Amusement-Abled: A look into amusement parks and disablilty

Category:  Opinions
Wednesday, February 6th, 2019 at 11:07 PM

I remember doing all kinds of things on my time off as an able-bodied person. I’d go miniature golfing; I’d go to an amusement park; or, I’d just lay in the grass and enjoy the sun. After my accident, that list dramatically dropped. 

One of my friends posted a video on Facebook pertaining to this. The video showed an amusement park that was disabled friendly. The water park had many rides that were safe and fun for everyone. I thought to myself: “This is amazing. Congrats to these owners.” 

My friend had a different approach. She commented on the video with disgust, equating this to a zoo. She believed this was an embarrassment and, in effect, was showing us off like animals. She went further, saying that all amusement parks should be handicap friendly.

Should all amusement parks be made handicap friendly? The “equal opportunist” in me would say yes. Everybody should be able to enjoy fun. People might possibly learn about and understand disability much more with these crossover opportunities. Chair-bound kids will no longer be afraid or shy in public because of something they cannot change.

Since I was able bodied at one point, I saw the other argument. Sometimes things are more fun without the disability friendly atmosphere. It seems evil to think that way, but I understand my limitations. As much as I want to ride something that goes from 1-120 miles per hour in six seconds, right now I cannot.

Since I cannot ride them, should they be taken out of parks to make them disabled friendly? This is another reason disabled individuals like myself should bite the bullet. I myself would not want to impede on someone else’s fun just so I can be there. Those rides used to be fun for me. I would want later generations to enjoy that fun like I did.

I do believe we should have disability friendly parks. The U.S. alone has over 48.9 million disabled individuals. Five million of those are children. Meanwhile, 15 percent of the world is disabled in some way. With these many customers, it would be easy to entertain this demographic. And not only amusement parks, but what about chair abled beaches and miniature golf?

Someday, this might be seen as discrimination and segregation. Just like in the days of white schools and black schools, but now it will be able-bodied and disabled.

Let me know how you feel. Should all amusement parks be disability friendly? Should certain rides be taken down to meet these needs? Do you believe disabled individuals are being discriminated because of amusement parks not being compatible? Do you believe a disability friendly amusement park is like a zoo? 

If you think there should be more disability friendly parks established without changing current amusement parks, how would you go about making this happen without making it a segregation issue? 

Beau Bruneau | voices.spectator@gmail.com

Tags: voices

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