Rick Hansen Foundation
When Rick Hansen first started his tour, the cinema in his hometown didn't have an accessibility ramp.
For someone who has a mobility challenge, vision or hearing loss, or uses an assistive device to get around, daily decisions are not so carefree. Stores and shops need to be researched ahead of time to make sure they are accessible. Aspects of daily life that most take for granted can be riddled with accessibility challenges. In Canada and around the world, people with disabilities are still limited by physical barriers in the built environment -- and there is urgent need for change.
People often ask me what the most difficult part of the Man In Motion World Tour was. When I look back, it wasn't the physical toll, braving the sometimes-punishing weather, or even when my future wife Amanda threw her salad at me and almost left the tour because I was acting like a jerk. Honestly, the most difficult part of the tour was just starting on that first day - March 21, 1985.
Through her energy and determination Emily has brought her community together to become more inclusive. She has also inspired others who face similar challenges. On December 3, the International Day of Persons with Disabilities, what will you do to be a difference maker and create an inclusive world for everyone?
My goal has always been to build an even greater awareness of our need to move from a view that accessibility is just about getting in and out of buildings to a view of intentionally designing and creating fully inclusive communities, so that people with disabilities can fully participate.