Wheelchair Ramps: Selection Process

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Wheelchair ramps are readily available in a variety of styles and at varying price points.  It’s important to understand the various types of ramps and your particular needs in order to make a smart purchase.  Let’s discuss the features and construction of ramps and how those factors can help guide your decision making.

Carefully consider the variety of factors that play a role in the selection of wheelchair ramps.  These include:

  • The degree of incline of the wheelchair ramps is a very important consideration. Steep ramps pose danger since they are hard to climb and can lead to problems like tipping. The overall goal should be to have a ramp that is 12 inches long for every one inch in height. Try to keep the ramps as low as possible.
  • The landing is also an important aspect to factor into your purchase. The landing, or the top portion of the wheelchair ramp, needs to be as level as possible. The landing is the top portion of the ramp as well as the end portion at ground level. Both portions need to be level. Landings also need to be at least the width of the ramp and 60 inches in length.
  • The surface of the wheelchair ramps is just as important. Look for a ramp that offers a nonskid surface of some type. If the ramp is outdoors, it should also have a design to allow for the weather. Rain, for example, should not remain in a puddle on the ramp itself.
  • Additional factors to keep in mind when purchasing wheelchair ramps include:
  • The weight specifications for the ramp
  • Handrails for the ramp
  • Transitioning from the ramp to the landing

The best-selected wheelchair ramps are those that provide for easy maintenance and care. Regardless of if they are portable or permanent, they need to be constructed to provide enough support for the individual in the wheelchair and anyone who may be pushing from behind. A well-selected ramp that is maintained can last years without fail.