Madame Tussauds ask wheelchair user to “prove” disability
by Katie Campbell
Madame Tussauds have apologised to a customer after asking him to “prove” his impairment while trying to purchase a ticket.
Liam Maxwell, 26, has cerebral palsy and scoliosis, and uses a powerchair, but staff at Madame Tussauds in Blackpool insisted he show ID to prove that he was disabled while buying tickets for him and his assistant, Wendy Plant.
Liam, from Stoke-on-Trent, told the Blackpool Gazette: “We sort of looked at each other in disbelief. Was the fact that I was in a wheelchair not proof enough?”
He was then told by staff that he would only be allowed to explore the ground floor, as he would not be able to use his wheelchair in the lift for “health and safety” reasons.
Returning to Madam Tussauds the next day to lodge a complaint against his unfair treatment, Liam noted that he was offered a free drink as an apology for being denied access to the remainder of the wax museum.
He said: “The manager we asked for when we complained didn’t seem overly keen on doing anything.
“I wanted to be reassured that nobody else would be treated that way. It’s about standing up for what you believe in.”
In a statement, Madame Tussauds said: “Our admissions team member asked whether his companion was his carer, as this would mean they would receive free entry and did not mean this to be misconstrued. While the attraction is mostly accessible for people with disabilities, there is just one area that unfortunately is not suitable for large wheelchairs or scooters.
“We have re-addressed the training our entire team receive in terms of accessibility. We’d also like to have the opportunity to apologise again in person and would like to invite him to return and we will also provide a ticket to another Merlin midway attraction free of charge.”