An encounter between a father and a Disney World employee last week has gone viral after the “Happiest Place On Earth” denied the man’s 7-year-old autistic daughter entry to the park because she medically cannot wear a face mask.
The father, Richard Ross of Pennsylvania, spent two years planning a vacation to Walt Disney World’s Magic Kingdom in Florida.
The family went home halfway through their pre-paid 8-day trip after their daughter was discriminated against for her diagnosed sensory processing disorder.
Since the park is located in Orange County, Florida, the family thought the girl would be exempt from wearing a mask as stated by the county’s medical exemptions.
However, when the family arrived, a park worker wouldn’t allow them to enter and admitted the Magic Kingdom was refusing to follow the Americans with Disabilities Act laws.
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“Can my daughter, who is autistic with sensory issues, enter your park without a mask because she medically can’t wear a mask?” Ross asked the worker in the footage.
“Sir, I apologize, I know you’re frustrated,” the worker responded. “At this time…at this time we ask that anyone entering our park …”
Ross interrupted the employee, asking, “Yes or no? I’m asking if you are refusing to follow the Americans with Disabilities Act laws?”
“Hey, we’re not talking about any of that right now, we’re talking about our [inaudible] to come into the park,” the worker replied before finally admitting, “If she comes into the park without a mask, we would refuse her entry, regardless.”
“Thank you!” Ross shouted after the worker admitted the park was not going to follow the Americans With Disabilities Act.
Speaking with The Blaze, Ross said, “It’s a disgrace. For someone with sensory processing disorder, [wearing a mask] is literally torture to them. Their brain cannot process the signals it’s receiving — her heart starts pounding, she can’t breathe.”
In another video posted online, Ross fought back tears as he explained, “Listening to somebody tell you it’s okay to discriminate against your handicapped child, do you know how hard that is? Do you know how hard it is to hear someone say, ‘Well, it’s okay for us to tell your kid [that] because they’re different, that they can’t do it.”
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