ADA Cable Ramps

A discussion recently came up at my organization about using regular (non-ADA compliant) cable ramps versus ADA-compliant cable ramps. I mostly do events in hotels (100+ a year all over the US), and I have never once had a venue, fire marshal, in-house AV company, or union labor provider demand we use ADA-compliant cable ramps anywhere. We currently use them on our very large (5000+ attendee) shows, but do not on our smaller shows (which make up 95% of our event schedule).

We are in a unique situation where there is no "backstage" per se at our events; all of our attendees have access to the entire room, including "backstage" areas. I think at most other corporate events a compromise could be ADA-compliant in areas where the public has access to, and non-ADA backstage....but like I said, this doesn't really work for us.

I can't seem to find anything online stating ADA Cable Ramps would be required by any jurisdiction, and this seems to track with my experience. So does anyone have any insight into this? We have had trips & falls and insurance claims over the years regarding both our non-compliant and ADA compliant cable ramps...obviously ADA compliant is likely better in this regard, but does anyone know of any jurisdiction requiring it? Thanks in advance!
Not code or an AHJ, but we use ADA cable ramps anywhere we expect to be driving a lift or pushing a lot of cases - they're just so much easier to push/roll/drive over. More or less use "regular" anywhere that it's just to protect the cable, and ADA anywhere that people or gear are crossing with any regularity.
Title III of the ADA act requires places of public access as well as commercial facilities to accommodate persons with disabilities by implementing structural accessibility features in compliance with ADA standards.

In accordance with ADA standards, all ADA ramps are designed with slopes no steeper than 1:12. This means that for every 12 inches of run, an ADA ramp would have only one inch of rise.

So, they are required by federal law anytime someone with disabilities was on the site.
So, they are required by federal law anytime someone with disabilities was on the site.

Adding to this. The reason it's uncommon to hear of a jurisdiction enforcing something like this is because ADA enforcement is generally complaint-driven. No complaints, generally no enforcement. But...many people who are inconvenienced will grin and bear it without complaining, and then there are people out there who rake in the $$$ but filing complaints in the form of lawsuits. As in, an individual will go out, look for problems anywhere/everywhere, and file dozens of lawsuits anywhere and create a living out of ADA litigation. So non-compliance can mean everything from an upset patron without a complaint all the way up to a complaint in the form of a hefty lawsuit.

Regardless of that --

Having ADA ramps at main pathways is a best practice. Aside from being required by ADA, it's best to avoid trip-hazards along paths of egress. From the sounds of it, you have ramps at areas that would be considered paths of egress. Off the top of my head, I'm not sure whether that would be a violation of code, but it certainly could be. Best to think of it this way -- in normal conditions, most people may be able to navigate the non-ADA ramps without issue. In a fire, active shooter, whatever situation, a storm of people all trying to get out of that exit will trip over the ramps and you will have a stampede. While it's a bit of an extreme comparison, the Station Nightclub fire had a large number of fatalities that were piled up at that front door. Once the first couple people hit the ground, everyone else trying to escape end up dogpiling on top of those first couple in the mad dash for the door.

As NJLX said, it also makes moving equipment around easier.

Lots of benefits aside from being required by ADA.

Alternatively, you can create some entry portals with box truss and loop the cables over those portals to get the cables off the floor entirely at those pathways -- which sometimes may be better aesthetically but certainly ends up being more equipment on the truck than ADA ramps would be.
The ethical solution is to be ADA compliant at all times, and never play the game of "protected class people don't come to our events". Be aware of your own biases, because this kinda sounds like you're seeking approval to avoid doing something you know you're supposed to do.
I generally prefer to avoid ALL cable ramps in public areas. Using truss arches, overhead tie offs, whatever I can figure out best for that space. I've seen dancers trip on lines painted on the floor, and they're trained and experienced to be on a stage. The average attendee of an event is not. ADA cable ramps can be hard to fit into doorways or other spaces.

But if I have to run ramps, I'd rather put the ADA ramps in public areas.

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