Sudbury Raptors Fan Encounters Accessibility Issues

Molly Frommer, Videojournalist, Sudbury
Published Friday, June 14, 2019

A Sudbury woman just wanted to watch the Raptors game at a restaurant last night, but encountered some challenges.

Sarah Lashbrook has been in a wheelchair since she was fourteen in 1991, and says this isn’t the first time she has had to deal with a situation such as this one.

She says she is beyond frustrated that two different Sudbury restaurants said they could not accommodate her.

The girl was adamant that there’s no reservations, and I asked if there is an exception, and she said no, and then she said a few things, like she called me a wheelchair and again, it wasn’t mean it was just sensitivity training is needed, ” said Lashbrook.

And, on the phone with the second restaurant, Lashbrook was told the she would need to be able to get up on a high bar stool in order to see the televisions.

“So, that doesn’t seem to welcoming to me, and then when I said in the past they have moved a lower table into the bar for me, she said “we no longer do that.” So they have absolutely zero accessible tables in the bar area to watch sports, “said Laschbrook

After dealing with multiple challenges with restaurant employees, Lashbrook decided to call a third restaurant.

“I was frustrated, I was even crying, and it takes a lot to make me cry, and so I called MIC, and I explained the situation and it was a non-issue,” said Laschbrook

One of the MIC managers on duty, did not even think twice about it.

“I didn’t hesitate at all, made sure that we could accommodate her as it was pretty quick, I was just doing my normal job, ” said Chad Gagnon of MIC

Gagnon says the restaurant is always wheelchair accessible, so accommodating Lashbrook was not a problem

“There was just a spot in the back, and we have a nice big screen TV there, and uh put the volume up, it was close to the washroom for her to be comfortable and it just worked out, “said Gagnon

Lashbrook says she was over the moon with the service she received, and says she will definitely be back because she knows they will accommodate her.

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