Tucson woman born without arms denied access to rides at Univers - Tucson News Now

Tucson woman born without arms denied access to rides at Universal Orlando

Jessica Cox is a certified pilot, scuba diver and has a black belt in taekwondo. (Source: Tucson News Now) Jessica Cox is a certified pilot, scuba diver and has a black belt in taekwondo. (Source: Tucson News Now)
TUCSON, AZ (Tucson News Now) -

A Tucson woman is accusing Universal Orlando of discrimination after the park refused to let her get on any rides because she has no arms when she visited in November 2015.

Jessica Cox, who is a certified pilot, scuba diver and has a black belt in taekwondo, has filed a complaint with the Florida Commission on Human Relations.

She said the day of her visit, she was issued a special disability pass and a rider's guide.

"If I fly an airplane with my feet," Cox said, "why is it that I'm not allowed to ride a roller coaster?"

According to Universal Orlando's rider's guide, in order to ride, guests must be able to "continuously grasp with at least one upper extremity."

It goes on to explain that the guest must have at least one upper extremity or prosthesis "exhibiting good grip control with the ability to brace and strong enough to allow the guest to maintain the proper riding position through the duration of the ride, where specified."

You can read their entire guide here: http://tucsonne.ws/2cvtdCT

"It reminded of a time when I was in elementary school and I was prevented from going on certain equipment on the playground," she said. "That feeling that infuriated me, I mean, I hadn't experienced it for years."

Cox, who said she's never had any issues riding rides at other theme parks, went into detail about her experience on a blog post.

Here's an excerpt:

"As soon as I was back home, I made a follow-up call to Universal Studios. I was promised that my concerns would be documented, because they are feedback-based company. However, I was also told that their policies are cut and dried and are there for safety reasons. Basically, I was told that nothing could be done.

I also decided to reach out to Universal Creative, the manufacturers of the rides at Universal Studios, hoping to reach someone who would be would be willing to explore the possibility of changing restrictions so that the limitations on each ride can be tailor-fitted to specific disabilities. I have yet to receive a return call."

You can read Cox's full blog post here: http://tucsonne.ws/2bZ1b1W

Tucson News Now attempted to contact representatives for Universal Orlando, but did not receive a response.

Copyright 2016 Tucson News Now. All rights reserved.

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