Ramps/Accessibility Expert David Todd, President of EZ Rampz/Mobility Solutions in Roanoke, Virginia
Q: I have recently started using a walker/cane/wheelchair/scooter and I am wondering what I need to be aware of?
A: First, understand that although you have started a new phase of life, your quality of living does not need to change. Having to use a mobility device does not need to be a prison sentence. With the right products, aids and expertise you will be free to do most of the things you have done all your life. The most important factor to consider is how you will be get in and out of your house safely. Without this, you will be restricted and dependent on the help of others to go anywhere. Ramps, Vertical Lifts and Stair Glides are some of the products that can be installed to help you. Some other items to be aware of are the size of your doorways, stairs inside your home, obstacles in your pathways, and your bathrooms. Some things you might need now and others you might need in the future. We can provide you with a FREE Home Accessibility Evaluation that will outline what our experts think your present and future needs might be.
Q: What is a Home Accessibility Evaluation?
A: It’s like a Home Inspection for someone with mobility
challenges. It will point out what mobility obstacles might be present in your home. It will outline what products/services we think you might need at this time and what product/services you might need in the future. Some of the items on the evaluation we offer, and we can provide a recommendation for others. Regardless, you are under no obligation to buy anything from EZ Rampz/Mobility Solutions.
Q: So you sell ramps?
A: Actually, what we sell is freedom. Freedom to keep living your life the way you want to. To provide this freedom, we install Aluminum Ramps, Vertical Platform Lifts, Stair Glides, Grab Bars, Patient Lifts, Automatic Door Openers, Handicap Toilets and Faucets, Off-Set Hinges and some other Personal Mobility Devices.
Q: What are the advantages of aluminum ramps instead of wood?
A: There are many advantages of aluminum ramps over wood. First, is ease of installation: aluminum ramps can be installed in hours, require no digging or footers, and normally don’t require a permit. Second, aluminum ramps require almost no maintenance where as wood ramps require quite a bit of maintenance to keep them safe and looking good. If you have mobility concerns maintaining a wood ramp can be very difficult. Another reason we prefer aluminum is the flexibility. Aluminum ramps can be removed quickly, reconfigured, lengthened, shortened or moved to another location; try that with a wood ramp!
Q: Why do ramps have to be so long?
A: The American with Disabilities Act (ADA) requires all ramps for public use be a 1/12 pitch, that is 12 inches long for every inch of rise. Although ramps at your home can be shorter, you do so at your own risk. Ramps that are too steep can be dangerous, in addition to being harder to go up and down. The maximum slope that EZ Rampz/Mobility Solutions would recommend is a 1/8 pitch. You don’t want a ramp that will be unsafe or unusable. If you don’t have enough space at the entrance that you want to use, you might consider a vertical platform lift (VPL). A VPL is similar to an open elevator. They are great for places like your garage. We install the Passport™ VPL which is the lightest VPL on the market. It is also battery operated and requires no special wiring.
David started installing ramps more than 10 years ago. He is a Certified Environmental Access Consultant and a graduate of Virginia Tech. He founded EZ Rampz and his company has installed more than 5000 ramps at veteran’s homes thru the VA Hospital System. EZ Rampz added Mobility Solutions in 2013 to try and meet the other mobility needs of their clients.