Willemijn Dekker and guide dog Lobbes (Photo: Willemijn Dekker/Facebook) Willemijn Dekker and guide dog Lobbes (Photo: Willemijn Dekker/Facebook)
Monday, January 11, 2016 - 13:30
Guide dog refused entry at Jamie Oliver’s Rotterdam restaurant
Visually impaired Willemijn Dekker and her guide dog Lobbes were refused entry to Jamie Oliver's restaurant Jamie's Italian in the Markthal in Rotterdam on Saturday. "According to the staff that is the policy of all Jamie Oliver restaurants", Willemijn said to Dutch newspaper AD. She shared a story on Facebook and it quickly spread through social media. On Twitter the British celebrity chef himself replied to angry comments accusing his restaurants and himself of discrimination. "No not my policy at all. You're always welcome. Let me take a look at this." Jaime Oliver tweeted. Dekker is happy with the reply, but she is still angry. "The first restaurant where people in wheelchairs are denied is yet to be found. My guide dog is just as much an aid. I felt powerless, because I have no legal right to say that they are wrong", she said to the newspaper. Sidney Tetelepta, chairman of the Foundation User Assist Dogs, told the newspaper that the Tweede Kamer, lower house of parliament, will be debating the issue of assist dogs being refused on Thursday. He hopes that the debate will lead to a law banning the refusal of assist dogs.