Rick Hansen presented with AU jersey
Athabasca University (AU) is proud to have Rick Hansen as part of the team … and now he has a jersey to help make it official!
AU President Dr. Neil Fassina met with Hansen at his Vancouver office earlier this year to present a jersey bearing the number 19 in recognition of the year AU awarded him an honorary doctorate.
“There are few Canadians who aren’t absolutely humbled by what Rick Hansen has been able to accomplish in his life, myself included,” Fassina said. “Through his work he transforms lives and transforms communities, and we’re honoured to partner with the Rick Hansen Foundation to help our learners do the same.”
Through this partnership between PowerED™ by Athabasca University and the Rick Hansen Foundation, the Rick Hansen Foundation Accessibility Certification™ (RHFAC) program is now available online.
Similar to the existing course offered at bricks-and-mortar post-secondary institutions across the country, this online course will provide participants with the fundamental skills and knowledge required to rate a building using RHFAC—a rating system that helps both owners and tenants measure the level of meaningful accessibility of their sites.
The online course provides participants who would not otherwise be able to physically attend the in-person course with a digital training option.
PowerED™ director Jessica Scott has said working together like this can benefit both organizations.
The transformative power of education
Hansen has gained international recognition as a disability advocate for his 1985-1987 Man In Motion World Tour, which saw him push his wheelchair 40,000 km through 34 countries and raise $26 million for spinal cord injury research. Since then, he has been recognized with countless accolades for his charitable work and his tireless efforts to remove barriers worldwide for people with disabilities.
When he received his honorary doctorate from AU June 7, 2019, he spoke about the profound effect his own post-secondary experience at UBC had on his life.
“My learnings in post-secondary education were incredibly powerful and transformative, and that helped shape my destiny as an athlete and as a leader, and ultimately it helped reinforce my mission to wheel around the world,” he said.
After completing his tour, Hansen returned to his alma mater with the mission of making the university more accessible, and not just physically.
“The key was to systematize it and create an entity at UBC who could work not just with students but with faculty and staff and try to change the culture, and also identify barriers and enable solutions,” he said. “It was wonderful on the back end of the tour to come back not as a student but as a thought leader and someone who wanted to make the university better.”
“My learnings in post-secondary education were incredibly powerful and transformative, and that helped shape my destiny as an athlete and as a leader, and ultimately it helped reinforce my mission to wheel around the world.”– Rick Hansen
That appreciate for the lifelong process of learning has continued with his work at the Rick Hansen Foundation, and through the RHFAC.
The next RHFAC course begins May 25, 2020, and space is limited! You can register on the PowerED™ website, and explore our many other professional development course offerings.