Elementary school inspires university to create innovative wheelchair lift

Friday, May 24, 2013

An elementary school principal has inspired the University of Wisconsin-Madison to create a new wheelchair lift that could help make more places wheelchair accessible.

The invention process began three years ago when the principal at Emerson Elementary School in Madison, Karen Kepler, told a school donor her biggest wish was for her building to become accessible to everyone. All four entrances had stairs.

The donor went to the University of Wisconsin-Madison for help.

Engineering professor Jay Martin, his students and others came up with the Funicular. It's a platform that uses rollers and a modified chain hoist. It allows users to move up the stairway by turning their wheels on the rollers.

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