Rick Hansen is a Canadian icon who has dedicated his life to creating a world that is accessible and inclusive for all. Best known as the “Man In Motion” for undertaking an epic two-year circumnavigation around the world in his wheelchair, Rick is also a four-time world champion, nine-time Pan Am gold medalist, and three-time Paralympic gold medalist. Now the CEO of the Rick Hansen Foundation, an organization committed to creating a world without barriers for people with disabilities, Rick and his team work hard to change attitudes, create accessible spaces and liberate the amazing potential of people with disabilities. Rick and his wife Amanda live in Steveston, B.C. and have three beautiful daughters, Rebecca, Alana and Emma.
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.
03/21/2016 11:17 EDT
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.
06/28/2013 04:58 EDT
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