Access to Independence

Posted December 17, 2020 by Beth in

James and Sandy Garner were thrilled to have their ramp built at their home.  For several years, James spent numerous days inside their home because it was difficult for him to walk and to use steps.  When he had to go to the hospital, the Emergency Medical Services (EMS) had to use their back door and cut some of the handrails on their porch to make it easier for them to carry James out of the house to the ambulance.  Sandy reached out to RCIL for assistance.

The Independent Living Specialist, Beth Burnett, assisted them to achieve their goal to get a ramp built.  James and Sandy received a power chair covered by their health insurance for James to use.  They found two contractors to submit bids to build the ramp.  They also applied and received funding assistance from the Build a Ramp Program and the Cerebral Palsy Research Foundation.

After the ramp was built to their front door, James was happy to use his power chair to get in and out of their home independently.  Sandy said, “Having a ramp has made our life a little easier.”  They like sitting on their deck outside of their front door to enjoy the fresh air.  James often times goes to their mailbox to check the mail.  He also enjoys going through his things in their garage.  He uses public transportation to attend his medical appointments.  Sandy explained, “It was so much easier for James to utilize transportation that has a wheelchair lift instead of him trying to transfer into their vehicle and leaving his power chair behind.”  Sandy also stated, “The ramp was user friendly for the EMS crew.”  She explained, “James was admitted to the hospital after the ramp was built.  The EMS used our front door and the ramp to carry James out of the house with no issues.”

James and Sandy thanked Beth for their assistance to get a ramp built.  Sandy told Beth, “The one thing I learned from the process is to be patient.  It took a lot longer than I expected to get a ramp but it was well worth the wait.”


Beth has been with RCIL since 2007 and is the Information and Outreach Coordinator in our Osage City office. She takes information and referral calls and represents RCIL through community outreach.

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