A Northern Virginia woman says she was denied service by an Uber driver because she uses a wheelchair.
Now, she’s trying to get changes made at the ride-sharing company.
“When I was 16-years-old I was involved in a car wreck that caused me to have a spinal cord injury and become a paraplegic,” said Kelley Simoneaux.
Kelly is a mother, wife, and lawyer — who is not at all defined by her disability.
“My life doesn’t revolve around my wheelchair,” Kelley said.
So she was stunned by her Wednesday night encounter with an Uber driver in Pentagon City.
“The sole reason I was not allowed to ride in that Uber was because of my wheelchair,” she said.
Kelley called the Uber after meeting a friend for dinner at The Ritz Carlton.
And when the car showed up, she pulled herself into the front seat, as she’s done countless times before.
But as a hotel employee loaded Kelley’s wheelchair into the trunk, she says the Uber driver intervened.
“He said no, no there’s no space for this wheelchair, there’s no room here,” she said.
At that point, an angry and embarrassed Kelley got out of the car, and yet Uber still charged her for the ride.
“It’s not really about the $6.80, it’s about the fact that I was blatantly discriminated against,” said Kelley.
Uber’s own discrimination policy says that type of behavior is prohibited, and a company spokesperson said a refund has been issued, an investigation is underway, and “appropriate action” will be taken to make it right.
“I don’t want to have to experience it again, and don’t want anyone else to,” said Kelley.
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