Disability affects us all...
According to Statistics Canada, 3.8 million Canadian adults (or 1 in 7) have a disability. They estimate that by 2036, the proportion of people with disabilities could be as high as 1 in 5.
Globally, people with disabilities are the largest minority group in the world, representing over a billion people, or 15% of the world’s population, and one that any of us can become a member of at any time. Disabilities can result from an accident, a degenerative illness, a medical condition, or the natural outcome of growing older.
People with disabilities still face many visible and invisible barriers today: attitudinal, physical accessibility, employment, lack of information, transportation, housing, health, and education. One of the most significant barriers is the built environment.
At the Rick Hansen Foundation, we believe that when barriers within the built environment are removed and people with disabilities can live, work, and play to their full potential, the entire community and economy benefits. Accessibility is the key to unleashing the economic potential of people with disabilities. This includes increased employment opportunities, greater disposable income, and lower societal costs.
For three decades we have been committed to raising awareness, changing attitudes, and breaking down barriers for people living with disabilities. While great progress has been made, there is still a long way to go – and the Rick Hansen Foundation intends to create a global movement to remove barriers in the built environment and thereby liberate the potential of people living with disabilities.
Read the Rick Hansen Foundation 2015-2018 Strategic Plan, which sets out our four year plan to increase awareness, change attitudes and, in the short term, be a catalyst for removing barriers in the built environment.