An 8-year-old girl named Averie Mitchell lives in Oklahoma and is very much like other girls her age. She’s on a competitive gymnastics team, she does cartwheels on the balance beam, and she has fabulous pink hair. The only difference between Averie and other girls is that Averie was born with a condition that meant her right leg had to be amputated below the knee.
She obviously doesn’t let it get her down, usually, but an incident on Saturday at Frontier City’s Wild West Water Works sure did. Averie was with her parents at the park and were all ready to go down a water slide. That’s when an attendant stepped in front of the girl and barred her from going down the slide. Averie’s mother reported to KFOR that the attendant told Averie ‘you can’t go down.’
The Oklahoma City water park says their main concern was damage to the slides, such as scratches. Noted Averie’s father, John Mitchell:
“I think they absolutely discriminated against her, given the reason that it could scratch their slide. People wear bracelets, watches, rings.”
And Averie? She cried all the way down the steps from the water slide, thinking she had done something wrong.
Couldn’t some reasonable accommodation been made? A knee sock to cover the metal parts?
Before today, the park had no official policy posted about prosthetic limbs, but they were quick to add one to their website. The site now has the following disclaimer:
Safety is designed into all areas of Frontier City. While most of our rides are accessible to those with disabilities, it should be noted that, in the interest of personal safety, some Guests may not be permitted to board certain rides. Ride access criteria is based on any Guest’s ability to:
- Utilize all safety devices and restraints
- Meet height requirements
- Maintain proper riding posture throughout the course of the ride
- Safely evacuate the ride if needed
If you’d like to contact Frontier City’s Wild West Water Works water park, owned by Premier Parks, LLC, to let them know what you think about this policy, please visit this link for the contact form. But, please be polite. We have more class than they obviously do.
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