Not All Disability Ramps Are Wheelchair Ramps!

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The range of available disability ramps is nothing short of amazing.  An increased recognition of the need for accessibility, spurred in large measure by legislation like the Americans With Disability Act, has led to the creation of many different kinds of ramps built to handle nearly any situation.

When we talk about disability ramps, we generally think in terms of wheelchairs.  While most ramps are designed for those using wheelchairs, the world of disability ramps also included projects designed for mobility scooters and powered wheelchairs.

The differences between a scooter ramp, a powered wheelchair ramp and a traditional wheelchair ramp aren’t always that significant.  In essence, they perform the same function in similar manners.  That being said, some ramps are designed with certain mobility aids in mind.  If you use a scooter or a powered chair, you might want to look for ramp options built with your particular situation in mind.

Channels, Tracks and Single Panels

Ramps can come in different forms.  Permanent and heavy-duty portable units will generally consist of single panels.  They’ll have a flat surface that spans the width of the wheelchair or scooter and slightly raised sides to prevent accidents.  Other portable units (and many vehicle disability ramps) will consist of two different channeled pathways (one for each axle).  The bases of these channels are usually made with non-skip surfacing and/or are specially contoured for optimal traction.

While channel formats aren’t as solid or durable as panel models, they do decrease overall weight substantially and that makes them quite easy to use.  Obviously, users of channel wheelchair ramps will need to take great care to maintain a consistent width for the run of the ramp.

You may also encounter the term “track ramps”.  That expression is synonymous with the channel models.