Michael Green lost his hands in a house fire when he was 15 months-old and feels discriminated against because officials at Six Flags Over Flags Texas would not let him ride a roller coaster, reports NBC.com.
“[I can do] everything except tie my shoes. I can cook. I can drive. I can clean. I can go to school. I can write with my hand. I can type on the computer about 35, 40 words per minute,” he said.
After park staff at the Texas Giant would not allow him on the roller coaster, Green went to guest relations, where he was told that he couldn’t ride anything.
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“I always get stared at a lot, but I never get discriminated — people telling me that I can’t do something when they don’t even know what I can do,” he said.
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Green said he tried to explain to park employees that he had been to Six Flags Over Texas dozens of times as a child and had rode everything. He also said he told staff that he even climbs walls and zip-lines at camp.
“I just tried to make my case and explain what the situation was, and they wouldn’t have it at all,” he said.
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A spokesperson for the park declined to comment, but a representative later released for the following statement:
“Our disability policies include ride manufacturers’ guidelines and the requirements of the federal American Disabilities Act. Our policies are customized by ride and developed for the safety and well-being of our guests. Our policies and procedures are reviewed and adjusted from time to time to ensure we continue to accommodate the needs of our guests while simultaneously maintaining a safe environment. “
Susan Motley, supervising attorney for Disability Rights Texas, says that this is a clear case of discrimination and there should not be a blanket restrictions for all disabled people:
“There are plenty of kids who wave their arms in the air and they never hold on, so why it’s more of a risk for him to ride it with no hands than children who hold their hands up — even though that’s discouraged — I don’t understand that justification,” she said.
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While Green’s feelings are certainly understandable, does the park also have a valid argument?
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