Whether you are an elderly person with mobility issues or a loved one with a disability, wheelchair lifts can provide significant benefits. They increase independence, simplify accessibility and can save you time and money in the long run.
Wheelchair lifts are installed inside or outside of a home and operate much like an elevator. They come in a variety of models from different manufacturers. Safety, capacity and lifting height are all factors that help determine which model is best for you.
The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) requires businesses to make their buildings and services accessible for people with disabilities. This includes providing handicapped accessible restrooms, wheelchair ramps for entrance into the building, and American Sign Language (ASL) interpretations.
Wheelchair lifts are one of the most easily achievable ADA-compliant accessibility solutions available today. They are suitable for almost any space and can be installed in both indoor and outdoor settings.
For example, a vertical platform lift can offer up to 14 feet of travel in commercial and public spaces. They also take up minimal space.
In addition to elevators, wheelchair lifts are a great solution for overcoming architectural barriers that might otherwise prohibit safe access to the premises. They are a versatile solution that can be used in commercial buildings, schools, and places of worship as well as governmental facilities. They are especially effective for converting small, low-rise or tight spaces where traditional Passenger Elevators might not be practical.
Wheelchair lifts are a great alternative to elevators, and they are particularly useful in public spaces. They can take a wheelchair from the ground floor to an auditorium stage, for example.
The ADA requires that you have at least a 30-inch by 48-inch space of clearance around each landing of a lift. This area needs to either overlap with an accessible route or be adjacent to another area of clear floor space.
If the lift is located in an alcove or confined space, then additional moving clearance must be provided. This means that the building must provide a separate path to the lift.
The ADA also states that the ground near the lift must be stable, firm, and slip-resistant. This includes any nearby surface, such as a floor, walkway, ramp, or curb. It must also provide a place for the occupant to put down his or her chair. This is important so the occupant can stay safe on the ground while using the wheelchair.
Safety is one of the most important aspects to consider when choosing a wheelchair lift. The right lift can protect you or your loved one from injuries, accidents and falls.
Whether you are buying a lift that moves an occupied chair or a lift for a wheelchair alone, you should be sure to select models with a wide variety of safety features. These include tie-downs, non-slip surfaces and control lock switches.
In addition to these, a number of platform safety features are also vital. These include obstruction detection, manual lowering, emergency stop button, constant pressure controls on the platform and audio-visual alarms.
Other safety features to look for are gates and doors that open with a sturdy interlock system, which locks and seals with a latch and magnetic bond when closed. This makes it easy for you to ride with a companion or caretaker, and prevents your wheelchair from rolling off the platform while traveling.
Wheelchair lifts are a great mobility aid, but they’re also mechanical devices that need regular maintenance. The owner’s manual provided with the lift or available online should outline the service intervals for each type of lift.
For example, vertical platform lifts should be inspected twice a year. Inspections should include lubrication and other general maintenance procedures.
In addition, all wheelchair lifts have safeties that prevent the lift from operating if a door isn’t completely closed. These safeties should be engaged before the lift starts moving.
Damage to the roll stop barriers is another frequent problem that can impact safety and lift functionality. The motors and servos that raise and lower the barriers can be badly damaged by improper usage.
Drivers can damage these parts by forcefully pressing them into place to speed up lift operation. This can result in the barriers falling out of position and causing serious physical harm to bus passengers.
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