Blind man rejected from restaurant because he "didn't look blind"

I'm blind and I just got kicked out of a restaurant in Seattle. I walked in with my guide dog, Mr. Maple, and immediately somebody rushed up to me and said no pets allowed, only service dogs. I said it's OK he's a service dog. He looked at me, he looked at Maple. He said emotional support dog, no, like a guide dog for the blind. I literally had this harness attached to him. I showed this to him. He said I'm blind. He said you don't look blind. And he said a lot of people in the blind community still have some functional vision. He said you're looking right at me. I said yes, but it's like I have a pinhole of vision. It's all I can see. He said listen, this isn't my first rodeo. He literally said that. He said this isn't my first rodeo. What is going on out there that would lead this man to believe that I was lying? And he said, do you see any other dogs in this restaurant? I said well I honestly, no, I'm, I'm blind. I I there could be I I said I could come back with his paperwork and he said if you step foot back in this restaurant with that dog I will call the police. I'm speechless. I had the meeting with the manager. I actually went back into the restaurant to meet with him. I was scared to do that. I didn't want to go back, especially if that same employee was going to be there. But I was assured that he wasn't going to be there. The first thing I told him was, listen, I don't want to press charges. I don't even want the guy to lose his job. I just want people to understand the spectrum of blindness and I want people to understand the importance of service animals, real service animals. OK, so apparently the employee I was dealing with just had a really negative encounter with a patron that came in with a service dog in a vest. And the dog was completely untrained, kind of unruly, out of control. And the reason he didn't believe me or thought that this was another one of those situations is because I told him I was blind, but I was able to sustain eye contact with him. I think most people want things to be black or white. If you have a disability, they wanted to be the version that they've seen represented in movies and in TV for many years, whereas 93% of people who are blind have some functional vision. This guy had no clue about that. It's so common. Every day people tell me I'm not blind in the comments here online. Just like this server at this restaurant who denied my entry because he thought I was a liar. I have since received a sincere apology from the person that I had the confrontation with. I also got a very generous gift card to the restaurant. I don't want anything bad to happen to this establishment. I just want them to learn from the whole experience and I think that is going to happen. Oh, and the craziest thing. There was a woman at the restaurant who witnessed the whole thing from the other side of the restaurant. She apparently couldn't hear anything going on. She just saw me talking to the guy and then saw me leave with Mr. Maple. Later that night, she saw the video and so she immediately called into the restaurant to say that she was there. She was a witness. Just want to think, that anonymous woman. I don't know who you are, but thank you. And I'm so grateful for everyone of you who responded to the video who made me feel seen. I always laugh when I say that I'm blind, but you made me feel seen.

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