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NSCC partners with Rick Hansen Foundation

February 08, 2018 – Media Release

Halifax, NS – The Rick Hansen Foundation (RHF) and Nova Scotia Community College (NSCC) are teaming up to deliver the British Columbia-based organization's accessibility assessor training program in Nova Scotia.

Beginning this spring, participants chosen by the province will be trained to analyze buildings and sites for overall accessibility – particularly for persons with physical, sensory, learning and developmental disabilities – through the Rick Hansen Foundation Accessibility CertificationTM program.

"Like LEED-certification, this program establishes consistent, global standards for improving and rating the built environment for accessibility," says NSCC President Don Bureaux. "We're incredibly proud to be the first educational institution outside of B.C. to offer the professional training component of this immensely valuable program."

During the 60-hour program, participants will learn the impact of physical barriers on people with disabilities and the principles of Universal Design. They will also be equipped to understand construction drawings, apply legislation, advocate the benefits of surpassing minimum code requirements and communicate their findings to clients. Following successful completion of the program, graduates must complete a Canadian Standards Association (CSA) exam to be officially designated as RHF Accessibility Certification Professionals.

"Today, 3.8 million Canadian adults report living with a disability," says Rick Hansen, RHF Founder & CEO. "By 2036, the proportion of people with disabilities could be as high as one in five. I'm very excited that the provincial government's Accessibility Directorate and NSCC are helping to lead the way in making Nova Scotia accessible and inclusive for people of all abilities."

An investment of $87,385, through the province’s Communities, Culture & Heritage's Business ACCESS-Ability Program will cover the tuition costs for the first 20 program participants. These participants will be chosen by the N.S. Accessibility Directorate, and will include professionals such as designers, developers, builders and members of the disability community. The investment also supports training and mentoring four of these participants to become program instructors in the future.

"An accessible province is good for everyone, so it is important that we provide the skills and knowledge to help improve accessibility to places where people live, work and play," says Eastern Shore MLA Kevin Murphy on behalf of Communities, Culture and Heritage Minister Leo Glavine. "Promoting a more inclusive and accessible province is a vital part of Nova Scotia's Culture Action Plan."

About NSCC

NSCC is committed to building Nova Scotia's economy and quality of life through education and innovation. Serving the province through a network of 13 campuses, the College offers 120 plus programs in five academic schools — Access, Business, IT & Creative Industries, Health & Human Services, and Trades & Technology — reflecting labour market needs and opportunities in Nova Scotia. NSCC's primary goal: student success. In an annual survey of its graduates, the College has found 87% are employed, most in their field of choice, with 92% of those employed living and working in Nova Scotia.

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, to continue raising funds and awareness to create a world without barriers for people with disabilities. Over nearly 30 years, RHF has made transformational change in raising awareness and removing barriers for people with disabilities, and funding research for the cure and care of people with spinal cord injuries. Today, the Foundation focuses on improving accessibility to create a world that's accessible and inclusive for all. Visit rickhansen.com to learn more.

For More Information

Terrah Keener, PhD
Manager, School of Access
Nova Scotia Community College

Dawn Tse
Publicist, Rick Hansen Foundation