Alliance Wants Apology For Aquarium's Disrespectful Guide
By Dave Reynolds, Inclusion Daily Express
January 17, 2003
TAIPEI, TAIWAN--A disability rights group said Friday that it will begin a series of demonstrations against a local tourist attraction unless a public apology is given for its attitude toward people with disabilities, the Taipei Times reported.
Members of the Alliance for Handicapped People are angry over what they consider a disrespectful statement written in the tourist handbook for the Hualien Oceanic Aquarium. The handbook reads that "in a bid to safeguard the security of the animals and aquarium visitors, [the aquarium] refuses admission to any mentally retarded individuals who are not accompanied by their guardians."
A sign displaying a similar rule was also placed at the aquarium's entrance.
Wang Jung-chang, secretary general of the Alliance for Handicapped People, said at a press conference that the group would soon stage round-the-clock demonstrations to protest the aquarium's management and its "arrogant attitude" toward patrons with disabilities.
Aquarium officials have revised the wording on the sign and recalled 20,000 copies of the guide books. But the alliance says it will not be satisfied until an apology has been issued.
"We're not asking for much," Wang explained. "All we're asking for is a public apology from the aquarium."