Chester Zoo to make their Island Boat Ride accessible to all!

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MY MISSION; to have CHESTER ZOO change their rules on the islands boat ride to include young children with disabilities...so everyone can enjoy the ride!

When visiting Chester Zoo in March with my then 20 month old son I was told he was unable to ride on the Islands boat ride due to him not being able to walk. My son has Cri du Chat syndrome and so has delays in mobility. 

I asked if I could carry him on and off the boat and have him on my knee and was told no.

They said no children can be carried on and off, all must get on themselves and sit on the benches not on parents laps. I know several people who have lifted their “walking” children on and off and had them on their laps. 

If our son was old enough to need a wheelchair he apparently would have been allowed on as they have a wheelchair clamp. So it seems only disabled small children fall through the gap in the rules which is extremely unfair. The boat is slow moving and on tracks. In the event of an emergency any parent would pick their child up to carry them off anyway.

I raised this point with Chester zoo who promised to bring it up at a meeting and try and make sure all kids can be included and nobody is left out. Friends have been this week with kids and still being asked if they can walk. And they were allowed to lift their kids on and off and have them on their laps despite me being told they don’t allow that.

Being told your child can’t do something that their peers can do because they can’t walk is crushing, and it’s not like it’s a dangerous ride. So it’s my mission to get the rules changed!



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