Handicap: the ordeal of Anne-Laures and her children during a train trip to Toulouse

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“13 hours on Calvary”. Anne-Laure and her children, both disabled, experienced many adventures when they returned to Toulouse by train on Friday. The young woman testified about her accident on social networks.

For people with disabilities, getting around and taking the train can quickly seem like an obstacle course. The story that Anne-Laure Roybens and her two children, aged 8 and 11, experienced last Friday is a very revealing example.

After a week spent in Haute-Marne, Anne-Laure, Xavier and Leelou had to return to Toulouse from Troyes after a shift in Paris at the beginning of the afternoon. It is in The Pink City that the young woman and her husband have chosen to settle in 2019, so that the children are looked after in an optimal structure. A little bit of cerebral palsy, the little girl really has to move around in a wheelchair, while her little brother suffers from profound deafness. Every trip by train is therefore carefully planned by their parents.

“The train passed before our eyes”

This Friday, a grain of sand came to disrupt this organization. “At Troyes, once in the elevator leading to the platform, a suitcase fell on the doors blocking the elevator. I explained to the SNCF agent that our train was leaving in fifteen minutes, but we waited for a repairman for half an hour, the train left before our eyes.The station manager then endeavors to ensure that the rest of the journey goes as smoothly as possible.

“We had departed an hour later, but the agents did not have time to print the receipts. »Arrived at Gare de l’Est around 1 p.m., the small family had to go to Gare Montparnasse to catch the train at 15.11. SNCF, editor’s note) told us that the rest of the trip had been cancelled. I called the G7 taxi company but no one answered. It’s a detail, but it was raining, which adds stress because Leelou communicates with a tablet that doesn’t work when it’s raining. »

The family rushes to where the taxis are parked and manage to get one with a ramp. “I told myself that we were saved, but once in Montparnasse, I was told again that the file had been canceled and that I had to go out and change my ticket at the other end of the station. »

“Leelou started screaming and ran towards the train”

The agents do not fully understand the situation and offer the family to take a train the next day. Impossible to spend the night in Paris due to the children’s disabilities.

Finally the situation seems to be resolved, a railway worker explains to them that they can take the train at 15.11.

“It was 2.50pm, we were standing in front of the train and we were waiting for someone from Accès Plus to release the ramp. Except 20 minutes later there was still no one there. The family sees the train moving before their eyes again. Leelou starts screaming and rushes towards the train.

“She apologized and said that because of her we couldn’t go home. She’s so brave, it’s double jeopardy!”

Xavier in front of the train which will take them to Toulouse and which they will miss. The Accès Plus service agent to set up the ramp arrived late.

Finally, Anne-Laure and her children managed to get on the train at 17.11. “We arrived in Toulouse at 21:30. The next day I called Accès Plus. They raise my dissatisfaction. It has happened to me before, I just got an apology email. »

The family’s mother posted her testimony on social networks so that “this kind of accident does not happen again”. “I would like a directive to come so that SNCF agents can activate the access ramp in case of an emergency, and why not design spaces accessible to the disabled as soon as they are built? »

Anne-Laure states that she is “available to SNCF and Accès Plus for any exchange”. “Without an answer from them, I do not rule out the possibility of filing a lawsuit for the damages suffered. I will no longer be silent about this dehumanized and abusive system. »

Asked, SNCF has not yet had the opportunity to answer us.

Anne-Laure and her children on their arrival in Toulouse around 9.30pm.

Anne-Laure and her children on their arrival in Toulouse around 9.30pm. “Relief.”

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