A few weeks ago we completed a typical tall tower wheelchair lift project for a great family in North Vancouver. The installation wasn’t really out of the ordinary, but the interactions to make it all happen was unusual in that we were communicating with folks in 2 different countries on opposite sides of the world! After several successful e-mail exchanges to determine user needs and preferred location (often at odd times of day to make it work for different time zones), we were able to come up with a design and a plan that would best suit the end user, who was moving to Canada to be closer to family. A visit to the site soon followed to take a few measurements and to work with the contractors and concrete people to get the ball rolling.
Wheelchair Lift Area before installation:
The application area was ideal in that we could access the deck space at an outcropping and have the user stay dry while accessing the lift from under the deck. A quick pour of concrete and modification of upper railing to install a gate that we affixed a specialized locking mechanism to, and we were ready to go! The top end of the tower was easily rooted to the decking for additional stability because of the corner we installed it in.
Wheelchair Lift Installation After:
One small modification we added is an extra set of operation paddles. This will allow the user to use their left side to operate, regardless of whether they roll straight onto the lift or choose to back in. Our client uses a scooter for mobility rather than a wheelchair, and this porch lift is ideal to assist him in maintaining access to the home independantly. Another installation sucess!
Roberts Elevators & Lifts has been receiving an increasing number of requests for commercial vertical platform lifts (wheelchair lifts) to offer accessibility options to the public. Many locations do require a true commercial unit that will be permanently available to allow complete wheelchair or scooter accessibility to a building. In some cases however, a portable wheelchair lifting unit is very much an option to a public facility.
There a few specific limitations for the portable wheelchair lift unit that may or may not dictate its appropriateness for a situation:
• The location does not, by code, require a permanently fixed wheelchair accessibility unit
• Use of the wheelchair lift will be on occasion only; i.e. temporary access for a stage during a weekly church service or the occasional user requiring access to a particular exhibit at a museum
• The lifting height must be under 52”
• The maximum weight capacity must be less than 550lbs
The beauty of this portable wheelchair lift is that it easily rolls into place when it is required for use, and rolls away when not in use. It allows a facility to offer accessibility to a number of areas within a building all with a single unit (provided the maximum lift height is not exceeded).
It is important to note that a portable wheelchair accessibility lift is not intended to replace a lift that should be considered a permanent fixture within a space. It should be stored securely when not in use, and utilized only when necessary to allow accessibility for occasional access. It is quite likely that if your space is required by code to have permanent accessibility in the form of a ramp, elevator or commercial wheelchair lift, you will have to make the decision to go with a permanently placed unit.