Working Together To Build A more Accessible Planat

By September 18, 2014Health, Health News, Features
Release. B.C.'s commitment to make the province the most progressive place in Canada for people with disabilities is being ignited through a new partnership with the Rick Hansen Foundation.
"This partnership demonstrates our commitment to make B.C. the most accessible province in Canada. This project will provide people with disabilities with the skills and confidence they need to reach their employment goals and help to ensure that people have reliable accessibility information at their fingertips." - Don McRae, Minister, Social Development and Social Innovation 
The foundation will receive more than $125,000 to provide on-the-job 
experience for a minimum of six people with disabilities who are 
currently unemployed. The work experience will include helping assess 
and provide accessibility ratings for about 300 businesses, venues 
and public spaces in the Lower Mainland for the Rick Hansen 
Foundation Planat website. The employees will have the opportunity to 
network and engage with business leaders as they conduct their 
reviews. People can use this site to search and review the 
accessibility of places worldwide. 
People with accessibility needs create one of the largest markets in 
the world with one in seven people worldwide who have some sort of 
disability. Once friends and families are included, nearly everyone 
is affected by accessibility issues in some way.
Job Creation Partnerships like this are part of the Employment 
Program of BC's Community and Employer Partnerships, which fund 
projects that provide job-ready skills and share labour-market 
This project delivers on the commitment in Accessibility 2024 to 
partner with the Rick Hansen Foundation to expand the Planat tool in 
B.C. Accessibility 2024 is a 10-year action plan released by the 
Premier to make B.C. the most progressive place in Canada for people 
with disabilities by 2024.
Quick Facts:
* People with disabilities in Canada spend $25 billion a year.
* About 550,000 people in B.C. identify as having a disability.
* There are more than 330,000 people of working age who have a 
disability living in B.C., and the ministry estimates that about half 
of these people are employed.
* The average cost for an employer to accommodate the needs of a 
person with a disability in the workplace is $500 or less. 
* People with disabilities are five times more likely to stay on the 
job than people who do not have a disability. 
* Businesses experience less turn-over when they invest in a person 
with disabilities, as they typically have higher retention rates - 
this means less time and money spent hiring and training new people. 
* Through the Employment Program of B.C., more than 6,300 British 
Columbians with disabilities have found employment.
* The Community and Employer Partnerships program is part of B.C.'s 
Skills for Jobs Blueprint, which helps align training and education 
with in-demand jobs and provides support to people who are struggling 
to gain a foothold in the job market or who face unique challenges.
* The Employment Program of BC is funded by the Government of B.C. 
and the Government of Canada through the Labour Market Development 
Learn More:
For more information on Accessibility 2024: Making B.C. the most 
progressive province in Canada for people with disabilities:
To visit the Rick Hansen Foundation Planat:
For more information on the Rick Hansen Foundation:
For more information on Community and Employer Partnerships:
To find a local WorkBC Employment Services Centre:
To learn more about the Ministry of Social Development and Social 



Why Planat?

How big is this problem? 33% of the global population faces accessibility needs. In North America, 180 million people are affected. 43% of people over 65 in North America live with disabilities and this number will double by 2020. This large and growing market includes those living with disabilities and injuries, parents with strollers, seniors, those with dexterity issues, and families, friends and caregivers of people with accessibility needs. Why is accessibility important? Finding reliable information on venue accessibility is challenging. What is accessible to one person may not be accessible to another. As a result, research is time-consuming and still may not provide useful information. Discovering the situation isn’t as expected on arrival, means a loss to both the consumers and venue owners. What is Planat? Planat is a web platform that provides venue specific information on accessibility. Users can find and share their own reviews of buildings and public spaces from mobility, vision and hearing perspectives. It is also an effective way for cities and local businesses to promote the accessibility and inclusiveness of their locations. Planat currently provides accessibility ratings on over 30,000 physical spaces to help users make informed decisions on where to eat, shop, play and work. Planat encourages improved accessibility by highlighting and celebrating venues and spaces that do an outstanding job of being accessible to all. In addition, Planat readily provides professional guidance and support to help in meeting these important goals. Connect with the Province of B.C. at:

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