After realizing her neighbourhood had several inaccessible establishments like shops and cafes, a German grandmother took it upon herself to make her town more disabled-friendly with a simple solution - by building wheelchair ramps using Lego blocks.
Wheelchair ramps made of Lego bricks
Rita Ebel, from Hanau, Germany, has been bound to a wheelchair after suffering an injury in a car accident that took place more than two and a half decades ago, according to Reuters.
As if moving around in a wheelchair isn't difficult enough on its own, the 62-year-old grandmother found it even more challenging due to the town's lack of wheelchair-accessible businesses that would make it impossible for its differently-abled inhabitants to visit.
Fortunately, Ebel used her imagination and found the perfect solution to resolve the problem and started building ramps out of Legos around town. With some assistance from her husband, she would spend two to three hours a day to build the ramps which comprised of several hundred colourful Lego blocks, which are secured together using up to eight tubes of glue.
"For me it is just about trying to sensitise the world a little bit to barrier-free travel," Ebel said. "Anyone could suddenly end up in a situation that puts them in a wheelchair, like it did me."
More importantly, as pointed out by Ebel, the bright colours of the Lego blocks, which are donated by families, make them easier to be spotted by those with disabilities from a distance.
"You can see from afar that you can get in here without any problems," said Malika El Harti, who received a Lego ramp for her hair salon.
Lego ramps gaining popularity
The Lego wheelchair ramps have started receiving worldwide attention as well, as tourism associations in Spain and the United States have both expressed interest in Ebel's invention. Moreover, the enterprising grandma has also sent ramp-building instructions to people in Austria and Switzerland to re-create the same in their hometowns.
This isn't the first time a good Samaritan has used Lego bricks to make their town more accessible and convenient for its residents. In 2018, a British man grabbed headlines for repairing potholes on the road in his city of Chester using Lego bricks. The blocks have also been used to repair crumbling walls and cracks in old structures around the world.