How to Choose a Wheelchair Ramp

3 Foot Long Wheelchair Ramps

Three foot long mobility scooter ramps can be used in offices, apartment buildings, assisted living facilities, and other commercial locations as they are ADA-compliant for step heights up to three inches. Alternatively, if you are looking to use a four foot ramp for personal use in your home, they do not need to adhere to ADA codes and can be used with occupied wheelchairs and mobility scooters on step heights up to six inches. If you plan on only transporting unoccupied wheelchairs or mobility scooters, they can be used with rises up to nine inches. Most are portable to make it easier to provide assistance to individuals with disabilities in a variety of locations.

Understanding ADA Codes for Wheelchair Ramps

Here are some of the ADA codes to which wheelchair ramps must adhere so that individuals with limited mobility are able to access commercial and public spaces. For more in-depth information, please read ADA Specifications: Wheelchair Ramps.

  • The ramp length must be one foot long for every one inch of step height (also known as the rise).
  • Turning areas must be flat and at least 60 inches in diameter with toe and knee clearance.
  • There must be enough space in front of doors, doorways and gates for wheelchairs and scooters to maneuver in front of them.
  • If a surface changes height by .5 inches or more over time, such as a shift in a concrete sidewalk, some type of ramp must be installed for access.
  • New commercial or public buildings have to adhere to ADA standards; older buildings might be exempt depending on their architectural layout.

How to Determine Proper Wheelchair Ramp Length

To ensure that you order the correct size ramp, it is important to take note of these factors. For more detailed information on this topic, please read How to Determine Proper Wheelchair Ramp Length.

  • The rise, or height of the step you want to surmount.
  • The amount of space in front of the rise, as this might limit your ramp length.
  • The amount of space in front of the entryway, as this might limit your ability to turn.