What Are the ADA Requirements for Wheelchair Ramps?


Quick Answer

The Americans for Disabilities Act creates technical access guidelines most businesses, churches, schools and other organizations must follow, according to the United States Access Board. ADA standards ensure handicapped individuals, including those in wheelchairs, have access to the buildings and facilities they use.

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What Are the ADA Requirements for Wheelchair Ramps?
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Full Answer

ADA requirements apply to the design stage, to the initial construction and when altering a building, according to Mobility Advisor. Wheelchair access ramps must meet specific slope and rise guidelines. There must be 1 foot of ramp for every inch of rise, notes Express Ramps. There also must be a 5-foot-square, flat, unobstructed area at the bottom of the ramp.

ADA requirements require wheelchair ramps to be a minimum of 36 inches wide; as of 2015, California and Massachusetts require ramps to be 48 inches wide. To be ADA compliant, a ramp must have a turning platform landing for every 30 feet of ramp, which must be a 5-foot square. The handrails, notes Express Ramps, must be between 34 and 38 inches high. If the building location is used primarily by children, a second set of railings is recommended at a height of no more than 28 inches. Railings must be secured on both sides of the ramp and have continuous gripping surfaces.

Temporary buildings, when used by the public regularly, must adhere to ADA guidelines. It requires outdoor ramps be designed specifically to avoid the accumulation of water on the ramp.

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