Saskatoon

Disability group files complaints against 40 Saskatoon restaurants

Members of Barrier Free Saskatchewan have lodged complaints with the Saskatchewan Human Rights Commission against 40 Saskatoon restaurants. The group says the businesses are not accessible for people living with disabilities.

Accessibility not on the menu at many eateries, according to Barrier Free Saskatchewan

Barrier Free Saskatchewan hopes the flood of complaints will lead to changes. (John Van Dusen/CBC)

When heading out for dinner, the first thing you may think about is what's on the menu. But is the menu available in braille? Can a wheelchair fit in the washroom or even make it through the front door? 

This month, members of Barrier Free Saskatchewan filed complaints with the Saskatchewan Human Rights Commission against 40 Saskatoon restaurants they say are falling short when it comes to accessibility. 
Barrier Free Saskatchewan's Len Boser hopes to improve accessibility for disabled people at many of Saskatoon's restaurants. (Rosalie Woloski/CBC)

"Visually impaired people in this city may for the first time be going into a washroom in a facility and don't know whether or not it meets accessibility standards," said Len Boser on CBC Radio's Saskatoon Morning.

There are many restaurants I'd like to try but am unable to get into.- Len Boser , Barrier Free Saskatchewan

"It could be fairly scary." 

Boser, who uses a motorized wheelchair, is one of the Barrier Free Saskatchewan members who lodged a total of 520 complaints against the restaurants. 

Restaurants 'fly under the radar'

"People with disabilities weren't even thought of when some of these buildings were built," said Boser.

"There are many restaurants I'd like to try but am unable to get into."

Boser said that newer or extensively renovated buildings are more likely to meet accessibility standards, but he's still found many that "that fly under the radar."

Boser hopes the deliberate flood of complaints will lead to changes that will allow people living with disabilities to enjoy a hassle-free night out — something that's usually taken for granted. 

With files from CBC Radio's Saskatoon Morning