BALTIMORE, MD- The Maryland Department of Disabilities Technology Assistance Program is excited to announce it has received a high impact innovative technology assistance grant through the Christopher and Dana Reeve Foundation to establish a portable ramp loan program. The Statewide Portable Ramp Access Project will be an innovative new program which will operate from four regional centers for independent living throughout the state. The four regional centers named are The Bay Area Center for Independent Living, Accessible Resources for Independence, Southern Maryland Center for Independent Living, and Resources for Independence. With often limited ability to obtain accessible housing and adapted vehicles, people with physical disabilities frequently find themselves without the required adaptations to make it possible to leave nursing facilities, rehabilitation centers, or even their own homes. The Statewide Portable Ramp Access Project will further increase home and community accessibility for those with physical and mobility disabilities by providing short term ramp loans to those in need.
The Statewide Portable Ramp Access Project will loan portable ramps of varying lengths and types, including threshold ramps (for small steps in and around a house), modular ramps ranging from 4 to 12 feet, multifold van ramps, and more. Marylanders will now be able to borrow a ramp for up to 120 days while additional home and vehicle accessibility solutions are identified. Consumers return the ramp after their short-term need is met or once they have identified funding for a permanent structure, and the ramp is loaned out again to another individual. With the establishment of this seed funding, the program will remain self-sustaining and has the potential to serve up to 32 people/families at any given time.
As states across the nation recognize the financial benefits of helping seniors and people with disabilities remain in their homes and communities, the Statewide Portable Ramp Access Project provides another option for greater independence and community access. The Maryland Department of Disabilities has made accessible housing a departmental priority, and the establishment of this grant-funded ramp program directly corresponds with the initiatives set forth to increase access to affordable, accessible housing for all Marylanders with disabilities.