Disabled Girl Denied Entrance To Museum Because Of Wheelchair

Disabled Girl Not Allowed In Museum, Told Wheelchair Would ‘Get Carpets Dirty’

A disabled girl was not allowed into a museum recently, as staff expressed concern that the 11-year-old’s wheelchair might “get the carpets dirty.” The young girl, Lexi Haas, must use a wheelchair where ever she goes because she suffers from a condition, known as Kernicterus, that makes movement difficult.

The Charlotte family, visiting Savannah, Georgia, hoped to visit the Ships of the Sea Museum. The Haas family, concerned about whether their daughter Lexi would have trouble accessing any portion of the maritime museum, used forethought and checked online first.

Because museum was located in a historical building, the Haas family wanted to know whether she might have trouble moving around in her wheelchair.

After looking over the museum’s website, they saw no restrictions that would prevent Lexi from joining her family.

The reality was different when the Haas family arrived, though. As they began to enter, a museum employee told the family that their 11-year-old disabled girl would not be allowed in the museum, sources at Opposing Views say.

The employee expressed concern that their daughter’s wheelchair wheels would get the carpets dirty.

Staff said that if the family wanted Lexi to join them, she could use a wheelchair the museum keeps on hand. Because of her condition, however, the museum’s wheelchair lacked braces and supports Lexi needs.

When Lexi’s father, Dr. Stephen Haas, pointed out that his shoes were just as dirty as the wheelchair’s wheels, staff still refused to allow her to enter, WBTV reported. Instead, they offered to let her sit outside while she watched an educational video.

Outraged, the family did not accept the offer.

Learning of the incident, the museum’s curator, Wendy Melton wrote the Haas family a letter of apology. Melton admitted that the family had been mistreated, and said that the employee had acted against museum policy.

This was little consolation to Lexi, the disabled girl not allowed in the museum, who was said to be upset about the incident and disappointed that she could not see the exhibits.

[Image via ShutterStock]

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