Elevators and well-constructed and maintained ramps allow for independent use by persons who use wheelchairs or scooters, and by others who cannot use stairs. They are also used by the general public, easing the way for those with children in strollers or with shopping carts.
Platform lifts are permanently installed elevating devices designed to transport wheelchair users on a platform that moves vertically between levels. Platform lifts usually require a key for operation. Entry and operation is often restricted to minimize misuse of the device.
New construction is required to be accessible to persons with disabilities or use ramps or elevators to overcome changes in levels in a manner that provides equal access. Platform lifts often leave barriers to access to persons with disabilities, and accessible portable or permanent ramps may be required.