Rick Hansen Foundation campaigns for more accessible society with a more accessible poster

Who: Rick Hansen Foundation, Taxi and Pixelpusher.

What: A national awareness campaign about the need to create more accessible communities and cities.

When & Where: The first wave, focused on outdoor, digital and social, is running nationally. It rolls out just ahead of National Disability Awareness Week (May 26 to June 1), and as the Federal Government considers the Accessible Canada Act (C-81), aimed at improving accessibility across Canada. Additional media, including broadcast, is coming later in the year.

Why: Because the world needs to be more accessible for people living with disabilities. That message is delivered simply with the two word tagline “#Everyone Everywhere.” One of the specific objectives is encouraging building owners to get accessibility certified by the Rick Hansen Foundation. “Everyone Everywhere is two simple, colloquial words that mean so much… because it is so simple it has the power to really create a movement,” said Taxi’s executive creative director, Alexis Bronstorph.

How: Creative for wild postings was developed with accessible design principles, and there’s also a high-design wordmark created by the typographer Jordan Metcalfe meant to convey the beauty of a more accessible society. It’s being used in street murals in Toronto.

What else? The big idea at the core of the campaign is a so-called “Poster for Everyone.” A digital board installed outside Toronto’s City Hall for two days used accessible typography, high-contrast colours, and an audio version of the message, as well as a camera and voice recognition, to make the board adaptable and readable for the people standing in front of it.

If the voice-recognition detected someone speaking in French, for example, the copy changed to French. If the camera detected someone in a wheelchair the copy dropped down to their eye level. Toronto-based web and experiential agency Pixelpusher was responsible for the technology behind the poster. “We wanted to make sure that we not only delivered a message about accessibility but did it in an accessible way,” said Laura McBride, RHF’s director of marketing. Video content of the poster is being used in social posts. “The poster shows how the world should work,” said Bronstorph.

Quote: “This is an important moment to move us into the future. What we wanted to do was find a way to distill [this issue] in simple terms that everyone can really understand.” —Alexis Bronstorph.

David Brown