Blind Club-goer Told To Leave White Stick Behind Bar
By Dave Reynolds, Inclusion Daily Express
September 30, 2005
LEEDS, ENGLAND-- Sarah Caltieri was looking forward to a night out "clubbing" with friends Sunday, but things turned for the worse when she arrived at the Space nightclub, she told reporters.
When Caltieri got to the front of the line at Space, the doormen allegedly told the 26-year-old Caltieri, who is blind, that her white stick presented a safety hazard to other patrons. They offered to take her stick and put it behind the bar, then give it back when she left.
Caltieri refused to give up the vision aid she has used for the last three years.
"I was gobsmacked," she told the Yorkshire Post.
"People find it unusual that I am out clubbing. If this is the way that blind people get treated then is it any wonder that it's such a rarity."
Caltieri, an accomplished stage and television actress, said she was worried about getting hurt from running into other club-goers.
"It is wrong and absolutely disgusting," she said.
Space assistant manager Mark Jarvis told the Telegraph he had not yet spoken to the doormen to find out exactly what they told Caltieri.
"I need to ask the doormen what was said," Jarvis said. "You cannot discriminate because a blind person needs that equipment to function properly. If that was the case then we would apologize profusely."