Alton Towers has apologised for the way in which theme park workers handled a disabled passenger who was twice prevented from happening rides as a result of she will’t stroll.
Wheelchair consumer Hannah Cheetham – a self-confessed ‘adrenalin junkie’ from Larger Manchester – was left distraught.
After a web based petition calling for employees to be given incapacity consciousness coaching collected greater than 47,000 signatures, theme park bosses made a public apology and mentioned it had taken steps to enhance communication with disabled prospects.
Hannah, who has cerebral palsy, visited the theme park final week as a birthday deal with for her sister Becky and Becky’s associate Lucy.
But it surely wasn’t till they lifted Hannah right into a seat on the favored Rita journey that they had been advised she must get off as she couldn’t stroll unaided.
(Picture: Picture by Christopher Furlong/Getty Pictures)
In an emotional put up on social media, Becky Cheetham mentioned it had ‘ruined their day’ they usually had been lowered to tears by the insensitive angle of workers.
Hannah was advised she was solely allowed on youngsters’s rides regardless of being in her 30s.
Now Alton Towers has invited the household to return to see the enhancements it’s making.
Katie McBirnie, head of product excellence, mentioned: “We’re deeply sorry for this incident, which falls nicely under the excessive expectations now we have for our staff.
“At Alton Towers Resort, we delight ourselves on being an inclusive resort and we actually worth the suggestions that Hannah and Becky have given us. We now have actually listened and we need to do higher.”
The petition on the change.org web site referred to as for employees to be given incapacity consciousness coaching. In only one week, it has attracted 47,846 signatures.
Ms McBirnie confirmed further coaching is now in place that ‘focuses on communications round journey restrictions to company with disabilities’.
She added: “We’re delighted that Hannah and Becky have accepted our supply to come back again to debate the modifications now we have made and can proceed to make.”
The Staffordshire theme park mentioned its high precedence was customer security and a few rides had restrictions set by producers.
However in her Fb put up, Becky mentioned her sister had been in a position to make use of all of the rides on earlier visits with none points.
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Through the journey on September 28, they obtained a incapacity entry band after which headed for the Smiler.
However Becky noticed an indication by the rollercoaster, saying customers should be capable of stroll 25 metres unaided. She talked about it to a member of workers.
Becky mentioned: “The woman then turned to her co-worker and shouted throughout, ‘She will be able to’t stroll’, and shut the door behind us.
“My points with this case is Hannah is a human. Please communicate to her straight. Don’t embarrass her by shouting out her insecurities throughout the journey for a crowd of individuals to listen to.
“We handed three a lot of staff, and never one in every of them thought to elucidate the principles of the journey earlier than we bought up there and needed to flip round.”
Then they headed to Rita, the place Becky lifted Hannah right into a seat and staff strapped her in.
As thrill-seekers had been prepared to start out, a member of workers requested if Hannah may stroll unaided in case the journey broke down. She was advised to get off in entrance of everybody else.
They had been later supplied a refund after spending £40 per ticket.
“I’ve by no means skilled such a horrendous stage of customer support,” mentioned Becky.
She highlighted how another theme parks permit individuals with disabilities to journey if they’ve somebody helping them.
“Wheelchair customers need the identical experiences as everybody else,” she mentioned.