Vancouver’s YVR gets Rick Hansen Foundation Gold accessibility rating

Today, Vancouver International Airport (YVR) received the ‘Accessibility Certified Gold’ rating under the Rick Hansen Foundation Accessibility Certification(TM) (RHFAC) program. YVR is the first airport to receive the rating and is the highest rated building in the program.

YVR is the Rick Hansen Foundation's first Gold accessibility certified airport in Canada. Photo by  Alejandro Erickson via Wikimedia Commons.
YVR is the Rick Hansen Foundation’s first Gold accessibility certified airport in Canada. Photo by Alejandro Erickson via Wikimedia Commons.

“This year, YVR will welcome a record 25 million passengers and for us it’s very important that every one of these passengers has a seamless and comfortable airport experience,” said Craig Richmond, President & CEO, Vancouver Airport Authority. “Accessibility is one of our top priorities and is a key part of our success as a world-class hub. Gold Certification from the Rick Hansen Foundation is a testament to our ongoing efforts to better serve our passengers, partners and communities—and is a milestone we are very proud of.”

Rick Hansen, Founder and CEO of the Rick Hansen Foundation said: “I’m proud to congratulate YVR on being the first airport to achieve ‘Accessibility Certified Gold’ rating under the Rick Hansen Foundation Accessibility Certification(TM) (RHFAC) program. I’ve watched YVR systematically make progress on accessibility over many decades. People with visible and invisible disabilities experience accessibility challenges every day and with record numbers of passengers traveling through Canada’s airports, it’s critical that these spaces meet everyone’s needs. I hope YVR and Craig’s leadership inspires other transport hubs around the world to take steps in becoming more accessible and inclusive for travelers of all ages and abilities.”

The RHFAC is the first program to measure the level of meaningful access beyond building code, and is based upon the holistic user experience of people with varying disabilities affecting their mobility, vision and hearing. To date, over 1,100 buildings across BC are registered to be rated.

In achieving this certification rating, YVR has removed barriers and improved accessibility for employees, passengers and partners—achieving the highest score of any rated building to-date with 93 out of 100 points. YVR has a broad range of accessibility features that led to this score including:

  • Universal food and service counters for people using wheeled mobility devicesv
  • Low-resistance carpeting for easier movement and greater stability
  • Textured terminal flooring to assist with wayfinding
  • Curbside ramps and assistance
  • Accessible parking in all lots with accessible bus service to long-term parking
  • Universal seating throughout the terminal
  • Universally accessible washrooms
  • Pet relief areas for individuals travelling with assistance animals
  • Adaptive speakers throughout the terminal building
  • Clearly marked signage and wayfinding
  • Customer care staff trained in accessibility

More on the Rick Hansen Foundation Accessibility Certification program is available here.

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