Disabled Entrepreneur Introduces ‘Ramp OK’ Project

AKTOBE – After a road accident a few years ago, entrepreneur Shakhan Shakhmaran had to use a wheelchair. He soon realized that due to the lack of wheelchair ramps or their inconsistency with construction codes, people with disabilities very often cannot get to social institutions, to say nothing of trading houses, hairdressers and other locations. As a result, the 34-year-old opened a construction firm and decided to change the situation for the better by presenting his project, “Ramp OK,” to regional authorities.

Shakhmaran launched his social project after he received 2 million tenge (US $10,902) as an investment grant from the International Fund Altyn Kyran at Atameken Startup, the competition of business ideas held in December 2013. Today, the regional chamber of entrepreneurs takes an active part in its promotion.

According to Shakhmaran, in many institutions the installed ramps and slopes are unsuitable for persons in situations similar to his. Medical, educational, sport and administrative facilities are still unavailable to them, despite the fact that Kazakhstan has adopted a series of documents designed to improve the quality of life of people with disabilities. He intends to rectify the situation. Recently, he received a license to conduct construction activities and shared the good news at the presentation.

The monitoring of buildings and facilities recently conducted by Shakhmaran showed that 120 of 132 ramps in the town do not meet the standards and requirements. The government officials who came to the presentation promised to help him.

Nailya Burtibayeva, head of the municipal department of employment and social programmes, noted the entrepreneur will present “Ramp OK” to the city administration in the near future. Representatives of all construction and design companies and organisations will be invited to take part in it, she said. It was also proposed to include representatives of public associations of the disabled in the acceptance committees at the commissioning of social objects.

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