Wheelchair-bound student says left at the curb
OKLAHOMA CITY — One metro student said she has been discriminated against because she relies on a wheelchair.
She said a bus driver left her on the side of the road in 100 degree heat.
Twenty-five-year old Alyssa Sebastian is buckled up and fastened in her wheelchair.
“I’m going to school to improve my life,” she said.
Despite her disability.
“And to try to be self-sufficient and self-sustaining,” Sebastian said.
No matter what she has to go through to get there.
“And give back to society,” she said.
Sebastian has Cerebral Palsy.
She is a senior at the University of Centraol Oklahoma; getting to just one class for her is an all-day event.
It begins with catching public transportation in downtown Oklahoma City and then catching another bus to get to school in Edmond.
Twice a week she does this but the last two times she said she was literally left at the curb by the bus driver.
Sebastian said, “He gets out his clipboard, writes something on it and then shuts the door and takes off, and I’m sitting there going, ‘What just happened?’”
After the first time she said she was left behind, Sebastian decided to show up 15 minutes early to catch her first bus ride of two to get home.
“I got there early enough, because I thought, ‘OK, I’m not going to give him an excuse to drive off and leave me,’” she said.
But, sure enough, she said it happened again with the same driver.
Not only was she left to find a ride home but also to fight the heat.
It was well above 100 degrees outside.
Sebastian has a pump that releases medication to her brain and the battery to that machine automatically shuts off as a precaution if it gets too hot.
If that happens, Sebastian could have a seizure.
She wheeled her way back to a nearby building and was able to finally catch another bus.
“I’m kind of used to being treated like a second-class citizen,” she said. “I’ve had people treat me that way, because they can’t get past the chair to actually see ‘Hey, there’s a person who has a mind of their own and isn’t doing all this just for fun.’ I actually want to do something with my life.”
We contacted City Link, the company Sebastian said left her behind.
No one from their offices returned our call.
However, someone from City Link did contact Sebastian’s mother and said they are investigating the matter.
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