I have a client I’ve been working with for almost 20 years who I dearly love. He is severely impaired and his wheelchair was causing him so much pain he couldn’t tolerate being in it so he hadn’t left his house in over 6 months. I met him at his house where he lived with his extended family to fit him for a new wheelchair.
We got him fitted for his new wheelchair and he seemed pretty comfortable. This client as I mentioned is severely multiply impaired, he is unable to communicate other than facial expressions, laughing, and crying. I wasn’t sure if the family was going to get him out and it was a beautiful day so I asked the other professional that was with me if he’d be willing to come with me to take our client out for a walk. We were in the ‘hood’ so I thought it would be safer to walk together, even though it was 11:00 am.
So we took my dear friend for a walk in his new wheelchair. We walked for about 5 blocks. During our walk we saw 8 people sitting on their stoops smoking marijuana, 15 stray cats, and 2 very dangerous wheelchair ramps.
35″ rise 15′ ramp, very dangerous.
35″ rise, 20′ ramp.
As I was driving away, I saw this ramp.
30″ rise, 15′ ramp.
Shame on these installers, these are dangerous ramps that put people in danger. Ramps should be at the minimum 1:8, preferable 1:12 or more. The basic rule of thumb is 1′ of run for every 1″ of rise, which is still difficult for many wheelchair bound people. The only time a 1:8 slope is acceptable is if there is limited space and a power wheelchair.
Please if you’re going to install ramps, leave it to the professionals or learn how to design ramps to code.