What are the requirements of ADA for Ramp slope?

The Americans with Disabilities Act or ADA continues to be updated after every three decades since the law was passed to keep the public places and areas easily accessible for the use of wheelchairs, walkers, and motorized scooters with ramp slopes.

According to ADA every facility must have a ramp that serves the public needs and requirements. Curb edges and other hazards are dangerous for people with disabilities as it leads to people falling out of wheelchairs, scooters, or walkers. Restrictions of entry or access to public areas is considered a form of discrimination by the federal laws.

To help you out understanding updated ADA ramp slope specifications and requirements continue reading this article where we will discuss the most commonly asked questions and queries that business owners and construction companies get confused about.

The requirements of ramp slopes by the ADA

The ADA requires ramp slopes to require ramp slopes to any and every such public place or area where the height difference elevates more than a half inch. There are alternatives to the ramps such as elevators or platform lifts that can also be used instead, but ramp slopes are comparatively more accessible. Also, ADA demands the ramp slopes more with 5% or greater slope to strictly fit the complaints for enhanced security of the people with disabilities.

According to the section 405 of the ADA ramp slopes requirements cover the following design standards that needs to be followed:

  • The selected range of the width is 36 inches, which means the area between the ramp handrails must be at least up to 36 inches wide.
  • The vertical distance or change between two points in the slope is termed as rise which according to the specifications of ADA must be maximum of 30 inches.
  • Running slope. ADA has set the elevation to change 1 foot for every 12 feet.
  • Cross slope. 1:48 ratio for the cross slope is permitted by the ADA.

Slope is considered as the ratio of the height of a ramp to its length. An ADA ramp slope asks for 1:12 ratio specifications which means that a slope of and no greater than 8.33% is appropriate. A slope must be consistent and uniform regardless of the material it is made of.

Requirements for the landings and handrails

A landing measuring 60 inches long and 36 inches wide must be installed at the top and the bottom of the ramp to create a smooth segue. A strict level of 1:48 ratio must be followed during the construction. A point to keep in mind is that handrails, vertical posts, or edge protectors including any other element must not be installed in a way to obstruct the path.

Handrails are another essential requirement that must be 12 inches long and constructed at the top and the bottom of the run. Other than that side flares are also an essential element to maximize the safety and security while reducing the risks of tripping. Although side flares are not required as per the ADA requirements, you can equip with the same as most often a wheelchair needs side flares as it helps in easy maneuvering if landing space has been restricted for some reason.

Curved or circular ramps do not meet the requirements of ADA and hence, are not considered as the safest types of ramps for the wheelchair users. Similarly, portable or separately added ramps are only permissible if they are used to serve the temporary structure. Otherwise, ADA demands the ramp to be installed during the construction phase. Although, this requirement can be exempted only in the case where a raised workstation or courtroom is required.


We hope you would have got all your answers regarding the ADA regulations for ramp slope. Keep following for similar articles in the future.

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