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Parents Win Access Discrimination Case For Disabled Child August 13, 2006

Posted by C.A.R.D in Access Discrimination, Belfast, Case, Citizens Against Racism and Discrimination, Disabled, Disabled Child, disabled people, Discriminate, Discrimination, Down baby, Fulton's Fine Furnishings, furniture store, Justin Black, Lisa Black, Parents, Rights of access, Win.
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The parents of a disabled County Down baby have won an access discrimination case against a furniture store.

Justin and Lisa Black were told they could not take their son, Thomas, into Fulton’s Fine Furnishings in Belfast because of a no pushchairs policy.

However, Belfast County Court ruled the store unlawfully discriminated against Thomas, who has spina bifida, by failing to make an exception for him.


In a statement, Fultons said they did not discriminate against the disabled.

They said they were committed to equality for everyone and that disabled people were always welcome.

The incident happened at Fulton’s Boucher Crescent store more than a year ago, when Thomas was in a specially adapted buggy.

Thomas’s father Justin said: “I went back in on my own and explained to the gentleman on the door that Thomas had spina bifida and he needed his buggy for support.

“Basically the reply was the same – that he wouldn’t let us through the door.”

Mrs Black added: “I couldn’t believe it at that point, because we weren’t asking for special treatment – we were just asking to bring the buggy in.”

Ann McKernan of the Equality Commission said the case underlined the law, as the company had adhered to its “blanket policy” for buggies.

“Rights of access is a major quality of life issue for disabled people,” she said.

“All service providers whether it’s a shop, dentist, a solicitor, or a restaurant are obliged in law to make sure that disabled people have adequate and proper rights of access.”

Source: BBC

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