Alton Towers allegedly tells woman with one leg to get doctor's letter to prove disability

Posted Friday, August 5, 2011 1:52 PM | Contributed by Jeff

A woman was told by Britain's biggest theme park she needed a letter from a doctor to prove her disability - despite having only one leg. Rosie Belhamza, who wears a prosthetic limb from the knee down, was trying to get special access to rides at Alton Towers. In previous years the admin officer had simply needed her Disability Living Allowance letter.

Read more from The Daily Mail.

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Friday, August 5, 2011 1:54 PM

I'm not sure this story has all of the context. It seems plausible that if the woman is generally mobile and able to walk, that perhaps the park felt she didn't need the special access. Not that the park would every publicly indicate that.

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Friday, August 5, 2011 2:57 PM

Keep her off Wicked Twister.

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Friday, August 5, 2011 3:34 PM

Jeff said:
I'm not sure this story has all of the context. It seems plausible that if the woman is generally mobile and able to walk, that perhaps the park felt she didn't need the special access. Not that the park would every publicly indicate that.

I agree. The article doesn't say if she walks or uses a wheelchair or scooter. But if she's able to negotiate her way around the power under her own power, it doesn't seem right to claim that she needs special access because she can't wait in line because of her disability.

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Saturday, August 6, 2011 9:48 AM

What if she can't climb stairs, though? She'd need special access then depending on the ride. And she IS clearly missing a leg.

Certainly I can see the park wanting a letter in the case of, say, someone with fatigue issues who can walk but not very far. This one is a bit more visible, and she even HAD a Disability letter, just not one from a doctor.

There does seem to be more to the story than this, but I can see thinking the park's stance is a bit overboard.

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Sunday, August 7, 2011 10:13 AM

I've gotten to the point where I don't take any news story about Alton Towers seriously. Is that too harsh?

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Sunday, August 7, 2011 1:10 PM

I'm beginning to agree with you Carie. Adult only hotel rooms... Clown protests... Ban on high heeled shoes...

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Sunday, August 7, 2011 3:09 PM

^^Depends on your level of breath freshness :)

Yeah, seems anything goes for Alton.

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Monday, August 8, 2011 4:38 AM

GregLeg said:
What if she can't climb stairs, though?

Or stand for long periods of time?

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Monday, August 8, 2011 1:12 PM

^ That's the kind of thing that bothers me about cases like this. People can do all the "fun" stuff in spite of their disabilities, but can't tolerate the drudgery of waiting in line of climbing stairs. Again, I don't know if this is the case for this woman or not, but just replying to your what ifs.

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Monday, August 8, 2011 2:21 PM

That's not really fair. My wife, for example, could ride any number of roller coasters or non-spinny rides, despite her disability. But walking, and especially standing, quickly brings on intense and prolonged pain. And she has both her legs.

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Monday, August 8, 2011 3:45 PM

When I have to stand in long lines, it brings on intense and prolonged annoyance.

That's why I use Fast Lane. (or Q-bot or FastPass or Quick Queue, etc)

...

Looking for a sponsorship deal. :)

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Monday, August 8, 2011 4:07 PM

Gonch, the presence of oxygen causes you prolonged annoyance.

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Monday, August 8, 2011 4:27 PM

Oh, don't get me started on that damn oxygen!

:)

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Monday, August 8, 2011 4:29 PM

Gonch, you are an intense and prolonged annoyance. With or without oxygen. ;)

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Monday, August 8, 2011 5:53 PM

Ensign Smith said:
Gonch, you are an intense and prolonged annoyance. With or without oxygen. ;)

I vote without.

you mean this is not a poll ?

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Monday, August 8, 2011 6:23 PM

It'll take a lot more than lack of oxygen to get rid of me.

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Tuesday, August 9, 2011 12:08 AM

Ensign Smith said:
That's not really fair. My wife, for example, could ride any number of roller coasters or non-spinny rides, despite her disability. But walking, and especially standing, quickly brings on intense and prolonged pain. And she has both her legs.

And my wife can't walk at all. "Drudgery" of climbing stairs? Count your damn blessings. (Not directed at you, Smith :) )

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Tuesday, August 9, 2011 1:04 AM

My Mom has metal rods in her spine, and can't stand for a long time. She also has a weak heart, and breaks out in sweats if she overexerts herself. She loves Dollywood, and when I take her, she either gets pushed in her wheelchair, or she rents a scooter. We've only been a few times, but they never asked her to prove her disability to go on any of the attractions, and her disability can not be easily seen like this lady and her missing leg are.

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Tuesday, August 9, 2011 2:41 PM

Greg, you were the one who brought stair climbing into the discussion. The article says nothing about he ability or lack thereof to climb stairs or stand for any length of time. And I don't need you to tell me about my blessings. I'm well aware of them, thank you.

This story isn't about wheelchairs or scooters. The story is about a woman who's wearing a prosthetic leg. There is nothing in the story that says she needs additional assistance to walk or stand or navigate. She's not hopping around on one leg. She apparently doesn't need mechanical or human assistance to approach the ride platforms.

There are plenty of people with prostheses who engage in strenuous activities like running distance races and playing other sports. I don't believe it's out of line to assume that with the adaptive device, she can engage in all the activities a person with all their limbs can. Isn't that the point of having them? Otherwise she would be in a wheelchair.

The park isn't saying they don't believe she has a disability. They are saying they don't believe her condition disables her to the point where she needs special access.

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