Many of us take for granted the ease of which we access or homes and the businesses that we visit. It is as easy as opening the car door and swinging your legs out and then walking into the building. We don’t worry about the flight of stairs we have to climb or the lip on the sidewalk. We just maneuver our feet around them. Now think about if you were bound to a wheelchair or had to use a walker. Those simple tasks we take for granted then become very difficult.
The ADA has set forth guidelines to help mobility issues that people with disabilities face. Included in these guidelines is the requirement that public entities must make certain that all people with special needs are able to access buildings to participate in any and all services offered. Included in this is the need for wheelchair ramps at businesses that have only been able to be accessed by stairs.
Before a wheelchair ramp is installed there are several steps to consider in planning for the addition whether you are installing a wheelchair ramp for use at a residence or place of business. It is important that you look into the laws regulated by the American with Disabilities Act for specifications on materials and planning requirements. It is also advisable to look into the laws set forth by the local and state governments regulating wheelchair ramp installation.
After you have given the necessary for thought involved with planning take pictures of the location you are installing the ramp in. It is also helpful to scope out the neighborhood or other businesses for ideas and inspiration. Take measurements of your area and then measure again for accuracy. The worst part of any project is incorrect measurements.
Create a picture map to the scale you are building the ramp. A site plan should be drawn up and the detail, including materials, should be labeled and entered. This will help with the actual construction phase. If you have people helping you it should be easy for them to see your vision through the drawn plan. Go over the different laws regarding the slope of the ramp and hand rail specifications. Also, ensure that the landing to the ramp is completely level.
It is also important to create a budget to follow, draw permits and call the local utilities company before construction begins. A budget allows for you to stay fiscally responsible when actual construction begins. You will be able to determine if you can afford the materials you are interested in for the ramp or if you need to research other building materials. It is also important in determining if this is a job better left for a professional installer, if the budget allows for it. Permits are required for all structures to do with your home. Take your plans up to the local governmental offices and pay the permit fee. You will be happy you listened to this step as the fees for not having a permit are outrageous. Miss dig is important because the last thing you need to do is hit a gas or electrical line as you are getting started in the construction of your wheelchair ramp.
Wheelchair ramps help ease the transition in and out of buildings residential or businesses. It is important that those of us who have an ease of mobility don’t lose sight of those who don’t. It is up to us to ensure that quality of life is had by all. It is so important that wheelchair ramp access is given to all those who are in need due to limited mobility issues.