A disabled woman was denied her haircut appointment at a salon she has been to four times before, on the grounds that her wheelchair is too large to be accommodated.
Hanna Dóra Stefánsdóttir, a support worker at a home for the disabled, said that she had booked an appointment at the Hafnarfjörður hair salon Carter – where the client has had her hair cut four times before – and was met with an unpleasant surprise.
Upon entering the establishment, a salon worker reportedly told her, “We are not going to cut the hair of this woman in a wheelchair because it hurts our backs.” Hanna Dóra was upset and confused by this remark, and assured the employee that she would make sure people knew about this. The employee reportedly replied, “Please do.”
The story picked up considerable attention on the Icelandic internet, where a post on the site Bland.is started a thread of people expressing a great deal of anger at the situation. One person, posting as Carter owner Róbert Magnússon, responded in the thread by saying in part, “It costs more problems, time and money to serve disabled people.”
The actual Róbert Magnússon has responded publicly, saying that he was not the poster in the thread. He added that they count the wheelchair-bound among their clients, and the Association of Disabled in Iceland have twice commended Carter for their services to disabled people. He explained that the reason why this client was turned away from her appointment was because her wheelchair is too large for employees to be able to cut her hair in the salon.
But apart from being to this establishment several times before, Hanna Dóra says she has never heard this reasoning from any client she has taken to any hair salon.