Life as Richard knew it has changed forever. Before being connected to The Ability Center, Richard had no direct access to his home because of steps at every entrance.
Now, he is able to maneuver in and out of his home on his own thanks to an aluminum ramp. Richard is living with cerebral palsy. Experiencing life from a wheelchair has limited his mobility, but never his infectious spirit and joy. Richard’s mother Andrea shares, “Everyone that meets Ricky always has nothing but positive things to say about him. He is also remembered by his bright, beautiful smile!”
Richard’s mother searched for months for a way to improve her son’s independence. A Facebook plea for assistance led to a contact that connected the family to The Ability Center’s services. The Home Accessibility Program uses federal, state, and local grant dollars to assist individuals with accessible home modifications necessary to maintain quality of life and independent living.
In collaboration with the Ohio Department of Medicaid Temporary Ramp Program, ACT made it happen. With more freedom, comes more time for Richard to do what he loves. He is a self-proclaimed “foodie” developing techniques from watching countless hours of Food Network.
One day he wants to own his own restaurant. His bedroom even has a fully assembled kitchen full of supplies! When asked what word comes to mind when describing her experience with The Ability Center, Andrea shares, "Greatness. Everyone was so wonderful to work with and willing to help. For once, I felt like I was not alone in trying to get something for my son that he needed. He has taught me more about life and what is really important. The daily routines we do with ease such as walking, brushing our teeth, or just getting dressed is effortless to people that have the means to do so. But for children with disabilities, it is a task, and for some impossible without assistance or help. Ricky has taught many people around him to love those that may not be the same or a little different. He is a true inspiration to many, and I’m sure he will continue to do so for many years to come!”
What ACT is doing differently is creating inclusive opportunities for people with disabilities. Providing this ramp for Richard was the first step to building his independence and confidence for the future.