SCI Community Magazine

A Nation Rallies for Accessibility

The latest national awareness campaign from the Rick Hansen Foundation is showing Canadians the true meaning of access.

What is #EveryoneEverywhere?

It started with a simple notion: all people, regardless of their ability, should be able to access the places where we live, work, learn, and play. This is the guiding philosophy behind the access and inclusion initiatives at the Rick Hansen Foundation (RHF), and at the core of our latest national awareness campaign.

Partnering with creative agency TAXI, we summed it up in two words: Everyone. Everywhere.

"" When you’re constantly faced with accessibility challenges, it’s hard to believe everyone isn’t thinking about the significance of something like how to get into a building without an accessible ramp or push button doors. On the other hand, people with disabilities see it every day, with the lack of meaningful access at the bank, grocery store, coffee shop —you name it. The goal of #EveryoneEverywhere is to bring accessibility to the forefront of every Canadian’s mind so the current lack of access can no longer be ignored.

A feature of #EveryoneEverywhere is the ‘Poster for Everyone’, an interactive poster using technology that adapts to the needs of its viewers. It was displayed in Nathan Phillips Square in Toronto, and a video was developed to show how it interacts with people of various abilities. Messaging on the poster adjusted to the viewer’s eye-line based on their height, including those using wheelchairs; font size adjusted for those with low vision alongside a braille pad and audio speakers; and text changed language when it detected speakers of French, Mandarin, and Arabic.

However, it is more than just a cool poster: it’s a way to capture the public’s attention, and illustrate the varying needs of different individuals. The poster demonstrates how diversity in abilities is a wonderful opportunity to encourage innovation in design and technology. And it’s these innovations—whether they’re in a poster, building design, or something else—that allow us to come together and enjoy the same things in life.

Accessibility was taken into all accounts of the campaign. The design elements include blue, black, and white, colours that offer high-contrast for individuals with low vision, as well as Trade Gothic Next, an accessible sans serif font. The launch included a hand-painted wall mural using these colours and hashtag, and the creation of a ‘Poster for Everyone’. Radio spots will be released this summer and TV is in development to launch this fall.

Making Canada Accessible

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The launch of #EveryoneEverywhere accompanied the national expansion of the Rick Hansen Foundation Accessibility Certification™ (RHFAC) program. RHFAC is the only program in Canada to rate the accessibility of the built environment based on meaningful access for people with disabilities affecting their mobility, vision, and hearing. It offers practical solutions to the growing need for access.

An accessibility rating is an important step for organizations who aren’t sure how accessible their buildings are. As many of us already know, building code standards may fall short in providing real access—access that allows you to enter through the same door as everyone else, or ensures your safety in emergency situations.

Buildings that receive high scores on their accessibility ratings can achieve ‘RHF Accessibility Certified’ or ‘RHF Accessibility Certified Gold’ and all rated sites receive a scorecard outlining areas of strength and where improvements can be made. Not only does this celebrate organizations who prioritize accessibility; it also encourages them to continue removing barriers, and demonstrates to the public that their building is an inclusive space.

Let’s Get Everyone Everywhere

This is just the beginning. Both RHFAC and #EveryoneEverywhere continue to grow, and we are encouraged by the newly passed Accessible Canada Act. A movement has been set in motion to create a future that is accessible for everyone.

We encourage everyone to add their voice to the campaign. Visit rickhansen.com/everyoneeverywhere to learn more, and share the message using #everyoneeverywhere.


Rick Hansen Foundation Logo

About the Rick Hansen Foundation

The Rick Hansen Foundation (RHF) was established in 1988, following the completion of Rick Hansen’s Man In Motion World Tour. For over 30 years, RHF has worked to raise awareness, change attitudes, and remove barriers for people with disabilities. Over 1,100 buildings have been rated through the RHF Accessibility Certification™ program to-date. Visit www.rickhansen.com to learn more.

By the Rick Hansen Foundation | Summer 2019

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