Walt Disney World is often celebrated as a magical place where dreams come true. However according to a recent lawsuit, that has grown to include 30 families and 36 individuals, many individuals with disabilities are not included among those welcome at the magic kingdom. The lawsuit names Walt Disney Parks and Resorts as the defendant and accuses the company of violating provisions of the Americans with Disabilities Act.
The ADA lays out requirements for "public accommodations and in commercial facilities" as related to individuals with disabilities. Disney is accused of making changes to existing company policies last fall with regard to how the company accommodates disabled guests. Previous accommodations included allowing qualified parties special modifications with regard to waiting in lines and gaining access to rides and exhibits.
As criticism and concern grew over the changes Disney implemented, the company defended the changes, asserting members of the public were taking advantage of existing policies. However, this rationale did not bode well with the many disabled children, adults and their loved ones and caretakers who visit Disney World each year.
The ADA aims to protect individuals with disabilities against discrimination and provide them with equal rights and opportunities. For a child with a physical disability or mental disorder like autism or ADHD, waiting in long lines and being subjected to uncomfortable physical conditions may be overly burdensome to the point where it prohibits such activities.
We'll continue to provide updates on the Walt Disney lawsuit as the list of plaintiffs continues to expand and the case proceeds.
Individuals with physical or mental disabilities may qualify to receive Social Security disability insurance benefits. For those individuals or families who wish to apply, an attorney who handles SSDI matters may be able to assist.