ADA Wheelchair Lift Guidelines You Should Know About


While you were out shopping, you saw a fellow wheelchair user roll onto a platform. Then, the platform raised them up into the car instead of having to navigate a ramp!

In the United States, about 2.7 million Americans use a wheelchair to get around. To improve the lives of those Americans, every car owned by a wheelchair user should have a power lift.

The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) outlines many guidelines and regulations to help make sure these platform lifts don't hurt anyone. Keep reading to learn about the ADA wheelchair lift guidelines you should know before installing one.

What Is a Platform Lift?

For the case of the ADA, a wheelchair lift is a platform large enough for a wheelchair to roll onto it. Then the lift moves up and down to the level of a car or a higher floor of a building.

These come in many configurations depending on your needs and budget. You can even find commercial-grade lifts for vehicles like busses or medical transportation vans.

Most Important ADA Wheelchair Lift Guidelines to Know

If you're looking to install a wheelchair lift onto your car, you need to make sure you know all the ADA guidelines that apply. Here are the 4 most important sections to know:

Section 4.1.3

This section goes over situations when a wheelchair lift is acceptable. You may choose a lift over an elevator in situations like:

  • The use of an elevator or ramp is impractical
  • The lift helps to meet the wheelchair viewing requirements
  • The lift gives access to an area used by a group of people
  • The lift allows access to spaces/rooms not open to the general public

Section 4.2.4

This section talks about clearance around the lift landings. According to the ADA, a wheelchair lift needs at least a 30-inch by 48-inch space at each landing and the lift must face forward or parallel.

Section 4.27

This section pertains to electrical or communication equipment used near the lift by the public. Any such equipment should sit at least 15 inches from the ground and have a one-handed operation function.

Section 4.5

This section is one of the most important because it helps to prevent wheelchair accidents. A study found that about 50% of American wheelchair users reported falling over in a wheelchair accident in the past couple of years!

They specify what the floor, walkway, ramp, or curb near the wheelchair lift should look like. The ground should provide a stable and slip-resistant area for the wheelchair to get on and off of the lift.

Disability Is the Inability to See Ability

Accessibility for people who use mobility devices has improved leaps and bounds in the last couple of decades. Now, all Americans can live a normal life without worrying if their mobility device can get them where they want to go.

If you find yourself in a situation where you cannot install a lift due to ADA guidelines, don't fret! Get creative and think of another accessibility option that the ADA would approve.

We hope you enjoyed reading this article and that you learned about the most important ADA wheelchair lift guidelines. If you have any questions about this article or if you're in need of a wheelchair lift, contact us today!

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