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A BLIND mum was left humiliated when lifeguards told her to "watch her child" during a birthday trip to a swimming pool.
Libby Hanley, 31, is registered blind and her eyes struggle to adjust when she takes off her glasses.
The mum, of Staffordshire, was left mortified at Dimensions, run by Stoke-on-Trent City Council in Burslem, while celebrating her daughter Madison’s third birthday.
She said: “I am registered blind and it takes a moment for my eyes to adjust to the light once I have removed my glasses.
"A member of staff at the swimming pool said 'you need to watch your child', so I replied and explained I couldn't see.
"She said, 'Well, I guess you shouldn't be here then'.
"I felt so uncomfortable. She didn't call me to one side to say it.
"She said it in front of the whole pool."
'I FELT SO UNCOMFORTABLE'
The mum is now calling for the staff to brush up on their equality and discrimination training.
Libby was joined by family and friends who stood up for her when the comment about her disability was made on May 11.
Terence Wildridge, 39, was one of the friends who was horrified by what happened.
He said: “My wife Hollie works at the children's centre in Biddulph and Libby goes there with her daughter Madison and we took them out to Dimensions.
"We went to the main reception and told them that Libby was registered blind.
"We took them into the toddlers' pool under Hollie's guidance.
“We'd been in there for about 45 minutes. Everything was OK.
"Maddie was running around and then the female lifeguard said to Libby 'please look after your child'."
We don't want another person to be affected like Libby was
Terence marched to the changing room to collect Libby’s blind card to show to staff.
He added: “The lifeguard just stuck her nose up at it.
"One of the parents said 'that's disgusting, love'.
"They were trying to stick up for her because they could see how upset she was.
"We decided to get them out of the pool and take them back home.
"It should be investigated and staff retrained.
"Staff need to make sure they don't come out with that sort of thing again.
"We don't want another person to be affected like Libby was."
Libby complained the pool’s management and she was offered a family two-for-one voucher for their next visit, which she says isn’t good enough.
She said: “I am not interested in going there again.
"It made me feel quite emotional and made me question myself.
"The staff need more training. My disability is not a physical thing and it's not an obvious disability."
A city council spokesman said: "We are aware of an incident that took place at Dimensions on May 11 and we are reviewing what happened.
"On the day, a member of staff spoke to the customer and she was informed about our official complaint process.
"We take all customer complaints seriously and address them as thoroughly as possible."
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