Seeing The Little Mermaid became a disability fiasco

Unfortunately, there aren't many places that I can go with just Laura. I'm unable to drive, and I need more help in my wheelchair than I do home on the floor. So when I saw that Phoenixville Middle School was doing The Little Mermaid play, I immediately wanted to take Laura.

The middle school is right behind our house. They actually just built a new middle school after tearing down the old one. Laura and I could easily go over ourselves. Jason is a bit young to sit through a play.

I planned on taking her on Friday night but my mom really wanted her to sleep over. I looked into it and saw we could go on Saturday night instead. On Saturday, Jeff and I did some shopping, went out to lunch, and I got my hair cut. My mom had Laura home by six.

When you have a disability that makes you pretty dependent on others, the simplest acts make you thrilled. Laura was a little nervous to go with just me because its so rare. But upon talking about it, she was happy.

We walked over about 6:30 and glad we did since there was already a large group of people. On our way, we sang Disney songs like Zippity Do Dah. We discussed who was going to play Ariel. Ariel is Laura's favorite princess.

When we arrived, Laura handed them the ten dollars we put in her purse. Then things got weird for a few minutes and I thought we traveled back in time to the dark ages of disability awareness.

Laura and I walked to the auditorium entrance and the ushers started talking to a woman behind us instead of me. They asked if we were alone and who did I belong to!! I said it was just me and my daughter but they refused to acknowledge I was speaking.

The man usher said to follow him as the two caddy women were still trying to figure out my owner apparently. Laura and I followed the guy who put us in handicapped seating. He still wouldn't talk to me and seemed perplexed that no one else was with us but at least he got us seated.

When he left and we got comfortable, the two women came back complaining behind me that we paid for general admission but seated in more expensive. Then the one said I don't want her to go upstairs. I laughed aloud picturing that conversation. Then they asked me again if I were alone and I very bluntly said, "my daughter and I are fine!"

The rest of the evening went great and we enjoyed ourselves. Laura cracked up at parts and had a big smile. Seeing her have fun was well worth being independent and dealing with crazy people.

Jeff suggested that I write to the school, and I think I'll do just that because that was ridiculous!


  1. Jessica,

    I'm really sorry this happened to you! It does seem like you went back in time. I am always inspired about how you handle these things. You are such a positive person and you didn't let it ruin your special night with your daughter. I definitely think you should write a letter to the school to bring awareness to what happened. Maybe others won't have to go through what you did!

  2. My goodness! I was there Saturday night with my daughter and had a nice enough time but am disappointed to hear of your experience. That really baffles me, esp. in this day and age where we preach tolerance and acceptance (but apparently not much sensitivity.) While these were probably just parent volunteers I do think they should have handled this much better. I know you will make your voice heard and hopefully change things for the better. You go girl!

  3. Jessica I remember you from high school. You were brilliant then and obviously still are now.. You rock....


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