18-year-old with Down syndrome stopped from riding a Ferris wheel

Kathryn Embry was enjoying a class trip with her friends at a sports center in Kansas when a group of them decided they wanted to ride the Ferris wheel.

Her fellow classmates were allowed on but 18-year-old Kathryn was stopped from entering the ride – allegedly because of her disabilities, according to the Daily Mail.

Staff claimed the reason was because all those that enjoyed the ride needed to understand the rules, but nobody asked Kathryn if she understood the rules.

Kathryn was visiting Scheels All Sports in Overland Park, Kansas, with her Blue Valley North classmates when the incident happened.

The company is one of the largest sporting goods stores in the U.S.  and has been around for 115 years. According to its website the stores include “attractions such as aquariums, arcade games, and our famous Ferris wheel.”

Kathryn was with one of her peers when she tried to get on the ride.

“I tried to go on the Ferris wheel with my buddy, but they said I can’t because I have disabilities,” Kathryn told Fox4KC news station.

Keeps a soccer team ‘in line’

Kathryn has no trouble managing a soccer team at her school and her fellow team mate Emily Kramer told the news station just how amazing her long-time friend is.

“She’s our manager, and she keeps the team in line,” she said.

Her friend Morgan McRuder said the incident made her so mad.

‘She can do anything we can do’

“It made me really upset because I know that Kathryn is an amazing girl,” Morgan told Fox4KC News.

“Just because someone might look different than someone else you shouldn’t assume their capabilities. Kathryn can do anything we can do,” she added.

No one asked her if Kathryn understood the rules

According to students Kathryn’s class is made up of kids with special learning needs and peer students who work with them. They said they usually ride the Ferris wheel in pairs.

Kathryn’s mom Karen contacted the store that evening and said the manager wasn’t aware of the incident “but he could confirm they had a policy that everybody needs to be able to understand and follow the rules.”

The issue is that nobody asked Kathryn if she understood the rules.

“The thing is, Kathryn has Down Syndrome, so you can look at her and see that she has a disability,” Karen said. “But it says nothing about what her capabilities are. She can read the rules. She can follow the rules,” Karen said.

Morgan McRuder. Photo: YouTube

No response

Emily said they had no intention of harming a business that had been so generous in their community, but they wanted to educate people and raise awareness.

Karen said they’d appreciate an apology and a change of policy.

Scheels has yet to respond, according to Fox News.

Kathryn’s school district issued a statement saying: “We are proud that Blue Valley employees have the best interests of our students at heart. We appreciate the efforts of our community partners to keep our kids safe through equitable practices.”

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