Adaptations & Accessibility

Bearing Disability: Lift (elevator) Dependency

stick people in a lift / elevator diagram

Hi guys. So recently, Sophie and I went to the cinema. We watched How to Train Your Dragon 3; good film. More on the disability side of that soon. But we had a few challenges. Mostly to do with the lift at the cinema.

Sometimes known as the elevator if you’re one of our American readers.

Challenge One: Lift Verse Snacks

The first challenge, as always, is getting our snacks and drinks from the snack counter to the screen. As you can probably guess, we needed the lift to complete this journey. Only a bump from a gap in the lift meant that some of the pick & mix ended up on the floor. Not to worry, we were allowed to refill the pick and mix cup without paying again.

Take 2:

During our second attempt to get to the screen, Sophie and I got creative. Something we frequently have to do. We both used reusable containers for our drinks. Mine seemed to leek at the time but Sophie’s was on tight enough so we put Sophie’s drink in her bag.

Image result for pockets bigger on the inside gif

After refilling the cup, I remembered I had pockets. And bizarrely, tardis-like pockets. I put one of the pick & mix containers in my pocket.

So, second time around we managed to get up to our screen without another issue with the lift. We got to the screen and took our spots within seconds before the film started.

Challenge Two: Idle Lifts

The second challenge we faced was after the film. What to do if the customer lift breaks down?

As Sophie and I visit this cinema often, we both knew there was a staff lift, due to using it in the past. We had to use it when the cinema was being renovated so that the recliners could be added to screens. So we weren’t too worried. We thought we’d be able to use the staff lift like before. So I went to find someone.

Usually, they don’t have staff on the second floor but the staff were cleaning the cinema. So luckily I didn’t have to use the escalator, or leav Sophie by herself while I search for someone. I told one of the cleaners the problem, and he tried to fix it. We asked if we could use the staff lift (as we knew the cinema had one) but that had broken down too.

Obviously it’s not the cinema’s fault. Things break down but if you are dependent on lifts, then it’s something that really does not help.

Thankfully, whatever was wrong with the customer lift was fixed within about 20 minutes or so. So no fire brigraded needed for Sophie, me and the other wheelchair user waiting to use the lift. We all got down safely.

What can be done?

Challenge 1

For our first challenge, with the snacks, it would have been good if the cinema had not removed the snack bar on the upper floor. It forces people with all mobility issues to struggle to get their purchases to the cinema. However, I doubt that they will bring the snack bar back with today’s economy. So what can the customer do to battle this problem?

  • Make sure you have air-tight reusable containers. Both for mobility and for the environment 😉
  • Ask for help. I know it can be dunting but sometimes that’s the best way.
  • That Is All GIFPockets! Pockets are the best. Gollum knows what’s up.

Challenge 2

This one is a bit harder to suggest ideas really. I mean, lifts are machines. They’re going to break down and it’s rare that two lifts break down at the same time. Well, sometimes rare… East Tower at Uni has that problem a lot…

I don’t think that there’s a way to stop this happening completely. But there can be ways to prevent this. So what can be done?

Regular maintenance checks.

If the lifts are serviced frequently, it may highlight a fault before the lift actually breaks down. This then can be fixed within maybe a scheduled time. Guests or residents will be more understanding of a lift that is out of service for a couple of hours as long as there is an alternative and the reason is to prevent the lift from breaking down for a longer time.

Even if there isn’t an alternative lift to use, if it is to prevent it from breaking down for a longer period, then people will understand. Although, there should really be at least one alternative.

If it was a different cinema for example with one lift, they could offer a different time, with a screen that is either on the ground floor or once the lift is scheduled to work again. Restaurants can sit the customers somewhere else. Shops will have to bring down an item the customer wanted to look at.

Fix a lift as soon as possible, even if there is an alternative.

This one is important. I have known businesses to leave a broken lift for weeks or months because there’s the other lift/s. However, the others then break down and then they have to fix more than one lift as quickly as possible. So, if one lift breaks down, then it needs to be fixed as soon as possible. Even if there is another lift.

I think of it as the way my lecturer described back-ups of coursework. One copy and it doesn’t exist. 3 copies and it doesn’t exist. 5 copies and it may exist. Now, you can’t expect a place to have 5 lifts going to the same floors, but 2 or 3 is a good way to let customers use a service. But if one of these is taken out of the equation, it is possible that the other one or two will be too.

So, if there are only two lifts in a building and one of them is broken, it is important for the building managers to fix the broken lift as quickly as possible in case the other lift also decides to break soon.

Now, I’m not saying that the cinema doesn’t do this. As I said, these are just prevention suggestions. But at the end of the day, lifts are machines. However, if any business doesn’t do this, that includes building owners of residential buildings, then these would be good practices to get into. It shows the customers you care.

Thanks to the cinema staff

I’d like to thank the staff at the cinema for their quick response to the lift issue and for getting it fixed as soon as possible.

Before you go

Please do tell me what you think about lifts. Whats the best ways to help customers?

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