General ADA Guidelines

All Rampit USA products are designed and tested to meet ADA guidelines.

What does ADA consider a ramp to be?  A ramp is any part of an accessible route with a slope greater than 1:20.

Handicap Ramp Slope

Slope represents the proportion of vertical rise to the horizontal length of ramp required and is specified in the Standards as a ratio (e.g., 1:12). (Every inch of rise needs 12 inches of ramp). It also can be expressed as a percentage, pitch, or in degrees.

Ramp Slope Recommendations: The maximum slope of a wheelchair ramp in new construction shall be 1:12.  For existing construction, a ramp slope of 1:12 minimum should always be utilized whenever possible. For existing construction with space restrictions, the maximum slope for residential ramps shall not be less than 1:8 with the use of a power chair or manual wheelchair assistance. A ramp slope not less than 1:10 is recommended for all existing construction with space restrictions at a minimum.  Providing the least possible slope below the 1:12 (8.33%) maximum offers better usability for a wider range of users.

Handicap Ramp Rise and Run

The height of ramp runs is limited 30 inches maximum making the maximum ramp run length 30 feet. There is no limit on the number of runs a ramp system may have. Long ramp systems with many runs can be strenuous for people using manual wheelchairs intermediate landings may be necessary to offer resting points during travel of the ramp system.

Handicap Ramps Clear Width

The minimum clear width of a ramp shall be 36” (measured between handrails where provided). Some instances may require a wider ramp width depending on wheelchair type, power scooter, leg extended, etc…

Handicap Ramp System Landings

Ramp systems with ramp landings (platforms) shall have level landings at the bottom and top of each ramp run.

Handicap Ramp landings shall have the following features:

  1. The ramp landing shall be at least as wide as the widest ramp run leading to it.
  2. Ramp landing length shall be a minimum of 60 inches clear.
  3. If ramp system changes directions at the landing, the minimum landing size shall be 60” x 60”
  4. If there is a rise at a doorway, then the landing in front of the doorway shall be a minimum of 60” x 60”.
  5. Ramp landings must be designed to prevent the accumulation of water.

Handicap Ramp System Handrails

If a ramp has a rise greater than 6 inches or a horizontal projection greater than 72 inches handrails are required on both sides of the ramp.

Handicap Ramp Handrails shall have the following features:

  1. Ramp handrails shall be provided along both sides of ramp segments. The inside handrail on switchbacks or dogleg ramps shall always be continuous.
  2. If ramp handrails are not continuous, they shall extend at least 12 inches beyond the top and bottom of the ramp segment and shall be parallel with the ground or floor surface.
  3. The clear space between the ramp handrail and any wall shall be 1.5 inches.
  4. The top of the handrail gripping surface shall be mounted between 34 inches and 38 inches above the ramp surface.
  5. Gripping surfaces shall be continuous, without interruption by newel posts, other construction elements, or obstructions
  6. The diameter of width of the gripping surface of a ramp handrail shall be 1.25 inches to 1.5 inches.
  7. A handrail and any wall or other surface adjacent to it shall be free of any sharp or abrasive elements.

Ramp System Edge Protection

All ramp segments and landings with drop-offs shall have curbs, walls, railings, or projection surfaces that prevent people from slipping off the ramp.  Curbs shall be a minimum of 2 inches high.

Outdoor Ramp Conditions

Outdoor ramps and their approaches shall be designed so that water will not accumulate on walking surfaces.

For more information on ADA Codes visit:

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