December 17, 2014, Ruston, LA –    Louisiana Tech University’s chapter of Freedom by Design consists of architecture student members who recently designed, provided $3800 funding for, and built a wheelchair ramp at the Outdoor Wilderness Learning Center’s (OWL) covered WildHorse Arena in Dubach, LA.

The OWL Center, a program of Louisiana United Methodist Children and Family Services, provides Equine Therapy services not only to children of the Louisiana Methodist Children’s Home (LMCH), but to individuals in surrounding communities as well.

Newly constructed wheelchair ramp courtesy of Tech Freedom by Design architecture members.
Newly constructed wheelchair ramp courtesy of Tech Freedom by Design architecture members.

LTU student Remington Bard spearheaded the wheelchair ramp project and explained to staff of the OWL that the Tech Freedom by Design chapter would like to have a long term relationship with the OWL Center as well as the children’s home.  Bard believes that building such a relationship fits the spirit of their stated chapter purpose: “Freedom by Design™, the AIAS community service program, utilizes the talents of architecture students to radically impact the lives of people in their community through modest design and construction solutions. Vital modifications are made to enhance the homes of low-income and disabled individuals by addressing their struggles with everyday tasks such as bathing, ascending stairs and opening doors. Our priority is improving the safety, comfort and dignity of the home’s occupants.”

Bard, along with a handful of other students, worked several weekends and many afternoons to erect a very substantial wheelchair platform.

For our fellow citizens who might not ever get a chance to ride a horse due to disability, this ramp offers a new world of rhythmic, therapeutic motion experienced on the back of a beautiful horse. LMCH recently recognized Tech Freedom by Design by naming them as a Volunteer of the Year at our annual staff luncheon and Christmas party.

For more information on Equine Therapy and other services offered to communities through the OWL Center, please visit them online at www.OWLCenter.com or call 318-777-3460.