Engineer Changes Careers To Give Wheelchair Users Accessibility And Freedom

Top Quote Silverton resident Dave Yoast owns and operates Oregon's only Amramp, the nation's leading producer of modular steel ramps designed for both interior and exterior use in residential and commercial settings. End Quote
  • Salem, OR (1888PressRelease) May 27, 2011 - For the millions of people who find themselves temporarily or permanently confined to a wheelchair, building accessibility is a critical issue. For many, a ramp is a lifeline and Silverton resident Dave Yoast is more than happy to provide that lifeline to residents throughout western Oregon and southwest Washington.

    Since October 2008, Yoast has owned and operated Oregon's only Amramp, the nation's leading producer of modular steel ramps designed for both interior and exterior use in residential and commercial settings. Yoast has installed hundreds of ramps throughout Oregon, of which more than half are for veterans using a wheelchair.

    "It's so gratifying to be able to help veterans who have served our country," said Yoast. "Some are younger veterans returning from Iraq as an amputee and others are veterans from Vietnam and World War II. A ramp gives them so much opportunity."

    Prior to launching his Amramp business, Yoast, an engineer, worked in the construction industry, specifically with manufactured roof trusses where he did everything from production work to design and sales.

    "I always wanted to run my own business and felt I could be a successful entrepreneur but just didn't know what kind of business to start," Yoast said. "I read an article about Amramp in 2007 and was intrigued but wasn't quite ready to make the leap. When my company started undergoing some changes the following year, I wasn't comfortable with the new direction so the time was right for me to make the move."

    Amramp's modular ramp systems offer numerous advantages over permanent wood and concrete ramps. They can also typically be installed in hours instead of days and weeks. If a client moves, the ramp can be easily dismantled, moved and reassembled with no damage to home or property. Landlords prefer Amramp's ramps because it allows their property to be easily restored to its original condition.

    Typically, if a ramp need is expected to be less than six months, renting is most cost-effective, especially for short-term rehabilitation or extended visits from relatives using wheelchairs. If a customer is unsure about the length of time a ramp will be needed, as in cases of a stroke or amputation, it is typically recommended to rent. Clients can later convert to the purchase option and apply 75 percent of any rental monies paid toward the purchase price.

    "Our ramps can be put up for an hour or they can last a generation," Yoast said.
    Because Amramp is determined to make safe, affordable metal ramps available to as many people who need them as possible, the company has a national toll-free call center that helps to pre-qualify customers. While metal ramps are considered durable medical equipment (DME) and their cost may be reimbursed by insurance, Amramp has also identified more than 350 funding sources to aid customers with financial assistance. An entire department investigates funding sources.

    "There are a lot of organizations out there to help people and we bring them together," Yoast said.

    Amramp not only makes a difference for its clients, but its impact extends to the environment. Amramp ramps are manufactured from recycled and 100-percent recyclable steel. Even after years of productive use, the ramps can be easily disassembled and returned to inventory to be re-used rather than dumped in a landfill.

    "All of our ramps are endlessly reusable," Yoast said. "They are all pre-punched and fit together extremely easily and that makes our ramp system attractive and affordable for our clients. If it's Monday and you need to get your mother home from the hospital on Thursday, do you think you can call a carpenter and get a ramp built on time? The answer is 'no.' "

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