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Stage Accessibility at Convention Centers

December 1, 2015

Ascension Wheelchair Lifts are located in convention centers around the world & are the ADA stage accessibility solution to use for any event.

What do the four largest convention centers in the USA have in common?

They all own at least one Ascension wheelchair lift to keep their venues safe and their stages ADA compliant.
Large convention centers may have as many as 9 Ascension wheelchair lifts to meet all of their accessibility needs.

Even modest convention centers in smaller townships have also chosen Ascension as the wisest investment for their venues.

Why? The short answer is: Ascension lets them get down to their real business, which is running conventions rather than worrying about their wheelchair lifts.

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Convention centers and arenas cannot ignore liability risks. “Are my personnel safe?” “Are my patrons safe?” “Am I in compliance with accessibility laws?”

With Ascension lifts, the answer is a clear “Yes!” Even standing patrons, such as wheelchair attendants or people with walkers, can get onstage as safely as everyone else.

Furthermore, robust safety features have always been standard equipment for every Ascension lift. Safety is not an optional feature at Ascension; it’s the norm.

How quickly can you turn around a room that has ADA stage accessibility?


A portable ramp may take 120 minutes or longer for a crew of 2 to 4 people to set up or tear down. The ramp is now a significant limiting factor in your turn-around time, creating a huge challenge when trying to plan two events in the same room on the same day.


A portable Ascension lift can be moved and set up in about 10 minutes by 1 person – less time than it takes to vacuum the carpet or wipe down the tables! Your ADA stage accessibility is now the least of your concerns instead of the greatest. Cleaning up the room and moving all the furniture is now your main task.

What about moving and setting up a “portable” tower type lift?

Unlike portable Ascension lifts, which were originally engineered from the ground up to be portable, other “portable” lifts are typically modified from a manufacturer’s existing permanent “tower” lift design. Virtually all of these lifts require more than 1 person and well over 30 minutes to move. Some lifts can actually take as much labor as portable ramps!

Show me the Ascension videos

A portable Ascension lift can be moved so quickly that it takes less time to move it than it takes to vacuum the carpet or wipe down the tables! What’s more, you don’t have to be a rocket scientist or body builder to set it up. Click the video for proof that one average person can move the lift in place and set it up in only 5 or 10 minutes.


Along with practical matters of safety and efficiency, aesthetics may also be high on your list of priorities. You run a high-class convention center, and you want the event on stage to be the center of attention – not your wheelchair lift. Ascension lifts:

  • Run quietly
  • Are user-friendly
  • Maintain audience lines of sight

...and they are non-threatening to all, from your most elderly patrons down to your young school-age visitors.


It’s often true that cheap things may cost more money in the long run. The product either doesn’t work well, or it doesn’t last long, or you spend more time fixing it than using it.

For things that really matter, we all know that it pays to rely on the best. As an event supervisor or operations manager, you probably want your Ascension lift:

  1. to work well,
  2. to work every time you need it,
  3. to be easy to set up and operate,
  4. to require minimal routine maintenance at a minimal cost,
  5. ...and to stay that way for 20 years!

Ascension lifts are designed and built to the highest ergonomic and quality criteria, with standard 10-year drive train warranties. Routine maintenance takes 5 or 10 minutes every six months.


As purchasing manager at a busy arena, you don’t want your investments to leak dollars in a year or two. You would love to spend zero dollars on maintenance, you’re pleasantly surprised by long warranties, and you look for products and customer service that will last for decades.

If you need a wheelchair lift, you only need to know one word: Ascension.


Here are some sample testimonials from a few convention center and arena veterans who know what you can expect from the Ascension experience.

"The Anaheim Convention Center has been using the Ascension portable wheelchair lifts since 1996. They are by far the best wheelchair lifts on the market. It is built with quality and because of this, we can always rely on them to work when they are needed. In my book Ascension is heads above their competition. All the safety features that they put in their wheelchair lift are why it is so user friendly."

James Eddy, Stores & Wardrobe Manager
Anaheim Convention Center
Anaheim, CA

"I have purchased two of the Ascension Wheelchair lifts so far in my career. One at a trade and convention center in Georgia and the other for an arena and conference center in Texas. I found them both to be of quality construction and completely reliable. At both venues our disabled patrons, keynotes, artists, or other featured guests have been extremely complimentary on this fine product. I would recommend the Ascension lift to any public assembly venue."

Timothy C. Mabe CFE, CMP, CMM, MBA
President & CEO
High Point Convention and Visitors Bureau
High Point, NC

"We uncrated the lift, ensured it is operating correctly, and went over all the written instructions and the included DVD. Everything is great and the customer service we received from you all was fantastic."

James Null, Services Supervisor
Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority
Las Vegas, NV

“We have a few older Ascension models that are still in use, and we use the Ascension Virtuoso in our newest building. We are happy with the easy set up and operation, and its reliability. We use the lifts several times a year. It saves a lot of space, time and manpower as opposed to the ramps we used in the past.”

Raymond J. Miller, Meeting Room Logistics Manager
McCormick Place
Chicago, IL

"I'm very pleased with my purchase of the Ascension wheelchair lift. I have an Arena, Concert Hall, amphitheater, commercial exhibit hall and meeting rooms. This unit has proved the most flexible in meeting all my needs to provide wheelchair access to my various stage heights. The large casters have made it easily transportable among the facilities. I have found none to match it in use, flexibility, transportability and reliability. You have my full endorsement."

John C. Fuhrmann, Events and Services Manager
Neil Blaisdell Center
Honolulu, HI

"We have used the Ascension portable wheelchair lift now for about ten years and I can easily say that it is a superior way to access our different stage configurations in our facility. It is a labor saving asset for our operations crew, very portable, stores away neatly and easy to operate for our clients. Over the years our clients have become accustomed to using this great piece of equipment during their events. A great buy!"

Doug Phipps, Director of Operations
NorthWest Georgia Trade & Convention Center
Dalton, GA

"The Ascension wheelchair lift has been a wonderful asset to the Ocean City Convention Center. With its ease of operation and set up my staff gives it two thumbs up. Great product!"

DJ Lockwood, Maintenance Manager
Ocean City Convention Center
Ocean City, MD

"We at the Peoria Civic Center have been very satisfied with our portable wheelchair lift. We have had our model for over fifteen years. As of today we have not had one operational problem with it. Clients are constantly requesting its use in our halls, ballroom and even arena at times. If you are looking for a great quality product with prolonged durability, you will not go wrong with Ascension. This is a solid product."

Jason Bain, Operations Manager
Peoria Civic Center
Peoria, IL

"We have Ascension lifts in both the Spokane Veterans Memorial Arena and in the new Spokane Convention Center. We have found both lifts to be very effective in assisting our disabled guests with access to head tables and stages. The lifts you sold us years ago are still functioning very well. Thanks for a great product which allows us to provide a great service for our guests."

Kevin Twohig, General Manager
Spokane Veterans Memorial Arena
Spokane, WA

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