A girl with Down’s syndrome was banned from riding a Ferris wheel with her friend because the employees told her that people with ‘disabilities’ couldn’t be allowed on their rides.
18-year-old Kathryn Embry from Kansas was visiting a Scheels All Sports store in Overland Park, Kansas, with her Blue Valley North classmates when they spotted a Ferris wheel and decided to have some fun.
Unfortunately, the staff of the store told the teen she wasn’t allowed to get on the wheel without getting escorted by an adult due to her “disabilities.”
“I tried to go on the Ferris wheel with my buddy, but they said I can’t because I have disabilities,” Kathryn recalled.
After the incident, Emily Kramer, Kathryn’s friend, shared a tweet about what had happened and sparked an online debate.
“Kathryn went to Scheels in Overland Park, Kansas, last week and they would not allow her to ride the Ferris Wheel because ‘she has a disability,’” Emily wrote.
“Please help bring awareness so that ALL people can enjoy the basic amenities at Scheels.”
In an attempt to get to the bottom of the incident, Karen Embry, Kathryn’s mum, contacted Scheels.
“The store manager at the time said he hadn’t heard about the incident, but he could confirm they had a policy that everybody needs to be able to understand and follow the rules,” she explained in an interview with WDAF.
According to the first rule of the Ferris wheel policy, people need to understand and follow the rules concerning the ride. Kathryn, however, was never asked if she knew and understood the rules.
“The thing is, Kathryn has Down syndrome, so you can look at her and see that she has a disability,” Karen added.
“But it says nothing about what her capabilities are. She can read the rules. She can follow the rules.”
As Emily explained, their reason for going public with the incident was not because Kathryn wasn’t allowed on the ride.
“It’s more than just the Ferris wheel. It’s the fact that they looked at her and discriminated against her because of how she looked,” Emily explained.
“We’re about educating — not just the community at large, but business — about how even if it’s unintentional, it’s still illegal and it’s still wrong because it perpetuates stereotypes and it hurts a population, especially who are hitting this young adult stage,” Karen added.
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