Assistive Technology for Kansans (ATK) at the University of Kansas Life Span Institute (LSI) at Parsons invited their staff as well as colleagues and friends to Parsons, Kansas on Thursday, January 8, 2009 to try out a Segway, the innovative, two-wheeled, battery powered personal transporter.
Assistive Technology for Kansans (ATK) provides the opportunity for Kansans with disabilities and chronic health conditions to try out assistive technology before they buy. Recognizing that the Segway has great potential for increasing options for people with a variety of mobility issues including fatigue, two Segways are now available to ATK customers statewide. Jim Peterson, Segway of Kansas, Hutchinson, provided a 2 ½ hour workshop beginning with a review of safety issues and concluding with an extended demonstration as all in attendance took their turn riding a Segway.
ATK coordinator, Sheila Simmons and Peterson supervised as participants from age 19 to 70+ strapped on their helmet, experienced “people shake” and were quickly zooming around on the lawn outside the LSI Research Building.
Anxiety quickly turned to enthusiasm as each person discovered the thrill of riding a Segway in a matter of minutes and amid much laughter, the cry “I want one” brought nods and smiles. Peterson said that people who need some mobility assistance but aren’t ready for a scooter often find that the Segway is a confidence booster as well as providing an independent way to travel. The Segway has a top speed of 12 ½ mph and a plethora of built-in safety features.
Sara Sack, ATK director said, “It’s great that people will be able to go to their regional Assistive Technology Access Site to try out one of these mobility devices. Being at eye-level with other people and the easy maneuverability of these devices makes them very appealing. We’re seeing them used in a number of employment settings in Kansas and across the country.”
For more information about assistive technology including the Segway, call your local ATK Access Site toll free at 1-800-KAN DO IT (1-800-526-3648).