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[image: photo of ramp in place]

Making ramp accessibility more affordable and available!

The Ramp Project began in the summer of 1991. We wanted to lower the costs of residential ramps, increase the speed of completion and involve consumers in an active role to solve their ramp access needs. The concept was to have one paid construction-site supervisor who would assist volunteers in the building of post and beam wheelchair ramps. Money was donated for a complete tool kit and an access design specialist was hired to design and supervise construction. Costs were significantly reduced and ten ramps were completed by mid-December (before frost).

The early success and increase in demands led to discussion about how to build in the winter months and how to make these ramps available for temporary usage. The modular system was the result. A professional engineer was hired to review, modify and provide evaluations of the design. The report was then reviewed by the Minnesota Department of Administration (copy of letter on page 16).

The final design has a 60 lbs. per square foot live-load capacity and does not need to be placed on frost footings. The design works well for short and long term use. The combination of supervised volunteers and a modular system has led to construction of hundreds of ramps in the metro area. Many ramps have already been reused at new locations at considerable savings.

The purpose of this manual is to distribute this knowledge and to encourage organizations on how to provide support for ramp projects of their own and their communities.

The Ramp Project goal is to help individuals and organizations increase quality of life and independence.

The Ramp Project was honored as a finalist in the 1995 Ford Foundation "Innovations in American Government" award program.
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