For as small of a world as the A/E/C industry feels like sometimes, there are some very big hearts, as well as a great deal of talent and resources in the local professional community. For several years, companies in the Central Florida area have been able to do something they do day in and day out to change the life of someone with a disability through an event called Rampage.
Rampage is one of the many things championed by the Center for Independent Living in Central Florida, Inc. “As one of the first Centers for Independent Living in the country, CIL in Central Florida was created to help provide resources and accessibility options for people with disabilities. Since its establishment as a place where people with disabilities can empower other individuals with disabilities, CIL stands committed to continue the growth for full disability inclusion. The vision of our founders has endured. CIL is a role model organization where the majority of staff and volunteers live with disabilities themselves. In the past 10 years, over 26,000 lives have been directly impacted by CIL.”-CIL website
Rampage involves the design, permitting and installation of ramps for Central Florida residents who are homebound due to disabilities. C&P Project Architect, Matt Conte attended a CIL event where he noted, “C&P works with the CIL to create drawings (5-7 a year) to permit and also occasionally helps with the builds.” Recently, our firm got just such an opportunity. When build day came, a team of 14 was able to help build a ramp for a mom of three who was struggling to get her little boy (who is not so little anymore) up and down the stairs of their home for doctor’s appointments and just to live their everyday life. Her son has cerebral palsy and uses a wheelchair. Not long ago, she shared their struggle at the Center For Independent Living’s Builder Breakfast,
“The task of taking Tristan in and out is daunting and exhausting as he grows and gets bigger. It used to take 5 minutes to get him in and out, but as he grows it takes longer and longer to walk down the steps with a 160-pound child and chair.” “With a ramp Tristan wouldn’t need someone to help take him in and out anymore. We’d be able to go out more and go on walks like we used to.”
Conte also spoke at the breakfast, telling of past builds that our team has helped with, what it felt like to meet the families that were affected and how firms can get started participating. CIL Development Director Brittany Pilcher, said of the event, “I really feel this will help us get others excited about volunteering to “adopt” and build ramps and we can chip away at the waiting list of 150 people with disabilities in need of home modification that we have.”
For more information about the Center For Independent Living and/or the volunteer opportunities available: