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Was I discriminated on?

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    Was I discriminated on?

    My wife and I recently attended a birthday dinner for her brother at a nice seafood restaurant located in Baltimore's Harbor East neighborhood. Due to the location, the time and just not wanting to deal with parking, I decided to use the valet parking the restaurant offered. Once I began to pull my wheelchair out, the valet asked if my car used hand controls and then informed me that he would not be able to park my car. My wife and I both explained that there was no need for him to use the controls and he could drive the car just as he would any other, but he refused to extend the service.
    I was forced to park a block away in an underground garage and travel over cobblestone to access the restaurant. I was extremely upset over the entire situation. My question is, did the valet parker or his company have the right to refuse me service based on my car being equipped with hand controls? I had never experienced this from any other business that needs to drive my car.
    Standing up for our rights, one offender at a time!
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KH59mpTo5x8

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    #2
    Sounds like someone's policy. I'd contact the restaurant manager and ask for advice on how to solve the issue. I have found that issues like this can usually be resolved through polite persistence.
    Tom

    "Blessed are the pessimists, for they hath made backups." Exasperated 20:12

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      #3
      I had the same problem here at the local hospital when I went to their lab. Their parking situation is horrible so they have valets park cars in the lot across the street. They said they are not allowed to operate vehicles with hand controls after one of their employees drove a car into a brick wall. Like TomRL said; I talked to the guy in charge and he let me park my van up close, out of the way. No problem for me, it all worked out.

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        #4
        Originally posted by TomRL View Post
        Sounds like someone's policy. I'd contact the restaurant manager and ask for advice on how to solve the issue. I have found that issues like this can usually be resolved through polite persistence.
        Sorry I left that part out. The valet did say it was the company's policy and also the valet business was separate from the restaurant.
        I just don't understand how this policy could be valid and not a form of discrimination. But to your point, I do have the phone number for the valet company. Perhaps I'll start with communications about the policies.
        Standing up for our rights, one offender at a time!
        http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KH59mpTo5x8

        Follow me on instagram: mikeinbmore

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          #5
          Originally posted by tumbleweeds View Post
          I had the same problem here at the local hospital when I went to their lab. Their parking situation is horrible so they have valets park cars in the lot across the street. They said they are not allowed to operate vehicles with hand controls after one of their employees drove a car into a brick wall. Like TomRL said; I talked to the guy in charge and he let me park my van up close, out of the way. No problem for me, it all worked out.
          Of course I don't know what the circumstances were that led up to that accident, but it sounds to me as if that employee was attempting to use the hand controls and lost control. The community of drivers who use hc shouldn't be penalized for their poor judgement. And while being given permission to park up close may be great for you, what about the next person with hand controls that comes along. I'm concerned with more than just my own perceived discrimination and embarrassment, I want to ensure that it doesn't happen to anyone else.
          Standing up for our rights, one offender at a time!
          http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KH59mpTo5x8

          Follow me on instagram: mikeinbmore

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            #6
            They can probably say this rule is for safety reasons so probably negates the discrimination, I would think. Also could be a liability based on insurance rules like home owners insurance with a pit bull. There are many possible reasons but I bet safety is the main one.

            But they could have accommodated you with closer parking if they had it available? You could always approach the management of the company and suggest that be a "reasonable accommodation" if you choose to eat there again.

            Or

            Educate them and explain your hand controls does not affect normal operations of the car.

            Most blanket rules and policies are made because of ignorance and fear not actual education.
            T12-L2; Burst fracture L1: Incomplete walking with AFO's and cane since 1989

            My goal in life is to be as good of a person my dog already thinks I am. ~Author Unknown

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              #7
              Originally posted by mikeinbmore View Post
              Sorry I left that part out. The valet did say it was the company's policy and also the valet business was separate from the restaurant.
              I just don't understand how this policy could be valid and not a form of discrimination. But to your point, I do have the phone number for the valet company. Perhaps I'll start with communications about the policies.
              If you want change, the valet has a contract with the restaurant. Let the restaurant know you can take your hunger elsewhere.
              I have had periodic paralysis all my life. I lost my ability to walk in 2011 beginning with a spinal block, which was used for a hip fracture caused by periodic paralysis.

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                #8
                Originally posted by nonoise View Post
                If you want change, the valet has a contract with the restaurant. Let the restaurant know you can take your hunger elsewhere.
                This sounds like a good idea.

                Part of me can see why they might have a blanket policy, perhaps due to prior incidents. That doesn't mean it's legal. Still it puts you in a lousy situation, you probably could have benefitted the most from valet parking.

                I've had my car(s) smashed three times over 38 years and always instruct people , techs , etc. not to touch controls.

                I think discussing with restaurant is a good idea.

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                  #9
                  I know the fealing of having to park too far away. I think they abused you regardless of safety issues. They are not really good at thier jobs if they couldn't find you close by parking at the very least.

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                    #10
                    Probably the result of past valets screwing around. Years ago I went to the car dealer for an oil change and got a similar thing. They said one of the porters drove a van into a wall. But after a mechanic looked at what my car had and saw it was standard controls it was no problem. I'm guessing that van had some sort of full blown electronic setup.

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                      #11
                      Andy - the van is a standard, basic, ordinary, run of the mill, bolt-in hand control. Nothing fancy at all.

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                        #12
                        If they offer the service to the general public they need to accommodate people with disabilities. I would file a complaint with the Department of Justice and give you 95% chance of a win.

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                          #13
                          I worked as a valet for over 10 years and for several different companies including the Cleveland Clinic main hospital. We parked cars with hand controls all the time. It was a no-brainer and didn't require any special training. Hell, we would even assist the patient getting the wheelchair out and set up and would wheel them to the front desk to check in and then come back to take the vehicle to the garage. My company name was Standard Parking...not sure if policies changed.


                          Originally posted by tumbleweeds View Post
                          I had the same problem here at the local hospital when I went to their lab. Their parking situation is horrible so they have valets park cars in the lot across the street. They said they are not allowed to operate vehicles with hand controls after one of their employees drove a car into a brick wall. Like TomRL said; I talked to the guy in charge and he let me park my van up close, out of the way. No problem for me, it all worked out.
                          Why contract with a hospital if you can't park the patients car which is no different from driving a regular car?

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                            #14
                            That's one thing I like about the newer Sure Grip Hand controls is that they have a safety pin that you can click in when the car is being driven by A/B people. Possibly though if they have some kind of policy even that might be a moot point though. It seems to me lately we are slowly loosing a lot of the gains we made after the implementation of ADA back in the early 1990's from every I've been seeing the past few years.
                            "Life is about how you
                            respond to not only the
                            challenges you're dealt but
                            the challenges you seek...If
                            you have no goals, no
                            mountains to climb, your
                            soul dies".~Liz Fordred

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                              #15
                              Sometimes we are the educators of the world. Which really wont help on your party but call the valet company and educate them ADA requires them to provide services and hand controls dont interfere with valet needs.

                              We had that happen to us last Christmas at the mall.

                              The valet service apologized and sent us a $200 mall gift car.

                              I would also talk to the restaurant general manager as they want to partner with good vendors.

                              Dont forget if no resolution take it to social media on both company's to warn others!

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