True Inclusion Matters - everyone is welcomed at Tina's Table!
About Tina's Table
Unveiling Tina's Table
One of the state’s biggest inclusion and accessibility advocates will be unveiling a new project on Tuesday in Providence — that she believes has the ability to change lives.
Tina Guenette Pedersen, along with members of The Steel Yard, will be unveiling “Tina’s Table,” which will feature bench seating designed to look like powered or manual wheelchairs — as well as room for up to three functional wheelchairs. For Pedersen, a four-time cancer survivor, four-time stroke survivor, survivor of two heart attacks, and motorized wheelchair-user, it’s all about having “a seat at the table.”
“Every time I go to an event — I just want a seat on a table,” said Pedersen, the founder of RAMP (Real Access Motivates Progress). “I want to make the statement that when we sit down, we’re all the same and we can share our ideas from the same place. There’s always room to make space for us at the ‘end.’ I want it in the middle — I want to be there and speak my mind. I want to provide space for service dogs, moms with strollers... there is no part of this table this isn’t accessible and functional and just plain beautiful,” said Pedersen. “This table represents everyone.”
Partnering with The Steel Yard
Pedersen spoke with GoLocal about partnering with The Steel Yard several years ago — and strengthening the bonds since then. “Back in 2019, we started working together. I love their space, but found there was a lot I couldn’t get to, so I became fast friends with them,” said Pedersen. That partnership led to increased accessibility at the location, to allow wheelchair users the ability to take part in jewelry-making to blacksmithing — “everything down to the bathrooms,” said Pedersen of the effort. That was just the beginning.
“Because RAMP doesn’t charge for what we do, and we’re both nonprofits, I said let’s partner for an event, and to reach out to businesses to be more accessible,” said Pedersen. “That’s where ‘Accessibility is Beautiful’ came from. I said let’s offer a public project about disability in art — I had this idea for some time and said I just need someone to bring it to life .”
“This design was developed with our apprentices and staff, and fabrication will be completed in our accessible metal shop. There is room for everyone at Tina’s Table,” said Howie Sneider with The Steel Yard. The project will be officially unveiled at 11:30 AM on Tuesday morning in Kennedy Plaza — but Pedersen hopes the design gains traction, especially among local businesses.
“Right now, it’s the perfect time for this table,” said Pedersen. “‘Take it Outside’ — what did it do? It took the closest parking spots [next to restaurants] for outdoor tables. So then what happened? We can’t get to the [parking] spots that were there before. People need these tables.”
For Pedersen, there are no excuses for businesses and restaurants not to be accessible. “There’s a lot of money for businesses to be ADA federally compliant,” said Pedersen. “The good thing about this table, it can be made to fit your dimensions.”
Click any photo to watch the ceremony
Order Tina's Table
The Steel Yard is currently taking orders for 'Tina's Tables' and scheduling Spring-Summer 2022 installations.
This table is not only functional, beautiful and inclusive but it creates a statement that when we all gather at the table we are all the same. Contact the Steel Yard to pre-order your table today. Discounts are available with orders larger than 4. Each table is custom made and available in a variety of Powder Coated colors. All labor is performed in our fully accessible industrial arts studios in Providence. A portion of proceeds from each Table supports ongoing collaboration between the Steel Yard and RAMP real access motivates progress. For more information or to place an order email email@example.com or call 401-369-7776