A DEAF man who was told his assistance dog was not allowed inside a Post Office branch has received an apology for the “misunderstanding”.
William Stavert, 61, has a hearing dog, Archie, who is trained to listen for specific signs such as warnings and alarms, as well as the telephone or the doorbell.
Mr Stavert, from Malvern, was with Archie on Thursday, October 29 when he claims he was “shooed” out of Great Malvern Post Office in Abbey Road, by a member of staff, despite his pet wearing insignia to show he is a service dog.
Mr Stavert said: “The lady was muffled talking and it was so impossible for me to lip-read because she was wearing a face mask. I was very emotionally saying I am deaf, and I don’t understand what you are saying, using my sign language.
“I kept repeatedly saying I am deaf and don’t understand. I walked back and pointed out the assistance logo sticker on the side window of the door to show them that the assistance dogs are allowed. I was very frustrated in the communication barrier.”
Mr Stavert said he then used a mobile phone app to be better understood, but to no avail.
Mr Stavert said: “I picked up my mobile phone and used the BIG app and I typed in ‘who is the manager?’ and showed it to a different lady who was behind the Post Office till.
“She shooed me back out of the door and shut the door. I was so shocked and upset the way they treated me, in discrimination. I typed ‘You have upset me and you have discriminated against me’.”
Mr Stavert said he was “very shaken” by the incident.
A Post Office spokesman said: “We would like to sincerely apologise for this incident and the misunderstanding. The branch was unfortunately unaware that the customer is deaf and that the dog is a special hearing dog. We are very sorry for any distress caused to the customer. We have spoken to the branch and given guidance on how to identify any person with an assistance dog as they can use any of our Post Offices.”