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Accessibility is a vital aspect of building design that has often been overlooked in the past, but DDA lift requirements have improved the situation . A DDA-compliant lift is designed and operates in line with the DDA regulations; and serves to make buildings more accessible to everyone, regardless of their degree of mobility.

For a lift to be fully DDA-compliant, it must be designed and constructed in accordance with certain requirements such as specific design features, dimensions, functions, and so on. To make public spaces more easily accessible to everyone, regardless of their mobility, Sesame Access Systems can help plan, design, prepare, and install a lift that can accommodate a range of needs.

The Disability Discrimination Act

The Disability Discrimination Act 1995 (DDA) was an Act of the Parliament in the United Kingdom, a civil rights law making it unlawful to discriminate against people with disabilities in terms of employment, education, transport, and the provision of goods and services.

The DDA was in force from 1996 to 2010, prior to which there was no such legislation in place to guarantee equal opportunities for people with disabilities. While there were attempts to require businesses with over 250 employees to employ a certain number of people with disabilities, this was never fully enforced.

In 2010, the DDA was repealed and replaced with the Equality Act 2010 in England, Scotland, and Wales. In Northern Ireland, the DDA remains in force.

There are many similarities between the DDA and the Equality Act, but a few differences as well. The DDA made provisions specifically for the disabled, and that included requirements for DDA access lifts. The Equality Act, meanwhile, focuses more on equal opportunities for everyone in terms of their employment, education, buying or renting of any property, and access to services, goods, facilities, various activities, and associations.

However, many still colloquially refer to the new law as the DDA.

Compliance Requirements

By the same token, lifts that are accessible to all may still be informally called DDA lifts, but they must now conform to the requirements, regulations, and specifications set by the Equality Act. To be compliant with the legislation, they must be accessible to everyone regardless of whether they’re ambulant or have any sort of condition that affects their mobility. This includes people who use wheelchairs.

What requirements, therefore, should DDA lifts abide by? These requirements mostly involve the dimensions, appearance, and features of a lift. These include:

  • Automatic lift doors that are at least 800 mm wide;
  • Doors or access points clearly distinguishable from the wall and surroundings;
  • Level entry or access, or ramp;
  • Two to 20 seconds of door-dwell time;
  • A handrail on at least one wall or side of the lift, situated about 900 mm from the floor;
  • Push buttons with minimum sizes, easily distinguishable from their faceplate;
  • Vertically arranged push buttons;
  • Push buttons and the corners of adjacent walls should have a minimum distance of 500 mm;
  • Visual and audible confirmation that the push button has been effectively engaged;
  • Sufficient lighting in the lift and in lift landings;
  • Emergency communication system within the lift itself; and
  • Confirmation that the lift has reached the landing

A lift that is compliant with the DDA must have all these features and more. If you would like to install a lift with DDA-compliant features and specifications, you can work with Sesame Access Systems to ensure you get exactly what you need. We have over 20 years of experience in building and installing wheelchair-accessible lifts for a wide variety of spaces and facilities.

Design, Installation, and Maintenance

We work closely with our clients to plan, design, and install lifts that will enhance the accessibility of their buildings. Every lift we install is tailored to the needs of our clients, and their own clients, as well as the physical features and dimensions of their property.

Our prices, therefore, are tailor-made as well. The cost of your lift will depend on several factors, such as the style of the lift, how high it has to go, its pit depth, who is meant to use the lift, and so on. You can view our product catalogue to see the styles and kinds of lifts that we can build for our clients.

From start to finish, the entire process can take six to seven months. The design stage can take up to eight weeks, then we allow another 10 weeks for the manufacture of the parts we’ll need, and another nine weeks for assembly and quality control.

The remaining two weeks are dedicated to the actual installation of the lift, and we also allow a week in between each stage for extenuating circumstances. However, we can also make specific arrangements if you need to have the lift installed within a shorter time period.

Our DDA regulation lifts are guaranteed a long and useful life and will remain fully operational as long as they are well-maintained. In fact, the first lift we installed back in 1997 is still working exceptionally well to this day. That’s the quality, craftsmanship, and durability you can expect from the lifts we build.

We offer a one-year warranty for all the lifts we install. For full DDA lift compliance, we service the lifts we manufacture every six months. For continuity, we aim to ensure that the engineers who installed your lift are the same ones who will oversee its maintenance and servicing.

Additionally, we offer service packages that include onsite assistance, telephone support, and email support. Standard Service includes two routine maintenance visits per year, Enhanced Service includes three visits per year, and Total Service includes four visits per year.

Getting Started

A DDA-compliant platform lift can provide everyone, regardless of ability, access to your property. It can also ensure a residential property is more useable and comfortable for every member of a household. We at Sesame Access Systems are a trusted and reputable supplier of DDA lifts, and will ensure that your specifications and needs are met in every respect.

Our lifts are built to last and designed for the comfort, safety, and accessibility for all. Contact us to schedule a consultation so we can begin designing the perfect lift for your space. You can call us on 01784 440088, or you can fill in the contact form found here:


Why was the DDA introduced?

The Disability Discrimination Act 1995 (DDA) implemented new laws that aimed to end the discrimination, unwitting or otherwise, that disabled people experience. The act gave disabled individuals throughout the UK new rights of access to services, goods, employment, education, transport, accommodation, and more.

What is the minimum size of a lift?

Legally speaking, DDA-compliant lift car dimensions are 0.95 metres x 1.25 metres, which can accommodate a single wheelchair passenger. As for the width of the entrance and the lift itself, that should be at least 0.75 metres. Cabs that are smaller than this must be replaced.

What difference did DDA make?

The DDA required buildings be made more accessible for disabled people by, for example, having a wheelchair lift service installed. The “requirement” was amended in 2005 to “duty”, and in 2007, the wording was strengthened even further to require all public buildings in the UK to guarantee equal access for users to all services.

How often should a lift be serviced?

On average, lifts should be professionally maintained at least once a year. This ensures that the lift will continue to operate safely and smoothly throughout its lifespan and lessen the risk of unexpected repairs and breakdowns. Your lift installer should be able to do this for you.

How long does it take to complete a lift installation?

Each property will have different requirements, and these may affect the time it takes for a disabled stair lift installation to be completed. Generally, it will take us around six to seven months to set up your lift. Additionally, we aim to ensure that the installation is carried out with as little disruption to your business or home as possible.

Is the lift shaft structure made of aluminium?

The materials you choose for your lift are up to you. Aluminium lift shafts are available, but often, platform lifts need a shaft structure made of painted mild steel.

What is the life expectancy of a platform lift?

Life expectancy of any lift, whether a platform lift or a stair lift machine, really depends on how often it is serviced and how it is used. Its location and type are also important factors to consider.

When you work with us, however, you can rest assured that your lift will stand the test of time. Lifts that we installed over 20 years ago are still functioning perfectly to this day.

What size openings are needed on each landing of a platform lift?

The full width opening size at the front needs to match the measurements indicated on the site-specific drawing. The openings should be 2,240 mm high from finished floor level at lower levels and at least 2,350 mm at the upper level.

How will the lift be attached to each landing?

It is important that the landings are level and offer a firm fixing point, which is usually made of timber, for the bottom door frame. Some lifts utilise a series of L brackets and support hoops to secure the lift.

Do you need permission for a lift?

Planning permission is typically required for any lift installation, so it’s preferable that the Local Authority is involved at an early stage. This is even more the case if the lift shaft will be built as an external add-on to a building, or if the building is Listed.

Guide To DDA Access Lifts

  • Part M. This states that the required way to give disabled access is by means of a passenger lift, particularly in new developments. If installation of such a lift isn’t possible on a new or existing building there must be an access statement submitted explaining why such a deviation from best practice is essential.
  • British Standard or BS 8300. This was updated in 2017 and is now separated into two parts. The original version of BS 8300 gave advice on designing lifts specifically for disabled individuals. The new BS 8300-2 provides design guidelines that are inclusive to everyone.
  • Other standards. Changes to BS EN81-20 and EN81-50 for the design and manufacture of lifts came into effect in August 2017. Architects must bear in mind these new standards for the size requirements of lifts. On average, the upright position must be 0.4m x 0.5m in horizontal dimensions with a height of 2m.

Benefits Of DDA-Compliant Lifts

Below are some of the benefits that DDA platform lifts can offer:

  • Flexibility. A platform lift can easily fit into any modern or more traditional building. They are designed to suit any environment, so you can rest assured that building owners should be able to easily incorporate them to offer accessibility to all.
  • Safety. All four corners of a platform lift are secured and the four lifting motors are synchronised to ensure the platform is stable and the ascent or descent is smooth.

Things You Should Know About Lifts Before Getting One Installed

Here are some things to keep in mind when getting a DDA platform lift installed:

  • There should be fire safety objectives for the use of lifts for disabled people.
  • The building design must be reviewed, including the occupant characterisation, fire safety management, and building characterisation and environs.
  • Consider adding additional safety precautions, such as CCTV systems, management procedures, protected lobbies, and more.
  • Take the time to understand the evacuation scenarios during emergencies, including the occupancy levels, training, mobility of occupants, and so forth.

Advantages Of Electric Wheelchair Lifts

Are you wondering about the benefits that an electric wheelchair platform lift has to offer? Below are just some great perks.

  • Ease of use. An electric wheelchair lift is very easy to use and provides accessibility with convenience to people with mobility issues.
  • Independence. The modern wheelchair elevator lets people with restricted mobility move freely around a building with independence. These lifts serve as an effective solution to the issues that disabled people face every day.
  • Flexibility. If necessary, electric wheelchair lifts may be used for various purposes aside from mobility. For instance, a lift can be used to transport heavy goods more easily around a building.

Value Of Platform Lifts In Homes

Platform lifts can be a welcome addition to a home. With the UK’s ageing population, investing in a lift ensures elderly residents whose mobility is restricted can still fully access all floors their home, enhancing their independence and the likelihood of them being able to live in their own home, rather than enter a care setting, for longer.

Having a lift installed can do wonders for a house’s value as well. According to studies, platform lifts could increase a property’s value by as much as 25%!

And in terms of public buildings, bear in mind that DDA lifts are not just a desirable feature – very often, they’re a legal obligation. Whether you are looking for a lift for a residential, a commercial or a public building, you can find a wide range of styles and designs to choose from here at Sesame Access Systems. Browse our selection today.