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ADA Requirements for Elevators

Dru Brooks

Installation of an elevator in a building is a formidable task, and it is crucial to comply with all existing local building codes and federal and state regulations. It doesn't matter if you're installing a brand-new elevator in a new building or if you are retrofitting an old one into an already existing space. It is important that you follow all the possible steps towards making your elevator compliant with existing codes.


In 1990, The Americans with Disabilities Acts set forth Standards for Acceptable Design for all new buildings and building alterations. These codes were updated in 2010. The premise behind the regulations is that all buildings should be accessible to people with disabilities.

So how does one make sure that his elevator is ADA compliant? The following is an overview of areas that will need to be inspected to make sure they are ADA compliant.

The Buttons of the Elevator

It is very important for the buttons of the elevator to be compliant with the ADA codes. In order for your buttons to meet code requirements, it is necessary to ensure that the buttons of the elevator are mounted at the height of 42 inches and have a minimum diameter of .75 inches. In addition, the buttons are required to be well illuminated at all times. Following these steps will make sure that people with disabilities can easily access the buttons and ensure compliance with ADA guidelines.

Braille Plates

In order for an elevator to be ADA compliant, Braille plates must be included next to the elevator buttons. ADA compliance also requires the placement of Braille plates next to all entrance jams.


An additional safety feature that is subject to ADA codes is two-way communication in the elevator cab. This form of communication must be available for use by both by deaf and blind persons. This means that the communication should be both tactilely and visually accessible and understandable.

Cab Space and Hand Rails

To meet the ADA requirements regarding cab space, it is important that the elevator cab is large enough to carry a full-sized wheelchair. To be more specific, the wheelchair should be able to make a 360-degree turn while inside the cab.

Cabs must also include handrails that are placed at a height of 30 inches above the floor.

Door Sensors

Door sensors are an important feature in the ADA codes for elevators. These sensors must have the ability to re-open the doors of the elevator without making any contact with the person or an object.

Placement of Elevators

For compliance with the ADA codes, it is essential that the elevators are easily accessible to visitors in all public place. This calls out for their placement to be in areas that people can get to without extra effort. Therefore, elevators should not be installed in out-of-the-way hallways.

These were the most fundamental principles of the ADA guidelines that need to be followed by elevator systems today. There are additional guidelines and requirements, and it is best to review all local, state and federal guidelines to be sure your elevators meet the standards. Seek professional help if needed.

Let Liberty Elevator Help

If you have further questions about elevator ADA regulations, please contact Liberty Elevator and we will be happy to survey your current property and help you plan out any compliance needs.

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