Katie is a beautiful and active 13 year old girl. She was born with Spina Bifida, a congenital disability affecting the vertebrae and spinal cord. Katie has never been able to walk, but today she uses a wheelchair for mobility. Katie’s mother recalls: “When Katie was younger it did not seem to be such a problem that her mobility was restricted one level of our two level home. A year ago, however, Katie announced that she was almost a teenager and she wanted her privacy – a room of her own – and she wanted it “upstairs.”

Her parents thought that the only way their daughter could have the privacy she needed was if they sold their current house and moved to a larger single level home. Moving would mean uprooting Katie’s older sister and brother from their friends and school, untold moving costs, and total disruption for the family. The family decided to look at alternate options and agreed to talk to an accessibility planning consultant. The consultant recommended the Concord Versalift “Through-the -Floor” Wheelchair Lift.

The Concord Versalift is a unique lift that travels through a 5 ft X 4 ft opening in the upper floor. It is automatically opened and closed by the operation of the lift. When the lift is at the first floor level, the opening above is “filled in” and the complete floor space upstairs is available to be used by the whole family. The Concord Versalift requires no costly hoist way construction due to its special design. It needs only to be mounted on a suitable load bearing wall such as the inside of an exterior wall. The lift operates on normal 115 volts, 15 amps household power, and the auto-light feature conserves valuable hydro power when the lift is not in use. The emergency battery “back-up” feature is standard, and allows the passenger to rise and/or lower the lift, open the doors, and exit the lift in the event of a main power failure. The car compartment control buttons and the call station button at the upper and lower floors are large and conveniently positioned for easy access by Katie while sitting in her wheelchair.

“The elevator cost less than we thought it would,” reports Katie’s father. The family sometimes wonders what Katie is doing in her room behind the “Do Not Enter” sign, but there’s no doubt the installation of the Concord Versalift has given Katie that private space she wanted. As for Katie, she’s very happy with her new room.