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Old 03-03-2006, 09:11 AM   #61
Chuck S
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dj2
there's no need for a bicycle license, but a segway is motorized. what are the pro's and con's of having segway users licensed, such as motorcycle users are?
Interesting thought, but since Seqways are not for use on roads and highways, I don't think the states would have much interest in a licensing department for them, just like ECVs and other off-road medical transport devices.
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Old 03-03-2006, 09:58 AM   #62
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Originally Posted by SueM in MN
I do remember one of Disney's defenses was that because the Segway was not licensed as a mobility device, it didn't fall uner the ADA.
I am the person who initially added the FDA "licensed as a mobility device" into the mix here, so I thought I should respond to that.
I saw a response letter from Disney that someone posted on a disability forum that included the "it's not licensed as a mobility device" in the reasoning of why Disney would not allow Segways into their parks. That was probably more of a "delaying tactic" on Disney's part than an actual response; there are some people who would be likely to say "Oh, OK, it's not approved. I guess I can't use it then." Insurance companies use the same tactic in denying benefits for services they know they should cover; each time a denial is made, a certain percentage of people won't challenge the denial.

Power wheelchairs need to be FDA approved; not having approval was one of the delays in being able to market the iBOT mobility system (the wheelchair made by the same inventor as the Segway). FDA approval is important for being able to get insurance reimbursement and you can point at something like a wheelchair and say it is obviously covered by the ADA because it is recognized mobility device.

Consumer devices that are useful for people without disabilities and all also useful for people with disabilities (like Segways) don't need to be licensed to come under the ADA, but insurance is unlikely to pay for them b ecause they are "useful for ordinary people".
Many people who would choose to use a Segway would be disabled under the "old definition" of mobility disability (ie, unable to walk 200 feet), but the part that some people mentioned as disqualifying some people with disabilities from coverage is:
"Inability to walk without the use of or assistance from
a brace, cane, crutch, prosthetic device, or other
assistive device, or without assistance of another
person. If the assistive device significantly restores
the person's ability to walk to the extent that the
person can walk without severe limitation, the person
is not eligible for the exemption parking permit.
"
This is from the Florida State handicapped Parking Permit Application.

There is a stigma about renting an ECV or wheelchair that would not be present for Segways. I have been on the Segway tour at Epcot twice and on each tour, I was personally approached/asked at least 2 times to see where I rented it. If WDW allowed Segways to be used by anyone who brought one in there would be lots of them (and I do believe many people would pay to fly their personal one down or would rent one in Orland without being disabled - I am sure of it because there was even a black market in fake Make a Wish buttons. If people are willing to lie about that sort of thing, saying you are disabled to use a Segway at WDW is not a biggie).

Long ago (10-15 years), the only ECVs you saw in the parks were either Disney's own ones that they rented out or belonged to the person who was using it. WDW controlled theirs by making the top speed quite slow (I believe someone has posted the top speed is about 2-4 miles per hour).

They could not control the speed of the ones people brought in, but since most people were using their own, they were experienced drivers and the top speed of most ECVs is around 4 to 6 mph. (There are are a few "power scooters - maybe the kind for people who watch ToolTime and feel like Tim Taylor that go up to 9 mph, but most ECVs are actually more in the 4-5 mph range).
Someone had posted that power wheelchairs can go up to 12 mph. There may be a few specialized wheelchairs that can go fast (the fastest I've seen was listed as 8mph), the majority of power wheelchairs still have a top speed of 4-6 mph (my DD's can go to 7.5, but her computer controller is set to not let her go more than 80% of full power, so her "programmed top speed is still around 6mph).

So, unless Disney collected all the higher speed keys from Segways, you would have vehicles in the parks that are capable of going MUCH faster than any of the power wheelchairs or ECVs that people complain about in the parks. And, I have no doubt that some people would find ways around that and actually keep their higher power keys.

Aslo, one of the things I've noticed recently is a lot of rental power wheelchairs; you can tell they are rental ones because of the advertizing stickers on the back of them. You can tell the difference between a power wheelchair and an ECV because they ECVs drive with a tiller between the legs and the power wheelchairs drive with a joystick.

The actual full service medical equipment companies appreciate the fact that a power wheelchair with a joystick is not as intuitive and takes more practice to be able to drive safely than an ECV takes. The medical equipment companies will not rent power wheelchairs to inexperienced users.
The companies that only rent mobility devices used to only rent ECVs, but now many will also rent power wheelchairs to anyone. The high price of power wheelchairs was a disincentive before (they cost $6000 and up), but some of the companies have come up with much less expensive joystick controlled wheelchairs and (especially with all the ads for "Hoveround" wheelchairs on TV), there is demand from people who want to use these instead of "old fashioned" ECVs. So, even though a careful company would not rent the joystick controlled power wheelchair to someone without experience, there are less careful companies that will.

Only one of the mobility companies that I know of requires someone to be there when the ECV is dropped off or picked up (which allows the company to make sure there are no questions about operation). The rest will drop the ECV off at the front desk or bell services at the resort, without the guest being there. That's aok for experieced drivers, but a lot of the people who are renting ECVs that way have never driven one before.

I could see a big market of companies dropping off Segways at resorts and people going into the parks with no experience. Or even if the rental company required them to be there and receive some instruction, it would probably be very short and very basic. Even after over one hour of training in the Ecpot Segway Tours, I've seen people drive into lampposts and nearly run over pedestrians on the WS portion of the tour (when WS was essentially closed). I think it is not worries about what experienced drivers would do in the parks that is concerning WDW. It is all the inexperienced people who will rent Segways (whether or not they have a disability and rent one is immaterial, what is important is that they will not be experienced).
I think if there was some way Disney could limit the Segways in the parks to only ones they rent out or only to people who have demonstrated competence with it, they might be more willing to allow them. The tour guide on my Segway tour said that the WDW people who use the Segways in their job get 8 hours of instruction and certification before they can go "onstage" with one. But once WDW opens the gates to any, they loose a lot of control.
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Old 03-03-2006, 10:46 AM   #63
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dclfun
I have a question.... how in the world would a quadriplegic with no arm/hand usage and little trunk support be able to operate a Segway? I ask because it was mentioned that quadriplegics have used them. I can't even imagine a paraplegic using one without braces or being strapped on somehow- how do you stand to maintain balance when you have no lower limb function? How do you then get on/off the Segway safely to get on an attraction or sit down somewhere ? Now for the ADA part- I believe what Lynda has to say- the ADA is shrinking it's definition of "disabled" and alot less people would qualify than those who think they do. Disabled placards and hangtags would start disappearing by the millions if physicians actually followed the requirements to qualify someone as disabled under the ADA. As a disabled person who would definitely qualify I have a problem showing paperwork to prove my disability ( although someone could look at me and tell) because it does erode my rights and privacy. Why give away a protection afforded by the ADA? It's the same with my service dog. She has her certification card attached to her vest "just in case", not that anyone's asked to see it, and I know it's not necessary for her to wear or carry it. I feel fortunate to not have to be challenged everywhere I go to see if I truly can have the things I need to just do the things everyone else takes for granted. That said, if Alan and others need a Segway to afford them mobility, then I hope the status of the Segway as an approved mobility device will advance for those protected under the ADA.---Kathy
Check out these quads:
http://www.apple.com/trailers/independent/murderball/

a quad or para may have some level of function in their limbs.

Happy days,
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Old 03-03-2006, 11:16 AM   #64
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Thumbs up

This is a really big thank you to SueM in MN the moderater of the disABILITIES forum. This thread has been a real pleasure for us to follow as my DH is one of those Segway users that does not feel disabled when he is on his Segway.We love WDW but must stop every 150 ft before DH can go on.He does not want to use a wheel chair or a ECV because he is not willing to give up yet,but will use a morale boosting Segway.Sue you have a great knowledge and way of putting all our thoughts in perspective.DIS is lucky to have you and so are we.
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Old 03-03-2006, 11:44 AM   #65
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There have certainly been a lot of "what ifs" posted here as rationale and defense for Disney's position.

People with disabilities have been fighting "what ifs" for a very long time. That is precisely what led the Department of Justice to mandate that "what ifs" were not acceptable.

"What if it's dangerous to others?"

Well what if it's not? You can under the ADA prohibit the use of assistive device if it poses an actual risk to others which can't be mitigated by a change in your policy. But the important caveat it must be an "Actual" risk, it must be real and you must have actual evidence of the risk and you can't imagine it or contemplate it.

The risk also must be associated with the device itself and not the behavior of the operator.

In other words if the Segway were capable of being operated in a safe manner around others and someone chose to operate it in an unsafe manner than that person could be barred from using device inside that venue. Even if they're disabled. It wouldn't allow the venue however to prevent another from operating the same kind of device inside the venue if they were to operate it in a safe manner.

The "what ifs" were often and still are applied to service animals.

What if it's unsanitary?

What if it's vicious?

What if it's not trained properly?

There's no evidence that the Segway when used properly presents any danger to anyone else, as evidenced by Disney's own use of the device inside their venues by their cast members.

And remember it's a device, a consumer product, not a motor vehicle. That decision was made by the federal government many years ago. It's regulated by the Consumer Product Safety Commission.

Wouldn't it be a great idea for Disney to accept the Segway for people with disabilities and deal with the actual "what is" instead of the potential "what ifs"?
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Old 03-03-2006, 12:39 PM   #66
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gwinfred
There's no evidence that the Segway when used properly presents any danger to anyone else, as evidenced by Disney's own use of the device inside their venues by their cast members.
After each CM completes and passes an 8 hour safety and certification course. So, then, don't you agree that anyone wanting to use one in the parks for whatever reason should also have proof of completing an identical course?
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Old 03-03-2006, 01:44 PM   #67
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Chuck, a disabled Segway user uses their Seg every single day. They are typically extremely proficient in the use of their Segway. They are typically traveling to one of the parks from a long distance often with their family in tow. Are you suggesting that they need to go through Disney's course prior to using their Segway? I understand a desire for certification but their isn't any reasonable organization that would want to be the arbiter of who is acceptable and who isn't. Could Disney inquire as to how long a guest had owned their Segway prior to arrival? Yes, but what do they do if a person has owned the machine for say less than 30 days? I would suggest that they ask the owner to demonstate their use of their Seg. The law does not allow denial of use based on imagined risk. But what does Disney do to prove that a service animal isn't viscious? Power wheel chairs have a far greater potential danger than Segways yet no demonstration of safe technique is required prior to their useage.

At the present time there are a substantial number of individuals that believe that Disney is operating outside of the law. Some want confrontation. Others would prefer a discussion on a board such as this and arrive at a reasonable solution. Disney is well aware of this issue. It is time for them to permit Segway useage even if it is on a trial basis.
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Old 03-03-2006, 02:06 PM   #68
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Again, tell me, how does San Diego Zoo determine the eligibility and the difference between someone using the Segway for medical reasons vs. joyriding. How would Disney, as Sue pointed out, be able to determine that difference and control the speed?

Disney: Do you know how to properly and safely ride that thing?
Guest: Oh yeah.

Pointless.

However, states/disabled organizations could set up safety courses and issue certificates stating that someone has completed it. That would a) be a sure way for all venues, nationwide, to know that the rider has been properly trained, b) be proof that it is being used by a disabled person and not a joyrider, and c) give a reasonable assurance of safety. Basically, a reasonable solution for any emerging mobility technology, not just Segway.
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Old 03-03-2006, 02:27 PM   #69
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Chuck, why are you so obsessed with so-called joy riders? If someone wants to rent a Segway for the day, they would want to go somewhere less crowded and with more open space than a Disney park. A person going to a Disney venue wants to go on Disney's rides, watch their children go on Disney rides and enjoy the Happiest Place on Earth. Your reference to the San Diego Zoo is appropriate. Have they had any so-called joy riders, I doubt it. Have they allowed some disabled individuals to enjoy their venue that otherwise would not have been able to. Absolutely, yes. Finally, even if we had a governmental organization certifying that someone has gone through a safety course that has all of the assurance that I had when my 16 year olds passed their drivers license exam.
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Old 03-03-2006, 02:32 PM   #70
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chuck S
Again, tell me, how does San Diego Zoo determine the eligibility and the difference between someone using the Segway for medical reasons vs. joyriding. How would Disney, as Sue pointed out, be able to determine that difference and control the speed?

Disney: Do you know how to properly and safely ride that thing?
Guest: Oh yeah.

Pointless.

However, states/disabled organizations could set up safety courses and issue certificates stating that someone has completed it. That would a) be a sure way for all venues, nationwide, to know that the rider has been properly trained, b) be proof that it is being used by a disabled person and not a joyrider, and c) give a reasonable assurance of safety. Basically, a reasonable solution for any emerging mobility technology, not just Segway.
Well I happen to know that the San Diego zoo doesn't allow people to use Segway's who aren't disabled. When someone shows up on a Segway to inform them that Segways are not allowed, but when when the people tell them that they have a disability which is mobility related the zoo then points out the areas of the Park where the paths are very steep and where they don't advise the use of wheelchairs scooters or Segways.

The zoo also asks those bringing wheelchairs scooters and Segways into the Park to sign a liability waiver. They're being sued in federal court over this requirement but that's what they do.

So other than the waiver (the legality of which will be determined in federal court) they simply follow the law, it's really clear to most people, just not Disney.
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Old 03-03-2006, 02:41 PM   #71
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So, basically, at the zoo, anyone can show up with a Segway and say "Yep. I have a disability" and be allowed to use it. You find nothing wrong with that, given how many folks absolutely would lie to get in at Disney...and then you'd want Disney to assume the financial responsibility for unqualified drivers by not requiring a waiver for someone that may never have been a Segway before, or had a few minutes of training.

What is so wrong with disabled organizations sponsoring/hosting safety and certification classes for Segways throughout the United States to insure that they are able to use the technology properly?
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Old 03-03-2006, 03:02 PM   #72
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chuck S
So, basically, at the zoo, anyone can show up with a Segway and say "Yep. I have a disability" and be allowed to use it. You find nothing wrong with that, given how many folks absolutely would lie to get in at Disney...and then you'd want Disney to assume the financial responsibility for unqualified drivers by not requiring a waiver for someone that may never have been a Segway before, or had a few minutes of training.

What is so wrong with disabled organizations sponsoring/hosting safety and certification classes for Segways throughout the United States to insure that they are able to use the technology properly?

I find plenty wrong with anyone claiming disability when they don't have one.

I find it wrong when people without disability Park in a handicap place using another's disability placard.

But I find it just as wrong to punish legitimate people with disabilities, even people who have difficulty walking, because of the "possibility" that someone might fraudulently portray themselves.

You keep dealing with the "what ifs", the fact is the San Diego zoo hasn't been overrun with people using Segways who have disabilities. It happens to be one of the bigger tourist attractions in the United States and the terrain there is such that the desire to use a Segway to get around and view the attractions is much greater and much more convenient than using a Segway at Disney, parking it, and taking part in a ride.

If you think that certification classes for wheelchairs and scooters are necessary for people with disabilities then you better throw in service animals, and if you're successful with that then you can surely throw in Segways too.

But I don't think that's likely to happen or that it's necessary.
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Old 03-03-2006, 03:42 PM   #73
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I would like to point one thing out though:

I know that in the past some have claimed to disability and used wheelchairs at Disney so that they didn't have to wait in line. I know that there was a change in policy at Disney but I don't remember exactly what that was. For the cheaters the benefit was that they didn't have to wait in line as long as others.

I find it difficult to believe that people who didn't have difficulty walking would fraudulently portray themselves as disabled to use a Segway inside Disney when the rest of their party was walking.

Don't most people go to Disney with family and friends?

Now I ask you, unless you had a group of friends that like to run around Disney at 12 1/2 miles per hour why on earth would you on a Segway?

Wouldn't you move along with them at their walking speed?

I'm having difficulty reconciling in my mind the thought of someone going to Disney with their friends and family, in front of them fraudulently portray themselves as disabled, using a Segway when the others had to walk, and enjoying themselves.

I don't know where those kind of people live but I haven't seen many of them around our parts.
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Old 03-03-2006, 04:07 PM   #74
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Sorry, but I don't think classes to train someone to use their equipment properly is a punishment, but is an advantage to the user, don't you? It would also help said user gain more acceptance for the Segway as a disability device rather than a toy. Wheelchairs and scooters do not travel at the speeds that Segways travel. At least I certainly don't have the remotest potential to push a wheelchair at 12 mph.

I've been to the SD zoo several times, I grew up in Los Angeles. Its estimated attendance on a 100 acre site was 3.2 million visitors in 2004. The Magic Kingdom's estimated guest count is 16.1 million for a 100 acre site in 2005. A much larger crowd means much less room to maneuver per person, less stopping/slowing distance between people, and as demonstrated by the sheer number of posts here claiming to have been "run down" by an ECV, more incidents per guest. You don't read reports of folks being run over with strollers, w/c and ECVs at SD zoo...but we constantly read such reports here for Disney.

There is a family that lives across the street from me, none of whom has a disability. They own four ECVs.

BTW, who says only one person in the party would rent a Segway and let the rest of their party walk? I've seen several parties where they all have ECVs to keep up with each other.

Disney has mainstreamed most, but not all of the ride queues for wheelchair access, there is no real advantage to being in a wheelchair at Disney other than the mobility issue. However, folks WOULD rent Segways fraudulently, leave them parked, and simply walk into the queues. It happens all the time with ECVs. Some folks would look at a Segway as simply a way to get from attraction to attraction faster.
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Old 03-03-2006, 04:42 PM   #75
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pooh4me
This is a really big thank you to SueM in MN the moderater of the disABILITIES forum. This thread has been a real pleasure for us to follow as my DH is one of those Segway users that does not feel disabled when he is on his Segway.We love WDW but must stop every 150 ft before DH can go on.He does not want to use a wheel chair or a ECV because he is not willing to give up yet,but will use a morale boosting Segway.Sue you have a great knowledge and way of putting all our thoughts in perspective.DIS is lucky to have you and so are we.
thank you for the kind words.
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