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ADA Consumer Rights for People With Disabilities

Knowing Your Rights: How to tell and what to do when a business isn't ADA compliant 

Amramp is proud to be an ADA compliant manufacturer and count ourselves among the many groups working tirelessly to help people with mobile restrictions achieve equal opportunity, accessibility, and independence. Ideally, all companies would want to invest the time and money necessary to make their goods and services accessible to everybody, and Amramp’s expert installers all across the U.S. – and now in Canada – would like to help make it easy.

However, it pains us to see that there are some businesses who don't feel that same sort of responsibility. So, the next best thing that we can do is help to educate our customers about their rights under the Americans With Disability Act (ADA). That is why we have put together this helpful guide explaining how to tell if a business is in compliance with ADA standards and what you can do about it if they're not.

2000px US NationalCouncilOnDisability Seal.svg resized 600In essence, the ADA (specifically Title III) requires any public entity, for profit and non-profit alike, to remove all physical “barriers” that would inhibit a disabled patron from accessing their goods and services, and to modify any policies or procedures which are discriminatory against disabled people, and to provide aid and services to people who are sight, speech, or hearing impaired in the ways that are “readily achievable.”

The term “readily achievable” allows for variances in the size and resources of each business. For example, a large business with ample resources would be expected to do more to remove barriers than a small business with limited resources. It also allows for changing economic conditions where resources may become more limited. That does not, however, permanently excuse any business from eventually coming into compliance with ADA standards. As resources become available, all businesses are expected to make the necessary changes.

What are the ADA standards?

There are quite a few and there are different conditions for certain facilities, such as those built before 1993, when ADA first went into effect. For the purposes of this article, we'll go over the most important standards. For more details, check out ADA Guide for Small Businesses and 2010 ADA Standards for Accessible Design.

  • Accessible Parking – If public parking is provided for a place of business, accessible parking is also required, if readily achievable. Accessible parking is defined as a clearly marked spot (using the international sign of accessibility), that is at least 8-feet-wide and has a designated access aisle that is at least 5-feet-wide to either the right or left of the space. A van-accessible space requires an access aisle that is at least 8 ft. wide to allow for a person using a scooter or wheelchair to exit the vehicle using a side-mounted lift. One of eight of all accessible parking spaces must be van-accessible. These spaces should be located as close as possible to the accessible entrance and must have an accessible route connecting them that cannot comprise of any stairs or steep slopes.

  • Accessible Entrance – All businesses are required to provide an accessible entrance, if readily achievable. This can be accomplished by either having:


    • A sufficiently wide entrance (36-inches) on level ground


    • Offering an alternate accessible entrance whose location is clearly indicated with a sign

It is also important that the door hardware is usable by people who might have difficulty grasping, such as a lever or loop-type handle. If it is not achievable to have an accessible entrance, the goods and services must be provided in some other way. This could be home delivery, take-out, curbside delivery, or some alternate service. .

  • Maneuvering Space – When determining the space between shelves and displays, businesses should maintain a width of 36-inches, if readily achievable. Also, if there are steps within a facility that makes some parts of a business inaccessible, the business must make those goods available to everyone by

    • Adding a ramp or lift

    • Having staff to retrieve those items

Staff is also responsible for retrieving items that are out of reach of someone using a mobility device and providing information about a product or service to someone who is visually impaired.

  • Accessible Counters and Seating – An accessible sales or service counter should be at least 36-inches-long and no more than 36-inches-tall, if readily achievable. A food service counter, on the other hand, should be at least 60-inches-long and no more than 34-inches-tall, if readily achievable. If tables are provided and some are fixed (attached to the wall or floor) at least 5% of the tables must be accessible to be compliant. This means a surface height somewhere between 28-and-34-inches-tall. A clear floor area of 30-inches-by-48 inches is also required and it must extend 19-inches under the table to provide leg and knee clearance. These specifications apply to both indoor and outdoor seating.

  • Policies and Communication – ADA standards also require businesses to examine their policies and procedures and change any that could be discriminatory against those with disabilities. This is referring to things like allowing service animals in a store that would usually not allow any animals or keeping open checkout counters that can accommodate those using a mobility device. It also requires businesses to review communication between staff and disabled customers, such as writing notes for people with hearing or speech disabilities and making it easier for customers who use a telecommunications device for the deaf (TDD).

Should you find that any business is not in compliance with these standards, you can file a complaint of Title III violations with the United States Department of Justice (DOJ). If you have any questions about ADA you can also call the Department of Justice ADA Information Line, toll-free (1-800-514-0301 voice and 1-800-514-0383 TDD).

If you are a business owner needing assistance with ADA compliance, Amramp’s accessibility experts can help.

 If you are a business who wants to be fully compliant with ADA standards

Call Amramp today to schedule a free on-site estimate

Please contact Amramp’s National Customer Service Center 888-715-7598


Amramp @AbilitiesExpo in Boston this Weekend

Abilities Expo2015 resized 600Amramp, North America's Leading ramp, will be exhibiting @AbilitiesExpo at the Boston Convention Center this Friday, Saturday and Sunday.

Amramp is the leading company in the United States and now parts of Canada, specializing in modular steel wheelchair ramps, offering sturdy, customizable ramps for disability access that enable people to remain in their homes with independence and mobility. Ramps can be installed temporarily for short or long term needs without damaging the housing structure as they are not a permanent modification to the home. Amramp products comply with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and are available for sale or RENT with no minimum time frame and no ramp size restrictions. 

Amramp steel modular ramp systems are safer and last longer than wood ramps. Our ramps are fireproof and provide a stable, non-flammable exit in the case of fire. Wood and aluminum are not fireproof. Our ramps also have a gripping, open mesh surface that is slip resistant and allows water to pass through, preventing puddles, ice and mold build up.

Amramp also installs Vertical Platform Lifts which are used where the length of a ramp might be impractical. Portable wheelchair showers are used when a client cannot utilize the shower or tub facility and does not want to remodel the bathroom. 

Stop by Booth 214 at Abilities Expo to learn more about our modular wheelchair ramps, stairlifts and other accessibility products.

@Amramp - www.amramp.com

@AbilitiesExpo - www.abilities.com

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Three Ways to Make An Inviting Pool Area for the Whole Family

Amramp keeps pool areas safe and accessible for all

pool lift

The season for backyard barbecues and pool parties is upon us. There is no better way to get the whole family or neighborhood together than with hamburgers, hotdogs, and water sports. What happens when you are unable to take advantage of cooling off in the pool in the beautiful weather due to a physical ailment? 

Many people are misled to believe that wheelchair-accessible pools are only available in public areas or physical therapy centers. But, with Amramp, there are three particular ways to make an ordinary backyard pool wheelchair accessible. 

Now, the whole family can have fun and feel safe together in the pool, with the help of one of these three accessibility products: 

1. Pool Stairs

  • Provide assistance from attached handrails when entering or exiting the pool from a standing position
  • Must have uniform riser heights and uniform tread widths of 11-inches or more
  • Open risers are not permitted 
  • Handrails must have a width between 20-24 inches and an extension at the top landing

2. Lifts

  • Located where the pool water does not exceed 48-inches and the pool deck is clear
  • Can be manually operated, battery operated, or motorized as long as they can be used without assistance
  • Seats must be at least 16-inches wide and 16-inches from the edge of the pool
  • Must submerge at least 18-inches under water and able to carry at least 300 pounds 

3. Sloped Entries

  • Ramp must be at least 36-inches wide and no steeper than an 8.33% slope
  • Use with aquatic wheelchairs rather than personal mobility device 
  • Submerged depth must be between 24-inches and 30-inches-deep to promote buoyancy
  • Handrails must be provided on each side of the slope and be at least 33-inches-wide and 34-inches-high

You may now be thinking: my pool has stairs or sloped entries. In order to be considered accessible, they must abide by Americans with Disabilities Act Accessibility Guidlines (ADAAG). Some of these guidelines are outlined above. These rules are designed to ensure safety around the pool and to help prevent accidents. 

"I just wanted to send you a quick hello to say thank you so very much for all of your help in getting my pool lift. I really appreciate all that you have done to help me in the process of obtaining my pool lift. Thank you for also coordinating with the MS Society and my local MS Center. It is fantastic! It helps me get into and out of my pool with such ease! It looks great." Annemarie M. - Peabody, MA

Pool lifts, pool stairs, ramps and other accessibility products installed in days not weeks 

Call Amramp today to schedule a free on-site estimate

Please contact Amramp’s National Customer Service Center 888-715-7598 


Amramp Creates Accessible Entrance for Canadian Alpacas

Amramp Creates a Safe and Accessible Entrance for Sunnyhill Alpacas

Al the Alpaca "supervising" the ramp installation

As promised in our Fort Macleod Courthouse blog post, we've got the full story about one of Amramp's more unusual projects: installing a ramp at Sunnyhill Alpaca Ranch in Rollyview, Alberta. 

Rollyview is a small hamlet located in central Alberta, Canada, that has a population numbering only 58. However, they aren't short on Alpacas. “It was beautiful,” said Lorne Wensel of Amramp Edmonton, “Rollyview is all rolling hills and farmland and it was a big ranch: One of the largest Alpaca ranches in Canada.” 

Leanne Sept and her sisters, Renee and Marlene, also opened Twisted Sisters & Co. Fibre Mill and Store (TSM) in 2004, where they specialize in processing alpaca fibre. When the fibre is brought to the mill it is washed, dried, picked, de-haired, carded into rovings, and then spun into yarn and plied. They also can blend it with other fibres such as nylon, silk, and merino.

The Twisted Sisters store offers a variety of alpaca yarn as well as finished products such as socks, gloves, sweaters, scarves, duvets, teddy bears, and dog beds, which can now be purchased online. “It's no small operation. They ship all over the world,” said Wensel. Sunnyhill Alpacas boasts a herd numbering over 100 alpacas, in fact, and the “Sunnyhill” kids have won multiple showing awards since the owners, Leanne and Kevin Sept, began raising Alpacas in the late 1990s.

An Amramp ramp makes entry to Twister Sisters yarn store safely accessible even in Alberta's winters

It is also a tourist destination. Every week knitting groups come in on buses to buy alpaca yarn. However, with the icy Alberta winters, a lot of these visitors were struggling to make it up the steps. “We installed a ramp 24-feet-long with a 4-foot-by-4-foot platform at the top to make it accessible and safer,” Wensel explained. Amramp's steel-mesh surface allows snow and rain to pass through, making Amramp ramps more suitable for wintery and rainy climates than a wooden or other solid-surface ramp.

The installation was fairly quick, taking only a morning. “I hated to leave, I was enjoying being there so much,” Wensel laughed, “The alpacas were watching me. They didn't seem bothered by me working away.” The Amramp team, in 45 locations all across North America, is happy to have the alpacas' stamp of approval!


Amramp is North America's leading provider of installed wheelchair ramps and accessibility products

Call Amramp today to schedule a free on-site estimate

Please contact Amramp’s National Customer Service Center 888-715-7598 

Amramp Rocks the 2015 WCEC Conference in Orlando

Joan Jett

The 70th Annual Workers’ Compensation Educational Conference (WCEC) and the 27th Annual Safety and Health Conference is being held August 23-26, where thousands of attendees will be descending upon the Orlando World Resort Marriott in Orlando, Florida, to study and explore changes in the national workers’ compensation and safety industries. 

Some highlights from the conference will include:

There are a few panels that you also shouldn't miss including:

  • Return-to-Work: This panel will focus on giving attendees the skills and strategies to assist employees returning to the workplace after an injury
  • Workplace Safety & Health: This series of classes will be going over all the different facets of maintaining a safe and healthy workplace, from pre-employment testing to accident investigation.
  • Medical Issues: This Mini-Med School, which is popular with adjusters, attorneys and nurse case managers, will be teaching attendees how to identify prescription and illegal drugs that are being abused by workers which cause increased risk of workplace injuries and the legalities surrounding that.
  • Disney's SyncLink™ Technology: Since you can't help but immediately think Disney when you think of Orlando, as a special treat, attendees will be given a peek behind the curtain of Disney's revolutionary SyncLink™ Technology, a wireless, synchronized data management system that can give real-time compliance and food safety data.

Explore the complete program detailing the hundreds of speakers, presentations, and exhibitors on the WCI website. Attendees can also earn continuing education (CE) credits.  A complete list of all courses of approved for credit will be available at the Continuing Education desk in the registration area. 

Amramp is honored to be invited to exhibit at WCEC 2015. Not only will we be demonstrating our latest products and advances in accessibility, but, in honor of Joan Jett and Blackhearts, the exhibit hall is also going to be decorated in an ’80s/neon/rock ’n’ roll theme. With over 8,000 attendees and 450 exhibitors, it promises to be a great time. We hope to see you in Orlando!


Wheelchair ramps installed in days not weeks

Call Amramp today to schedule a free on-site estimate

Please contact Amramp’s National Customer Service Center 888-715-7598 

Edmonton Amramp Team Engineers Solution for Fort MacLeod Courthouse

Amramp of Edmonton recently completed an exciting and challenging ramp installation on a historic courthouse and town hall in the remote small town of Fort MacLeod; built in 1904, it is the oldest court house in the province of Alberta. Lorne Wensel of Amramp Edmonton spearheaded the project and shares some interesting highlights with the Amramp blog.

The Fort MacLeod Courthouse predates Alberta’s entry into Canada as a province, and originally serving as a trading post for the Northwest Territorial administration on the praries. Because it is one of the few surviving buildings from that time period, the building is on the list of historic sites, not just in Alberta but all of Canada. As a result, the ramp installation required a lot more permits and inspection processes than usual.

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The courthouse administration found the Amramp Edmonton location online and chose Amramp because our ramps are modular and do not require any excavation or digging to install in most cases. Had digging been required, an archaeological team would have to be brought in to oversee the dig (in case it unearthed any artifacts), which would have almost doubled the expense of the job. The other decision-making factor was that the ramp may or may not be a permanent addition to the building, but Amramp’s ramps are easy to uninstall if necessary—so Amramp was the clear solution in this case!

“It took six months of going back and forth with Historic Sites to get the job approved,” says Lorne, who also had to drive five hours each way to get to Fort MacLeod from Edmonton. Once the installation was approved and he made the trip, a new challenge arose: making sure that the ramp would fit with a step set in a very narrow entryway

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underneath an arch. Fortunately, Amramp Edmonton was able to engineer an effective fix in the end which satisfied all involved parties.

Lorne notes that the climate was “pretty toasty” compared to Edmonton, but the courthouse looks out on the Rocky Mountains and thus made for a lovely view at work. As he worked, townspeople would come up to ask him about the job and share about what the building meant to them personally and as a town.

“I never realized how much traveling I’d be doing when I took on this job,” says, Lorne, who finds himself regularly taking trips to various parts of the province. “Tomorrow, I’m actually heading out to do an installation at an alpaca ranch.”

We can’t wait to see photos from that project!

 Your home should be welcoming you, not worrying you.

Call Amramp today to schedule a free on-site estimate

Please contact Amramp’s National Customer Service Center 888-715-7598

Amramp Creates Path for Disabled Dolphin Fans at Clearwater Aquarium

When elevator breaks, Amramp of Tampa installs modular wheelchair ramp, restoring access to Winter the dolphin at Clearwater Aquarium.

Winter 2 400 

The Clearwater Marine Aquarium in Florida is famously the home to Winter the dolphin, star and inspiration of the hit movies Dolphin Tale and Dolphin Tale 2. After losing her tail in an accident, Winter became the first dolphin to be fitted with a prosthetic tail. Winter’s story of courage and perseverance has made her a beacon of hope and inspiration for anyone who has overcome physical adversity.

Late one afternoon in June, Tim Smith, the facility manager at the Clearwater Marine Aquarium had an emergency situation: The existing elevator that brings aquarium guests up the second floor to see Winter had broken down. While this wasn’t an issue for able-bodied patrons, visitors in wheelchairs who were eager to see Winter were being manually carried up the stairs to the second floor. And more and more were lining up to make this dangerous trek.

With no sense of how long it would take to get the elevator repaired, Smith needed a quick solution. Late that afternoon, Debbie Vanlandingham, the manager at the Amramp franchise based in Tampa, Florida, received an urgent call from Smith.

Amramp, North America’s leading provider of modular wheelchair ramps, jumped on the case. Amramp’s installation experts arrived at the aquarium to perform a comprehensive evaluation, which included extensive measurements and photographs. They remained at the aquarium until ideal design was achieved.

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Recalling her initial contact with the Aquarium, Vanlandingham said, “I’m such a sentimental fool that I couldn’t thank Tim enough for allowing Amramp to do this for Winter’s fans. I kept getting flashes in my head that actual people were being carried up in their wheelchairs. With the new ramp in place, everyone has safe access to enjoy all areas of the aquarium.”

Amramp installer Paul Ellison was on site early the next morning. With only the staff and star attractions like Winter and her marine peers present, Ellison got to work. Part of the installation process brought him face-to-face with the dolphins’ habitat. Winter and friends were on hand to oversee the installation process and provide Ellison with lots of vocal encouragement. “I felt like they were thanking me,” said Ellison.

“The beauty of it was that we were able to complete the entire installation in less than 24 hours,” said Vanlandingham, “By the time the Aquarium reopened on Wednesday the ramp was already in place and operational.”

Amramp ramps are designed to be installed quickly without requiring any modifications to the existing structure or surroundings and leave no sign or destruction behind when the ramp is removed. Amramp’s patent-pending steel modular wheelchair ramps are available for purchase or rental, short-term for as little as 24 hours for events like graduations, vacation rentals.

The ramp installed at Clearwater Marine Aquarium is a temporary modular rental ramp. This completed ramp runs 36 feet long with a 4-foot-by-4-foot turning platform designed to transport guests in wheelchairs safely to the second floor of the Aquarium to see Winter.

Since the environment for humans in an aquarium can be on the damp side, Amramp ramps are ideal: The open mesh ramp surface provides needed traction and allows moisture to pass through easily. The ramp also features a raised gripping pattern, as well as a special Amramp-grip coating to the ramp surface, making the ramp at the Aquarium the most slip resistant ramp available.

Vanlandingham can’t image any other career. “All I do is help people design ramps,” she said. “Ultimately when someone is able to go on a ramp…it should be like floating on air for them. When you’re in a wheelchair, you should be able to bypass any obstacle that may cross your path. It’s so simple for me to put something down, so you don’t have any obstacles, that’s my reward.”

For more information, click here: Clearwater Marine Aquarium   

Ramps Installed Within 24 hours – for rent or purchase

Call Amramp today to schedule a free on-site estimate

Please contact Amramp’s National Customer Service Center 888-715-7598

Amramp Celebrates the 25th Anniversary of the ADA!

ADA 2th Anniversary

We congratulate the people behind the Americans with Disabilities Act who work tirelessly to remove barriers and empower people.

At Amramp, “ADA Compliant” are not just words or regulations to us. It’s the way we work and the way we think.

Our franchise owners and sales team members are factory trained accessibility experts. More importantly, we understand how difficult it can be to push someone in a wheelchair up a ramp that is too steep and how scary it is for an elderly spouse to control their loved one’s wheelchair going down a steep ramp.

We take the time to sit down and talk to the people who will be using the ramp during our home evaluation to make sure the ramp we design fits their needs and the physical limitations of the person in the wheelchair as well as the person who will be assisting that person.

We want to make sure the ramp is long enough to bring someone from the door to a level landing. We don’t want to end the ramp in middle of the lawn, so people then have to navigate over bumpy grass or dirt.

Our steel ramps are fireproof and provide a safe exit in case of fire. An aluminum ramp will melt from the heat and a wood ramp will provide fuel for the fire. Fireproof steel ramps provide an extra safety feature for your loved ones in an emergency.

Our job is to make life easier for people who use wheelchairs, walkers or just struggle with stairs. Amramp makes life accessible where you work, live and play.

Amramp also installs Grab bars, Railings, Vertical Platform Lifts, Stairlifts, Automatic Door Openers, Overhead Patient Lifts, Portable, Roll-in Portable Wheelchair showers and other assistive devices.

Visit Amramp.com for more information on how Amramp can make your home safer and more accessible.

Keeping our Senior Population Safe

Thompsons Sta TN Veteran 2

Each year, millions of adults aged 65 and older fall. Falls can cause moderate to severe injuries, such as hip fractures and head traumas, and can increase the risk of early death. Fortunately, falls are a public health problem that is largely preventable.

One of the key ways to help older adults prevent falls is reduce tripping hazards throughout the house.

Dave Taylor, Amramp Eastern Tennessee, identified 4 trip points at a veteran’s home in Thompsons Station, Tennessee. Dave was able to install some threshold ramps inside and outside the home to allow the veteran to more easily and safely go from room to room and out onto their patio.

The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) recommends these tips on how to prevent falls among older adults:

  • Exercise regularly. It is important that the exercises focus on increasing leg strength and improving balance, and that they get more challenging over time. Tai Chi programs are especially good.
  • Ask their doctor or pharmacist to review their medicines—both prescription and over-the counter—to identify medicines that may cause side effects or interactions such as dizziness or drowsiness.
  • Have their eyes checked by an eye doctor at least once a year and update their eyeglasses to maximize their vision. Consider getting a pair with single vision distance lenses for some activities such as walking outside.
  • Make their homes safer by reducing tripping hazards, adding grab bars inside and outside the tub or shower and next to the toilet, adding railings on both sides of stairways, and improving the lighting in their homes.

For more information on keeping our senior population safe, visit the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) – Home & Recreational Safety website - http://www.cdc.gov/HomeandRecreationalSafety/Falls/adultfalls.html

About Amramp

Amramp installs wheelchair ramps, grab bars, railings, stairlifts and other accessibility products throughout the US and parts of Canada at homes, businesses, schools and institutions. Amramp is the leading company in the United States specializing in modular steel wheelchair ramps, offering sturdy, customizable wheelchair ramps for disability access that enable the aging and disabled population to remain safely in their homes with independence and mobility. Ramps can be installed temporarily for short or long term needs without damaging the building structure as they are not a permanent modification to the building. Amramp products are available for sale or rental with no minimum time frame and no ramp size restrictions – they can even be rented for just one day for a special event or a visitor who struggles with stairs!. 

Amramp steel ramps are fireproof and provide a more stable, non-flammable exit in case of fire. Wood and aluminum are not fireproof.

Amramp also installs Grab bars, Railings, Vertical Platform Lifts, Stairlifts, Automatic Door Openers, Overhead Patient Lifts, Portable, roll-in wheelchair showers and other assistive devices.

Visit Amramp.com for more information on how Amramp can make your home safer and more accessible.

Thompsons Sta Veteran 6 resized 600

Amramp Provides Access in Harvard Square During Sidewalk Renovation

Harvard Sq Cambridge MA Sidewalk Reno resized 600

The unique design of Amramp’s modular wheelchair ramps makes a perfect solution for all types of accessibility needs. Here’s a great example of an Amramp application as a temporary walkway and wheelchair ramp to provide access during a major sidewalk renovation project in Harvard Square in Cambridge, MA.

The Amramp wheelchair ramps allow shoppers and tourists to still have full access to the stores and attractions during the renovations.

Storeowners, municipalities and contractors across the country rent the Amramp ADA compliant wheelchair ramps as a temporary bridge to keep retail establishments open and wheelchair accessible during sidewalk infrastructure improvements.

Amramp installs accessibility ramps throughout the US and parts of Canada at businesses, residences, schools and institutions. Amramp is the leading company in the United States specializing in modular steel wheelchair ramps, offering sturdy, customizable ramps for disability access that enable the aging and disabled population to remain in their homes with independence and mobility or have access to public buildings and facilities.

The Amramp wheelchair ramps can be installed temporarily for short or long term needs without damaging the structure as they are not a permanent modification to the home or building. Amramp products comply with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and are available for sale or rental with no minimum time frame and no ramp size restrictions.

Amramp also installs stair lifts and vertical platform lifts as well as other accessibility products.

Learn more about Amramp and the products we offer at www.amramp.com.

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