Many people fail to appreciate that some day-to-day things we do, such as going over a step or ascending a set of stairs, can be very challenging for people with mobility issues. This is the main reason why ramps are very important, especially for people in wheelchairs or people that require mobility aids such as canes and electric scooters.
Wheelchair or disability ramps provide individuals and senior citizens with mobility issues an easy and safe way to access various areas. Other individuals such as pregnant women, parents with baby strollers, delivery personnel, and business owners can also benefit from access ramps.
Below are some of the reasons why wheelchair or disability ramps are must-haves for establishments.
For many senior citizens and people with disabilities, being able to do things on their own is important. It allows them to live independently and makes them feel like they can still carry out certain actions despite their condition thereby empowering them. This is usually the reason why individuals with disabilities don’t ask their non-disabled companions for help when it comes to performing certain tasks.
Generally, these tasks can include cleaning the house or going to the bathroom. It can also be as simple as entering a certain area. Most of the time, stairs, curbs, and steps can hinder people with mobility issues from accessing certain places. Through access ramps, they are able to maintain their independence by being able to enter areas freely and without assistance.
Aside from public spaces and commercial establishments, access ramps also play a vital role in the homes of individuals with mobility problems. These ramps, which can be permanent installations or portable and modular models, can enable people to access different areas in their house without asking other individuals for help. Aside from providing easy access, ramps also help make sure that people with disabilities can freely move around safely. Individuals will no longer have to think twice about going to a certain area.
Compliance To The Law
In Australia, the Disability Discrimination Act was passed to ensure that people with disabilities are treated properly. Basically, this law states that it is illegal for public places to be inaccessible to individuals who have mobility issues due to their conditions. Public areas generally include sporting venues, government offices, public transportation facilities, and commercial establishments.
If you’re a business owner, you’re required to make sure that your establishment can be easily accessed by the public. This means that if your shop or office has a step or a set of stairs leading up to the main entrance, then you’ll need to have a DDA-compliant access ramp.
The law requires that access ramps have various safety features, such as an anti-slip surface, kerb rails, and handrails on both sides. The distance between the handrails should be at least a metre wide to provide mobility aids such as electric scooters and wheelchairs with enough room to pass through. The kerb rails are required to prevent the wheels of wheelchairs from hitting the support posts of the handrails. Also, the slope of ramps longer than 1.4 metres should not be greater than 1:14.
For business owners, having a proper access ramp in their business establishment is mandated. Aside from helping make sure that your business is up to Australian standards, it also provides your customers with a convenient and safe way to enter your establishment. In addition, this feature allows your business to cater to a wider market, which includes people with disabilities and senior citizens with mobility issues.
An All-Around Feature
Aside from senior citizens and people with disabilities, ramps can also benefit other people. For instance, ramps with a variety of safety features can help pregnant women reach certain areas instead of going up a set of stairs. They also help parents with baby strollers navigate across areas with uneven surfaces or varying landings.
Having a ramp is also very beneficial, especially if you regularly haul heavy items to and from stores and into your home. With the help of a cart, you’ll be able to transport heavy items to higher or lower areas. In addition to consumers, business owners and delivery personnel can also take advantage of this feature.
DDA-compliant ramps are also generally safer to use than stairs during the winter and rainy seasons. That’s because their various safety features, such as the handrails and non-slip surface, can prevent people from accidentally injuring themselves. Also, since you can choose to install a modular ramp to your home or business establishment, you can relocate it or change its configuration depending on your needs.