Disabled Access Ramps May Be Made Portable And Permanent!


Disabled access ramps are specifically designed to provide safe and easy mobility to the disabled people so that they can have access to all places, whether public or private. They are an imperative feature for some of the important public places like hospitals, airports, railway stations, cinema hall, schools, colleges, cars and vans.

There has been an increasing awareness worldwide over the need to provide disabled- friendly ramps in as many public places and transport systems as possible. While the developed nations have already put into use such structures, the third world countries are depressingly lagging behind.

Disabled access ramps can be permanent or portable as the situation warrants. While the permanent ramps are suitable for various buildings where point of access will not easily change, portable ramps are used at places where either permanent ramps are not available or desirable.

All ramps, whether permanent or portable have to be safe, slip resistant and easy to maintain in all weathers. They should also be easy to clean with huge weight bearing capacities. While portable disabled access ramps are available in many sizes and are made of light weight, sturdy, easy to carry or shift material. Aluminum, fiberglass and non-corrosive glass reinforced plastic are the favorites of most of the manufacturers.

Permanent disabled ramps are usually built into the structure of the building; they can be made of wood or stone or concrete and have to be properly maintained to avoid the danger of accidents due to wear and tear. Sometimes, polypropylene tiles are pasted on permanent ramps to make them slip-resistant and not easily vulnerable to wear and tear or corrosion. All ramps must be brightly marked to facilitate their easy visibility.

Permanent ramps or longer portable ramps should be accompanied with railings. Ramps should be accompanied by steps for ambulant disabled people where the rise of the ramp is greater than 300mm and by alternative means of access (a lift, for example) for wheelchair users if the total rise is greater than 2m. The permissible gradient of a ramp depends on the length between level landings (the ‘going of the flight’).

Ramps should be as shallow as possible. The maximum permissible gradient is 1:12, with the occasional exception in the case of short, steeper ramps when refitting existing buildings. To explicate, for every one inch or 25mm measured from ground level to say the doorsill the ramp should be twelve inch or 300mm long.

The addition of disabled access ramps adds only slightly more to the overall cost of construction of a new building. Moreover, constructing new ramps into older buildings is more important rather than dwelling over the cost of resources required in accomplishing the goal. After all, everyone has the right to get equal access to all public places.