Handi-Ramp, real estate firm partner

Saturday, September 30, 2006

LIBERTYVILLE, Ill. - As part of its new Home Access Program, Handi-Ramp, a lift and ramp manufacturer, has partnered with a large real estate firm to help people with disabilities locate and modify homes to accommodate their needs.
The partnership works like this: Baird & Warner's nearly 2,000 agents in the greater Chicago area help people in wheelchairs and scooters find homes and then Handi-Ramp's employees provide free consultations on how to make those homes more accessible.
"The disabled community doesn't always know where to go to get accessibility products and services, and the best way to reach them is through the community," said Thom Disch, Handi-Ramp's CEO. "Now we have as advocates a network of realtors active in the community."
Handi-Ramp has recruited other real estate firms to join its program, but Baird & Warner is its biggest catch so far, said Anne Tripicchio, Handi-Ramp's marketing manager. Baird & Warner generates $6 billion in sales annually.
In addition to increasing access to lifts and ramps, Handi-Ramp believes its program will make accessibility products more affordable. Working with a real estate firm means homebuyers with disabilities can roll the costs of purchasing the products into their mortgages.
Handi-Ramp distributes and installs its products through a network of nearly 2,000 dealers, including HME providers. Increasingly, it sells lifts and ramps directly to end-users through its Web site.