MEXICO – CiTi construction technology students are helping to build ramps for the ARISE Oswego County Ramp Program.
The ramps will be built individually in sections and then assembled later on the site of qualified applicant homes belonging to persons with disabilities.
“CiTi students will be working in collaboration with ARISE in providing access to homes by way of ramps for those that meet the qualifications,” said ARISE Manager of Independent Living Services Jim Karasek. “ARISE is pleased to have this opportunity to work with CiTi instructors and students in ensuring that people with disabilities can remain part of our communities as a result of this program.”
When an individual returns home after rehabilitation, maintaining mobility and the opportunity to come and go can be essential in keeping depression at bay, making the ramp program an indispensable service for many Oswego County residents.
This new partnership will benefit all parties: CiTi students will gain real-life experience and the opportunity to make a difference in someone’s life, and ARISE will obtain much-appreciated assistance in maintaining their supply of ramps during the winter months.
“Working in collaboration with ARISE and the community building wheelchair ramps will allow the students the chance to learn and practice skills that directly relate to the field,” said construction technology teacher Craig Mahon. “Students will read blueprints, estimate materials, operate hand and power tools and measure and apply various math operations. This also serves as a way for students to give back to the community, to make professional connections and to feel a sense of accomplishment.”
The ramp program was first started by the First United Methodist Church of Oswego and eventually grew into a partnership with ARISE.
Volunteers from the community have worked together in the past to build the ramps. The church’s maintenance man Dave Yerdon is a great assist in overseeing most of the construction.
The average cost of a ramp is $1,200 and they do not fall under any insurance programs.
Karasek said they do try to instill some kind of ownership, and often qualified applicants will pay for a small portion of the cost.
Raby’s Ace Home Center in Oswego is also kind enough to provide lumber at cost as well as a flat rate $5 delivery fee to anywhere in the county.