Thursday, April 30, 2009

You've got to be kiddling me!

This is the email I received from my office mate. Please read!!! I'm pissed & I'm doing something about it. You?

When I heard this story, I couldn’t believe it. How on earth could you treat someone like this?

A friend of mine has a seven year old daughter. Her daughter was invited to a birthday party at Emerald City Gymnastics at 90th and Bond in Overland Park, KS. My friend’s daughter is also blind. So, to prepare for the birthday celebration my friend called the gym to explain their situation. The manager of the gym told her she couldn’t get on the floor or the equipment with her daughter, but that the gym “sets aside other times during the week to accommodate kids like her daughter.” Those “other times” don’t include the birthday party. I couldn’t believe this when I read it! This girl is so smart and so capable. No one should be telling her she can’t participate in the activities for the birthday party of one of her peers because she is blind. Are you kidding me? What is she suppose to do, sit there and listen to all of her friends have fun? Adults should know better than to do/say something so ignorant. There is no reason the gym couldn’t have been flexible and let my friend do the activities with her daughter OR be prepared to receive a diverse group of people at birthday parties in general. Since I don’t have kids I can’t boycott this place, so I’m sending this story to you.

Please think twice before signing up for gymnastics, planning a birthday party or attending a birthday at Emerald City Gymnastics or anywhere that discriminates against civil rights. Check out this site to file a title III (Americans with Disabilities Act) complaint if you find yourself in a similar position .


Old Fart said...

It is done for insurance and liability issues.

I'm sure that if the girl got hurt on the equipment while at the party, that the parents would NEVER sue for the injuries. Yeah.

That is why they set aside specialized blocks of time for kids that have special needs.

It would cost them a lot more from a lawsuit, or the loss of insurance coverage because it gets canceled after a large payout, than it is going to cost them from some boycott.

Nightmare said...

I don't want to sound like a dickhead her, but have we heard a reason from the manager?

It sounds like he is just parroting what he was told either by the owner or probably more to the case, the insurance company. I am NOT DEFENDING either action, but when it comes to the price of business in today's litigious society,if someone was hurt and the parents sued for neglect, then NO ONE would be able to play at the gym.

I do not like point this shit out, I just know that here in the free country that is America, anyone can sue anyone else for any reason...

m.v. said...

sorry, I have to go with the gym. My kid went there for a party years ago and I had to sign 3 page release or something like that. this place has hazards all over for even a sighted kid- ropes,nets,pits;if I was a parent of a blind kid I'd think twice before sending her there anyway

Anonymous said...
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Anonymous said...

I'd bet the parent of this child would have gladly signed a waiver...just like all the other parents.

Also, don't you think a place like this should be somewhat prepared for a situation like this?

Finally, if I were a parent of a child with visual impairments, I'd want to take every opportunity to do things that the rest of us get to do in a sighted world.

Old Fart said...

Those of you talking about signing a waiver... a waiver doesn't absolve the gym of anything. A court would hold that if the gym has hazards KNOWN to the owner/manager/employees, then the gym can not get out of responsibility for any injuries from those KNOWN hazards.

Only a government can get out of stuff like that.

Stacey K said...

When I was in Girl Scouts we had a blind member of our troop. She did everything she was able to do and was never excluded from activities. If she needed help her mom stayed to help her. That's what should have been done here. If they let the mom stay to help her daughter through things she couldn't do on her own it probably would have gone well.

My best friend has very limited sight. Her parents didn't treat her differently growing up - nor did they let her use her vision as an excuse. Sometimes she did feel excluded but that was mostly be well meaning people trying to protect her. Today she meets kids who have a lot LESS opportunity than she did because they live in today's world with so many rules about what they can and can't do. I think we've gone backwards instead of forwards in our attempts to protect everyone from everything.

m.v. said...

Stacey, I didn't grow up here but it's safe to assume that you were a kid in less litigious times. My dad was a doctor but there were no malpractice lawsuits over there.Even when people died their relatives thanked him for doing what he could. The stuff we did 30-35 years ago would not be even considered legal now. I was telling my kid that I was allowed to ride public transportation all over town when I was a kid and she is only allowed to walk to school cellphone in hand and always with other kids.

Zhu said...

I'm a little bit surprised but the comments here. I'm sure there is a reason (I doubt someone is stupid enough to discriminate against a little girl for NO reason!), but it doesn't really make it acceptable.

Insurances rule the world... well, why not explain the parents the situation and find a solution with them? I'm sure they would be willing to work something out.

Just banning the kid won't solve any problem!