VANCOUVER, BC--(Marketwired - November 17, 2016) - The Rick Hansen Foundation announced Vincent Massey Collegiate as the first recipient of an Access4All Barrier Buster grant at a special Canada 150 Countdown celebration yesterday that also marked "46 Days to Go" to Canada's 150th birthday.
One of the very first applicants for the Foundation's Access4All Canada 150 Signature Initiative, Vincent Massey Collegiate staff, students, and community supporters were presented with a cheque for $30,000 from Rick Hansen himself to help break down barriers in the school's built environment.
Vincent Massey Collegiate (ICVMC) is located in Winnipeg, Manitoba, and has 1,300 students, including a number with physical disabilities (four use wheelchairs, two with visual disabilities, and two with hearing disabilities). The Barrier Buster grant will be used to make its main entrance more accessible by improving the slope and materials of the front ramp, widening the front door area, and installing electric push button doors.
As the main access point into the school, this update will have a significant impact on students with permanent disabilities, students with temporary injuries, staff and visitors at every mobility level to easily access the building to attend events, presentations, and meetings.
Says Principal Tony Carvey: "In over 50 years, no one in a wheelchair has been able to independently enter the main doors of Vincent Massey Collegiate. We will change that with our Access4All Project."
The school has already undertaken multiple projects designed to make ICVMC fully accessible. To date, they've installed a brand-new elevator, redesigned the life skills student area to accommodate students with severe mobility challenges, and renovated the student centre. In addition to the update of the main entrance, future accessibility projects at the school include the renovation of a multi-level library and a redesign of the school's graphics lab.
Each of these improvements focuses on creating equal access for all, and combined, will create a fully inclusive and accessible environment for learning and sharing for all Vincent Massey Collegiate students.
"With generous support from the Government of Canada, I'm pleased to announce Vincent Massey Collegiate as the first -- of many -- Barrier Buster grant recipients. The staff and students at VMC fully embrace the values of access and inclusion, and this project will make a positive and lasting difference for the entire school community." said Rick Hansen, CEO of the Rick Hansen Foundation.
For more information about the Access4All program and for announcements about future Barrier Buster grant recipients across Canada, visit rickhansen.com/access4all.
About The Rick Hansen Foundation
The Rick Hansen Foundation was established in 1988, following the completion of Rick Hansen's Man In Motion World Tour. For over 30 years, the Foundation has worked to break down barriers for people with disabilities by changing attitudes, creating accessible spaces and inspiring an inclusive society.
About the Access4All Program
To celebrate Canada's 150th birthday and the 30th anniversary of the Rick Hansen Man In Motion World Tour, The Rick Hansen Foundation launched the Access4All Canada 150 Signature Initiative to inspire and empower Canadian youth and community leaders to break down barriers in the built environment. With funding support from the Government of Canada, the Foundation is granting $1.7 million to schools and community groups to help complete "Barrier Buster Projects" to remove physical barriers in public spaces and create awareness about accessibility in their communities.
About the Canada 150 Countdown Celebration Events
Since August 4th, the Government of Canada, in collaboration with various partners, has been counting down the last 150 days of 2016 by revealing surprises throughout the country. The grand finale is on December 31, 2016 with the 'Canada 150 Kick Off' in 19 urban centres across Canada. All Canadians are invited to join in and show their community spirit in person or through social media.