Wednesday, December 16, 2009
Is A Segway An Assistive Device??
The main intention of Segway has been to revolutionize the way people move about. The idea was to provide a means of short range transportation for an individual for errands that did not require a car. One use for the device is something that is generally overlooked by many people: use of the Segway as an assistive device. People with mobility issues who can still stand but need assistance in walking long distances can use a Segway quite effectively in many situations. Currently the Americans with Disabilities Act does not classify the Segway as an assistive device; so public places do have the right to prohibit them. One popular place that is well-known that does not allow Segways is Disney, who have banned the device at all of their theme parks. While it is not considered an assistive device under the ADA, the Department of Transportation does consider it an assistive device, so under the recently revised Air Carrier Access Act, airlines must treat Segways just like wheelchairs when operated by a passengers with disabilities. Rail travel (such as Amtrak) will accommodate Segways; however, it will have to be checked in as luggage. Cruise ships will accept Segways provided that it is arranged with the special needs department so that they can ensure that it will be able to navigate the doorways and cabins of the ship. If you happen to have a Segway and would like to travel with it, it is best to ask Segway owners for advice. Check out their message board here.