Lego Grandma Builds Wheelchair Ramps Out Of The Colorful Bricks
She's making her town more accessible and bringing a colorful solution to a common problem.
Most days, you can find Rita Ebel sitting at a table in her home in Hanau, Germany, surrounded by hundreds of Legos. She's not just building them for fun – she's on a mission to make her town more handicap accessible.
The 62-year-old has been building wheelchair ramps out of the tiny, colorful bricks for about a year – she's even earned the nickname 'Lego Grandma.'
Ebel has been using a wheelchair since she was in a car accident 25 years ago. She got the idea to build the ramps from a medical journal that featured a platform made out of Legos.
Now, Ebel and her husband spend a few hours each day building the ramps, which take a couple hundred individual Lego bricks to make, along with a lot of strong glue.
Ebel has provided ramps to several local businesses in her town, and along with helping people in wheelchairs get around more freely, they're adding a burst of color to the landscape.
"Nobody just walks past a Lego ramp without taking a look," Ebel told Reuters. Whether it's children who try to get the bricks out or adults who take out their mobile phones to take pictures."
And that's a large part of why she's making them – to create awareness.
"For me it is just about trying to sensitize the world a little bit to barrier-free travel," Ebel said.
While several businesses in Hanau now have ramps outside of their doors, Ebel's idea is catching on in other places around the world. She's sent ramps to Austria and Switzerland and has provided instructions on how to build them to schools in the U.S. and Spain.
Ebel says one of her biggest challenges is getting enough Lego donations because families are often reluctant to part with them. Ebel and her husband make the ramps on a volunteer basis and they give them to businesses at no cost.
For Lego Grandma, it's not about making a profit. She's just happy that the idea is resonating with so many people.
"Our campaign is picking up speed and rolling," Ebel told the New York Post. "It's great to see how many are interested in it and want to participate."
What an awesome idea! Who knows? Maybe a Lego ramp will pop up in your town soon!