A Wheeling, IL Bowling Alley Reportedly Says Wheelchairs Don’t Belong.
Recently, a special education teacher posted a review on JJ’s List.com about Pinheads Jeffery Lanes in Wheeling, IL, saying that the manager denied her a reservation for her school group because the wheels of a wheelchair user in her group could leave marks on the lanes. Read the full review here.
The manager’s response sounded like discrimination to us, so we reached out to Rachel Weisberg, an Attorney at Equip for Equality, an organization that works to protect the rights of individuals with disabilities. “The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) is clear that individuals who use wheelchairs and other sorts of assistive devices are able to go all places where people without disabilities are allowed to go,” said Weisberg. “This would apply to bowling alleys as well. Unlike people without disabilities, wheelchair users cannot just quickly swap their wheelchair wheels, so a business cannot require that they have a certain specification.”
We at JJ’s List believe that it is important for everyone to be included, whether or not they have a disability. The ADA requires all businesses that are open to the public to provide accommodations for people with disabilities. Because bowling alleys are public places, they are no exception. By refusing to allow wheelchair users access to bowl, we think Pinheads Jeffery Lanes was violating the Americans with Disabilities Act. What should the manager have done? First, he should have welcomed the wheelchair user to the business just like they would any customer. He could also have asked the wheelchair user if he or she needed any help or accommodations to enjoy bowling at Pinheads.
Or, how about adding wheelchair covers like these to your inventory of bowling shoes and other bowling equipment in order to protect the floors? Wheelchair users, do you think this is a good solution?
Does your business want to avoid being caught disability unaware? Check out our Disability Awareness Trainings.
If you would like to be more involved with encouraging businesses and organizations to be disability aware, post your review of a business or organization on JJ’s List.com today.
Do you have any other suggestions? Leave a comment below!