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Creating Safe & Equal Access for All with Wheelchair Accessible Ramps

Creating Safe & Equal Access for All with Wheelchair Accessible Ramps

 

Safe access to public, private, and commercial buildings is necessary to keep schools, health care services, churches, and businesses accessible for people of all physical abilities. Whether you are welcoming visitors, customers, patients, or employees to your hospital, school, church, or private business, ensuring appropriate, independent access for those with limited mobility is essential, and in many cases required by law.


Commercial-grade wheelchair ramps can be permanent or portable and modular and enable people equal access to your modular building regardless of their mobility limitations. Safe, smooth access for anyone, regardless of their physical challenges, is necessary for creating a welcoming and inclusive environment. Modular wheelchair ramps are an excellent way to do just that.

Choosing a Ramp to Fit All Mobility Devices

It’s important to consider the wide variety of mobility equipment that will be utilized by people on your ramp when choosing a proper fit. Patients in various states of recovery from surgery or injury may need the assistance of a wheelchair, scooter, walker, or cane. As healing and recovery happen, visitors to your building may no longer need these devices and a portable ramp may feel like the best option. But don’t assume these needs will be temporary!


Investment in a permanent ramp may be the best option when considering the needs of those people with a permanent need for mobility assistive devices. Many people who live with lifelong or progressive mobility challenges will benefit from a permanent ramp to accommodate safe and easy access to your building. And don’t forget about weather impacts such as snow, ice, and wind. Ramp access should always include extra precautions to prevent slips, trips, and falls as a result of extreme weather. Take care to consider drainage and traction issues as the seasons change in your region.



DIY or Hire a Professional?


Whether you choose to install your wheelchair ramp yourself or hire a professional, it is vital that care is taken to ensure optimal safety as well as compliance with all regional or industry-specific laws. If you or someone on your team have construction skills, self-installation is an excellent option. No matter your skillset or background, always consult with your local building codes and compliance requirements to ensure your wheelchair ramp is installed correctly. 


Not ready to take this on yourself? Professional installation is probably right for you. Whether your wheelchair ramp will be permanent, semi-permanent, modular, or temporary, a complicated design or 180-degree switchback design will most definitely require the use of a professional installer. And it doesn’t end there! Consider how your wheelchair ramp will affect your building’s market value, and don’t scrimp on quality for any reason.

ADA Compliant Ramps

People with mobility impairments are entitled to reasonable accommodations under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). Although the location and size of your business may exclude you from this obligation, compliance can be of great benefit to your business and the people you serve.

Professional installers should be well aware of ADA ramp regulations, the rationale behind each guideline, and the areas where safe deviations can be made based on the specific installation. While the ADA is not mandatory for ramps used at home, modular ramps for public use must still comply with the ADA in most cases.

Installers who are inexperienced may not know how to determine a wheelchair ramp slope that is safe for your building. A ramp that is too short could be unsafe for visitors using a particular mobility device. Additionally, details such as the exact width of your handicap ramp or turn platforms and when a rest platform is required are equally significant. Without attention to state and federal ADA regulations, your ramp could be unsafe, non-compliant, and in need of adjustments later.

In addition to proper installation, your wheelchair ramp must also provide safety features such as a slip-resistant surface, a sturdy decking or travel surface, and handrails with a suitable height. While some accidents are unavoidable, a professionally installed, ADA-compliant wheelchair ramp is more likely to prevent unnecessary mishaps. 

The Importance of Your Wheelchair Ramp

While your business’s wheelchair ramp may seem like a simple, straightforward component related to the infrastructure of your building, the proper installation, care, and maintenance of it will go a long way toward helping differently-abled individuals feel included and accepted by your service, business, or institution. Safe and secure wheelchair ramps send a positive message in any public space or establishment that aims to be inclusive and accessible for all. By providing a safe and easy way for wheelchair users to enter and exit buildings, wheelchair ramps empower differently-abled individuals to participate fully in shared public life. 

 

Safety & Accessibility Are Your Responsibility

There’s no denying that wheelchair ramps are an essential accommodation for people with mobility impairments, such as those who use walkers or crutches and play a crucial role in promoting inclusion and accessibility. By doing the right thing and installing a safe and secure ADA-compliant ramp for your modular building, you are not only becoming a part of the solution, but you are helping to facilitate a broader cultural shift towards greater awareness and acceptance of disability as an integral part of society.