Ramp that Led to Nowhere, 1950s | University of Illinois Archives

Ramp that Led to Nowhere, 1950s

The Rehabilitation-Education Center engaged in research programs designed to make the world more accessible to people with disabilities.  Key questions that research considered: How steep should ramps be for access by persons with disabilities, with varying degrees of disabilities? What materials provide the best traction and durability?

Standards were set through research conducted on the "ramp that led to nowhere." This ramp was built just outside the Rehab Center and was adjustable to heights up to one story. Researchers changed its slope and length by raising or lowering the ramp and pounding pegs in the predrilled holes in the vertical posts.

Approximately seventy-five students in wheelchairs with various degrees of disability were tested using this ramp. Students were timed ascending and descending the ramp and asked to evaluate their degree of difficulty on each combination of pitch and length. The examiner also evaluated the degree of difficulty he observed in the individual's negotiation of the ramp, and the effect that wheeling seemed to have on the participant.

Found in RS: 16/6/13, Box 1, Accessibility - Facilities and Building Design Research, 1950s-1963

Phys. Desc:


Image measures 25.4 cm W  X 20.6 cm H

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