As new technology is developed for those with disabilities, mobility and accessibility have grown in scope and scale. Mobility devices like wheelchairs and scooters have become commonplace in public areas where they were never seen before. Older public buildings – not just government buildings – have begun to add wheelchair lifts, stairlifts and even elevators to ensure that all shoppers and visitors can travel throughout the building, no matter how tall.
With the holiday season in full swing, many living in the New York area have been travelling to sites where decorations have been set up, namely Rockefeller Center, where (arguably) the world’s most popular Christmas tree is located. Getting there would be difficult for many in wheelchairs, if not for readily accessible wheelchair lifts located on city buses. Unfortunately, a recent trip to the tree by a New Jersey family was marred by an unfortunate lift incident, says CBS New York:
“Susan Long of Freehold Township said the wheelchair lift on a NJ TRANSIT bus malfunctioned, stranding her 12-year-old disabled daughter in midair on Saturday morning.‘The side of the bus door was open and she was just stuck up in the air,’ Long told 1010 WINS. ‘When we were trying to get near her the bus driver was like, ‘No, no, no leave her there,’ and my husband said, ‘We’re not leaving our daughter in the air.’”
This type of incident is very unfortunate, especially when it happens in public. The article says that NJ TRANSIT, the bus company, was very apologetic and is investigating whether or not the error was caused by human or mechanical error.
No matter what the cause of the lift malfunction, this type of story is one we cover often, because it shows just how important wheelchair lift maintenance is. Whether it is a stairlift, elevator or lift, it doesn’t pay to forgo annual checks and maintenance work for your home mobility devices.