June 24, 2016 –
We are excited to announce that the Rick Hansen Foundation (RHF) is launching a national initiative with the participation of the Government of Canada
to inspire and empower Canadians to build a more inclusive and accessible Canada in honour of our nation’s 150th
birthday is an opportunity to celebrate the values of our great country with pride; values like inclusion, diversity, compassion and access for everyone. As we celebrate these values, it’s also important that we create lasting impact. RHF is aiming to create this legacy through a new Canada 150 Access4All initiative where youth and community leaders will be encouraged to identify and address accessibility barriers in public spaces throughout Canada.
Schools and communities who share a vision of a more accessible and inclusive Canada will be invited to form barrier buster teams to assess their built environment, identify barriers, and apply innovative thinking to solve accessibility issues. Teams can then submit proposals and apply for funding (of up to $20,000) to undertake an infrastructure project to increase accessibility of public places in their communities. Local champions and schools will be linked with RHF Ambassadors (people with disabilities) who will deliver presentations to promote and activate projects in each community.
Barrier buster teams will also be encouraged to apply for funding for community awareness events to showcase and celebrate their newly accessible community spaces. RHF will also host a Leadership Summit in May 2017, bringing together young leaders from across Canada (including those who participated in barrier buster projects), providing leadership training for the next generation of champions for people with disabilities.
Thanks to a generous contribution from the Canadian government, RHF will make available $1.7 million in grants to fund a minimum of 50 large-scale Barrier Buster projects and accessibility awareness events in communities across the country, creating real and lasting impact for all Canadians.
The legacy of the Canada 150 Access4All Signature Initiative will be to make communities more inclusive and accessible to those living with a disability, and to create the next generation of champions for an inclusive Canada.
“I want to express my sincere gratitude to the Government of Canada for their investment in our Access4All project. With their generous support and the help of the public and our partners, we will engage young people and communities all across our country to remove barriers for people with disabilities. This project will honour Canada’s values of inclusion, diversity and accessibility and create a lasting impact for generations to come.” –Rick Hansen
2017 also marks the 30th
anniversary of the Man In Motion World Tour
, a historic Canadian event that embodies Canadian ideals of diversity and inclusion, and what better way to mark these two momentous occasions than to remove barriers for people with disabilities.
Full details on the Access4All program and application guidelines for the Barrier Buster Fund will be available on our website in September. Sign up at rickhansen.com/access4all
to receive updates as they become available.
Together, we can create an accessible Canada and leave a lasting legacy for our country’s 150th