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Home > Design Needs > Interior Design Elements > Elevators > Emerging Elevator Technologies

Emerging Elevator Technologies

As elevator technologies continue to evolve, it’s important for designers and specifiers to consider the usability of these technologies by people impacted by blindness. Assessing the accessibility of new technologies should be an integral part of the product evaluation and specification process.

For example, destination dispatch elevators, a recently introduced elevator technology, were particularly challenging for people impacted by blindness when first installed.

Destination dispatch elevators use either a telephone style keypad or an electronic touch screen at each floor for users to identify the floor they wish to reach. Once the destination floor is entered, the screen returns visual information to identify which elevator cab to use. When the elevator arrives, the destination floor is pre-selected and the user simply has to get on the elevator.

Unless appropriate features are provided, people impacted by blindness using this type of system will have difficulty entering their floor destination, identifying which elevator to go to and how to get to it. As such, the following design features should be incorporated into destination dispatch elevator systems:

The following audio clip illustrates the messaging which a destination dispatch elevator should provide.

Elevator lobby keypad showing large colour-contrasted tactile numbers with audio-activation bar at bottom. Audio clip illustrating appropriate elevator messaging.

Please enter destination floor.
46th floor.
Proceed to Car C to the left rear.

Note the tactile numbering on the keypad as well as the elongated button on the bottom.