Most of us take what seems like a small thing, coming and going from our home, for granted. No second thoughts, as we don’t realize the impact of not having those choices. A ramp provides those exact options for someone with a disability. It’s not only physical freedom, it’s mental freedom. Opportunity to access all of the goods, services, and people in our community. It’s the choice to come and go at your own will. It’s peace of mind that you don’t always have to ask for assistance. It is INDEPENDENCE!
disAbility Connections, in collaboration with The Jackson Rotary Club have built over 250 ramps for Jackson county residents over the past 20 years. Our association with the Rotary club is close and longstanding. As a matter of fact, disAbility Connections roots were established in 1924, back when rotary club members began taking children with disabilities to doctor appointments. Almost 100 years later, the Jackson Rotary Club and disAbility Connections are still working together. Combining to provide the needed funding, planning, and volunteers to build 6 to 10 residential ramps per year in the Jackson community.
This is a real ‘feel good’ program for our staff and volunteers. Some programs are difficult to get excited about because the assistance provided is intangible and long term so we don’t see immediate results. Not so with the ramp program! We LOVE to see the look on a community member’s face when they can finally leave or have access to their home.
A couple quick examples would be how we recently built a ramp for a resident that hadn’t been in her own home for 4 years. She was in and out of the hospital and living with her mother because her home didn’t have wheelchair access, while a friend lived in her home. Following the completion of her ramp and her ability to return home, the look of pure joy and her tears were ample reward for a job well done.
Then there is Doris, pictured here, that went 2 years with her only access in and out of her home required assistance from several people. People had to physically carry her up and down steep stairs. Not only was it inconvenient and impractical, it was not safe for her or the helpers! Needless to say, she couldn’t wait to get and try out her new ramp. Her first words were “I’m free!!!! I can get out!!”
Do you know someone that a ramp has helped improve their life? We’d love to hear how people are doing and some of the impact that a simple ramp can make in a person’s life. Leave a comment below or share the story with your social media.