Mother accuses IKEA of discrimination against son with autism – w/video

Merriam, Kansas– A local mother is accusing IKEA of discrimination after staff members refused to allow her young son to utilize the playground its branches provide for families.

Toni Donahue’s nine year old son Drake is on the spectrum and as a result, requires a caregiver to tend to his needs and provide supervision when playing in public areas. However administrators of the large franchise assert that its policy stipulates that children are only permitted to play in its recreation area if they meet specific criteria including youngsters not having to be accompanied by an adult when using the facilities.

Donahue argues that after being informed of the policy she immediately offered to allow Drake to enter the play area alone yet was refused due to already having described the extent of the youngster’s disability to staff, a claim that IKEA adamantly denies. The irate mother spoke to three different managers over the course of 3 hours yet ultimately opted to leave the store when personnel refused to relent.

When contacted, IKEA’s media spokesperson Annie Crandall stated that the store fully supported the staff’s actions and revealed that the store does not currently have policies designed to accommodate children and adults with special needs.
Source: Megan Dillard on the Fox 4 News website:  Mom feels IKEA policy discriminated against her son who has autism