I was on a business trip down to D.C. this week, and at the hotel I saw something I had never seen before: elevator dialing wands. Every elevator panel, inside the car or at each elevator lobby, had an 18″ wooden dowel attached to a chain with a convenient velcro holder.
Obviously, they were intended for use with the elevator buttons… but why have them? My first thought was of The Simpsons episode where Homer becomes obese and is informed “We’re sorry; the fingers you have used to dial are too fat. If you would like to order a special dialing wand, please mash the keypad with your palm now.”. That couldn’t possibly be the reason.
I asked what they were for at the front desk, and was informed it was for people in wheelchairs; I hadn’t noticed, but all of the panels were a bit on the high side, particularly in the lobbies where they were mounted above a large ashtray. I guess the hotel couldn’t be bothered to modernize all of its control panels to accessible standards (or they’re perfectly happy to be grandfathered in).