Plans for Wheelchair Ramps

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Constructing a ramp for a wheelchair enables the user to access a building more easily, by eliminating the need to negotiate stairs. Ramps are also beneficial for elderly people with canes or walkers, pregnant women and children in strollers. Making a plan is important to ensure that the ramp complies with regulations as outlined by the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). The ADA states the minimum requirements for width, signage and incline so that the ramp is safe to use.

  • Decide where the ramp will be located. A wheelchair ramp is required at workplaces so that users can enter and exit the building easily. Pick a location that has plenty of space for the ramp to be constructed.

  • Sketch a map of the area, and include building features such as emergency exits. Take measurements and label the dimensions of the space on the map.

  • Review the ADA guidelines before designing the ramp. The ramp has to fit specifications. It should not incline more than 1 inch per foot, and should be a minimum of 32 inches wide to accommodate a wheelchair.

  • Create an initial plan for the ramp. Mark on the map where it will be fitted, and decide what materials you will use. Add the dimensions of the ramp, plus write down a schedule so that you have a deadline to complete the project. 'T'- or 'U'-shaped ramps are suitable to allow a turning area for the wheelchair.

  • Consult a builder with your initial plan. Professional help will ensure your ramp is a viable, fits legal requirements and is safe. It is important that the ramp is sturdy and durable.

  • Buy the materials, rent the necessary equipment and get to work constructing the ramp. Refer to the plan and consult regularly with the builder, so that you work to the schedule without deviating from the plan.

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  • Photo Credit handicapped sign image by sonya etchison from Fotolia.com
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