Deaf Ilford woman struggles to appeal parking ticket after being told to telephone
PUBLISHED: 07:00 29 January 2020
A profoundly deaf woman was fined after a car park told her she should have telephoned it to appeal the ticket she received.
Mangai Sutharsan, the director of the charity Empowering Deaf Society, was shopping with her deaf colleague Marleine at the Aldi in Horns Road, Newbury Park, on December 13, for a big party the following day.
Mangai took longer than expected to shop because of her difficulty communicating with Aldi staff. She overstayed by 53 minutes and was fined £100 by Premier Park.
When Mangai tried to explain her unique situation and plead her case the parking company said because she was able to communicate with staff at Aldi she should have been able to telephone and explain her circumstances.
Mangai said: "It's not about the money but it's the principle. They have a duty to make their appeals process accessible and they're not being reasonable."
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In her appeal she explained that because she is profoundly deaf it took her a long time to shop because she struggled to speak to the busy staff at Aldi multiple times to check ingredients for allergens at the same time as texting with her deaf colleagues as that is the only way they can communicate.
When Premier Park rejected her appeal, it stated that because she was able to communicate with staff within the store it was reasonable to believe she could've contacted the parking company through its telephone number.
Mangai said: "There is no way I can speak to someone on the phone as I told them I am profoundly deaf."
The only way that Mangai can communicate with someone over the phone is through a paid interpreter and she said that if she used one to call Premier Park it would end up costing more than the fine.
She said: "I am at the end of my tether and I don't know what to do. The barriers to any communications with them are just horrific."
The Recorder asked Premier Park for a comment but did not receive a response in time for publication.