- 1 Types of Handicap Ramps
- 2 Wouldn’t It Be Great If We Could Have Buildings That Were Fully Accessible to Everyone?
- 3 Why It’s Necessary to Hire a Professional to Build It
- 4 Do You Require Disabled Access Ramps to Comply With Building Regulations?
- 5 Questions About How Accessible Public Spaces Really Are
Access ramps are necessary for those who have difficulty using stairs. They allow people who have difficulty walking to use the same entrance as everyone else. If a building has a single entrance it is considered accessible if the ramp is wide, stable, and has a handrail on both sides of the stairs.
Unless you’re a fan of being carried up and down stairs, you’ll want to make sure disability access ramps are installed. But these ramps come with their own set of challenges and require several considerations when it comes to installation and upkeep.
Types of Handicap Ramps
Pre-fabricated modular ramps that can be easily installed,
Ramps built using reinforced concrete, and
Ramps built using timber.
A lot depends on the nature of the site where you’ll be building the ramp. If it’s an existing site, and there’s lots of nearby parking space, it may be easier to use modular ramps. But if you’re building a new site to accommodate your business, you might want to consider a concrete ramp instead. This is especially true if there’s no existing parking space nearby. A concrete ramp will probably cost more than a modular ramp but they’re much sturdier, so they last longer and they can take heavier vehicles – including motor homes and vans with wheelchair access.
When you’re selecting timber for your ramp, make sure it comes from a sustainable source so that fewer trees need to be cut down for future building work. You’ll also need to make sure that whoever installs the timber ramp has the correct qualifications. That’s because, in order to avoid injury or accidents, the ramp needs to be properly built and installed by somebody who knows what they’re doing!
Wouldn’t It Be Great If We Could Have Buildings That Were Fully Accessible to Everyone?
Wheelchair ramps offer a smooth way to get up or down small hills. For people in wheelchairs, though, they’re not just ramps. They’re mobility. They open the world up to you, let you cross streets, go to restaurants and stores, see the world from street level.
The first wheelchair ramp was built in Europe in 1851, but it wasn’t until the 1970s that ramps began to appear in the United States. The reason for the delay is simple: it’s hard to build one. It requires not just carpentry and design expertise but also knowledge of how wheelchairs behave on ramps, and how people using them are likely to behave.
They are often installed badly today because there is no single professional group that specializes in building them; even architects, who do most of them, don’t think of themselves as ramp builders.
Why It’s Necessary to Hire a Professional to Build It
Building a disabled access ramp is a job best left to the professionals. Not only do you need to ensure the job is done correctly but you also need it done to building regulations. Here are some key reasons why hiring a pro is the best way forward:
If you’ve been told that you have to have a disabled ramp built, then it’s no surprise that you’ll be required to get the work inspected and approved by your local authority before it can be used. An inspection will be carried out, and if no changes are necessary, then your ramp will be given the all-clear. If changes are required, then they’ll be made and the process will start again. It’s highly unlikely that inspectors will approve of a DIY job, although there are always exceptions.
Building regulations and safety standards both play an important part in ensuring that proper procedures and practices are followed when building a disabled access ramp. If your plans aren’t up to scratch, then there’s a good chance that the work won’t meet these standards – and that’s not something you want to take a chance on when it comes to someone’s safety. It’s highly recommended that you hire an engineer who has experience in this field of work.
Do You Require Disabled Access Ramps to Comply With Building Regulations?
Access ramps are one of the many design elements in a building that help to ensure the safety of mobility-impaired people. Access ramps are designed for sidewalks or walkways that meet certain standards for accessibility and usage. These standards aim to provide safety and improve the quality of life for people who have difficulty walking. They are different from curb cuts, which provide access for vehicles and pedestrians to travel from the sidewalk to streets or parking lots. There is no legal requirement stating that all buildings should be accessible by ramp, but a variety of older buildings do have this feature, particularly in areas that experienced an influx of automobile traffic at the time they were built. Some cities have redefined the requirements so they include additional elements like handrails on both sides, remaining level with the surrounding sidewalk.
Questions About How Accessible Public Spaces Really Are
People in wheelchairs face a lot of obstacles in the world. For example, you might not be able to get into a grocery store because it doesn’t have a ramp or an accessible restroom. To find out if the place you’re considering is accessible, ask these questions:
Is there enough room for a wheelchair or scooter? Is there adequate clearance for doorways, tables and counters? Are there wheelchair-accessible restrooms? Is there adequate space between the table and the chairs so someone using a wheelchair can maneuver easily?
Can customers with vision impairments read the menu? Can they make out the prices on check-out screens? Though not always possible, having large print on menus and price tags can be helpful. If you’re having trouble reading the menu, ask someone if they’ll read it to you. If you’re still having trouble understanding, ask to speak with a manager.
HAZARDS AND OTHER DISCOMFORTS
Is the parking lot marked well enough that you won’t get lost trying to get from your car to the entrance? Does it have a well-defined “drop-off” area so someone can help you from your wheelchair?