Disabled woman says she was denied a haircut at local salon

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by Tiffany Craig / KHOU 11 News

khou.com

Posted on April 8, 2014 at 10:43 PM

Updated Tuesday, Apr 8 at 11:00 PM

KATY, Texas -- In her 43 years in a wheelchair, Rose Cerda has never felt this low.

"It was heartbreaking," said Cerda. "I have never gone through anything like that. It's like a big slap in the face."

Rose said when she and her sister Tonya Zepeda visited the Paul Mitchell Cosmetology School Salon along the Katy Freeway she was denied service.

"I asked them why, and she told me uhm, well she kind of paused and didn't really say anything," recalled Zepeda. "I asked it was due to the disability and she didn't want to answer me."

The answer we got from an employee was that they're not allowed to move customers in and out of wheelchairs, but Tonya had already offered to do that.

By then the damage was done.

"I seen her crying and it made me feel so bad," said Zepeda.

Through his lawyer, owner Sandy Matos, sent us the following e-mail:

"Paul Mitchell the School--Houston has every intention of serving all people regardless of their mobility."

Rose doesn't believe that's true, and really wished they had used her as a training opportunity.

"If they don't learn there then how are they gonna learn to interact with the disabled," Rose said.

Rose has lived with cerebral palsy since she was 2 years old. She hopes sharing her story will help others avoid the pain she felt from that visit.

The sisters ended up going to another salon and were serviced at the same time.

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