The story of how Don Everard and his family got involved with creating accessibility-focused solutions to help building owners meet federal disability laws is one of happenstance, intuition, and empathy. Everard’s mother and sister founded Homecare Products Inc. in 1984 to sell inflatable bathing items for disabled individuals. The more the family was involved with creating products to make lives easier, the more they realized access was an issue, and the more they saw a solution in aluminum. With Everard’s marketing experience, his father’s expertise in manufacturing, and the mother-daughter duo’s business intuition, the EZ-ACCESS aluminum ramp was born. Everard explains why aluminum ramps check all the boxes for meeting ADA.
The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) was created in 1990 to ensure inclusion and access for people with disabilities in all facets of public life in the U.S. In part, the law requires public and commercial spaces be accessible to all. The civil rights law, and associated state and municipal building codes, could fill a library. But meeting the legal requirements doesn’t have to be so complicated.
What we love most about aluminum for ADA ramp solutions is that it’s both recyclable and reusable while meeting clients’ structural and maintenance needs. Approximately 34% of the extruded aluminum products we receive from our aluminum supplier are produced with recycled secondary aluminum—either post-consumer or production scrap—which requires significantly less energy to produce than the primary metal.
Aluminum ramps are also quick to install and reusable. Wood, concrete, and steel have their uses, but it’s difficult to impossible to install, uninstall, and reuse ramps made of these materials from project to project. Contractors especially have loved the rentable nature of EZ-ACCESS ramps.
Aluminum’s reuse is made possible in part by its long-lasting nature. The material doesn’t rot, rust, or otherwise deteriorate over time like wood and steel. One of the first commercial ramps EZ-ACCESS installed, in South Florida, is still in use today.
Even the most cared for and well-maintained wood ramps typically only have a lifespan of six to eight years, depending on the area. But no matter the climate—humid, dry, salty, cold, hot, snowy, or icy—aluminum holds up. It’s the solution for all environments; its maintenance is just being kept clean and clear of debris.