Woman with vision impairment refused drink at Adelaide hotel because she didn't have a carer – ABC News


Woman with vision impairment refused drink at Adelaide hotel because she didn't have a carer
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A woman living with a vision impairment says she was refused a drink by an Adelaide bartender because she was "unaccompanied" and "didn't have a carer" with her.
Vanessa Ransley said the incident had been "soul-destroying", but she had chosen to speak out about it to remind others of their rights.
Ms Ransley recently arrived in Adelaide from Hobart "unaccompanied" and said that after checking into her hotel room at the Stamford Grand at Glenelg on Sunday, she then went to the bar to get a cocktail from the Horizons Cocktail Lounge.
"And the man just wouldn't serve me because I didn't have a 'carer', in air quotes, with me," she told ABC Radio Adelaide.
Ms Ransley said she did not need a carer, but when she attempted to explain, she got nowhere.
"I was a 'safety risk' and he wasn't prepared to serve me a drink, which I thought was interesting considering I got to the bar myself, got to the hotel myself — but I can't drink a drink by myself, so yeah, pretty devastating," she said.
"It's just an awful thing to know that they are wrong, and that my human right's to have a drink — I mean it could have been anything — but I was discriminated against because of my lack of eyesight. It was soul-destroying."
Adelaide woman Rachael Leahcar, who is legally blind, calls for more education in the ride-sharing industry after being refused entry to an Uber because of her guide dog.
Ms Ransley said she was legally blind and had been since birth, and said the incident occurred only days after her guide dog had passed away. 
The ABC has contacted the Stamford Grand for comment.
Ms Ransley said she had travelled extensively on her own around Australia and internationally, but had "never ever" experienced anything like the incident in the bar before.
"I was just dumbfounded to be honest. I said, 'I need to see the manager', and he was the manager and I thought, 'Oh great, this is going well'," she said.
"He had absolutely no intention of listening to my point of view or even acknowledging that I had a point of view … he was just, this is the way it's going to be, like it or lump it.
"I'm making a fuss because this might happen to somebody who doesn't understand their rights and people need to know that this is not okay and it is unacceptable."
She said she then approached another senior staff member in an attempt to resolve the situation, but "the bar manager was having none of it".
"I just had to leave, you can only bang your head up the brick wall so many times," Ms Ransley said.
She said the hotel's head of operations had since spoken to her "and was absolutely mortified at what went on yesterday and was very apologetic".
Ms Ransley said she had been told the staff member was going to face disciplinary action and retraining.
"It's getting the message out there that this is unacceptable and that it's not tolerated, it's not OK," she said.
"I'd hate for that to happen to somebody who doesn't have my resilience.
"I will be having my drink this evening — on the house."
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