FORT WORTH (CBS11) – A disabled North Texas woman said she was turned away from a designated handicap dressing room recently at a Nordstrom Rack at The Shops at Park Lane in Dallas.
Dani Darouse said she was trying to buy some new clothes from the store and requested the handicap dressing room stall.
A little more than a year ago, Darouse lost one of her legs as a result of a motorcycle wreck.
“It’s hard. It hurts. There’s a lot of pain,” said Darouse. “I don’t like getting reminded that I’m handicapped a lot.”
But on Tuesday, her new reality hit her hard.
“I just wanted to go buy some pants and feel normal,” said Darouse.
Needing a bench to sit down, Darouse said she asked an employee to open the marked handicap dressing room stall.
“The woman told me it was reserved for women with strollers. And I asked her since it wasn’t occupied and it does have a handicap sign if I might use it, and she still told me, ‘no’,” said Darouse.
The two went back and forth. Darouse said the worker would not budge.
“A little embarrassing and also again confused because there’s a handicap sign,” said Darouse. “Didn’t know that meant women with babies.”
Eventually, Darouse said another employee noticed the exchange and let her inside the dressing room.
“When you got to sit there and explain and beg for it, it just makes it, you feel a lot more disabled or a lot more different. Not so normal,” said Darouse.
When reached for comment, a Nordstrom spokesperson sent a statement apologizing.
“We always want our customers to feel comfortable and welcomed in our stores and we take this very seriously,” wrote spokesperson Ariana Lopez. “We are continuing to look into this incident and are addressing it with our teams.”
Darouse explained she does not want sympathy, pity or apologies. She only wants others to pay attention so it does not happen again to anyone, anywhere.
“It is a sensitive thing and people shouldn’t have to explain it,” said Darouse. “Be kind. You never know what someone is going through or if it’s hard for them.”
Darouse said she received a written apology from the store manager but does not plan to return.