New Bedford’s First Wheelchair Accessible LEGO Ramp Installed
Things are rolling along in the effort to make SouthCoast buildings wheelchair accessible as Play Arcade installed a handicap ramp made entirely out of LEGOs.
The DeSousa Family of Freetown started Zane's Ramps back in July of 2020 in an effort to make buildings on the SouthCoast more accessible to people like their son Zane, who is wheelchair-bound, and people like him. After many LEGO donations, hours of block sorting, roughly 3,000 bricks and 30 hours of building later, the first of Zane's Ramps was installed at Play Arcade in downtown New Bedford.
"I think the ramp is great not just for wheelchairs but for anyone with mobility issues like parents with strollers, etc. Accessibility is a human need, not a special need," noted Alissa DeSousa, Zane's mom.
Play Arcade owner Adam Katz said the ramp is just one more "step forward" towards making the arcade a place that anyone can come to have fun. Katz's uncle Andrew Katz was a huge advocate for ADA compliance in New Bedford and notes that he would be proud of what the DeSousa Family is doing to bring awareness of wheelchair accessibly to the SouthCoast.
If you are interested in donating LEGOs to the project or having a ramp installed at your business, you can contact Alissa DeSousa via the Zane's Ramps Facebook page.
"There is a big need for the big, flat LEGO pieces," she said. "They are necessary to starting every ramp and are rarely included in the used kit donations."
Below is a time-lapse video of Mike and Alissa DeSousa constructing the ramp.