Platform lifts, also known as wheelchair lifts, is a powered device designed to lift a wheelchair and its occupant usually to rise above a step or similar vertical barrier. There are some wheelchair accessible vans equipped with a powered lift to assist the rider in boarding, however a wheelchair ramp is usually less expensive for this purpose. Generally speaking, most platform or wheelchair vertical lifts are indeed powered by electricity.
Vertical Platform Lifts
Platform lifts are regulated by various government enitities in various countries. These bodies set forth standards for these devices. Sometimes they also require certain kinds of businesses to make parking lots accessible to vehicles bearing the devices. Some accessibility standards have been set in legal settlements via court cases. For instance, with the vertical platform lifts, there have been new adjustments set on them by the FDA, and the new government officials.
In the 2005 case of Dilworth, et al. v. City of Detroit, NO. 2:04- cv-73152 (E.D. Mich. 2005), for example, the city of Detroit conceded that the Americans With Disabilities Act and supporting legislation required the city according to the text of the trial, “to maintain the wheelchair lifts on its buses in operative condition; promptly repair wheelchair lifts if they are damaged or out of order; establish a system of regular and frequent maintenance checks of wheelchair lifts; remove a vehicle from service if the lift is inoperative (with limited exceptions); provide alternative transportation when the lift doesn’t work and the next accessible bus is more than 30 minutes away.”
New innovations have allowed for the development of platform and wheelchair lifts to even help people in entering truck cabs, so that they may drive or operate heavy equipment. New technology is helping the disabled through platform lifts.