Ramp it Up!

Today’s lifestyle is highly competitive and difficult especially for disabled persons. Nevertheless, disabled individuals should enjoy the same quality of life that able-bodied individuals experience. Public and private places should be built with ramps and structures that make them accessible even to disabled persons. If your workplace does not have ramps or facilities for disabled individuals, you can talk with your employer to make some adjustments.

Ramps differ in places and come in many designs but all of them have the same purpose – to make an entry accessible to people in wheelchairs, scooters, walkers or anyone else who cannot use the stairs. Building a ramp is not as easy as putting a flat piece of wood in place where the wheelchair can pass through. In building a ramp certain factors need to be considered. Who will use the ramp? How much room do you have? Will the ramp be permanent or temporary? How much weight are you expecting it will have to support? How much will it cost?

For permanent ramps, build metal or concrete ramp. Wood ramps can be pleasing but they are not very durable and can easily crack. Although metal ramps are strong, its surface can get severely hot in the summer. Concrete ramps are durable and ideal in many conditions but they are very difficult to remove. Thus, you need to carefully consider how the ramps will be used before building it to avoid any problem and costly mistake.

Any person with basic carpentry skill can build a ramp. However, it takes more than that to build a good ramp. It may be a good option to let the one who will use it design the ramp if the person who will design it does not have enough experience with ramps and knowledge of the design guidelines. Fortunately today, cluelessness in ramp creation is declining. The accessibility regulations that were drawn after the passage of the American Disabilities Act have given architects guideline to work with. Keep in mind that ramp construction is not rocket science, thus, the guidelines of the ADA act gave a clear understanding of the procedure and considerations for good ramp building that even someone with no understanding of gravity can build and design a good ramp.

But remember, from time to time wooden ramps may need paint jobs and the no-skid rolled roofing surface needs to be occasionally replaced. Likewise, metal ramps may need certain joints to be re-welded and rust removed. Thus, whichever type of ramp you build the key to keeping them safe is by complying with the American Disabilities Act codes and maintaining the ramps regularly.
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