A young man in the Lower Mainland, unable to walk after a 2017 ATV accident, hopes to make a positive change after encountering an accessibility obstacle at last month's Rockin' River Music Festival. is.
Mitchell Garrett, 27, and Haley Brown, 25, said he had two "hiccups" with security staff regarding communication via accessibility access. Aside from that, I would say that I had a great time at this event.
"It was really disappointing to go through something like this," Garrett told Global News on Sunday.
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The festival site could not be reached.
Garrett, who is paralyzed in both legs, has his companions carry him on a shuttle for most of his trips, but when they aren't around he has to climb the stairs on his own. said.
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The couple tells Brad his Mackay, one of his drivers, how Garrett climbs into the seat of the bus. I asked you to take a video of Need for wheelchair accessible services.
"Unfortunately, I've gotten used to living with a disability," said Garrett.
At stalls near the inaccessible festival washroom station and beer garden, Garrett said he asked a security guard if he could go behind the gate for privacy. } Trending Story
He said he was told to urinate in the open or leave.
"It was very frustrating," Garrett recalls.
A few days later, when Garrett also needed to wash himself, they ran into the same guard at another gate.
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"I didn't ask permission because I knew he wouldn't allow me. Everything escalated to this guard," he said.
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There were no festival staff, they say, but they knew where the nearest accessible facility was, so Garrett said he had no choice but to hide behind a security fence.
} Brown apologized twice to security and explained the desperate situation Garrett was in.
"Then he said — no reason — 'Your boyfriend is disrespectful. He has no brains. That's why God is God. He put me in a wheelchair," Brown told Global News.
"It was hard," added Garrett.
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"I was heartbroken. It really affected me deeply," Brown said.
"The security guards are there to make you feel safe. This guy, with several, made us feel intimidated and unwelcome." Because he has a disability, we felt like we shouldn't be there."
After sharing the experience on social media, Brown said Rockin' River Festival staff apologized. He said he took their concerns seriously and promised to deliver something better next year. Global He reached out to Rockin River Music his festival for comment but did not receive a response by the deadline.
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Festival security officials did not respond to Global News' request for comment. However, Guardteck's website states that he prides himself on his "professional and forward-thinking approach."
The couple said some of his Guardteck staff his members were great, but believes that all festival security should know where the accessibility features are.
"A place for able-bodied people should also be for people with mobility aids," he says Garrett. "It's mostly because of it."
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