What to ask yourself when choosing a ramp for your wheelchair

What to ask yourself when choosing a ramp

For most wheelchair and scooter users, ground level differences, stairs and other obstacles can often be handled easily with the use of a portable wheelchair ramp. Threshold ramps are most common with most types of doorways and entrances as access is often an issue. Negotiating many thresholds can be a difficult and bumpy process. To make a threshold less of an obstacle there are many sizes and types of small threshold wheelchair ramps available which can be anywhere from 6" to 24" long and ordered in a width suitable for your doorway or cut down to fit.

There are limits to the use and economy of wheelchair ramps. A wheelchair or scooter ramp which is very long can be an obstacle in itself. As well, another consideration is that, when exposed to the weather in northern climates someone is going to have to remove ice and snow from the wheelchair ramp prior too each use. Some questions you may want to consider when choosing a ramp are:

1. What is the rise you are trying to accommodate?
2. With one end of the ramp ending at the ground, is the other end starting from the threshold of the entry door or from a patio/deck/stoop of some sort?
3. What is your target slope for the ramp?

  • 1:18 or 3.2º (18 feet of incline ramp for every foot of rise) - most gentle slope, longest ramp and greatest cost
  • 1:12 or 4.8º (12 feet of incline ramp for every foot of rise) - gentle slope, ADA compliant, manual wheelchair friendly
  • 1:9 or 6.3º (9 feet of incline ramp for every foot of rise) - moderate slope, attendant assist or power chair friendly
  • 1:6 or 9.5º (6 feet of incline ramp for every foot of rise) - dynamic slope, attendant assist or power chair only, shortest ramp and lowest cost

4. What shape of ramp layout would you prefer or fits your property best?

  • Straight
  • "L" shaped (1x90° turn)
  • "U" shaped (1x180° return)
  • "W" shaped (Multiple 180° returns)

Contact us for help in answering any of your questions on ramps.

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