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36 CFR Parts 1190 and 1191 ADA and ABA Accessibility Guidelines - Preamble (Discussion of Comments and Changes)

Section 206.7 specifies where platform lifts can be installed. In new construction, platform lifts are permitted as a means of vertical access to certain spaces, including performance areas and speakers’ platforms (206.7.1), wheelchair spaces in assembly areas (206.7.2), incidental spaces not open to the public that house no more than five persons (206.7.3), and various work spaces in courtrooms (206.7.4). In the final rule, provisions have been added that permit platform lifts where exterior site constraints make installation of a ramp or elevator infeasible (206.7.5) and in residential dwelling units and transient lodging guest rooms (206.7.6). Also included in the final rule are provisions developed in separate rulemakings on recreation and play facilities that permit platforms lifts to be used to provide access to amusement rides (206.7.7), play equipment and structures (206.7.8), team or player seating areas in sports facilities (206.7.9), and boating facilities, fishing piers, and fishing platforms (206.7.10).

Comment. Comments suggested that the guidelines use the industry term "platform lifts" instead of "wheelchair (platform) lifts." The recommended term does not suggest that such platforms are limited to people who use wheelchairs.

Response. The term "wheelchair (platform) lifts" has been replaced with "platform lifts" throughout the document.

Comment. Original ADAAG allowed use of platform lifts where ramps or lifts are infeasible due to existing site constraints (4.1.3(5), Exception 4(d)). This provision was not included in the proposed rule as it was considered unwarranted in new construction. Strong support was expressed for reinstating this exception, particularly among industry. These comments referred to conditions that could pose significant challenges to access in new construction.

Response. The provision for existing site constraints has been reinserted in the final rule at section 206.7.5. It is intended to apply to instances where exterior site constraints posed by the topography make ramp or elevator access infeasible. Although the triggering condition (site constraints) must be exterior, the permitted platform lift may in fact be located in the interior of a building. This clarification is provided in an advisory note to this provision.

Section 206.7.6 permits platform lifts in residential dwelling units and transient lodging guest rooms. The Board included this provision in the final rule since it considers lift access appropriate in such spaces.


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