Lexia.Solutions™ announces UpLift, a first-of-its-kind patent-pending device designed to provide access for people who use wheelchairs to attend live events, schools and universities, casinos, restaurants, and more. Two products, UpLift Seating and UpLift Entryway, are intended to enhance experiences and improve access for wheelchair users, with the ability to help more businesses become ADA-compliant without enduring costly and lengthy construction projects. Reservations are available now, and online sales will begin in the latter part of 2020.
“People who use wheelchairs are very often limited by entryways, seat location, visible line of sight, and the number of people who can accompany them,” said Jeff Runnels, Founder and creator of UpLift by Lexia.Solutions™. “With UpLift, venues and facilities of all types can help attract this underserved market and grow their businesses’ bottom line. During this introduction and education phase, we look forward to connecting with the many customers to whom UpLift provides value — venues, schools, casinos, historically protected buildings and more — and helping them to incorporate UpLift into 2021 budgets and planning.”
UpLift Seating: A venue-housed and relocatable platform for people who use wheelchairs to remain in their chair, lifting and lowering themselves at a facility, allowing increased visibility and expanded seating options for people who use wheelchairs as well as their companions. Venues can store their 10″x34″ UpLift when not in use. When needed, UpLift can be deployed by a single staff person and can be set up anywhere in a facility.
UpLift Entryway: A relocatable platform for people in wheelchairs to lift themselves unassisted into and out of establishments, allowing facilities to forgo expensive construction or large ramps to accommodate ADA compliance. Also designed for just one staff person or caretaker to position, operate, clean, and maintain, UpLift Entryway is 10″ wide and 34″ tall when not in use, can be quickly stored, and can be set up anywhere in a business or home setting.
LCD touchscreen pads on both devices allow users increased control and comfort. Eligible businesses get ADA tax and LEED credits each year.
The UpLift Story
Runnels, who invented UpLift in 2016 before founding Lexia.Solutions™ in 2017, was inspired to create the product after realizing he didn’t know anyone who used a wheelchair and began to imagine how difficult everyday activities might be for those who do. He began to create a device that would change the way “accessibility” is defined. After weeks of continuous research and dead-ends, Runnels approached the words “DON’T GIVE UP” spray-painted on the sidewalk. Amused by the irony, he began to take a photo when he looked up and saw a man in a wheelchair trying to move a trash can blocking his car door. After exchanging pleasantries, the man looked at him and stated, “Don’t give up!” and proceeded to tell Runnels how he faces these issues on a daily basis.
“It was then that I realized I had to continue pursuing this passion, that giving up was not an option,” said Runnels, who invited close friend Hans Lorei to join him in creating the business. They began raising money and building prototypes, and eventually enlisted the help of Washington, DC-based lawyer Kelley Simoneaux and fellow lawyer and disability advocate, Josh Basile, both wheelchair users, to provide further insight into the life experiences of those who use a wheelchair.
“The firsthand experience our team has with using wheelchairs has had a tremendous impact on creating this device with the user experience in mind,” said Runnels. “This year, as our country marks 30 years since the signing of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), we look forward to helping further the continued progress through the introduction of UpLift.”