Signed into law in 1990, the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) states the criteria for accessibility requirements in public places for people who have a disability. ADA standards impact building codes and apply to lifts and elevators in new construction and alterations. A leading supplier of accessibility equipment serving New York and New Jersey, DAY Elevator & Lift supplies ADA-compliant elevators and platform lifts, and installs them to meet the necessary guidelines.

ADA Compliance – Key Requirements

Chapter 4 of the United States Access Board describes the criteria for elevators and
platform lifts in the ADA Standards.

Elevators (§407)

The key ADA requirements for elevators are as follows:


  • Elevators are required an accessible route between stories and to mezzanines and shall comply with 4.10 and the American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME) A17.1 Safety Code for Elevators and Escalators.
  • LULA elevators are permitted in facilities where an accessible route between stories or mezzanines is not required and as an alternative to private residence elevators and platform lifts.
  • “Service” or freight elevators cannot be used to satisfy the requirement for an accessible route between floors and are not required to meet ADA standards.

Landing Requirements

  • Hall signals are required for all elevators at each hoistway
  • Elevator call buttons in elevator lobbies and halls shall be mounted at a height of 42 in above the floor. Call buttons should have visual signals to indicate when each call is registered and when each call is answered. All buttons with numbers must be in ascending order.
  • All elevator hoistway entrances should have raised and Braille floor designations provided on both jambs located to meet the required specifications.

Door Signal and Timing Requirements

  • Visible and verbal signals are required to indicate which elevator car is available, its direction, and when it has reached a designated floor.
  • Elevator doors should stay fully open for at least three seconds in response to a call.

Car Requirements

  • Elevator car dimensions should meet the minimum specified by ADA standards. Alternative configurations that provide unobstructed wheelchair turning space (60″ diameter circle or T-turn) with the doors closed are allowed.
  • The minimum opening width for an elevator car is 36 inches. The depth of the car must be at least 51 inches, and the width must be at least 68 inches; if the elevator has center opening doors, a minimum width 80 inches is required.
  • Elevator cars must have two-way means of emergency communication and the emergency call button must be clearly visible.
  • Car floors must be slip resistant

LULA Elevators

Though LULAs have smaller car sizes, slower speeds, shorter travel distances, and alternative types of doors than conventional passenger elevators, they need to meet the same requirements for elevators in §407 and applicable sections of the ASME safety code.

Platform Lifts

According to ADA criteria, platform lifts can be part of an accessible route in existing facilities that are modified. In new construction, platform lifts can be used to provide an accessible route to or in only the following areas/situations:

  • Wheelchair spaces, performance areas, and speakers’ platforms
  • Incidental spaces with a maximum occupancy of 5 that are not for public use
  • Raised courtroom stations, such as jury boxes, witness stands, judges’ benches, clerks stations and depressed areas such as the well of the court
  • Levels within transient lodging guest rooms and residential dwelling units
  • Recreation facilities: amusement rides, play areas, team/player seating areas in sports facilities, recreational boating facilities, and fishing piers and platforms
  • New construction where topography or other existing exterior site constraints make a ramp or elevator infeasible.

DAY Elevator & Lift supplies elevators and lifts from leading brands and works with architects, builders, and contractors to install these ADA-compliant accessibility systems. If you are constructing a new building or want to add an elevator or platform lift to your current setting, contact us at 1-800-758-5438 for a Free Solutions Consultation.