By Simon Sansome
While the UK is going through a massive heatwave people like myself are heading to the seaside for a family day out and yesterday was one of those days.
My parents had set up camp on an Ingoldmells campsite so me, my wife and my nephew and niece decided to join them for a day on the beach.
Like most people when you go to a place like Skegness or Ingoldmells you go for the fish and chips, ice cream, doughnuts and of course it would not be a trip to the seaside if you did not visit the amusements arcades.
We’ve been going to the amusement arcades about once a year for about 20 years. We enjoy the bingo and especially the 2p machines. Knowing full well that we’re going to lose all our money but that’s part of the charm.
Down the road from the Ingoldmells campsite was the Bells Amusement Arcade. We got our change put our masks on and in we went. All was going well until a member of staff approached me and said mobility scooters were not allowed in the arcade. She said that management had taken the decision to ban all mobility scooters in the arcade not give me any reason why, just that it was a management decision.
Now being disabled I have come across disability discrimination before but not this bluntly and not so much that they advertise it in the window.
I explained to the 19-year-old new employee that I was paralysed from the waist down and that I couldn’t use an alternative wheelchair because I did not have my electric wheelchair with me.
Like a lot of people who are disabled if they know they’re going to be out for a long time they will probably take a mobility scooter as it’s more durable. I have an electric wheelchair at home which I use for shorter distances or going to the pub.
I immediately went to the other side of the road and recorded the video to advertise the fact that I’ve just been asked to leave an amusement arcade because I’m disabled and in a mobility scooter.
I then went and told my mum and my wife what had happened. My mother was furious and went back in and explained to the employee that they have discriminated against the wrong person due to the fact that I have almost 90,000 followers on social media, and I am one of the most influential disabled people in the UK. Her last words to the employee was ‘YOU WILL BE SORRY’.
I was given a number for the general manager and phoned the number but nobody was available for comment, I have tried calling a number of times but the phone now keeps ringing out. This maybe the fact that the video has had thousands of views on Ability Access my Facebook and Twitter account and has caused uproar in the disabled community.
It feels like we are living in the 1920s, not 2021. How can a company operate this way when they are blatantly discriminated against disabled people? This will definitely be a subject on my next podcast The Grumpy Gits, which last episode have over 120,000 views.