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Bus access not available for Bianca in a wheelchair

Bianca was wheelchair-bound.  She rang a metropolitan bus company to enquire when the next bus with wheelchair access would be available.  The bus arrived, but the automatic ramp had physically been removed from the bus.  She had to wait for another bus.

Bianca felt she was put at risk due to her inability to ride on a bus, and made a complaint of impairment discrimination.  She said that the timetable presumes that wheelchair-bound passengers do not require a commuter service and this is indirect discrimination based on a presumed characteristic that physically-impaired people do not have employment.  She also states people with disabilities are at times extremely vulnerable, especially at night.

In response, the company insisted that Bianca's safety fears did not arise because of impairment discrimination, and it had policies in place outlining service to people with disabilities as well as providing ongoing education and training to employees.

In conciliation, the bus company agreed to compensate Bianca for $1,000, and apologise to her for any distress, humiliation or injury to feelings suffered, to review its school holiday accessible bus timetable, to receive information regarding disability awareness with a view to implementing additional disability awareness training, by an accredited trainer, in the driver training induction course and to prepare ramp manual instruction sheets for placement in buses.

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