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Disabled mother hopes people will ‘learn’ after sharing her horror cafe story

Published: (Updated: ) in Australian News by .

Ali France is a former politician and disability advocate who had her leg amputated after a horror car crash.

A disabled mother who was "humiliated" after staff refused to let her sit in a Brisbane cafe has told 9News she shared her story online in the hopes people will learn from the incident.

Ali France is a former politician and disability advocate who had her leg amputated after a horror car crash.

Last month she was escorted out of a cafe in tears after being told by staff she wasn't allowed to rest at their outdoor tables.

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Ms France was at Indooroopilly Shopping Centre on Saturday, November 21 with her two sons, when she decided to visit Jamaica Blue Café.

Having recently undergone surgery, the 47-year-old was using a mobility scooter and decided to take a seat at a table outside while her son ordered some drinks.

"I'd just spent nearly a week in hospital and it was the first shopping trip out with my kids," she told 9News.

"It was a Saturday afternoon, and it was very busy and we wanted to rest – I needed to rest – and we ordered a couple of hot chocolates."

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But as her son ordered, staff told her she couldn't sit at the table without getting food.

Despite Ms France informing the café of her disability, a security guard was then called to escort her out.

"Never did I imagine in those discussions that it would end with me and my children, with me in tears, being escorted out by security."

"It was a really humiliating experience and I still feel quite emotional about it."

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Ms France shared the story on her Twitter account on International Day of People with Disabilities.

"It's always difficult to tell stories like this but they're always really common for people with a disability," she said.

"It's really important because it's not okay and I hope as a result of this people get a better understanding of the barriers and the difficulties and people learn."

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Paige Armstrong from Disability Network Queensland said the story was all too common.

"We are also constantly hearing about situations where people with disabilities will have similar things happen to them," she said.

"As the situation unfolded there were a range of times at which things could have been different."

A spokesperson for Jamaica Blue told 9News: "Jamaica Blue and our Franchisee Owner at Indooroopilly would like to sincerely apologise for any offence or embarrassment experienced by Ali France and her family.

"We serve hundreds of people with disabilities every day at our cafes and employ many people with disabilities. We are deeply disappointed by this incident and apologise unreservedly."

Source: 9News

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