Oct 2017 Evening Telegraph
A Dundee woman has hit out at the person who left a young disabled woman in tears in the Wellgate Centre. Linzi Orrock-Petrie, 32, from Douglas, was getting into a lift in the lower mall with her baby daughter Darcie and friend Jacqueline at the same time as a girl with a hearing aid and a service dog. However, another woman pushing a pram reacted angrily to the girl — no older than 18 — getting into the lift with her dog. Linzi, a prison officer, said: “She was deaf with a beautiful, sparkly cochlear implant in her ear and the service dog. I remember thinking that she chose wonderful colours for her implant which she could have hidden by wearing her hair down, but she was confident enough to wear her hair up and let the world see who she was. That was completely shattered by this woman with her son in the pram. The deaf girl tried to get into the lift behind this woman but when the woman turned around, her face instantly changed to one of disgust, shock, fear, loathing, and contempt. She started shouting that the girl and her dog couldn’t come into the lift and placed her arm over her son as if she was afraid the dog would bite him. She was shouting that the girl couldn’t get into the lift and told her to go away. She didn’t realise the girl couldn’t hear a word she was saying.” Eventually, the woman with the pram stormed out of the lift.
Linzi added: “Jac and I were trying to communicate with her to see if she was OK. We wanted to hug her and told her how sorry we were, but we don’t think she was able to hear us. She stared crying in the lift. It’s the glass lift, right in the middle of the centre and there was nowhere for her to hide, it was so awful. It was inexcusable how the other woman reacted. She could have left the lift without saying anything and none of us would be any the wiser. Service dogs are usually used by people with hearing problems to give them some confidence, and this had the opposite effect. I just want her to know that she and her dog are so welcome here. The reaction she got is not what I would associate with Dundee. It’s a welcoming, friendly city, and I just hope this doesn’t have any long-term affect on her confidence.”