I recently went to a theme park with my family, a pastime I really enjoy and have done many times. Wheelchair access is normally very good and being a dare devil, I go on most of the rides.
The theme parks have a good system in place for disabled guests, issuing a pass which can be used to access rides via a disabled access – thus avoiding queues but the ride operators give a time that you must wait before using the pass again.
However, for the first time, I was asked for “proof” of my disability before receiving the pass – either by producing a Disability Living Allowance letter or my blue badge. Funnily enough, I don’t tend to carry either document around with me, particularly in a theme park! These are private documents which I am not willing to share, especially when it is clear to anyone with some common sense that I am genuinely disabled.
Whilst I do appreciate that the system is open to abuse, I feel sometimes that basic common sense is lacking and following the rules to the letter can sometimes do more harm than good. Being asked to “prove” my disability on what should be a fun day out, is a little irritating and disrespectful.
A lot of disability awareness comes down to simply applying common sense and good manners; make sure your staff have both!