Disney-Goers Upset By Segway Ban
By Dave Reynolds, Inclusion Daily Express
February 9, 2004
ORLANDO, FLORIDA--The Disney theme parks have been favored by people with disabilities for decades, in part because they have traditionally gone out of their way to make everyone feel welcome.
Disney World, for example, has wheelchair-friendly swimming pools, audio devices for people with vision problems, along with wheelchairs and scooters that can be rented for use in the park.
If you use a two-wheeled Segway, however, don't plan to bring it to Disney World, Disneyland, or Disney's California Adventure.
Disney policy does not allow visitors to use the self-balancing transportation machines in the parks. A spokesperson said that Disney has banned Segways because they haven't yet been approved as medical devices by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.
"It's an insult," Meredy Jenkins, who has multiple sclerosis, told the Associated Press of Disney's policy. Jenkins explained that many people don't want or need to use wheelchairs or scooters, and prefer not to sit if they can stand.
"They want you to sit in a wheelchair and feel even more handicapped," Jenkins said. "Most people I know aren't ready to sit down."
Some have decided to stay away from Disney theme parks until the policy is changed.
"I'm not prepared to let a corporate attorney dictate to me how I should be mobile," said Doug Exum, a quadriplegic who uses a Segway.
"Individuals should have the option to use whatever helps them get around," he said.
The Segway, also known as IT or Ginger, was created by Dean Kamen, the inventor of the iBot stair-climbing wheelchair, which was approved by the FDA last year.
"Disney's Segway ban rankles some visitors" (Associated Press via MSNBC.com)