Wheelchair lifts, as the name suggests, are devices to lift people in wheelchair up a flight of steps or even a single step. In the latter case the wheelchair ramp is the less expensive and more feasible solution. Also called platform lifts, wheelchair lifts are also used in wheelchair accessible vans and other vehicles. Here again the wheelchair ramp would suffice. The benefits of wheelchair lifts enable them to be adapted for varied purposes for the disabled, including climbing truck cabs to operate heavy equipment.
The benefits of wheelchair lifts are clear in that they eliminate the need to lift the wheelchair and place it into a vehicle or onto a higher or lower plane. The cumbersome procedure can be eliminated with the wheelchair lift with the individual just having to pull up his wheelchair to the platform of the lift and be lifted up or down. Then he just needs to pull away! Individuals with disability can not possibly think of anything more convenient. It's a big shot of confidence for them, provided the places they wish to go and the vehicles they travel in are equipped with the wheelchair lift.
Here's another of the benefits of wheelchair lifts. There is just about a wheelchair lift for every purpose. Platform wheelchair lifts are of the solid and folding platform kind and also come in automatic and semi-automatic versions. In an automatic lift a switch takes care of the lift's folding, unfolding, lowering and raising, while in a semi-automatic wheelchair platform lift one needs to manually fold and unfold the platform. Electric wheelchair lifts are easier to maintain than hydraulic ones. The former can be custom-fitted with telephone jacks and automatic door opens. The benefits of wheelchair lifts can be best felt with the electric ones that include home stair lifts, automobile lifts and van ramps.
The advantage of home stair lifts is that they can be installed inside or outside the house, and are not cumbersome at all. They do not take much space and are quite and comfortable. They can generally rise 23 feet and carry up to 350 pounds though they can be designed to carry more weight. The benefits of wheelchair lifts are that they come as auto lifts as well, as said before. These can be fitted to vans and cars. Van ramps are not actually lifts but are spring-loaded and can be folded and stored.
As more and more disabled Americans are getting increasingly mobile thanks to the Americans with Disability Act (ADA) of 1990, the benefits of wheelchair lifts will be felt more and more.