When it comes to complying with the disability laws and ensuring that your business is accessible to those with mobility issues, one of the things you might be considering is installing handicap ramps to allow access to your building for those in a wheelchair. Before you install a wheelchair ramp, there are a few things that you should think about. Here are a few things that you need to consider when you are designing and installing your wheelchair ramp.
Ramp Width Is Important
One thing that many business owners overlook is the importance of the ramp's width. Although most handicap ramps are designed to fit standard wheelchairs, you may want to opt for a wider ramp to accommodate larger sizes as well. That way, you don't have to worry about your ramp not being large enough for all of your customers.
Some people opt for wider, more durable wheelchairs to allow greater room for padding and power controls or other features. Wider wheelbase chairs don't always fit into standard ramps, so you should consider this when choosing your ramp design.
The Ramp Should Sit Flat On The Ground
For those who have never had to use a handicap ramp, you might think that a small lip at the base of the ramp isn't a big deal. After all, the wheelchair should easily roll over that lip, right? The truth is that even a slight lip at the base of the ramp can be problematic for some wheelchair users. If the wheelchair gets stuck on that lip, it usually requires someone's help to get it clear. This hinders the independence of those in wheelchairs.
Instead, make sure that your ramp sits flat on the ground when you install it. That way, wheelchair users can easily roll from the ground to the ramp without any obstructions or problems.
Ramps Shouldn't Be Too Steep
When you install a wheelchair ramp, you need to be sure that the ramp has a gradual slope. A wheelchair ramp that is too steep actually poses two different safety hazards. First, it can be difficult for users to navigate going up the ramp, putting them at risk of rolling backward. Second, when going down the ramp, too steep a slope can make it difficult for wheelchair users to control their forward speed.
The ramp should have a low, gradual slope. The higher the destination point, the longer the ramp should be to accommodate this. You should also consider installing safety rails to allow for greater leverage and security on a wheelchair ramp with any slope.
To get help with a handicap accessibility ramp installation, contact a contractor near you.