Enabling the Disabled
Rick Hansen Foundation
At age 15, Rick Hansen was thrown from the bed of a pickup truck, leaving him paralyzed from the waist down.
Today, the boy who would grow up to become the globally known Man in Motion believes cars and the people who sell them can dramatically improve the lives of people with disabilities.
As Hansen told a Trillium Automobile Dealers Association (TADA) conference in the May issue of Automotive News Canada, autonomous vehicles, ride-hailing apps and other technologies promise mobility for those who today cannot move around freely.
The paralympian, 62, suggested how dealerships can show leadership by removing obstacles that hinder those with disabilities. Beyond the obvious human-rights benefits, improving access can bring in customers and attract applications from people with disabilities; a “huge opportunity” in a tight labour market, Hansen said.
TADA conference attendees were receptive to the challenge, pledging to discuss with automakers the improvements that can change dealerships, and lives, for the better.