I am pissed at Das and all That take advantage of it

I’m sure this is true in pretty much all areas of life. You’ll always have the few who try to take advantage of a system. It doesn’t, however, mean the entire system should be thrown out.

Think of “safety net” social systems we have in place. Take unemployment, for example. It serves a very useful purpose. There are SOME who milk it…but that doesn’t mean the system should be eliminated! A few bad apples shouldn’t ruin it for those who need it. (I feel I’m mixing my metaphors there…bad apples versus milking!)

DAS is similar. There will be people who “take advantage” of it, perhaps…but it doesn’t mean a majority of those people who rely on it are using it unethically!

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I’m just putting the pieces together. If nola stands for New Orleans, Louisiana than our state is definitely lacking in services. I haven’t had to go through the system personally as I sent my son to private schools that specifically accommodated his needs. But the general school system around here is lacking. When I was in HS, most people with disabilities did not get a standard diploma. They received a certificate of completion. It was BS. The system didn’t even really try to accommodate a person to get that standard diploma. I hope it has changed some but I wouldn’t be shocked if it didn’t.

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While I’m generally very glad that schools are state’s concern rather than Federal, it’s sad when there’s a lack of understanding that services help. Even in a state with some better ideas, lack of funding and personnel who aren’t on board can still do much harm. I’m glad you were able to get the right school.

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I’m sorry that Louisiana didn’t take special ed high school so seriously. It’s a really important time for transitioning and setting behavior patterns for adulthood. I’d like to give a shout out to NJ for relatively good special ed services. They do a good job educating parents on what services are available and their legal rights. Sometimes you still have to battle with the school district, but in the end they came through for DD and sent her to a therapeutic high school that probably saved her a lot of suffering at a low point in her life. She earned the same HS diploma as public school kids and while it wasn’t as academically rigorous as I would have liked, it was adequate and helped point her away from dark places and towards college :slight_smile:

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I think there have been improvements but I just haven’t been keeping up with the info. I guess I need to rectify that. It’s a pretty important topic.

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I do think it’s hard to make blanket statements. We did get DAS in June because my younger son has some particular challenges that we’re working through in regards to anxiousness and sensory input, and I want him to have a wonderful time when we are there - but we hardly used it. Most of the time, via TP knowledge and Genie+ (which we also purchased) we were able to keep our line waiting to a time that was manageable for our son, but there were a few occasions where we did use it, and it was always to provide something very specific for him. (We didn’t use it for something like RotR, for example).

We’re also working on getting him used to waiting in longer lines - but that’s required a buildup and it will take time to get him there… Honestly my goal is that there is a future trip where we don’t have to get DAS, but as it is now, I’m glad we had it as a safety net for him.

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Gosh, this is the same argument people use to cast aspersions on folks who use food stamps or assistance cards at the grocery; judging them for what they’re buying with taxpayer dollars, or for carrying a designer purse while they pay for food with WIC assistance. ‘They obviously don’t really NEED the help’ or ‘Maybe they should stop buying designer purses and put that money toward feeding their kids.’

We can’t know everyone’s story just by looking at them and, in my experience, things like autism manifest in vastly different ways across its population. Hugely different between males and females, and even a whole spectrum of difference within those subsets.

This isn’t hate, though. It’s just a reminder that bitterness is a poison you voluntarily take. And I say this as someone who struggled with that for sooooo long. Life’s too short to worry about what others are doing. I wasted so much of my life judging all that, when I could have been enjoying the ride.

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Autism, anxiety, arthritis.

Your post reminds me of a woman I knew a number of years ago. Lived in a nice house, wore lovely clothing, had never worked outside her home as her husband made sure to provide well. After his death, and a car wreck, her share of the medications she had to take (over two grand a month) prompted her to seek employment finally. She was quite content working in the Walmart deli area. At her age - which was over 70 - she hadn’t many marketable skills.
Without knowing her story, you’d wonder why this clearly well dressed woman was taking a paycheck away from a person that needed it more.

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Many years ago, when my son was 8 and was newly diagnosed with type 1 diabetes, I contacted Disney about any accommodations/what could happen if we had to leave the line, stuff like that. At the time, we were told type 1 diabetes doesn’t qualify for anything. So we were standing in regular queue, testing blood sugar before and after the ride (you’d be surprised how many people give stink eye for THAT! Honestly), and sometimes leaving a line if it’s too slow/too hot and his sugars started to drop. I have a lot of pictures that first trip of him checking sugars lol.

A few years after that, we went to Disney as a family trip. Again, type1 diabetes didn’t qualify, but my nephew did qualify as he has high-functioning autism. My sister and her family used the DAS system, but were only allowed 6 people per ride, and so they took my parents along with her family of 4. My family just did our own thing.

Recently, my sister went to WDW with me and my kids (July 2021). My autistic nephew was 21 years old, and she got the DAS system. The Genie+ wasn’t released yet, and the lines for rides were incredibly busy. TONS of revenge travel that time- crowd levels were 8/9 or so. Anyway, we were all able to go on the rides with my nephew, for the rides HE was willing to do lol. A lot of the time, he would just get to the ride, and say “Nope, not going” and that was it. This happened at Universal as well.

Anyway, in our experience, the DAS for him allowed us all to ride together when he felt up to it (that was precious- to have us all squeeze onto Splash was simply amazing), but he, as the DAS qualifier, really didn’t get too many rides in. He simply got overwhelmed by the heat and the crowds, so time in between rides they would go to shops, get a drink, get some AC…

In other words, clearly abuse of the system is a problem. But those who TRULY need DAS, what can they do? Get rid of the whole thing because of the bad actors? I know that my nephew wouldn’t stand in a regular queue-- the DAS line was about as much as he could handle-- and that was BEFORE G+, so the DAS line was basically empty. Now with DAS merging into the LL return lane, I really wouldn’t even recommend that they go to WDW again, unless there were another option for DAS riders.

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I deleted my post because I realised that @Peggy808 had finally found the DAS is a perfect accommodation for those with type 1 diabetes.

I know several people, adults and children, who were able to enjoy their vacation by not having to worry about hypos in the middle of a long line.

To me that shows that finally they have got the balance right, moving from a diagnosis based system to one that looks at the actual needs of guests.

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I think the reality of the situation is that in life, there are always going to be people who try to cheat the system (any and every system) because some humans are just a**holes in general.
You can get frustrated over it, but really shouldn’t chide other families for using a system put in place to help their disabled family members enjoy time at Disney. Every person’s story is unique, and what works for you may not work for everyone. Some people cannot just learn to deal with every day difficult situations, which is why they need accommodations, and we should respect that. ( I for one, have a friend who utilizes it because her husband is a vet with PTSD and large crowds in tight areas cause him extreme stress). JMHO though…

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I totally didn’t make it clear that T1D is currently accommodated-- I was reminiscing about trips we took when he was newly diagnosed, which was so long ago, back when it wasn’t accommodated.

Our son takes advantage of the ADA accommodations at University now for scheduling his classes, which is GREAT. He gets to register early, so as to have a better chance at having a good schedule where he’s able to eat regularly, etc. When he was a music major (before COVID) he often had to rehearse through meals and what not and his A1C was pretty bad, started getting blood pressure issues, etc… He hasn’t felt the need to do this at Disney yet, but if he is not well-controlled at any point, I would definitely want him to get the DAS.

Overall, my thoughts on the DAS program is that it is necessary, but it needs to be fixed. Again. And if that means some people cheat the system, ok I guess, as long as kids, and adults, who NEED it can use it.

I just think that adding DAS riders into the (poorly managed) LL for G+ is a disservice to the DAS user, as well as to the G+ user. I think they should let the DAS people who can’t tolerate the line to go to the exit and ride that way. And for those who can tolerate, or for parents who want their kids to work on this skill, they can stand in the G+ return line. It should be up to the parents and the kid though.

Another perspective on the issue of a whole big group going in with one DAS rider. When we were there with my nephew on the most recent trip, we heard a lot of the folks in standby complaining loudly: “Why do they all get to go? They look normal.” The CM has to say “not all disabilities are visible.” I was just cringing because they are throwing around “disabilities” and “normal” and these terms. My nephew has an overly high sense of justice anyway (no room for nuance or situation), so any allegation of “cheating” makes HIM feel like he’s done something criminal. When he went to scan in to use the DAS, they said “Who is the DAS person?” And he’d be pushed to the front, where he said “I’m the DAS person. I am disabled” and the random people in hearing range would just look at him to try to see what is his disability. Eventually (after like 2-3 rides) it got to be too much-- so that if the start of the line was crowded, where the DAS has to scan in, he’d just bail on the ride completely. I’m very thankful for the few rides we did get to do with my sister’s family on that trip, though, and without the DAS we wouldn’t have been able to.

I’ll say experiencing the program for the first time as the lucky person able to hitch on to the DAS rider, I didn’t feel very lucky. I felt very protective of my nephew though, and I was pretty disgusted by a lot of the stink eye and the nasty comments. And I was pretty impressed by how he was able to take it all with grace and dignity.

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I can attest firsthand that not all disabilities are visible.

If people want to give stinkeyes, they can do it to line cutters and not DAS users. :slight_smile:

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I always prepare my group that I need to scan first. That way, there isn’t the confusion about who has the accomodation. My only recommendation to assist with that is just prepare everyone in advance for who needs to scan first and organize yourself that way approaching the taps - that way, you avoid the question.

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Hugs to your nephew-

While I never noticed at Disney using DAS - I can’t even tell you how many times my family has been subject to rude comments around the parks and resorts in general…Ableism is thing- I wasn’t even remotely aware how bad it is in our society until my accident.

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I am sorry you have experienced that! I know many people do and it’s wrong and it sucks.

DH and I either have been very fortunate or we really look like we need accommodations but I don’t think we have ever encountered much ableism in person. Or possibly, we are clueless and just don’t pick up on it. I run into more systematic ableism issues with access and poorly thought out physical spaces or rules that are ableist.

I agree with @Peggy808 that there needs to be an option to go to the exit for DAS users instead of waiting in the LL with all the G+ people. Many rides do allow this for physical disabilities (particularly older ones with less accessible queues). Go to GS and ask about mobility access you have to physically go get it at the specific attractions (like old DAS) but you can have one DAS and one mobility return at a time. FYI

I had deliberately avoided responding to this thread until my rage at the OP had calmed down a bit. I’m impressed at so many diplomatic yet passionate responses. After reading the thread I’m going to give some blame to the OPs state in regards to special education however not all. As a recently retired HS teacher who regularly had SE students ( of all types) in my classes and having many personal friends who are special Education teachers, I was horrified and enraged at the OP. One of the biggest skills that the special Ed teachers I know and worked with, try to teach their students here, is teach them to advocate for themselves rather than do without the accommodations they need. This has helped me advocate for myself as my disabilities have encroached more and more. I’m sorry that not all special education students are taught these valuable skills by their teachers.

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That’s TP’s uniqueness. It’s Len’s fault for setting the tone of being passionate and tolerant at the same time. :wink:

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Our school system has been amazing. DS’s condition is physical and the 504 accomodations are exactly what he needs and there are so many that I would never have thought of. It’s amazing when I think back to my childhood in the school system and just how much I had to go through needlessly because we just weren’t that advanced when it comes to these things.

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No idea that that was even possible- up until fast passes went away I could manage and really well- primarily because I could schedule the fast pass far enough in advance to plan…It was actually right after the re-opening that I learned from a CM that I was even eligible for DAS…At that point we were 2 long weekend trips in and I was only able to get 4 rides in total using G+…

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It’s because they don’t want mobility issues/ECV users to use DAS. It’s only for queues that can’t accommodate ECVs. In DL that was pretty much Fantasyland and some others. Not sure in WDW what qualifies. If you get G+ mobility returns probably aren’t needed but if you qualify and don’t want to pay for G+ :woman_shrugging: Use what is available to you!

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