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CanadaIqaluit restaurant apologizes for discriminating against woman with disability

12:30  07 december  2018
12:30  07 december  2018 Source:   cbc.ca

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The Convention on the Elimination of all Forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW) is an international treaty adopted in 1979 by the United Nations General Assembly.

Iqaluit restaurant apologizes for discriminating against woman with disability© CBC Naiomie Hanson-Akavak, who has cerebral palsy, uses an online speech assist program. She says she was disgusted and disappointed when a staff member at The Snack restaurant accused her of being drunk because she slurs her words.

An Iqaluit restaurant is apologizing after a staff member accused a woman with cerebral palsy of being drunk.

Naiomie Hanson-Akavak says she called The Snack restaurant earlier this week to place an order, as she often does.

She says she tried to speak as clearly as possible but she had to repeat her order four times. Then, she says she was disgusted and disappointed by what she heard. Hanson-Akavak says the staff member accused her of being drunk because she slurs her words.

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Main article: Disability discrimination . Discrimination against people with disabilities in favor of people who are not is called ableism or disablism. Nevertheless, the problem of gender discrimination does not stop at transgender individuals or with women .

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"I feel discriminated against because I am a disabled person," she said, using an online speech assist device.

Hanson-Akavak took to Facebook to complain about the incident and members of the public swiftly spoke up in her defence. The Snack then offered an apology on Facebook.

"Once we realized that this did happen then that's when we took the initiative of sending an apology and asking for a meeting so we can sit down in person and have a conversation," said Idris Omar, the online social media and public relations representative for the restaurant.

"We know Naomi. We know she has a special needs that requires fully our attention. She's a loyal customer of us. And when this happened we took every step necessary to ensure that this never happens again."

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Disability discrimination occurs when an employer or other entity covered by the Americans with Disabilities Act, as amended, or the Rehabilitation Act, as amended, treats a qualified individual with a disability who is an employee or applicant unfavorably because she has a disability .

In Victoria it is against the law to discriminate against you because of a disability you have, or that people think you might have. Disability discrimination can prevent people from participating in community life and enjoying other human rights.

Omar said The Snack staff and management had an emergency meeting, including the people working that night. He said suspension or termination is possible as a result of the incident. The restaurant is also organizing special training for all staff to ensure that the restaurant is fully accessible.

"This enlightened us and informed us that we have a place that needs an improvement, which means that ensuring that anybody that has a disability that requires our service we need to make sure that we're accessible," Omar said.

Iqaluit restaurant apologizes for discriminating against woman with disability© CBC Idris Omar, the online social media and public relations representative for the restaurant, says when the incident happened 'we took every step necessary to ensure that this never happens again.'

Noah Papatsie, with the Nunavummi Disabilities Makinnasuaqtiit Society, said training is key. Papatsie said he feels sorry for what Hanson-Akavak went through. He believes more can be done to educate people about disabilities, not just in Iqaluit but across Canada.

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"I believe the whole staff or the company itself can have some training or education within the disability department."

Hanson-Akavak agrees that there needs to be more education around people with disabilities.

"We've been treated differently all of our lives. It's nice to be included."

She said she'll eventually go back to The Snack, but it will take some time.

Iqaluit restaurant apologizes for discriminating against woman with disability© CBC Noah Papatsie, with the Nunavummi Disabilities Makinnasuaqtiit Society, said training is key. Papatsie said he feels sorry for what Hanson-Akavak went through.

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