Little Girl in Wheelchair Denied Access to Museum Because of Dirty Wheels (VIDEO)

It's terrible the amount of crap some parents have to go through when they have a child with disabilities. First we heard about the boy in a wheelchair who was separated from his classroom photo because he couldn't fit in with the rest of the children. At least that seemed like a genuine accident, albeit kind of thoughtless. Though it wasn't even the first time something like that happened! But this latest story is just outrageous to the max. An 11-year-old girl was reportedly not let into a museum -- because her wheelchair would "dirty" the carpets!

Reportedly, the museum staff at The Ships of the Sea Museum in Savannah, Georgia, told the parents of Lexi Haas, who suffers from Kernicterus, a brain condition that has left her with very little motor function, that she couldn't enter with her own wheelchair -- but could use one of theirs.

However, Lexi cannot use just any wheelchair. Hers has body braces and body supports. She could have fallen over in a regular wheelchair. But according to her parents, the staff was insistent that Lexi's wheelchair would dirty their carpets. Lexi's dad pointed out that his shoes were just as dirty as her wheelchair (duh!), but they wouldn't be swayed. The museum offered to show Lexi a video outside instead.

Naturally, they declined.

For those of you who might think that disability laws are unneeded, and that people are generally accommodating, think again. This is a prime example of why they are needed. Lexi's parents aren't looking to sue (miracle!). They say they just want the story out there to show how important it is that disabilities be accommodated. Says Lexi's mom, Susan, about the museum:

They really need to train their staff. They really do. It's a significant error and significant departure in the current thinking on disability access.

The museum has apologized and admitted that staff didn't handle the situation correctly. Ya think?

Carpets can be cleaned. A young girl's memory of being denied access to a public place because she is "dirty" cannot. Carpets are not a good reason to deny access to anyone in a wheelchair. Perhaps if it would be dangerous if she entered, that would be one thing.

Life is hard enough for people with disabilities. There's no doubt that Lexi will face a more difficult life than most of us. There will be times that people aren't so accommodating, and she will have to learn how to accept and handle this.

But that doesn't mean you can't speak up when something is flat out wrong. And her parents did.

Do you think the parents were overreacting?


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Jespren Jespren

While it is true that a wheelchair, due to pressure, treads, and weight, will dirty a carpet more than shoes, this was absolutely unconscionable! Utterly inappropriate.

craft... craftycatVT

If they are so worried about dirt then they shouldn't have carpeting in the first place

IKnow... IKnow0101

Why is there carpet in a public museum?  This is one of the cases where the parents are not overreacting.  Then to add insult they would show her a video outside. Please.

youth... youthfulsoul

Nope. It's a ridiculous excuse not to let her in.

bethg... bethgoedeken

I think that the parents under-reacted actually...

Melis... Melissa1508

This nearly brought me to tears.  That poor little girl.  Having someone tell her she can't come in because of dirty wheels...that's awful.

nonmember avatar Gretta

Wow. What were the museum folks thinking?

Ameylee Ameylee

Since I am a mom that has a son with autism, I can sympothize with this family. All I know is if that had of been me with my son I would have raised so much hell, and wouldve invited the local news stations to see what kind of people run the museum! I wouldnt have sued but I would probably have gotten arrested lol

Karah Durrin

I work with kiddos with special needs and this is so not close to ok! I see it all the time sadly while we are out in the commuity. I think parents did the right thing very classy!

Helena A. Woolley-Killins

This is horrible. The law should be that if you discriminate against anyone for any reason your doors are shut down, Hit them in the pocket! How disgusting that this is going on. How can they be so ignorant?! In any even there are carpet protectors. 

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