Last week we received a fascinating presentation from David Woodman and Roger Borgenicht from Assist Inc, about disabled and elderly access design in housing.

We learned about minimum distances for wheelchair maneuverability, how you can retrofit a house to be wheelchair accessible and what the key points of designing for disability are.

Did you know that the minimum rise on a wheelchair ramp should be 1:12 and it is much preferred to go to 1:20?

It was a fascinating presentation packed with example images and before and after shots of improvements that can be made. We were also provided with useful design details including measurements of minimum space required, plus the dimensions that will provide best access to a person in a wheelchair. Example – builders typically frame bathroom door openings to be 28 inches. Adding 2 more inches to the opening would allow for wheelchair access. 2 inches make the difference to allow a guest privacy and independence.

After the information packed morning we headed out to put some of our new found knowledge into practice. This project was inspired by the United Way’s Day of Caring in Moab.

Harry Cleveland is a WWII veteran who is in a wheelchair, the ramp leading to his trailer is too steep for him to navigate. We were part of a team of volunteers installing a new longer, less steep, ramp.

The existing ramp is far too steep

The volunteers came together from many different organisations under the leadership of Karl Larson and Vic Hoem.

The afternoon featured lots of problem solving, but no lack of happy hands to get the job done. The reusable metal ramp, now in it’s third installation, was sourced for the project by Joey Allred from Active Re-Entry.

Putting together the pieces

The team was kept fed and hydrated by the lovely ladies of the American Legion Auxiliary

The first use of the new ramp

A Big thanks to everyone who came along to help, you all rock!

Joey Allred from Active Re-Entry
Jody Ellis from RSVP

Roger Borgenicht & David Woodman from Assist

Debra Swafford, Mary Keogh & Patti Murphy from American Legion Auxiliary
Bill Maikranz from United Way of Eastern
Karl Larson, C.L. Valentine & Vic Hoem – The ‘old fart volunteers’ (Their words not mine!)
Emily Niehaus, Eric Plorde, Kate Heath & Jessica Retka from Community Rebuilds

The team!

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