A wheelchair ramp is basically meant for people who are either disabled or too old to walk. Due to their limitation to walk, such people are forced to use a wheelchair for their movement needs. A wheelchair is however very useful to such people as it makes them independent of other people. They are able to do a lot on their own without requiring the help of others. A ramp is an inclined plane. This plane is usually installed in place of stairs or in addition to stairs. With a ramp, a person using a wheelchair is able to access even places that the wheelchair cannot roll on its own.
There are many ramps that are available in the market today to suit different kinds of users. They are of different types and getting the right one for you will demand that you browse thoroughly. The prices of the ramps also vary greatly depending on the brand and the type. It is possible to get some quality wheelchair ramps at the least rates possible. With the online stores, all you need is to settle for a particular ramp that you want to purchase. You can then pay for it through PayPal which is a convenient and safe method of sending your money. The online stores will then offer you the delivery services right to your doorstep. Try the stores today!
The wheelchair ramps can be divided into the permanent ramps, the semi-permanent ramps and the portable ramps. First we will look at the permanent ramps are constructed in such a way that they will remain there forever. Such ramps are constructed in places where they are to be used by many people like in a in a disabled hospital. They can also be built in a place where few people get into but frequently. Concrete is the perfect choice for these ramps but steel and wood can also be used. It is advisable to construct rails on the ramps for the convenience and the safety of the user. The cost of building these ramps varies depending on their steepness and their length.
The semi-permanent wheelchair ramps are meant for temporary usage. They are mostly needed for a short period of time like in a trade fair or exhibitions to make such events accessible for people using wheelchairs. The semi-permanent ramps can also be set up in a place where people using wheelchairs are expected to arrive for a certain occasion, for example in a workshop meant for the disabled people. The materials used to build these ramps are mostly wood and steel. Steel though more expensive, is preferred since it is sturdier, stronger and heavier as well. It is more durable too. Concrete is not a good choice for the semi-permanent ramps.
The other category of ramps is of portable ramps. These ramps offer the greatest independence of all to those using wheelchairs. They are portable and one can move with them from place to place as needed. The portable sizes can be folded to help reduce their size. The material that is commonly used to construct this type of a ramp is aluminum. This is for the reasons that it is light in weight and also strong. The heights of these kinds of ramps differ just as much as the heights to be to be climbed. It is therefore important to consider such factors while purchasing a wheelchair ramp. Consider places that you often visit and let them guide you through.
It is possible to buy a wheelchair ramp that is already made. One may also request to have a customized ramp where they present their designs, their requirements and other specifications and have the ramp constructed to suit their needs. It is very important to keep in mind when constructing a cramp, the level of inclination that will be perfect. A very steep ramp will be difficult to climb and also it has a potential threat of tipping backward. You are also supposed to consider how much weight a cramp can bear without deforming. This way, you will be able to choose the best material for the cramp.
It is very important to ensure that the ramp is well designed so that it will be useful. Poorly designed ramps may not help a lot and may not even help at all. So many people are concerned about the slopes but forget about the width. Different wheelchairs have different widths in between their wheels and this should be considered. Such considerations will help to avoid cases where a wheelchair is wider than the ramp. The wheelchair ramp that is ideal should be in a position to accommodate both the big and the small wheelchairs and also be able to bear different weights.
Types of Portable Wheelchair Ramps
There are various types of wheelchair ramps, amongst them are;
Lego-style threshold ramps
They are lightweight and have the ability to allow water to flow through. They are used both inside and outside the house on the doorway. They go for 7.5-inch and 1.5-inch heights and have a capacity of 300-lb weight.
Aluminum threshold ramps
They are the very light weighed types of ramps since they are made of aluminum with a non-slip surface. They are in sizes that fit 1-inch to 6-inch high thresholds. Their capacity is 600-lb weight.
Portable suitcase ramps
They can fold in half making it easier to store and travel with. They are made of aluminum and have non-slippery surfaces which make them suitable for wheelchairs and other wheeled objects. They range from 2 feet to 6 feet in length, and they can support up to 800 lbs depending on the model.
Rubber threshold ramp
These are durable, nice-looking portable ramps. They are suitable for getting threshold over doorways and sliders. They are in a variety of heights ranging from 1/2-inch to 2-inches.
Telescoping track ramps
These wheelchair track ramps are made for steps, curbs and van access. This type of wheelchair ramp, telescopes in length making it possible to be customized for different heights. They can telescope in and out making them more compact to go up to 10-feets in length.
They have non-skid surfaces and usually work well for areas with one or two steps and some have optional handrails. Sizes vary from 2-feet to 10-feet.
Roll a ramp
They are easy to use types of a portable wheelchair ramps. They can fold hence making them possible to carry around, and they are in different sizes to cater for various uses. They are mostly made of aluminum and are light weighed and durable. They are perfect to use on vans and buildings, and their non-slippery surface enable wheel chairs to move with ease.
Features of the Best Portable Wheelchair Ramp
- It should be of lightweight
- It should provide surface that makes it easy for wheelchairs to move without skidding
- It has to be durable and shouldn’t be one that can be easily destroyed by climatic changes since people travel with them in many different areas.
- Wheelchair ramps that fold make it easier for people to carry around.
- They should be adjustable because wheelchair ramps that can cater for various heights and lengths, save clients money from buying many ramps of different sizes to fit different areas of use and instead, buy only one to cater for all their uses.
- They should be able to support huge weights. Wheelchair ramps that support huge weights give the clients a guarantee and safety for use since they are assured of no accidents and losses of products and people falling off a broken ramp.
They are always flat and large to allow the chair to roll over the surface area.
They may be folding or non-folding.
They are long and narrow and are sold in pairs; one for each side of the chair.
There are wheelchair ramps which are specifically designed for vehicle use. Such ramps are used by the individual to get out and in the vehicle. A customized wheelchair ramp can be specially built to suit the vehicle one is using so as to make the movements in and out of the vehicle to be easy. The portable ramp is the one that people who own vehicles should consider as they will move to different places and find out that in those new places, there are no ramps to use. A lighter ramp for the vehicle use is the most ideal as one can have it all the time while traveling.
During the construction of a wheelchair ramp, great care should be taken. Ramps that are poorly designed and built incorrectly only put the user at great risk. Such can lead to a hazardous situations and even result to death. Such a ramp is not only unsafe and dangerous to the people who use the wheelchair as there are other people who are the care giver and they also use the same ramp. It is therefore important to look for a well trained and certified wheelchair ramp installer who meets the ADA guidelines. If a person feels that they would want to handle renovations for the ramp on their own, the best thing is to follow the guidelines in the guidebook.
When constructing a wheelchair ramp, it is important to consider the weather conditions of the area. In places where they experience rains often or snow fall in certain times of the year, it is good to take extra caution. One may use the slip resistant floors on such ramps to avoid an ugly situation. Ensure that the materials to be used will not rust or become weak due to weather conditions. It is very important for one to carry out a comprehensive research so as to be able to provide the safest ramp as even the slightest fall can damage the already fragile body more. Also ensure that the ramp has an aesthetic value, just for your loved one.
The wheelchair ramps should be fitted with rails at the edge to keep the user and also the caregivers safe and from failing off the ramp from the sides. The recommended rails should be those that include the handrails. The handrails can save a lot of problems because, if one feels like they are going to slide backwards, they can hold onto the rail and avoid the impending accident. All the cramps should also have a landing where the ramp meets the door. The landing should be sixty inches long so as to allow the door to swing in or out easily. With that space, the wheelchair user is left with room to maneuver around.
When constructing the wheelchair ramp, it is better to use screws rather than the nails. It is advisable to pre-treat wood to prevent rotting. To secure the support posts to the house, it is advisable to use the anchor bolts. When constructing a ramp, check on the weight of the person so that it can guide you. It is very important to install ramps to all the public places and give a chance to all the people including those who use wheelchairs a chance to visit all these places. Such people have had a problem of moving from place to place as not all people can be able to have the portable ramp to carry around.
Benefits of Wheelchair Ramps
Easy navigation of doorways
Designs of homes are sometimes obstacles to wheelchair users, especially the ones that are designed with long stairs make it difficult for movement. Portable wheelchair ramps make it possible for people to navigate the house and access rooms that they couldn’t, since there is less energy used when one uses ramps than moving around without them.
Easy Access of Buildings
It`s not a new thing having to carry someone who doesn’t have the ability to climb stairs when entering a house, especially in the absence of a wheelchair ramp. The usage of ramps makes it easy for wheelchair users to get in the house without straining or having to be carried over the stairs.
Freedom for Wheelchair Users
When a wheelchair user doesn’t have to call anybody to come over and help them navigate the outside or inside of their house or car, it gives them the freedom to do all the movements independently.
Wheelchair ramps give the users privacy in a sense that, everyone won’t have to know everywhere or everything they do or plan to because they have the independence of going in every room they wish to, even in the toilet.
Cheap to handle
Portable wheelchair ramps are the easy-to-handle kind of ramps. One doesn’t have to incur cost of installation after buying it. All you have to do is to unfold and lay it on the surface intended for its use, and that don’t need to employ anybody.
Safety in the rainy day
During rains, water collects along the road and sometimes makes it difficult for wheelchair users to move around. When one has portable wheelchair ramps, it is possible for them to get over the water and avoid the problems of the wheelchair sticking in the mad.
Portable wheelchairs are the recommended safety measures that keep one from losses of different types. They are not expensive to buy and don’t need installation. One can move around with them and use them wherever and whenever there is no ramp.
It restores freedom to wheelchair users and eliminates worry from family members that you can’t get far from home because one might need to be carried around when they want to move from one room
All governments should be in the forefront in creating awareness about the importance of ramps and even emphasize on the need to have them. In some places, the disabled and the old are not able to use wheelchairs as there no ramps to roll on. It disadvantages them so much that they have to keep sending some other people and this makes them to be dependent. Being disabled or old does not in any way mean inability and neither does it mean that such people cannot still contribute in their own way to the development and the growth of the country. Ramps are a good way to offer the old and the disabled their freedom to independence.