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  • [Question] Handicapped Pass

    I was wondering if anyone can help me with information on the special privilege handicapped pass?

    My mother only has one leg, as well as a host of conditions that make spending long amounts of time in line hard for her. We have gone to City Hall and asked for a pass before and were denied.

    One time I was with my mother and my ex-husband (who was also in a wheelchair). It was impossible for me to push both of them at the same time, making the day quite difficult. They both had genuine medical problems that made it impossible for them to stand in line. Again, City Hall denied my request.

    On a recent family trip to Disneyland a relative criticized me for not getting a pass for my mother. When I explained that those passes are apparently no longer available because I was always denied one, she informed me that a friend of hers had been there just two weeks prior and had gotten a pass allowing them access to the front of every line (this person suffered from epilepsy, I believe).

    I can not understand this. My mother's condition is worsening, but Disneyland is her favorite place in the world and I want to make it as convenient for her as possible. Also, my husband's father has recently become a paraplegic. Needless to say, family outings to Disneyland are hard enough on us. What can we do to get a little assistance from the park?

    Why would we be denied a pass but someone with a condition not affecting their ability to stand/walk/wait would be given one? How can I get one? I am not a scammer in any way. I just want to help the ones I care about experience Disneyland.

    Please help. Thank you!

  • #2
    Re: Handicapped Pass

    Disney can no longer legally ask for proof of need when you ask for a pass.(eg. doctors note etc) They pretty much have to take you at your word that you need one and for the condition you are requesting it for. Here are a couple of recent threads where you might find more information on the GAC.

    http://micechat.com/forums/disneylan...bout-gacs.html

    http://micechat.com/forums/disneylan...icap-pass.html




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    • #3
      Re: Handicapped Pass

      Very Interesting. I've gone with an Autistic child before and they gave us a GAC, no proof or anything required. They didn't even see him and they gave us one. The pass had red arrows on it, and all the cast members directed us through fast pass lines (Basically a fastpass for an entire group to use without having to come back at a certain time, and be able to use it over and over if wanted). This made our day absolutley wonderful (Ghost galaxy waits above 130 mins, no FP's, no problem. Just walk up with the pass and use it as a Fass Pass). Even the attractions without a Fast Pass had no wait time, just go through the exit and get on immediatley.

      I'm not really sure how they denied you a GAC, and clearly you should get one. Just ask them why they are denying you'r request next time, push them around enough and I'm sure they'll give you one. That's ridiculous if you ask me....

      (Ps, once you get one it's really easy for them to update the date on it, (they know you need one since you already got one) so you wouldn't have to push them around ever again)

      Comment


      • #4
        Re: Handicapped Pass

        Here is my experience with bringing a guest with mobility issues to Disneyland. A month ago I took my Mom who is 91 and in a wheelchair to Disneyland for her birthday. Definitely take your mother, don't let her mobility or stamina problems deter you from taking her. If some members of your party balk at bringing her along, with the complaint that having her may slow them down, let them break off into their own group and do what they want. I suspect that your mother would probably have little interest in going on the faster thrill rides such as Space Mountain and Matterhorn Bobsleds anyway. Keep in mind that rides are only part of the Disneyland experience. Shows, live entertainers, walk-through attractions and the park itself are also to be enjoyed.

        Right now, download and study the park's Guidebook for Guests with Disabilities.
        You can download it from this page:

        Disneyland Resort | Mobility Disabilities

        That will be your "bible" for visiting the park with a wheelchair, though any cast member can also answer questions while you are there.

        There is almost nothing in Disneyland that can't be accessed by a disabled person, although most require a transfer of the person from the wheelchair to the ride vehicle. Some attractions require no transfer at all, and the person can remain in their own wheelchair entirely, without having to get up at all. These include:

        Main Street Cinema
        The Disneyland Story Featuring Great Moments With Mr. Lincoln
        Disney Gallery
        Enchanted Tiki Room
        Jungle Cruise
        The Many Adventures of Winnie The Pooh
        Golden Horseshoe Stage
        Pirate's Lair on Tom Sawyer Island
        Frontierland Shootin' Exposition
        Mark Twain Riverboat
        Big Thunder Ranch
        Disneyland Railroad
        Mickey's House, Minnie's House
        Buzz Lightyear's Astro Blasters
        Disneyland Monorail
        Honey, I Shrunk the Audience
        Finding Nemo Submarine Voyage*
        Disney Princess Fantasy Faire
        "it's a small world"
        King Arthur Carousel
        Sleeping Beauty Castle*
        Pixie Hollow

        All of the above are able to be enjoyed, at least in part, by a person without them ever having to get out of their wheelchair. For most, you can just roll the chair right into or onto the attraction or its vehicle. For Mark Twain Riverboat, they load wheelchair guests first, since when the boat is full of people it drops a few inches below the level of the dock.

        For "it's a small world" and the Jungle Cruise, they have specially adapted boats with platforms that you can roll a wheelchair right onto. You may have to wait longer for these boats to cycle through the ride. We waited quite a long time at "it's a small world," far longer than most guests. You may have a long wait to get on the Disneyland Railroad or Monorail too, as wheelchair space is limited on those.

        For a few rides such as Winnie the Pooh and Buzz Lightyear, they have specially adapted ride vehicles that the wheelchair can roll right into. The rafts that go out to Tom Sawyer Island are fully wheelchair accessible but the island itself is not and there will be almost nothing she can do there, unless she gets up and walks around. The island was designed for kids, or the kid in all of us.

        The Disneyland Railroad has wheelchair-accessible cars at the end of each train, and you wait at the exit gate of the station for a cast member to assist you. The only station you can't get on or off at is the Main Street Depot, because there are stairs there and no elevator or wheelchair ramp.

        For Finding Nemo Submarine Voyage and Sleeping Beauty Castle, there are "alternate experience" facilities which allow the guest to see a simulation of the attraction without actually going into it. For Finding Nemo Submarine Voyage, you simply approach the waiting line, and a cast member will probably recognize and either notify you that getting onto the sub requires going down a spiral staircase, or if they are smart, ask you if you want to view the alternate experience. This is a small theater called Marine Observation Outpost. When the remodeled Submarine Voyage was opened as Finding Nemo Submarine Voyage, the park took a HD camera into one of the subs and videotaped in HD exactly what you would see if you were on the sub as you go through the ride. In the Marine Observation Outpost they show this video on a large HD TV screen, with top-of-the-line picture quality and high-quality stereo sound. You see and hear everything that a person who actually got on the sub would see and hear, and some people argue that the theater is actually better. In any case it's nice and cool inside, a great break on a hot day.

        All cast members working on rides are trained in the procedures for guests with disabilities, and will be helpful and attentive. However if the guest must be transferred from the wheelchair to a ride vehicle, cast members are not allowed to transfer the guest or even help with it - an accompanying member of the party, such as you, must do the transfer. There may be a couple of glitches if a person is not fully trained in operation of an accessible vehicle. At "it's a small world" the cast member could not figure out how to get the platform that holds the wheelchair to raise up, so they had to send the poor lady who was on it before us through the ride twice, and had to call another cast member who found a key and opened up a box which made the platform raise up. I wouldn't expect the wheelchair-bound guest to mean you get to "cut to the front of the line" in all cases or even any case. It may mean you have just as long or even a longer wait at some attractions, due to space limitations or due to difficulties with the disabled-adapted vehicles.

        For all other rides and attractions not listed above, you will have to transfer the person out of the wheelchair and into a ride vehicle. Some rides such as Haunted Mansion have specially designed ride vehicles to make the transfer easier, though you will have to do the transfer, as mentioned, the cast members cannot pick up the person. The ride can be stopped by the operators in order to make the transfer easier. For some rides such as Pirates of the Caribbean there is no specially adapted vehicle and you just have to transfer the person from the wheelchair into the ordinary boat or other vehicle. They usually can arrange for you to do this ahead of other guests boarding the same vehicle.

        Before you go to Disneyland I would practice doing the transfers so you can do them easily when you are at the park. Lift up the person with both of your arms, by putting one hand under each armpit and pull them up that way. Then pull their body closer to you and rotate them in or out of position to sit down on the wheelchair or whatever you are transferring to. Don't try to get them to stand up by pulling on their hands or arms. It is easy to dislocate a shoulder if you try to get someone to a standing position by pulling on their hands or arms.

        Familiarize yourself with the location of the First Aid Center in Disneyland, it is located between Main Street and Tomorrowland, near the "hub" (Central Plaza). If you can't find it, ask any cast member where it is. The nurses who work in the First Aid Center are very knowledgeable, kind and helpful. If your mother has any fatigue or discomfort of any kind, take here there. They have about 12 beds and if necessary she can lie down and rest on one of the beds for a while, then she will be refreshed and ready to experience more of the park again. She doesn't have to have a medical problem and there doesn't have to be an "incident" in order to go there. Just tell them that she is fatigued and needs a rest. They will be very accommodating and helpful. Also there are 2 large restrooms there with grab bars, and they are much easier to use for a wheelchair-bound guest than the regular restrooms throughout the park.

        I think your mother will enjoy the many shows and live entertainment that the park offers. Be sure to pick up a show schedule at the entrance gate or at any information or guest services counter. The Golden Horseshoe stage in Frontierland has a country-western comedy show called Billy Hill and the Hillbillies, there is often live jazz at the French Market and Cafe Orleans in New Orleans Square, and the ragtime piano players at the Coke Refreshment Corner on Main Street are outstanding musicians. There are also roving entertainers such as the Dapper Dans singing group on Main Street, the Disneyland Band, the Trash Can Trio which plays in the mornings in Tomorrowland, and the Buccaneers, a singing group in pirate costumes on a street in New Orleans Square. The live entertainment is one of the key elements that gives Disneyland its famous atmosphere.

        There are also other scheduled shows such as Fantasmic! on the river in Frontierland at night, and the fireworks show which is nightly during the summer season, and there is usually at least one parade per day. On Saturday evenings, a swing band plays at the Plaza Gardens stage, playing big-band music of the era that your mother probably grew up in. If you are there on a Saturday I'm sure she would enjoy listening to them.

        Comment


        • #5
          Re: Handicapped Pass

          Wow! Thanks for all the info!

          To be honest, I'm pretty well versed on most of the handicap accommodations throughout the park, though all information is good because you never know what someone else might have noticed that I didn't.

          I will try to get a GAC the next time I take her to Disneyland. Hopefully they will not deny the request in the future. The "reason" they have given me in the past was that there was no such thing because all the rides were accessible now. I have been given that reason twice by different City Hall cast members.

          Again, thanks for the info!

          Comment


          • #6
            Re: Handicapped Pass

            From my experience, for rides that have a special handicap entrance you do not need the special GAC pass if you have a member of your party that is in a wheelchair or walks with a cane. The wheelchair/cane/etc is proof of need.

            I frequently go with someone who walks with a cane and can't stand in long lines. We always go to the handicap entrance and have never had a problem.

            I hope you have a more pleasant experience next time you go.

            Comment


            • #7
              Re: Handicapped Pass

              From past experiences with injuries to myself and as well as friends, if you're not physically able to walk/have difficulty or can't stand for a long period of time they can't provide you with a GAC, but suggest you get a wheelchair and use handicap lines. But seeing as how your mother has other conditions along with being an amputee, they shouldn't have denied you. Just like penguinsoda said earlier, they can no longer ask for proof so hopefully getting a Guest Assistance Card is easier for you.

              Comment


              • #8
                Re: Handicapped Pass

                Originally posted by CinderellaStory View Post
                I was wondering if anyone can help me with information on the special privilege handicapped pass?

                Why would we be denied a pass but someone with a condition not affecting their ability to stand/walk/wait would be given one?

                How can I get one? I am not a scammer in any way.










                Well, no offense, but if you went up to the CM asking for a "special privilege handicapped pass" you more than likely got the usual response to folks that are looking for "special privileges"...

                We have a family member that utilizes the GAC and have never had a problem getting one. There are different "levels" of GAC's, depending on the needs of the person that is requesting it.

                If your mom is confined to the wheelchair, then a GAC is not needed. The wheelchair itself will gain you access to the alternate entrances for the rides that offer them.

                The previous versions of the GAC were highly abused and have resulted in the current program. The current program works for those individuals that need one.

                The next time that you are at the Park, fully explain your situation to the CM. Do not refer to the GAC as a "special privilege pass". But if your mom is the only person that needs one and she will be in the chair the entire time, more than likely you will not get (or need) the GAC.

                And besides, there is no guarantee that your wait with a GAC will be any less than without one...

                Comment


                • #9
                  Re: Handicapped Pass

                  Because of a permanent spine injury, my husband now has to use a mobility scooter whenever he has to do a lot of walking, like at Disneyland. Right after his accident, we rented a motorized chair at Disneyland. The proof that was needed by the castmembers on rides where they didn't see him motor up (like Peter Pan) is the key that comes on a wristband-sized cord. We ended up buying our own scooter and it enables him to go places that would otherwise be out of consideration.

                  The castmembers at DLR have always been very helpful to us and they are much appreicated. On our last visit, the ones who were the friendliest were given a copy of my new novel as a thank you!

                  The motorized scooters at Disneyland are pretty good. When we had trouble with one, whichever castmember was nearby helped us contact the front gate and another was made available to us immediately.

                  We even plug in to recharge the battery when we watch some shows or have dinner. You have to look around for the plug sometimes, but it helps get through the entire day.
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                  • #10
                    Re: Handicapped Pass

                    Originally posted by OldSchoolMickey View Post
                    Well, no offense, but if you went up to the CM asking for a "special privilege handicapped pass" you more than likely got the usual response to folks that are looking for "special privileges"...

                    We have a family member that utilizes the GAC and have never had a problem getting one. There are different "levels" of GAC's, depending on the needs of the person that is requesting it.

                    If your mom is confined to the wheelchair, then a GAC is not needed. The wheelchair itself will gain you access to the alternate entrances for the rides that offer them.

                    The previous versions of the GAC were highly abused and have resulted in the current program. The current program works for those individuals that need one.

                    The next time that you are at the Park, fully explain your situation to the CM. Do not refer to the GAC as a "special privilege pass". But if your mom is the only person that needs one and she will be in the chair the entire time, more than likely you will not get (or need) the GAC.

                    And besides, there is no guarantee that your wait with a GAC will be any less than without one...
                    Perhaps you did not read my entire post? I did not ask any random CM about "special privilege", I went to City Hall and asked the appropriate people for assistance. I had the disabled people with me at the time. No matter what phrasing I used (because up until today I did not know the actual name), the point is still the same. And yes, I explained my situation to the best of my ability. But as we got turned down more than once, it seemed inconsiderate to hold up the line any longer.

                    It sounds as if I've just had some bad luck with this in the past. I intend to try again on future visits.

                    I have another question, though. Has anyone who is or accompanies a handicapped individual ever experienced a CM thinking that they are "faking"? I have, and it was one of the reasons we became interested in getting a "pass". Just wondering.

                    I appreciate everyone's help.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Re: Handicapped Pass

                      Originally posted by Mr. Potato Head View Post
                      Very Interesting. I've gone with an Autistic child before and they gave us a GAC, no proof or anything required. They didn't even see him and they gave us one. The pass had red arrows on it, and all the cast members directed us through fast pass lines (Basically a fastpass for an entire group to use without having to come back at a certain time, and be able to use it over and over if wanted). This made our day absolutley wonderful (Ghost galaxy waits above 130 mins, no FP's, no problem. Just walk up with the pass and use it as a Fass Pass). Even the attractions without a Fast Pass had no wait time, just go through the exit and get on immediatley.

                      I'm not really sure how they denied you a GAC, and clearly you should get one. Just ask them why they are denying you'r request next time, push them around enough and I'm sure they'll give you one. That's ridiculous if you ask me....

                      (Ps, once you get one it's really easy for them to update the date on it, (they know you need one since you already got one) so you wouldn't have to push them around ever again)

                      I called the info line today about this and they told me that my son has to be incredibly low functioning on the autism spectrum in order to qualify for a pass, which he's not. He's high functioning but becomes very aggressive when we stand in line for more than 15 minutes (he frequently hits other children while we stand in line) so we there are only a few rides that we frequent. They said I'd have to bring him into City Hall on our next visit so they could "see" his level of disability.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Re: Handicapped Pass

                        Originally posted by CarrieV82 View Post
                        I called the info line today about this and they told me that my son has to be incredibly low functioning on the autism spectrum in order to qualify for a pass, which he's not. He's high functioning but becomes very aggressive when we stand in line for more than 15 minutes (he frequently hits other children while we stand in line) so we there are only a few rides that we frequent. They said I'd have to bring him into City Hall on our next visit so they could "see" his level of disability.
                        They really said that? That seems somewhat insensitive.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Re: Handicapped Pass

                          There are a couple of keys to getting the proper GAC. Not being able to stand in line for a period of time is not a valid reason. The CM at City Hall should ask you what kind of assistance you will need and give you the proper endorsement. If you have a wheel chair it should be a slam dunk. Don't consider this a 'special pass' but a way for you and your mother to enjoy all that the park has to offer.

                          Remember that almost all of DCA was built ADA compliant so the pass there is not going to substantially reduce your waits.

                          Once you get your pass never, ever throw it away. Once I get to the counter, it usually only takes me a couple of seconds to get a new pass for that day.

                          It is important to remember that those that have abused the SAP in the past caused serious problems for those that really need the current pass.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Re: Handicapped Pass

                            Originally posted by CarrieV82 View Post
                            I called the info line today about this and they told me that my son has to be incredibly low functioning on the autism spectrum in order to qualify for a pass, which he's not. He's high functioning but becomes very aggressive when we stand in line for more than 15 minutes (he frequently hits other children while we stand in line) so we there are only a few rides that we frequent. They said I'd have to bring him into City Hall on our next visit so they could "see" his level of disability.
                            That's first off incredibly rude of them. I guarantee you if you tell the CM at City Hall your child will hit other people in line, they will give you the pass, no more questions asked. The point of this pass is for people just like your son.

                            It's next-to impossible to "see" his level of disability so clearly the person you spoke with doesn't know what they're talking about.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Re: Handicapped Pass

                              Originally posted by Mr. Potato Head View Post
                              That's first off incredibly rude of them. I guarantee you if you tell the CM at City Hall your child will hit other people in line, they will give you the pass, no more questions asked. The point of this pass is for people just like your son.

                              It's next-to impossible to "see" his level of disability so clearly the person you spoke with doesn't know what they're talking about.

                              We're going tomorrow for his birthday (he'll be 4) and I thought I'd speak to someone in person. I found the call a little frustrating.

                              Comment


                              • #16
                                Re: Handicapped Pass

                                Originally posted by CarrieV82 View Post
                                We're going tomorrow for his birthday (he'll be 4) and I thought I'd speak to someone in person. I found the call a little frustrating.
                                The thing with GAC's is that it really just depends on the cast member. Some do whatever the hell you ask, while others are impossible to talk to. I'd say about 90% of the Cast Members (Just a rough guess) at City Hall would give you a GAC tomorrow simply by saying:

                                "I have an autistic child. The last few times we've been here he was unable to wait in lines longer than 15 mins, and took it out on other guests in line, and we couldn't go on hardly any attractions. Is there any solutions for this?" (Along those lines!)

                                They'd probably ask no more of you and issue the card. If you're stuck with the 1/10 who refuse to give you a pass, ask to speak to whoever's in charge. Explain to them the situation and they will give you the pass (If they don't who are they giving them to anyways???)

                                Good luck and I'm sure they'll give you one, let us know how it goes! (Don't throw it away at the end of the day either, save it for next time!)

                                Comment


                                • #17
                                  Re: Handicapped Pass

                                  Originally posted by Mr. Potato Head View Post
                                  The thing with GAC's is that it really just depends on the cast member. Some do whatever the hell you ask, while others are impossible to talk to. I'd say about 90% of the Cast Members (Just a rough guess) at City Hall would give you a GAC tomorrow simply by saying:

                                  "I have an autistic child. The last few times we've been here he was unable to wait in lines longer than 15 mins, and took it out on other guests in line, and we couldn't go on hardly any attractions. Is there any solutions for this?" (Along those lines!)

                                  They'd probably ask no more of you and issue the card. If you're stuck with the 1/10 who refuse to give you a pass, ask to speak to whoever's in charge. Explain to them the situation and they will give you the pass (If they don't who are they giving them to anyways???)

                                  Good luck and I'm sure they'll give you one, let us know how it goes! (Don't throw it away at the end of the day either, save it for next time!)

                                  Thanks for the advice. I really appreciate it. And I'll let everyone know how it goes.

                                  Thanks!

                                  Comment


                                  • #18
                                    Re: Handicapped Pass

                                    Originally posted by MonstersGoBoo! View Post
                                    From past experiences with injuries to myself and as well as friends, if you're not physically able to walk/have difficulty or can't stand for a long period of time they can't provide you with a GAC, but suggest you get a wheelchair and use handicap lines. But seeing as how your mother has other conditions along with being an amputee, they shouldn't have denied you. Just like penguinsoda said earlier, they can no longer ask for proof so hopefully getting a Guest Assistance Card is easier for you.
                                    Another reason Disney has really clamped down on the SAP (special assistance pass) is b/c teens (about 5 yrs ago) caught wind of the pass.
                                    I'm not telling what they did (don't need to give an ideas out), but you can thank those who think of themselves and not what their actions do to others for the removal and/or difficulty of getting an assistance pass.

                                    Also, you don't automatically go to the front of the line.
                                    You still have a wait time, they just have you in another line so they can assist those who need the help. My friends (who have major physical problems) have waited from 5 to 20 minutes (all depends what the standard wait time is).
                                    Quote by Al:
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                                    • #19
                                      Re: Handicapped Pass

                                      Originally posted by CinderellaStory View Post
                                      I have another question, though. Has anyone who is or accompanies a handicapped individual ever experienced a CM thinking that they are "faking"? I have, and it was one of the reasons we became interested in getting a "pass". Just wondering.
                                      I have. During my last visit to the resort (this past July), my girlfriend was confined to a wheelchair due to an ankle injury. She was asked quite frequently if she could stand/walk for any amount of time and while it got slightly irritating, I ended up appreciating it. One on of the days, my girlfriend and I waiting were in the handicap line for Splash Mountain and she and I watched as one of the other "handicapped" guests got up out of the wheelchair and had someone else in their party sit in the chair, because, and I actually did overhear this, their "butt was getting sore" and it was "someone else's turn to sit in the chair". They had just rented a wheelchair and were using it as a FastPass all day long.

                                      Suffice to say, I'm glad some CM's ask, because unfortunately there are some people who just plain cheat the system.

                                      Originally posted by DLFreak71 View Post
                                      My friends (who have major physical problems) have waited from 5 to 20 minutes (all depends what the standard wait time is).
                                      Haha, lucky :P - the wait we had in the handicapped line on Splash Mountain was close to 45 minutes. Though I think that was more CM error than anything else.
                                      *I am an employee of The Walt Disney Company*
                                      *All words above are my own and do not represent TWDC, nor do I speak on their behalf*
                                      *All words above conform to the Social Media policy distributed to employees; no confidential information is divulged*

                                      Comment


                                      • #20
                                        Re: Handicapped Pass

                                        Originally posted by oo_nrb View Post
                                        I have. During my last visit to the resort (this past July), my girlfriend was confined to a wheelchair due to an ankle injury. She was asked quite frequently if she could stand/walk for any amount of time and while it got slightly irritating, I ended up appreciating it. One on of the days, my girlfriend and I waiting were in the handicap line for Splash Mountain and she and I watched as one of the other "handicapped" guests got up out of the wheelchair and had someone else in their party sit in the chair, because, and I actually did overhear this, their "butt was getting sore" and it was "someone else's turn to sit in the chair". They had just rented a wheelchair and were using it as a FastPass all day long.
                                        It's too bad that you had that experience, but I do find the "can you walk?" question interesting.

                                        I shared this story earlier on another thread, but it seems fitting here too. One time my family waited in line for Toy Story Mania in the regular queue, got to the front of the line where the handicapped riders are sent to another area (the wait on that ride is usually longer because you have to wait for the HC accessible car to come around). The loading CM looked at my one-legged mom and asked her if she could just "ride the regular ride" because it would only require her walking up a large flight of stairs. I thought that was pretty funny. I'm sure he was just inquiring about the needs of the disabled individual and didn't realize how silly he sounded, but afterward my mom pointed to her stump and asked if he expected her to hop up the stairs. I guess that embarrassed her. But we get questions like that all the time. I understand why they ask, but you would think that the answer to "Can you walk?" would be rather obvious in the case of an actual missing limb.

                                        Comment

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