Page last updated at 13:54 GMT, Wednesday, 9 July 2008 14:54 UK

Salon 'shooed' disabled teenagers

Three disabled teenage girls who were allegedly 'shooed' away from a beauty salon in west London have received 4,500 in an out of court settlement.

Amy Fox, Jemimah Kumba and Aruna Gill went to get their nails done in Visage Hair and Beauty Salon in Southall in August 2006 with two carers.

The girls, two of whom use wheelchairs, were allegedly told they were "scaring off the other customers".

Salon owner Parmail Kaur said the girls were not served because it was busy.

Mrs Kaur, who was not present when the incident occurred, said: "In 15 years nothing like this has ever happened.

"We know how to treat disabled people. It was all a misunderstanding. They were refused the service because we were too busy."

According to Mrs Kaur the man who did nails rented a space in the shop but does not work there anymore.

'Get out'

Ms Fox, 19, from Acton, has learning difficulties while Ms Kumba, 17, from Southall, who has cerebral palsy and Ms Gill, 14, from West Midlands, use wheelchairs.

Ms Kumba also suffers from epilepsy and cannot speak.

According to the girls' lawyer, Claire Dawson, one of their carers went into the salon and told staff that two of the girls were on wheelchairs.

When they entered a staff member allegedly told them "there isn't enough room for the pushchairs".

Ms Fox claimed: "They were shouting... 'get out'. You are scaring others."

The girls just wanted to be treated like ordinary teenagers
Claire Dawson

"I was very upset."

A staff member also allegedly made a "shooing motion".

Ms Dawson, of Russell, Jones and Walker Solicitors, said: "Amy in particular was offended and aggrieved on behalf of others and Aruna was offended by the overt discrimination and insult. Jemima was also distressed, offended and saddened.

"The girls just wanted to be treated like ordinary teenagers.

"I hope that by them taking action and raising awareness other people that have suffered discrimination realise they are not alone."

Ms Fox said she was "happy" about the settlement.

Urging businesses to have a "positive attitude", Alice Maynard, chair of disability charity Scope said: "To be told you might 'scare' other customers is outrageous and irresponsible in the extreme.

"We applaud these young girls for taking the matter further and encourage other disabled people to following their example by asserting their rights."

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