Downtown Accessibility Ramp Project Kicks Off

In Owen Sound, Ontario, free portable ramps will soon make downtown shops more accessible for people using wheelchairs, wheeled walkers and pushing strollers. The first ramps were placed in front of two Owen Sound shops in the spring, for a ceremonial kick-off to promote use of the ramps downtown this summer. “It’s a no-brainer,” said one of the recent ramp recipients. “Why would I want to keep anyone from my store?”

Each store receiving a ramp will also place a sign in the window with a number to call to ask someone working inside to put out the ramp. The ramps are an initiative of the StopGap Foundation and are intended to be used as needed, not left outside. The StopGap Foundation is located in Toronto. Since its inception in 2011, there are now more than 1,000 brightly-painted portable StopGap ramps in more than 50 communities across Canada and around the world. StopGap is a registered charity. “It’s not us who have disabilities, but the places that we live that are disabling,” says StopGap’s founder Luke Anderson.

An article about the ramp project appeared in the Owen Sound Sun Times on May 9: