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Making School Ramps ADA Compliant

We can all agree that children of all abilities should be granted the same access to education.

They shouldn’t just have access to the curriculum, but also easy access into the buildings and classrooms themselves. Children with mobility limitations should be able to get in and out of school as well as move around the playground with their friends, without barriers in their way. That’s why the Americans with Disabilities Act was passed – to ensure that people of all abilities have access to public places such as schools and libraries. Below we outline a few ways to ensure a school building is ADA Compliant according to the 2010 ADA Standards for Accessible Design.

Identify Changes in Levels Greater than ½ inch

If a surface level changes and is higher/greater than ½ apart, there needs to be an access solution in place to ensure that children who use assistive technology, like wheelchairs and scooters, can move around easily.

For example, if the ground is not flush with the entrance into the building, a solution would need to be put in place to eliminate the raised door threshold. A simple threshold mat is a breeze to install and creates a smooth surface to glide over. However, if the level change is much greater, such as from the ground to a portable classroom, that’s where an ADA compliant ramp must be installed. A great one to check out is our PATHWAY® HD Code Compliant Modular Access System, because it meets ADA guidelines as well as IBC, OSHA, and most local codes.

Make Adjustments for Little Limbs

The table below is specified in section 308.1 of the 2010 ADA Standards for Accessible Design. Schools and other facilities where children have open access should ensure that handrails, hooks, lockers, etc. are well within reach according to the age range of children utilizing the structure.

Children's Reach Ranges

Forward or Side Reach

Ages 3 and 4

  • High (maximum) - 36 in (915 mm)
  • Low (minimum) - 20 in (510 mm)

Ages 5 through 8

  • High (maximum) - 40 in (1015 mm)
  • Low (minimum) - 18 in (455 mm)

Ages 9 through 12

  • High (maximum) - 44 in (1120 mm)
  • Low (minimum) - 16 in (405 mm)

Our standard handrails are 36” high and we have an optional lower child rail that can be added to the ramp system, which is conveniently 25” high in order to help those little ones move up and down the system. The TITAN is very accommodating to children and is a safe solution when ADA access is needed.

If you have any questions about ensuring a ramp is ADA compliant, please reach out to our school accessibility experts today!

We’re happy to walk you through appropriate accommodations for your location.

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