Monthly Archives: August 2020

Ramping up accessibility using LEGO

Wheelchair rolling up colourful Lego ramp

Dozens of stores in Rita Ebel’s hometown of Hanau now use Lego ramps to ease entry for wheelchair users. Photo credit: REUTERS

“This is to draw attention to the fact that there are still many obstacles for wheelchair users that need to be removed”

In the west German town of Hanau, you can see vibrant little bricks of Lego brightening the doorways of various shops and cafes across the square thanks to Rita Ebel.

The 62-year old was inspired to make her community more accessible after learning that her friend, who is also in a wheelchair, needed to enlist the help of 4 people to carry her chair out of a shop because it had steps.

In collaboration with the town’s integration initiative, ‘People in Hanau’, and willing public businesses, Rita and her husband have been on a personal mission to help make their town barrier-free. Her volunteer activism has earned herself the cheeky nickname “Lego Grandma”.

The colourful low-tech high-fun solution has a brilliant value-add: it catches the attention of onlookers of all ages raising people’s awareness of inaccessible buildings and mobility barriers. And it’s not just wheelchair users who benefit – the colourful ramps also help people with walkers, strollers, and visual impairments.

Rita’s mission is to sensitize the world to barrier-free travel and emphasize the importance of accessible spaces.

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Filed under Accessibility, Barriers, Design, Posts, Wheelchairs