Letter: All I wanted was a chair

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On Saturday, March 2, my daughter Macy and I attended the EDC tournament at the Sanford Health Athletic Complex. My daughter has Cerebral Palsy, uses a wheelchair and needs significant support. She also loves to watch her cousin play basketball.

I knew that accessible parking at the SHAC was poor so we made arrangements for a ride. What I didn’t expect was what happened when we arrived. The accessible seating was horrible. My daughter would have been sitting on her own unless I sat on the floor next to her. I asked the SHAC staff for a chair so I could sit next to her and tend to her safety and her needs. To my surprise I was told no, that if they gave me a chair, they would have to get others a chair.

I stated that she needs my assistance and truly didn’t believe anyone would have a problem if I were to have a chair next to her. It’s considered a companion chair. I did inform the staff person that I would be taking this further. So, here it is...

The SHAC is a new facility and I’m saddened at how unacceptable it is for those with disabilities. And, how unsympathetic the staff person was when I asked for help. Also, that when there were 26 seconds left in the game another employee did offer me a seat, 26 seconds - a little late by that time. I only wanted a chair. My daughter and I have attended many high school games, and their gyms are far more accessible than the SHAC.

March is Cerebral Palsy Awareness month. Macy enjoys her community and the community is a better place because she is a part of it. I realize that we need accommodations and try to plan accordingly before we attend events. Sometimes we need a little extra help and consideration. It breaks my heart when we are treated like an inconvenience due to her disability.


Inclusion is going to be our plea and theme in honor of Cerebral Palsy Awareness month. The world will be a better place if we open our hearts and facilities to all of our community members. Even if it means allowing one person in the SHAC to have a chair to sit by her daughter so she can attend to her needs and enjoy a basketball game.

Related Topics: BASKETBALL
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