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Alterations to elevators. Under the 1991 Standards, if an existing elevator is altered, only that altered elevator must comply with the new construction requirements for accessible elevators to the maximum extent feasible. It is therefore possible that a bank of elevators controlled by a single call system may contain just one accessible elevator, leaving an individual with a disability with no way to call an accessible elevator and thus having to wait indefinitely until an accessible elevator happens to respond to the call system. In the 2010 Standards, when an element in one elevator is altered, section 206.6.1 will require the same element to be altered in all elevators that are programmed to respond to the same call button as the altered elevator.

Most commenters favored the proposed requirement. This requirement, according to these commenters, is necessary so a person with a disability need not wait until an accessible elevator responds to his or her call. One commenter suggested that elevator owners could also comply by modifying the call system so the accessible elevator could be summoned independently. One commenter suggested that this requirement would be difficult for small businesses located in older buildings, and one commenter suggested that this requirement be sent back to the Access Board.

After considering the comments, the Department agrees that this requirement is necessary to ensure that when an individual with a disability presses a call button, an accessible elevator will arrive in a timely manner. The IBC contains a similar provision, and most jurisdictions enforce a version of the IBC as their building code, minimizing the impact of this provision on public entities and public accommodations. Public entities and businesses located in older buildings need not comply with this requirement where it is technically infeasible to do so. Further, as pointed out by one commenter, modifying the call system so the accessible elevator can be summoned independently is another means of complying with this requirement in lieu of altering all other elevators programmed to respond to the same call button. Therefore, the Department has decided not to return this requirement to the Access Board.


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