In 2010 the US Federal Government mandated the Segway Personal Transporter (PT) be recognised as a mobility device under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). State governments and businesses throughout the US became obligated to update their access rules to accommodate the fast-growing use of Segway PTs by persons with mobility impairment, and many have moved quickly to do so.
An example of such updating is the Kansas State Fair Board, who today announced that Segway PTs could now be used at fairgrounds. The Hutchison News reports the story as:
New interpretations or changes in the Americans with Disabilities Act prompted the policy changes for the disabled, said State Fair General Manager Denny Stoecklein.
The fair has been able for years to prohibit or limit the use of certain types of vehicles on the fairground, Stoecklein said, for example not allowing someone driving a power mower with the blade deck removed or limiting the use of golf carts.
Under a recent interpretation on mobility devices, however, the fair must now allow Segways – including inside buildings – unless it can document specific reasons to prohibit them.
The Segway PT has been widely adopted by people living with a wide spectrum of conditions both in New Zealand and around the world. Jimi Heselden donated 1,000 Segway PTs to US vets who were disabled during that countries overseas wars. Last year the US Office of the Secretary of Defence awarded the Segway PT a top honour as a mobility device.
Because it is self-balancing, the Segway PT is a safe, stable platform and Segway New Zealand is of the view that the Segway PT is the most useful, practical, flexible and dignified mobility device solution that is suitable for the greatest number of Kiwis that require mobility assistance.