Posts filed under ‘Accessibility’

Out the door

HCA 1
We love being able to get out of our homes and experience life. Going to work, the store, or to see friends is something we do nearly every day. But what if you couldn’t go up or down stairs? What if you relied on a wheelchair for mobility? What if no one was able to help you?

Home accessibility is a major component of UCP’s goal to improving the lives of people with disabilities. Last week, HCA’s Caring for the Community Campaign helped us provide wheelchair ramps for four families in the Nashville area. HCA 2

Many individuals with limited mobility are confined to their homes or have to rely on others to get them in and out of their houses, which can often be a dangerous job. In building ramps, there is no longer the need for assistance or confinement as they are free to go in and out of their house as they please.

During the recent builds, two of UCP’s board members, Ken Roth and Joe Haase, served as site managers, both of whom have numerous ramp builds under their belt. With the help of these men along with around two dozen volunteers, UCP was able to successfully complete these ramps. HCA 3

UCP’s John Pickett runs the Home Accessibility Program. Having been in this position for 15 years, John has helped secure funding, coordinate, and build more than 2,000 ramps. John relies on volunteers like HCA to help build these ramps, and he is always looking for groups that want to be involved.

Being mobile is a tremendous gift. As for UCP, we are always working to provide people with that gift. If you or your group would like to be a part of a ramp build or volunteer in any capacity, please let us know. We are always looking for groups that want to help make a difference. HCA 4

October 27, 2014 at 4:59 pm Leave a comment

UCP and Statewide Partners Celebrate 2000th Wheelchair Ramp

Ramp Build
Thursday, May 10
Interviews and Photos 11:00 a.m.–1:00 p.m.
916 Hermitage Ridge
Hermitage TN 37076

Contact
Deana Claiborne
Phone: 615-242-4091 ex. 102
Email: Deana_Claiborne@ucpnashville.org

Volunteers from Tennessee Housing Development Agency (THDA) are teaming up May 10 with United Cerebral Palsy of Middle Tennessee to commemorate construction of the partnership’s 2,000th wheelchair ramp on to the home of a person with a disability.

The ramp will benefit Buddy, a 24-year-old young man who has a severe mobility disability.  Buddy’s disability affects his motor coordination at all levels, meaning he cannot walk or perform any tasks that involve dexterity. Buddy lives in the home with his parents who provide his living supports. He looks forward to having a wheelchair ramp so he can use a power wheelchair to enter and exit his home independently.

The collaboration between THDA, UCP and a variety of statewide organizations has addressed an immense unmet need in Tennessee for persons of low income who have disabilities and have no way to get in and out of their homes without this essential accommodation. Through the program, wheelchair ramps are constructed of people qualifications. THDA dollars have paid for lumber and supplies. UCP and the partner agencies coordinate the ramp builds and provide labor.

According to UCP Executive Director Deana Claiborne, the long economic downturn has been especially hard on people with disabilities and their families, leading to increased waiting lists in the program. “The financial pressure on families is immense when you consider home modifications, extra healthcare expenses, durable medical equipment, and caregiving supports.” A wheelchair ramp gives a person the most basic access to the community, making it possible to participate in transportation, work, school, worship, healthcare, grocery shopping, and many other activities that people often take for granted.

A well-designed wheelchair ramp ensures the safety of both the person with a disability and the caregiver who would otherwise have to lift the individual up and down steps. UCP builds ramps in the Middle Tennessee area and coordinates ramp building through a variety of partner agencies across other areas of the state.

The program needs the financial assistance of donors in order to meet the unmet need. “We just spent our last dollars in the current THDA grant,” says UCP Home Access Director John Pickett, “But we have a statewide waiting list of 122 applications.” The cost of lumber and supplies for an average ramp is $754. An additional $92,000 is needed just to acquire supplies for people on the waiting lists. That doesn’t include labor costs and the additional need, taking into account new applications that arrive every day.

May 9, 2012 at 2:56 pm Leave a comment

Wheelchair Ramps: Greater Need than Available Funds

John Pickett has to make a hard decision today: When you have a long list of people with disabilities who have immense unmet needs, which one gets the wheelchair ramp? Today, Pickett has 20 people on a waiting list in Davidson County alone, and available funds for only one wheelchair ramp. Pickett is the director of United Cerebral Palsy’s Home Access Program. Through this program, UCP and partner agencies across the state construct wheelchair ramps on to the homes of people with disabilities.

The program also provides limited home modification services such as bathroom modifications and other essential services. Pickett’s problem isn’t new. He has been doing this job since 1999. According to Pickett, there is never enough money to serve all the people who apply for the program. “We do our best to serve people on a first come, first serve basis, but there are other factors that must be considered, with safety of the applicant and the caregiver lifting them up steps being a primary concern.”

Pickett narrowed the list down to the 5 program applicants who have been waiting the longest. They range from 24 to 95 years old. They have disabilities resulting from a variety of conditions, including cerebral palsy, strokes, cancer and lung disease. What they each have in common is the need for a wheelchair ramp because they are not able to independently enter and exit their own homes without this modification and they cannot afford to pay for the ramp.

The program has just depleted the last funds in a grant from Tennessee Housing Development Agency. The average cost for lumber and supplies for a single ramp is $754. “We have 122 people on waiting lists across the state right now,” says Pickett. We need an additional $92,000 just to acquire supplies for people on the waiting lists. That doesn’t include labor costs and the additional need when you take into account new applications that arrive every day.”

The program saves money by enlisting volunteers from area businesses, church groups, civic organizations and schools to build the ramps.  “This is a program that changes lives in less than a day of work,” says Pickett.

To donate or volunteer for the Wheelchair Ramp program, contact:

United Cerebral Palsy of Middle Tennessee

1200 9th Avenue North, Suite 110

Nashville TN 37208

615-242-4091

John_Pickett@ucpnashville.org

 

May 3, 2012 at 2:50 pm 1 comment

U.S. looks to improve disability access to Internet

(Reuters) – The Obama administration on Friday proposed trying to enhance access for people with disabilities to websites for hotels, retail stores and other public sites as well as improve access to movie theaters.

See also (Benton Foundation) FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski, Empowering Americans with Disabilities Through Technology

Speaking July 19 at the Americans with Disabilities Act 20th Anniversary Celebration, Federal Communications Commission Chairman Julius Genachowski noted that communications technology has the power to transform lives for the better, and everyone should have access to communications.

By implementing the Americans with Disabilities Act and other laws that followed, the FCC has helped set the stage for better and better innovations in communication. The FCC has adapted its rules year by year to help inventors and entrepreneurs make the best possible use of new technologies. Chairman Genachowski used the event to launch the Accessibility and Innovation Initiative, bringing together industry, academia, government, and business stakeholders in helping improve communications for the disability community.

Prepared remarks.

July 26, 2010 at 2:38 pm Leave a comment


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