Previously, we talked about the slope of a wheelchair ramp and how simply placing a sheet of plywood at your door and letting it fall to the ground isn’t exactly your best bet. Today, we want to talk to you about the importance of platforms – no, I’m not talking about a stage for you to perform on. While I’m sure you’d love a place to show off your dancing skills and bust out the YMCA, for someone in need of a ramp to gain the mobility freedom to move in and out of their home safely, this platform is much more important.
When you think of a ramp, you probably picture the ramp itself. But think about what is at the top and bottom of that ramp. How do you picture yourself or your loved one getting on and off it? The answer is simple to the experts at EZ Mobility Solutions – you need a platform! The ADA mandates that wheelchair ramps must have level landings at both the top and bottom that have a minimum length of 60 inches and are as wide as the ramp itself. If the ramp changes direction, these regulations take it a step farther; the minimum landing size for turn platforms is 60 inches by 60 inches.
In addition to simply complying with ADA regulations (which we kind of like to do so we can stay in business…), there are numerous other reasons why a platform is an integral part of a ramp. Do you ever get tired walking up the stairs, propelling or pushing a wheelchair? It’s okay to admit it; it happens to the best of us. Imagine wheeling yourself up a ramp after a long trip to the mall. You may be too tired to do it in one fell swoop. If you have a ramp that has a resting platform or changes direction with a turn platform, presto! The perfect solution! Even if you are walking you still may need a place to stop and rest. Think of it as a rest stop on your ramp highway. The best and safest way to rest on a ramp is to wait until you reach a level surface (your platform!) to take a breather. This prevents any chance of injury or muscle strain from taking a break on the incline itself; if you got too tired you could even roll backwards down the ramp.
Another reason you need a platform appeals to the child in all of us – you need somewhere to land after popping a wheelie! According to a spinlife.com article on wheelchair ramps, a wheelie (leaning back in your wheelchair) is a technique that can be used to help people get down a ramp that may be a little too steep. A mobility ramp that’s too steep, you say? But I read your last blog post, EZ Mobility Solutions, and I know all about proper inclines and how steep is too steep! Ah, good for you, loyal reader! You may be well educated, but that doesn’t mean that you still won’t run into wheelchair ramps that are too steep. Or you may want to pop a wheelie because it’s cool and kind of fun. Should you choose to do this, your platform will provide a safe, level landing for you to come out of that wheelie. (But please be safe while you’re having your fun… Don’t get too daring.)
Where is another important place for having a platform? How about at the top of your ramp at your entry door? Why? Without a platform it is hard to hold yourself in place while trying to open the door. Even if you have someone pushing you, there needs to be space for them to open the door and push you in. Think about trying to park your wheelchair as you pull your keys out to lock and unlock your door. It’s not easy, and while we trust the security of your homes and neighborhoods in the great states of Virginia, North Carolina, West Virginia, Ohio, Kentucky, Tennessee, and Maryland, leaving your door open all the time is probably not an option. Don’t take any chances with your safety – have EZ Mobility Solutions install the perfect wheelchair ramp with the correct platforms! Trust us, once you have a safe way of getting in and out of your house, your life will be open to all kinds of new adventures.
If you are interested in having a handicap ramp installed at your home, contact EZ Mobility Solutions. We’d be happy to come out and perform a free Home Accessibility Inspection to help you and your loved ones get the mobility freedom they deserve!