Campaign Aims to Promote Universal Accessibility in Canada

Americas, May 18 2016

VANCOUVER, BC: A thought-provoking national campaign from the Rick Hansen Foundation (RHF) is calling for improved physical accessibility for people with disabilities, but not in the way you might imagine.

#Access4All CampaignThe campaign #Access4All showcases people with disabilities enjoying the right to participate in everyday activities like breaking a sweat at the gym, going on a date at a nice restaurant, or shopping in a fancy boutique.

The aim is to point out that people with disabilities — including those who use mobility aids, or have vision and hearing loss — still lack access to common places like gyms, restaurants, and shops; something that most of us take for granted.

Launching across Canada on May 16, the five-week multimedia campaign will urge supporters to share #Access4All content on their social media networks to raise awareness about these barriers for people with disabilities.

Why do we need to create awareness for accessibility?

  • 6 million Canadian adults (approximately 1 in 7) report having a mobility, hearing, or sight disability, according to Statistics Canada’s 2012 Canadian Survey on Disability. By 2036, this number will jump to 1 in 5 due to the aging population.
  • According to a recent study, 90 per cent of Canadians believe accessibility is a human right, not a privilege, and 86 per cent believe Canada should be a leader in removing barriers .

Many people don’t realize there are still a number of accessibility barriers that people with disabilities and mobility challenges face on a daily basis in our communities,” says Rick Hansen, CEO of the Rick Hansen Foundation.

“There is still much work to be done in our communities to ensure that people with disabilities can access restaurants, offices and shops — to name only a few. By igniting the conversation about the importance of accessibility while working together on exciting new initiatives to increase access for everyone in the built environment, we can liberate the potential of people with disabilities.”

About #Access4All: Let’s build a world that is accessible for everyone

When barriers within the built environment are removed and people with disabilities can live, work, and play to their full potential, the entire country and the economy benefits in many ways:

  • Greater ability for people with disabilities to fully contribute to society and the communities they live in;
  • Enable the growing economic force of this community;
  • Increased social capital when persons with disabilities can fully participate;
  • Increased workforce participation;
  • Reduced long-term financial strain on health and welfare systems;
  • Improved quality of life, increased independence and self-esteem amongst millions of people with disabilities in Canada, and over a billion around the world;
  • Greater acceptance of broader disabilities and increased acceptance of diversity.

How can you get involved?

Visit the #Access4All campaign page where you can learn about accessibility, download our toolkit, and watch our video to share content on social media.

For more information, visit  www.rickhansen.com

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