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Are CMs forbidden from helping?

Discussion in 'disABILITIES!' started by kollegekreed, Mar 6, 2014.

  1. blondietink

    blondietink Active Member

    One time we were at MK and there was a woman in her 20's who was totally wheelchair bound. She was extremely small. We were waiting to get on Peter Pan at the wheelchair entrance when she was getting off with I believe her sister or mother. The CM screamed at them to hurry up. My goodness, the sister/mother had a hard time lifting the woman as she was so tiny and could not help at all. DH rushed up and helped the two women so they would not fall. The CM was extremely rude to them and yelled again when the woman was being put in the wheelchair how they had better not go on Haunted Mansion as the ride would not stop for them.

    Now, we have been on HM many times when the ride stops to get disabled people on/off and/or slows down. We talked to the women and told them the CM was wrong and if they would just wait until we got off Peter Pan, we would walk over to HM with them and ride it with them and help. WE did and they had a great ride. We also gave them information on which rides would safely stop/slow for them to get on/off around the park.

    Sometimes it takes a person who has a family member with a disability to realize when others might need help.
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  3. Wishes Count

    Wishes Count Active Member

    Also should a ride need to be evacuated due to an emergency. CM's are not permitted to assist. Depending on the attraction they need to call the fire department to evacuate a disabled guest.

    My friend worked at Spaceship earth, which is essentially a set of stairs then a really long ramp that circles around and then a set of stairs down. I asked her what would happen if there was a fire or something and they had to evacuate someone who was disabled. She said they would have to wait for the fire department, they were not permitted to help.
  4. kollegekreed

    kollegekreed Member

    Thanks for doing that Blondietink!

    I don't necessarily disagree with the rules, just curious on if my intuition was correct. It clearly is. Still, there seems to be a pretty wide scope on the personal responsibility spectrum here. The second person I described was very clearly mentally disabled (wide grin while trying to get out of the car, but nonverbal and no embarrassment at the situation) and unable to help get herself out of the ride in any way. Part of me says "Who in their right mind would put this person on BTMRR?" but the other part of me says "Everyone deserves to be part of the fun...". Fine line, indeed.
  5. catra121

    catra121 Active Member

    In addition to the many good reasons already stated for why a CM can't assist a disabled guest...the truth is that there is no way for them to know the extent of a person's disability and all the issues involved. I was shocked when several CMs on my last trip wanted to assist me with walking on a moving platform or when there was a distance without railings. Thankfully none of them touched me, as that would have set off a very bad pain flare, but they extended their hands, arms, etc. I just said no thanks, I'll be okay, just need to go slowly and carefully.

    But it really is up to guests to know their own limits. Accidents happen of course...but if one happens you really want to have a trained medical professional help you. Even well intentioned guests could cause serious harm and pain to someone because they don't know what they are doing. There are plenty of warnings going into rides and most people know whether they would have difficulty getting in or out of a ride vehicle. If they want to take the risk, then that's on them, but they have to be willing to deal with the consequences if it doesn't work out.

    I did have a CM yell at me once (and I mean YELL) on Spaceship Earth because I didn't jump off the ride vehicle at the exit. But I wasn't about to do that unless she either a) stopped the moving walkway or b) brought my walker to me...as the other CM walking up the ramp told her when he saw what was happening. Guess she forgot?? That was not a good experience...but on the whole I think Disney does a great job providing what they CAN for guests with disabilities.

    It's always sad to see someone struggling and it's pretty common to look for someone to blame (like why are the CMs not helping) but unfortunately it's just part of life sometimes. I have come to terms with this (as much as it sucks) and honestly the LAST thing I want is for people to pity me or feel bad for me...it just makes me feel a lot worse. I can deal with the physical difficulties...but dealing with other people's reactions is a lot harder on me.
  6. It's misleading to say CMs can't assist a disabled guest. They can't transfer a person from a chair to a ride vehicle, or from a power chair to a manual one, but there are times when physical assistance can be provided. I've led blind guests to waiting areas after their parties got on a ride; the guest took my elbow and walked with me. I've also offered my hand as a stabilizer for people that may be a little unsteady (but not picking them up; just an extra balance point), or steadying something they're using for balance (like a ride vehicle's door) but like the CMs you encountered, we were taught to offer a hand out, never just grab someone. We also didn't move someone in a wheelchair unless we were moving them onto a ride vehicle where they would stay in their chair (like Kong, Quake, Jaws), or in cases where a party member didn't ride and they couldn't wheel themselves (like they were in a transport chair or the park chairs) to the waiting area, and only then with permission. We did have a little leeway in how we could assist, but we *NEVER* moved someone from one chair to a ride vehicle or back. I luckily never had anyone fall into a ride vehicle like someone mentioned happened to them on RnR, but I have helped up people that tripped over curbs or something.
  7. Disneylvr

    Disneylvr <font color=darkorchid>Mommy of Madelyn, Ebay Addi

    Are CM's allowed to help with seat belts on rides like Soarin' for example? I saw a reluctance to help someone buckle theirs last time we rode.
  8. catra121

    catra121 Active Member

    I guess that sort or surprises me because say you offered me your hand for assistance, and then I fell...would you let me fall or reach out and grab me? Not from a logical what should you do in that situation but in the moment...wouldn't it be human nature to just grab that person and not let them fall? In my case...much better to let me fall...but how could you know that? I mean...I know that...which is why I never took anyone's hand who offered to help me...but it seems like a risk a CM wouldn't want to take.

    Or what if I fall...and take you with me and YOU get hurt? What would the ramifications of that be for you?

    And I'm not saying it's wrong to want to help people...just that what can seem like help can actually cause a lot more harm than good depending on the disability.
  9. StitchesGr8Fan

    StitchesGr8Fan Active Member

    In 2007 I know they wouldn't help my brother with his seat belts or restraints. Don't know if that was policy or just the CM's decision. I do know I was yelled at more than once by CM's for taking too long getting him and then myself buckled in. I just assumed they weren't allowed because of liability of something happened and because of the risk of someone claiming inappropriate touching.
  10. That's one reason why we weren't required to help. Obviously if someone is 300 lbs, I wouldn't be able to provide them with balancing help, since I was all of 120 lbs soaking wet. Also the only times I offered it was when I was able to steady myself on something (such as a loading gate or the side of a ride vehicle that they couldn't reach). And from personal experience I know not to grab someone that's falling, that's how I dislocated my shoulder (granted, it was *ME* that was falling lol), so it's a reaction that I've squashed.

    I know that at P Flyers we had to be careful how we helped people with their belts. There's the usual belt around the waist, but for smaller children there is also a belt that goes up from the middle of the seat, and attaches over one leg to the side of the seat. Obviously, reaching for a child's crotch would be a problem, especially if the parent sitting behind them can't see what we're doing. In that case, we'd usually have the parent buckle the child in before they got in their seat. But on coasters like Hulk/Dragons, we'd pull down harnesses (gently) and buckle belts if needed. Some people just can't figure out how to fasten the belt, and especially smaller people or those with shorter arms had trouble pulling the harness down some times. Or we'd have to "bounce" down on a harness for someone that was too big to ride but insisted we try. Again, we didn't just randomly go up to someone and slam down on their harness, we'd help if asked.

    It really just depends on how the ride is set up, what the problem is, and how the CM wants to handle it.
  11. catra121

    catra121 Active Member

    Did/do you work for Disney or Universal? All the rides you've referenced are at Universal. A PP said that Disney would term a CM on the spot for assisting a disabled guest. Maybe that's why there's a difference...Universal maybe has different restrictions on it's employees?
  12. dvczerfs

    dvczerfs DIS Veteran

    a lot of good points. my dd doesn't work in attractions but just being in the park, they make sure the person is ok and if any question, she would call for an alpha unit.(e.m.t.)
    she also said its very hard. you want to help but you cant. she was working in tomorrow land one day and seen a kid crawling and jumping off a light pole stand. by the time she got over there, the kid fell on his head. blood every where.(parents didn't ask if there son was ok, they just kept yelling they were suing. good luck.)
    they are required to say something for a safety issue.
    she said she really don't touch anyone. sometimes little kids want to touch there costume or name tag and that's fine. she handles money. some people from other countries don't know our money, understandable, she will say $4.50 please and they hold the hand out with a wad of money. wont touch it. she will show them what they need.
    its a ruff job. cms are a special group of people and I have a new respect for what each and every one of them do. :thumbsup2
  13. Simba's Mom

    Simba's Mom <font color=green>everything went to "H*** in a ha

    I was wondering about this as I read this thread. Having arthritis in my knees, I sometimes move a little slowly and unsteadily as I get off rides. I remember, for example when exiting the Jungle Cruise, that the CM was nice enough to kind of hold her arm out for me to hold onto and steady myself just for a couple seconds as I was getting off the boat. (I was traveling alone). I'd hate to think I might have been getting her into trouble!
  14. alicemouse

    alicemouse Member

    I read a book (I believe it was Cast Member Confidential) by a man who was a photpass photographer in AK. He claims to have been fired for performing CPR on a guest that he witnessed collapse in the park. He stated that the termination happened because he acted outside the scope of his responsibilities and as a result, the children watching nearby did not see someone giving an elderly man CPR. They saw a photographer beating up an old man.
  15. Mesden84

    Mesden84 Member

    The CMs were pretty lenient on helping me move my Wheelchair when I needed to transfer onto a ride.
  16. SueM in MN

    SueM in MN <font color=red>It's like combining the teacups wi Moderator

    Don't worry.
    That is regular operating manner for Jungle Cruise because it is a free floating boat.
    They are allowe to offer an arm/hand for guests to hold onto at that attractions they can't transfer, pull or push guests though.
    They are allowed to move wheelchairs as needed to get them out of the loading area after the guest has gotten into a ride car and back again for the guest to get back in.

    That is different than helping someone transfer.
  17. It's nice that some CMs are able to assist a person getting out of the ride by lending them an arm. My best friend has quadriplegic cerebral palsy. She's about 4ft.,11inches. But, she weighs over 100lbs. Her mom has a hard time lifting her because of health issues herself, and she doesn't want me, or my guy Dan to help her because of our physical disabilities. Dan is over six feet tall, but only has use of one arm. With me. It's my back issues.

    When we were on a trip to Disney World with them in 2011. We all rode on Splash Mountain. At every ride where my best friend had to transfer out of her wheelchair. Her mom would try to recruit big strong guys from the line to come with us to help lift my friend in, and out of the ride. Including Splash. However getting off the ride was tricky because the guys that my friend's mom had recruited to help get her daughter out of the ride. They had gone off on their own, and so we held up the exit line until the cast member operating the ride had to call for the manager to help my best friend's mom get my best friend out of the ride. He was able to lift her since he was pretty big, and strong.

    On the trip in January. I had a hard time getting out of some of the rides because of my scoliosis-affected back getting worse, and Dan practically almost had to lift me out from under my arms just to get out of the ride. I was able to assist some in the transfer. But, I never expected a cast member to help me. Although when we were at Space Mountain getting off the ride. A cast member bent down to me with her arm bent for me to grab onto. I didn't want to hurt her, so I just kind of crawled out of the ride, and then Dan helped me stand up.
  18. The CMs at the Tower of Terror did that for me since I was the only wheelchair user on the ride when it broke down. They had everyone else get off except for my guy Dan, and me. They had us wait until the fire department came, and then the six firemen carried me down the stairs in their arms. There were three of them on each side of me.
  19. I would just like to add that I have an almost 6 year old daughter with cerebral palsy and on every trip to DisneyLand Paris (we live in London) the CMs have almost fallen over themselves to help her. From lifting her out of her chair and onto the ride (if I was just a second behind because I had been applying the breaks or grabbing my bag etc) to buckling her in or pushing her towards the correct area while we waited. We even had one CM wheel her onto the special boat on It's a Small World and then decide to come round on the ride with us. I am not sure whether it's because it's practically impossible to sue in Europe, whether it's a cultural thing or whether it's just left down to the discretion of CMs in EuroDisney. It could also be because she is a tiny little thing, either way although we never need any help with her as she has two full time carers it is lovely to visit somewhere that is so geared up to helping her enjoy the visit as much as an able bodied child and a world away from the other theme parks in England.
  20. Viva Las Disney

    Viva Las Disney Active Member

    I wish it could be that way in America but ambulance chasers have made it nearly impossible to do anything without getting sued. I read an article the other day about a guy in a wheelchair that sued Disney and won $8000 because he was stuck on IASW for 30 minutes, he said he had an anxiety disorder and he was traumatized by it. :confused3 It's a no win situation because no matter what they do they get sued, if they do something and someone gets hurt they face a huge lawsuit but if they do nothing they face a lawsuit for not helping.

    I worked at a local amusement park during the summer when I was in college (15 years ago) and even then we had a very similar rule, we could offer a hand to stabilize someone while they got into or out of the ride vehicle but under no circumstances were we to lift or move a guest, immediate termination if we did. There were times it was heartbreaking standing there watching someone struggle to get off a ride and not being able to lift a finger to help them!
  21. dyna

    dyna Active Member

    It's sad that the CM's can't help....it's sad that we have be come so sue happy in this country that we are afraid to help 1 another an even more so Disney CM's are told if they do so they will lose their job.

    Last summer I was at Epcot world showcase Germany I think in bathroom waiting for the handicapped stall there was a couple ladies there waiting for another lady an she was taking so long they was asking if she was OK. Come to find out the lady's husband had asked them to help her in the bathroom.

    OMG NO WAY! There is a reason Disney has those family restrooms NO WAY would I ever agree to help someone like that....I would be so afraid of getting sued!

    It's very sad we have to live like this afraid to help one another or even not being allowed to help.

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