Rita Ebel is a grandmother in Germany who is doing something so creative and meaningful that you have to stop and stare. And she wants you to do just that.

According to Reuters.com, Ebel uses a wheelchair to get around after a car accident 25 years ago. She noticed that many businesses didn’t have ramps so that she could access them and decided to create ramps made of LEGOs as a solution to a worldwide problem.

“For me, it is just about trying to sensitize the world a little bit to barrier-free travel,” Ebel said in the German town of Hanau. “Anyone could suddenly end up in a situation that puts them in a wheelchair as it did me.” Ebel’s husband helps her build the ramps, sometimes taking them up to three hours a day to glue hundreds of pieces together.

Ebel’s gift to the world is amazing and is now shared with a resident on the SouthCoast. Alissa DeSousa is the proud mother of a boy named Zane. You might remember our Mini Miracle family from a couple of years back. Zane is a medical mystery to doctors who have spent his entire life trying to diagnose him. He is also wheelchair-bound and DeSousa is on a mission to make the community more accessible to her son and others like him. DeSousa reached out to Ebel directly and received a copy of her plans. So now the SouthCoast might start to look a little more colorful.

DeSousa posted on her Facebook page to announce her initiative. “30 years ago, the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) was passed into law, increasing access and opportunity for the 60 million people in the US with some form of disability. Imagine today going somewhere with your family and having to cancel your plans because your child couldn’t get into the building. Plenty of buildings in our area are not handicap accessible because the law states that businesses and non-profit organizations that serve the public must remove architectural barriers when it is ‘readily achievable.’ Thankfully, Zane is still small enough that we can carry him and his wheelchair up a few steps, but this may not always be the case."

DeSousa is putting together a project to collect, build, and donate LEGO ramps to area businesses to help modify their entryways. Please contact her via the Facebook page if you are a business owner interested in a ramp, if you have old Legos at your house that you’d like to donate them to the cause, or if you want to help build the ramps.

"Zane's Ramps" is an incredible project and we're so excited to see it come to the SouthCoast.

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