LEBANON, Mo. -- A disability advocacy group is asking restaurants to change their options, and not the ones on the menu.
Many dining establishments use tall, wooden high chairs that are difficult to manage. A volunteer group called Supporters of Children with Additional Needs (SCAN) is trying to convince area restaurants to make other arrangements.
"With those wooden high chairs you have to slide that child all the way under that bar," Becker said. "If they have [ankle foot orthoses] or braces or anything on it's impossible."
Becker is the volunteer with SCAN charged with raising money to provide plastic booster seats instead. The seats have their own tray that snaps in over a child's leg.
In place of a hindering wooden bar they have a plastic horn that's more comfortable and easier to work with for both parents and children. Becker, whose son has additional needs, said the new chairs will drastically improve a family's dining experience.
"You can have your child with autism or down's and they'll be developmentally delayed and they won't have that upper body core strength," she said, referring to a child's ability to sit up unsupported. "With the harness, that also helps with those disabilities."
Franky Doublin, who owns Franky D's in
"We're all for it," Doublin said. "It will get people to come in and it shows they care and it helps the community and it helps the kids."
Terry Faust, the director of SCAN, said the group raised funds to pay for the chair at Franky D's and several others in the area. She added that the group is trying to develop similar projects in local parks and conservation areas.
"It doesn't matter their age, it doesn't matter where they came from or what the diagnosis is," Faust said. "If the family wants support, needs support, we're here for them."
She added that the restaurants' willingness to adopt the
chairs is a sign of changing attitudes in the
Faust said that SCAN arranges community and support events that combine families with special needs and their typical peers.
"These kids don't even know they're different," she said, "in any way."
Many local restaurants in
"With families being on the go they really need that opportunity," Becker said.