Richmond backs Rick Hansen Foundation's planat to promote accessibility

RICHMOND, BC, May 29, 2013 /CNW/ - The City of Richmond and Rick Hansen Foundation announced today Richmond is the first municipality in Canada to promote the accessibility of its public spaces through planat. Both the City and the Foundation invite all Richmond businesses and organizations to promote their business access features on planat.com - helping Richmond become a leading city in accessibility.

planat.com is an easy-to-use, interactive, digital media tool for rating the level of access to buildings and open spaces. Richmond was recognized as first due to its ongoing support for and early-adoption of planat. In recent months Richmond completed professional ratings for 29 City-owned venues and public spaces, all available on planat.com - an innovation of the Rick Hansen Foundation.

"Our ultimate goal is to ensure people can live physically active, barrier-free lives in Richmond," said Mayor Malcolm Brodie. "It's been a privilege for the City to be involved with planat from its early stages until now, leading us to earn the status of Canada's first municipality to promote public venues on planat." Brodie continues, "The accessibility information is now available to anyone who visits planat.com, providing tremendous value to those wanting to make informed decisions when considering visiting, working or living in Richmond. It also provides valuable information to address strengths and areas for improvement for our venues and public spaces. We encourage every Richmond business and organization to get rated on planat."

planat users can easily post reviews and see other people's consumer reviews as well as see reviews completed by businesses, either professionally or self reviewed . planat empowers people living with disabilities in Richmond to make informed decisions and leverage their consumer power to help increase the overall accessibility of buildings in our community. The planat ratings provide businesses with the information and tools they need to make their buildings more accessible and increase their understanding of the social and economic benefits of accessible venues and communities.

"Like every innovation of the Foundation, planat was born from a community need, and became a reality through collaborative partnerships," says Rick Hansen. "The City of Richmond has done much more than adopt planat, they've partnered with us since the beginning to ensure planat's success.  I thank the City of Richmond for being such an innovative leader by making accessibility a priority in the City, and for its ongoing commitment to ensure that all City spaces are fully accessible."

"Now, to continue on that success, we encourage all Richmond businesses to join us by having their venues rated on planat.com.  Access matters to everyone, from babies to older adults, and showcasing your accessibility on planat is good business," says Hansen.

Tourism Richmond and the Richmond Chamber of Commerce have both endorsed the program and are actively encouraging their members to support the program. The City and the Rick Hansen Foundation have also worked closely with the Richmond Centre of Disability in development of the program and completing professional ratings of 29 City venues.

For more information on the City's involvement with planat.com, visit www.richmond.ca/accessibility

SOURCE: City of Richmond

For further information:

Kim Decker
Corporate Communications Officer
The City of Richmond
Tel: 604-276-4371 Cel: 778-835-6178
Email:  kdecker@richmond.ca 

Dan Enjo
Communications Specialist
Rick Hansen Foundation
Tel: 778-296-1571
Email: denjo@rickhansen.com

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