Accessible Design in Public Housing: NYCHA Staff Training Program

Version 4.0 July 9, 2001

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Edward Steinfeld and Danise Levine, 2001
Additional information
Hallway Call Buttons
Section 4.10.3
Call buttons
Figure 1
Are the hallway call buttons centered at 42 inches above the floor?

Call buttons
Figure 2

Are the call buttons at least 3/4 inch in the smallest dimension?

The Usability Standard (Voluntary Compliance Agreement) allows an equivalent alternate for elevators in existing buildings.  Where an indicator panel for car position is not provided, lights can be mounted on the outside of the car and a view panel can be provided in the car and hoistway doors so that people waiting in lobbies can see the car arriving. 
Do they have visual signals to indicate when each call is registered and answered? (see Figure 2)

Is the button designating the up direction above the down button? (see Figure 2)

The point of this rule is to avoid indented buttons. Such buttons can be difficult for people with limitations of hand movement to activate.
Raised button
Figure 3

Are the buttons raised or flush with the wall?

Projecting object
Figure 4

If there is an object below the buttons, does it project no more than 4 inches into the elevator lobby?

Section 4.10.4
Few NYCHA buildings would have indicator lights. The VCA Usability Standard allows vision panels in the car and hoistway doors as an alternative.  

Figure 5 

Is there a visible and audible signal at each hoistway entrance to indicate which car is answering a call?

Note: Be sure to check for audible signal.


The UFAS Checklist requires a single sound for the up direction and a double sound for the down direction. However, this is not required by the actual UFAS text. In NYCHA elevators, a gong is used for the up direction and a buzzer for the down direction.  
Do distinctly different audible signals sound for down and up or do they have verbal annunciators that say "up" or "down"?
This would be obvious from riding in the elevator.  Click the buttons to see what the correct answer would be.

Visual signal
Figure 6

Are the visual signals mounted at least 72 inches above the floor, at least 2 1/2 inches in the smallest dimensions and visible from the vicinity of the hall call button?( see Figure 6)

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