Portable ramps for wheelchairs
Making your business or place accessible for people that use wheelchairs does not have to cost as much as you think. If your location has a lip or a few steps you can get a portable ramp for a few hundred dollars.
I have done stand up comedy and I have previously used portable ramps to go up on stage. They also work fine for entering venues. I once went to a virtual reality amusement center and could access the first floor and use my electric wheelchair in the venue.
A folding portable ramp would allow you to take the ramp away when it is no longer in use. The obvious disadvantage to this approach is you have to have someone set it up every time. However it is better than nothing.
Up to 800 pounds can be handled by some products; usually the weight is stated on the sales pages. This should be enough for most people that use electric wheelchairs. I have been pleasantly surprised by the capabilities of my folding ramp.
You are probably going to run into safety concerns if you go beyond three steps. There are different sizes and obviously the longer the ramp the higher the person can go.
Even though I personally have one; many people who need one don't. Not everyone can afford the expense and some government agencies will deny funding for such a product. If your business gets busy you should consider getting a ramp.
An electric wheelchair is not impossible to lift by a group of staff members but this comes with liability concerns for the business and is not recommended. Depending on the country there could be health and safety regulations that would prevent your staff members from doing this. The wheelchair could also be damaged if something goes wrong.
Setting up a portable ramp is less strain on your staff members. It makes it less likely that you have to refuse service to a person if the right staff members are not there or are unavailable. I remember having to wait for 30 minutes or longer when I used to frequent an upstairs club because only a particular staff member would help me up and down by taking me out of my manual wheelchair; you probably don't want customers to wait.
Some buildings have heritage status and can�t be modified due to laws. I expect that these types of products can be a solution that allows people to access your building without modifying it.
You should also make sure that your business has enough space to move about inside of your establishment but this shouldn�t be too difficult.
To purchase one click here to check prices at Amazon
If you have relatives with disabilities then getting a ramp can make your house more accessible. If you miss out hosting family gatherings because only one place has access this can solve this problem.
If your place has easier access this can be helpful if you want to spend more time with your friend or loved one. Statistically older people are more likely to need wheelchairs and if spending time with them is important to you it could be worthwhile to consider how your make your place more accessible. It is true that you could visit them but having them in your home can also be a good experience for them.
Even if you are outside it could start to rain. You could transfer the person to a seat but it is probably easier if they are in their own wheelchair, especially if they require a communication device.
If the person can move the wheelchair themselves they will probably feel more independent in it. This can be the perception of other people too for example my parents generally like to see me independent in my electric wheelchair rather than at the mercy of others.
Again, to purchase one click here to check the cost of them at Amazon
Hoists can cost thousands, getting a folding ramp can be a good option to create a mobility vehicle. Again this is perfect for people who have relatives with disabilities. I have also seen some taxis with this form of accessibility; specifically station wagons in Sydney.
To convert a vehicle of course you should check if the floor supports the weight of the chair. If you get that far all you need to do is clear some space, install some tie-downs, install a seat belt and you are good to go after purchasing your ramp.
You can find purchase links in the two sections above or at the bottom of this article.
How to use a folding ramp
First this equipment is fairly heavy so ensure that you have someone strong around or two people. One person can handle it as I have seen one person putting a ramp up at train stations in Sydney.
Generally a folding ramp would have something to tie it together, at least mine does. Untie it when you get to the place that you need the wheelchair to go. Then unfold it.
Place one end of the ramp at the surface that you want the want the wheelchair to go up and get a person or two to hold it in place.
Obviously when holding it watch out for the wheelchair! Make sure that they have set their chair to a slow speed.
Having at least one person securing it from each side is best. When the person is close to the end or beginning the person or people at that particular side can move away.
The chair may initially need some help getting on to the ramp. After that it is fairly smooth.
After my trip up I usually do a wheelie, this is normal. In my opinion it is better to do a wheelie than not having adequate room for the ramp to go up the surface.
Going up is easier than going down in my experience. When going down ensure that the person is on the ramp before he/she starts to go down. A slow but steady pace might work best; I tend to slide when I stop on it.
When the ramp is no longer necessary fold it back up and you can choose to tie it back up. If you are putting it back up soon you don't have to tie it together.
A mounted solution can have benefits but a portable solution might also have its uses if a mounted ramp is not desirable.
If you are in a wheelchair and can afford it or get it funded I say that it is worthwhile. I don't go out much but I have used mine quite a few times.
To purchase a portable ramp for yourself or your business click here to go to Amazon
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