This week, I looked high and low to find insightful, interesting and inspirational stories for your viewing pleasure.
1. Today, February 17th, athletes with disabilities are getting ready to battle on the court this weekend. 12 Special Olympics basketball players from different countries will band together in Houston for a “special unified exhibition” game as part of the NBA’s All-Star weekend. They will be forming two competing teams that will have players from both the WNBA and NBA legends Dikembe Mutombo, Chris Mullin, Detlef Schrempf and Ron Harper. The players will be divided into two teams, with one representing the “East” and the other, the “West”. The game is part of a larger effort by Special Olympics to form teams and sport leagues across the world that combines people with intellectual disabilities and “typically developing” individuals who then compete alongside each other. This is the second year that the NBA has included the unified basketball game as part of the weekend that is full of events. Found on the Disability Scoop homepage.
2. Ever wonder how a bill becomes a law? I’m a freshman in college and yet, sometimes even I forget the stages. Luckily, there was a little show called Schoolhouse Rock that educated us on the steps. Watch the video here, and don’t worry: this will be our little secret. Found on the Center for Leadership in Disability Facebook page and on YouTube.
3. Clint Bench is suing Six Flags after he was kicked off of the Aquaman Splashdown ride because he was born without hands. Although Bench has been to Six Flags lots of times and even rode this particular ride dozens of times, in May, he was told that he wouldn’t be able to ride the Aquaman Splashdown because he didn’t have any hands. After trying to get someone at Six Flags to apologize to him, he sued Six Flags for violating the Americans with Disabilities Act. “One of the things that is the most upsetting to us is that for the first time in his life, especially in his experiences at Six Flags, they call him out in front of his kids,” says his attorney, Levi McCathern. Found on the CBS DFW homepage.
4. A family from Scotland is suing a holiday park picnic area for disability discrimination after they were turned away because they were not allowed to eat where they wanted to. Paul Edwards, his wife Belinda and their two daughters were hoping to buy a meal from a site restaurant and eat it out in the open on some picnic benches near the restaurant. Due to company policies, Flamingo Land said that it was against their regulations and the park staff refused to let them eat where they originally wanted. The family’s reason why they wanted to eat out in the open? Mr. Edwards is registered as blind; their daughter, Isla, has cystic fibrosis and their other daughter, Melissa has Down’s syndrome and autism. The Edwards family thought that “Melissa’s disabilities make her prone to lash out and enclosed spaces can be very stressful for her,” writes Ellen Thomas, in an article for the Herald Scotland. While claims by Mr. Edwards and their daughter Isla, their other daughter Melissa won a £4000($6208.40 US Dollars) damages payout. However, it was overturned by another judge, before heading to the Court of Appeal. Found on the Herald Scotland homepage.