What do you think of when you think of wheelchair lifts? Do you think of the lifts on school buses for special needs children? Do you think of the Pixar movie Up when the main character rides up and down his house stairs in a wheelchair lift? Whatever you think of, it is probably an example that shows how necessary and helpful wheelchair lifts can be to those who are wheelchair-bound.
The Law of the Lifts
Although lifts are not required in buildings, they can be used to help fulfill the requirements for ramps and accessibility set by the ADA. In addition, lifts are most commonly used on public transport vehicles, such as buses, to help them meet accessibility laws.
Depending on what type of vehicle you have, you might not need a chair lift. Ramps are often able to be used, especially with mini-vans. However, if you have a full-size van, you should consider installing a wheelchair lift-especially if the wheelchair is a permanent situation for you. There are two different options. A single-arm lift takes up less space and is cheaper, but can only be used in certain situations and has limited carrying capacity. In contrast, a dual-arm lift can carry up to 800 pounds. However, it takes up a lot of space and therefore is used mostly for back entry.
If you are thinking about installing a lift in your home to make stairs easier for a wheelchair and it’s passenger, there are some things to consider. First, know the difference between a stair lift and a chair lift. The first will only carry the passenger. However, if you have a consistent way to get the chair itself up and down the stairs, this is a great alternative, as it requires less space, less construction, and is often cheaper.
A full-on wheelchair lift will have a platform big enough for the chair itself. Due to the intense weight and size requirements, it requires much more room and construction. These are often made only via custom orders and can therefore be pricey.