For a while, I did not know why wheelchair ramps are important. However, that changed after my father developed limited mobility issues and became a wheelchair user.
Luckily, we met with a local ramp installer one weekend afternoon and chatted about the accessibility feature. Here is a rundown of what I found out, so if you need more information, read on.
Table of Contents
- Wheelchair ramps ease accessibility for people with physical disabilities.
- The ADA enforces ramp regulations to ensure equality for all.
- Businesses should have wheelchair ramps to ensure accommodation for people with disabilities.
Are Wheelchair Ramps Important?
Yes, wheelchair ramps are vital. Simple daily routines like walking or accessibility inside buildings can seem usual for many.
However, the tasks can be a real challenge for people with mobility issues, especially when using mobility aids.
Fortunately, the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) exists to advocate for people with limited mobility rights. One of its goals is to ensure safe access to allow accommodations for disabled persons. (1)
3 Benefits of Having a Wheelchair Ramp
Wheelchair Ramps for homes offer a crucial practical solution to building owners and users.
With this architectural feature, you can be sure people with disabilities can quickly access the premises.
Here is a list of benefits access ramps offer.
1. Boost Confidence
According to a study, most wheelchair users usually deal with low confidence. Moreover, when faced with accessibility challenges, the person may feel left out and depressed. (2)
Wheelchair ramps can turn this around so the person will have more freedom wheeling around.
Moreover, most people living independently with a disability, allowing them to live alone
2. Enhance Safety
According to the CDC, one in four seniors experiences accidental falls yearly. Moreover, with homes having stairways, people with limited mobility have a real challenge. (3)
However, a well-placed ramp can prevent such falls since you can construct the feature indoors or outdoors. Check out this YouTube video on how to build access ramps over status.
3. Enhances Maneuverability
I remember how hard it was for my father to navigate around the house, seeing we had a threshold rise in almost all doorways.
Fortunately, with the different ramps available, we got a threshold ramp that turned things around.
Moreover, we had a local contractor build a permanent wheelchair ramp leading to the front porch. Today, he can quickly get out of the house with his service dog and spend an afternoon outdoors. (4)
Moreover, there are portable ramps designed to allow access to vehicles. With such lightweight portable ramps, people with disabilities can independently use accessible vehicles.
Challenges People Face for Lack of Wheelchair Ramps
Most wheelchair users have difficulty carrying out their daily routines. Moreover, most people with mobility issues might choose to stay confined to their homes due to limited mobility.
I remember a neighbor who had to quit her job after she developed mobility issues. She could not access the workplace using mobility aids, and the building had no inclined stair lifts to enhance accessibility.
Planning your outing itinerary also becomes crucial as you can only enter accessible buildings and spaces. The last thing you want is to show up at a place only to discover an accessibility barrier that you will not handle with ease.
Another challenge manual wheelchair users face is the presence of steeper ramps that pose safety risks. Such situations can also test your electric wheelchair’s hill-climbing ability.
Why Businesses Should Have Wheelchair Ramps
If you own a business, you might ask why wheelchair ramps are essential. How do they help your enterprise?
States have ramp regulations to ensure citizens with mobility issues have a better quality of life. Moreover, the ADA advocates the need to install quality ramps in public spaces, and your business is no exception.
Check out this YouTube video from Archicorner on ensuring your ramp is ADA-compliant.
2. Accommodate Disabled Clients
As a business owner, making high sales is usually one of the top goals you have in mind. However, to achieve this, your business should be accessible hence the need to have a ramp and, if present, offer accessible parking spaces.
You should also install accessible door hardware to allow people with disabilities to open doors easily. Furthermore, a ramp is a sign that your business is wheelchair-friendly.
3. Beneficial to All
A wheelchair ramp is not a feature designed to serve people with mobility disabilities only. People pushing trolleys and strollers can also enjoy an accessible path within the premises.
Moreover, with a portable or permanent ramp, you can have peace of mind knowing your delivery packages get unloaded safely. This goes a long way to help your business establishment’s growth.
4. Prevent Liabilities
Accidental falls can happen to anyone, and slippery stairs are among the causes. This surface slipperiness can cause fatal falls, warranting legal action against the business.
Fortunately, an access ramp can prevent this since the feature can include handrails, warmers, and lighting. These safety features will keep your wheelchair accessible at any time and safe for use.
Why are ramps so important?
Wheelchair ramps are essential because they provide easy accessibility for people with disabilities. These inclined planes can also benefit non-disabled people and make public spaces accessible.
How steep should a ramp be?
According to ADA regulations, the standard slope for a wheelchair ramp is 1:12. This implies that you need 12 inches of ramp length for every inch of rising.
What are the specifications for a wheelchair ramp?
The ADA offers a universal design guide on how professional installers should build ramps. The specifications highlight the ramp’s width, landings, handrails, pitch, and cross-slope measurements. (5)
The topic of why wheelchair ramps are important might not seem crucial until faced with a situation where you need the feature. Fortunately, a ramp is a life-changing structure for most wheelchair users looking to live a better life.
You now know why ramps are essential to homeowners and business establishments. It is now up to you to share this knowledge with another person.
Do you know any other reasons other than the above? Don’t forget to share with us in the comments!
- 1. ADA National Network. What is the Americans with disabilities act (ADA)? Adata.org. Published 2017. https://adata.org/learn-about-ada
- 2. Sakakibara BM. Health, Personal, and Environmental Predictors of Wheelchair-Use Confidence in Adult Wheelchair Users. Published October 1, 2015. https://academic.oup.com/ptj/article/95/10/1365/2686434
- 3. CDC. Facts About Falls. www.cdc.gov. Published September 30, 2020. https://www.cdc.gov/falls/facts.html
- 4. Frequently Asked Questions about Service Animals and the ADA. Ada.gov. Published 2013. https://www.ada.gov/regs2010/service_animal_qa.html
- 5. U.S. Access Board – Chapter 4: Ramps and Curb Ramps. www.access-board.gov. https://www.access-board.gov/ada/guides/chapter-4-ramps-and-curb-ramps/