Larger model added to line of accessible additions
JERICHO- On Tuesday, August 28, dreams came true for the family of Edmond Little, of Jericho; Norwich University students; and architect Jospeph Cincotta and his wife and WheelPad founder Julie Lineberger, both of Wilmington.
After spending the previous school year building Wheel Pad XL, Ed Schmeckpeper and his students at Norwich University saw the send off of their project to Little’s home in Jericho.
Wheel Pad XL provides a spacious wheelchair-friendly addition to his arts and crafts style home, while maintaining the integrity of the home’s architectural design.
Little served in Vietnam, and was diagnosed with ALS, or Lou Gehrig’s disease, in 2015. As his mobility began to change, Little and his family began looking for the perfect solution to help him stay comfortably at home. His house is vertically oriented, with the master bedroom on the third floor, and period bathrooms throughout. They looked into renovation, installing a lift, and even an addition, but were not enthralled by the cost, disruption to their daily life, or permanent damage to the elegant woodwork and aesthetic of their home. Little’s daughter found Wheel Pad while researching online, and began a fortuitous conversation with Lineberger.
Little was not sold on the standard model of Wheel Pad; he wanted a space large enough to share with his wife. When Schmeckpeper contacted Lineberger about a possible second collaboration on a larger unit Lineberger immediately thought of Little. Norwich University built the Wheel Pad prototype, permanently on loan to families in need in Windham County. After a couple of site visits to the prototype in southern Vermont and the building site at Norwich University, Little was sold on the larger concept.
To help offset the cost of Wheel Pad, Little applied for, and was granted, a Specially Adaptive Housing Grant from the Veterans Administration. Wheel Pad is an approved vendor for the VA, and has been working to help veterans with mobility issues come home to their families and loved ones. The cost of the standard Wheel Pad, along with delivery and installation, is such that it can be completely covered by the Specially Adaptive Housing Grant.
Little’s contractor, Bob Devlin, of Lakewood Construction, worked with Wheel Pad staff to design and build the connector from Wheel Pad XL to the house, as well as the ramp which provides wheelchair access to the house. The mobility features of Wheel Pad, such as the no-curb shower, Hoyer lift track, and double-hinged bathroom door, are seamlessly integrated into the interior design. The exterior of Wheel Pad XL was customized to match Little’s residence.
The installation went smoothly, with Classen’s Crane doing a professional and efficient job. The site was ready, with helical piers in place. Wheel Pad XL was lifted into place to the sound of joyful cheers and applause. Little, while slowly losing some of his physical independence, has now gained some of it back.
For more information visit www.wheelpad.com.