Ohio Mom Sues YMCA for Excluding Son With Down Syndrome

An Ohio mother is suing a YMCA because she said they won't accept her son with Down syndrome into its general summer program, and instead has only offered him a spot in its camp for kids with disabilities, NBC News reported. The Great Miami Valley YMCA features 6-year-old Steven Heffron "as a poster child for its programs with the tag lines 'Providing Opportunities for Everyone,'" according to the federal lawsuit. "Each time they just said no, that it wasn't safe, the environment wasn't safe," his mother Denise Watts told NBC News. "It's more like he's a liability, but that's not my fault." NBC News was not able to reach lawyers for the YMCA. YMCA Attorney Michael Hawkins told the Associated Press he is still gathering the facts of case, and said youth development has been a focus for the organization for decades.

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