September 08, 2019

Student with stoma accused of taking drugs in disabled toilet by Wetherspoons staff
A student with a stoma has written to a Wetherspoons pub calling for better awareness of invisible disabilities after she was accused of taking drugs in a disabled toilet. Amber Davies, 21, said door staff at The Dragon Inn in Birmingham "very happily and very openly accused me of snorting, dealing and having sex” in the toilet. She said the letter, posted on Instagram, is a “word of advice” for those who only see disability as a term used to describe wheelchair users. The chain has apologised to Amber, who was diagnosed with ulcerative colitis aged 13, and offered her a gift card after she complained. She described the disability as a “chronic, debilitating, lifelong illness”, adding that “it can make going out, especially on nights out, a pretty daunting prospect.” Her stoma "needs constant care" and can be emptied up to 15 times a day. Amber, a third-year student at Cardiff University, said: "Being out with a group of lads made me look further 'suspicious' - one of these being my boyfriend who assisted me in the disabled toilets on this final occasion. "He was taken aside and questioned separately.” She signed off the letter with “Not every disability is visible”. View this post on Instagram An open letter to The Dragon Inn Wetherspoon Birmingham a couple of Saturday’s ago who very happily and very openly accused me of snorting, dealing and having sex in the disabled toilet for ‘there is no other reason I would need to visit it so often’... ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ ➡️➡️ swipe to read on ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ noteverydisabilityisvisible A post shared by Amber Davies �� (@ambersostomy) on Aug 27, 2019 at 9:21am PDT Amber told the BBC: "I got grabbed by a female bouncer and my boyfriend by a male bouncer, we were accused of using them [the disabled toilet] for the wrong reasons. "She [the bouncer] was quite reluctant to listen to my side of the story, I said it bluntly and I didn't raise my voice once. "[It's] just completely unacceptable and they're such a big chain, you'd think they'd have training or be knowledgeable before grabbing us." Amber, from Builth Wells in Wales, said she had a radar key to access the toilet and a ‘Can’t Wait Card’ as proof of her illness. Her boyfriend, who had gone into the toilet with her, was taken outside the pub, she added. A JD Wetherspoon spokesperson said: "A female member of door staff spoke with Ms Davies, who explained her disability. "Staff expressed that if this had been known beforehand, or an explanation given sooner, the situation could have been avoided. "Staff listened at length to Ms Davies' points, never once questioning her disability and apologised for the confusing situation on both sides."
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