The cities of Europe are well known for their beautiful architecture of bygone days and for their historic places of interest. The downside of this well preserved history is that far too many places in our cities are still inaccessible for wheelchair users. The good news is that in many cases there is a simple remedy for this problem. If a building only has one or two steps at the entrance, which is very often the case, this barrier can easily be bridged with a mobile ramp.
You can help make your city or region more liveable for everyone by telling shop owners about this simple solution, by donating mobile ramps to be used at inaccessible locations or by buying a ramp for your own business. A lightweight, mobile ramp that has proven to be very reliable and easy to use is the Wheelramp pictured above and on the left.
A good example of a company that is making strides in opening new doors for wheelchair users is the elevator manufacturer Schindler. By donating and distributing ramps to wheelchair inaccessible places in those cities where Schindler has offices, Schindler is helping to make accessibility in its neighborhoods a reality.
You can have the same impact by helping to distribute the Wheelramp or by cooperating with ramp manufacturers from your country. Here’s how to make your city more accessible with mobile ramps:
1. Identify the places in your city that are inaccessible because they have one or two steps at the entrance. For instance by:
2. Taking a look at your city on Wheelmap.org, the online map for wheelchair accessible places, and finding the inaccessible locations (with a red marker).
3. If your city is not yet well covered on the Wheelmap, organize a mapping event.
4. When you know which places could be made accessible with a mobile ramp tell the responsible persons at that place about the possibility of using a mobile ramp.
5. Tell local businesses about the good example set by Schindler Elevators and ask them to sponsor some mobile ramps as part of their Corporate Social Responsibility program
If you would like to order a Wheelramp directly, please send an email to: firstname.lastname@example.org
Technical specifications of the 1.5m Wheelramp according to the manufacturer:
Height of rim: 3.5cm
Width when folded: 30cm
Height when folded: 7cm
Weight: approx. 12kg
Carrying capacity: 270kg
Price 199,- Euro
Max. height of hindrance to be bridged: 30 cm
Please note: The incline which can be managed by a wheelchair user depends on his or her physical fitness and the help available. According to German industry standards a ramp’s incline should not exceed 6% (this corresponds to 6cm at a length of 100cm) for it to be manageable for a wheelchair user without help from another person.
Photos by Andi Weiland