A disabled woman who suffered a stroke has told of her shame to be refused a manicure.
A disabled woman who suffered a stroke has told of her shame at being refused service in a Sutton nail bar.
Kerry Buczek, from Huthwaite said she only wanted to be pampered after spending months in hospital – but staff at the Elegent Nails salon in Outram Street, Sutton, refused to serve her fearing they may hurt her.
Kerry, aged 38, said: “I don’t usually get them done, but I’d been to hospital, and thought ‘now I’m out I’ll pamper myself and get my nails done’.”
However, when she sat down to be served alongside her mother Liz Wyatt, staff struggled to open her clamped hand.
Kerry said: “They couldn’t stretch my hand out fully, so she said she couldn’t do it. She didn’t even attempt to try.
“I felt stupid, ashamed –walking out with everyone looking at me.
“I went to another shop just up the street and they did them perfectly.”
Kerry, mum to Daisy, 18, and two-year-old Rogan, suffered a stroke in June and was in hospital for two months.
She still attends physiotherapy after her whole left side was badly affected.
Her mother, 61, said: “It really upset her – she’s doesn’t get out much because she’s stuck in bed and the first time we take her out to give her some pampering, this happens.
“They didn’t even try. They just didn’t want the hassle. It comes to something when a disabled woman goes into a shop and gets treated like that. She wanted to come home and I said no we’ll go somewhere else, which we did and I helped to stretch her hand out, and they managed just fine.”
Staff at the nail bar claimed they refused to serve Kerry for safety reasons.
Employee Hau Hoang said: “The lady came with another lady and she came to the table, it was difficult because her hand was tight and we said we can’t open the hand. The other lady tried to help open her hand.
“But we are very scared of harming her fingers - we work hard and it’s very hard work, but people can be unhappy so we are very careful.
“Someone else may not mind – different salon’s don’t mind and they only think of the money. But if it’s not safe we don’t do it, if we hurt her fingers she could complain.
Customer assistants need more awareness, say campaigners
Disability Rights UK, which campaigns for better awareness for the difficulties people face said Kerry’s story was not uncommon.
Mary Wyatt, of the charity, said: “People who are supposed to be dealing with the public commonly get frightened when they encounter a disability, often due to a lack of awareness and exposure. Employers and business need to be confident about dealing with disabilities, so the employer is not preparing their employees adequately.
“Any trained beautician would know to accept any customer who comes through the door.”