NO ROOM: Mary Walsh, confined to a mobility scooter by MS, was refused service at a Bulcock St business on New Year's Eve while holidaying in Caloundra.
NO ROOM: Mary Walsh, confined to a mobility scooter by MS, was refused service at a Bulcock St business on New Year's Eve while holidaying in Caloundra. John McCutcheon

Disabled woman refused service at beauty salon

MARY Walsh is determined not to let her treatment at the hands of a Bulcock St business spoil her holiday love affair with Caloundra.

But she admits the incident on New Year's Eve left her rattled for a while and wondering how others like her are treated here.

Mrs Walsh was diagnosed with MS in 1996 and, until a series of episodes eight years ago which left her unable to walk, she had managed the ailment.

Since then she has required a mobility scooter to get around and a walking frame at home. Mrs Walsh has successfully navigated around Brisbane and been happily accommodated in shops wherever she went.

However a decision to have her nails done New Year's Eve morning has left her rattled.

Mrs Walsh needs to remain in her scooter while she is out and has never had a problem in Brisbane getting her nails done or whatever.

But after an assistant began to clear a space for her, a man she believed to be the owner of Five Star Nails told her if she could not sit in a chair there would be no service.

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"I was a bit shell-shocked," she said.

"It left me feeling weird for about an hour. I couldn't believe it. I've been in a scooter for nine years and this is the first time this has happened.

"If the place was busy I would have understood although I always manage to get in (in Brisbane). My scooter only takes up slightly more room than a chair. I went very early in the morning and there were five empty booths between me and the end of the shop.

"There are a lot of people with mobility scooters in Caloundra."

Her husband Noel is furious at his wife's treatment.

He said the behaviour was discriminatory and the establishment needed to come into line with laws and regulations in Australia regarding the treatment of disabled people.

Five Star Nails have been contacted to comment on Mrs Walsh's complaint.



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