or four hours. It felt really cruel. It was unacceptable and the most shameful behavior. I felt so hurt in some ways . . . the lack of compassion was staggering. It was really awful. »
A Jamaica Blue spokesperson said: « Jamaica Blue and our franchisee at Indooroopilly want to sincerely apologize for any crime or embarrassment that Ali France and her family have experienced. « .
« We serve hundreds of people with disabilities in our cafes every day and we employ many people with disabilities. We are deeply disappointed with this incident and we apologize without reservation. »
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Jamaica Blue Indooroopilly, Indooroopilly, Brisbane
World news – AU – Disability Advocate escorted from the café through tears
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