IKEA updates national play area policy after Merriam staff said boy with dwarfism was too short to enter

first_imgWhitney Crowder and her two 4-year-old sons, Rollie (left) and Ladd. Photo courtesy of Whitney CrowderOne woman’s experience at the IKEA in Merriam with her 4-year-old son who has dwarfism turned into a company-wide policy change that makes the children’s play area more inclusive.Whitney Crowder and her family were visiting the area from Omaha in early March and decided to stop by IKEA. She and her husband, Trevor Crowder, tried to drop off their two sons, both age 4, at IKEA Småland, the children’s playplace where employees watch patrons’ children while they shop.Brothers Rollie and Ladd Crowder stand next to height requirement at IKEA. Photo courtesy of Whitney CrowderAfter being denied twice in two days because staff said their son, Ladd was too short to enter Småland, the Crowders emailed the IKEA corporate office. Ladd has dwarfism; he is 34 inches tall, just 3 inches below the height requirement. They were impressed with the company’s swift and apologetic response and learned that the company was changing their policy to be more inclusive.An IKEA U.S. spokesperson said in a statement that Småland policies are in place to keep children safe, and they have also apologized to the parents for their experience at Småland.“We also recognized this an opportunity to take steps to renew and improve,” the spokesperson said. “As a result, our Småland policy has been updated to be more inclusive for children with special needs. The updated policy was in effect as of March 25, 2019, in all IKEA U.S. stores nationwide.“At IKEA, we value and respect all dimensions of diversity, and we are constantly evolving and adapting our policies to be more inclusive.”Whitney Crowder, an Overland Park native, said her son’s condition only impairs his height; otherwise, it has no effect on his ability to play with other children. Ladd will be 8 years old before he would be tall enough to enter Småland, she added.Rollie Crowder (left) and his brother, Ladd Crowder, who has dwarfism.When the Crowders had explained their son’s disability and requested if they could make an exception for Ladd, staff insisted it was corporate policy because it’s unsafe for him.“I said, ‘Isn’t that disability discrimination to not let him in because he has short legs due to a genetic condition?’,” Crowder said. “I understand height and size restrictions for things like (safety); totally reasonable and logical. This seemed arbitrary and unfair to me.”Crowder said this was the first time her son was denied to enter a play area because of his dwarfism. She said staff were concerned Ladd could be injured if another child turned around too quickly and bumped into him. They were also worried he might get stuck in the ball pit.“It’s not water; they’re balls. He’s not going to drown in them,” Crowder said. “He’s not invisible; kids aren’t going to bump into him so hard he gets hurt any more than any other kid in there.”Crowder said the company’s response was prompt, apologetic and respectful. She stressed that all interactions with IKEA were cordial, and she appreciated the corporate staff’s swift response.“I was very impressed with their response both in the timeliness and in how quickly they eradicated the situation,” she said. “It started out as a negative experience and we weren’t sure where it was going to go.”More than a dozen people in their support group on Facebook, Little People of America, also shared similar experiences with Småland at other IKEA locations in the country, Crowder said. But her family’s experience was positive. And when the family visited a third time before leaving for Omaha, Merriam IKEA staff were friendly and apologetic, she added.“I really do think they did a really great job with it,” Crowder said. “We have no hard feelings.”last_img read more

St. Cloud Cathedral Alum Nate Schmidt, Capitals Begin Quest for Stanley Cup

first_img Auto (360p) Visit Advertiser website GO TO PAGE Skip 720p HD SPECIAL TO TOWNSQUARE MEDIA ST. CLOUDBY JORDAN POMPUTIS About Connatix V56892 1080p HDcenter_img About Connatix V56892 360p 1/1  With the Stanley Cup Playoffs here and the Washington Capitals highly favored to win, there is no better time to highlight St. Cloud native Nate Schmidt’s road to success.Schmidt, 24, spent four years playing hockey for Cathedral High School after Coach Eric Johnson brought him up in the eighth grade to play varsity. Johnson coached Schmidt through his junior year before he left to play junior hockey for the Fargo Force.Johnson describes his former player as fun-loving and charismatic. He recalls knowing early in Schmidt’s high school career that he had the potential to play beyond high school.Schmidt’s ability to reach such a high level of success came from being a tireless worker, Johnson said. “He worked really hard to try to correct it if he thought it would make him a better person, player, or athlete,” he said of Schmidt.Schmidt shared his feelings of mutual admiration for Johnson in a 2009 interview for the Fargo Force Blog.“Coach Johnson helped me with becoming the hockey player I am now, as well as helping me develop the personal character that I needed on and off the ice in order for me to succeed at the next level,” Schmidt told the blog reporter.Schmidt was picked up by the University of Minnesota after a year with the Fargo Force.University of Minnesota’s Associated Head Coach Mike Guentzel remembers being drawn to Schmidt’s hockey instincts.He credits Schmidt’s evolution as a top hockey player to countless hours of hard work and training.“He brought his fitness to another level. Brought his game up another level, was an All-American.” Guentzel said.Such hard work and dedication may seem like a struggle to most but, “nobody enjoyed putting in that work and time more than Nate did,” Guentzel said.After signing to Washington in April 2013, Schmidt played his first year with the Capitals American Hockey League affiliate, the Hershey Bears. Starting his 2013-14 season with the Bears, he was called up to the Capitals after just one game. He continued moving between the AHL and NHL until signing a one-way, two-year, contract with the Capitals in the summer of 2015.The Capitals have had an exceptional season with their 56-18-8 overall record. With a total of 120 points for the season, the Capitals were able to clinch the President’s Trophy for the first time since 2009-2010. Thursday night they open the playoffs as the Metropolitan Division’s No. 1 seed taking on the Philadelphia Flyers.last_img read more

Grand Haven boys lose early lead, fall to East Kentwood 63-54 in O-K Red game

first_img Franklin Sports MLB Electronic Baseball … Inappropriate / Offensive $0.00 Inappropriate / Offensive Other Add Comments (Max 320 characters) Ads by Amazon Share (1862) Thank you! This will help us improve your ad experience. We will try not to show you such ads again. Bestseller Dude Perfect Signature Bow Nerf Sports Bi… Bestseller Other DEAL OF THE DAY (33138) Thank you! This will help us improve your ad experience. We will try not to show you such ads again. Bestseller × Mail ENDS IN DEAL OF THE DAY Displayed poorly Report a problem This item is… By Jacob ArvidsonLocalSportsJournal.comGRAND HAVEN – The Grand Haven Buccaneers faced a tough conference matchup at home on Tuesday night against a talented and athletic East Kentwood squad.Grand Haven trailed for the majority of the contest and fell 63-54 to the Falcons. The loss drops the Bucs to 7-2 overall and 1-1 in the O-K Red Conference.Zac Holman drives the lane for Grand Haven against East Kentwood guard No. 12 Justin Lary. Photo/Tim Reilly“In general, our execution tonight wasn’t great on either side of the ball,” said Grand Haven head coach Greg Immink. “Defensively, I thought we missed some assignments that we haven’t missed. We’ve got to go back to the drawing board and execute that stuff better.”Seniors Ross Koella and Zac Holman did all they could to save the Bucs, combining for 12 points in the fourth quarter to help cut a 14-point deficit to just seven late in the game, but East Kentwood was able to weather the storm.Koella finished with 19 points and eight rebounds, while Holman added 17 points.“They’ve been doing that for us all year,” Immink said. “They’re seniors who’ve put in a lot of time already on varsity. They’re experienced players and that’s what we expect from them.”Koella’s dunk late in the first quarter, after a steal by teammate Kellum Bridgeforth, gave the Bucs a 13-11 lead and seemed to swing the momentum in their favor. But that turned out to be Grand Haven’s last lead.A four-point play from East Kentwood’s Ylber Sahitolli, as the first quarter expired, sent the momentum back the other way.Grand Haven forward Ross Koella goes up for the baby hook in the lane. Photo/Tim ReillyThe Falcons led 28-24 at halftime and 45-35 after three quarters. They increased their edge to 14 points, 49-35, with about five minutes left, which proved to be enough to secure the win.Ca’Nas Coleman made sure the Falcons kept their lead by registering a double-double with 25 points and 10 rebounds.“He had a very nice ball game,” Immink said about Coleman. “He got some confidence when he knocked down those two threes to start, and then he’s just a load around the rim. He gets his hands on everything. Putbacks and drop-off passes, he was able to convert those tonight.”The schedule only gets tougher for Grand Haven. The Bucs have a week to prepare for West Ottawa, the defending O-K Red Conference champion.“They’re a veteran team,” Immink said. “They’ve got a lot of guys that played a lot of minutes last year as underclassmen and they’re as good as anybody around right now. It’s going to take a big effort from us at their place on Tuesday to see if we can get back in the win column.” ENDS IN Displayed poorly Other Not relevant DEAL OF THE DAY Displayed poorly Displayed poorly Thank you! This will help us improve your ad experience. We will try not to show you such ads again. DEAL OF THE DAY Add Comments (Max 320 characters) DEAL OF THE DAY Thank you! This will help us improve your ad experience. We will try not to show you such ads again. Report a problem This item is… Bestseller Bestseller Report a problem This item is… Displayed poorly Not relevant ENDS IN Thank you! 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Inappropriate / Offensive ENDS IN Share Fox Sports Go ENDS IN × (1009) × Report a problem This item is… Inappropriate / Offensive ENDS IN Not relevant × Report a problem This item is… Report a problem This item is… The League Add Comments (Max 320 characters) × Inappropriate / Offensive Add Comments (Max 320 characters) Other (8187) $3.99 A Warrior’s Heart Other Not relevant Inappropriate / Offensive Shop Now Add Comments (Max 320 characters) Not relevant (22) Add Comments (Max 320 characters) Other Other Range: Why Generalists Triumph in a Special… $14.99 Bestseller (35539) DEAL OF THE DAY Shares Ads by Amazon $26.86$49.99 Displayed poorly Not relevant $15.29$17.99 Other × Add Comments (Max 320 characters) (1461) Thank you! This will help us improve your ad experience. We will try not to show you such ads again. (124) $0.00 Thank you! This will help us improve your ad experience. We will try not to show you such ads again. $59.99 Report a problem This item is…last_img read more

Ahoy, mate: Kathy Griffin takes her comedy offshore

first_imgLOS ANGELES  | Kathy Griffin is ready to make waves in her first performances on Carnival Cruise Line ships.“Honey, just because I’m on the high seas doesn’t mean I’m going to hold back on the Kardashians or the (presidential) election,” Griffin said of her gigs set for February on Carnival ships docked off of Cozumel, Mexico.FILE – In this Oct. 18, 2015, file photo, comedian Kathy Griffin arrives at the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts for the 18th Annual Mark Twain Prize for American Humor presented to Eddie Murphy, in Washington. Griffin will perform on two Carnival Cruise Line ships docked off of Cozumel, Mexico, in February 2016. (Photo by Owen Sweeney/Invision/AP, File)Did the brassy, Emmy Award-winning comedian and Carnival discuss how edgy she’ll play it?“I did say to the Carnival people, ‘I’m 55 years old and doing 80 cities on my current tour, ‘Like a Boss,’ within a year. If you think I’m going to change it for the high seas, you are sorely mistaken,’” Griffin said.But her intent is to perform for an adult audience that knows what it’s getting on the Carnival Fantasy ship on Feb. 24 and the Carnival Breeze on Feb. 25.“I will do a disclaimer on this cruise like you have never heard. I’m going to say I will swear,” she said, adding, “if I have to check IDs at the door, I will do it.”The only time she’s ever been willing to tone down her comedy is for CNN’s New Year’s Eve broadcast, and that’s because she harbors “a crush on Anderson Cooper,” her co-host, Griffin said.Tickets for Griffin’s Carnival shows are $50 for general admission, for passengers only. Her offshore appearances are part of a 2016 Carnival lineup that includes musical acts Journey, Trace Adkins, Gladys Knight and KC & The Sunshine Band.The cruise line is “delighted to kick off our first-ever Carnival Live comedy performances with two shows by this accomplished comedian, actress and author,” said company executive Sarah Beth Reno. Among Griffin’s credits are “Fashion Police” and “Kathy Griffin: My Life on the D-List.”This story has been corrected to show that general admission is $50, not $40.last_img read more

Revival reviling

first_imgNO plan is sure to please everyone. That’s why the proposals to beautify 32 miles of the Los Angeles River through the city have been floated around the neighborhoods for many months. The L.A. River Revitalization Master Plan study, which includes special emphasis on where it runs through Canoga Park, is getting close to a first draft. But a few people worry about hypothetical side effects. For example, a nice river belt could make surrounding housing prices even less affordable. Or suppose undesirables use the parks. While those things very well may happen, it’s not a good excuse to abandon a river cleanup project. Does anyone really believe it’s better to leave the L.A. River ugly, dirty and full of trash? 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!last_img read more