People with temporary and permanent disabilities, and seniors, and parents with strollers will benefit from accessibility improvements supported by $5 million in provincial funding to Rick Hansen Foundation.
“We all want people to live dignified lives and fully participate in their communities,” said Sheila Malcolmson, Minister of Social Development and Poverty Reduction. “That’s why we’re providing funding to the Rick Hansen Foundation to help municipalities expand accessibility.”
The Province is providing $5 million to support municipalities and Indigenous communities improve accessibility for people of all abilities. The funding will expand the Rick Hansen Foundation BC Accessibility Grants Program and will be used to evaluate accessibility of facilities, upgrade three selected sites and train municipal staff on accessibility.
These grants will help 15 communities improve accessibility, including:
- eight municipalities the Rick Hansen Foundation is already working with: Coquitlam, Kamloops, Kelowna, Nanaimo, Port Moody, Prince George, Richmond and Whistler;
- two Indigenous communities to be selected; and
- five more municipalities the foundation will start the selection process for.
The funding will also help British Columbia become more accessible by supporting organizations through expanded accessibility training, the development of digital tools, the Accessibility Professional Network annual conference, engagement and awareness campaigns, and new accessibility research.
“Thank you to the Government of B.C. for your leadership and commitment to removing accessibility barriers for British Columbians with disabilities and their friends and loved ones,” said Rick Hansen, founder of the Rick Hansen Foundation. “Ensuring our communities are accessible to people of all ages and abilities is critical to an equitable and inclusive society.”
Through accessibility laws, supports, programs and services, B.C. is working to remove barriers so people with disabilities can equitably participate in their communities.
Susie Chant, Parliamentary Secretary for Accessibility –
“An accessible B.C. means recreation centres that every person can enjoy and also animal shelters that anyone can access. We are working together with trusted partners like the Rick Hansen Foundation to remove and prevent barriers for people with disabilities.”
Aman Singh, MLA for Richmond-Queensborough –
“Everyone benefits when our communities are inclusive and when all people have access to opportunities. The funding given to the Rick Hansen Foundation will make life better for people with disabilities and seniors in Richmond and many other communities across B.C.”
Malcolm Brodie, mayor of Richmond –
“The City of Richmond remains committed to making the community more accessible and inclusive for everyone. Facilities such as the Minoru Centre for Active Living and Richmond Animal Shelter continue to benefit from the city’s ongoing work with community organizations such as the Rick Hansen Foundation and others to advance accessibility. The funding provided also supported accessibility awareness training for city staff, further strengthening our positive culture of diversity, equity and inclusion.”
Laetitia Mfamobani, accessibility specialist, Rick Hansen Foundation –
“Improved accessibility means freedom to me. As someone who is blind, it means that I can navigate my community independently and helps me feel safe, included, welcome and, ultimately, valued.”
- There are more than 926,000 people with disabilities living in British Columbia.
- The Accessible B.C. Act became law in 2021 and is helping create a more accessible and inclusive British Columbia by introducing new tools and mechanisms to support the identification, prevention and removal of barriers that people with disabilities face in their day-to-day lives.
- Effective Sept. 1, 2022, more than 750 public-sector organizations are required to establish an accessibility committee, an accessibility plan and a tool to receive feedback on their accessibility.
- British Columbia supports the principles outlined in the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (UNCRPD).
For information about the Accessible British Columbia Act and its implementation, visit: https://www2.gov.bc.ca/gov/content/governments/about-the-bc-government/accessibility/legislation