Universal Access Design Ltd. (UAD) is a social enterprise that provides accessibility consulting services to review designs for buildings and public spaces as well as education services in the form of simulation and sensitivity training.
In 2017, Urban Matters CCC (UM) partnered with Stan Leyenhorst (formerly of the Rick Hansen Foundation) to support the development of Universal Access Design Inc. (www.uadi.ca), an accessibility consulting and education social venture. Urban Matters CCC provided early stage financial support, mentorship, social venture development expertise, network access and development building, and some early sales development via our colleagues at Urban Systems’.
In July 2018, UM and UAD agreed to continue their relationship for another year to accelerate the growth of UAD. This phase will focus on creating a sustainable growth pattern with new clients and bigger projects. UAD has created strong working relationships with a number of highly qualified professionals who hold the Rick Hansen Foundation Accessibility Certification (RHFAC). The relationship and strategy between UM and UAD has resulted in financial success that will ensure that UAD can be a long-term contributor to increasing accessibility in the built environment, while maximizing its social impact in the short term. In addition to continuing to service a wide range of municipal clients, UAD has now also provided accessibility assessments and advice that will make university campuses, non-profit service providers, and outdoor recreation facilities more accessible to people with disabilities.
“UAD benefited from a strong partnership with UM to get the business built on a solid foundation in the first year. With this new acceleration effort, UAD is moving at a much faster pace towards achieving our vision of ‘Access for everyone, everywhere, all the time’. It has been so exciting to work with a visionary partner that sees possibilities for innovation when others only see barriers.”
– Stan Leyenhorst, on working with Urban Matters