Gütersloh is a city of short distances. But these paths are not easy for everyone. That's why we are working together with the City of Gütersloh's Advisory Council for People with Disabilities to make downtown Gütersloh barrier-free, step by step.
The first step for any problem is always to become aware of it: Gütersloh is not (yet!) barrier-free. But we're working on it, and that's already the second step: we have various ideas about how we want to think about the city barrier-free. The third step is implementation. And we have already reached one project here. We would like to present that to you in the next section! Whenever new projects make it into implementation, we will add them here.
Mobile ramps for Gütersloh
We have been overseeing the "Mobile Ramps" project together with the Advisory Council for the Disabled for several years now. The project was made possible by Hans Diestelkamp, a native of Gütersloh. Unfortunately, he has since passed away, but has left us a worthy mission.
Where does the idea come from
Hans Diestelkamp was himself a wheelchair user. Therefore, the topic of accessibility in the city - whereby the topic of accessibility extends over many other topics, such as weak vision and limited hearing! - was a matter close to his heart. Together with his wife Ingrid, he established the Dr. Salk Memorial Foundation for the Disabled.
The Foundation is dedicated to educating people about living with disabilities and improving the quality of life of those affected by such limitations. It also supports research and advocacy work, especially in the field of post-polio syndrome.
Why mobile ramps?
If you are a wheelchair user in the city, you will encounter an essential problem on your way into many a building: steps. A mobile ramp is an enormous relief! But it's not just wheelchair users who face barriers. Think of the strollers or walkers, people who are not so good on their feet because of their age...there are many reasons to depend on aids like the mobile ramps.
And what is the "Mobile Ramps" project now?
The aim of the project is to To make retail, food service and all other facilities open to the public in the urban area accessible to all. Anyone may register with uswhose facility can currently only be accessed via steps. We will then come to you and check the required height of the mobile ramp and agree on further details.
The Dr. Salk Memorial Foundation for the Disabled provided a fixed sum of money for the implementation of the project. This amount has since been used to purchase the mobile ramps, supplemented by radio bells and an information sticker. The project is thus financed by the Foundation and there is no cost for those interested! The mobile ramps are the property of the Dr. Salk Memorial Foundation, but can be used freely for an indefinite period. gtm puts together an individual and custom-fit combination package to match the respective step height. This means that no further work is required of those interested. The mobile ramps are quick to assemble and disassemble, which allows them to be used at will, even on small staircases, and the amount of work required when using them is minimal.
How do I imagine these mobile ramps?
The mobile ramps are foldable, so they can be stowed away to save space when not in use. They are made of robustly processed aluminum, and the surface is also made of a specially perforated and thus slip-resistant material.
They are suitable both for electric wheelchairs and for the people with strollers and people with walkers mentioned earlier. By pressing the radio bell, which is placed at the entrance of the building, people can signal that the ramp is needed. Staff on site will then lay out the mobile ramp and provide assistance - if needed. After the ramp has been used, it is removed again so that there is no risk of tripping in public spaces.
Who is already there?
We always call on people to get in touch with us if they are interested. The response is getting bigger and bigger, to date almost twenty facilities have already become barrier-free accessible through mobile ramps! We are happy about each of them - thank you for your commitment to Gütersloh!
Here you can see again all participating "Mobile Ramps" partners: