Barrier-free city centre
Gütersloh is a city of short distances. But not everyone finds it easy to travel these distances, which is why we are collaborating with the City of Gütersloh Advisory Committee for the Disabled to gradually make Gütersloh's city centre barrier-free.
 
The first step for any problem is being aware of it: Gütersloh is not (yet!) barrier-free. But we're working on it, and that is already step two: we have various ideas about how we can make the city barrier-free. Step three is the implementation thereof.

"Travel for All" certification

In order to provide every visitor with advice in a pleasant atmosphere, our Service Centre is barrier-free for people with impaired mobility, and partially barrier-free for wheelchair users. The entrance door is at least 90 cm wide, threshold-free and opens automatically. The entire entrance area has no steps and contrasts visually with the surroundings. The route into the service area has a slope of 10% and is five metres long. Anyone who cannot manage the ramp on their own can use the bell at the bottom left at the entrance to request assistance from a Service Centre employee.

The service area has a lowered counter area which is 75 cm high at its lowest point in order to make it easier to access by wheelchair users, and there is also an induction loop for the hard of hearing.

In order to extend the barrier freedom to the city centre, we have a great project that we would like to introduce to you in the next section!
Whenever new projects are implemented, they will be included here.

Mobile ramps for Gütersloh

We have now been looking after the "Mobile Ramps" project together with the Advisory Committee for the Disabled for several years. The project was made possible by Hans Diestelkamp, a native of Gütersloh. Unfortunately, he has since passed away, but has bequeathed us a worthy assignment.

Where the idea came from

Hans Diestelkamp was himself a wheelchair user. Therefore, the topic of accessibility in the city (whereby the subject of accessibility covers many other different topics such as poor vision and impaired hearing!) was a matter that was close to his heart, and he established the Dr. Salk Memorial Foundation for the Disabled together with his wife Ingrid.

The foundation is dedicated to educating people about life with disabilities, and improving the quality of life of the persons affected by those limitations. It also supports research and lobbying work, particularly in the post-polio syndrome area.

Why mobile ramps?

Anyone travelling around the city in a wheelchair will encounter an essential problem on the way into many buildings: steps. A mobile ramp is a great help! However, not only wheelchair users are confronted with barriers. Just think about the number of prams and wheeled walkers, and people who are not very good on their feet because of their age...there are many reasons for resorting to aids such as mobile ramps.

You can find more information about the "Travel for All" certification viewed here.

Our Service Centre has been certified with the "Travel for All" award.

Clara Abelmann (from left), City Management & Tourism, and Melanie Kinter (from right), Head of the Service Centre & Ticketing, welcome Ms. Runte and Mr. Solz from the Gütersloh Advisory Committee for the Disabled to the Service Centre.

Inductive hearing loop in the Service Centre.

And what is happening with the "Mobile Ramps" project now?

The aim of the project is to provide everyone with barrier free access to retail businesses, restaurants and all of the other facilities which are open to the public in the city centre. Anyone, whose establishment can currently only be accessed via steps can register with us. We will then come to you and check the required height of the mobile ramp and coordinate other details.

The Dr. Salk Memorial Foundation for the Disabled provided a fixed sum of money for the implementing the project. This money has since been used to purchase the mobile ramps, supplemented by wireless doorbells and an information sticker. The project is therefore funded by the foundation, and is free of charge to anyone who is interested! The mobile ramps are the property of the Dr. Salk Memorial Foundation, but can be used free of charge for an indefinite period, and gtm will put together a custom-made combination package to adapt to the respective step height. In this way, no more work is created for the interested parties. The mobile ramps are quick to assemble and dismantle, which allows them to be used anywhere, even on small flights of steps, and the amount of work required to use them is minimal.

What do these mobile ramps look like?

The mobile ramps are folding, which allows them to be stowed away to save space when they are not in use. They are made of robust aluminium, and the surface is also made of a specially perforated and therefore slip-resistant material.

Mobile ramps are suitable for electric wheelchairs and also for the aforementioned people with prams and walkers. People can signal that the ramp is needed by pressing the radio bell which is installed at the entrance to the building. The employees on site will then put down the mobile ramp and provide assistance – if needed. Once the ramp has been used, it is removed again so that there is no risk of anyone tripping over it in public areas.

Who is already taking part?

We always ask people to get in touch with us if they are interested. The response is getting bigger and bigger, and almost twenty establishments already have barrier-free access via mobile ramps! We are delighted about each one of them – thank you for your commitment to Gütersloh!

You can see all of the participating "Mobile Ramps" partner businesses again here:

Fill in the form and become a partner!