Boy With Prosthetic Legs Refused Access To Trampolines

A ten year-old boy with prosthetic legs who was refused access to trampolines at We Are Vertigo has settled his disability discrimination case for £2,500.

Zack Gordon was just seven years-old when he visited the popular activity centre and was refused access to the trampolines, separating him from his friends during the day trip with Killyleagh Summer programme.

The aggrieved youngster has prosthetic legs made of plastic and fibre-glass with rubber feet. When attending We Are Vertigo in 2017, he watched the safety video and was given socks and a wristband before being told he couldn't participate. While staff at the centre offered him other things to do, Zack was upset by the matter and by being separated from others on the trip.

His father Patrick Gordon explained: "Zack was then told he couldn't use the trampolines. He was upset and sad and when he got home he stayed in his room. His mother and I were angry and hurt."

The youngster was supported by the Equality Commission in his disability discrimination case.

Anne McKernan, Director of Legal Services at the Equality Commission for Northern Ireland said service providers have a proactive duty to ensure those with a disability can access their services under the Disability Discrimination Act.

Ms McKernan commented: "Play is a vital part of growing up for all children and parents of disabled children will be keenly aware of the importance of focusing on what their children can do, rather than on what they cannot. Service providers should anticipate that those with a disability, both adults and children, will want to access their services and they should give thought in advance to what reasonable adjustments will help to ensure that their services are available to all."

In settling the case, We are Vertigo affirmed its commitment to the principle of equality of opportunity and agreed to liaise with the Equality Commission in respect of access to its services for disabled customers and to make contact with the Commission within 12 weeks of the date of the settlement. It also agreed to implement any reasonable recommendations made by the Commission.


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