Friday, October 11, 2013

Can I Ask A Few Stupid, Naive Questions About The New Disney Disability Policy?

Can I ask some stupid questions about all this hubbub about the new Disney Disability policy?  

Now, I readily admit that I don’t know the laws and the policies well at all.  So all my questions are coming from a naive & uninformed place so please correct me if I’m wrong.  I’m really looking for answers here…

Ok, here goes…

Isn’t a HUGE part of the problem that the theme parks are not allowed to ask for proof of your kid’s disability?  Some people were abusing the system and pretending they were disabled to gain the disability “perks”, the fast passes, right?

On their website explaining the new policy it says

“Why doesn’t Disney Parks ask for proof of disability, such as a doctor’s note?"
"Disney Parks takes Guests at their word and there are legal restrictions around asking for proof.”

Now the ADA (American for Disabilities Act) probably spells out some of these legal restrictions.  I know with our autism service dog, legally people aren’t allowed to ask for proof of need for the dog.  And I’m sure there was/is legitimate needs for these laws… BUT… 

Maybe, in light of what I keep reading on the news was “rampant abuse” of the disability policy at Disney, maybe it’s time to start lifting those legal restrictions…

So why not let the parks ask for proof of disability?  I have NO PROBLEM carrying around a laminated doctor’s note or IEP proving that my kid has severe autism.  

Is that naive of me?  Would others have a problem having to prove it?

Let Disney ask for proof and then maybe let Disney reduce the number of friends/family members that can accompany the disabled person in jumping the line.  I read somewhere the policy was a disabled person could bring up to 6 guests/family members with them.  Is that accurate/ true?  If so, that seems a wee bit much.  Maybe cut that back to 3-4 people?

Wouldn’t these two small things drastically reduce the abuse of the policy?

Sure some people could still fake a doctor’s note, but I think it would deter most of the people who in the past abused the policy.

Ask me for a doctor’s note, take my kid’s pic, I got no problems…and then give me the old fastpass / immediate access to the rides before my kid melts down and starts kicking…  That’s my policy!

Thoughts?

50 comments:

  1. We're on the same page there. I don't see anything wrong with asking for proof..problem solved!

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  2. I've got a zillion documents referencing my son's disabilities. I would be happy to provide 1 or 20 different ones to prove he needs this pass.

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  3. I feel the same way and i know so many parents of disabled children and disabled adults that feel the same way! Ask me for whatever it is you need i would have NO problem handing over proof and letting them take a pic of my little girl to put on a card. I also agree that 6 people is a bit much, 4 people seems more reasonable. i mean listen the DMV requires proof when you want to get the placard right? So why not allow Disney to do the same? Things would be so much easier for both parties. It's so frustrating.. i see parents canceling trips and Annual passes but when we do that we also hurt our kids.. they don't know what's going on. all they know is that they love Disney. That's why i haven't canceled my pass... my little girl would be heart broken. Instead i hope that something gives and both sides come to some sort of agreement. again... the only people being hurt by all this are special needs community.

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    1. Why is 6 people too much? Personally, I have 4 children. Am I just going to let my my ASD child go alone? Or am I supposed to just leave my 3 year old hanging around the ride and hope for the best? Not everyone is a family of 4.

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    2. Yup we are a family of 5 with 1 on the spectrum. The idea is to take
      A vacation together. Not everyone is a cookie cutter family of 4

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  4. Diary of Mom was called by disney and they addressed the whole asking for proof thing. It's on one of her blog posts. They aren't gonna do it because of the privacy laws. There is no budging on it from what it seems. :(

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  5. I agree! The first time we went to receive a GAC I brought a copy of a doctors diagnosis and a copy of my son's IEP and they said they were not qualified to read it. LOL I have no problem showing documentation. My son has Autism and severe sensory issues and since he is used to the old system at Disneyland it will be even harder, because it has changed. My son does not handle change well. It is sad that people who abused this system spoiled it for others who really need it.

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  6. You are right, 6 is the total number of people who are allowed to use the Guest Assistance Card. We've gotten up to 8 people on with us before when we've been down there and with another family. I'd have no problem showing Customer Relations documentation of my son's autism. We've been down there for 4 years and always have our letter with us, but have never been asked for it before. I think this would certainly work to reduce the amount of abuse the pass gets.

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  7. I always bring this information with me when I go on vacation and have absolutely no issue with sharing it. It is much easier to share your child's disability to get appropriate accommodations from the outset rather than attempting to explain why your child is melting down once they are in the middle of it!

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  8. This is a symptom of a bigger problem, and then there are other symptoms branching off from it, each one much more aggravating for disabled people than having to show proof ever would be. Disabled people shouldn't have their benefits reduced or removed because some people abuse a system. The abusers are making other people feel like they have a license to look at every person with a service dog or a handicapped parking pass as if they are faking. Just last week I had a heated discussion with a person on FB who was complaining that a person had a service dog in Target -- a great dane -- because they were "probably faking." Maybe if we changed some policies and allowed people to provide proof, there would be less room for jerks to question things. --Dana

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  9. The legalities come from HIPPA. Not ADA.

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  10. It has more to do with federal ADA laws than privacy practices (although that's always a concern). I hope I can explain this so that it makes sense: it's like handicapped parking. The general public does not have access to handicap spaces (in theory, of course...) so in order to utilize one you must provide proof of the qualifying disability. At Disneyland / Disney World the goal is to provide equal access and the public has the ability to utilize the accommodating services, therefore they cannot legally ask for proof of the disability. CM's (cast members, or employees for non-initiated) are specifically trained to ask guests about their concerns related to waiting in line rather than any questions that have to do with a specific diagnosis. If you offer up information (for instance, by telling them your child has autism) there isn't anything they can do with that information.

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  11. Perfect! You could ask me for proof anytime or just ask my kid his name and watch him flap and stare at you and that might be ok too:-)

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  12. No problem with providing proof. Our city bus system requires a form signed by a doctor or casework to get his disability bus card that he can use to buy his half price bus passes.

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  13. What I am understanding from my brief read of this thread is that there are laws preventing Disney from asking.
    I am not seeing where people are legally not allowed to provide that information voluntarily, without being asked, however.
    It seems to me that Disney is using the law as an excuse to be willfully ignorant and therefore not provide accommodation as needed.
    Am I too harsh here? I am just really concerned for those families who just won't be able to enjoy Disney (and by extension, other theme parks, because as goes Disney, so will the rest I am guessing) because of lineup issues. It really isn't a fair way of managing the issue.
    I don't believe Disney is the bad guy here - certainly in the past Disney has been an amazing experience for my kids, the staff really goes out of the way to be helpful for the most part - actually the worst experiences I've had have been with Guest Services staff, but that was before I knew about the abuses so I guess it sort of explains their skeptical and unfriendly attitudes :)
    However, I definitely think that Disney is not being creative in looking for solutions. I am absolutely certain there has to be a better way, and hiding behind the privacy laws and ADA is no acceptable.
    Ok, off my soap box now :)

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    1. Well said, Tracy!!! I agree with everything you said 100%!

      "It seems to me that Disney is using the law as an excuse to be willfully ignorant and therefore not provide accommodation as needed."

      That is EXACTLY how I feel about it, as well!

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  14. Leslie Lang-ClementiOctober 11, 2013 at 2:45 PM

    I completely agree. I actually posted a comment on the cnn website that had an article about it. I may as well have been flayed alive with the number of people jumping down my throat saying that I wanted special treatment for my son and that basically we should all just suck it up. Here are some of the comments I got:


    Disney's new policy will provide the necessary ACCOMMODATIONS, as required by the ADA, to visitors with disabilities. As well it should!

    But it sounds like you don't want reasonable accommodations for your child -- you want PREFERENTIAL treatment (no lines! precious snowflake can't do lines!!).


    I get it. Your life is hard, and life in general is unfair. You feel like the Universe owes you one, and Disney is the vessel for it giving you some payback.

    Unfortunately, plenty of other folks without your kid's issues ALSO want to to to Disney, and also hate standing in lines for hours. And when they see people, like some of those who've posted here, go directly to the front because they might have a panic attack, they get angry. Why should they pay $100s of dollars for 4 rides, when the nervous girl gets to go 15 times, just so she doesn't have a meltdown?

    It seems to me that people like you can't decide what you want from the world - do you want more equal treatment? Or differential treatment to compensate for all the crap you've gone through? You claim the former, but then ask for the latter.

    Sorry you resent having to explain your kid's out-of-control behavior to people. Although I suspect there is some secondary gain on your part - you get to lecture us all on how we "just don't understand!"
    These are just a couple of the ignorant people that flayed me. But one. Only one said this:
    ou truly are a loving mother and people do not understand the needs not the wants of the disabled whether mentally. It is just they have no clue unless they have suffered through a disability. There are way too many out there that have a minor surgery and then think they deserve a handicapped parking space but once they are healed they holler about the special treatment those with permanent disabilities receive.
    I stopped responding. what's the point. How do you educate masses of ignorant boobs?!

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    1. You could try using a thing called quotation marks. It's hard to figure out where your remarks begin or end especially when you're referring a completely different website's thread nobody knows about.

      I've seen similar comments about "special privileges" on other websites especially people claiming how autism is a con parents use to get special privileges for their bratty kids. It's widely assumed all families with autistic kids get SSI Disability payments but my daughter and our family doesn't get any kind of government assistance. Ok, she's going into a pre-school special ed class. Are there really parents out there fighting to push their normal kids into special ed classes?

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    2. Leslie-I understood your post perfectly. It wasn't hard figuring out which ones were the nasty comments you received. I loved the last comment about how people don't understand unless they have lived it. That could not be more true. I also loved your phrase "masses of ignorant boobs". Made me giggle!

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    3. it's all entitlement & fun & games for us autism/hidden disabilities folk until someone larger than the "normal" people next to us melts down & they all get caught in the crossfire-hitting, biting, punching, crashing/bumping- I don't think they realize that people come in all shapes & sizes & some of the meds they take can turn a 12yr old child into a mansized brick wall of a person & while we as caregivers will do our best to protect our loved ones from harming themselves as well as others, it will be unusually difficult to do so in close confines of a lengthy winding line with the masses all around us & not a cm in sight to call for security or someone that could help get us out of it safely & without injury to us or others...

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  15. People were lying to Disney about having disabilities to get the GAC in the past. Those same people with computers would find it very easy to print a fake doctors note.

    Disney doesn't need the diagnosis, how many college program young adults are going to understand the medical terms of a diagnosis even if it was legal to ask for one?

    Disney needs you to clearly state what you or your childs individual needs are and talk to them about how the Disney Access Service card can fit those needs. If not keep talking to them and see if you can come to a compromise.

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  16. We always brought a letter from our Doctor asking for assistance for our son who autism and has a difficult time with long lines, loud noises and smells. Even though they never asked for it, I always handed it to the person at the desk. We used fast passes where possible. My husband would race to get the fast passes while my sons and I walked over to a different ride. We only used the Card when we weren't able to get a pass for the ride. I carry a bag with me that I keep an ipad mini in it. It helps my son wait a bit longer when there is a line. Not everyone can afford to do that. I can't tell you how many times before the GAC that we would wait in a line and someone's child would start screaming and we would have to leave after waiting over an hour due to our sons sensitivity.

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  17. I've never been to Disney nor have I any interest in going there. I maybe I'm missing out but I there's a real big world out there worth exploring and I don't think my daughter could handle those crowds and over-stimulation. I hope someday my kid can take long plane ride but that seems unrealistic for now. I'm surprised nobody mentioned the recent disability faker articles:

    Fake service dogs a growing problem

    Under the Americans with Disabilities Act, it's a federal crime to use a fake dog. And about a fourth of all states have laws against service animal misrepresentation. But privacy protections built into the laws make it nearly impossible to prosecute offenders. It's even more difficult because no papers are legally required for real service dogs. Often, people who want to take their pets into restaurants or retail stores just go online to buy vests, backpacks or ID cards with a "service animal" insignia.

    The law says those entering businesses with animals can be asked just two questions: Is this a service dog? What is it trained to do for you?

    There is a big difference in the behavior of real service dogs and impostors inside businesses, experts said. A true service dog becomes nearly invisible. Pets might bark, urinate, sniff, scratch and eat off the floor.
    http://www.nbcnews.com/health/fake-service-dogs-growing-problem-8C11366537

    Well, This Is Just Awful: 'Renting' Disabled People to Skip Lines at Disney World

    The lines at Disney World are awful, we can all agree, but the lengths to which some people will go to bypass them are worse. Wealthy Manhattan parents are reportedly using a service that typically assists disabled children around the theme park to drive their non-disabled families around in a "handicapped" scooter, allowing them to skip lines by up to two hours.

    "You can't go to Disney without a tour concierge," one rich mom said, according to the New York Post. "This is how the 1 percent does Disney."

    The official Disney VIP Tour includes guides and premium fast passes for between $300 and $400 per hour. That's much more expensive than a $130-per-hour disability service afforded by Dream Tours Florida. There's a very simple explanation for the price difference: The VIP tickets are priced to where the rich will pay (and also to weed out all but the richest families to keep the service exclusive); whereas, the disability tour company sees all families with a disabled person as consumers. So these rich families reportedly using Dream Tours Florida aren't benefiting from a peculiarly effective and peculiarly cheap service, precisely because neither the service nor the price is intended to serve wealthy families. They're benefiting from a service they don't deserve at a price far below where the real luxury market for fast passes has settled.
    http://www.theatlantic.com/business/archive/2013/05/well-this-is-just-awful-renting-disabled-people-to-skip-lines-at-disney-world/275840/

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  18. I thought it was basically HIPAA laws prevented Disney from asking what disability. Anyways..we most likely will never get there if they really do take the GAC away permanently. Sigh. A shitty thing for others to do, and a shitty thing for Disney not to go "well we have to make it a way for the GAC to WORK like it's suppose to and not dismantle it and have people "come back to a ride" at a low crowd time. I have no idea how Autism Speaks "helped" them with this but IMO they didn't fight hard enough for our kids.

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  19. The limit was 5 guests. It was never intended as a fast pass. It was designed to bring the kids in a separate entrance where they could wait with less sensory stuff going on, but most of the rides utilized the fast pass lane for it - hence the faster load times. We always go in the off season and the lines are much shorter. We only used the pass a handful of times as the lines were pretty manageable on most of the rides. I agree, I have no problem showing proof of my son's autism. Really, how are they going to accommodate you unless you tell them what the problem is anyway??? And if you have a legitimate disability - you shouldn't have any issue with describing your needs or presenting proof if you want special accommodations. Even if you just bring a dr's note explaining the accommodations you might need, that would work out well without even disclosing what it is you have if you feel funny telling people your diagnosis. I work in the amusement industry and have followed Disney very closely. I have a pretty good feeling from Disney's reactions that they are going to do a trial run and tweak it as they go until they get it right. I can understand their point of view with the abuse of the process, but I also see it from an autism parent's point of view. It's a really difficult situation they are trying to work around. I'm really upset with Disney about the decision to take away the card, and even more upset with the creeps who abused it and caused the issue in the first place. It literally makes me ill tat someone would do that. My husband and I both tried to think of a bunch of solutions with our amusement park backgrounds and our biggest foolproof answer was - ask for proof. But again, you have legal issues to deal with. We're going mid-November and will see how it works out. Fingers crossed!!!!

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  20. You are absolutely right. We are going down to LA in July. : ( My severly autistic son will only do a few rides anyways. The train, small world and buzz light year. If they are not offering the disability pass we will do something else instead. Disney is so awesome. He is right at a stage where he is into Disney too.

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  21. We have three children with autism and we just returned from Disney World just before the GAC change. On our last day to Magic Kingdom, I spoke to a cast member about my concerns and she told me not to listen to any of the rumors out there and reassured me that Disney would still accommodate. After reading the amended statement Disney made on or around October 5th, I feel that they are going to continue to offer similar, if not the same, type accommodations. They will offer the fast pass thing on the first level, but state they realize that some people have special needs which may require more and that they will offer in addition- no ride/time limit for fast pass and/or the ability to ride multiple times in a row. They invite you to discuss your needs with them in guest relations and that they will provide more than that standard fast pass, based on individual cases. I believe Disney has made a big public statement that their GAC has been discontinued to deter fraud. Someone who is frauding the system most likely will not want to get into conversation over why they need more assistance than the standard DAS they are now offering. Just the fact Disney has announced the change will stop a percentage of frauds from asking for the card now. I do believe Disney wants to offer help to the people who need it, that is the message I took from their updated statement. Let's all hope so!

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  22. I believe the problem is that rich people were hiring a person with a disability to accompany them, so they can cut lines. Doctor's note or IEP won't help that.

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  23. Privacy Law is out with storing name and photo. Who is Disney kidding?

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  24. I think a doctor's recommendation should be sufficient. If it had to be notarized maybe that would cut down on people faking letters. Disabled children face so many obstacles in this world, it's not fair to punish these children because insensitive people abuse the system.

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  25. I am a travel agent specializing in Disney Vacations. My son is on the severe end of the spectrum and is non verbal. I have been paying close attention to these changes and what it means for families with different types of disabilities. To my understanding and from what I've been told by those who have already experienced the change in the system, Disney is being very accommodating and is doing all they can to help families on a case by case basis in addition to the new policies they've put in place.
    Many people called for Disney to do something about the abuse problem with the system. This is their answer. There will be the inevitable learning curve and they have openly said they will likely be making tweaks as they are necessary. It would be much easier with the Dr's note but unfortunately, due to HIPPA they cannot ask for it. You can offer it and they still aren't supposed to look at it. Let's say someone is asked for a note and that person sites privacy violation and then crap hits the fan... Disney won't budge on that for legal reasons.
    I have been telling my clients to go with an open mind and little bit of patience. It will be different from what they're used to but not ENTIRELY different. Some may even prefer the changes. I'm excited to get there to test out the policy myself but until then I'm enjoying getting everyone's feedback. :)

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  26. The reason they can't be allowed to ask for proof of disability is that a large number of people with some form of disability are concerned it could lead to discrimination for having the disability. In this specific instance providing proof will get you access to a needed service or benefit you otherwise wouldn't get access to. But what if that information is then used in a way you find to be negative. What if you get the accommodations to get through a day at Disney but it also means your child had to wear a bright banner screaming proclaiming the disability or you weren't allowed to enter certain parts of the park that they deemed would interfere with proper implementation?

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  27. We were at Disneyland when this story made the news.

    We made special arrangements with our psychiatrist for a letter stating why we were asking for the special pass at Disneyland. I was so concerned about being prepared I had made several copies just in case something happened or one of us were with my son and needed proof of the disability. I was shocked when we got there and they didn't even care of the disability. Never asked to see the letter. Just boom...a pass.

    I was embarrassed to use it a couple of times because our son freaked out before we were even able to board a ride and the attendant said for us to stay...and escorted our son & one of us out. It is sad they did not ask more of us.

    Anyone could get the special pass if you knew to ask for it.

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  28. Oh for the love of all that's holy people - Disney isn't doing away with the accessibility pass, they only modified the program. Listen, I'm a long time Disneyland annual pass holder and have a son with severe autism, so believe me when I tell you I am well versed with Disney's disability accommodations. I am SO HAPPY WITH THE NEW PROGRAM. Seriously. We were there yesterday and they were nothing but accommodating and patient in explaining the way it works now. I think the people who are complaining either don't go to Disneyland/World anyway or don't understand the challenges under the old program. For instance: my son LOVES the Peter Pan ride, but we haven't been on it in over a year (and this from a family who goes at least 1, but usually 2 or 3 times a month.) The line for P.P. is sooooo slow, but the "alternate entrance" or "disability line" (aka exit) usually take just as long if not longer when you account for the wheelchairs, other disabilities, snarky teenagers with wheelchairs and fake "sports wraps" and families with disabled folks in their party who "doesn't want to ride but he can't wait by himself for long so we're using his pass" (oh yes - that happens all the time) it means my son can't safely wait in EITHER line. And seriously - Pirates of the Caribbean disabled line is almost always longer than the regular line. The new program functions like a Fastpass; the person with the disability gets a card with his or her picture on it (limiting abuse) and you check in and get a return time for whatever ride you want. Boom. NO line. NO screaming. NO snarky teenagers. Just a little boy who got to ride something he loves for the first time in a long time. And for those of you who worry it will be "too restricting" - I'll take the day we had yesterday, with little to no waits, and therefore no meltdowns or sad boys, even if it means doing a tiny bit of planning (which we do with Fastpasses anyway.)

    And seriously - if Disney attempting to be fair and accommodating pisses you off so much - DON'T GO! Less people in line in front of us.
    :-)

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    1. out of curiosity, how did you manage to avoid the fastpass line at peter pan? was this in disney land perhaps? because regardless of stamp on the gac, we always were sent into the fastpass line with it & had to do the f/p line regardless & the new system appears to be the same process just with the added checkin for the return time routine on top of the old routine. we are worried because one of our kids is sensory seeking & is fine as long as he is moving/doing (when the line stalls is where we tend to have to get creative/avoid meltdowns) curious to know if there is a difference in the new system other than the extra added checkin/wait to access the fastpass line

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  29. Here in the UK, Legoland wants to see proof of disability and only one 'carer' is allowed on the ride, works great for us !

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  30. I have to put in papers from the dr. to get a handicap sticker for my car so whats the difference?

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  31. right there with you! Got no problem providing doctors notes, diagnosis, evals what have yous. Got plenty of those! I'm so done with Disney, I can't take my kiddo to it using the existing program, just would not go well. SO we'll go to Sesame instead. It's closer and they have a good program. We've never once had a problem with getting on a ride sooner/quicker while there.

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  32. There is two sides to this coin. There was supposed (or perceived) abuse of the GAC. Many guests were in uproar over it. Then there was that expose about Disabled Tour Guides, which is has a ton of holes in it to begin with. This is why Disney instituted the DAS. (On a side note, any guest can get that kind of access by hiring Disney's own VIP Tour Guides--even better access--and for less than what some of these people were supposedly paying for the disabled guide).

    Doctor notes, and such, can easily be faked and Disney does not have the resources to verify all that information. Not to mention, there has been real concern over HIPPA violations (on Disney's part). Don't forget that those that work in guest relations have no training in medical issues. It is just someone off the street who is paid an hourly wage with a half day of training or so. (Now. Disney CMs used to get days worth of training in classroom and tons of on the job training).

    The DAS is not autism friendly like the GAC was, but for most it will work, just differently. I see the problem (for us at least) being FP+. You will now have to schedule rides in advance (not so great with a ASD child) and then it is limited to only one park and a maximum of 3 and rides can't be repeated.. Under the old FP system, we rarely needed the GAC--and we never needed it prior to enforcing end times. We could make judgments as we went and my son never had to go near a ride until it was time to get on.

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  33. I totally agree with you. My little girl isnt 3 yet; but now its going to be harder to be able for her to get some enjoyment when she does get enough to enjoy it. Cutting the amount of people to bring in should be around 3-4 as well. Ok granted there may be families that have more than 2 children but I feel the pass is really for the child with the disability and the caregiver/s of the child.

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  34. The pass should be for the family, regardless of size. If you aren't all going on together, you are splitting up the family for the day. In many cases with ASD children, they cannot withstand a long day and so if part of your party is waiting in long lines, you will see nothing in the three hours you are able to stay. Part of what has made the pass so helpful to families is that it accommodates the child (or adult family member) with the disability while keeping the family together like every other family. It shouldn't matter if the family has 4 people or 10, if they are on the vacation together they should be allowed to stay together like everyone else does.

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  35. *sigh*

    Not only was the GAC abused, but with the ever-increasing numbers of disabled people requesting the GAC the system became loaded down and unworkable.

    So this is not "OH SOME TERRIBLE PEOPLE RUINED IT FOR EVERYONE!!!!!" but instead that the numbers using the system also overwhelmed it - and while the autistic, anxiety-ridden, claustrophobic, or wheelchair-bound Guests were riding, all the other people who were able-bodied were standing in long, long lines due to the sheer numbers using the GAC. How is THAT fair?

    Disney decided that the able-bodied who paid the same amount to get in should not be penalized for the sheer numbers of disabled people who took advantage of this system (even if every one of them were disabled and not cheating the system in any way), and had to revert to making it fair (asking the disabled to wait as long as the abled are waiting) opposed to giving preferential access.

    Disney has said over and over and over that they will work with people on a case-by-case basis. Severely autistic children will still be accommodated! TALK TO GUEST SERVICES! And if you have a child that will bite, scratch, or kick strangers if they have to wait, Disney is probably not the best destination for your family right now - and that's ok, a LOT of people don't go! If you wouldn't take your child to a mall on Black Friday, you probably shouldn't have them out at Disney quite yet.

    I never have understood how people say their children can't wait one single minute at Disney - but yet they waited for the monorail, or the ferry over, and they waited at bag check, and they waited at the turnstiles, and they waited at the store to buy something, and on and on and on. No GAC for those things.

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    1. You don't wait an hour at the monorails, turnstiles, bag check, or stores.

      If a family has a child with a disability where they may have episodes (bite or kick- most likely biting or kicking their caregivers, not strangers either), then I guess the brothers and sisters of the child also will not be able to go to Disney, right? You should have to forget family vacations or going out in public for that matter. Right, that makes a lot of sense.

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  36. (continued...) Those who comment about keeping their disabled child home or make negative comments aimed at families with autistic children obviously has had the good fortune not to know what it's like to live with autism. If someone told me right now that I could trade and my son was no longer autistic, I would gladly trade to wait in the standard queue. I am willing to bet you wouldn't trade with me, to live and deal with autism- and have the GAC or DAS. Walk a mile in my shoes and then we'll see how you feel.

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  37. I don't have a problem showing proof. As for the 6 people, it is a matter of keeping the family together. And, my son, an only child would not have wanted to ride without his cousins. We actually had 9 people in the family at Disney and fortunately they let all 9 of us in the line for the one ride. On others we the adults just took turns with the kids. I was so grateful for the pass and that it included enough so he could ride with his cousins.

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  38. As many others have said we would have no problem providing proof of our son's diagnosis. It isn't going to be required without a change to the laws though. Yes proof could be faked too. Who cares though. Since when do you take accommodations away from a group of people that need it because people who don't are abusing it? And yes, my son does need it. I'm sorry if someone thinks it's unfair that he doesn't have to wait as long as their child does. I think it's unfair that he'll never live independently, go to college, marry or have children. You tell me which is worse. I'm sick to death of hearing how Disney is just making things more "fair". We live every day knowing life isn't fair. You suck it up and get on with life and take joy in the things you can. For us disney was one of those things.

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  39. I'm with you. I would have no problem carrying some proof around.

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  40. I have no problem carrying proof either. Its no secret our son has autism!

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  41. I'm not sure I really understand what the fuss is about and I'm inclined to agree with some of the sentiments shared to and by Leslie Clementi. Going on the rides at Disney is not a constitutional right. If Disney or any amusement park or leisure attraction wants to increase the enjoyment of its visitor, they should have a smartphone app that waits in line for you. When your time comes, simply go to the ride and get on. Personally, I have a difficult time with the skipping the line idea, (part of my own spectrum need to follow the rules). When told my own severe, non-verbal ASDer would be able to skip to the front of the line by a well meaning social worker, my reply was "If he can't wait in line like everybody else, he shouldn't go on the ride." So he waits in line to see Santa, at the stores, for the bus, you name it. Its the one area he shows actual patience. We can't take our son out to many restaurants, due to his behavior. There are other paying customers who like to eat their meal without the uproar of a child running around the place. The same goes for movies, museums, etc. Consideration and accommodation is a 2 way street.

    As for showing proof of disability, its been stated here in the replies before, in the UK they ask you be able provide proof of disability when asking for the reasonable accommodation whether it is a discount, a leap forward in line or anything else. Not a problem to show it, although I've never been asked to.

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  42. I do carry around a copy of my daughter's diagnosis, and it didn't help us at Hershey Park (PA). She needs her stroller, basically as a wheelchair, for hypotonia and also to help avoid sensory overstimulation. Yet, even though all the areas we tried to access were ADA accessible and admitting wheelchairs, she wasn't allowed to enter with her stroller. Despite the doctors diagnosis, they accused us of lying and just wanting the stroller to store our belongings. She couldn't even go in to see Santa. My two year old baby wasn't allowed to see Santa. It was tragic and humiliating.

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