Thursday, June 26, 2008

British teens protest inaccessible theatre

From the The Star in South Yorkshire, UK:

Pupils at a Sheffield special school are calling for changes at the city's theatres after they were told they were unable to go to a show at the Lyceum together because of their disabilities.

The class of 12 teenagers from Norton's Oakes Park School wanted to see the production Horrible Histories next month.

But nine of the 12 use wheelchairs, and the school was told there were only six available spaces for wheelchair users, and four of those had already been allocated.

Rather than allow some children to attend and some stay back in class, the school cancelled the plans.

The pupils are now calling for lessons to be learned, writing personally to the theatres' manager.

Head teacher Pat Johnson said with the Crucible currently being refurbished, it was a golden opportunity to improve facilities there for both disabled children and adults.

"Plainly there are specific problems at the Lyceum but the issue here was that a class with a majority of wheelchair users was unable to attend this performance as a group," she said.