Other Power-Driven Mobility Devices
Q: I am a concert organizer. A ticket holder has asked to bring their golf cart to the outdoor event as they use it as a mobility aid. Do I have to allow the use of golf carts?
A: People with disabilities may use a variety of devices as mobility aids according to what best meets their needs. While many people are familiar with individuals using a wheelchair or scooter, the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) does permit the use of other power-driven mobility devices (OPMDs). Golf carts and Segways® or other mobility devices may be included as an OPMD. Public accommodations under Title III or public entities under Title II of the ADA may need to allow the use of a device for a person with a mobility disability even if the same device would be prohibited for someone without a disability.
You as the public accommodation have the right to assess if the device cannot be accommodated due to legitimate safety concerns. This must be based on actual risks and must not be speculative. In their fact sheet, ADA Requirements: Wheelchairs, Mobility Aids, and Other Power-Driven Mobility Devices, The Department of Justice (DOJ) provides the following risk assessment factors to consider:
- the type, size, weight, dimensions, and speed of the device;
- the facility's volume of pedestrian traffic (which may vary at different times of the day, week, month, or year);
- the facility's design and operational characteristics (e.g., whether its business is conducted indoors or outdoors, its square footage, the density and placement of furniture and other stationary devices, and the availability of storage for the OPDMD if needed and requested by the user);
- whether legitimate safety requirements (such as limiting speed to the pace of pedestrian traffic or prohibiting use on escalators) can be established to permit the safe operation of the OPDMD in the specific facility; and
- whether the use of the OPDMD creates a substantial risk of serious harm to the immediate environment or natural or cultural resources, or poses a conflict with Federal land management laws and regulations.
You can learn more by reading the fact sheet, Wheelchairs and Other Power-Driven Mobility Devices.
So, in your case with an outdoor concert, it may be difficult to accommodate a golf cart depending on the layout of the physical space and size of the crowd in the venue. However, if you cannot accommodate a golf cart, you must consider if there is either another OPMD that you could permit or if you could provide some other means of access to the concert.