Las Vegas, Nevada: According to a story which originally ran on KVVU-TV Fox 5 in Nevada, Dell Schanze and his wife recently ran into some trouble when they tried to stay at a Las Vegas hotel.
According to a KVVU-TV article, the Schanze’s said they are unable to enjoy their vacation to celebrate their 25th wedding anniversary because workers at the Trump Hotel allegedly refused to let them use their Segways inside the property.
Schanze said they use Segways to help them get around due to their disabilities. They reportedly said employees at the hotel told them they had to use wheelchairs if they wanted to enter the property.
Dell’s disabilities are reportedly permanent, but those of his wife are apparently temporary (the article did not mention the nature of her disabilities).
“… I have 11 vertebrates fused together. My hip is bolted on. My hands are bolted together. My neck is bolted together in two places. I fell out of a tree when I was a kid and was actually quadriplegic for a little bit … and then a couple of motorcycle accidents later, I broke my back two more times, and so here I am!”
Why Segway’s and not wheelchairs?
The Schanze’s were reportedly riding Segways and hotel employees refused their entry – but apparently offered them wheelchairs instead.
According to the ADA website (which Schanze reportedly showed to hotel workers):
In recent years, some people with mobility disabilities have begun using less traditional mobility devices such as golf cars or Segways®. These devices are called “other power-driven mobility device” (OPDMD) in the rule. OPDMD is defined in the new rules as “any mobility device powered by batteries, fuel, or other engines… that is used by individuals with mobility disabilities for the purpose of locomotion, including golf cars, electronic personal assistance mobility devices… such as the Segway® PT, or any mobility device designed to operate in areas without defined pedestrian routes, but that is not a wheelchair”. When an OPDMD is being used by a person with a mobility disability, different rules apply under the ADA than when it is being used by a person without a disability.
“I don’t want to look disabled. I don’t want to look old. I just want to go have some fun,” Dell Schanze said. “Everybody looks at you as a cool person when you have a Segway … It’s a federal law to allow people with disabilities to use mobility devices … They’re basically treating us like we’re 12-year-olds on skateboards. I’m almost 50 years old!”
Ultimately, according to the story, the Schanze’s took the hotel up on their offer for wheelchairs but were frustrated with additional delays this caused them to incur.
According to the original story, FOX5 reached out to Trump Hotel representatives for an official response but they did not return any calls by the time the article ran.