GAKAL Installation is Project of the Month for September

Today, we name the 4th annual lift installation for the Give A Kid A Lift program as our Project of the Month for September 2014. This year, Give A Kid A Lift (GAKAL) is a collaboration between Canwest Elevator & Lifts, Easter Seals, Garaventa Lift and Enhance Your Home Renovations. The recipient is 16 year-old Wilfredo Aleman. Wilfredo waqs born in Colombia with cerebral palsy. This presented enormous difficulties for his family. Their luck began to turn when they were sponsored by Maple Leaf Foods and were able to emigrate to Canada, eventually winding up in Calgary.

Once they moved to Calgary, they discovered an excellent level of support from community groups such as the Calgary Bridge Foundation for Youth, Family Support for Children with Disabilities, Alberta Children’s Hospital, Calgary Cerebral Palsy and Easter Seals. Wilfredo’s mother Sofia expresses her gratitude, “I am very grateful to Easter Seals for their generosity, to Canwest for putting their heart, work and time along with Enhance Your Home Renovations and Garaventa Lift for making this dream come true.”

The Aleman Family

The Aleman Family

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Home Elevator Industry Launches Safety Campaign

Chicago, Ill. – June 25, 2014 – In an effort to increase safety and reduce preventable injury, leaders from the home elevator industry today launched a new public education campaign, homeSAFE (Safety Awareness For Elevators), to help raise awareness about the safe installation, operation and maintenance of home elevators. The Campaign is supported by the Association of Members of the Accessibility Equipment Industry (AEMA), National Association of Elevator Contractors (NAEC), National Association of Elevator Safety Authorities International (NAESA International) and ThyssenKrupp Access Corp.

“Safety remains an industry-wide concern in the home elevator industry,” said John Sweeney, president of NAEC. “The homeSAFE Campaign fills a critical gap by uniting key leaders in the home elevator industry to take action and raise awareness with homeowners of the complexity and importance of safe home elevator installation, operation and maintenance.”

The home elevator market in the U.S. has grown significantly in the past decade, driven by an aging population and a lower cost of installation. Despite the rise in home elevator use, little information is available to help educate homeowners about how to safely install and maintain home elevators. The homeSAFE Campaign is designed to fill that void and make home elevator owners aware of critical safety criteria when installing or operating a home elevator. This includes home elevator installation standards, inspection requirements, regular maintenance, and safety precautions — especially important when children may have access to a home elevator.

“The homeSAFE Campaign provides homeowners with the first industry-wide, comprehensive resource of home elevator safety information,” continued Sweeney. “Until now, much of this information was either scattered on various websites or not documented. Having information in one place helps homeowners easily find basic information about home elevator safety and smart practices. Simply, this allows them to assume greater control over their safety.”

The Campaign website, www.homesafecampaign.com, provides current and potential home elevator owners clear, easy-to-understand guides and tools to explain how home elevators operate and should be maintained. The web site includes safety tips and evaluation checklists, interactive diagrams and infographics, answers to frequently asked questions as well as resources for working with home elevator industry professionals such as home elevator dealers, inspectors and mechanics. The site also features downloadable information packets homeowners can share with family, friends and others in their communities.

“Homeowners should feel confident in the safety of their home elevators. Our goals are to raise awareness with homeowners as well as begin a dialogue around home elevator safety readiness with industry leaders,” said Jurrien van den Akker, president of ThyssenKrupp Access Corp. “A number of people and organizations support the many facets of home elevators – design, purchasing, installation, inspection and maintenance. We hope to provide a platform where experts can share their resources and help educate homeowners.”

The current homeSAFE Campaign partners reflect organizations supporting the home elevator production, inspection, sales and installation process. The homeSAFE Campaign partners include:
 Association of Members of the Accessibility Equipment Industry (AEMA), a non-profit organization formed in 1990 to meet the needs of the accessibility equipment manufacturers, distributors and end users
 National Association of Elevator Contractors (NAEC), an association of elevator contractors, suppliers of products and services and other industry professionals. Celebrating 65 years of service, the Association serves the interests of the industry by promoting safety in the elevator industry advocating excellence in the management of member companies.
 National Association of Elevator Safety Authorities International (NAESA International), a non-profit organization with nearly 2,500 members comprised of elevator inspectors, mechanics, consultants, contractors, architects, engineers, elevator manufacturers and others interested in elevator safety, code enforcement and technology.

The homeSAFE (Safety Awareness For Elevators) Campaign is an industry-led initiative designed to increase home elevator awareness. The Campaign objectives include raising homeowner awareness about the safe use, installation and maintenance of home elevators; educating all industry groups responsible for home elevator installation and maintenance about the safety risks associated with faulty installation; and creating an easy-to-use, easy-to-find repository of home elevator safety education resources. To become a partner or get involved with the homeSAFE Campaign, visit the Campaign website, www.homesafecampaign.com.

Hi I’m Vanessa

My name is Vanessa and I currently work for Garaventa Lift. We are a manufacturer of accessibility lifts, home elevators and portable wheelchair lifts that are sold all over the world. I got involved with this company in a large part because I believe very strongly in making the world more accessible.

I have had a lot of personal experiences in my life seeing how inaccessibile many places are given the fact that both my best friend and my grandmother are handicapped.

I am excited to participate in this blog as a resource for those who are frustrated by  barriers which can hamper access to wheelchairs on a daily basis. I am also going to blog about the different advancements in accessibility equipment globally.

Caitlin (one of my greatest friends) has cerebral palsy and for the most part spends her life outside of her parents’ home in a wheelchair. While she can walk with a specially designed cane, she feels much safer in her chair. I have, countless times, carried her wheelchair up or down stairs so that we can get from point A to point B. Lucky for me she can walk while holding onto a railing, and her wheelchair isn’t too heavy!

My grandma has been struck by a bit of unfortunate luck in her right leg, and can only walk with a walker. I say unfortunate luck because she broke her knee cap running into a store to tell one of her friends that I had been born twenty five years ago. So as a kind of penance, and well because I just plain love her; I carry her walker wherever we need to go if there isn’t an accessible option.

Having recently graduated from university, I am looking forward to providing a resource for those who are looking at the different types of devices needed to make buildings or areas accessible for everyone.

If you have a question about the different types of accessibility lifts available on the market today, please send me a note and I will do my best to provide you the information to help you decide on what type of lift is best for your situation.

Vanessa