Joanna Brett is urging for people to sign a petition for fairer inclusion for disabled children at leisure attractions after her son, Sebby was ‘forced’ to demonstrate his ability to take three steps in front of a queue of people.
He was then asked to repeat the steps, as staff weren’t satisfied during the trip to a theme park, which was a treat following four operations.
Despite prior communication with the park about Sebby’s disability and wheelchair use, Joanna said they had not been informed that this would happen.
She added: “In order to gain a seat on the ride he was most excited about, Sebby was humiliated with no warning, when he was forced to demonstrate his ability to take three steps in front of a busy line of people; an extremely difficult task for him.
“Not satisfied with the quality of my son’s steps after we had lifted him into the carriage, the ride supervisor instructed him to leave the carriage and do it again in front of the waiting queue. This put unwelcome pressure and attention on my son and left him upset. We subsequently discovered that the reason for this test was that the emergency exit contained three steps which could easily have been adapted with a ramp.”
Joanna says that while she does not blame the staff, processes need to change for all families.
“We have since learned that our experience is common among families of disabled children and that many businesses are letting disabled children and adults down by failing to take simple actions and reasonable adjustments towards greater inclusion.”
The petition is being supported by Joanna’s local MP, Siobhan Baillie, and has over 24,000 signatures.
You can support the campaign by signing the online form at Change.org. Joanna has written a blog for the Brain Injury Hub, talking about Sebby’s condition and the therapies he takes to support him in learning to walk.
Update: This issue is now going to be debated in the Houses of Parliament on 17 November. To keep updated or to get involved, please visit the petition page.