Lift automation: can we all re-learn?

picture of a wheelchair user entering a lift carIf you’ve ever been in a building and used a lift with an automated control system it is likely you’ve been confused, needed the security attendant or receptionist to help, or the person you are visiting has come down to the lift lobby to meet you. What is an automated control system? It is one where there are no buttons to press on the lift. By one means or another, the lift is instructed to go to the designated floor either by a code at the reception desk, or one on a swipe card or visitor pass.  This system may have some advantages but it is not intuitive, and it will take time for people to re-learn how this system works. For people who work in these buildings or visit them regularly, they have cracked the code and manage the system well. But how well does it work for people who are blind or who have a cognitive impairment? Or if the system is reliant on recorded voice messages, how is that for people who are deaf or hard of hearing? Lee Wilson raises some good questions in his article on Destination Control Systems in Sourceable.