Irish boy, 10, with prosthetic legs awarded €2,500 in damages after being banned from using trampoline
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Irish boy, 10, with prosthetic legs awarded €2,500 in damages after being banned from using trampoline

A TEN-YEAR-OLD Northern Irish boy with prosthetic legs has been awarded €2,500 in damages after being told he wasn't allowed to bounce on a trampoline.

Zack Gordon and his family, from Killyleagh, Co Down had taken a trip to We Are Vertigo, a trampoline centre in Belfast, with some of Zack's friends in July 2017.

Because of his prosthetic legs, the centre prevented Zack from joining his friends on the trampolines, which left the boy "upset and sad" according to his parents.

Although they offered him other things to do, Zack said that he didn't want to be apart from his friends.

His father Patrick decided to take out a disability discrimination case out against the park in Newtownbreda, according to the Belfast Telegraph.

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With the assistance of the Equality Commission, the case was settled for £2,500.

Mr Gordon said: "Zack was only seven when this happened.

"His prosthetic legs are plastic/fibre-glass with rubber feet.

"He went with the Killyleagh Summer programme to We Are Vertigo, where he watched the safety video and was given a wristband and socks for using the trampolines along with all the other kids.

"Zack was then told he couldn't use the trampolines. He was upset and sad and when he got home he stayed in his room.

"His mother and I were angry and hurt."

Representatives from the Equality Commission in Northern Ireland argued that "play is a vital part of growing up for all children" and that service providers should be adequately prepared to accommodate the needs of children with disabilities to "ensure their services are available to all."

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However, We Are Vertigo argued that for safety reasons they couldn't allow Zack to use their trampolines, saying that it was "a known issue" that those with prosthetic limbs are not advised to use such equipment.

"The enjoyment and safety of all of our patrons is of utmost importance to We Are Vertigo," a spokesperson for the company said.

"Operating as a responsible business in this sector, there are important safety protocols and considerations that we must adhere to.

"In this case, at our former trampoline park in Newtownbreda, guidance from the manufacturers of the trampoline equipment and restrictions from our insurance company meant we were unable to provide access to the customer.

"For safety reasons, we were advised that patrons with prosthetic limbs were not permitted to use the equipment; this is a known issue with trampolines and other high adrenaline sports and adventure activities and not isolated to our facilities.

They added that they are committed to providing a reasonable level of service to people of varying levels of ability.

"We have gone to great lengths to provide access to our facilities to people with many disabilities, including weekly sessions for children and young adults with autism and other sensory conditions at our new Inflatable Parks.

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"We welcome continued correspondence with the Equality Commission on our policies for access, whilst ensuring that we adhere to important health and safety guidance."