People who use wheelchairs rarely get a fair deal. If it isn’t pity for their condition or anger at being held up while they get in and out of vehicles, buildings and check-out lines the reaction towards wheelchairs is not always a positive one. Now, news is being reported that a few wealthy mothers in Manhattan decided that their able-bodied kids shouldn’t have to wait in the famously long lines at Disney World. To circumnavigate the crowds these Moms had the unbelievable nerve to actually hire people who use wheelchairs in order to cut to the front.
Disney allows someone in a wheelchair user or motorized scooter to bring along up to six guests to a more convenient entrance that has much less wait time. The story was broken by the New York Post and claims disabled people pretend to be part of the family, so the group that hired them can move to the front of the line for rides and attractions. The costs for this “service” can range from $130 an hour to $1,040 for a full eight-hour day.
When the news got out, there was obvious outrage at the moms who arranged the scam, but eyebrows were also raised about the wheelchair users who participated. As the cliché goes, it takes two to tango and this story would never have materialized if the disabled people who were made this offer balked. Now Disney is under scrutiny to crackdown on this line-cutting practice and be more diligent in figuring out if a healthy family of five for some reason has a wheelchair bound person who looks nothing like his or her “brothers” and “sisters”. It appears both the moms and the wheelchair users should share the blame for this PR nightmare. But even though the disabled people were paid, it doesn’t excuse the Mother’s blatant exploitation of people with disabilities.
Do you view this as entrepreneurship on the part of the wheelchair users or were they taken advantage of by wealthy mothers who were both engaged in “cheating” others waiting in line? Let us know what you think.