09:15AM, Friday 04 October 2019
A mum has expressed her anger after her five-year-old son, who is in a wheelchair, was asked by Legoland staff to prove he could walk before he was allowed on a ride.
Sebby Brett has an undiagnosed gross motor delay which means he has difficulty walking.
He and his family, from Gloucestershire, visited Legoland Windsor, in Winkfield Road, on Saturday.
When they approached the Lego Ninjago ride, staff told them Sebby needed to be able to walk to go on, in case it needed to be evacuated. He was then asked to take a few steps.
“I informed Legoland that Sebby was disabled at the time of booking,” said Sebby’s mother Joanna. “At no point was it mentioned that he would have to take this disability test.
“We were really surprised as it’s a sit-down ride.
“We said he could walk holding both of my hands, but we were told it had to be holding only one hand.
“He’s been working so hard to build his strength but currently walking without some sort of aid is impossible for Sebby so we really weren’t sure if he’d manage it with just one hand.
“But clearly the determination to get on the ride, as he absolutely loves Ninjago, meant he managed it.”
Joanna said that, as Sebby sat on the ride, he was approached by another member of staff, who said he needed to take the steps again.
“Both times he was made to do this in front of everyone else in the queue and it was obvious the ride was delayed due to us.
“In the lift on the way back down, he said: ‘Mummy, why would they make a disabled person walk? I didn’t want to as it was hard and it made me sad’.”
“This was heartbreaking to hear,” said Joanna.
She is now calling on Legoland to review its health and safety policy to make most rides inclusive for disabled people and end its ‘policy of humiliation’ to ensure that any tests, if necessary, are conducted in private.
A spokesperson at Legoland said: “We were very sorry to hear of Mrs Brett and her family’s experience at the Legoland Windsor Resort on the weekend.
“On this occasion the family were asked to fulfil the necessary ride accessibility checks twice and we apologise for any distress this caused the family.
“Our team are trained to adhere to these strict guidelines, in order to ensure the safety of all of our guests. We are always working to make the resort more accessible and constantly review our processes to ensure families have the best possible experience when they visit, and all guest feedback informs that process.”
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