Are Walt Disney Parks Violating Americans With Disabilities Act? 16 Families With Autistic Children Strongly Feel So

Children with disabilities clearly need more loving attention. But that doesn’t seem to be the case. While parents can be easily brought to justice, what about big organizations that are being accused of violating the Americans with Disabilities Act enacted specifically for such scenarios?

Walt Disney Parks and Resorts, is being sued by 16 families claiming that the theme parks’ practices violate the Americans with Disabilities Act, or ADA. Owing to non-compliance of the ADA regulations, Walt Disney Parks aren’t truly accessible to visitors, suffering from autism.

The Walt Disney Corporation has taken a strong note of the accusation and has even replied to the U.S. District Court lawsuit, reported Orange County Register. As expected, the organization has denied each and every allegation levied against it. The Walt Disney Corporation has clearly stated that all its parks strictly and holistically adhere to the requirements stated in the ADA. Speaking about the issue, Suzi Brown, a Disneyland Resort spokeswoman, issued a statement which read,

“Disney Parks have an unwavering commitment to providing an inclusive and accessible environment for all our guests. We fully comply with all ADA requirements and believe that the legal claims are without merit.”

Why are the families upset? The families aren’t happy about the revision of a specific rule connected with the ADA meant for parks and other recreational establishments. The policy outlines the method that allowed disabled visitors to obtain passes that enabled them to skip long queues.

The so-called ‘shorter-line passes’ or ‘Guest Assistance Cards’ allowed visitors widespread access to the front of ride lines. This policy is quite similar to the Walt Disney’s own version called ‘FastPass’, which however, is available for all visitors to get front-of-line passes on certain attractions.

The FastPass Systrem, When Used In Conjunction Disability Passes Gives Unfair Advantage To Families

Claiming wide-spread abuse, Walt Disney Corporation altered the Guest Assistance Cards policy and introduced a condition that allowed only one pass at a time for assigned times to board rides. Known as Disability Access Service, or DAS was supposed to address the pitfalls of ‘shorter-line passes’.

But apparently the solution hasn’t worked as expected. On the contrary, when coupled with FastPass, a family with a DAS card could get two sets of front-of-the-line boarding passes at once.

The law-suit alleges that Walt Disney Parks haven’t offered assistance to families that had autistic children. These children would regularly have ‘meltdowns’ while Disney officials stood by, claimed the plaintiffs.

The families’ lawyer has stated that he expected the denial from Walt Disney Corporation and has already begun on formulating a response. The families expect the case to go to trial next year, but if Walt Disney Corporation proves no autistic child suffered, the case could be dismissed as well, reported Deadline.

[Image Credit | Disney Enterprises, AP]