Toulouse. “The cart, it’s not going to be possible”: a woman turned away from a nightclub because of her disability
By Gabriel Kenedi
A Toulouse, a 37 year old woman decided to file a complaint against a nightclub owner and a security guard, whom she accuses of discrimination on the grounds of disability.
She goes to a nightclub
Suffering from a rare genetic disease discovered following an accident at work which occurred several years ago, Sophia*(this is an assumed first name, editor’s note) has lost the use of his legs and only uses an electric wheelchair.
During a festive evening, the thirty-something went on Saturday September 18, around 2:30 am, in front of the Senso nightclub, in order to continue the evening with her companion and her friends. “Four friends had already entered the box, and I was with three other people, including my companion”, she relates to Toulouse news.
“The cart, it will not be possible”
“My experience at Senso was brief. When we arrived, we smoked a cigarette in front of the establishment and during all this time, no one approached us. When we got to the door to get in, the boss said to the guard, ” The cart, it will not be possible ». Suddenly, the security guard repeated exactly the same sentence to me… As if I were a lot of shopping”, says Sophie again.
And to continue: “At the time I was so shocked that I did not react, nor made a scene. We all remained very polite and left. Our friends who were inside then left the establishment to parley, and the security guard repeated several times that the tank was too wide. No matter how much my friends explained to him that we can’t say this word in 2022 to designate a person in a wheelchair, it didn’t seem to shock them. In addition, I know that inside, everything is on one level, and I realized that my chair could easily pass when the door is open”, she underlines.
A complaint to “get things moving”
“I felt humiliated like never before. It was my disability that was targeted. I think what bothered the boss was that there was a disabled person in his establishment. So I decided to file a complaint. against the boss of the establishment and the guard in order to make things happen, and so that people know that discrimination against disabilities really exists.If his establishment is not up to standard, he must do some work! “
“I don’t remember saying that”
Contacted by Toulouse Newsthe boss of the nightclub, refutes any discrimination and claims not to have uttered the word ” tank “ while evoking “a possible wrong address” of the watchman. “I don’t remember having said that and I will respond to the complaint,” he said.
“You should know that we have an exemption from the town hall which allows us not to carry out accessibility work to bring ourselves into compliance, because it would cost too much for a small company like ours”, assures Joël Dutot. This does not prevent, he explains, bringing disabled people into his establishment.
“We try to do our best, but sometimes there are too many people… It’s unfortunate but we couldn’t let her in because his wheelchair was too wide“, justifies the boss of Senso. And to add: “I have no moral lesson to receive. For me, there is no discrimination. People get offended for not much these days…”.
The versions are therefore diametrically opposed between the listener and the manager of the nightclub. The case is now in the hands of the police, who have opened an investigation.
If the discrimination is proven by the police, the perpetrators assume a penalty of up to 3 years in prison and €45,000 fine.
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