MP Jody Wilson-Raybould with Rick Hansen Institute CEO, Bill Barrable (third from left) and participants during a partnership announcement with Hebrew University of Jerusalem last summer.
Canada is at its best when everyone is included – when all Canadians can participate and have an equal opportunity to succeed in their workplaces and communities.
From May 27 to June 2, 2018, Canadians are celebrating National AccessAbility Week, a time to promote inclusion and accessibility in our communities, to recognize the efforts of those who are actively removing barriers to give Canadians of all abilities a better chance to succeed, and highlight some of the important initiatives the Government of Canada and its partners are undertaking to bring about this change.
In Vancouver Granville, one such partner is the Rick Hansen Institute (RHI). Founded by the “Man in Motion,” this not-for-profit organization focuses on creating more accessible and inclusive communities and supporting research aimed at better treatment and a higher quality of life for people living with Spinal Cord Injuries (SCI). Based in the Blusson Centre in Vancouver, RHI’s vision is a world without paralysis after spinal cord injury.
Every day, Canadians and their loved ones are affected by spinal cord injury. The most common causes include vehicle crashes, violent assaults and serious falls. Quality of life, employment, and health are all negatively impacted. Recently, the Government of Canada announced renewed funding of $23.6 million over four years through Western Economic Diversification to support the Institute’s efforts to achieve breakthroughs in spinal cord injury research and care.
The Hon. Jody Wilson-Raybould, Member of Parliament for Vancouver Granville, spoke to the value of this important investment in her constituency: “Over the past decade, the Rick Hansen Institute has transformed spinal cord injury research and care, including becoming a key collaborator in the Canadian and global bioscience sector. With Budget 2018, the Institute will be able to continue improving health outcomes for those living with spinal cord injuries in Vancouver Granville and beyond,” she said.
Founder Rick Hansen was notably pleased by the confirmation of sustained funding in the Institute. “I’d like to express my deepest gratitude to the Government of Canada for renewing its support for and partnership with RHI. Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada and Western Economic Diversification Canada have been instrumental in funding the development of technologies that are vital to accelerating progress, improving health outcomes, finding cures for patients, and supporting their community of family and friends who have been impacted by spinal cord injuries. As founder of RHI, it’s promising to see a lasting legacy that is propelling a made-in-B.C. global movement that will continue to unite the world in finding a cure for paralysis after SCI.”
In addition to the Rick Hansen Foundation, there are many organizations in Vancouver Granville that champion accessibility through their work, including Disability Alliance BC, the BC Lions’ Society for Children with Disabilities, and BC Adaptive Snowsports. Help us promote National AccessAbility Week! You can follow and share posts on Twitter: @AccessibleGC and Facebook: AccessibleGC and tag using #AccessibleCanada #AccessAbility.