Alright – so, if you have a child with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) then you probably heard when Disney changed their policy of following American’s with Disabilities Act (ADA). Disney used to have a guest pass card for individuals with disabilities including ASD. Often many kiddos with ASD can’t tolerate waiting in line or get overwhelmed by the long lines at Disney. The Guest Pass card helped ease some of the anxiety for these kiddos.
Then some heartless vacationers that did not have any disability started abusing this and Disney took a knee-jerk action and eliminated the guest pass card. Shortly after several autism families sued Disney for violating the ADA.
Then back in April (autism month mind you) some judge whose children probably don’t have a disability took Disney’s side and stated they did not violate the ADA. Then last month the Civil Rights Commission finds Disney did discriminate against individuals with disabilities in particular autism.
What does this all mean. From someone who sued an ABA provider agency for discrimination – (Lovaas who I think are racist pigs), it all depends on who the judge is and how they interpret the law which is often based on their views and perspective.
How can one area see discrimination and another does not? It is in the eyes of the beholder. The law is never clear – it is how one interprets. Sadly, too often courts side with big agencies and big corporations.
What does this mean and how do we change it? Well – in my humble opinion, it all comes down to our votes. I know you are thinking, now what now. Think about it. Who the heck appoints those judges. The governor for state judges and the president for federal judges and who the heck votes for governors and presidents. We the people do. Sadly, but not surprisingly, minority communities never use their voting power as a negotiating tool like other communities and women do. Please vote wisely and hold politicians accountable who appoint these judges. Sometimes judges run for elections and no one in our communities ever follows those elections. Being reactive accomplishes nothing, we must be proactive and use our votes to change our lives for the better.
Click here and here for the results of these cases against Disney by ASD families.
Above words do not reflect any agency, candidate or committee.
Idil – Somali Autism Mom & Minority Advocate