What Are the Ada Guidelines for Wheelchair Ramps?

Most new projects need an accessibility ramp or wheelchair ramp that is compliant with the minimum requirements of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). These ramps offer security for people who use walkers or wheelchairs, as well as being helpful for users with strollers.

The principal ADA requirements for ramps include factors like the ADA ramp slope as well as length, landing size and positioning, and handrails. Apart from ADA rules, the local building code could have additional or substitute guidelines you must follow within the particular jurisdiction.

ADA Ramp Specifications

As per the ADA, an ADA ramp is an inclined route with a slope greater than 1:20 (one inch of vertical climb per twenty inches in horizontal length, also known as running). It must meet the standards of ADA requirements regarding ramps.

  • Ramps can have a max slope that is 1:12.
  • Ramps should be at a minimum of 36 inches in width. Some areas require ramps with a wider width.
  • Every edge must be guarded to stop anyone from sliding off.
  • Every ramp should be equipped with top and bottom landings at least as wide as the ramp and not less than 60 inches in length.
  • The size of the landing must be at least 5 feet across.
  • Ramps need railings on each side when their rise is more than 6 inches, and their width is more than 72 inches.
  • Cross slopes (areas in which the ramp slopes to the side perpendicularly to the length of the ramp) must not be more than 1:50. Surfaces must be slip-resistant and sturdy.
  • The ramp needs an even landing area at the bottom and the top.
  • The maximum threshold height (at the entry point of a building) is 3/4 inches (19 millimeters) for sliding doors that are exterior or 1/2 inch (13 millimeters) for all other kinds of doors with no modifications.
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The incline calculator helps you find the solution that best meets your requirements.

Finding the ideal ramp to suit your needs can appear complex, but the EZ-ACCESS Incline Calculator can assist. Suppose you follow the simple steps for using the calculator. In that case, it will identify the ramp length you will need per the rise and incline specifications.

After the Calculator has provided you with the ideal ramp length required, it will suggest products you can find for that length.

Related Article – How Do You Calculate Ramp Gradient Ratio?

How to Determine the Right Ramp Length

Choose the incline you prefer. Consult the user guide of your equipment to find precise guidelines on acceptable use and the allowable slope. Start with an ADA Standard Ratio of 1:12. We suggest you refer to your equipment’s user guide to get precise guidelines on acceptable use and allowed slope.

  • Take note of the Distance from the top of the step/landing down to the floor (Rise).
  • Use the tool to calculate the amount of ramping required.
  • CAUTION! On any incline, be sure to use the ramp ONLY with the help of a trained assistant.

This Incline Calculator is designed only to calculate the value of run and rise. Please visit specific product pages for the appropriate applications.

Related Article – Ada Ramps for Industrial Use

ADA Ramp Handrails

If a handicap ramp is more than 6 inches high and has a horizontal projection of more than 72 inches, the ramp will need handrails on both sides. But handrails aren’t necessary on curbs. Specific guidelines for ramps that comply with ADA include:

  • The ramp should have two handrails at the sides of each of the ramp segments. The handrail inside switchbacks must always be continuous. If a handrail isn’t continuous, handrails should have a minimum length of 12 inches over the bottom and top segments and be in a straight line with the ground or floor surface.
  • A distance of 1/2 inch needs to be created between the handrail as well as the surface upon which the handrail will be installed.
  • If the handrail is placed in a recess, it should be at least 3 inches deep and 18 inches higher than the rail’s highest point.
  • The surfaces of the handrail must be continuous, without interruptions or obstructions.
  • The handrail’s top surface should be set somewhere between 34 to 38 inches over the ramp’s flooring surface.
  • The grasping surface on the handrail should be between 1 1/4 and 1 1/2 inches, or the form should provide a similar surface.
  • The handrail must be free of sharp or abrasive parts. Edges must be of an optimum diameter of one-eighth inch.

Highly recommended Ramp Slope 

The maximum slope permitted in ADA regulations is 1:12 The ADA suggests a less gentle slope calculator from 1:16 to 1:20 when it’s feasible. 1:12 is too steep for some to maneuver, and a less steep slope could be necessary for specific public structures. The slope will depend upon the slope and the type of material used to construct the ramp. The surface might require an additional anti-slip surface to stop people from sliding.

Scoopearth Team
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