Norwich Tech to Provide Ramp at Graduation for Wheelchair-Bound Student

A Norwich Technical High School senior is one step closer to getting a diploma on stage with his classmates.

Tuesday workers at Amramp Connecticut & Eastern New York installed a wheelchair ramp on the graduation stage at the high school – at no cost – after concerns there wouldn’t be one.

Kyle Tempesta, who uses a wheelchair, spoke with NBC Connecticut earlier this month and said a school staff member told him there would be no ramp at the graduation ceremony in the gym.

“She basically told me that I was going to be unable to cross the stage at graduation with the rest of my class and I would have to receive my diploma kind of off to the side out of the spotlight unlike everyone else,” Tempesta said in a previous interview.

When NBC Connecticut reached out, a spokesperson for the Connecticut Department of Education that runs the school said the administration was working on a solution.

Initially, the plan was for the carpentry department to build a ramp, but they didn’t think they could make one that was compliant with Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) in time, according to Director of Communications for the state Department of Education Peter Yazbak.

NBC Connecticut then reached out to Amramp, who volunteered to provide one.

“We thought it was important that he graduate with the rest of his students. We do this on a regular basis. We thought, ‘Hey, why not just provide the ramp for him so he could be with the rest of the students,’” said Bob Danek, owner of Amramp Connecticut & Eastern New York.

The head of Norwich Tech’s electrical department, Jamie Lamitie, said he had to lower the height of the stage to get it ready. He also helped with the installation Tuesday.

Norwich Tech graduation is on Thursday.

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