A woman who suffers from vision and hearing impairments, and her friends were refused service at a Vietnamese restaurant in Adelaide’s CBD because of her guide dog.
Ellen Fraser-Barbour entered adelaide’s Little NNQ on Sunday, and was immediately refused entry once they saw her guide dog Inka.
“We walked in and asked if we could have a table to sit [at] and a male server came up and pretty much barred us from going in,” Ms Fraser-Barbour told the ABC.
“He said ‘it’s a dog, it’s a dog, no’.
“I said it’s illegal to discriminate against a working dog and he still said no, as did another server.”
After leaving the restaurant, the Adelaide resident returned home and submitted an official report to the Australian Human Rights Commission as it is illegal to deny entry – or service – to a guide dog and their owner.
Despite the traumatic experience, Fraser-Barbour has expressed her immense gratitude to a family who decided to leave the restaurant after overhearing what had happened.
Little NNQ restaurant have since responded to the claims, stating that it was simply a “mistake” and the person in charge that night was “concerned that by allowing the dog entry could compromise the food, health and safety standards”.
“The decision made by our temporary manager is not one which we are proud of, and is something that has caused our family much embarrassment and upset,” the statement says.
“We do feel responsible having appointed someone into a position of management without the necessary experience and knowledge of Australian legislation.
“Daniel came to us as an international student and Vietnamese national. He is also extremely upset at the hurt and offence his actions have caused. Although the above is not an excuse, Daniel acknowledges that his actions were vacuous and that he should have known better.”
Ellen has accepted the restaurant’s apology but believes more needs to be done to educate people on the laws around service animals.