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An unexpected meeting
I only met Brad once, but the meeting, and he, left a lasting impression. I was at the gym in the middle of my workout, minding my own business. I saw him coming toward me down the hallway, accompanied by one of the personal trainers, along with a third person, a young woman in street clothes. He was in a wheelchair being pushed by his aid, the blond lady, and had significant trembling in his head and limbs. I watched without staring as he was assisted from the chair to a mat on the floor and was curious to see what rigors the trainer would put him through.
It became immediately apparent that Brad was not all that interested in his physical therapy. Almost upon contact with the mat, he asked my name, introduced himself and soon shared what certainly was one of the most significant and painful events of his life. He told me he had always been a bit of a hothead, was prone to acting on it and one night about five years earlier when he was in his early 20’s, after a few drinks, got into a bar fight with some random dude. He was caught off balance, and his head struck the ground.
Brad continued to chat happily about wanting to share his story so others wouldn’t act similarly, moved on to make a few jokes about this, that and the other thing, and—dare I say—even rolled out some pretty shameless flirting. The trainer and aid eventually coaxed Brad through all of his exercises then packed up and retreated back down the hallway. I had to laugh as I saw this young man stop along the way to chat up each and every female he encountered. As I said, shameless.
I couldn’t even tell you what my response was in hearing about Brad’s tragedy, but I do remember so clearly that he was absolutely matter-of-fact, almost upbeat in a way, if you can fathom it; I know I was floored. And humbled beyond words.
I realized in an instant I had made a ton of assumptions about Brad when I first laid eyes on him, jittering his way toward me. Yet I was presented with this bright, articulate, funny, thoroughly charming young man who kind of made my day and a lifetime impression in a few short minutes. It was an Aha moment, and I’m so happy we spoke.
The passing of ADA
I haven’t seen Brad since but found myself wondering about him this week as I read of the anniversary of the signing of the Americans with Disabilities (ADA) by President Bush in 1990. It has been called by some the single-most important piece of legislation protecting people with disabilities in this country and is meant to support their opportunity to participate in “major life activities,” such as going shopping at the mall, eating dinner out at a local restaurant or dropping some items off at the dry cleaners. Some of the law addresses anti-discrimination practices for employment, while a large portion provides the guidelines for improving physical barriers at a facility for accessibility.
The general consensus is that the passing of ADA has been monumental in improving the situations for many with disabilities. Sadly, there is also agreement that much more work is yet to be done. All these years later, for example, and many public or commercial buildings are still not compliant with even the basic requirements to ensure access. And that, to me, seems like the easier aspect to address—things like installing a ramp or widening an aisle—than getting knuckleheads like me to not make unfounded assumptions about someone’s abilities, physical or cognitive. Here is a guide for small businesses on ADA, one that I found to be more understandable and less legal mumbo-jumbo, in addition to our own guide to ADA specifications for wheelchair threshold ramps.
Becoming ADA compliant
I know I risk going a bit “commercial” at the expense of this exceptional person I met, Brad, and I don’t wish to cheapen the experience in any way. But if your facility has a need for ADA compliance, there are many simple, affordable options available for threshold ramps, landing ramps and modular wheelchair access ramp systems. So many years since the passing of ADA, it is truly time to take the those first few, simple steps to coming ADA compliance.
Discount Ramps is proud to offer these PVI freestanding threshold ramps. These threshold ramps are self-supporting and professionally designed for most outward swinging door entryways. A threshold ramp like these helps a wheelchair bridge gaps between almost any uneven surface (mostly doorways) giving it a nice flush and seamless transitioning directly against the doorway threshold area. Every single one of these self-supporting ramps are extremely durable, as they are made from welded light weight and weather resistant aluminum. What else would you expect from Discount Ramps? We provide the largest and most discounted selection of light weight, durable, and safe wheelchair ramps available anywhere! These new, self-supporting threshold ramps from PVI are a prime example of our devotion to offering the best for the least. These doorway ramps are equipped with safety features such as an anti-slip high traction surface. For your safety, Discount Ramps LLC and the manufacturer (PVI) recommend that you keep the capacity at or under 300lbs per axle, as that is the maximum capacity of these ramps. Also take note that in this style of wheelchair threshold ramp we offer sizes from 1.5 inches to a 3 inch rise. These are ideal for allowing a wheelchair to make it through doorways and over surfaces with ease! We highly recommend that you don’t let the ramp be taller than that of the step otherwise your door may not swing open. The top of these ramps should sit flush with the entry way.
If you are unsure of what length ramp you need we recommend that you use our wheelchair ramp calculator to find out the length for you. We created this handy wheelchair ramp length calculator so that our customers can order the right ramp the first time as we know time is money and the headaches of shipping an incompatible ramp and having to wait can be endless.
We have four different sizes in these PVI ramps. The first model is the SSTH1636-1.5 which is 16 inches long 36 inches wide and has a rise of 1.5 inches. It weighs only 8lbs. Item SSTH2436-2 is 24 inches long and 36 inches wide but has a rise of 2 inches, thus making the weight of it a little heavier at 12lbs. SSTH2436-2.5 is also 24 inches long and 36 inches wide but has a rise of 2.5 inches and also weighs 12 lbs. The last one we offer is SSTH2436-3; this item is 24 inches long 36 inches wide but has a rise of 3 inches and weighs 12 lbs.
NOTE: This product line of threshold ramps is being offered with Free Shipping like many of our other wheelchair ramp products!
Visit our website for more detailed features and pricing for these Self-Supporting Threshold Ramps.
If you require an alternative style we encourage you to visit our Threshold Ramp Category Page.