Woman talking(l+r), Woman in wheelchair outside(c)

@accessbytay/Tiktok

‘This is a huge issue’: Wheelchair user denied service at ‘accessible’ restaurant

"The reason why I advocate for accessibility so much is to avoid situations like this."

 

Tricia Crimmins

IRL

Posted on Dec 13, 2023

A woman who uses a wheelchair says that she was denied service at a restaurant that claimed to be accessible.

Taylor Lindsay-Noel, an entrepreneur and creator whose content focuses on accessibility, says in a TikTok posted yesterday that she was unable to dine at a restaurant for a friend’s birthday because it didn’t have a ramp for her wheelchair. Lindsay-Noel says she called the restaurant, Kasa Moto in Toronto, ON multiple times in advance and was assured that it was accessible—and that the restaurant’s Google page even stated that it was wheelchair accessible.

Lindsay-Noel says in her TikTok that she was asked by Kasa Moto’s manager who told her that the restaurant was accessible, and that she and her friends relocated to an accessible restaurant for their dinner.

As of publication, Kasa Moto’s Google page no longer states that it is accessible: “Wheelchair accessible entrance” and “wheelchair accessible seating” are marked as unavailable. Kasa Moto did not immediately respond to the Daily Dot’s request for comment.

“The reason why I advocate for accessibility so much is to avoid situations like this. This was such a frustrating and disappointing night,” Lindsay-Noel says in her video. “When people in wheelchairs are left outside in the cold because the place lied about their accessibility, this is a huge issue.”

On Wednesday, Lindsay-Noel’s video had over 665,000 views on TikTok.

@accessbytay Accessibility Review of Kasa Moto 🙄 – Accessibility 0/5 ♿️ – #AccessByTay #torontorestaurants #kasamoto #wheelchairaccessible #wheelchair #accessibility #toronto ♬ Get You the Moon – Syf

Restaurants in Ontario are obligated to make their facilities accessible, as “persons with disabilities have the right to equal treatment in accessing services such as those provided by restaurants,” according to the Ontario Human Rights Commission. To bypass its accessibility obligations, a restaurant would have to prove an “undue burden”—like cost—to justify its discrimination against people with disabilities. 

Non-dining establishments, like stores and commercial airlines, struggle with accessibility as well. Lindsay-Noel has also demonstrated that even a single stair is not possible for her to traverse in her wheelchair—which is over 350 pounds without her in it and would need to be carried, which poses a safety risk to her. 

And in a comment on her viral video, Lindsay-Noel said that struggles with accessibility can be embarrassing for wheelchair users.

“This was an embarrassing and completely avoidable situation,” she wrote. “To say I’m disappointed is an understatement.”

The Daily Dot reached out to Lindsay-Noel via email.

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*First Published: Dec 13, 2023, 2:21 pm CST