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Minnesota Mirror Story

From a story written by Leroy DeBoom for The Minnesota Mirror, a monthly newsletter of the Disabled Citizens Club. His ramp was the fifth ramp built using volunteers that were supervised by this project.

I had been thinking about replacing my 1972-vintage wheelchair lift since early 1990. Cost estimates of over $2500 slowed the decision down until I heard about this program.

An accessibility consultant who is also an experienced carpenter and a fellow wheelchair user came out to survey the site and discuss my needs. After a few days he sent me a detailed plan, complete with a list of materials and cost. I reviewed the plan, made a few modifications via the phone and later received the final design.

The ramp was built on Saturday and Sunday, Oct. 12 and 13, 1991 by five volunteers equipped and led by Curt, my consultant, who also did most of the tricky angle cuts. Three workers were from a Boy Scout leaders group my father and I belong to. The other two were recruited by the program.

It's a long ramp, running 12 feet to one side of the house and then going back 26 1/2 feet toward our driveway. It's built of treated lumber and has railings the whole way. Stairs allow direct access to the deck outside the front door for walkers. It's a solid, well-built structure.

The total cost was about $1,170. DRS paid a total of $364 for the plan and part of Curt's supervisor fee. I paid about $806 for materials, the rest of Curt's fee and miscellaneous expenses.

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