Monday the kids went with Chris (their father for those trying to keep up) to a local museum. He was told at the desk that she couldn't bring her cane into the museum. He told the woman at the desk that Abby was blind and was told "We have had issues with kids in the past". Chris was shocked but honestly didn't know Abby using her cane is protected by the American with Disabilities Act. (also the state has a White Cane Law) He also didn't want to make a scene. The kids were excited so he paid the admission and passed over the cane to person beyond the desk.
|Its a white cane not a switch blade. (alt text: Abby holding her cane, smiling with a water fountain in teh background)|
First. Perhaps she didn't hear when Chris said Abby was blind. Lets decide for just this argument she didn't hear him. The issue is regardless what did she think it was? Who are these kids she spoke of? I envision an ninja army of blind children with white canes trashing the museum.
We have already gotten an apology and I belive it was genuine but I am very concerned it may happen again. No one should ever have to through what happened to my family.
The issue is that it happened and that can never be changed. The experience is now part of our family's story.
It happened to Abby when she was told her independence and safety is not important. That she thought it was legal for someone to be 'mean' to her because she has a disability. She had to depend on her father for mobility and felt very unsafe on the stairs. It happened to Sam (Abby's brother ) It was suppose to be a something special for Sam. It was his pick to go there. Instead his sister had to be attached to Dad and it didn't seem so special anymore. Sam also complained of nausea only few minutes after they entered which resulted in me picking him up. He was 100% better 15 minutes later. I suspect Sam had anxiety over the cane issue and losing his special day.
|Canes are cool ! All the cool kids use them. (alt text: Abby with her long white cane wearing sun glasses with a purple shirt that says "star bright starlight" and a pink puffy skirt.)|
Its very important that all parents and caregivers understand about their children's rights. I personally feel I failed my family without educating them enough on this issue. I am educated I know Abby's rights in this area. I would have pushed the issue. When I found out I acted right away. Its a balance to when is the right time to to complain and push an issue or keep quiet and stew. This was a time to act. I bet some of you are thinking Chris could have pushed the issue more and that he should have known. If you know Chris you will understand he didn't know. He knew it was rude. He felt it wasn't right. He trusted that the museum can tell his daughter she can't bring her cane in. Its a public place they should know the law. He is right. They should.
This isn't a common issue, it happens more often sadly with guide dogs not canes.. I now know it does happen.