It’s German efficiency exemplified when taking a look at a 62-year-old grandmother from Hanau, Germany. Rita Ebel, who has been using a wheelchair since she was involved in a car accident 25 years ago, has devised a bright and brilliant way of getting in and out of otherwise inaccessible shops and cafes with a low-tech, high-fun solution; ramps made of Lego.
“For me it is just about trying to sensitize the world a little bit to barrier-free travel,” Ebel said. “Anyone could suddenly end up in a situation that puts them in a wheelchair, like it did me,” she said.
Though she is reliant on donations of the bricks; which are hard to come by as families are reluctant to part with the children’s toy, she has a Facebook page to help. She also gets help from her husband with the two to three hours a day building the made-to-order ramps which contain several hundred of the small plastic bricks stuck together with up to eight tubes of glue.
Using Lego is about more than just structure though; the bright colours also stand out in town centers, she said. “Nobody just walks past a Lego ramp without taking a look. Whether it’s children who try to get the bricks out or adults who take out their mobile phones to take pictures,” she said.
Anyone who relies on a wheelchair or a mobility scooter to get around can attest to the fact that our world is filled with barriers many don’t even recognize as being there. And that being able to identify accessible locations at a distance would be a handy thing. Which might explain why the idea is even catching on abroad. Ebel says she has sent ramp building instructions to Austria and Switzerland and there is interest from Spain and a school in the United States.
It is a truly brilliant idea and you can find more about Rita Ebel in your Good News Story of the Day here. Perhaps an invested individual could bring the idea home to Brantford.
Story and Image from Metro.