Do you have mobility issues, or are you helping a family member work through his or her mobility issues? If yes, then you may have a lot of questions.
When mobility issues require you to be in a wheelchair, it can affect how you live your life each day. The first step toward making your home accessible for you is to get you through the front door. Wheelchair ramps offer a way for you to be able to access your house.
But how do you know what kind of ramp slope you need? Is there a standard you have to go by for a wheelchair ramp slope? Here are some answers for you.
Why Wheelchair Ramps?
Nearly 15 million people in the United States have mobility issues. They require a device to help their mobility. Out of those 15 million, 3.6 million need a wheelchair to be mobile. There are many reasons people have to have a mobile wheelchair. Some adults need wheelchairs because of an accident or an injury that has left them with mobility issues. There are diseases, such as dementia, ALS, and multiple sclerosis, that rob people of their mobility. Another example would be an older adult who has had a previous injury and has developed osteoarthritis. He or she may need to use a wheelchair to help him or her get around. Arthritis and vascular disease can also make walking very painful.
Wheelchair Ramp Design
The design of wheelchair ramps helps people get into buildings more easily. It is very difficult to get your wheelchair up and down stairs, and ramps make that transition much easier. There are many kinds of wheelchair ramps. For example, some wheelchair ramps are temporary. Some people only need to use a wheelchair for a short period of time. When that time is up, they can remove the ramp.
There are times a more permanent ramp is necessary. Did you know there are wheelchair ramp specifications? Do you know what is the proper slope for a wheelchair ramp? There are guidelines you need to follow.
The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) covers nearly everything to do with disabilities and mobility issues. There are specific guidelines for wheelchair ramps. First, wheelchair ramps must have a 1:12 ramp slope ratio for wheelchairs. This means that each foot of the ramp must have 4.8 degrees of slope for every inch it is rising. The slope of the ramp is important. If the slope is too high, it will be very difficult for you to push the wheelchair up the ramp. If the slope is too low, your wheelchair will not access your door effectively. If you have 3 feet of rise between the ground and the door, your wheelchair ramp must be 36 feet.
In addition to the specifications for the ramp, there are other ADA requirements. The law requires you to have two 5-by-5 flat areas on your ramp. One of the areas has to be at the top of your ramp, and the other must be at the bottom. This rule is easy to understand. You will need space to move onto the ramp and adjust your chair. You need the same space at the top of your ramp as well. The ADA rules also let you know what materials you can use to build a ramp. The guidelines are there to ensure your health and safety, but they can be confusing.
Luckily, we know how to decode all those rules for you. If you have mobility issues, and you need a wheelchair ramp, give us a call. We can help you with the proper wheelchair ramp design as well as wheelchair ramp specifications. Contact AIP Mobility Plus, in Chatham, N.J., in Morris County.