The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA)
ADA Code is Federal Law that provides Wheelchair Ramp Specifications and ADA Ramp guidelines that most business must meet or risk penalties and legal action. Penalties for violating ADA ramp requirements can be up to $5000 per violation with no warning. Typically, residential handicap ramps are not required to be compliant with ADA guidelines. However, they are a good reference point for suitable wheelchair ramp lengths. Contact your local building inspectors for local requirements, ADA Standards and additional information.
- ADA Ramp Guidelines Require a 1:12 wheelchair ramp slope ratio, or ADA ramp slope of 4.8 degrees, which equals 1 Foot of wheelchair ramp for each Inch of rise. For instance, a 20 inch rise requires a 20 foot wheelchair ramp.
- ADA Specifications Require a Minimum 5' x 5' Flat area at the top and bottom of the handicap ramp.
- ADA Standards Require wheelchair ramps to have a Minimum 36 inches of clear space across the wheelchair ramp.
- ADA Standards Require a Minimum Platform size of 5' x 5'.
- ADA Guidelines for Wheelchair Ramps allow a Maximum run of 30 feet of wheelchair ramp before a rest or turn platform.
- ADA Ramp Guidelines Require handrails that are between 34" and 38" in height on both sides of the wheelchair ramps.
Most States have their own version of ADA Guidelines and ADA Ramp Requirements, which may be more restrictive than the Federal Law. Massachusetts & California ADA ramp Guidelines require handicap ramps for Businesses to have a 48 inch minimum usable width.