Choosing between a ramp and a disabled lift can be a challenging decision for businesses catering for disabled access. However, with a little understanding, this decision can be made right the first time.
Certain choices are determined by the architecture of the building, for example; a narrow or high space dictates that an appropriately-sized lift, whether it is a passenger lift or disabled lift, should be used for wheelchair access.
In other disabled access situations, ramps are favoured for their ease of installation, but loss of useable space taken up by the ramp must also be considered.
Clive Hammond, Platform Lift Company Managing Director explained, “Ramps can easily become unusable for many customers and patrons if the gradient is too steep, if the surface is slippery in wet conditions or for any other number of reasons. We’ve spoken with many businesses, which had to scrap their existing ramp and consider other options due to common problems the main one being loss of useable space.”
Some basic guidelines to follow when choosing a disabled access option are:
- Get an accessibility expert, rather than a local builder or architect to advise on the options available. Accessibility experts understand the current range of technologies and can advise on the best fit for a business
- Ask disabled patrons and customers about their preferences and experiences. Most will be willing to provide feedback on what they prefer. Local community groups are often the easiest way to do this
- Contact the local council or Federal authority for guidelines and compliance with building codes and the Disability Discrimination Act (DDA)
Platform Lift Company is an Australian supplier and installer of platform lifts for disabled access. Platform Lift Company offers a wide range of high-quality wheelchair lifts that are suitable for most commercial and residential buildings.