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Disney World sued over Segway ban

Three disabled people have sued Walt Disney World for not allowing them to use their Segways at the theme park.
/ Source: The Associated Press

Three disabled people have sued Walt Disney World for not allowing them to use their Segways to move around its theme parks.

The plaintiffs are each able to stand but cannot walk far, and they have been denied permission to use their two-wheel vehicles at Disney World, according to the federal court lawsuit.

The suit filed Friday says they’re among an estimated 4,000 to 7,000 similarly disabled people who have turned to Segways as mobility tools.

A group called Disability Rights Advocates for Technology, which raises money to donate Segways to disabled U.S. military veterans and pushes for their acceptance, previously asked theme parks to lift bans on the devices. Group co-founder Jerry Karr said Segways offer more mobility and dignity than wheelchairs.

Disney says it fears Segways could endanger other guests because they can go faster than 12 mph.

“We’ve made our position very clear on these Segways in our parks,” Disney spokeswoman Jacquee Polak told the Orlando Sentinel on Friday. “Our primary concern is the safety of all our guests and our cast members. We have a long history of being a leader in creating accessible experiences for our guests with disabilities.”

Plaintiff Mahala Ault, 33, has multiple sclerosis; Dan Wallace, lost one foot in an accident and Stacie Rhea has Lou Gehrig’s disease. The suit did not give their hometowns, saying only that Ault and Wallace are from Illinois and Rhea is from Iowa.