- The Washington Times - Friday, July 12, 2013

A Georgia museum is catching flack for prohibiting a wheelchair-bound girl, 11, from entering because her wheels would dirty the carpets.

Moreover, this is not the first time The Ships of the Sea Museum in Savannah, Ga., cited that reason to keep out a patron.

BuzzFeed reported that the father of the girl, Lexi Haas — who has the neurological disorder, Kernicterus — has taken to his daughter’s Facebook page to voice his outrage.

Ken Haas wrote in one post: “Do you think that a person in a wheelchair should not be allowed in a museum because they would get the carpet dirty?”

In another, he wrote: “Apparently the Ships and Sea Museum in Savannah Georgia has a policy that wheelchairs from the outside are not allowed on the carpet but shoes are allowed.”

And one more: “They offered to have Lexi sit outside and watch a video on a tiny TV while the rest of us walked through the exhibits.”

Meanwhile, the museum on its website promises that it can accommodate those with disabilities or in wheelchairs.

“With prior notice, the Museum will make a document available to a guest with a disability to provide an introduction to the collection, house and garden; set up a video presentation on the collection in the pavilion or classroom; introduce display items in the classroom; and make Museum publications or additional videos available to the guest,” the museum’s site stated, BuzzFeed reported.

A local television station following the Haas’ ordeal found the museum has denied other wheelchair-bound guests entrance on prior occasions.

Museum executive director Tony Pizzo issued a statement of apology to the Haas family, offering “our heartfelt condolences to Lexi and her family over this shocking and regrettable departure from our continuing efforts to provide a welcoming and enjoyable experience to all of our visitors … without exception,” BuzzFeed reported.



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