Thousands back inclusivity at theme parks after disabled boy ‘humiliated’
Thousands of people have signed a petition calling for theme parks to be more inclusive for children with disabilities after a five-year-old boy was made to get out of his wheelchair and walk before he was allowed on a ride at Legoland.
Sebby Brett, from Gloucestershire, has a condition similar to cerebral palsy, which means he cannot walk even short distances without help.
His mother Joanna said the family were left “humiliated” after a trip to Legoland last September when he was told he could not board the Ninjago ride unless he proved he could walk.
Mrs Brett has started a campaign calling on theme parks and leisure attractions to be more inclusive, after discussions with Legoland over the incident broke down.
More than 4,500 people have signed her petition, and Mrs Brett said local MP Siobhan Baillie will raise the issue in Parliament.
Mrs Brett told the PA news agency: “The danger is, people think, ‘Oh Sebby got treated badly, let’s try and stop that’, but I was shocked with how many people had gone through the same situation, with Legoland, on that ride, with other theme parks and other attractions.
“It’s a bigger issue than I ever thought that it was.”
She said she understood that some older rides may not be adaptable, but that when new rides and facilities are designed, consideration should be given to people with disabilities.
She said: “For some of these theme parks, some of the changes they need to make could be done so easily.
“We are just asking for reasonable adjustments for fairness.
“They can do this without disadvantaging and stopping the fun for able bodies. I think that is important because it isn’t about stopping people having fun, it’s about allowing disabled people to have fun.”
She suggested special carriages for disabled people could be one of the changes or including more ramps.
“It’s not just children,” she said. “If a mum is in a wheelchair, she can’t experience the joy of her children on that ride.”