thought disabled man was drunk
- A South Australian
man with cerebral palsy says he was refused entry to the
Adelaide Casino because the bouncer thought he was drunk.
was on a night out with friends when he attempted to enter
the Casino, but was pushed back by a bouncer.
Thiele says the bouncer mistakenly thought he was drunk, but
the Casino is sticking by its decision.
"I had said
to the man that I wasn't a drunk, I was crippled," said Mr
Thiele, talking about his rejection on 7.30 South Australia.
"He had said
to me he was convinced I was intoxicated even though we said
that I had only had a few drinks earlier on in the evening.
"So I can't
see why I was singled out and everybody else in my party
wasn't. There was no difference between any of us besides
the obvious. It's a mystery to me really."
he and his friends had walked to the casino from the city's
Hindley Street entertainment strip a few blocks away.
people it is an easy stroll. But Mr Thiele has trouble
moving his body and for him, walking distances is a big
Aaron Nettlebeck says the casino bouncer did not understand.
sort of distance does get very, very sweaty over that sort
of short period," he said.
"It was a bit
infuriating that it happened like that after such a nice
says he has not had a problem at venues until now.
"For the vast
majority it's never been a problem. Bouncers that I've come
into contact with have been understanding and even let me
skip the line a few times just to put me at ease," he said.
it's a stamina thing that I can't walk these long distances
and stand in lines and all of these things."
He says he is
considering lodging a complaint with the Human Rights and
Equal Opportunity Commission or under South Australia's
general manager, David Christian, has offered an apology of
certainly not our intention that Mark would have felt
discriminated against and I'm sorry that he does feel that
way," he said.
But he is
defending the actions of his staff.
that they made the right call. I would believe that with the
calibre we have and the training we put into our security
officers, and the level of management that oversees it, that
they would be right most of the time."
disability discrimination commissioner Graeme Innes says he
would like to hear the case.
He says there
is a lot of misunderstanding towards physically disabled
"One of the
broader things that I would say about our community
generally is that there's a negative or very limiting view
of people with disabilities in the community," he said.
because there isn't enough disability awareness training in
a whole range of areas where customer service is provided."
He says the
allegation that someone with cerebral palsy has been
mistaken for being drunk has been made under the
Discrimination Act on a number of occasions.
"It's not a
new occurrence but I wouldn't say it happens once a week
either," he said.
something which requires appropriate training of staff, if
staff are making those decisions to be able to take actions
which will allow them to distinguish between a person's
inebriation and a person's disability.
gentleman wants to pursue the matter then he could certainly
lodge a complaint with the Australian Human Rights