Disabled people have more rights and recognition than perhaps any time in history. We know, both morally and legally, that removing barriers for disabled people to participate fully in society is the right thing to do.
That didn't stop a school in Bristol, U.K., from denying a 7-year-old blind girl her right to use a walking cane.
In a shockingly insensitive move, Hambrook Primary School banned Lily-Grace Hoops’ walking cane, saying it poses a high risk, as it could trip teachers and fellow students.
The school now instituted a full-time adult aide by Lily-Grace’s side in place of her walking stick, a decision termed “ridiculous” by her mother, Kristy Hoops.
“When the school told me she can no longer bring her cane into school, I just thought this must be health and safety gone mad,” Hoops told the Bristol Post.
The school is now advising Lily-Grace to “walk carefully,” if on paving stones or wet surfaces.
“I am absolutely livid. What about the health and safety of my girl?” asks Hoops. “I like school, they are a good school, but this really is very poor advice.”
Hoops is rightfully worried how this step by the school will make her daughter dependent on having someone around her all the time in the school. Not only that will impede her learning process, it will also hamper a child’s natural desire to be able to feel independent in routine life.
Lily-Grace suffered a stroke days after she was born. As a result she lost her 3-D vision and was blinded in her right eye. She can now only see lights and colors in her left.
Watch a video of little Lily-Grace carefully walking on a pavement using her cane.
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