After a five year battle, a lawsuit filed by an autistic man against The Walt Disney Company regarding their disability policy finally has a trial date.
The lawsuit claims that Disney’s 2014 policy change, which introduce the Disability Access Service cards, makes it difficult for guests with severe autism. Rather than allowing guests with disabilities to go to the front of the line, the current policy gives guests with disabilities a return time to experience an attraction, similar to FastPass+.
The lawsuit argues that, for someone with autism who may not understand the concept of time, getting a return time is the same as being asked to wait.
Attorney Anthony Dogali writes in the lawsuit:
The disabled plaintiff is mentally and physically incapable oftraveling across the park to the site of an attraction only to be told to come back later. This experience will induce meltdowns in the large majority of persons with cognitive impairments.
Dogali also argues that the DAS policy treats all guests with disabilities the same, rather than offering different options for different impairments.
In a statement to WESH 2 News, Disney commented:
Disney Parks have an unwavering commitment to providing an inclusive and accessible environment for all our guests. We fully comply with all ADA (Americans with Disabilities Act) requirements and believe that the legal claims are without merit.
The federal lawsuit is set to go to trial on February 18, 2020.
Source: WESH 2 News
Tom is the host and producer of the DIS Unplugged: Disneyland Edition podcast, plus Disneyland Editor of The DIS. He enjoys traveling with his wife and teenage son. At this point, their favorite destination is Alaska, with a FIFTH cruise there planned for the Summer of 2019. In his spare time he volunteers with Boy Scouts and Cub Scouts, and help found his son's former Cub Scout Pack. His favorite Disneyland attraction is Space Mountain.