04252014Headline:

Orlando, Florida

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Jason Herrera
Jason Herrera
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Girl with No Hands Not Allowed to Ride

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A 17-year-old girl with no hands was not allowed to ride roller coasters at two Orlando theme parks recently, bringing up the question: should she have been allowed to?

Safety guidelines are there for a reason and last year at an amusement park in New York, a 29-year-old man with no legs was ejected out of a roller coaster, which had people asking, "why was he let on?" The park, Darien Lake, was issued two violations for failing to properly train ride operators on the safety and operation restrictions of the Ride of Steel roller coaster and for the operators being unfamiliar with the safety requirements.

It appears there is no consistency within the amusement park industry when it comes to dealing with guests with disabilities. Some ride operators enforce the safety rules while some bend the rules.

Ride operators I have spoken with said it is one aspect of the job they dislike. You have someone that doesn't meet the safety requirements, so you have to politely ask them to get off the ride; it’s not a good feeling, they say. Most riders understand and are cooperative, but there are a few who are tough to deal with. Not only is this situation uncomfortable for the rider, but it’s just as uncomfortable for us, they say.