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Former Disability Discrimination Commissioner Graeme Innes calls for change after ‘humiliating’ experience at Adelaide Airport

Former Disability Discrimination Commissioner Graeme Innes described his transit through Adelaide Airport security on Friday as “humiliating” and “disturbing”.

Most important points:

Graeme Innes says she has been discriminated against at Adelaide Airport

Mr. Innes was returning home to Queensland after a business trip to Adelaide when he attempted to use the security body scanner while holding his guide dog’s leash.

He said he was refused entry to the body scanner and asked to use a walk-through X-ray scanner, which involved letting his guide dog through separately.

His colleague then had to intervene and question airport staff when a security guard said Mr. Innes needed kudos despite not having activated the security alarm.


Innes said his dog’s metal harness triggered the alarm, and a supervisor later agreed that only the dog needed a pet.

“This happens to me once every three months,” Mr. Innes said of airports in Australia.

“Every time I go to an airport, I feel sick.”

The former commissioner said he had previously been pushed back by another guard at another airport while trying to walk through a security scanner. He received multiple disrespectful and negative comments at other airports in the country.

Graeme Innes in the Parliament Building when he was the Commissioner for Disability Discrimination. (ABC News: Matt Roberts)

Adelaide Airport

Airport investigating incident

In a statement, an Adelaide Airport spokesman said the incident is under investigation.

“Adelaide Airport apologizes to Mr. Innes for his poor experience, which is not in line with our expected high standards of customer service,” he said.

“We have various policies and programs to help people with disabilities.

“They include a service dog SA/NT trained facility dog ​​in the terminal to support travelers seeking additional help navigating the airport. We are part of the Hidden Disability program to support people with autism spectrum disorder. “

Call for equality

Mr. Innes was the National Commissioner for Disability Discrimination from 2005 to 2014 and has served as Commissioner for Human Rights in Australia for almost four years.

He contributed to the Same study, Sex: Same Entitlements, which resulted in the elimination of discrimination in federal law and the drafting of the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, which was ratified in Australia in 2008.

The company’s new director said he wants the federal government to ensure equal treatment for people with disabilities at airports.

“Policies for people with disabilities by airlines and airports treat us in a very negative and restrictive way,” said Mr. Innes.

“There is a policy where many airlines allow you only to have two wheelchair passengers on one plane – this kind of policy is negative and restrictive.

Mr. Innes says there is a need for better training for security personnel in dealing with people with disabilities. (Twitter: Paul Woods)

“We’re always the exception to the rule. We’re always the people who need a certain type of treatment.”

The former commissioner said from his experience that there seems to be no adequate training for airline and airport staff when it comes to dealing with people with disabilities.

“What many of us would like is for the system to be configured so that we can be treated like anyone else,” he said.

“Airports and airlines need to be aligned, and the only way to do that is by involving people with disabilities in changing the regulations so that we are not treated as a separate group.

“It’s not acceptable.”

Posted 22 minutes ago Sun 15 May 2022 at 4:42 AM, Updated 9 minutes ago Sun 15 May 2022 at 4:55 AM

Dorothy R. Barrett

I’m a full-time blogger by passion. This is my first blog, and I'm excited to share everything that I love about technology, business, and lifestyle with you. I’m a writer by trade, and I can be found writing about tech, business, and lifestyle on my personal blog.

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