KANSAS CITY, Mo. — A sporting goods store in Overland Park is changing its policies after reaching an agreement over allegations it violated the Americans with Disabilities Act.
According to a release from the United States Department of Justice, the allegation is connected to an 18-year-old woman with Down Syndrome that a worker prevented from riding a Ferris wheel in 2019 at the Scheels All Sports store.
The worker prevented the woman from riding the Ferris wheel, citing company policy that people with a disability can only ride when accompanied by an adult. The DOJ said that despite a teacher’s assurances the woman was safe to ride the Ferris wheel, staff and store managers continued to prevent the woman from riding the ride.
As part of a settlement of the allegations, the company has updated its ADA policies. Additionally, it will pay $1,000 in damages to the complainant, train staff on its new ADA policy, create an ADA liaison and allow DOJ officials to monitor its conduct for three years.
“Scheels’ former policy and practice was inconsistent with the ADA, which prohibits eligibility criteria that screen out individuals with disabilities from fully and equally enjoying goods and services,” Acting U.S. Attorney Duston Slinkard said in a release. “Moreover, any screening policy must be based on legitimate safety requirements, and not on mere speculation, stereotypes, or generalizations about individuals with disabilities.”