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Advocates for disabled want scooter ban lifted

ORLANDO, Fla. (AP) — Advocates for the disabled want two theme parks to lift a ban on Segways, saying the scooters give people who can't walk a degree of freedom not afforded by wheelchairs.

Some employees at Walt Disney World use Segways, but officials at that park and SeaWorld Orlando said the two-wheeled scooters could be dangerous if used by visitors.

"We're not turning people away," said Disney World spokeswoman Kim Prunty. "We're turning away a particular form of transportation."

Disability Rights Advocates for Technology, which raises money to donate Segways to disabled U.S. military veterans and pushes for their acceptance, is asking the parks to lift the ban.

Many people who use prosthetics, and people who can stand but can't easily walk — such as many people with multiple sclerosis — find Segways offer more mobility and dignity than wheelchairs, said group co-founder Jerry Kerr, 52.

Disney has put many of its employees on Segways, but officials said they see serious safety concerns if untrained visitors ride the scooters on the same crowded walkways as toddlers, the elderly and other people with disabilities.