Accessible elevators
July 13, 2017 4:28 AM   Subscribe

My office has banks of elevators where only one is an accessible elevator. However, you can't choose which elevator to call, when you press any button all the elevator's buttons light up. Is there a way to get the accessible elevator if you need it?

I don't need it, and am just curious. No one in my office seems to know, and Google just turned up technical information that didn't seem to answer the question.

Just to be clear, each elevator has its own call buttons, but when you press one they all light up. Also there are no obvious keyholes or other buttons that I am aware of.
posted by Literaryhero to Grab Bag (8 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
Best answer: In the last corporate office I worked in with a similar situation, people who needed the accessible lift had a (rfid, probably) keyfob that they touched to a panel by the call buttons that would trigger the accessible lift. It was one of those places where there was one central call button though. It's possible the accessible lift has a discreet keyfob panel somewhere.
posted by halcyonday at 5:03 AM on July 13, 2017 [2 favorites]

Best answer: In a previous building I worked in the freight elevator had a second button, towards the top of the doorframe, that would call it specifically. It blended in so well that I worked there a couple of years without ever noticing it, until one day I saw the UPS guy use it. I imagine the accessible elevator could have a similar button closer to the ground.
posted by COD at 5:08 AM on July 13, 2017 [3 favorites]

Best answer: A know of a building that uses infrared remotes to call the accessible elevators. Regular users of the building who use wheelchairs also have the option of having a more capable remote attached to their chair that in addition to calling an accessible elevator also allows selection of the destination floor without having to use the buttons in the car.
posted by RichardP at 5:16 AM on July 13, 2017 [2 favorites]

Best answer: In one building I was in, pressing any elevator button would light up them all (including the accessible one), but pressing the button by the accessible elevator would bring just that one. You could test it and see if they have it wired that way -- I don't know if that is standard or was an exception.
posted by Dip Flash at 6:21 AM on July 13, 2017 [2 favorites]

Best answer: I find it odd that in a bank of elevators, each one has it's own button. I see many banks with two buttons, but one for each car seems excessive. Anyway, I would test it out by pressing the button on the accessible one only and seeing if that car comes each time. Is there a building manager or security guard who might know? I would be nice for everyone to understand how it works so they can assist visitors who need the accessible car.
posted by soelo at 7:15 AM on July 13, 2017 [1 favorite]

Response by poster: I am off until Monday, but I will look for secret buttons and see if I get a different result by specifically pressing the accessible elevator call button. I will also ask security if I remember, but there isn't a guy right at the elevators, which makes it harder for me to do that. Thanks for the answers everyone. :)
posted by Literaryhero at 4:54 AM on July 14, 2017

Response by poster: Since this was mentioned in the podcast, I figure it is a good idea to update with additional information.

There is no special button to call a specific elevator, security has no idea, and people are started to get annoyed by my obsession with the question at work. My next step is to email the elevator company and ask them, but I have witheld from doing so far due to a fear that I am slipping into madness.

There is an elevator maintenance guy that comes for regular inspections (which are posted), so I am thinking that waiting and ambushing him with a nonchalant (heh) question might be the best way to go.
posted by Literaryhero at 3:50 PM on August 4, 2017 [1 favorite]

Best answer: Final update! I managed to run into the elevator maintenance man just now (literally ten seconds ago, I ran here to post this immediately because I am so excited!) and asked him what the procedure is for calling the accessible elevator in the bank of all elevators.

Unfortunately, he said that in the current configuration it isn't possible. The way they are set up, the closer / more convenient elevator comes when called, regardless of accessibility needs. I asked why that was, and he said that there are settings in the control panel (he showed me! It was so exciting), but that the building management decides how the elevators should be organized and they decided on the current way.

So, it isn't exactly a great answer, but it is an answer.
posted by Literaryhero at 8:01 PM on October 24, 2017 [1 favorite]

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