I have been working in the Human Services field since 1996, primarily working with people with developmental disabilities.
When the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) was passed by the US Congress and signed into law on January 26, 1990, buildings had to be constructed so that they were accessible and accommodating to people with disabilities who have to use wheelchairs. However, buildings constructed prior to the law do not have the same requirements. For those places, owners and proprietors must remove certain barriers where "technically feasible and readily achievable" and can be "accomplished without much difficulty and expense".
In shorthand, this means there could still be difficulty for people using wheelchairs to access certain buildings, businesses and offices. If it would require too much money and procedure for owners to modify those buildings to accommodate people who use wheelchairs, they really are not required to do it.
So, what's the solution, if you use a wheelchair or care for someone who uses one?
How about the portable wheelchair ramp?
What's Safe and Effective?
In line with the ADA requirements for ramps constructed on buildings, you don't want a ramp with too steep of an incline and you want it wide enough so that you can easily and safely travel on it. According to law, a ramp constructed on a building must have 1 foot of space to travel with every inch of height of the ramp. The ramp also must be at least 36 inches wide; or, specifically, there must be that much clear space across, so that you can more easily and comfortably travel on the ramp.
Obviously, you also want a ramp that can bear quite a bit of wait. It will have to bear the person in the chair and the weight of the chair also.
The 24 Inch Portable Wheelchair Ramp
A wheelchair ramp at 24 inches, 2 feet, has a "rise" maximum of 4 inches when used. This means that from the ground to the part where the top of the ramp rests, there is 4 inches of height. This allows a rather comfortable travel up the ramp.
It is perfect for those places in which there is a step in the way between you and you getting into a building; you could even be visiting friends or family and need to have it to get into their home. This handy, portable ramp could be in the van for someone to pull out and easily set up securely on the step so you can get inside the building.
3 Foot Wheelchair Ramp
Sometimes you must contend with 2 or 3 steps to enter a building. Therefore, you'll need a longer ramp. Prairie View offers a very decent ramp for such a situation with the added bonus that it has very good traction to allow you to travel on the ramp safely and easily. It has a handle, is light-weight and easy to carry. In addition, it has a lip that can rest on the door frame of the building you want to enter that keeps it nice and secure as you use the ramp. It is a very well-constructed and sturdy product, built to withstand what it's supposed to.
6 Foot Portable Wheelchair Ramp
You might need to have a longer ramp, for higher obstacles, but also to add to the ease of travel necessary when using the ramp. You definitely don't want the ramp to be too steep, that could lead to tip-overs and accidents.
Prairie View also puts out a very sturdy and safe 6 foot ramp. Like all their ramps, it has traction to keep the wheels from slipping and secure pins for the top of the ramp to keep it in place. As always, these ramps are easily folded up and carried away when you're done.
10 Foot Ramp
It should be mentioned that Prairie View ramps are welded together as opposed to bolted together, which is what makes them so sturdy. They can be split into two parts so that they can be folded and easily carried.
Also, at the top, that lip mentioned before, allows for easy entrance and exit of the ramps and keeps them in place.
Obviously if you are looking for a ten foot ramp, you have a rather high obstacle to convey. The portable ramp is a good solution; again, not too steep, wide enough to fit your wheelchair, with good traction to prevent slipping.
If you shop for these ramps locally, you will find they run at twice the cost of these portable ones available through Prairie View on Amazon. So, the Prairie View ramps are very affordable.
Prairie View Portable Wheelchair Ramps
It might be the doctor's office has a step you could never manage without a ramp. Maybe you have relatives whose home is not accessible. Or maybe your own home has not been modified to accommodate your wheelchair, but you can't afford to make the modifications. A portable wheelchair ramp is your happy solution. To some, it is a blessing. No longer do they have to suffer the embarrassment and total inconvenience of not being able to access a friend's home or the local theater, or wherever it is they need or want to go. Portable and light-weight, safe and convenient, these ramps give you freedom and opportunity, opening the way for you to engage in the daily activities that you want to do and need to do.
Nathan Bernardo (author) from California, United States of America on December 30, 2013:
Thank you , Bill. Yes, I know people who need these products too, I'm glad they can get them. Happy New Year, my friend.
Bill Holland from Olympia, WA on December 30, 2013:
Fantastic products. Thank you for the information. I don't need these but there are those I know who do. Happy New Year to you.