What Are The ADA Ramp Requirements I Need To Know

A ramp sign pointing with an arrow toward an ADA wheelchair ramp

The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) is a landmark piece of legislation that has been consistently updated over the decades since it was signed into law. Around 1 in 4 US adults, or around 61 million Americans, have some form of disability.

The ADA aims to make America a world leader in discrimination protection, and help ensure that all disabled people have access to the goods, services, and treatments afforded to able-bodied people.

That's why it is vital that all small business owners and public sector workers know about the current ADA ramp requirements. An ADA ramp is a necessity for millions of American businesses and public institutions.

Not having the right handicap ramp slope installed could result in serious legal challenges for you and your place of work. Here's what you need to know. 

1. Why Do ADA Ramp Requirements Matter?

The specific figures laid out in the official ADA ramp slope requirements are there for a reason.

These specs have been calculated by the National Council on Disability to ensure safe, seamless, and fair access to public spaces for disabled Americans.

Even if you have a wheelchair ramp in place, you could still fall short of the ADA if it does not meet its requirements.

When disabled people buy a wheelchair, they expect the size and shape of the chair to fit on all ADA ramps. That's why it is so important to get the specifications exactly right. 

2. What Are the Ramp Requirements of the ADA?

Now let's discuss the details of the ADA curb ramp requirements. Put simply, these specify that:

  • The ramp must have a 1:12 slope ratio. This means that there must be a one-inch rise in the ramp for every corresponding 12 inches of the ramp.
  • Minimum width of 36 inches, although this can be higher in certain states. 
  • The ramp cannot be longer the 30 feet without a rest platform, in order to prevent fatigue. 
  • All edges must be protected so that there is no risk of falling off.
  • All ramps should have both top and bottom landings that are at least 60 inches in length. 

3. What About Ramp Handrails? 

An ADA ramp slope must have specific types of handrails on them to guarantee user safety. These are the requirements for ADA ramp handrails: 

  • The ramp must have handrails on both sides 
  • There must be 11.5 inches of space between the handrail and the wall that it is attached to
  • The surface of the handrail should be continuous and without any gaps
  • The handrail should be positioned between 34 and 38 inches above the ramp's floor surface
  • There should be no sharp, rough, or abrasive elements on the handrail whatsoever  

4. ADA Driving and Parking Requirements

Many disabled people will use wheelchair car and van ramps to help them enter and exit their vehicles. That's why it is important to know the ADA parking requirements you should have in place. 

  • There should be accessible parking spaces at the entrance and exit of your parking lot
  • At least every one in six spaces should be accessible 
  • They must have a minimum width of 96 inches, accompanied by an access aisle that is at least 60 inches in width 

Learn More About ADA Requirements and Other Mobility Soultions and Resources

Now that you know all of the ADA ramp requirements that affect you, it's time to learn more.

To access expert information on advice on accessibility in today's world, you can access our resources section for everything you need to know and more.

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