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Title: Leading Change: Young Disability Champions in Conversation with Rick Hansen. Image of Rick Hansen and a youth in a wheelchair shaking hands
Leading Change: Young Disability Champions in Conversation with Rick Hansen
To celebrate National AccessAbility Week 2022, the Rick Hansen Foundation School Program is hosting a conversation between Rick Hansen and three accomplished young Canadians with disabilities. Join this panel discussion to hear Rick speak to his belief that youth have the power to change the world, as well as youth perspectives on how students can lead the way towards improving disability awareness, inclusion and accessibility in today’s society.

May 31, 2022 10:00 AM in Vancouver

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Rick Hansen
Special guest
Rick Hansen, C.C., O.B.C., six-time Paralympic medalist, is a Canadian icon best known as the “Man In Motion” for undertaking an epic 26-month, 40,000 km journey around the world in his wheelchair. He is the Founder of the Rick Hansen Foundation, an organization committed to creating a world without barriers for people with disabilities.
Paulo Guerrero
Paulo is an energetic and engaging public speaker living in North Vancouver. He is an adventurer and especially enjoys exploring up in the mountains, paddling in the ocean and even bungee jumping! Paulo sustained a spinal cord injury, following a motorcycle accident in 2018. Being paralyzed from the chest down hasn’t changed Paulo’s optimistic outlook on life.
Élise Doucet
Élise is a passionate Deaf and climate activist involved in organizations local to her hometown of Kamloops, BC. She is an alumnus of the Fraser Basin Council’s Co-Creating a Sustainable BC initiative, was a Youth Observer at the Adaptation Canada conference 2020, and a Youth Delegate at the Rick Hansen Youth Leadership Summit in 2017. Élise has done contract writing on disability, and has collaborated with her local government to put closed captioning on city council meeting videos. In her free time, Élise enjoys being with her horse and writing, sometimes at the same time.
Alexis Holmgren
Alexis is a 21-year-old rare disease patient advocate, writer, and volunteer. She lives with both visible and invisible disabilities, and has been a passionate advocate for diversity, inclusion, and accessibility since the age of 12. Alexis is the recipient of a 2021 Rick Hansen Foundation School Program Difference Maker of the Year Award for her efforts in securing a grant to install UV-light blocking film to make her local pool more accessible to those living with disabling sun allergies and sensitivities.
Mihai Covaser
Mihai is originally from Romania, and has called Kelowna, British Columbia home for 11 years, where he is currently a first-year student at the University of British Columbia Okanagan. Mihai has worked as an advocate, fundraiser, public speaker, event organizer, and representative in various media and live events for non-profit organizations improving accessibility and inclusion policy. Mihai’s vision is to see the curriculum of educators-in-training in Canada changed to reflect a more inclusive and holistic view of education for all youth, regardless of ability.