On July 5th, the parents of a five-year old child with autism reported that they were asked to leave a Smitty’s restaurant in Edmonton, Alberta because their daughter was disturbing the other customers. According to her mother, when they tried to explain that her behaviour was part of the child’s disability and that she would calm down quickly, the restaurant manager said in that case the family should not take their child out in public. But that is only one of many stories….
On July 4th, CanWest News reported that Westjet would not allow a 15-year-old with quadriplegia to fly home from Ottawa to Regina because they considered the harness that was used to secure her in her seat to be unsafe, after they had flown her to Ottawa a week earlier using the same harness.
On July 1st, American news reported on the courts upholding a restraining order barring a 13-year-old boy with autism from attending Church of St. Joseph because he was creating a disturbance and that was driving out some of the regulars. There is a long history of young men causing disturbances in Church and driving out some of the regulars. No doubt a restraining order would have proven useful, way back then.
Yesterday, British media reported that 3 teenagers with intellectual disabilities, epilepsy, and cerebral palsy who were asked to leave a beauty salon because they were scaring off other customers settled out of court for 4500 Pounds.
SO, here is the thing, simply put. Why don’t we all just try to get along. Reasonable accommodation is, after all reasonable. People on all sides have a responsibility to try to find a way to make things work. When people make reasonable efforts, we should support them and when it is reasonable meet them part way. When people insist on being complete jerks, we need to confront them. All that any one asks is a little common sense and common decency.
I don’t think that is asking too much.