Many people who have Moebius syndrome have been discriminated against because of how they look.
When such incidents occur a common reaction among those with Moebius is simply to keep quiet and carry on.
But for Alex Barker of Coventry, United Kingdom, it was a chance to create awareness about the challenges that many with Moebius syndrome and other differences often face.
From the BBC News
Falmouth pub 'refused to serve' man with facial palsy
A man with a facial palsy says he was refused service in a pub after staff mistook his symptoms for drunkenness.
Alex Barker, from Coventry, has Moebius Syndrome, so his face does not show expressions and his speech can appear slurred.
He said the incident at the Cutty Sark pub in Falmouth, Cornwall, left him angry and upset and is calling for greater awareness for people with similar conditions.
The pub has refused to comment.
He said he had drunk one bottle of beer on Saturday when he was told he would not be served as he was "under the influence".
Mr Barker, 43, said: "I've been disabled all my life and sometimes you just try to forget about it, but then you have experiences that really kick you where it hurts."
Dr James Partridge, chief executive of Changing Faces, the national charity that supports people with conditions or injuries that affect their appearance, said the pub had to "face up to its responsibilities".
He said: "The pub's management and the wider hospitality and business community in Cornwall have a responsibility to make sure that everyone is made to feel welcome."
Q and A for Alex by Soph Boffa
1. Q. For those who don't know, can you tell us a bit about what happened in Cornwall? A. I went down to Cornwall because it is a lovely part of the country. I also studied down there. I had a meal on the Saturday night with a small beer and then went over the road to a pub for another beer. Within a couple of minutes of going into the pub I was coming out of the pub as I had been refused service for being "too drunk".
2. Q. What was the response of the pub when you tried to get an explanation? A. I had gone back to the pub the next day for an explanation but they didn't seem interested in discussing it with me. They were too busy watching the tennis and only grudgingly came talk to me. Even when I explained I had Moebius Syndrome it didn't really help.
3. Q. How did the experience make you feel? A. I felt belittled and embarrassed to be honest.....and a little angry if I'm honest.
4. Q. Has this kind of experience ever happened to you before? A. No! I'm 43 now and in 25 years of going to pubs nothing like this has ever happened. Never!
5. Q. What made you decide to share your story with others? A. Because they tried to brush me off and didn't listen to what I had to say I made a little YouTube video and shared it. As of now I’ve had 3648 views. I also used Twitter and Facebook to share it. I've been in numerous local papers, 2 national papers and on the BBC website as well as their local TV bulletins.
6. Q. Why do you think it is important to share such experiences? A. I think as I'm disabled it's my duty to try and make people more aware of how sometimes life can be tough for people with disabilities because of a lack of awareness.
7. Q. What has been the overall reaction to your experience from others? A. I've had 99% positive feedback!
8. Q. Unfortunately, experiences like yours aren’t uncommon. What kind of advice would you give to someone who goes through similar discrimination? A. I'd say be brave enough to face down the people who make you feel small. Be proud of you are.
9. Q. So what happens next for you? A. I'm waiting for George Clooney to give me a call. I'm sure he'll play me in the movie!
10. Q. Did you eventually get to have a decent pint?! A. Five minutes after not being served I had a lovely pint a couple of buildings down!
Plans for MSAD 2016 are underway. Click on the above image to like our joint 2016 Moebius Syndrome Awareness Day Page.
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