Segway Madness Resolved

5 04 2011

There is one specific issue that can cause a lot of headaches for any business, the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA from here on), which lays out ground rules for making businesses handicap accessible for both their employees and consumers. Now, I say headache not because of the sensible things that the ADA lays out, but because of some of the absolutely ridiculous things that have involved the ADA; such as lawsuits and rather interesting, if not concerning, rule revisions. One such revision was recently made to the ADA’s rules regarding what can be considered a wheelchair/assistive device, specifically about Segways and their use in theme parks.

For a quick bit of background on all of this and to save you from the tiresomely long essay that would be sure to follow on all the legal mumbo-jumbo involved, I will simply refer you to an excellent article on the DIS Unplugged Blog, which contains links to relevant cases and facts as well as a link to the ADA revision (which will also be directly linked at the end of this post). If you have not yet guessed how I feel about the revision and the idea of using Segways in parks such as Disney or Universal from the tone of the writing so far, I find the idea of using a Segway as an assistive device in crowded theme parks rather untenable. To explain a bit better why I feel that way, here is a post I have made elsewhere on the issue.

“From personal experience, I can tell you that properly controlling a Segway requires both very good driving skill-sets (alertness, quick reactions, good sight, etc.), and understanding of your body’s balance and solid control of your muscle movements. While controlling a Segway is not necessarily physically demanding (you won’t be sweating like you were doing a workout), it does require very good muscle control and some balance. The Segway does not do all the work for you, you have to understand how your movements affect its reactions. Also, just like a vehicle, it will not stop immediately. It can stop in a very short distance, but you will not stop in time to avoid someone not watching where they are walking that would step out less than 5ft. in front of you unless you are moving slower than you would walk on the Segway.

Simply put, these things are not intended for use, and should absolutely not be used by anyone, regardless of training and familiarity with it, in any kind of significant crowd. In addition, I find it very hard to believe that in all but a few very special cases, a Segway would be a suitable transportation option for a disabled person. That view comes from operational experience with Segways, not simply a general opinion based on what I’ve heard. Regardless, use of a Segway in any significant crowd is, in my view, a safety issue waiting to happen and irresponsible.*

*I have heard and partially recognize the validity of the whole psychological aspect of being forced to be at a lower height than everyone else as a disabled person. However, I consider the safety of many to be of greater concern than elevating someone so they can feel good about themselves. I will not accept that argument in the Segway discussion, or similar device discussions.”

Just yesterday there was some progress made on the issue, and thankfully it seems that someone in the courts actually understands the issue. As this new article on the DIS Unplugged Blog states:

“The Justice Department also had argued that Walt Disney World could not adhere to a “blanket ban on Segways at all Disney properties” because Disney’s safety concerns were “bland and unsupported.” Judge Presnell disagreed, saying: “Disney would likely be able to maintain its ban on Segways in light of its legitimate safety concerns. Specifically, the evidence at the fairness hearing supports Disney’s position that unrestricted Segway use poses significant safety risks because Segways cannot be operated in accordance with Disney’s legitimate safety requirements.”

So it seems that, at least for now, common sense and safety have prevailed in the consideration of this issue. For everyone’s safety, hopefully that continues to be the case, as I’m sure this will be brought up again/appealed and make its way up the court ladder.

Articles and Links:
ADA Revision
Initial DIS article
Followup DIS article

About these ads

Actions

Information

33 responses

2 05 2011
Patrick McNamara

As a disabled retired physician who uses a Segway because of back pain, and cannot tolerate vibration to my lower back from sitting in a bouncing chair (like a wheelchair or scooter and most cars), I was denied access to Disney World and was unable to see my son play in a baseball tournament at their sports facility. This was a terrible blow to me.
The comments about the skill required to use a Segway are wrong and there are some great videos of quadraplegics freed from their wheelchairs on You Tube to open closed minds.
The comments on the psychologic aspects of using a Segway v. being confined to a wheelchair are not merely wrong, but are bigoted IMHO. There is a great value in being treated like a human being v. an impediment. This fact becomes apparent after one has been nearly run over several times, deliberately, by cars while using a scooter v. having many people come up and start a pleasant conversation when using a Segway. I am terribly isolated by my disability, and the chance to converse with someone at the store is vital (prisoners are punished by placing them in solitary confinement to deny them such human contact). I have used my Segway in crowded malls at Christmas with no problems ever, except once last Summer, when bigoted security guards humiliated me publicly and forced me to leave (they have all been forced to apologize to me in person and I used the meeting to demonstrate the safety, agility, and stability of the Segway to them-tehy all said they had no idea and were quite amazied.)
Though I practiced Medicine for more than 20 years, I never even thought of recommending a disabled patient try a Segway and it was only my desperation after becoming disabled, and after trying scooters and electric wheelchairs and finding they caused me overwhelming pain, and only marginally improved my mobility, that I thought of trying a Segway. On a Segway, I am not disabled – everyone else seems to be. I am much safer to others on a Segway than walking with my cane. The Segways tires are low pressure and the device weighs but 105 lbs. Compare having your foot run over by a wheelchair with rider, with its narrow hard wheels v. the Segway with rider with its broad and cushy wheels. The wheelchair will crush toes, the Segway may not even hurt.
There is no safety issue. The Segway ban is about the power to dominate others. Those who wish to dominate the disabled are the real cripples.

6 06 2012
news

Please email me with a few pointers about how you made your blog site look this cool, I would appreciate it!

21 06 2012
high quality loan payday

Have you considered including several social bookmarking buttons to these blogs. At the very least for youtube.

21 06 2012
change my life

Good Stuff, do you currently have a myspace profile?

22 06 2012
dean karr

Whilst I truly like this publish, I believe there was an spelling error shut to the finish of your third sentence.

23 06 2012
account

Odd , your posting turns up with a black color to it, what color is the primary color on your site?

23 06 2012
jewelry direct sales

I love this blog layout . How do you make it!? It is very good!

24 06 2012
wow us gold

Jesus Christ theres lots of spammy comments on this page. Have you actually believed about trying to eliminate them or putting in a tool?

25 06 2012
forex success

This site has a lot of very useful stuff on it! Thank you for helping me!

26 06 2012
podium steps

I had been curious about if you ever considered modifying the design of your website? Its very well written; I enjoy what you have got to state. But maybe you can create a a bit more in the way of content so people can connect with it better. You have got an awful lot of text for only having one or two pictures. Maybe you could space it out better?

26 06 2012
buy leather wallets

As soon as I initially commented I clicked on the Notify me any time new comments are added checkbox and now each time a remark is added I get 4 messages with the exact same comment.

26 06 2012
blackpool computer repairs

Wow. This blog site is awesome. How did you make it look this good ?

27 06 2012
research sleep apnea doctor lancaster pa

I was wondering if you ever thought of replacing the page layout of your website? Its well written; I enjoy what youve got to say. But maybe you could add a a bit more in the way of content so people can connect to it better. You have got an awful lot of wording for only having one or two graphics. Maybe you can space it out better?

28 06 2012
sailing holiday

I tried viewing your site in my blackberry and the structure doesnt seem to be right. Might want to check it out on WAP as well as it seems most cellphone layouts are not working with your website.

29 06 2012
buy fridge freezer

This website is really good. How did you make it ?

30 06 2012
gwinnett business tax service

Just discovered this site thru Google, what a way to brighten up my day!

1 07 2012
wedding rings direct

Many of the remarks on this particular site dont make sense.

1 07 2012
city garage arlington

Please message me with any tips on how you made your blog site look this awesome, Id be appreciative!

1 07 2012
city garage

Can you message me with any pointers about how you made your blog look like this , Id appreciate it.

3 07 2012
law firm seo

I had been wanting to know if you ever considered replacing the design of your web site? It is well written; I love what you have got to state. But maybe you can create a a bit more in the way of content so people might connect with it better. Youve got a great deal of text for only having one or two pictures. Maybe you can space it out better?

5 07 2012
homepage

Re: The person who made the comment that this was a great internet site genuinely needs to have their head evaluated.

6 07 2012
personalisation agenda

The look for your blog is a tad off in Epiphany. Even So I like your web site. I may need to use a normal web browser just to enjoy it.

7 07 2012
athens ga dj

It looks to me that this web site doesnt load up on a Motorola Droid. Are other people getting the same issue? I like this blog and dont want to have to miss it whenever Im gone from my computer.

9 07 2012
sushi austin tx critique

Could you message me with any tips on how you made your blog look this awesome, I would be thankful.

9 07 2012
how to clean porcelain tiles

Cool post ! Cheers for, writing on this blog page man! I shall email you again! I didnt realise that.

10 07 2012
return to site

Just to let you know your web page looks a little bit different in Safari on my notebook using Linux .

12 07 2012
found it

I love this site layout . How did you make it. Its rather nice!

13 07 2012
mlm

Oh man! This website is cool. How did you make it look this good !

15 07 2012
silver hair

Odd , your post turns up with a dark hue to it, what color is the primary color on your web site?

16 07 2012
sponsor

Have you considered adding some differing opinions to the article? I think it might enhance everyones understanding.

16 07 2012
web design camberley

When I start your Feed it appears to be to be a lot of garbage, is the problem on my part?

16 07 2013
web site

If you would like to improve your familiarity simply keep visiting this site and be updated with
the most up-to-date gossip posted here.

19 07 2013
symbian4ever.ueuo.com

bonjour Je m’appelle Luce.
J’ai quarante-cinqA .
Mon occupation principale, viticultrice … Mes amis disent parfois que je suis taciturne.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s




Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

%d bloggers like this: