Tag Archives: wheelchair

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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Getting Even Smarter: More Ways to Climb Stairs From Your Wheelchair


When it comes to climbing stairs, that’s not really in the vocabulary of someone who uses a wheelchair on a regular basis. Most of us resign ourselves to the first floor and that is that. However there are some people in wheelchairs who are the exact opposite and would never let a puny thing like a step dare get in their way.

I love these people too. They show the world that people in wheelchairs can be quite unexpected. Just because some of us can’t walk, it absolutely doesn’t mean we’re weak.  These very strong individuals include paraplegics and those with minor to moderate spinal bifida and cerebral palsy.

It’s a feat, a work of art, the way some individuals climb stairs without leg movement. To see these more unique ways to climb stairs, check out our three videos below.

 Video #1: Climbing stairs using Hill-Holders in reverse

For an awesome way to give manual wheelchair-users a helping hand as they climb stairs, you will love this video hosted by the adorable Arly Velasquez (a paraplegic who should totally think about moonlighting as a talk show host btw).

He demos how you can use Hill-Holders in reverse.  Hill-Holders are traditionally used for pushing up a hill, preventing the wheelchair from rolling backwards. I love these things. In this video, Arly shows how you can also use them to help you climb stairs.

What they do is hold the wheel in place so you don’t have to worry about rolling back down the stairs (talk about a genius product use). Watch Arly show how he climbs stairs using Hill-Holders in reverse

Video #2: Para shows how he climbs stairs in walking braces

For the lucky few of us who can sort-of “walk,” meaning using crutches and braces to move our bodies in a forward momentum upright (believe me it’s not easy), this video will show exactly how difficult it is. Created by paralyzed video blogger Wheelz of Fortune, he shows how he was taught to climb stairs.

It’s funny though because in the video he confesses this is the first time he’s used these accouterments to climb stairs in at least a decade. I know many of us out there who have been paralyzed for awhile can relate to this sentiment (has your standing frame became a close hanger yet?).

But he knows it’s important, and he busts out his braces and crutches to film this how-to climb stairs video.  It’s a workout, but it’s great to view. Watch Wheelz go up five steps at a beach, and then down again

Video #3: C7 quad shows how to bump up curbs in a manual wheelchair

Paraplegics don’t get all of the fun. Some quadriplegics are able to do a little stair climbing solo too. In this video from RZRCRIP, he shows one of the smartest ways to climb the curbs – propelling your momentum in a forward fashion – and then using that to get over the curb.

If you live in a town with minimal curb cuts, this is a trick to know indeed. Even if you can’t do it yourself, it’s pretty cool to behold. The way he is able to glide himself onto the sidewalk after bumping up a curb is quite something. Watch RZRCRIP bump up a curb like a rockstar

Stairs don’t have to be your archenemy. With a little bit of maneuvering and reworking to currently existing products, as well as some old fashioned physical assistance, it’s possible for any of us to climb stairs. It’s just not the easiest thing to do.

What tricks do you employ to climb stairs?

Watch the videos

Funny paraplegic showing how he can climb stairs using ingenious wheel locks

How to climb stairs in braces + crutches

C7 quadriplegic bumping curbs solo in a manual chair

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