FDA may loosen rules for wheelchair elevators

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) may ease the rules for certain manually-operated wheelchair lifts that help disabled people climb stairs in their homes and buildings, the agency announced Tuesday.

The FDA is considering relaxing the premarket notification requirements for wheelchair lifts made by Adaptive Engineering, Inc., after the company petitioned the agency for a reprieve from the rules. 

Wheelchair lifts, also known as wheelchair elevators, help disabled people get around in their homes and the office. The devices from Adaptive Engineering also them get into cars, airplanes, trains, and boats.

"This device is used to provide a means for a disabled person to move a wheelchair from one level to another," the FDA wrote in the Federal Register.

The FDA will consider whether these devices are safe enough to forgo their premarket notification responsibilities.

The public has 30 days to comment.