Stairs are not an easy obstacle to navigate for those who have physical disabilities, but there are fortunately design standards that can make them much easier to handle. By following these designs, the journey up and down the steps can be made manageable.

The important dimensions to consider on stairs include:

  • The risers must have a minimum height of 4 inches and a maximum height of 7 inches.
  • Treads need to have a minimum of 11 inches to fit the standard.
  • The radius of the curve on the tread shall not exceed ½ inch and the angle should not exceed 30 degrees.
  • For handrails, the top extension should be at least 12 inches past the edge of the first step.
  • It must also extend at least one tread depth beyond the last riser.
  • Handrails must be placed between 34 and 38 inches from the nose of the riser.
  • Like the steps, handrails must maintain a steady height.

The other important factor to remember is that the stairs should be uniform. In other words, each step must have the same size treads and risers. As long as the rise is consistent and handrails are used as needed, this can help to ensure that the steps meet minimum guidelines. Though stairs may still be a difficult obstacle for some, this will bring it up to standards. 

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