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Lawsuit Accuses Disney of Violating Disabilities Act

August 11, 2000|From Bloomberg News

Walt Disney Co. was accused in lawsuits of failing to make its theme parks and its cruise ships accessible to disabled consumers as required by federal law.

A disabled advocacy group contends Disney is violating the Americans With Disabilities Act by failing to add wheelchair-accessible ramps, doorways and toilets to its Disney World complex and two ships.

The suits, which seek class-action status, target Orlando, Fla.-based Walt Disney World, associated hotel resorts, Disney/MGM Studios theme park and cruise liners Disney Magic and Disney Wonder. Passed in 1990, the federal law bans discrimination against the disabled and requires businesses to make their facilities more accessible.

"We aren't seeking monetary damages in the suit," said Lance Richard, a Stuart, Fla., attorney representing a wheelchair-bound Disney visitor. "We've identified problems that we want to see fixed. Once they are fixed, we'll go away."

Disney officials weren't immediately available for comment on the suits, filed last month in federal court in Orlando.

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