The Department of Justice has issued revised ADA Title II (state and local government programs) and Title III (private businesses, a.k.a. places of public accommodation) regulations which took effect March 15, 2011. These regulations provide a definition of a wheelchair and other power-driven mobility devices and add additional provisions identifying where they can be used. (§35.104, §35.137, §36.104, §36.311)
A wheelchair is a manually operated or power-driven device designed primarily for use by an individual with a mobility disability for the main purpose of indoor, or of both indoor and outdoor, locomotion. Individuals with mobility disabilities must be permitted to use wheelchairs and manually powered mobility aids, i.e., walkers, crutches, canes, braces, or other similar devices designed for use by individuals with mobility disabilities, in any areas open to pedestrian traffic.
An OPDMD is any mobility device powered by batteries, fuel, or other engines that is used by individuals with mobility disabilities for the purpose of locomotion, whether or not it was designed primarily for use by individuals with mobility disabilities. OPDMDs may include golf cars, electronic personal assistance mobility devices, such as the Segway ® Personal Transporter (PT), or any mobility device that is not a wheelchair, which is designed to operate in areas without defined pedestrian routes.
Covered entities must make reasonable modifications in their policies, practices, or procedures to permit individuals with mobility disabilities to use OPDMDs unless the entity can demonstrate that the class of OPDMDs cannot be operated in accordance with legitimate safety requirements adopted by the entity.
Covered entities must assess the following factors to determine whether a particular OPDMD can be allowed in a specific facility as a reasonable modification:
Covered entities shall not ask an individual using a wheelchair or OPDMD questions about the nature and extent of the individual’s disability. Covered entities may ask a person using an OPDMD to provide a credible assurance that the mobility device is required because of the person’s mobility disability. If the covered entity permits the use of a class of OPDMDs by individuals with mobility disabilities, they shall accept the following as credible assurance:
The contents of this factsheet were developed under a grant from the Department of Education (DOE), NIDRR grant # H133A110017. However, those contents do not necessarily represent the policy of the DOE, and you should not assume endorsement by the Federal Government.
Visit adata.org or call 1-800-949-4232 V/TTY to contact your regional ADA Center.