Coming Full Circle: Making a Home Accessible for an EZ-ACCESS Team Member

Coming Full Circle: Making a Home Accessible for an EZ-ACCESS Team Member

It’s rare for a workplace to truly feel like family, but at EZ-ACCESS®, it’s just how we operate. We’re a team of individuals who are all dedicated to the mission of making the world more accessible. It’s about coming together to create solutions that provide individuals with the ability to live their lives without mobility barriers. It is always a wonderful feeling to assist in improving access for members of our community, but it is particularly meaningful when we can do so for one of our own. Last month, we were able to install an access ramp at the home of a recently retired EZ-ACCESS employee, bringing her years of dedication to providing others with accessibility full circle.

When Lori Brooks was hired in 1993, EZ-ACCESS was still a young company that was operating out of a barn in Kent, Washington. Starting as a mail runner, she showed her mettle and continued to grow within the company. Over the course of 30 years, she developed as a pillar of our Marketing department, playing a huge part in our success as a company. Lori was there for many major milestones and saw us evolve from the barn to having over 375,000 total square feet of manufacturing and distribution space. Her tenure with EZ-ACCESS was filled with community outreach, helping to install ramps and connect community members with our accessibility solutions. It’s impossible to quantify the number of individuals she helped by the time she retired in 2023 to focus on her health. When Lori’s own mobility needs were in question and the wooden steps attached to her garage needed to be replaced with a ramp, EZ-ACCESS was thrilled to be able to give back to someone who spent her career taking care of others.

Installing Lori’s New Home Ramp

Lori’s home had four wooden stairs at the door connecting the garage to the house that were not suitable for her to navigate with a mobility device. Without a ramp to get in and out of the home, both ease and safety were in question. Using a rollator walker on stairs isn’t safe, and getting up or down stairs can be difficult.

Lori knew from her years of experience at EZ-ACCESS what the answer to her problem was: a PATHWAY® 3G Modular Access System. Our team jumped at the chance to help with the installation and show Lori the same sense of community she provided to others during her career. With the prefabricated yet customizable configuration, it didn’t take long to get the materials ready.

When the day came, several EZ-ACCESS team members were ready to pitch in under the guidance of Phil (one of our expert installation partners and former carpentry instructor at Grays Harbor College), who was working with Live At Home On Your Own, a division of Heritage WoodWorks & Remodeling, LLC.

The first step was to remove the existing wood stairs and platform. Once this was out of the way, the team could begin unloading the modular pieces of Lori’s new PATHWAY 3G system. One of the benefits of our modular access system is that the prefabricated pieces are ready to go on delivery. Instead of measuring, cutting, and nailing like with a wooden system, these aluminum ramps come with segments pre-built to the appropriate dimensions. The components can be intermixed to create the right layout for your space. Lori’s ramp would need to be an “L” shape with a platform at the end closest to the door as well as an angled platform in the bend to connect the two sloping surfaces.

Next, it was time to situate the platform that would be the transition from the ramp to the doorway of the house. The legs of the platform were adjusted to meet the height of the floor in the house to create a smooth transition. This was simple since our platforms and ramps have a quick configuration that allows for effortless height changes. The rails of the platform were also installed and secured.

The other platform was set out, and the first connecting ramp surface was attached between the two platforms. Measurements were checked and adjustments were made along the way to ensure proper alignment and achieve the intended slope. The longest portion of the residential ramp would be the portion transitioning from the ground to the middle platform. As with many of our ramps, this was achieved by connecting a couple of modular lengths, resulting in the right slope to keep the ramp from being too steep or shallow.

Once the ramp was secured to the platform, it was time to install handrails along the entire span of the access system. These rails provide a guard against falls and offer a handhold that can be used to help with balance or support. Made from aluminum, these rails won’t leave users with splinters and will stay sturdy for years. After the final checks for all the fittings, the team tested the ramp to ensure the final construction was secure and complete before turning it over to Lori for her inaugural use.

Within a few hours of starting, Lori’s garage had transformed from being a barrier to her accessibility to being a pathway into the world. The team was able to complete the installation with minimal tools, clear instructions, and teamwork. The stairs that had limited her were no longer in the way, replaced by a ramp that will improve her quality of life. With her new PATHWAY 3G, Lori will be able to get in and out of her home with greater independence and less stress, along with an added memory of her work family.

Why Choose the PATHWAY 3G?

Our PATHWAY 3G Modular Access System combines components in custom configurations to meet the needs of your home. Platforms, ramps, and stairs can be intermixed to achieve the access solution that’s best for your space. Adjustable legs help accommodate different height needs and make it easy to keep the surface level when the ground is not. The aluminum ramps also come in two different widths to accommodate the range of needs homes can present.

The PATHWAY 3G includes handrails to keep users safe, with a few varieties available. Whether you want the two-line rail, vertical pickets, or horizontal pickets, there’s plenty of support and security no matter which option you select. The rails are mounted to a slip-resistant surface that helps reduce the risk of falls. With built-in traction, adding additional non-skid material is not required.

Made from aluminum, this system is lightweight and durable, making it easy to install with a long lifespan. Aluminum also helps make your access solution easy to clean and maintain. This is great if your area is prone to mud, dirt, or other debris. With this type of material, there’s no need to stain, sand, or seal these the way you would a wood ramp, which saves both money and time when it comes to maintenance. No matter where your ramp will be, less maintenance is always a winning factor.

Valuing Action in Our Employees

One of our values at EZ-ACCESS centers around being active participants in the mission of accessibility. Not only do we make and sell ramps, but we help those in our community by volunteering for installations throughout the year. Our team members spend time helping to install access solutions, both as a way of giving back and also to gain a better understanding of the products we craft. It’s something they do by choice, and by taking part in the entire process, they’re better able to connect you with the exact product that fits your needs. It gives each team member the knowledge to answer questions about features, installation, and other details in greater depth. When you call or message our Customer Service team, you’re working with individuals who have actual product experience, which is one of the many things that sets EZ-ACCESS apart.

Choosing the Best in Accessibility 

There’s a reason we’re the best in the accessibility industry: we live our values and guiding principles each day. The team at EZ-ACCESS knows exactly what enhancing accessibility does for the lives of others and what it takes to make that transformation happen. We encourage all our staff to be active in the community and experience the world-changing impact access solutions provide. Whether you’re a homeowner who needs a ramp or a business looking for an array of access solutions, we’re the resource you can trust. Reach out to our Customer Service team to make the first move toward equal access for all.

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