Disney has always been committed to people with all types of disabilities, including physical, mental and cognitive. But, recently a group of parents sued Disney over the new Disability Access Pass. With the change from the Guest Assistance Pass to the new Disability Access Card, both Disney World and Disneyland provide return times instead of immediate front line admittance to attractions. This has caused some dismay among parents of children with disabilities and people with disabilities, but is the lawsuit necessary?
The lawsuit, filed in April of 2014, is in part about the long wait times for children with autism. It claims that the DAS violates the Americans with Disabilities Act. There are a number of plaintiffs in this lawsuit with similar complaints. The suit is 176 pages long and even calls into account Disney employees’ behavior towards children with autism.
Disney has done extensive research before putting the change into effect. They also acquired information from several disability advocate organizations. There are pros and cons to this program as there is with everything. Disney is still working out the kinks and is looking for input from guests.
Although I think that the Disability Access Card program needs some improvements, I completely disagree with anyone filing a lawsuit. Anyone using the DAS that has specific needs can ask about them. You do not need to inform the Disney employee of the person’s disability. Once the needs are known, more accommodations are included.
Examples of accommodations include:
- For a guest whose disability enables them to be in the park for only a limited time, the guest might be offered an accommodation that enables them to use the DAS Card in conjunction with access to a number of attractions without having to obtain a return time.
- Another potential accommodation, based on a guest’s unique needs, might include providing access to a favorite attraction multiple times in a row without having to obtain a return time. (source National Autism Association)