Wheelchair Ramp Project
The ECOS wheelchair ramp project gives students a chance to utilize their engineering skills and knowhow in a unique, practical, community service endeavor to help improve the mobility, freedom and overall quality of life for their Columbus neighbors.
Since 2006, ECOS students have built custom wheelchair ramps for disabled people around the Columbus metropolitan community who require specialized access to their homes. The students consult with social workers at the OSU Wexner Medical Center as well as with local churches and nonprofit organizations to identify residents who require a ramp but who cannot afford to have one built and who have no other place to turn for assistance. They then visit with the resident and assess the location and needs and, finally, design and build a customized ramp or lift system for the resident’s home that will meet his/her requirements for improved mobility and freedom.
Meeting Time and Location
** Due to COVID, the Wheelchair Ramp will be delayed until further notice. We are looking to start working with Habitat for Humanity until it can resume.
Contact our project leaders or join the groupme!
Alex Bajzer.3, Jake Ballantyne.59
Facts and Figures
The ramps are built to Columbus City building code standards.
It usually takes about six weeks to build each ramp.
On average, each ramp costs about $1,200 in building materials.
As of 2015, ECOS has made an in-kind investment of over $18,500 in the community in this mission.
To learn more about the Wheelchair Ramps project, please view the project syllabus.
As of the Fall 2014, ECOS has built 16 wheelchair ramps for residents in the Columbus area.
Over the past nine years, more than 130 students have volunteered their time to build at least one ramp; many ECOS students have worked on more than one ramp during their college career.
On average, each of these students has volunteered over 40 hours in this community service activity.
(Thanks to Roger Dzwonczyk for contributing to the above information)
To contact ECOS about having a custom wheel chair ramp built for your home, please contact ECOSosu@gmail.com.
The high cost of lumber can prevent ECOS from beginning construction on these ramps.
If you or your organization would like to make a contribution please contact ECOSosu@gmail.com.
The wheelchair ramp was for a man who lost the use of his left side. His only manner of getting in and out of his house was to be lifted by someone. After the ramp was built, he was very pleased to have additional mobility, as he can now use his electric wheelchair to enter and exit his home. Roger Dzwonczyk (Adviser), Son Ngo (Vice President of Local Projects), and Jimmy Hynes (Project Leader) were integral to the success of the project.
ECOS completed its third wheelchair ramp in February 2008 for a Columbus City resident who suffered a stroke. The ramp incorporated two turns and an intermediate landing to preserve the property’s pristine front yard. The total cost for the project was $1,700, which was funded by an OSU Source grant. A unique thing about this ramp is that it was built in the dead of winter when weather conditions were not what we would call “ideal”! Various stages of the building process include:
- Plotting out the general course of the ramp and taking appropriate measurements to ensure best use of the land, as well as convenient access for the user of the ramp to the driveway
- Creating a 2-D sketch of the ramp in CAD
- Digging holes using this sketch that are approximately 32” deep and 12” in diameter, and digging a hole for the concrete pad with which the ramp will connect
- Mixing and pouring concrete for each of the holes and the pad
- Construction of the platforms of the wheelchair ramp, one as an intermediate resting spot, and the other adjacent to the doorway
- Construction of the inclined sections connecting the two platforms to each other, and the intermediate platform to the concrete pad
- Adding “finishing touches,” such as balustrades, toe rails and hand rails
- Taking pictures throughout the process for a visual record of progress
The ramp was completed on March 1, 2008, after 8 separate trips out to site. Thanks so much to everyone who helped out: Design Jamie Hilovsky Building Crew
ECOS took their skills to a second wheelchair ramps for a women who suffers from multiple sclerosis. Due to the situations which ECOS encountered in their previous wheelchair project, we were better able to understand the time and financial commitment to the project and came out on time and under budget.
ECOS designed and built a wheelchair ramp at the home of a handicapped Columbus woman so that she can now safely and independently gain entry and exit to her home. A crew of OSU engineering students and professors came together to construct the ramp over a period of three weekends during spring quarter of 2006.