Access is a major consideration for a handicapped person. People in wheelchairs or with other mobility issues require sloped access to access or exit higher levels. Private facilities do not have legal requirements, but ramps in public facilities must fall within the minimum requirements of the Americans with Disabilities Act.
Slope and Rise
The maximum slope of a ramp is 1-to-12; for every 12 inches of length, there can be a rise of 1 inch. The maximum rise for any run, or section, in a ramp is 30 inches. In existing buildings, steeper slopes may be used if space prohibits a 1-to-12 slope.
A ramp must have a clear width of at least 36 inches. This width enables all sizes of wheelchairs to use the ramp.
Ramps must have a landing at the top and the bottom of each run. The landing must be at least as wide as the run leading to it and at least 60 inches long. If the ramp changes direction at a landing, the minimum required space is 60 inches by 60 inches. If a doorway is located at the landing, there must be enough room for the door to open when a wheelchair is present.
The cross slope of a ramp must be no greater than 1-to-50.
If the ramp rises more than 6 inches or is more than 72 inches long, it must have a handrail on both sides. The inside handrail on switchback or dogleg ramps shall be continuous. The handrails shall extend at least 12 inches beyond the top and bottom of the ramp. The top of the handrail shall be mounted 28 to 32 inches above the ramp surface and spaced at least 1 inch from the wall.
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