Nobody wants to think about winter yet, but we can’t deny that the snow, cold, and sleet is on its way. Last year, winter in Massachusetts was astonishingly difficult, with extremely heavy snowfall, persistent low temperatures, and cold winds. It was challenging for people to get around – and that was before factoring mobility challenges into the picture. If you use a walker, cane, wheelchair or scooter, you know how difficult navigating snow clogged sidewalks, parking lots, and other public spaces was.
The entrance to our homes and workplaces should be different. We may not have the ability to fully control the state of sidewalks and parking lots near us – although we can influence that with appeals to property owners or the appropriate authorities – but we can, by choosing the right handicap ramp, simplify the process of getting into and out of our own homes.
Let’s start by talking about ramp materials. Homemade handicap ramps are often built with the very best of intentions, by people who have no practical experience of needing to use a ramp. Wooden ramps are very vulnerable to the four seasons of weather we have here in Massachusetts. Summer’s heat can cause wood to split, twist, and blister; spring’s rains cause rot; the late fall and winter brings heavy snow and ice, which makes wooden ramps slippery and difficult to use.
National ramp systems wheelchair ramps are made out of durable, heavy-duty aluminum. Aluminum is an extremely stable material that doesn’t react to the weather: it remains straight, strong, and easy to use no matter what’s going on. Additionally, the design of the National Ramp System handicap ramp allows snow to fall right through, reducing the need for shoveling and making winter much easier.