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How to Choose the Right Wheelchair Ramp for Your Van or Home

Finding a wheelchair ramp for your van or home can be an overwhelming task. There are many things to consider when selecting the right ramp for you such as size, materials, and price. The most important thing to consider when selecting the ramp is how it will meet your needs and make your life easier. It is important to take the time to do your research and find the ramp that best fits your transportation and accessibility needs. With a variety of wheelchair ramps available, you can be certain to find the perfect solution for your mobility needs. 

Types of Wheelchair Ramps

At United Access, we carry a selection of portable, threshold, and modular wheelchair ramps for use in both homes and vehicles. The type of ramp you purchase will depend largely on where, when and how long you’re planning to use it. 

Portable Wheelchair Ramps

Portable wheelchair ramps are exactly that — ramps you can carry with you anywhere that are easily adjustable to the conditions of various environments. They’re easy to fold and store, and most manufacturers make them in a variety of sizes. Portable wheelchair ramps are typically more budget-friendly than other options. Some portable ramps can even be placed directly on top of stairs for guaranteed accessibility on-the-go! 

Even if you already have a ramp installed in your home and/or workplace, it’s always a good idea to invest in a quality portable ramp to help prepare for any unexpected obstacles as you travel around. It might be a good idea to keep a portable wheelchair ramp in your van at all times, especially if you use multiple cars. 

If you’re looking for a ramp for a commercial vehicle, an electric portable wheelchair ramp, like those manufactured by our partner, BraunAbility, might be a good choice for you. 

Threshold Wheelchair Ramps

Threshold ramps are typically made out of durable materials such as aluminum, steel, or rubber, and are designed to fit securely against the threshold of a door or curb. Depending on the application, the height of the ramp can range from one to six inches, allowing for a smooth transition from one surface level to another. For outdoor applications, the ramp should be weatherproof and corrosion-resistant to ensure long-term use. Additionally, threshold ramps can be customized to fit the exact size and shape of the door or curb it is being used on, allowing for a seamless, safe transition. 

Modular Wheelchair Ramps

If you’re looking for a more permanent solution, such as a wheelchair ramp for your home, a modular ramp is the ideal option. Many are available in various sizes and styles, ensuring a perfect fit for any doorway or stairway. Modular wheelchair ramps are a great mobility solution for wheelchair users to access buildings, decks, porches and other areas that may have been previously inaccessible. These ramps are larger than standard ramps and can be customized to fit any space. Additionally, modular ramps are ADA-compliant, so you can rest assured that anyone who visits your home, or a public space will be able to access it with ease. Installation of a modular ramp is a great way to ensure that your home is accessible to everyone. 

What Information Should I Have Before Deciding on a Wheelchair Ramp?

Before you begin shopping for a new ramp, you’ll need to know a few things about your chair and the place you’ll be using your ramp. Here’s a quick checklist you can run through to help prepare! 

Wheelchair Details:

  • What are my chair’s dimensions (height and width)? 
  • How much does my chair weigh? 

Location of the ramp:

  • What’s the vertical rise? (How tall?) 
  • Are there any environmental considerations that will impact my placement? For example: If it’s a sidewalk, is the sidewalk curved or uneven? If it’s a door, is the door angled? Raised? Divided? 

 Type of Ramp:  

  • What length of ramp do I need? 
  • What material would be best suited to my environment? 
  • Will this ramp be permanent or portable? 

Safety needs:

  • What kind of weather conditions (e.g. rain, snow) might this ramp face? 
  • How much traction do I need? 

When researching ramp manufacturers, make sure you’re crystal clear on exactly what your needs are and what type of ramp will best fit those needs without breaking your budget. If you’re still not sure what ramp is best for you, you can always reach out to our team of highly-trained and friendly Mobility Specialists to explore your options! 

United Access offers only the highest quality wheelchair ramps available. Our ramps are built for years of durable use, no matter where or when you’re using them. Learn more about our wheelchair ramps for vans and homes. Speak with a mobility specialist to get started on your search for the perfect ramp.

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