Right before his death, British philanthropist, wounded warrior advocate, and owner of the Segway company, Jimi Heselden donated 1,000 Segways. Valued at over $5 million, the Segways were given to the Segs4Vets programs. That organization will then give those Segways to American veterans suffering disabilities due directly to their service in both Afghanistan and Iraq.
Disability Rights Advocated for Technology (DRAFT) sponsors the Segs4Vets program. Founder and President of DRAFT, Jerry Kerr, spoke to Heselden’s generosity. Heselden’s donation will give three times the number of disabled veterans a chance at experiencing mobility from a Segway. Since 2005, Segs4Vets has given over 500 wounded veterans Segways.
Kerr and the other founding members were the first to discover the Segway’s adaptability to multiple environments. For those veterans who have limited movement and need help walking, the Segway in itself is much easier to use than a wheelchair. Kerr knows this first-hand, as 12 years ago he broke his neck.
Their flexibility has earned the Segway a devoted fan base among many disabled individuals. They are not, however, considered medical devices on any federal law book. According to Kerr, one big benefit of the Segway is it allows its disabled users to stand up and look other people in the eye. Segways allow disabled veterans to be as mobile as they were if they were not disabled.
For many veterans lacking the mobility to easily move around, the Segway gives them a new outlook on life. Anything that makes life easier on veterans with service-related disabilities will be much welcomed. It is a shame the receiving veterans could not thank Heselden in person.
If you are a disabled veteran who has been denied disability compensation or have not yet applied for benefits from the VA, contact Veterans Help Group. You may be entitled to certain programs and benefits so contact our veterans disability rights firm today.