Posted Tuesday, February 10, 2004 8:03 AM | Contributed by Gemini
Disney's policy not to allow Segways in their parks has caused a stir. The policy has angered some Segway owners with disabilities and surprised others since the Disney parks have a reputation for accommodating the disabled.
Read more from AP via CNN.
The ADA calls for "reasonble accommodations" for people with disabilities. Jeopardizing the safety of 48,900 guests is not a reasonable accommodation when there are alternatives such as a wheelchair.*** This post was edited by wahoo skipper 2/10/2004 10:21:59 AM ***
Interesting Story. The question is, How many disabled people use a Segway? One would stil have to stand fully upright to use one.
But yes, along with that... what kind of disabilities do you have that prevent you from walking vs. standing upright on the Segway? Too many corns on your feet? Those machines weren't intended for the disabled... they were made for an easy transportation for city employees (ie: pedestrian cops, postal employees), as well as regular citizens for day-to-day transportation around city blocks (in the inventor's personal dream world).
I have to agree that the issue is speed. Those things are too damn fast to have on a busy midway.
I love this fact.. CNN.com , a professional journalistic site..
But he tired of sitting and the scooter cost him $200.
But he tired of sitting and the scooter cost him $200.
The FDA is responsible for medical equipment which is what a wheelchair would be considered. Disney may have a PR problem with this issue but I believe they are clearly in the right.
Speed - The Segways come with three speed keys, one of them restricting the speed to about 4 mph - walking speed.
Leaning - Have you ever ridden one? It was billed as "you think forward, you go forward." Sure they lean a lot in the demos that they've done on TV...but they are demonstrating the product. I have ridden on one set to the lowest speed setting and you have to lean about an inch before it goes. It is so simple, so easy, and so elegant - it requires no effort at all.
Disney - It is clear that Disney has changed since FIRST left it. FIRST (For those of you who don't know) is a national robotics comeptition for high schools. It was created by Dean Kamen, the same guy who created the Segway. The Championships were held at EPCOT from 1996-2002. In 2002, after Dean unveiled the Segway, they were all over the place at Disney. Tournament officials had them, Cast Members had them...it was hard to go 10 feet in EPCOT without seeing a Segway. There was talk about letting customers rent a Segway for the day for like $100 or something. It seems that since the Disney-FIRST relationship is non-existant now, Disney doesn't seem to like the Segway too much anymore.
Gonna have to call you out on this one because the sentence (barring starting with the word "but," which really isn't all that uncommon anyway nowadays) is grammatically sound. They're just using the past form of the infinitive to tire, much like a strenuous physical activity can "tire oneself out." In any other context, it would look like ghetto-speak, but here it's perfectly sound.
--Dave (who still thinks the grammar nitpicking has gone too far, despite his English major mentality and reluctance to let this one go)
I came thisclose to riding a Segway last year. They had a demo at the Daytona Speedway in July. I didn't want to stand in line to ride, but I did watch people try it for a while. I think they could be less of a menace than electric wheelchairs. At least on a Segway you're at standing height, rather than sitting height. And from what I've seen, I think my boss with MS would have been able to use it very easily.
But how do you keep the rowdy teenager with the Segway out of the park while letting people with valid needs use them?
I still think Disney is right for the same reason they don't allow bicycles or skateboards.
*edited for spelling*
*** This post was edited by redman822 2/10/2004 4:44:46 PM ***
some of the residents where i work have scooters and let me tell you, those things are more of a menace than a Segway.
i have not yet had a wheelchair day at a park, but if a Segway option would allow me to PREVENT that from happening, i'd be all for it.
i can walk, but i limp horribly. some days are better than others. my balance is fine.
the thing about a wheelchair or scooter for someone as young as me is the looks of pity and stares and the "Whats WRONG with you?? youre YOUNG!! why cant you walk?"
a Segway might reduce those embarassing instances.
another thing about a Segway is that there would be no need for someone to help push that person in the wheelchair around all day.
*** This post was edited by 2/10/2004 4:19:19 PM ***
Pediatric organizations are on record with their doubts about Segway's safety in the presence of children. Dinsey must pay great attention to these complaints. If they allow Segways into the parks and a kid gets injured or killed by a disabled person on a Segway, Disney will be liable. And they damned well should be.
That said, I'd prefer that Disney find a way to allow Segways by the disabled. I think the following requirements would be appropriate:
1. A rider must have a handicapped placard. This would be to prove the existence of a handicap.
2. A rider must show proof of having passed a Segway training class
3. A rider must agree to use only the slowest-speed (4 mph) key at all times. Better yet, maybe Segway LLC and the theme parks could cooperate on a remote speed-limiting mechanism. Or maybe a rider could be required to rent one from Disney for a reasonable fee, and the Disney-provided machine would be incapable of going more than 4 mph.
4. Segways must be prominently numbered so they can be identified, and riders must be matched to specific machines.
5. Segway riders should wear a prominently identifiable article of clothing, i.e., a bright yellow or orange shirt. Something that alerts people around them to their presence.
Beyond that, I really object to some of the statements made by the rider who was banned from the park and her supporters. Specifically:
I would ask two things of non-handicapped people who have read this far:
Thanks for reading this.
Annual Passholder to: Universal and Disney; NEXT TRIP: FRIDAY!!!!!!!!!!!!
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