Germany’s “LEGO Grandma” Builds Wheelchair Ramps Out of Bricks

You can use LEGOS to make almost anything!

Mar 29, 2020

LEGO is one of the most beloved (and largest) toy brands in the world. This Danish company has been making those familiar little bricks since 1932 and generations of children have grown up building everything and anything they can imagine.

Now, a grandmother in Hanau Germany is making wheelchair ramps out of LEGO bricks to make her town more accessible.

According to Reuters Rita Ebel, 62, affectionately known as “LEGO Grandma” knows first-hand what it is to be blocked from shops and cafes because they are inaccessible to someone in a wheelchair. That’s because she has been using one since she had a car accident 25 years ago.

“Anyone could suddenly end up in a situation that puts them in a wheelchair, like it did me,” Ebel told Reuters.

Ebel and her husband spend two to three hours a day building the multi-colored ramps, each of which use eight tubes of glue and hundreds of donated LEGO bricks.

Ebel said that the bright colors stand out in the town centers. “Nobody just walks past a Lego ramp without taking a look. Whether it’s children who try to get the bricks out or adults who take out their mobile phones to take pictures,” she said.

The ramps have been enthusiastically received by residents and local businesses. “It’s a brilliant idea,” said Malika El Harti, who received a ramp for her hair salon.

“Everyone who walks past is happy about the ramps. Finally, you can see from afar that you can get in here without any problems.”

The idea is so popular that it's starting to catch on in other places. Eber has sent ramp building instructions to Switzerland, Austria and there has been interest from other places including a school in the US.

Eber is not the only person who has come up with creative ways to use LEGO bricks. A teenager in Andorra built himself afully functioning prosthetic arm from a LEGO Technic airplane kit.

David Aguilar who was born without a right forearm now plans to create affordable prosthetics for people who need them.

While these are people who are using LEGO bricks for medical needs, the LEGO Group makes sets for people with special needs, including a Braille set to teach visually impaired children to read.

For a company that believes in letting kid’s imaginations soar, the success rate can be measured in all the useful and practical items people can make out of those little multi-colored bricks.

YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE:
Lego's Newest Bricks Teach Braille to Kids With Impaired Vision
LEGO Breaks the Mold and Designs a Play Set for Adults
What Can You Do With Old LEGO Bricks?

BONNIE RIVA RAS, EDITOR & WRITER
Bonnie Riva Ras has dedicated her life to promoting social justice. She loves to write about empowering women, helping children, educational innovations, and advocating for the environment & sustainability.