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Old 03-02-2006, 12:47 AM   #31
Absimilliard
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My view on this..

Currently, Segways in the parks are limited to the tours at Epcot, which if you notice is training in a separate area and then the tour in itself which take place in the not yet open World Showcase. Thus, no crowds for novice riders to deal with. Cast members use them as well, but they're all trained and in a small number.

The problem I see and you can already see it with bulkier and slower ECV is that people don't "hear" them, so, you always have the chance of people going in front of you, not moving, etc. People are not yet used to having Segways around them and so do not act very good.

Also, I think liability may be an issue? Say a guest is driving his Segway around. If a guest gets injured, who's responsible? Disney for allowing it? The Segway user? Any one got more insight on that?

I may be completely wrong... but that's how I saw it.
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Old 03-02-2006, 05:29 AM   #32
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Can you legally deny some people access to riding Segways in the park when you allow others to do so? Doesn't that go against the ADA's section about equal vs superior access?

Can anyone buy an electric wheelchair, with their own money, or an ECV, etc? Could they use them in the parks without a doctor's note? Wouldn't the Segway be the same?
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Old 03-02-2006, 05:54 AM   #33
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Quote:
Originally Posted by videogal1
You may be living proof that you can use a Segway but if you, or anyone with your capabilities, were to push this to its final legal end you would not only lose your status under the ADA but also make some very bad case law. You cannot claim ADA protection if you have capabilities outside those defined by the DOJ and SCOTUS which, at this time, do not include ADA protection for anyone able to safely operate a Segway while still claiming impaired mobility at the level required by the ADA. Is that what you want?
There are certainly a lot of people who have misconceptions about the Segway.

"Substantial Limitation" in walking could be caused by many conditions including some which would leave one with the ability to balance, and even the ability to do a bit of "fancy footwork" as you put it. COPD comes to mind, but there is also a Federal Judge with lung cancer who no longer has the ability to walk the distance required and uses a Segway as his mobility device inside a federal courthouse in the United States.

"Substantial Limitation" under federal law could also be temporary as I'm sure you're aware. For example someone who had a broken leg in a cast, who could stand but not walk any distance would be considered as having a substantial limitation.

An even better example of someone meeting the definition of "substantial limitation" are amputees. This organization called DRAFT has donated Segways to soldiers who have lost a leg or in one case both legs while serving our country in Iraq. While all of the soldiers have prosthetic legs walking any distance is difficult for them. The use of the Segway allows them to visit places and do things that they would ordinarily not be able to do. No one would suggest that they don't meet the definition of disability under federal law.

Interestingly the Segway requires none of the items which you have ascribed to it. It doesn't require good balance, or even fancy footwork to operate it safely. There are many people with multiple sclerosis and Parkinson's disease and other conditions where their balance is affected but can safely operate the Segway. The design of the Segway and its gyroscopes compensate for their balance problems.

The Disability Law Coordinating Council of the United States Department of Transportation issued ADA guidance with regard to the Segway on September 1, 2005. This guidance ascribed the same legal standing to the Segway as that of other mobility aids such as the cane, walker, etc. and required transportation agencies to transport Segway as an assistive device for people with disabilities.

The Segway is new technology and as with all things new they are often times resisted by those who don't understand them. Hopefully for many people who have difficulty walking, that understanding of the Segway will come sooner rather than later.
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Old 03-02-2006, 06:13 AM   #34
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chuck S
There is another concern to address. With the ADA barring Disney from inquiring about the type of disability that requires someone to use a segway...or asking for proof of that disability, if they allowed them in the parks under the ADA, I see the immediate start up of off site rental operations that would rent segways to anyone. Disney could not say "No, unless you prove a disability." Even for safety concerns under the ADA. I think that the FDA and FDOT need to come up with an easy way to modify the Segways to make them "obviously" a handicapped/medical device...maybe a special color or paint design that, by Federal law, could only be obtained with a Physician's permission, and only be operated by the person with a "medical permit." For this type of technology, there has to be some sort of "bending" of privacy for the safety of people in crowded areas. That way, folks that truly need them could operate them, and those that don't wouldn't be able to obtain a medical permit or special colored Segway.
Well to be clear the ADA doesn't bar anyone from inquiry with regard to disability it just limits the extent of that inquiry. A very good example is the service animal. Places of public accommodation can refuse to allow pets inside their venue but cannot refuse entrance of the service animal. To help prevent fraud they can however inquire as to the tasks which that service animal provides for the individual with disabilities.

The service animal as you might guess isn't FDA approved. Under federal law there is no requirement for certification and indeed individuals can train their service animals themselves. They are not required to carry medical permits, etc.

The service animal and the Segway when used by a person with disabilities are very similar in this sense. My pet dog would not be allowed but your service animal would be. They might even be the same animal but when I'm holding the leash it's a pet. People using the Segway as an assistive device who have disabilities have the same rights under the law has anyone else.

And by the way the Segway is much safer in crowded areas to those around at them the wheelchair or the scooter. Have you ever heard of anyone that's been hurt badly by someone operating a Segway?
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Old 03-02-2006, 06:26 AM   #35
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Absimilliard
Currently, Segways in the parks are limited to the tours at Epcot, which if you notice is training in a separate area and then the tour in itself which take place in the not yet open World Showcase. Thus, no crowds for novice riders to deal with. Cast members use them as well, but they're all trained and in a small number.

The problem I see and you can already see it with bulkier and slower ECV is that people don't "hear" them, so, you always have the chance of people going in front of you, not moving, etc. People are not yet used to having Segways around them and so do not act very good.

Also, I think liability may be an issue? Say a guest is driving his Segway around. If a guest gets injured, who's responsible? Disney for allowing it? The Segway user? Any one got more insight on that?

I may be completely wrong... but that's how I saw it.
What makes Disney's stance on the Segway for people with disabilities, while unlawful, even more peculiar is the fact that they not only have tours, but more importantly have cast members running around all over the Park on them. As a matter of fact Disney is one of Segway's biggest customers.

While I understand that the cast members are trained, so are people with disabilities. As a matter-of-fact I would assert that those with disabilities using the Segway as an assistive device are better trained than the cast members and are more accomplished using the Segway than those cast members. In my experience people whose mobility is dependent upon two wheels sticking out from their sides are much more accomplished than those who mobility is not. It would surprise many people to know that the Segway is used by many people for mobility inside their homes. In tight spaces around small animals etc. it's the best mobility device for those who can stand but have difficulty walking.

The issue of liability is no different for an individual using the Segway than a individual using a power wheelchair. If you were negligent you are responsible. But then again I don't think anybody's ever been injured by someone on a Segway. You can't say that about a power wheelchair or scooter.
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Old 03-02-2006, 07:50 AM   #36
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But again, the problem comes down to how to tell the difference between someone that truly needs the accomodation of a Segway and those that simply want to rent one off-site for the "fun of running around Disney on a Segway." The point of my post is there has to be some legal, formal, uniform way to identify either the special need Segway or a special needs user from someone out for a joy ride. As far as anyone being hurt by a Segway...if they were as prevalent as wheelchairs and ECVs then you could make an adequte comparison. My bet is there would be the same or more Segway than ECV accidents...and Segways have the potential to hurt someone much worse if driven at higher speeds.
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Old 03-02-2006, 09:00 AM   #37
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chuck S
But again, the problem comes down to how to tell the difference between someone that truly needs the accomodation of a Segway and those that simply want to rent one off-site for the "fun of running around Disney on a Segway." The point of my post is there has to be some legal, formal, uniform way to identify either the special need Segway or a special needs user from someone out for a joy ride. As far as anyone being hurt by a Segway...if they were as prevalent as wheelchairs and ECVs then you could make an adequte comparison. My bet is there would be the same or more Segway than ECV accidents...and Segways have the potential to hurt someone much worse if driven at higher speeds.
The solution to your problem is that Disney can tell everyone that Segways are not allowed. However if someone tells them they have a mobility related disability and they must allow them. Literally no different than the issue of service animals versus pets.

They can also look for additional evidence of disability, perhaps a cane hanging from a Segway, or a disabled placard affixed to the Segway in some form, etc., and if they suspect fraud there are other ways to deal with that.

It's absolutely true that Segways are not as prevalent as power wheelchairs or scooters. But I have no idea how you could reach the conclusion that the Segway's have the potential to hurt someone worse than a power wheelchair. Do you know that the top speed of many power wheelchairs exceeds 12 mph?

Because of the design of the Segway has less potential to cause injury than any mobility device. The only known study which was presented to the Transportation Research Board in Washington, DC assess the danger of the Segway to others even when operated a top speed as being equivalent to that of children playing. They assessed the danger of the power wheelchair to others to be consistent with equestrians (people riding horses).
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Old 03-02-2006, 09:55 AM   #38
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gwinfred
TAn even better example of someone meeting the definition of "substantial limitation" are amputees. This organization called DRAFT has donated Segways to soldiers who have lost a leg or in one case both legs while serving our country in Iraq. While all of the soldiers have prosthetic legs walking any distance is difficult for them. The use of the Segway allows them to visit places and do things that they would ordinarily not be able to do. No one would suggest that they don't meet the definition of disability under federal law.

If you take a look at the direction of ADA court decisions regarding the qualifying criteria for coverage under the ADA you would soon see that your amputees would not necessarily be considered as having a substantial limitation. The ADA does not consider diagnosis or the "name" of a condition when it comes to its qualifying criteria. If your amputee, regardless of the cause, is not substantially limited by the condition, they do not qualify as disabled under the ADA. IOne decision held that if a person could walk with the use of a cane they were not disabled.

The Disability Law Coordinating Council of the United States Department of Transportation issued ADA guidance with regard to the Segway on September 1, 2005. This guidance ascribed the same legal standing to the Segway as that of other mobility aids such as the cane, walker, etc. and required transportation agencies to transport Segway as an assistive device for people with disabilities.
That may be true, however, it is unlikely that the DOJ would find the person using the Segway disabled under the current case law and would, therefore end any hope of a future widespread "medical" use because the user would not be considered disabled and their case would not advance. That does not mean that a person with a disability who could ride one would get a ticket for doing so, it just means that if they chose to fight that ticket using an ADA-based defense, they would not prevail, as the ability to use one to mitigate a mobility issue exceeds the qualifying standard for the ADA, as shown by case law. All you have to do is make a quick review of ADA-based decisions to see that the coverage under the ADA is shrinking and those whose "impairments" were previously thought to be substantial limitations and considered disabling are now not.

The Segway is new technology and as with all things new they are often times resisted by those who don't understand them. Hopefully for many people who have difficulty walking, that understanding of the Segway will come sooner rather than later.[/QUOTE]

It is not people that need to understand the Segway but, rather, people who need to understand the ADA and what it is turning into. It does not matter if the Segway is deemed a medical device. One would think that a cane is a medical device, yet consistent use of a cane does not automatically make one disabled and if Disney,which is the original topic of this discussion, choses to prohibit use of the Segway, even as a medical device, it is their right. They have little to lose. At this point in time there is no way that the courts would find its user disabled under the ADA, thereby making the whole argument pointless.
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Old 03-02-2006, 12:14 PM   #39
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Well I don't believe we want to turn this into a legal debate about what the Supreme Court has said and what they haven't, but you strike me as one who may have participated in Fred Shotz's forum. I don't believe there's any case law which you can cite which will support your arguments in title III of the ADA.

I believe you're referring to the case law which was held in title I cases, specifically Sutton v. United Airlines Inc. and Toyota v. Williams, which were narrow issues and even the Justices who found for the majority don't agree with your position.

Justice O'Connor who delivered the opinion of the court in Sutton v. United Airlines said this about your position:

"The dissents suggest that viewing individuals in their corrected state will exclude from the definition of "disab[led]"
those who use prosthetic limbs, see post , at 3-4 (opinion of Stevens , J.), post , at 1 (opinion of B reyer , J.), or take
medicine for epilepsy or high blood pressure, see post , at 14, 16 (opinion of S tevens , J.). This suggestion is incorrect.
The use of a corrective device does not, by itself, relieve one's disability. Rather, one has a disability under subsection A
if, notwithstanding the use of a corrective device, that individual is substantially limited in a major life activity. For
example, individuals who use prosthetic limbs or wheelchairs may be mobile and capable of functioning in society but
still be disabled because of a substantial limitation on their ability to walk or run. The same may be true of individuals
who take medicine to lessen the symptoms of an impairment so that they can function but nevertheless remain
substantially limited. Alternatively, one whose high blood pressure is "cured" by medication may be regarded as disabled
by a covered entity, and thus disabled under subsection C of the definition. The use or nonuse of a corrective device does
not determine whether an individual is disabled; that determination depends on whether the limitations an individual with
an impairment actually faces are in fact substantially limiting."

If you're aware of any case law under title III which support your position I would love to read it. I'm a student of the ADA and the 1973 rehabilitation act and I'm always learning.

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Old 03-02-2006, 01:35 PM   #40
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gwinfred
The only known study which was presented to the Transportation Research Board in Washington, DC assess the danger of the Segway to others even when operated a top speed as being equivalent to that of children playing. They assessed the danger of the power wheelchair to others to be consistent with equestrians (people riding horses).
To the person on the Segway, or the pedestrian that it hit? It seems that the pedestrian would come out far worse being rammed by a Segway, simply because the higher center of gravity, increasing the risk of the rider falling onto the pedestrian. Generally, if one is rammed by an ECV or wheelchair the passenger of the device usually remains seated. With a Segway that person would be more likely to fall off the device and land upon someone else. Also, you state, simply informing Disney that one has a disablility should enable them to use a Segway in the parks. Again, how does that solve the problem of folks renting Segways for the fun of it and running them through the parks?

Disney: Do you have a disability that is assisted by the Segway?
Rider: Yes.

I think we'd see a lot of folks with "instant" disabilities. There HAS to be a system put in place to adequately weed out the joyriders, whether it be a doctors pass or specially emblazoned/colored Segway. Especially on a product as popular for fully ambulatory and able bodied folks as the Segway is becoming.
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Old 03-02-2006, 02:41 PM   #41
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chuck S
To the person on the Segway, or the pedestrian that it hit? It seems that the pedestrian would come out far worse being rammed by a Segway, simply because the higher center of gravity, increasing the risk of the rider falling onto the pedestrian. Generally, if one is rammed by an ECV or wheelchair the passenger of the device usually remains seated. With a Segway that person would be more likely to fall off the device and land upon someone else. Also, you state, simply informing Disney that one has a disablility should enable them to use a Segway in the parks. Again, how does that solve the problem of folks renting Segways for the fun of it and running them through the parks?

Disney: Do you have a disability that is assisted by the Segway?
Rider: Yes.

I think we'd see a lot of folks with "instant" disabilities. There HAS to be a system put in place to adequately weed out the joyriders, whether it be a doctors pass or specially emblazoned/colored Segway. Especially on a product as popular for fully ambulatory and able bodied folks as the Segway is becoming.
I was talking about a person who might be struck by someone operating a Segway. There's no question that you could actually hurt yourself falling off of the Segway, even though that happens rarely. But there's also no reports of someone actually "ramming" someone with a Segway that I'm aware of.

Do you know of one?

Who do you suppose all of these folks with "instant" disabilities would be? Would they be younger or older?

I think this is a simple case of someone doing the right thing even if it didn't meet the test of the ADA. What if for instance Disney said that you could only use a Segway if it was owned by you and displayed a handicap placard. While requiring this might not be permissible under the ADA I don't think many people with disabilities using the Segway would complain about it too much.

If you're disabled you can fly on any airline with the Segway, but if you're not disabled you have to pay to transport the Segway. Not many people flying into Orlando or Los Angeles would pay to transport their Segway if they knew they could use it unless they were disabled.

It would seem a reasonable approach and a least a start in the right direction.
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Old 03-02-2006, 03:25 PM   #42
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chuck S
To the person on the Segway, or the pedestrian that it hit? It seems that the pedestrian would come out far worse being rammed by a Segway, simply because the higher center of gravity, increasing the risk of the rider falling onto the pedestrian. Generally, if one is rammed by an ECV or wheelchair the passenger of the device usually remains seated. With a Segway that person would be more likely to fall off the device and land upon someone else. Also, you state, simply informing Disney that one has a disablility should enable them to use a Segway in the parks. Again, how does that solve the problem of folks renting Segways for the fun of it and running them through the parks?

Disney: Do you have a disability that is assisted by the Segway?
Rider: Yes.

I think we'd see a lot of folks with "instant" disabilities. There HAS to be a system put in place to adequately weed out the joyriders, whether it be a doctors pass or specially emblazoned/colored Segway. Especially on a product as popular for fully ambulatory and able bodied folks as the Segway is becoming.
Chuck,

I agree that a person using a Segway as a mobility device would have to understand that they would need to provide info that they normally would not have to under ADA, which I still believe protects Segways.

All that would take is a meeting of the minds between the disabled and the Disney people.

Could that happen, who knows.

I think this may become a similar issue in the future. I heard about it from a friend in the mobility buis and could not believe him.

Until I read this:
http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/10655557/site/newsweek/

As one who lost most of the use of my lower body I find this Newsweek article disturbing.


Would these people have to prove a disability to get into WDW?

Hope your day is happy and healthy,
Alan

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Old 03-02-2006, 03:26 PM   #43
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Quote:
What if for instance Disney said that you could only use a Segway if it was owned by you and displayed a handicap placard. While requiring this might not be permissible under the ADA I don't think many people with disabilities using the Segway would complain about it too much.
How would Disney know if they actually owned the Segway or had rented it?

Who do I suppose all the folks are with "instant" disabilities, probably a cross segment of society with the entitlement mentality we see every day on the DIS boards.

Just becasue there are no reports of someone being "rammed" with a segway, do you think it will stay that way if they became a popular form of transit around Disney? We read all the time of folks being hit with wheelchairs, ECVs and strollers.
You could also be seriously hurt by being the person the Segway rider falls upon, couldn't you?

Perhaps FDOT is waiting a broader spectrum of reports and tests. Requiring a handicap placard...seems like lots of folks use other peoples placards for parking...and as you said, it isn't permissible for Disney to require it under ADA, so it is kind of moot. Without some sort of legal way to identify legitimate Segway disabled users, it's sort of a "everyone or no one" like currenty exists with wheelchairs and ECVs. Anyone can purchase a wheelchair or ECV, the difference is that most folks WON'T. With Segways, they are popular with fully ambulatory folks, too. And the ADA allows no way to verify the disability. Maybe the ADA needs to change some of their rules for this new technology and have a legal way of verification...is there a problem with that?
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Old 03-02-2006, 03:31 PM   #44
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Chuck, you may not be familiar with the unique characteristics of a Segway. If going forward it bumps into someting, it stops immediately. The segway does not roll, it balances itself with the computers adjusting it 100 times per second. I have used a Segway in the most crowded areas where pedestrians can barely move at less than 1 mph and the Segway "goes with the flow." Friends have used their Segway at black tie affairs and weddings going through reception lines as well as buffet lines without incident.

There are various reasons why your concern about rental operations should not occur. I can not imagine that a rental operation would want to take the financial risk to rent to an individual who plans on illegally entering Disney posing as a disabled individual. Also, a not too experienced Disney member should be able to recognize the ability or lack thereof of the rider of a Segway. Finally, while many disabilities disappear on a Segway, there usually are clues that anyone familiar with disabilities would recognize. Disabled individuals using Segways range from those with MS, Parkinsons, spinal cord injuries (some that make it impossible to sit in a wheelchair), amputees, as well as heart/lung issues that often have the individual carrying oxygen with them.

The San Diego Zoo has permitted Segway useage for almost two years without incident. The steep terrain of their property makes the easy control of a Segway ideal and needless to say, they have substantial crowds as well.

Disney is a great organization but it needs to accept Segway useage by the disabled community.
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Old 03-02-2006, 03:36 PM   #45
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chuck S
How would Disney know if they actually owned the Segway or had rented it?

Who do I suppose all the folks are with "instant" disabilities, probably a cross segment of society with the entitlement mentality we see every day on the DIS boards.

Just becasue there are no reports of someone being "rammed" with a segway, do you think it will stay that way if they became a popular form of transit around Disney? We read all the time of folks being hit with wheelchairs, ECVs and strollers.
You could also be seriously hurt by being the person the Segway rider falls upon, couldn't you?

Perhaps FDOT is waiting a broader spectrum of reports and tests. Requiring a handicap placard...seems like lots of folks use other peoples placards for parking...and as you said, it isn't permissible for Disney to require it under ADA, so it is kind of moot. Without some sort of legal way to identify legitimate Segway disabled users, it's sort of a "everyone or no one" like currenty exists with wheelchairs and ECVs. Anyone can purchase a wheelchair or ECV, the difference is that most folks WON'T. With Segways, they are popular with fully ambulatory folks, too. And the ADA allows no way to verify the disability. Maybe the ADA needs to change some of their rules for this new technology and have a legal way of verification...is there a problem with that?
As posted above:

http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/10655557/site/newsweek/

I know it's hard to believe but my friend in LA now sell more scooters to the able bodied than the disabled.

Unbelievable !!

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