Wheelchair ramp: what to consider?
Wheelchair ramps are safe and robust structures that allow people with disabilities to access places they would not otherwise be able to go to. Today, there is a set of guidelines that standardizes the process of building wheelchair ramps and specifies the materials that should be used, making ramps safe for everyone.
In this article, you will learn about wheelchair ramp specifications, tilt ratio and horizontal projections. You will also learn about width, handrails and guardrails and how to best protect users from the ramp. You will also learn the basic steps used to install a wheelchair ramp, as well as some things you need to observe before your ramp is ready for use.
Wheelchair accessibility ramp specifications
You need to take your users and their limitations into account when building a wheelchair ramp. The ramp must be wide enough to be safe, strong enough to support the weight of wheelchairs and have a slope that is gentle enough for a manual wheelchair user to navigate. Security is an integral part and many different aspects must be considered.
Inclination of ramp
The most common guidelines recommend a slope ratio from 1:16 to 1:20. A 1:12 ratio is too high for some people to use. The minimum width of the ramp must be 1.20 meters. The minimum free height is 2.10 m. In old buildings, the minimum width should be 0.90 meters, with maximum segments of 4 meters in length. For places without a ramp, you can put your bet on portable ramps. They are affordable and meaningful. The type of ramp you build and the materials you use determine how you build the ramp.
Wheelchair ramp construction materials
When building a wheelchair ramp, you should consider wheelchair users, also people who should use crutches, walking sticks and walkers, and people who cannot walk with a regular gait. You can make a ramp for wheelchairs from aluminum, wood, steel or concrete. Concrete is expensive, but it is a great option for permanent wheelchair ramps. Wood is one of the cheapest materials for building ramps, but the cheapest cost comes with a maintenance price. Electric wheelchairs can be very heavy. Therefore, you should use stronger wooden structures.
The wood must be protected with sealant or varnish to prevent rot and warping. You must add non-slip protection to prevent accidents. However, the steel must be galvanized to prevent rust and corrosion, and a texture must be added to the surface to help prevent slipping. Aluminum is strong, resistant to corrosion and expensive. You will also have to add texture to the aluminum or it will become slippery and dangerous. Keeping the guidelines in your mind, it is essential to buy a portable wheelchair ramp.
There are many people with a disability or reduced mobility who very often cannot access public or private establishments because there are architectural barriers such as steps, unevenness or stairs. These situations have a quick and easy solution with the ramps that do not involve a large investment. We recommend that if you are going to use a ramp in van-type vehicles you use the tailgate for access.