When dealing with handicap accessibility in the workplace, it is important to assess the needs of your employees and the type of building you’re in. Different layouts may cause different hindrances on different types of disabilities, and what works for one office may not work for another. In this article, we will go through several different mobility and accessibility solutions offered by 101 Mobility®, and how they could impact the quality of life for your employees. No building is the same, and while some differences; such as a number of stories are easily spotted, others are not so identifiable.
If you’ve ever been to a public building such as an aquarium or museum, you’ve more than likely seen one of these. Most commonly made of aluminum, these ramps are perfect for ascending front entryways and short staircases. These ramps are commonly placed outside a building and allow for wheelchair-bound individuals to easily enter and exit the building. These ramps can also be found inside some buildings as well, such as indoor stadiums, zoos, and stores. A modular ramp can be built custom to your specific workplace situation, as they are put together piece by piece per the customer’s specifications. It is to be noted, however, that in order to comply with ADA guidelines, each inch of rising must be accompanied by a foot of the ramp. For example, if you had a 36-inch rise that you needed to cover, you would need 36-feet of the ramp to do so. In a public or office scenario, these guidelines are non-negotiable. While this may sound like a daunting amount of ramp, there are many ways to configure it to ensure that it takes up only a minimal amount of room. These types of ramps are capable of being doubled back and can turn multiple times. This is easier to do when the ramp is leading up to the front entryway of a building but can be done inside if ample space is provided. These ramps can be either rented or purchased and feature aluminum construction with handrails and sturdy supports.
Inclined/Vertical Platform Lifts
When a ramp isn’t enough, it’s time to bring out the big guns; in the form of a platform lift. This is a product you may have not seen all that often, as they often are synonymous with elevators and stairlifts. A platform lift, however, can be a vital accessibility addition in your business, place of worship, or public building. These devices are composed of a platform, as the name suggests, that travels via a rail system mounted directly into a set of stairs. It is important to note that there are two types of platform lifts; inclined and vertical. Inclined platform lifts are, as mentioned before, used on stairs and inclined surfaces. Vertical platform lifts employ essentially the same concept, except the platform travels in a vertical trajectory, almost like a miniature elevator. These lifts are extremely safe and secure and utilize a high-powered battery to carry heavier weights up elevated surfaces. They are perfect for transporting wheelchair-bound persons over stairs or up landings. Some features include hand-remote controls, along with obstacle sensors and emergency start and stop.
Despite the name containing the word “residential”, these elevators can have many accessibility applications in your office as well. Smaller stores or office buildings may not need a full-sized elevator, which is where this smaller counterpart can come in handy. This elevator comes in many different styles and sizes, with some ranging from cylindrical to square, from near full-size to single-person. These elevators are capable of carrying heavier weights, and often add to the aesthetic of your store, as well as proving people in wheelchairs, power chairs, and power scooters to easily traverse between floors. If this sounds similar to a platform lift, it’s because it is. A residential elevator, however, is capable of reaching higher, carrying more weight, and being roomier. It is capable of handling a wide variety of situations, and upon a meeting with a 101 Mobility® specialist, an option that is best for you can be determined.