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By: Daren AllPaving July 5, 2019

ADA Changes to Facilities with Curb Ramps since 2011


Public accommodations must guarantee that every person has access to that specific establishment directly from the pedestrian crossing, sidewalk, parking lot and public transportation, prioritizing pedestrian safety. Therefore, measures should be applied in order to facilitate the mobility of people who use wheelchairs, walkers or scooters to transit around; this could be done through the implementation of curb ramps, widening of entrance and accessible parking areas for individuals with disabilities.

ADA handrail ramp

These ADA specifications for ramps are based on special guidelines, depending on the type of ramps that the construction needs, its location and some other important factors, which can be found at the ADA website.

Failure to adhere to ADA Compliance Standards for curb ramps and its attachments could be a serious hazard for wheelchair users because of the sharp edges. Moreover, it could be a great inconvenience for those people who use the treadmill as the level of the sidewalk could be high and may cause an accident.

Finally, if the property is not a ADA compliant and these specifications are not met under the federal law, it could be interpreted as a discrimination to these people and may be penalized by the law.


ADA Curb Ramp Specifications


As ADA Standards defines, a ramp is a lean surface that has a slope equal or greater than 1:20, that is, for every vertical inch, there must be 20 horizontal inches. The ramp must comply some elements in order to accomplish the following ADA Compliance specifications:

  • A maximum slope of 1:12 (one vertical inch for every 12 horizontal inches).
  • Ramps must be a minimum of 36 inches wide. If the project needs it, it could be wider.
  • Each edge of the ramp must have its appropriate protection in order to avoid slip off accidents.
  • Ramp slopes must have landings both at the beginning and at the end, and they must have a minimum of 60 inches long each.
  • The ramp´s landing size must be at least 5 square feet.
  • If the ramp is taller than 6 inches or the ramp length is greater than 72 inches, handrails must be installed on both sides of the ramp.
  • When the ramp needs a transversal slope (inclination towards the side of the ramp), it has to be lower than 1:50 and its surface must be stable and non-slip.
  • A stable level landing is required both on the beginning and at the end of the ramp.
  • For the maximum of the threshold height (at the building entrance) is ¾ inch high for sliding exterior doors, meanwhile, for doors without any changes, must be ½ high inches.

In order to have more information and specific details to build ramps with ADA Compliance Standards, this page will help to find what you may need.

Facilities affected


Sealcoated parking lot with symmetric parking yellow lines and ADA services

This type of ADA Compliance must be built in public accommodations. These places are those that are operated by a private entity and its operations affect directly the commerce and belong in one of the following categories:

  1. Any place of accommodation, they could be, hotels, inns; everything that is located in a building that has no more than five rooms to rent or lease and is actually occupied by its owner or proprietor.
  2. Any place where food and drinks are served, such as restaurants or bars.
  3. Places where public gathering takes place such as theaters, auditoriums, convention centers or lecture halls.
  4. Those places  where there are exhibitions or any type of entertainment such as cinemas, concert halls, or a picture house.
  5. Establishments that sell or lease such as bakeries, grocery stores, clothing stores, shopping centers, hardware stores, among others.
  6. All those establishments that offer different types of services such as banks, dry cleaners, laundries, repair services, funeral homes, gas stations, any type of office, hospitals, among others.
  7. Specialized terminals for public transport.
  8. Any place for recreation such as zoos, amusement or theme parks.
  9. Those places specialized in public collection such as libraries, museums or galleries.
  10. Establishments of social services such as daycare centers, seniors centers, homeless shelters or adoption agencies.
  11. Educational establishments like private and public schools, elementary, postgraduate or undergraduate private colleges.
  12. All those types of leisure centers such as gym, spas and golf courses.

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