As noted in an October 2013 blog post (here), more than three years have passed since the Department of Justice (“DOJ”) revised its regulations requiring businesses and state and local governments (“covered entities”) to allow the use of other power-driven mobility devices (“OPDMDs”) in their facilities by individuals with mobility disabilities. Unlike wheelchairs and scooters, OPDMDs are mobility devices that are not designed primarily for use by people with mobility disabilities (e.g., Segways™ and golf carts). Last month, the DOJ issued its first full technical guidance document on this topic. Our takeaway from this recent guidance is that DOJ does not want covered entities limiting the use of OPDMDs, especially Segways, unless there is a very good reason to do so. DOJ also expects covered entities to develop written policies and rules for OPDMD use and train their employees on how to implement those policies.
The guidance restates the five assessment factors that covered entities should analyze when determining whether the use of a particular OPDMD type should be permitted in a particular facility by people with mobility disabilities. They are: