Rolling Without Limits

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Lexi Refused Access to Museum, Savannah GA
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Lexi Refused Access to Museum, Savannah GA

I’m fuming over the story of Lexi an 11-year-old denied access to The Ships of the Sea Maritime Museum in Savannah GA.

They refused access to Lexi because she uses a wheelchair, and they were afraid that the tires would make the museums carpet dirty. I assume that they must make everyone take their shoes off as well?

Their solution; to let Lexi use a wheelchair that was clean and tidy from the museum, they thought of everything, hadn’t they? Nope, Lexi cannot sit unassisted and could not sit in that wheelchair at all. The following solution had been to let Lexi enjoy videos as her family visited the exhibit. That’s what every 11 year old wants to do sit around while everyone is having fun.

The museum told Lexi’s mom, Susan Haas, “That it was a significant error.” However, I don’t think so since the museum had a “clean “wheelchair ready to go and they had planned on putting Lexi in it.

Obviously, they were serious about keeping the museum clean despite all those dirty shoes that walk in and out all day. I wonder what their stance is on baby strollers.

As a wheelchair user I would be horrified if someone asked me to switch to a different wheelchair for any reason and here’s why.

They build the wheelchair around us and our needs, they aren’t cookie-cutter wheelchairs like older people tend to use, which is fine for them but for those of us with paralysis they need to be specially made.

When put into a different wheelchair that isn’t made for us our freedom is completely taken away plus the risk of transferring and falling isn’t worth the visit to the museum, in my opinion.

I’m sure they are very sorry that this innocent went viral and are weaving a web to explain the whole situation and why it wasn’t as bad as it sounds.

I can relate to Lexi, there have been many times as a kid that I had been denied access to places because of my wheelchair and I had to sit and watch.

The museum’s director apologized to the family and explained that the employee didn’t understand the policy regarding wheelchairs.

They are saying this is a huge misunderstanding but where did the person get the idea in the first place and why did they have a “clean “wheelchair all set for such an event?

I have three letters for them ADA – Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990.  This kind of thing should not be an issue in 2013 ... 

Leave a Comment

  1. Northerneagle
    Thanks for this article. I read this article a couple of days ago. I was so angry that I had to close my computer before I wrote in the language that best suited this situation. You did a much better job than I would have done. At the same time I wonder what the museum is doing as far as training their staff. Obviously what they are doing is seriously lacking.
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  2. Nonniebee
    This situation should never have come up!! I think any business that caters to the public should educate their employees about the ADA rights and incorporate this info into the customer service. It's been 13 yrs since the signing of the ADA. It about time that businesses get up to code and accommodate everyone ...with no exemptions!
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  3. pftsusan
    Thank you for the post. It's very infuriating that they did not let this girl in. Maybe it's time for them to close. I invite you to read my posts and vote for any that you like.
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