Ramps for Gramps: Modular Wheelchair Ramp Project

Access for all

Situation Overview

The need for wheelchair ramps in Jackson and Josephine Counties is reaching critical levels.  In recent years fewer and fewer volunteer organizations are building ramps.  Recently Rogue Valley Habitat for Humanity ended an agreement with Age-Friendly Innovators (where AFI paid for all materials and Habitat volunteers built and installed the ramps).  The Jacksonville Kiwanis have also stopped building ramps as their builder members “age out.”

AFI/Rebuilding Together Rogue Valley (RBT-RV) currently has a waiting list of over a dozen homes waiting for wheelchair ramps.  These are individuals who, for one reason or another, do not qualify for government agency provided ramps.  Many of these needs are in rural areas of the county, often removed from local contractor availability.

On site construction of ramps is expensive and time consuming. In addition, weather (including wildfire smoke in the summer and inclement weather in the winter) often delays construction.  Rapidly rising raw material prices (weatherized 2×6’s, 2×8’s and exterior grade plywood) have increased overall ramp costs.

Finally, any initiatives to create more volunteer ramp building capacity should include a standardized set of specifications that not only comply with state residential codes but also would facilitate innovation and negotiated prices for raw materials.

Currently “retired” ramp builders from Rogue Valley Habitat for Humanity are preparing a ramp building guide that will have specific recommendations and tips on ramp construction.

Proposal

AFI/RBT-RV proposes to catalyze individuals and organizations in the Valley to lower ramp construction costs and streamline installation.  This process would allow smaller organizations to build ramps at lower cost.   Among the activities proposed are:

Mass Product of Ramp Modules

Identify local wood-products manufacturers that might be willing to mass produce 4’x8’ ramp “modules” using the Rogue Valley Habitat for Humanity specifications.  Several local manufacturers have been identified and will be queried regarding capability and willingness to participate.

Sponsorships

Local companies and organizations would be asked to support this initiative either with funding, donation of materials (or material discounts) or creation of corporate volunteer “teams” of ramp builders and installers.

Training

  • Ramp building construction guide
  • Workshops
  • RCC program?

Other Requirements

  • Trailer with 8’ bed
  • Facility/yard for storing ramp modules
  • Module delivery volunteers