Updated ADA rules posted today

Discussion in 'disABILITIES!' started by Justin Jett, Jul 26, 2010.

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  1. Justin Jett

    Justin Jett <font color=darkorchid>I will do my Elvis impressi

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    You are welcome.

    I cover this issue for the podcast, and figured that people here would be interested too.

    I post stuff, and Jack makes it make sense. :)
     
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  3. fredkap

    fredkap Earning My Ears

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    A veteran that lost a leg in Iraq or Afghanistan above the knee wants to come to Disneyland. He uses his Segway every day and just wants to be able to go the long distances and you guys have no tolerance. The new rules allow Disney or other venues to limit the Segways to be used at walking speed, similar to a car going 30 mph in a residential area even though a car can go over 100 mph.

    The US Dept of Justice's Civil Rights Division has included in their explanations their objections to Disney's position. The fear of Segways is not much different than the fear of electric wheelchairs was 20 years ago - the fear is not based on facts.

    Whether Disney continues to fight Segways or not, Disney's case has become much harder. These new rules take effect in 6 months.

    Before you guys continue to blast a disabled Segway user, try to meet one and understand where they are coming from.
     
  4. Justin Jett

    Justin Jett <font color=darkorchid>I will do my Elvis impressi

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    Why cant he use an ECV?

    I've met plenty of disabled Segway users, and told them exactly what I think.
     
  5. fredkap

    fredkap Earning My Ears

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    One guy had his pelvis crushed and now has a titanium pelvis. It hurts when he sits. Another has disc problems that are alleviated by standing. Sitting all of the time is not good for organs such as the kidneys and digestion.

    Others prefer to use a mobility device that they use 365 days a year so that they are safer around children and other people. A crowded space is not the place to use a device that you aren't familiar with. These are not Disney employees that have been using the Segway for a relatively short period of time but experienced users. An experienced Segway user can "stand" still in a tight crowd for an hour or longer, lines are not a problem.

    I won't presume to tell you what type of chair is appropriate for you, why would you feel it appropiate to tell others what their mobility device should be?
     
  6. KPeveler

    KPeveler Moderator Moderator

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    Because until this rule is law, a Segway is NOT an approved mobility device and as such Disney did not have to let them in.

    I expect Segways to NOT be allowed in any queues or attractions, as those are not "pedestrian" areas (there are already many queues in which wheelchairs of a certain size or type and ECVs are not allowed in - there is a reason I do not ride Pirates anymore!). There are also restrictions about height and body shape to get on rides, and people who are unable to ride due to height restrictions are NOT allowed in the queue. So all these people you suggested if they cannot walk for the queues are going to have to transfer to a wheelchair when they get to the queue. Or not ride. This ruling will just make things more complicated.

    And it is not the experienced user that worries me. It will be all the people who rent one "for fun" from the companies that will spring up over the next 6 months.

    I am also pretty sure that any place where a CM has to move the wheelchair from entrance to exit will not allow Segways, since a CM would not know how to move one. So they will have to park it at the exit and either walk around to the entrance and wait in the queue, or take a wheelchair...

    The reason you are the very first person on this board to support the use of Segways in the parks is that pretty much all of us were offended by the wording of the people behind the original lawsuit. They called the use of wheelchairs "demeaning." Since most of us here use wheelchairs or ECV or who have family members who do, we are offended since we are not "demeaned" by our way of life.

    Yes, you should not choose what wheelchair I use, but you DO have the right to ask places you go not to allow me to use unapproved mobility devices, such as Segways or my PT Cruiser. my car is easier to use and more comfortable than my wheelchair - can I use that on Mainstreet? What about a 2-person golf cart since my wife also has problems walking too long?

    Yes, Segways are now going to be "other mobility devices" but we have to be careful how we define things... And what language we use...

    Just a question - a 6'6" tall person get a segway, which makes him 7'6" at least. Are the bus doors tall enough? Including a lift bus? What happens then? I suppose the person has to get off and allow the person to walk on, and a member of their party get the Segway on. A bus driver is not allowed to move the mobility devices on.

    How does one secure a segway on the bus? It must be tied down and the person must sit in a regular bus seat. The person "holding on" would not be acceptable for a device that tall and heavy.

    A bus is not a "pedestrian area" and I am not sure if there is anything in that new law about public transit. Can anyone figure that out for us?

    The law also says that the device must be able to be safely stored (as in at the end of the ride) - that rules out a lot of rides that do not have room to store them - even RnR puts the ECVs all the way at the exit ramp past the store, so the person with one leg will have to walk that far.

    I will NOT be okay with them allowing people to park a Segway in the handicapped spots in the theatres and then sit in a regular seat - those spots are for people who CANNOT transfer, and obviously the person cannot stand on their segway the whole time (it will be a safety issue during 3D shows especially) and sometimes the accessible seating is in the front of the theatre, so THAT will not work.

    These are just the issues I can come up with within 10 minutes of getting up...
     
  7. KPeveler

    KPeveler Moderator Moderator

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    Upon reflection I am sure the doors on the monorail are too short for a person on a segway - so people with segways at hotels needing to go to MK will have to hope the boat is running...
     
  8. Justin Jett

    Justin Jett <font color=darkorchid>I will do my Elvis impressi

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    I went back and found my previous response to this:

    http://www.disboards.com/showpost.php?p=31701444&postcount=48

    http://www.disboards.com/showpost.php?p=33875608&postcount=11
     
  9. fredkap

    fredkap Earning My Ears

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    The people that filed the original lawsuit were not part of the mainstream Segway disabled community. Note that those people were willing to settle for money to them with a provision that no one else would ever be permited to use a Segway at Disney.

    Many Segway users use both their Segways and wheelchairs and there is a respect for all persons with disabilities.

    A Segway platform is 8 inches above ground, increasing the height of the 6' 6" man to 7' 2". When confronted with low obstacles most users can "duck". An above the knee amputee can walk just not for long distances.

    Regarding bus travel, those rules are already in effect. A Segway user normally dismounts while the Segway is lifted and he is responsible for securing the machine appropriately.

    The Segway disabled community has no desire for any rental companies to rent machines to poorly trained users. I personally don't see a business able to last long term with that type of business model.

    I don't know what all of the fine points should be of a new Disney policy but lets relax and realize that all those with disabilities care about disability rights and want things done appropriately.
     
  10. KPeveler

    KPeveler Moderator Moderator

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    First: there are businesses already in existence which rent ECVs to completely untrained renters who drive them dangerously, and some of them do not have disabilities but just want a "cool toy." I expect these companies to buy a couple dozen Segways for people (with disabilities) to rent if they do not want to travel with their own. What will stop people who have never driven one (with or without a disability) from renting one for the parks?

    Second: I find your final sentence confusing. Do you think we here on this board are not disabled and do not care about disability rights? Do you think because we think Segways in the parks are dangerous we are somehow against rights for the disabled? I think I am confused by what you meant.
     
  11. Justin Jett

    Justin Jett <font color=darkorchid>I will do my Elvis impressi

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    How can a Segway be secured on a crowded Disney bus?

    Also, I agree that the Segway can go slow, but there is no guarantee that EVERY Segway user WILL go slow. What would be a safe speed limit for Disney to impose on Segways? How would Disney enforce such a speed limit?
     
  12. BillSears

    BillSears DIS Veteran

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    My problem with the Segway is the speed. If they would make a version that has a built in speed limiter and a few other modifications to make it easier to use as a mobility device I'd be fine with it. As it is it's like comparing a bicycle and a manual wheelchair. Yes both use the same wheels to get around but one is for transportation/fun and the other is a medical device. A bike would make it a lot easier for people to get around WDW but I don't expect Disney to allow one in the parks.
     
  13. mgilmer

    mgilmer <a href="http://www.wdwinfo.com/dis-sponsor/index.

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    I can see the law of unintended consequences coming into play here. Disney, in order to keep the Segways out and protect themselves from PI lawsuits, will ban all outside mobility devices in their parks and require anyone needing assistance to use one of their scooters, wheelchairs, standup scooters, etc.
     
  14. KPeveler

    KPeveler Moderator Moderator

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    That would be illegal - They cannot ban personal wheelchairs. Disney is not equipped to meet all needs, and if i tried to use their chairs i would end up hurting myself... then I could sue disney because they would not let me bring my own chair... No, disney will not ban all wheelchairs but their own, and I doubt they could do so within even the new laws.
     
  15. SueM in MN

    SueM in MN combining the teacups with a roller coaster Moderator

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    I think that rental idea is one of the big things troubling Disney and is the main reason why they did not allow Segways into the park before the lawsuit.
    Once you let one in, you have to let all in. And, you can ask if the person has a disability that they are using the Segway for, but that is the extent.

    When the lawsuit first came up, I did a lot of reading on the internet to try to educate myself about the use of Segways for people with disabilities. One of the things I found was a Segway users message board where I found some young guys who wrote they were not disabled planning on how they would get their Segways to the parks. They had done quite a bit of research and planned that they could transport them free of charge because they were would claim they were mobility devices. I do not know if the current models of Segways still use different colored keys for the different speeds, but these guys had planned how to disguise their fast speed key by getting a duplicate Fast key made in the slow key color. They were planning to go to MK at park opening and how they could race everyone to Space Mountain and beat the crowds to all the attractions.
    I think these experienced drivers, plus the inexperienced ones that KPeveler mentioned are the reason WDW doesn’t want to let Segway users in.

    There are things like the heights of the drivers and not being able to use them in the queues that could be dealt with - it would complicate matters, but if everyone agreed to transfer to a wheelchair for those things if they could not walk, it might work (although they still would have to find a place for parking).
    And , even experienced guests may not do what they are supposed to do - here is a past thread about a news story of a man with an iBot wheelchair who was driving around WDW on 2 wheels.
    I agree. They could not lawfully do that.

    There are people who can use a ‘generic’ wheelchair, ECV or power wheelchair, but many who own their own have very specific needs that can only be met by their own wheelchair.
    We tried a few years ago to rent a power wheelchair from one of the rental companies for our DD and were not able to get one that would fit her, much less meet her needs. She needs an unusual size of wheelchair - her seat cushion is 14 inches wide and 18 inches long (she is a tiny thing with long legs). We would provide her Jay gel cushion seat, but could not rent a wheelchair that would fit it. The narrowest was 16 inches wide.
    We know from experience when she was trialing power wheelchairs that is too wide - it gets her arms too far away from her body, which meant she was not able to drive straight.
    She has a lot of other specialized things - special seatbelt (not just a run of the mill one), foot straps, special wheelchair back, goalpost joystick.......

    Anyway, you get the idea that many people could not use the rental equipment at all.
     
  16. CR ESQ.

    CR ESQ. Earning My Ears

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    Hello,

    I have been following this subject with great interest over the last few years. As with most cases each side has their own opinions. For a long time that was the basis of these discussions, they were the exchange of opinions. These discussions concerning the use of alternative mobility devices, in this case the big topic seems to be the Segway, have sprouted up from legal websites to as I can see disability websites.

    What I find interesting about this particular discussion is that it doesn't seem like anyone has actually read the entire opinion.

    There is language that fundamentally changes the burden of things such as direct threat. At one time all a place of public accommodation needed to do was use the claim of direct threat as a reason to exclude devices that did not fit the current paradigm of a mobility device.

    The new rules dramatically change that. Now it is up to the place of public accommodation to definitively prove that the device would pose a direct threat. I know that doesn't seem like much but the bottom-line is there is no definitive proof that a Segway is more or less a danger to any other mobility device. If you read the entire opinion you will see that even the detractors admitted that the safety record was no better or worse. Without that proof it will be very difficult for a place of public accommodation to prove a direct threat.

    Also the fact that the Department of Justice saw fit to file an amicus in the Segway class action case is very telling. This does not happen everyday and it usually happens when the federal government feels that a person or corporation is trying to circumvent the federal law. In hindsight that should have been a harbinger of how the rule changes would turn.

    It seems that the supporters in this conversation and there only seems to be one, feel that their position has greatly improved. For the first time since I started watching this I tend to agree with them. The scale now weighs heavily upon the place of public accommodation.

    The other thing I find striking is that the conversation for those that do not agree with the use of Segways is still centering around what Disney would like to do. It is no longer Disney's choice. Whether you agree or disagree with the opinion 180 days after it is published it will become law. There's no changing that.

    Thank you for taking the time to listen to my comments.

    Respectfully yours,

    Harold
     
  17. mrsksomeday

    mrsksomeday My Prince uses a power wheelchair!

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    How is this "safety record" accurate? Has the segway been tested with thousands of people all pushing and shoving to get to the busses first out of a theme park? What kinds of crowds have they been tested in? Where is this research?

    There is no way that Disney or anywhere else can regulate how fast a Segway goes in any given area. A person walked right out in front of Bill's wheelchair last year in DHS he couldn't help but bump her. What if he had been on a Segway? I would think the force would have been worse on the person he bumped and he might have fallen off the segway. A person driving it has no safety things built in to keep them on, a helmet if a person chooses to wear it but what else? They could be hurt by people constantly walking out in front of them which happens all the time at a theme park.

    These rules worries me greatly.
     
  18. CR ESQ.

    CR ESQ. Earning My Ears

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    Hello,

    You asked "is this safety record accurate"?
    This is the fundamental change in the law. a place of public accommodation can no longer ban a device based on preconceived notions they must be holding actual data.

    Does a company like Disney have that data . I can tell from what I have read on the subject is that Disney uses many Segways. I believe I read somewhere that they also give a Segway tour. This creates another sticky wet for them. It is in the rare case where an employer states that equipment given to their employees is or has been dangerous while the employer knew or thought that the equipment was dangerous.

    Your second paragraph makes a few points that both helps the Department of Justice and also shows that you can enforce behavior. You see the "what if" scenarios are no longer allowed to be taken into consideration when making the determination on whether a device shall be allowed.

    The burden of proof is not for the user to prove that the device is safe but for the place of public accommodation to prove that it is not safe.That's a huge difference from previous rules. Of course any person, able bodied or disable, can be removed from a place of public accommodation anytime their behavior becomes an issue.

    As you have so accurately stated many of these places are very crowded. Pedestrians, children's strollers, etc. moving in and out of public areas. You've also stated it's difficult for people in wheelchairs to avoid some of these obstacles. I can see where that could be a problem.

    But then again, this moves us back to the spirit in the intention of the new policies. Can anybody definitively prove that a collision by a Segway is more dangerous than a collision by say a big heavy scooter ECV or power chair? I don't think any of that exists.

    Disney has the resources to use a very good attorneys. Kerry Scanlon, the attorney used during the class action suit, was once an employee of the DOJ and a fine attorney. If he was holding legitimate proof that a Segway is indeed more dangerous than a power chair he would've certainly entered it as evidence during the class action suit.

    That truly would have been his smoking gun and would've ended the conversation pretty much in place.

    Thank you again for your time,
    Harold
     
  19. KPeveler

    KPeveler Moderator Moderator

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    One point that has always been brought up which allows Disney some aid is that Segways states several times in their manuals that protective gear, including helmets, must be worn at all times, and that using the Segway can cause death. It states that explictely. Wheelchairs do not say in their user manual "use of this wheelchair may cause death."

    Also, Disney only gives the Segway tours when the parks are closed generally, and they give a great deal of training before hand. If you demonstrate an inability to use it, then they do not let you take the tour. I think Disney will just end the tour and have CMs stop using Segways in the parks if that proves to be a problem.
     
  20. KPeveler

    KPeveler Moderator Moderator

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    Also I thought Disney only had to prove that Segways are dangerous to use in the parks, not that it was more dangerous than a wheelchair... because there are so many types of wheelchairs and scooters and powerchairs, there is no way to compare each and every one.

    i would think Disney would just have to prove the danger of Segways.

    Also, the law, as I read it, states that Segways have to be allowed in open pedestrian areas (basically where anyone is allowed to walk). All Disney will do is state that queues and attractions are not open pedestrian areas, which they are not (there are already restrictions), and I think the people who think they are "fun" will find having to leave them behind every time they want to do something a pain in the rear.

    I am most interested in what will happen with buses. How does one tie down a Segway. I was under the impression that mobility devices had to be secured safely (holding on is not safe) per federal regulations...

    Also, does this law extend to public transportation? Or just to pedestrian areas?
     
  21. mrsksomeday

    mrsksomeday My Prince uses a power wheelchair!

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    I wanted to say how much I admire your statements in this thread and many threads on this board.

    I too am very interested in how a Segway can be tied down safely.
     
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