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  1. #16

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    Re: Is Disney legally required to offer a guest assistance program?

    As said before, they are required by law to be handicapped accessible. However, they are not required to offer special accommodations for the disabled.

    People need to start thinking of it this way... Disney could have chosen to discontinue the GAC program entirely because they are not required to offer it. Instead they updated it and are still offering it as a courtesy to their guests. Would you rather have an updated policy or no policy at all?
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  2. #17

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    Re: Is Disney legally required to offer a guest assistance program?

    Quote Originally Posted by DrFink View Post
    As said before, they are required by law to be handicapped accessible. However, they are not required to offer special accommodations for the disabled.
    Here is the problem in your statement... they ARE required to offer special accommodations... but to the DEGREE they are required is only to satisfy the need for their equal access/participation. Not 'preferred treatment' nor 'additional perks', etc. Those are Disney's chosing.

    But they MUST offer accommodations to fit people's disabilities. That goes beyond 'handicap accessible'.. because the range of disabilities to be accommodated goes well beyond mobility issues.

    The grey area people fight over is... 'just how much is enough...' to qualify as providing a reasonable accommodation. Disney's new system is basically saying 'not having to wait in a confined queue with it's physical limits' is a reasonable accommodation to allow the customer to handle their wait how they want, where they want.

    The disagreement comes when other people believe that accommodation is not enough to satisfy their needs as related to their disability.

    Disney IS required to accommodate these disabilities - the disagreement is (as always) what is necessary and what is reasonable under the terms of the law.
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  3. #18

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    Re: Is Disney legally required to offer a guest assistance program?

    Quote Originally Posted by Malcon10t View Post
    In DCA, a GAC is not required. DCA is completely ADA compliant.
    I've always had to show my GAC at DCA in order to be allowed to use the elevators at the Pier rides. They won't let you use the elevators without it. Same thing at RSR; I've needed to flash my GAC to get routed to the handicapped loading dock (and avoid the exit stairs). I've even needed to show the GAC to be allowed to sit in the last row at Animation Academy (and again avoid steps). So even though it's ADA compliant, in my experience I've always needed that GAC to be allowed to access the attractions.
    Last edited by Malina; 09-20-2013 at 09:10 AM.
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  4. #19

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    Re: Is Disney legally required to offer a guest assistance program?

    Maybe a tad off topic, but can anyone tell me the point of the elevators on Screamin and Indy?? Because it seems it would be so much easier and accessible to load from the other side (where you exit the ride and where the elevator is) where there's more room and the wheelchairs can be kept off to the side instead of going through the chaos in that middle loading zone area.


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  5. #20

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    Re: Is Disney legally required to offer a guest assistance program?

    Both Screamin' and Indy were built with fully wheelchair accessible queues. The elevators are supposed to allow guests in wheelchairs (or guests who cannot use stairs) to follow the standard queue route, instead of having to use the exit path.

  6. #21

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    Re: Is Disney legally required to offer a guest assistance program?

    A "reasonable" accommodation to one person is going to fall far short for another. There will always be someone for whom any program will fail and they will demand additional assistance.

    So no matter what they do, someone's going to be upset with them and demand more. They do have to draw the line somewhere.
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  7. #22

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    Re: Is Disney legally required to offer a guest assistance program?

    Quote Originally Posted by dfan07 View Post
    Both Screamin' and Indy were built with fully wheelchair accessible queues. The elevators are supposed to allow guests in wheelchairs (or guests who cannot use stairs) to follow the standard queue route, instead of having to use the exit path.
    By that point in the line it just seems really pointless to go over that extra hump of taking the elevator to the other side when you could technically load right there.


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  8. #23

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    Re: Is Disney legally required to offer a guest assistance program?

    Quote Originally Posted by IzzyInWonderland View Post
    By that point in the line it just seems really pointless to go over that extra hump of taking the elevator to the other side when you could technically load right there.
    In Indy's case, I find it rather admirable that they set things up to see that amazing queue.

  9. #24

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    Re: Is Disney legally required to offer a guest assistance program?

    Quote Originally Posted by IzzyInWonderland View Post
    By that point in the line it just seems really pointless to go over that extra hump of taking the elevator to the other side when you could technically load right there.
    But when you load there, you return to the other side with stairs to exit. The way it works now, you take the elevator, and exit to the area without stairs.
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  10. #25

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    Re: Is Disney legally required to offer a guest assistance program?

    In regards to the original post,the answer to both questions is no.

    Simply put, there is no absolute prohibition on discrimination in the ADA that would force a park to allow a disabled guest on a ride when that guest did not meet the physical or mental criteria required to ride or would endanger the safety of other guests.

    Since Disney makes the ride, in instances where the ride is unique or custom designed, Disney has final say what is and is not safe and what may or may not endanger the guest or other guests. Disney, not the ADA says what is and is not safe and accessible regarding ride vehicles.

    The fact they spend enormous amounts of money creating special ride vehicles for the disabled, that they spend a large amount of resources testing and they incur a massive amount of liability for undertaking the task of making rides accessible. Disney does a lot for the disabled.

    Quote Originally Posted by alphabassetgrrl View Post
    A "reasonable" accommodation to one person is going to fall far short for another. There will always be someone for whom any program will fail and they will demand additional assistance.

    So no matter what they do, someone's going to be upset with them and demand more. They do have to draw the line somewhere.
    Many peoples goal seems to be, to spend the most resources possible for the lowest functioning individual.
    Last edited by Garthilk; 09-20-2013 at 04:17 PM.

  11. #26

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    Re: Is Disney legally required to offer a guest assistance program?

    I agree. And I don't think it's possible to make everybody happy- there's always another level of "lower" function.
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  12. #27

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    Re: Is Disney legally required to offer a guest assistance program?

    Quote Originally Posted by Garthilk View Post
    In regards to the original post,the answer to both questions is no.

    Simply put, there is no absolute prohibition on discrimination in the ADA that would force a park to allow a disabled guest on a ride when that guest did not meet the physical or mental criteria required to ride or would endanger the safety of other guests.

    Since Disney makes the ride, in instances where the ride is unique or custom designed, Disney has final say what is and is not safe and what may or may not endanger the guest or other guests. Disney, not the ADA says what is and is not safe and accessible regarding ride vehicles.

    The fact they spend enormous amounts of money creating special ride vehicles for the disabled, that they spend a large amount of resources testing and they incur a massive amount of liability for undertaking the task of making rides accessible. Disney does a lot for the disabled.
    You bring up a point that I've wondered for a while - I hope this isn't too off topic. If it is, please ignore.

    I have a friend who bragged on Facebook that one benefit to his new diagnosis of epilepsy is that he gets to "skip the line at Disneyland". After putting my frustration aside, I thought, "Why would someone with epilepsy need to skip a line?" I mean, if they're at risk of seizures, it seems many of the rides would put them at risk of a seizure. And does waiting in a line increase the likelihood of a seizure? Moreso than riding the ride itself? You bring up the point that Disney can refuse to allow people who do not meet physical requirements to ride, which I suppose they couldn't stop him unless they knew his exact condition, which then leads to him providing medical information, etc...

    Anyway, it made me even more confused about the whole system and how "acceptable accommodation" can really be defined. As someone else said, a line has to be drawn somewhere. People have to weigh the risks of exposing themselves or their children to triggers that may worsen their condition (crowds, lines, lights, noises) with what is reasonable to expect the park to be able to provide. There is no possible way for Disney (or any company) to make everyone feel like they have been fully accommodated.

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  13. #28

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    Re: Is Disney legally required to offer a guest assistance program?

    What is legally required, and what does Disney - family entertainment empire - need to do in terms of goodwill and strong public relations, well those are both equally important considerations.

  14. #29

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    Re: Is Disney legally required to offer a guest assistance program?

    I can answer the epilepsy question. My 6 year old niece had childhood epilepsy. Her seizures started when she was 3. They weren't brought on by flashing lights, motion or any other ride-related stimulus. They were brought on by fatigue and over-heating. We used a front of the line GAC for her Disney visits. Thankfully - she grew out of her seizures (as most kids do) about a year ago. On our last trip to Disneyland we went GAC free for the first time. We had a valid GAC, but we didnt use it once. We were just so thankful NOT to have to use the GAC.

  15. #30

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    Re: Is Disney legally required to offer a guest assistance program?

    Quote Originally Posted by UbIwerks View Post
    I can answer the epilepsy question. My 6 year old niece had childhood epilepsy. Her seizures started when she was 3. They weren't brought on by flashing lights, motion or any other ride-related stimulus. They were brought on by fatigue and over-heating. We used a front of the line GAC for her Disney visits. Thankfully - she grew out of her seizures (as most kids do) about a year ago. On our last trip to Disneyland we went GAC free for the first time. We had a valid GAC, but we didnt use it once. We were just so thankful NOT to have to use the GAC.
    Well, that makes perfect sense. I have no idea if that's the case for him, but if so then there's certainly a need for some kind of accommodation. I'm still irritated at my "friend" for his bragging and offering to take people with him to cut lines, though.

    Just for my sake of understanding, with the current system is the procedure that the guest comes up and describes what they need? I.E. - I can't wait in line, I can't climb stairs, etc? Or do they actually describe their condition I.E. - I have epilepsy, I have knee replacements, etc?

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