Being handicapped accessible is becoming a standard for any business these days. Circumstance sometimes happen beyond our control and we could find ourselves or our loved ones wheelchair bound for a short time or for the rest of our lives.
It is at this time that we would have to think about adjusting our home to become wheelchair accessible. It may never happen but why tempt fate. There would be nothing wrong in keeping wheelchair ramp plans around the house for safe keeping just in case that twist of fate would visit on our doorstep.
When thinking of building a wheelchair ramp for your business or home one must consult the Americans with Disabilities Act for guidelines on building the proper wheelchair ramp. These guidelines are called the ADA Standards for Accessible Design and can be found here http://www.usdoj.gov/crt/ada/stdspdf.htm. The Federal minimum requirements for wheelchair ramps are as follows.
1. The maximum slope of the ramp is one inch of rise for
each linear foot of run. (one inch rise in 18 inches of run
will better assist the elderly)
2. The minimum clearance between handrails is
36 inches. (42 inches recommended)
3. The maximum rise for any ramp segment is 30 inches.
After 30 inches of rise a flat rest platform must be
provided. The platform must be as wide as the ramp and
a minimum of 60 inches in length.
4. A flat landing must be at the bottom and top of all ramps
5. Handrails/Guardrails must be on each side of the ramp
and landings. Rails must be at least 30 inches above the
ramp and no more than 38 inches above the ramp,
These Federal guidelines are the main standard and all encompassing but your local and State wheelchair ramp building codes must be checked for any additions to the Federal standard.
Building a simple ramp is quick and easy. Kids do it all the time for their bike riding. Building a ramp that meets certain federal and State building codes is not as easy but it is not difficult to do. It is for a good cause too. It is to help out people who can’t make a usual 3 stair climb that a lot of us take for granted on their own.