ADA is a Federal Law which is regulated and enforced by the United States Department of Justice. Americans with Disability Act (ADA), which became effective on January 26, 1992 has created a comfort zone for people with limited mobility. ADA strictly defines the specifications of all types of elevators, wheelchairs and stair lifts; ADA compliant elevators are a must for any public building except in certain situations.
According to this act, a number of features and safety standards should be included in the elevators of public buildings; otherwise the owner can be fined. This demanded a rapid improvisation of elevator standards on the part of builders, and elevator manufacturers revised their product standards to be ADA compliant. With the passing of this legislation, additional responsibilities have been placed on building owners and managers and many subjective decisions are required for each building.
ADA compliant elevator operation has to be automatic and the elevator car should be equipped with self-leveling features. ADA also specifies standards for hall call buttons, all lanterns, raised and Braille characters on hoistway entrances, door protective and reopening devices, door and signal timing for hall calls, floor plan of elevator calls, door delay for car calls, illumination controls, car position indicators, and emergency communications. Moreover, elevators should be on an accessible route and comply with 4.10 and the ASME A17.1 Safety Code for Elevators and Escalators.
The Act also includes an elevator exemption that does not require the owner to install an elevator in a facility that is being altered if it is less than 3 stories or less than 3000 square feet per storey. After the legislature of ADA, there is a widespread belief among the people that building owners whose elevators do not comply with elevator standards do not serve their clients well. Installation of ADA elevators also gives clients an indication of how far a building owner respects the country's rules and whether he is straightforward or not.
ADA compliant elevators are the practical and cost-effective answer for building owners, architects, office managers and users to overcome accessibility issues in their public buildings.
Anthony Robbins is working as a design consultant at Day Elevator & Lift , a premier provider of stair lifts, elevators and wheelchair lifts for residential and commercial applications throughout the tri-state area, New York, New Jersey, Connecticut.