There are many reasons to install a commercial wheelchair ramp at your business’ entrance. Here we will list 5 reasons that we think are important to consider.
There is a good chance you know at least one of the more than 35 million adults or 53,000 children living with mobility disabilities or limitations in the United States. People in this population experience moderate to significant difficulties when walking or climbing the stairs. They may or may not use assistive devices like walkers, wheelchairs, or scooters.
If you operate a business that is open to the public, you might wonder whether or not your building is physically accessible. Physical accessibility involves removing any barriers that would limit or eliminate access to your goods or services. The truth is, your business is only as accessible as your entrance. A single step can stop people from entering your business!
If there are barriers to your external environment–including access routes and entry points–your business cannot be a welcoming place for all. To assess the physical accessibility of your external environment, consider the following questions:
- Between your entrance and the parking lot or street, will visitors avoid slopes, unevenness, or other topographical limitations?
- Is your access route a safe and convenient distance for people with ambulatory disabilities or mobility limitations?
- Will wheelchair users find your access route and entry points wide enough?
- Does your entrance have an accessible alternative to stairs?
If you answered “no” to any of the above, you can benefit from installing a commercial wheelchair ramp. Wheelchair ramps provide people of diverse ages, abilities, and sizes with safe building access. Ramps can be rented for temporary purposes, or purchased for permanent or semi-permanent use.
To schedule a free onsite consultation, contact your local accessibility experts at Next Day Access. We’ll help you to identify potential safety issues or installation challenges. You’ll also receive recommendations for the best product and design options to meet your needs.
Still undecided? Read on and discover 5 reasons to install a commercial wheelchair ramp.
1. Comply with the law
For businesses open to the public, accessibility is a must. It’s the law, thanks to the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990–commonly referred to as the ADA. The law provides requirements for businesses to offer people with disabilities the same access as everyone else.
In particular, the ADA requires businesses to “remove architectural barriers in buildings when it is readily achievable to do so.” This requirement applies to existing buildings, as well as alterations and new construction.
Installing a commercial wheelchair ramp fulfills the ADA’s top priority recommendation for business to remove barriers. The Comprehensive Resource for the Americans with Disability Act (CORADA) lists these priorities in order:
- Building access from the exterior
- Interior access to goods and services
- Toilet access
- Remaining barriers like water bottle filling stations or drinking fountains
Installing a commercial wheelchair ramp fulfills the ADA’s top priority recommendation for businesses to remove barriers.
Take care to select a commercial wheelchair ramp that meets ADA guidelines, including:
- Slope ratios no greater than 1:12
- Maximum rise of 30 inches per run
- Handrails for runs over 6 inches
- Minimum clear width of 36 inches
- Suggested width of 48 inches for safe maneuvering
- Level landings on the top and bottom of every run
- Edge protection on runs and landings
- “Firm, stable, and slip-resistant” with good drainage
All commercial wheelchair ramps from Next Day Access are ADA-compliant. In fact, our commercial ramp systems also meet compliance standards set by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), International Building Code® (IBC®), and local building codes from coast to coast.
Your local accessibility experts at Next Day Access will help ensure that your commercial wheelchair ramp meets legal standards on every level. Contact us today for a free onsite consultation.
2. Commercial wheelchair ramps keep people safe
By choosing the right commercial wheelchair ramp, you can offer a safe and accessible method of entering and exiting your business. Commercial wheelchair ramps can support people of all physical abilities by protecting people from skids, slips, trips, and falls.
Safety is the smart choice for your customers and business alike. As a business owner you are legally obligated to provide a safe environment for employees, visitors, and customers. Your responsibilities extend to those with mobility disabilities or other physical limitations.
If you fail to fulfill these responsibilities, you may face costly legal consequences. Forbes Advisor Jeffrey Johnson, J.D. reports that “the median award in premises liability cases…was $90,000” in 2021. By investing in a commercial wheelchair ramp, you can improve safety and reduce the likelihood of an injury on your property.
It is very important to choose a professional installer for your commercial wheelchair ramp. Failure to choose trusted products or professionals can create safety hazards rather than reduce them. For over 25 years, Next Day Access has provided expert installation services and quality-made products to thousands of customers. We offer the most complete line of commercial wheelchair ramps available, all of which comply with safety requirements at federal, state, and local levels.
Our commercial-grade ramp systems are made in America and constructed using 100% high-grade aluminum and recycled rubber. Each product is designed for everyday, year-round use that is virtually maintenance-free.
We offer the following types of commercial wheelchair ramps for rent or purchase:
- Threshold ramps provide a safe incline and surface for building entrances, curbs, or other inclines with up to six inches of clearance height.
- Solid-surface modular ramps can hold up to 1,000 pounds of weight with a slip resistant surface design.
- Custom ramps can combine surface textures or add powder coating to make a ramp just for you!
In addition to quality products, your local accessibility experts at Next Day Access are factory-trained. Every technician learns the correct installation process directly from ramp manufacturers, so you can trust our team to do it right!
To get started, contact us today and schedule a free onsite consultation. We’ll learn more about your needs and help to identify safety risks, installation challenges, and other accessibility considerations.
3. Commercial wheelchair ramps help visitors feel welcome
Installing a commercial wheelchair ramp conveys a good first impression to passersby. It shows that you are informed about accessibility and can welcome people with diverse physical abilities. A survey by Morspace Omnibus found that 95% of consumers say they are significantly influenced by the appearance of a business from the street. You can imagine why the accessibility of your entrance sends a clear message about who is welcome inside.
Social design expert Elise Roy shares why design for disability is beneficial to people with and without disabilities. Roy explains, “When we design for disability first, we often stumble upon solutions that are not only inclusive, but also are often better than when we design for the norm.”
Using text messaging as a relatable example, Roy points to technology originally designed for people with disabilities that has become widely used and beneficial to people without disabilities.
While commercial wheelchair ramps serve an important function for wheelchair users, the benefits also extend to people who:
- Use walkers, canes, or other assistive devices
- Push strollers or visit with small children
- Have mobility limitations due to age, injury, health, or other conditions
- May experience difficulty when navigating icy or snowy conditions
- Are able-bodied but could slip, trip, or fall on stairs or uneven ground
By showing people that you care about accessibility, you can create a welcoming design visible from the street, parking lot, or sidewalk.
Contact your local accessibility experts at Next Day Access for a free onsite consultation. We can help you choose a product and design that works best for you.
4. Expand your market
Most people know that commercial wheelchair ramps are good for consumers. Did you know that commercial wheelchair ramps can be good for business, too?
By creating a physically accessible business, you have the power to reach a more diverse customer base. Consider this: people with disabilities are the third largest market segment in the United States and have a market value worth nearly half a trillion dollars.
People with disabilities are the third largest market segment in the United States and have a market value worth nearly half a trillion dollars.
Like most people, people with disabilities want to spend their money where they are recognized and respected. According to research from Nielsen, people with disabilities “make more shopping trips, spend more per trip than the average consumer,” and practice stronger brand loyalty.
Ready to expand your market with a commercial wheelchair ramp? Contact your local accessibility experts at Next Day Access for a free consultation.
5. Enhance your reputation
As a business owner, you likely know the importance of a good reputation. The reputation of a business depends on perceptions from consumers, and leads to tangible impacts including profitability.
Consider that people with disabilities in the U.S. live in 20 million households. The American Institutes for Research estimates that the actual market demographic for people with disabilities is double the reported size due to the purchasing influence on caregivers, family members, and neighbors who care about inclusion.
Increasingly, consumers value businesses that make an effort toward inclusion of people with disabilities. AIR reports that 78% of customers will choose to “purchase goods and services from a business that takes steps to ensure easy access for individuals with disabilities at their physical locations.”
78% of consumers will choose to “purchase goods and services from a business that takes steps to ensure easy access for individuals with disabilities at their physical location.” – American Institutes for Research
As U.S. age demographics shift toward an older population, businesses should be prepared. The Population Reference Bureau reports that 95 million people will be 65 years or older in 2060–double the population of today. This demographic is likeliest of any age group to have a mobility disability or limitation, with 2 out of every 3 people reporting difficulty walking or climbing the stairs.
By installing a commercial wheelchair ramp, your business will reflect well in the eyes of consumers today and in the near future.
With so many good reasons, there’s no reason to wait! Contact your local accessibility experts at Next Day Access for a free onsite consultation.