What Do You Know About The Government Requirements For Wheelchair Accessible Ramps?

Among the toughest things pertaining to being in a wheelchair is that you can no longer go to all the places you want to go. For example, if you want to go into a building that just has an entrance up a few steps, you basically have to forget it. Even though Americans with Disabilities Acts of the 1990s forced the issue of all new structures having wheelchair accessible construction of elevators and ramps, older structures are exempt unless remodeling has been done. This seriously limits the self-sufficiency enjoyed by these disabled Americans forcing them to feel frustrated and dependent.

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Folding Ramps Trifold Advantage Series Portable Wheelchair Ramps – 10 Feet

When a building is newly-constructed or perhaps remodeled, the laws are incredibly clear about the amount of access they must offer people in wheelchairs. The incline of ramps should be between 1:16 and 1:20. The ability of somebody in a wheelchair to cope with an incline depends upon both slope and length. Even the best inclines are tough for those with poor upper body strength and stamina. It has been confirmed that most people in wheelchairs can handle a slope of 1:16, however, many are stymied by one of 1:12. When a building has been remodeled, it needs to bring its accessibility up to code standards during the time of the construction.

In addition to the amount of slope a ramp has, there are additional guidelines regarding landings and handrails. Landings have to be at the minimum as wide as the ramps leading up to them which means at least 36” x 60” long. If a ramp changes direction, the landing in between the segments should be at least 60” x 60” to allow a turn radius. When there is a door at the top of the ramp, then the section leading to the door must comply with government specifications.

All wheelchair accessible ramps are required to have handrails that are no higher than 28” unless it is a facility specifically designed for the use of small children. If the ramp has a rise of more than 6”, then there must be appropriate handrails on both sides.

Even if you are handicapped, you have rights to independence as well as freedom exactly like everyone else. If you are having problems with places that you feel must be up to code but which aren’t, you can contact the Civil Rights Division of the U.S. Department of Justice as well as visit with them about your rights. The contact numbers are 800-514-0301 for voice and 800-514-0383 for TTY.

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