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

Rick Hansen invites FCM Mayors to Promote Accessibility on planat.com

Published: May 31 2013

 (Vancouver, BC) – In an evocative and rousing keynote address, Rick Hansen, Canada’s leader in universal accessibility,asked Canada’s municipal leaders assembled at the Federation of Canadian Municipalities (FCM) Conference in Vancouver, BC to complete his vision of a fully accessible, barrier-free Canada. He also encouraged all leaders to promote their communities’ accessibility with planat.com, the accessibility web site.  

“Three decades ago, few people heard of curb cuts or accessible bathrooms, installing automatic doors at building entrances or riding accessible city buses,” he said in a speech to Canada’s mayors.  “Today, these solutions are available in most of our public buildings, airports, recreation centres and transportation systems.  I congratulate the civic leaders who have made this possible, and urge you to continue with the vision to create fully accessible cities in Canada, so that our great country continues to set the bar worldwide.” 

Hansen noted that planat (www.planat.com; http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=K61DLcwxsKI)is a key toward complete accessibility and inclusivity in Canada, and urged all mayors present to help make Canada fully and completely accessible by joining planat. 

planat is a map-based website for people, businesses, and government to post and read reviews of all buildings and public spaces.  A legacy of the 25thAnniversary of the Man In Motion World Tour, the website is part of the Rick Hansen Foundation’s ongoing commitment to creating a fully inclusive society.  Originally launched in Canada in late 2011 and now available globally, it now has more than 13,500 reviews of more than 17,000 venues, from 20 countries around the world.  “My hope is that every public building in Canada will be on planat to show the world how truly accessible they are,” said Hansen. 

Hansen commended the City of Richmond, BC, the first municipality in the country to promote its accessibility by joining planat.  He praised Richmond Mayor Malcolm Brodie,whom he called a “Difference Maker,” for taking the first step to ensure that all municipal buildings in the City of Richmond are listed and reviewed.  Richmond currently leads municipalities in providing all residents with the information they need to navigate their municipal buildings and venues.

“Our ultimate goal is to ensure people can live physically active, barrier-free lives in Richmond,” said City of Richmond Mayor Brodie as he announced his city’s commitment to planat. “The accessibility information for City facilities, now available to anyone who visits planat.com, provides tremendous value to those wanting to make informed decisions when considering visiting, working or living in Richmond. It’s a great resource for the people of Richmond.”

Hansen also congratulated the FCM for taking a leadership role in promoting healthy communities and accessibility.“Social change occurs when many are motivated to make even a small difference.Join our quest for a barrier-free Canada; make sure that no one is left behind.”   

-30-

 

For more information about planat, please contact Dan DeBeyer, Director, at778-296-1519 or at ddebeyer@rickhansen.com

For further details about Rick and RHF, and for general press inquiries, please contact Dan Enjo, Communications Specialist, at 778-296-1571, or by email at denjo@rickhansen.com