As the Wheel Turns: Portable SolutionsBy Labbe, Amy; Quest, Vol. 16, No. 3
Publication Date: July 1, 2009
Article provides an overview of portable wheelchair ramps and lifts. The following types of equipment are discussed: (1) threshold ramps, which are meant to bridge small transitions in height such as door entries, are typically up to 6 inches in height, and are commonly made of anodized aluminum or rubber with an antislip surface; (2) foldable ramps, which may be as long as 7 feet and are designed to be used for accessing buildings and vehicles; one example described is a 4 foot long suitcase ramp that folds up lengthwise and features a handle for carrying; (3) track wheelchair ramps, also called channel ramps, which are commonly made of aluminum and designed to line up with the wheels on each side of a wheelchair; they are often used for loading wheelchairs and scooters into vans; (4) vertical lifts, which roll into place on wheels or casters and allow users to access raised platforms such as stages and decks; and (5) stairlifts, which attach to the wheelchair or use a platform to enable a caregiver to move a person in a wheelchair up and down stairways. The article cautions that federally defined ramp standards and dimensions do not apply to portable ramps. When selecting a ramp, readers are advised to consider weight bearing capacity by combining the weight of the wheelchair and that of the user, choose a model that does not form an angle greater than the maximum allowable incline of the chair, and weigh important factors such as ease of portability and setup, storage space in a vehicle, and purchase price.
Published by: Muscular Dystrophy Association (Website:http://www.mdausa.org)
Link to text: http://quest.mda.org/article/portable-solutions