Raising awareness, changing attitudes and removing barriers for people with disabilities in the built environment

Nancy Thompson, Pre-Tour Planner, Tour Manager

Nancy was supposed to stay in Vancouver, planning from the home office, and not go on the road. Planning meant working on travel logistics: getting police permits, developing networks with service clubs, disability groups and embassies worldwide, as well as identifying volunteers and planning routes. Since the departure from Oakridge didn’t go smoothly, Nancy was asked to go along for the first day – which turned into two days, then three and so on.

For the first six months, Nancy travelled ahead of Rick and the rest of the team to set up. As part of her challenges, Nancy’s role involved solo travel to some countries that 25 years ago didn’t accept women in positions of authority.

Nancy also developed a topographical map for each day, showing the terrain with grades. Amanda used the map to change chair positions for Rick, to advise Don regarding wheelchair configurations, and for Robin- Lee to plan Rick’s meals for the day. Nancy then used the timeline to inform the local community groups about arrival and departure times.

Nancy then took on her main role as Tour Manager. This involved managing the schedule of the crew, volunteers, the budget, and in general being the go-to person for all Tour-related operations.

Today, Nancy works as Director of 25th Anniversary Special Events. A proud mom, she lives in Vancouver with her husband and daughter.