Setting up Mobility Ramps
Thinking of adding a wheelchair ramp to your home? It might be something you can do yourself. With a few simple carpentry skills, you can build a safe and sturdy ramp that will last for years. The ADA (Americans with Disabilities Act) contains guidelines that standardize the design of wheelchair ramps, making them safe for those using wheelchairs, scooters, or walkers. The first thing to consider is how high the ramp needs to be. Measure the distance from the ground to the surface you are trying to reach. The ADA recommends a ramp slope of at least 1:12. A slope of 1:16 to 1:20 is recommended. Use the smallest incline you have room for. Each ramp must be at least 36 inches wide without obstacles in accordance with ADA.
When building a wooden ramp, several points must be taken into account:
- Pressure cut lumber is highly recommended.
- The wood must be protected with sealant, varnish or stain to prevent rotting and warping.
- Plywood can warp, flake off and become slippery.
- Don’t use nails. The nails push outward causing the boards to loosen.
- Poles installed in the ground should be classified as such.
- You must be ready and able to support it.
Here is a description of some of the most popular types of portable scooter ramps:
Threshold Ramps – Designed for doors, sliding glass doors and raised platforms. They make it easier to get around in and out of the home in a wheelchair.
These ramps can be installed permanently or moved as needed. They are usually smaller and fairly inexpensive, ranging from $ 40 to $ 150.
Roller Ramps – This type of ramp is a good choice for those looking for an easily transportable ramp. Designed with hinges and usually made of aluminum, it is easy to roll up and light enough to take with you wherever you go. Some ramps are fixed size, while others allow expansion up to 8 feet or more, which means the user, can access a variety of mini and full size trucks with a single ramp. Prices start at $ 200.
Smaller models can be supplied with a storage bag. Suitable for most types of scooters and wheelchairs, this ramp is designed to bridge gaps between steps and curbs. Larger models are suitable for loading vans. To use, simply unfold the hinged ramp, attach and forward.
Folding ramps: These are very similar in design to luggage ramps, and can also have a carry handle like a suitcase. The reason you might want to choose a ramp that is more than just folding in half is because you need a larger ramp and storage is a challenge. Here you will get a ramp that will allow you to overcome higher obstacles, but you can still double the ramp down to a size comparable to a much smaller ramp. Prices start at $ 225.
Telescopic Ramps – Expands so you can use them at different heights so you can only use one ramp to navigate stairs, vans or curbs. For storage, simply remove each rail from the ramp and press the rail buttons to fold; this rampe handicapé offers the lightest and most compact storage available. Prices start at $ 150.