wheelchair lift

When Were Wheelchair Lifts Invented?

Filed under - Lifts
April 26, 2019

Wheelchair lifts or disability platform lifts are becoming a common sight in cafes, museums, visitor attractions, schools, universities, shops, and offices.  This is due to companies adhering to guidelines outlined in the 2010 Equalities Act, Installing wheelchair lifts makes more venues accessible for people who have restricted mobility.  There are many reasons people may struggle to climb stairs these include; physical disability, heart conditions, breathing difficulties, visual impairment, chronic pain, and fatigue.

Fortunately, our attitude towards disability has improved significantly in recent years.  We are more aware of the impact of numerous disabilities on people’s quality of life. Review sites such as Euan’s Guide encourage those with limited mobility to review venues around the country relating their accessibility and ease of access.  This allows wheelchair users to plan days out without disappointment. It is a requirement for workplaces and educational establishments to support staff and pupils by improving accessibility.

The first wheelchair lift was invented in 1966 by an American who adapted his van so he could get to work.  Installing wheelchair lifts in vans allow people who use a wheelchair to live as independently as possible. The concept of wheelchair lifts has been around for decades but their mainstream use is a fairly recent development.  Disability platform lifts have revolutionised the lives of wheelchair users by enabling them to work, enjoy attractions and not be restricted by their physical needs.

How Do Wheelchair Lifts Work?

Wheelchair lifts are designed to transport disabled people up to six levels in buildings.  They can be self-supporting or mounted into a lift shaft. The lifts are designed to hold four people or a combined weight of 400 kilograms and easily accommodate a wheelchair.  Freestanding structures are attached to the building at each floor level with safety interlocks ensuring safe operation of the lift.

Access to the lift can be via a ramp or the construction of a pit so the lift is accessed at floor level.  All lifts have a secure safety door with access suiting individual building requirements. Lifts are operated by using constant tactile pressure buttons with a call station at each level.  Options such as; automatic door operators, backup battery and platform mounted phone. All of Challenger’s wheelchair lifts are designed to conform with the Equality Act 2010 and the Disability Discrimination Act 2005 with regard to access for disabled persons.

Where Do You Find Disability Platform Lifts?

Disability platform lifts are becoming increasingly common and are located in many different venues.  You can find them in museums, cafes, pubs, tourist attractions, schools, and offices. Many companies incorporate wheelchair lifts into their venues during refits and upgrades.  Making your venue accessible is good for business because you are not excluding members of the community and alienating their families. Positive attitudes towards disability is making it even more important that venues consider the Equalities Act 2010 when they plan their layout.

If you would like to find out how you can incorporate wheelchair lifts into your venue contact us and we would be happy to discuss your options.