The Premiere Wheelchair Lift for University Stages

Count the Stages in Your University

Whether your university has an auditorium, a recital hall, a theater, an arena, a stadium, or perhaps all of the above – you surely have at least one stage. When you have a stage, you also have a responsibility to provide ADA wheelchair access onto it.

Wouldn’t it be nice to have an easy, reliable way to offer that access? More than 150 colleges and universities have addressed this same question and decided on portable Ascension lifts as their ultimate solution. From graduations, to recitals, to lectures, to concerts… Ascension has an ideal wheelchair lift solution for university stages.

Read: 5 Most Accessible Universities

Many Events – One Solution

Universities can see as much variety at their stages as major convention centers see. Even small colleges often have more than one stage, and major universities may easily boast half a dozen or more. Consider some typical stage uses in higher education.

  • Athletic Fields: One event might be a commencement ceremony at a portable 3-foot-high stage on the football field, where several of the graduates are in wheelchairs.
  • Arenas: Another event could be a concert in the arena, where the same portable stage has been moved and set up at 5 feet high, and where the master of ceremonies happens to be a wheelchair user.
  • Auditoriums: Perhaps a guest speaker, who is a disabled veteran, is giving a lecture in the large Arts & Sciences auditorium.
  • Theaters: Or you may have a paraplegic acting student, who needs to get up to the stage in the theatre.
  • Recital Halls: Maybe senior recital is coming up for a wheelchair-bound undergraduate violin student.

You can probably think of at least one more potential scenario for your own institution. In fact, you may have in mind a recent event that sparked your interest in researching ADA wheelchair lifts for university stages in the first place.

Even if your university has all six of these settings and more, a single portable Ascension wheelchair lift could be the answer to all of them.

Learn How the ADA Affects Graduation

From Auditorium to Recital Hall

For instance, in about ten minutes, one person can move your Ascension lift into the auditorium and set it up for a guest lecturer. Once in place, all you have to do is plug it in, remove the casters and store them in special brackets inside the lift (you don’t even need any tools), then set the stage height.

After the lecture, you can slip the casters back in place for transport, and roll the Ascension lift down the corridor to the recital hall. The setup process is the same as before: short and sweet.

From Recital Hall to Athletic Field

Now comes a real challenge. The lift must travel over a large parking lot, cross a small roadway, then negotiate a second parking lot and a short access road before moving across the grass to the portable stage that now occupies the middle of the athletic field. Spring commencement is scheduled there for Saturday.

You could probably move your Ascension lift on your own down a sidewalk or across a parking lot to an adjacent building. This trip, however, is about a quarter mile. Fortunately, your Ascension lift is equipped with forklift slots to meet exactly this type of challenge. In ten minutes, your forklift driver can place the lift exactly where you want it on the field, ready to be set up again in minutes.

You might be wondering, what if it rains overnight? All Ascension lifts are weather resistant – an occasional night in the rain won’t damage your lift. You can always put the lift’s cover on overnight if you’re worried. By the way, if you had ordered your lift with the optional Outdoor Use Package, you could leave it outdoors on a virtually permanent basis.

From Athletic Field to Arena

After commencement, the university’s arena across town is hosting a sold-out concert event. Ascension lifts are designed to be moved, so you could use one of your small trailers, your panel truck, or even a flatbed to easily transport the lift.

From Arena to Historic Theater

Next week, you will need to set the lift up in your historic theater. After 150 years, the ornate little venue still has 36-inch doorways. How will you get a full-size, ADA-compliant wheelchair lift through one of those skinny little doorways?

Fortunately, someone was thinking ahead when they selected your Ascension lift, as each Ascension lift is compressible down to about 33 inches. At the compressed width, you will be able to roll your Ascension lift through your theater’s 36-inch doorways with relative ease.

Find Your Perfect Solution

Whether you are a modest private college, a major public university the size of a small city, or something in between… Ascension lifts offer superb solutions for ADA stage accessibility.

  • Consider portability.
  • Consider safety.
  • Consider aesthetics.
  • Consider reliability.
  • Consider Ascension. The towerless lift.

Compare Ascension Lifts


“I got the Protégé Lift out of the Table and Chair Room today, set it up, had a wheelchair user test it, and staff cleaned it, trained on it and put it away. It went just like the video said and I estimate it would take a trained operator 5 minutes to move it and set it up in the ballroom for use at the front of the stage. I am very pleased with its operation. I’m looking forward to showing this to the Accessible University Advisory Committee next week! I’m still doing victory laps on what a major score this was for the MU.”

Sid Cooper, Associate Director Memorial Union Building Services
Oregon State University
Corvallis, OR

“The Wilkinson Student Center hosts around 17,000 to 18,000 events a year. Many of them are major events and are over half the events held on campus. We have used the Ascension Portable Lift for over 10 years and have never had a problem with it. We love its mobility and easy operation. It allows people with mobility impairments easy access to our stages and we are able to set it up at a moment’s notice if necessary. It has been a great asset!”

June King, Custodial Manager, Wilkinson Student Center
Brigham Young University
Provo, UT

“I also wanted to take this opportunity to thank you for an excellent product. In our multi-purpose facility, the space-saving and flexibility aspects of your lift have truly made a difference. There have been events that we could not have done if we would have had to use a ramp. Now, we just put out the lift, even if we don’t know whether it will be used or not. It’s so easy, we will put it out even if all it does is lift our heavy lectern up to stage level!”

Mike Broich, Technical Director, Hilton Coliseum
Iowa State University
Ames, IA

“The Ascension Virtuoso lift worked extremely well for the 27 graduations and opening ceremony for the Maryland Special Olympics Summer Games we just concluded. The lift does not make a sound and effortlessly transported our guests in need onto the stage. The larger lift we ordered handles even the longer motorized wheelchairs.”

Jim McTygue, Director, Event and Conference Services
Towson University
Towson, MD

“We are thrilled with our new Ascension lifts! They look great and are easy to work with. The larger casters make them extremely portable. They can be set up to operate at any height in a matter of minutes and the multiple control panels make them convenient for anyone to use. Patrons that have used these lifts feel much safer than in the lifts we’ve had in the past. Definitely the right choice for our building.”

Lynda Reinhart, Director, Stephen C. O’Connell Center
University of Florida
Gainesville, FL

“The Ascension Vertical Wheelchair Lift has been an invaluable piece of equipment to our operations. As an urban institution of higher education, ADA compliance is always a high priority for our campus and an even higher expectation from the many clients who use our facility. The Ascension Vertical Wheelchair Lift has allowed us to meet the needs of many physically challenged clients that attend the various events that we host in our Student Centers.”

Booker T. Suggs, Interim Director, The UIC Student Centers
University of Illinois at Chicago
Chicago, IL

“The University of Texas at Austin is one of the nation’s larger universities. We have many events that require special accommodations for disabled students, faculty, staff, & guests. We have used the Ascension Portable Lift for over 8 years. We were so impressed with its mobility & easy operation that as the campus continued to grow we purchased a second lift. We can not be more satisfied with the product, as well as the sales representatives, and the service personnel of Ascension. It is really a pleasure doing business with such a professional team. THANKS A BUNCH! & HOOK EM from U.T. AUSTIN!!”

Robert J. Lee Jr., Assistant Supervisor, FS – Events & Moving Services
University of Texas at Austin
Austin, TX

“We continue to be pleased with our Ascension portable wheelchair lift. We do not use the lift often; however, after 8 years it still meets our needs whenever we do have to use it for one of our many events. We selected this particular model of lift because of its compact size, ease of setup, and the crucial factor that it enables access as needed, without obstructing aisles or losing seating. We use it primarily for indoor graduation ceremonies, allowing graduates, faculty and staff in wheelchairs to be engaged in the ceremony, along with their peers. The lift is silent, unobtrusive, easy to operate, and reliable. The Ascension customer service support staff is absolutely great!”

Maruxa M. McDonald, Facilities Planner/Estimator – Event Support
Rutgers The State University of New Jersey
Piscataway, NJ

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