(Toronto, November 22, 2019) Last night, StopGap Foundation announced a new national partnership with Toyota Canada at StopGap’s big annual fundraising event. A $100,000 donation from the company will support the development and growth of StopGap’s School Project. The partnership will ultimately contribute to the longevity and livelihood of the Foundation and all its important awareness-raising programs in communities all across Canada.
“StopGap is a visionary organization that, by implementing a simple yet highly effective solution, has opened up hundreds of businesses across the country to people living with a disability or limited mobility,” said Stephen Beatty, Vice President, Corporate, Toyota Canada Inc. “Toyota Canada applauds StopGap’s important leadership in this space, and we look forward to joining them in their mission to make the world more inclusive through physical accessibility.”
The partnership with Toyota Canada is rooted in shared values. Toyota’s vision of becoming a global mobility company is underpinned by their commitment to creating a more inclusive society where everyone has access to mobility.
The support from Toyota Canada will elevate the Foundation’s impact and reach even more communities across Canada. Enabling growth of the School Project will also support the growth of Community Ramp Projects to create more barrier-free spaces, all while sparking an important dialogue to inspire a shift in the way Canadians think about disability and address accessibility challenges.
“We will all experience a shift in the way we move, whether it’s becoming a parent, sustaining an injury, a job requirement, or simply aging,” says Luke Anderson, StopGap Foundation Executive Director and Co-Founder. “At some point in our lives, we will need to rely on a barrier-free amenity, so it’s important that our world is designed and built to accommodate these shifts to maximize independence and spontaneity.”
StopGap Foundation is a registered Canadian charity that is raising awareness about the importance of accessibility and inclusion. The Foundation’s School Project, Community Ramp Project and Corporate Teambuilding program help ensure that our society’s collective understanding, about how barriers to access hold so many people back from reaching their full potential, continues to advance and grow.
StopGap provides brightly coloured ramps to business owners across Canada to help them overcome what Anderson calls the “one-step problem” – a single step outside a business that makes the entire building inaccessible to many people who use mobility aids.
The deployable custom wooden ramps - painted in bright colours to attract attention and create awareness - allow easier access for those who use mobility aids and anyone else who finds a stepped entryway challenging, including the elderly, parents with strollers, and couriers. The simple-yet-impactful ramps help highlight the value of having a storefront that everyone can access and get communities thinking about great solutions to accessibility issues affecting so many Canadians.
About StopGap Foundation
StopGap Foundation began its awareness-raising journey in 2011 and has since populated the country with over 2,000 ramps in over 60 Canadian communities. Last summer, the grassroots organization celebrated the launch of its first U.S.-based project with more than a dozen businesses with single-stepped entryways in NYC hopping on the awareness-raising bandwagon. The Foundation has a goal of extending its programs to communities worldwide.
About Toyota Canada
Toyota Canada Inc. (TCI) is the exclusive Canadian distributor of Toyota and Lexus vehicles. Toyota has sold over eight million vehicles in Canada through a national network of 287 Toyota and Lexus dealerships. Toyota is dedicated to bringing safety, quality, dependability and reliability to the vehicles Canadians drive and the service they receive. TCI’s head office is located in Toronto, with regional offices in Vancouver, Calgary, Montreal and Halifax, and parts distribution centres in Toronto and Vancouver. Toyota operates two manufacturing facilities in Canada. Having produced more than eight million vehicles, popular Canadian models built at these facilities include Toyota RAV4, Toyota RAV4 Hybrid, Lexus RX 350 and RX 450h hybrid. Recent investments at its facilities in Ontario will allow for increased production of the top-selling Toyota RAV4 and RAV4 Hybrid models.