Making Schools in Broward County More Accessible

Artira - Inclined Platform LiftBroward County School district is the sixth largest in the US and the second largest in South Florida. It is estimated that 8% of students in the district have a mobility related disability. Given their numbers, there has been a significant amount of effort and planning put in to accommodate their needs.

During the past few years the percentage of students requiring acceptable accessibility equipment  has increased. Despite the economic downturn, enrollment in schools has also increased due to population arrivals from the boom over the last ten years in South Florida. BCCS had to accelerate plans to accommodate students moving through the education system. This, combined with recent budget and staff reductions, has proven to be a testament in diligence and patience. Capitol budget funding and monies directed for the ADA provisions are scrutinized at all levels before being voted on by the board. Therefore, plans are being restructured to accommodate the most urgent needs, and some private funding has been required to complete projects that are already underway.

With the beginning of the 2010-2011 school year, efforts have resumed to complete several projects. This includes finding a solution to our  local high schools concern regarding accessibility to their stadium press box’s. Although this has been a needed accessibility project, the high cost of adding commercial elevators has kept projects of this nature on hold. Garaventa Lift Florida proposed the Artira inclined platform  lift for these projects. The Artira model was closely examined by school architects, and building plan reviewers, to see if it would be an accessibility solution. The projects were recently approved, and the Artira‘s will be installed this fall. Finally providing needed accessibility to those students with mobility related disabilities.

The press box accessibility issue is common, and the cost of adding an elevator continues to keep school districts from purchasing any accessibility equipment. The Artia provides a cost effective to these accessibility issues. Bleacher companies are also unfamiliar with the act of providing a design to add needed accessibility.  Garaventa Lift is working with these  companies to provide this access through both the factory and local efforts.  The BCCS projects have succeeded in providing needed accessibility by working with the local school district, the general contractors, and the bleacher manufacturers.  This collaborative effort also resulted in the savings of one hundred and fifty thousand dollars for each school. The money each school saved provided needed funding for other accessibility projects within the school district.  Garaventa Lift  remains a trusted and respected vendor of accessibility equipment, and continues to work on upcoming design projects with the Broward County School district.

Garaventa Lift Foundation Partners with Canwest Lift and Elevators

Garaventa Lift Home Elevators and Wheelchair LiftsCanwest Elevators and Lifts, our Garaventa Lift dealer in Calgary, Alberta, Canada has partnered with Easter Seals, Beattie Homes, Rona Home Center Ogden Road and Garaventa Lift in a new program called “Give a Kid a Lift”.

The ownership group of Canwest Elevator and Lifts has decided to embark on an initiative that will endeavor to supply and install at least one accessibility elevator or inclined platform wheelchair lift into a home each year at no cost to the family. There are many parents that are coping with physically challenged children under very trying circumstances. It is Canwest’s intent to offer them a gift that will help them manage a little easier. Canwest Elevators has been a supporter of Easter Seals for many years and they decided to ask for their assistance in determining the recipient.

This year’s recipient is Lorinda Bye. Lorinda was camping in a tent with her younger sister was struck by a tree that the heavy winds blew down. Her injuries left her paralyzed from the waist down and has confined her to a wheelchair.

The Genesis Shaftway vertical platform lift that was installed will allow Lorinda to access to all levels of her families home and increase her ability to live more independently.

Garaventa Lift Foundation – Fitzpatrick Family Home

X3-Inclined Platform LiftsOne of Garaventa Lift Foundation’s first projects was the Fitzpatrick family home. The Fitzpatrick home had a competitors inclined platform lift installed many years ago and they were very frustrated with the number of service calls and the expense associated with these repairs. The lift had never worked properly and as their daughter grew this became much more of an issue. Garaventa Lift’s Don Sanchez was aware of this problem and approached Garaventa regarding installing a X3 inclined lift. Vince Sciamanna got in touch with the Fitzpatrick family and arranged to donate this lift to solve the challenges the family was dealing with.

This X3 inclined lift was installed to provide access from the main upstairs living area to the downstairs family room and main entrance of the home. Laura is a charming teenager who is thrilled with her Garaventa Lift and finds it very easy to use. It took Laura a very short amount of time to learn how to use the lift and now she has the independence to travel between both levels of the house. Laura and her family are very pleased with the installation of X3.