The general ramp specifications provided below are for standard wheelchair measurements. It is important for an individual to know his or her specific wheelchair width since all wheelchair models and makes are different. People who use power wheelchairs, reclining wheelchairs and extra wide wheelchairs must make the necessary increases in these measurements.
- Ramp length: Determined by the total height of the steps and the necessary slope
- Minimal: 12" of run for every 1" of rise: Paraplegic and/or strong quadriplegic
- Moderate: 10" of run for every 1" of rise: Strong paraplegic and/or a power/electric wheelchair.
- Width: 36" to 48"
- Platform: If a ramp longer than 30' is required then it must change direction needing a level platform at change of direction and another platform at the top: minimum platform area recommended is 5'x 5'
- Resting platform: Is needed at 30-foot intervals if it is a straight run with minimal slope. If slope is greater, the resting platform is needed at 18-foot intervals.
- Safety curb: Is a slope edge, which is attached along the side edges of the ramp. In wood construction a 2x2 is adequate.
- Railings: Hand railings are necessary if family members or visitors will be waking up the ramp. The height recommended is 2' 8" above ramp surface. Mid-railings offer a safeguard for the wheelchair use. This is located between the safety curb and handrail.
- Ramp construction: Materials most often used are wood, concrete and expanded aluminum. In wood construction the ramp surface can be from ¾ inch exterior plywood or 2x6 cedar, redwood or treated lumbar. Slop resistant surface ramp is recommended (non-slip strips, sand paint, indoor/outdoor carpet).
Resources in the Madison Area
- Project Home
1966 S. Stoughton Road, Madison, WI
Funded by the city and county, provides assistance to low to moderate income homeowners at or below 80% of county median income. Single family home must be assessed at or below $203,200. They will build ramps into homes for $8 an hour. Homeowner must purchase materials.
- Access to Independence
2345 Atwood Avenue, Madison, WI
A nonprofit organization with a $10 annual membership fee. Provides services to people with disabilities in Dane, Columbia, Green and Dodge counties. Maintains "loan closet" for equipment.
- Meriter Home Health
1 S. Park, Madison, WI
Affiliated with Meriter Hospital, Meriter Home Health has the following ramps for sale:
- 3' portable roll up ramp - $279.84
- 30" wide with 600 lb. weight limit, 6' lightweight suitcase tri-fold ramp - $678.40
- 30" wide with 600 lb. weight limit, and E-Z access scooter ramp-$678.40
- 28" wide with 750 lb. weight limit
- Wheelchair Recycling Program
4521 Helgesen Rd, Madison, WI
Occasionally has portable donated by previous users. Donation required.
- National Seating & Mobility
4433 Robertson Rd, Madison, WI
Has a variety of ramps available for purchase.