A young boy with spinal muscular atrophy was asked to leave a Chicago park after a security guard raised concerns that his wheelchair posed a danger to other children.
Jordan Block, 10, was visiting Crown Fountain at Millennium Park after a doctor’s appointment when the guard approached his mother and ordered them to leave.
Jordan Block’s mother, Megan Block told CBS 2 that he’d had his wheelchair since he was 2 years old and that the guard said that if other children ran into Jordan, that could create problems for them.
Megan Block said she and Jordan often take trips to the fountain from their home in Warrenville and have never had a problem before.
Recounting the event, Jordan said he was shocked by the guard’s remarks, adding that he’d been there before and have been able to do it.
Jordan said that because of his wheelchair limitations, visiting the park is one of the few activities he thoroughly enjoys, especially on a warm summer day. He said, there’s not much else he can do, and that was something he could do and that was fun for him.
Jordan’s mother said that the incident created a different problem and provided her son with a lesson she wanted him to understand, and she said that this was unacceptable because he was able to do this, it was perfect for him, but now they were being told No!
Jordan’s mother further displayed her disappointment in a July 6 Facebook post, writing that her son was unable to cool down on a 90-degree day because driving a wheelchair wasn’t permitted, and she said: ‘How about not EXCLUDING DISABLED CHILDREN FROM THINGS, watching your own kids and making sure they don’t run into my child who knows how to drive his chair,’ Block wrote. ‘Thank you Chicago for making my son cry today.’
Jordan said he felt excluded and decided to go into the fountain regardless. He said he wasn’t hurt and neither was anyone else.
According to Millennial Park’s website, the fountain is wheelchair friendly and designed without edges or deep water areas so that individuals in wheelchairs can easily access the fountain area and participate with full inclusion.
The website also states there are no restrictions for where wheelchairs are allowed inside the park.
This is so wrong, and wrong that this guard had to disparage this lad, but it appears that some people have lost the capacity to think, let alone have some sort of empathy, and it seems that critical thinking and common sense are in short supply these days.
But this guard is obviously an unschooled untrained rental cop and he should move along to another job because clearly, this one wasn’t his calling, and this guard was guilty of discrimination and violating the Americans With Disabilities Act, not to mention his total lack of decency and compassion.
And I’m not one for cancelling people out, but you just don’t do that to a child. Life is challenging enough, and this particular guard should be dismissed, and the park should give an apology and also be throwing a party for the children, and children with disabilities.
This was awful, and we should never forget, that a wheelchair is open to all, and any person might join it one day.