Never Before Seen Wheelchair Elevators


The industrial revolution has been awesome to the wheelchair-user. Take the elevator. This makes a night and day difference to our lives, transforming us from dependent into independent individuals and it’s been a beautiful thing to witness.

Elevators too have come a mighty long way since they were invented in the late 1800s. They’ve especially become cooler since the dawn of the Computer age, especially when you throw in a healthy dose of American ingenuity. They’ve been so fabulous in fact we had to write this post.

Read on for three unforgettable videos showcasing elevators made specifically for wheelchair-users.

Video #1: Funicular/Wheelchair Elevator in South Korea Subway

For one of the most brilliant elevator designs you will ever see for wheelchair-users, check out this funicular-inspired device in South Korea used at train stations. While funiculars were definitely not intended for this new use, it seems to be working well, but only time will tell about the safety of this method.

If you’re not familiar with funiculars, they carry a trolley up and down the mountainside, but this use is a great way to make use of space and help people with disabilities. It’s sometimes not always possible to install an elevator. This funicular-styled elevator opens the possibilities of architecture to people with disabilities in all sorts of places.

Check it out: Funicular-inspired “Wheelchair Elevator”

Video #2: SMA Artist Talks Smack About AB’s on Elevators

Havannah Soy, a young woman and artist who also has spinal muscular atrophy, has no qualms about bringing up the sensitive topic of wheelchair etiquette. In fact, she seems to thrive on it, or at the very least knows there’s a lot of people out there who could be benefited by her snarkiness.

In her comedy web-series “The Wheelchair Girl” (check out her blog) it shows her doing all sorts of things, but the wheelchair etiquette video when it comes to elevators takes the cake. She brings up all of sensitive subjects you’ve no doubt thought about – from your head being a butt level and terrible body odor to able-bodied individuals hogging/taking the elevator.

Check it out: The Wheelchair Girl – Elevators

Video #3: Homemade “Escavator” for Basement Stairs

In our last video highlighting unexpected elevators, you will no doubt love this homemade elevator/escalator, made to help a L1 paraplegic get into/out of his basement. It’s essentially an escalator and an elevator in one, hence the name, and it’s quite inexpensive to build as well.

What I love about this lift is that it’s essentially a replica of the real thing. If you are in need of a wheelchair lift or elevator but don’t have the funds, this is the one to go to. It’s cheap to build and can be installed on nearly any staircase.

Check it out: The Wheelchair Escavator

Whether you have an endless amount of cash to build the elevator of your dreams or a limited budget to only do a few critical things, technology is making elevators more exciting and inspiring than ever.  They may not be able to teleport yet, but with these awesome accessible solutions, you never know how far we’ll go.

Where is your favorite elevator in the world?

Watch the videos!

A “Wheelchair elevator” in South Korea

Feisty wheelchair-user discusses elevator etiquette

Homemade wheelchair “Escavator” for traversing basement steps

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