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7 Types Of Wheelchair Ramps And Their Uses
Imagine perfect movability through the curbs and obstacles! It would be so convenient for a wheelchair user!
Wheelchair ramps (inclined plane/slope) do just that by offering a smooth surface to tackle obstacles. Be it a doorstep, stairs, or rough surface; inclined planes are there to make the movement easier for a wheelchair user.
But when there is a discussion about inclined planes, wheelchair threshold ramp and folding ramps are the common ones that come to mind.
However, there are a bunch of other inclined planes as well for various needs. So let's discuss them.
Types of Wheelchair Ramps
1) Threshold Ramps
Wheelchair Threshold Ramp is made of either metal or rubber. Their design is such that it lets the wheelchair user go safely over the small thresholds in the house. Generally, these inclined planes come between one to six inches in height and have a weight capacity of 600lbs.
They are easy to use and offer excellent movability solutions to wheelchair users.
2) Folding Ramps
Folding Ramps are ideal for wheelchairs, scooters, and powerchair users. This ramp comes with either bi-fold or tri-fold with hooks between each panel. These bi-folds or tri-folds slopes can fold over once or twice, respectively. This inclined slope is not ADA-compliant. So one must utilize it for personal use.
It is perfect to use for accessing a car or passing over the stairs in your home. The slope has raised edges for safety and a centralized handle for easy carrying. This feature makes it a favourite among users.
3) Modular Ramps
Modular slopes are big and a kind of permanent fixture than other inclined planes. Though they are big, you do not need to worry about the building permit. They are easy to take down and reassemble at another place.
The section of the ramp is built offsite and then brought to the site for assembling quickly. This ramp is apt for household purposes like passing a lot of stairs or higher thresholds. The only limitation is they are heavy to move.
4) Suitcase Ramps
Suitcase slopes are well known for their ease in transportation due to the handles. Typically, they are 2 to 6 feet long and have a weight capacity of 800 pounds. It can directly lay on a small set of stairs, so it is perfect for the home. This kind of slope is not ADA compliant, so one must use it for personal use only.
5) Custom and Permanent Ramps
As the name itself says, these inclined planes are custom made for permanent installation. They are very sturdy and are suitable for outdoor use. They have a high weight capacity and handrails at one side for support. Unlike modular slopes, their construction takes place entirely on-site. As for material, concrete is the perfect option for such slopes, but steel and wood are also acceptable.
Permanent slopes are the most expensive as compared to others. So we recommend you to make sure the design is perfect before its construction.
6) Telescoping Ramps
The telescoping ramp comes up with two narrow and separate channels. These channels are typically no wider than 12 inches. The inclined plane can retract or expand to meet the required length. The channels are generally kept side by side to line up with the wheels of the wheelchair. Such a slope is useful for entering a non-wheelchair accessible van.
Remember, they aren't compatible with the mobility scooters as the wheels do not correctly line up.
7) Rollable Ramps
Rollable slopes are one of the easiest slopes to take with you on the move. These inclined planes are foldable, which makes them easy to carry. They are usually made of aluminium, which makes them durable and lightweight.
They come up with a non-slippery surface so that one can move smoothly. Rollable ramps also come in different sizes.
Up to You
As you can see from the above list, there are many types of ramp. Be it stairs, getting in or out of a van, or for home use, the above slopes will help all users.
While purchasing, keep in mind your purpose, budget, and required size for the ramp. You will have clarity as to which type of ramp is apt for you by considering such points.
Essential Aids provides disability aids, mobility equipment and rehabilitation products to people in the UK.
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