According to ADA Guidelines (Americans with Disabilities Act), preexisting public buildings should be made accessible with features like a scooter or wheelchair ramp.
Installing a feature like a ramp makes a business, organization, or place of worship not only more accessible but more approachable for all! In particular, installing an ADA compliant wheelchair ramp ensures both guests and employees can enjoy and utilize a space regardless of their level of mobility
There are many types of ramps out there, but specific measurements and features ensure a ramp is ADA compliant. There are generally two types of ramps widely used for public access: threshold ramps and aluminum ramps.
Threshold ramps are simple commercial-grade ramps that make doorways or small floor elevations (under 6 inches) passable for someone with a mobility challenge. A threshold ramp is a great solution if you wish to make a very small incline accessible.
Another option is a modular wheelchair ramp. The easy-to-use universal design of these ramps allows them to be used by anyone; therefore, allowing multiple accessibility needs to be met at once!
These aluminum ramps are more durable and much larger than threshold ramps. To fulfill ADA regulations, the ramp needs to have a rise-to-run ratio of 1: 12 inches.
If a property requires a longer ramp, then you may need a switchback installed. A switchback is a wide landing that ‘switches back to the other direction. Installing switchbacks makes a ramp safer for users.
Breaking up those long spans of incline makes a ramp easier to climb. For example, when a length of the ramp is built beyond 30 feet without a resting platform or switchback, the ramp then becomes too steep for most unassisted wheelchair users. By sticking to the ADA regulations and installing switchbacks, the ramp will wrap around and gradually elevate – much like a spiral staircase or a mountain road.
Safety first! To ensure a ramp is properly installed and sufficiently meets ADA regulations be sure to use a professional ramp installer. These experts have the tools and knowledge to correctly assess and measure your property. Professionals also come with valuable experience with building codes and other local regulations.