Friday, October 3, 2014

Ramps, Ramps, and More Ramps

Last year, long before the official planning for the boys' kindergarten transition, I sat down with the principal to see what accessibility changes needed to happen at the school before the boys started. I was so impressed by his willingness to do whatever required to create a safe, inclusive environment for the boys, and I am pleased to say that has carried on through the start of school.

The only major thing "missing" from our school until now was one wheelchair ramp. Our school ground is tiered - on the upper level is the school itself and a large playground; on the middle level is a huge paved surface and more play structures; and on the lower level is the grass field and two kindergarten-specific playgrounds. There was a ramp from the upper level to the middle level, but not from the middle to the lower. Therefore, other than going out to the road and back through the parking lot there was no way to access the lower level besides stairs.

Our principal got to work on the problem right away and construction began on a ramp. We walked by every day as it was being built and the boys got to look out at the action from their preschool building across the field. It was so close to being finished - and then the teachers went on strike. So we left school for the summer with no maintenance workers allowed on the grounds to complete it.

As the summer wore on, the maintenance workers were back and I kept hearing from people that the ramp was done. However we weren't living in the neighborhood and so we didn't get to see it ourselves. Now that school is back in Asher gets to use it, but because I am driving the kids to school from my sister's and going in a different entrance to the school, I haven't walked by it yet. While it was being built I documented it in photos, but relied on Asher's EA to snap the very last and most important one:

That wasn't the only ramp, however. At the end of the school year the principal asked if I had any other concerns. Well, he was asking so why not give him my wish list, right?

First of all, the back door of the school (where we enter on most days when we're walking) had a pretty high transition to the concrete pad below. Not unmanageable but I'd have to wheelie Asher's chair to get him in. Secondly, the back gate to the school ground had a significant drop off from the road to the gravel path below. Again, not show stopping but took some effort for me to heave his chair up it at the end of the day. 

Fast forward to the start of school, and wasn't I pleased to see this back door with a little concrete transition....

And this back gate, with a full concrete pad poured from the road to the gravel.

Ramps, ramps, and more ramps - with access to every part of the school and school ground. Seriously, can I tell you how much I love this school and its staff? And can you blame me?!


  1. That must make you feel so supported! It really does say a lot about the commitment and dedication this school has for making the boys experience here as positive as possible. What a lovely story.

  2. they are pretty awesome

  3. LOVE LOVE LOVE this!! What an amazing school!