Wheelchair Ramp Dimensions
People in wheelchairs don’t have to climb up stairs to get to higher floor levels. They just have to use ramps. Here are some dimensions of a wheelchair ramp to consider for safety purposes when building one.
When building a continuous slope, wheelchair ramp measurements where spans are concerned should not be more than 10 feet. Ramps or slopes 15 feet long or longer should have a level landing in the middle. The landing enables the wheelchair (or mobile chair) user to rest midway after a climb. A length of 10 feet or shorter is manageable to most mobile chair users. A length of 15 feet and longer may be too much, even for an able-bodied person pushing someone in a wheelchair. Ideal dimensions of a wheelchair ramp should have this clearance factor into account.
Deciding wheelchair ramp measurements should also carefully consider the proper dimensions of a wheelchair ramp landing. After a length of 10 feet a level surface should start. This level landing should be at least 5 feet in length and with the same width as the ramp. Landings are necessary for straight ramps or U-ramps and those that curve. For U- or curving ramps, wheelchair ramp measurements at least 5 feet long helps the user negotiate the next climb properly and safely.
First, ramps should have handrails to protect any kind of user—a disabled in a wheelchair or an assistant pushing it. The lateral handrails should be separated by a width of at least 48 inches or 4 feet. In some cases, a width of 36 inches is still tolerable. The rule of thumb here is that the mobile chair should be easy and safe to maneuver when climbing up and down. A width too wide may sometimes be unsafe for users. Mobile chair users should easily be able to grab the handrail at either side to pull themselves to safety. Wheelchair ramp dimensions must include allowances for safety.
Remember that the shorter the ramp the smaller the degree of slope is allowed. For ramps 12 feet long the allowable height is one foot. Anything lower in height would be impractical for a 12-foot span. On the other hand, anything higher than 12 inches would make the ramp too burdensome for any type of user. The ideal here is to have a gradually climbing slope, and this often means longer ramp span. Just be mindful of practical space saving considerations.