Friday, August 1, 2008

McDonald's Sued and American grounds boy with Autism

A Nebraska McDonald's is being sued because it refused to allow a hearing impaired woman order her food at the drive through window, as opposed to using the speaker.

"At least three times since September 2007 workers at a Lincoln McDonald's refused to let her place her order at the drive-thru window, Tumeh said. In denying her service, McDonald's violated the federal Americans With Disabilities Act, she said."

The article notes that she is physically capable of going inside to order her food, but that she "has children who are autisitic, and if they are having difficulties, it would make it problematic for her."

When I initially started the article, I felt that it was some getting overly zealous and suing for very weak reasons. The fact that she has autistic children has no bearing on this case, as it is irrelevant whether she's capable of going in the store or not. The question is whether this is covered under the ADA and whether ordering her food at the window is a reasonable accommodation.

"Raging fit" in the air
In another case, a 2 and a half year old and his mother were thrown off an American airlines flight because the boy with autism "melted down." The mother noted that it was due to the frequent touching by the stewardess checking his seatbelt and that she (the stewardess) kept "coming over and reprimanding him and yelling at him." The child eventually had a tantrum and he and his mother were removed from the plane.

In this situation, it's not a reasonable accommodation to allow him to be unbuckled or throw a tantrum which endangers other passengers, but would have been reasonable for the stewardess to keep hands off the child and address her needs to the mother. Frankly, for any child this would have been reasonable and I can see how this occurred.

Link to video news report and article from ABC news

No comments: