The ramp is a critically important part of making life bearable for a huge number of people with disabilities. Here the experts at Chartwell Insurance, the disabled insurance specialist, offer some pointers on where to look for advice and information about ramps. If you are planning to install a ramp, bear in mind that some people with disabilities, who are not wheelchair users, find it easier to use stairs – which is why it is essential to offer both options.
The Disabled Living Foundation (DLF) is a national charity that provides impartial advice, information and training on daily living aids. It only shows threshold ramps on its site because, as it warns, ‘ramps can be dangerous to the user if not installed correctly or if not set to an appropriate gradient.’ It recommends an individual assessment for anyone considering a installing a ramp – talk to your GP, who can refer you.
Another source of information is the Centre for Accessible Environments (CAE). This registered charity aims to ‘help secure a built environment that is usable by everyone, including disabled and older people.’ Although much of the information is aimed at architects and builders, there are useful links and other areas of advice. It offers free information as well as a huge range of services. Alongside consultancy and training it produces a number of publications, including the quarterly journal Access By Design.
Portaramp claim to be the UK’s leading supplier of disabled access wheelchair ramps. It also offers advice on gradients for ramps.
Sue Ryder for Life offers a huge choice of ramps, for all sorts of applications inside and out. They range from channel, platform and telescopic models to doorline bridges and wedges. They recommend roll-up ramps for their portability – and at the other end of the scale they supply ramps with handrails for added stability.
Rollar Ramp claims to offer ‘the ultimate portable ramp system’. Simple, lightweight and strong, the company says it can adapt to countless ramp access requirements. It also offers a hire service for events.
As well as selling a wide range of ramps, wheelchair-ramps.co.uk offers information on building regulations.
Remember, it is always essential to get expert advice before buying or fitting a ramp. Contact your local social services department for more information and advice. Directgov has a directory of local councils if you’re not sure who to contact.
Chartwell Insurance takes no responsibility for the accuracy of information given on the sites listed.