Posts Tagged "Hansen"


Rick Hansen gives Surrey a gold for their accessibility commitment

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Rick Hansen was on hand at Grandview Heights Aquatic Centre this morning to recognize and congratulate Surrey on its excellence in becoming more accessible.

Hansen, who wheeled 40,000 km for his “Man In Motion Tour” unveiled a plaque on behalf of the Rick Hansen Foundation declaring the facility gold accessibility.

“Disability is a big deal”, says Hansen.

He says there are over a billion people living with a disability, according to the World Health Organization.

In Canada over 20 per cent of the population, including aging baby boomers and their parents, are acquiring many disabling conditions and the issue is just getting bigger.

“I’m a big fan of getting our city up so it’s completely accessible,” said Surrey Mayor Doug McCallum.

Hansen and the mayor took a tour of the facility to check its upgrades, such as lifts to lower people into the pool, ramps and removable portable stairs into the pool.

There are also work out machines that are wheel chair accessible and a quiet room for people who suffer from sensory issues to go and decompress.

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Certified gold: BC bank branches given Rick Hansen Foundation top certification

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Vancity clients and staff with disabilities will have greater access at the bank’s head office in Vancouver or the Burnaby Heights branch.

Today, both buildings were awarded gold accessibility certifications by the Rick Hansen Foundation – the first financial institution and the third company in B.C. to receive the rating.

The foundation’s namesake, Rick Hansen, was in Burnaby Heights to celebrate the milestone achievement.

“They’ve set a really high bar to become much more inclusive for everybody not just for their staff but for their customers and community,” Hansen told CTV News.

“It’s the new standard that we want to recognize and create across Canada and all across the world.” 

Hansen said that the country has come a long way in accessibility, and his foundation wants to turn a “made-in-BC global solution” into an industry standard worth praising.

“We’ll train industry professionals – they’ll have all the knowledge and tools, we’ll have an objective rating, and then we’ll reconigze people,” he said.

“We want innovation to keep going and think about their buildings and how they function for people who desperately need those barriers removed,” said Hansen.

Vancity president and CEO Tamara Vrooman said when the company decided to rebuild their Burnaby Heights branch, it was done with more than sustainability or aesthetics in mind.

“For our staff and our community, if you can’t come in and see us, it’s very difficult to be part of our great organization,” she said.

Vrooman is also the current chair of the Rick Hansen Foundation board. The bank’s Burnaby Heights Community branch features:

  • Fully accessible Automated Teller Machines (ATMs) that include grab bars, knee clearance for chair users, accessible buttons, and plugs for head phones;

  • Power doors in all entrances;

  • Contrasting colour flooring and walls for improved wayfinding;

  • A lowered teller counter with hearing assistance for employees and members; and

  • Accessible washrooms with inclusive signage

More than 1,100 buildings across the province have been registered for rating by the foundation.

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Province celebrates Rick Hansen Day by investing in accessibility

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A new grant to the Rick Hansen Foundation will support its work to make communities more accessible and inclusive, announced Premier John Horgan.

“Rick Hansen has been blazing a trail in support of people with disabilities in B.C., across the nation and around the globe, for over 30 years,” said Premier Horgan. “We are recognizing his efforts with a $10-million grant that will help his foundation continue its work to make communities more accessible and inclusive.”

The announcement of the grant for the Rick Hansen Foundation was made together with a proclamation of May 28, 2018, as Rick Hansen Day, in honour and recognition of his contributions to the province and the country. The day also marks the beginning of B.C.’s first AccessAbility Week.

“Our government is committed to making this province better for people living with disabilities,” said Shane Simpson, Minister of Social Development and Poverty Reduction. “That’s why we are kicking off B.C.’s first ever AccessAbility Week by committing to work together with organizations like the Rick Hansen Foundation, to bring down barriers and improve accessibility in every part of the province.”

The $10-million grant will help the Rick Hansen Foundation further its existing programs, and push forward with new innovations. 

“I am grateful to the Province for their continued support and recognition of the foundation, and their commitment to bringing about positive change in the lives of people with disabilities,” said Hansen. “Creating the barrier-free B.C., Canada, and the world that we want — and everyone deserves — is more than possible. Premier Horgan’s leadership is helping pave the path forward.”

Since 1988, the Rick Hansen Foundation has raised awareness, changed attitudes and removed barriers for people with disabilities, as well as funding spinal cord injury research and care.

Quick Facts:

  • The Province has proclaimed May 27 to June 2, 2018, AccessAbility Week in B.C., to promote inclusion and accessibility, and recognize the efforts of individuals and organizations that actively remove barriers for people with disabilities in their communities.
  • More than 500,000 British Columbians ages 15 and older, or 15% of the population, self-identify as having a disability.
  • The population of people with disabilities is growing rapidly. One in seven Canadian adults have a disability, and as the population continues to age, this number is expected to grow to one in five by 2036. 
  • The provincial government provides up to $5 billion annually to fund services and supports that support people with disabilities in B.C.

Learn More:

To learn more about accessibility in B.C., visit: www.gov.bc.ca/accessibility

If you are living with a disability in B.C., there are programs and services available to you: https://www2.gov.bc.ca/gov/content/family-social-supports/services-for-people-with-disabilities/supports-services

To learn more about the Rick Hansen Foundation, visit: www.rickhansen.com/ 

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