Blind Couple Denied Bus Seats: Blind Couple Forced To Wait For Another Bus Due To Lack Of ADA Seats

Effie Orfanides - Author
By

Dec. 31 2014, Updated 12:37 p.m. ET

A blind couple was denied bus seats by a driver who said that there weren’t any ADA seats available. According to News Max, a driver in Seattle made a blind couple wait for the next bus because all of the designated seats for people with disabilities were already taken. Rather than offer the couple regular seats, the driver decided to not let them on the bus at all, even though the two could have sat in other seats if they chose to do so.

“He was making an assumption that the only seats we could sit in were those designated as ADA seats. We felt that it was a pretty clear indication that we were not welcome on that bus,” said Michael Mello, who was trying to catch a bus with Cindy Bennett.

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The blind couple who were denied bus seats felt as though they were not treated fairly, and are hoping that this sort of thing doesn’t happen to them or any one else with a disability in the future. According to HNGN, Metro Transit spokesperson Jeff Switzer released a statement following the incident, and apologized to the couple. Switzer did say that the bus driver will be spoken to, and that appropriate action will be taken to make sure that this sort of thing doesn’t happen again.

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“What happened is unacceptable and we apologize. Blind passengers are not required to use the ADA priority seating area. We’ve identified the operator and his chief will be working with him on this issue and will take appropriate action,” said Switzer.

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The blind couple who were denied bus seats hope to make it clear that their disability doesn’t make them any less human than the next person.

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“It’s not OK for their drivers to treat passengers whether we’re blind, sighted, or have any other disability in this manner. It’s just not acceptable,” said Mr. Mello.

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Unfair treatment of people with disabilities is often reported in the news. As previously reported by the Inquisitr, a blind child at a school in North Kansas City, Missouri, was (according to many) treated unfairly by a school bus driver. Dakota Nafzinger, 8, had his walking cane removed after he allegedly used it to hit another child. Instead of speaking with the child, and finding another form of “punishment” for him, the school decided to take away the cane (which they gave to him to begin with), and provide him with a pool noodle; something that was humiliating, and not especially helpful according to the boy’s parents.

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“The child’s mother admits that Dakota was, in fact, written up for his misbehavior on the bus but still doesn’t understand why the school would decide to punish her blind son by removing the very thing he needs the most to navigate through his world.”

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[Photo courtesy of Wikimedia Commons]

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