Parties settle accessibility complaint at Tsawwassen restaurant

A Tsawwassen disability advocate has settled an accessibility complaint against Pat Quinn’s Restaurant & Bar.

Vince Miele, who uses a wheelchair and has been a long-time advocate for people with disabilities, launched the human rights accessibility complaint last year. 

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The complaint stemmed from an incident where Miele made a reservation for four, informing the restaurant that one in the party uses a wheelchair. However, when he arrived, he found his friends had been seated at a table in the lower area of the restaurant where he was unable to independently join them due to three stairs. A server offered to assist him, but that was not feasible. 

Miele alleged the incident attracted undue attention and was an “incredibly embarrassing experience.”

He alleged the restaurant’s subsequent response and remedial actions were not satisfactory. The restaurant made an application to dismiss the complaint that was denied by the Human Right Tribunal.

In its decision, the tribunal noted: “For many people with mobility-related disabilities, the physical environment is what excludes them from full and equitable participation in public life.

“They are the one of very few groups of people protected by human rights legislation who could be excluded, by design, from a public space because of their protected characteristic. This is important context for understanding whether Mr. Miele has any prospect of proving the barrier itself creates an adverse impact on him, and in particular why a barrier that may seem benign to a person without disabilities is not experienced as such by a group which has long faced exclusion from public spaces.”

Both parties recently agreed to the following joint statement pursuant to the settlement that was reached: “We are pleased to announce that the complaint has been settled. The parties are delighted that a change to the configuration of the restaurant will result in permanent, independent access to every level of the restaurant.”

 

 

 

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