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Interdependence 2012 Conference and Exposition, Vancouver, Canada


Photo of Vancouver by Vancouver TourismVancouver, Photo Credit: Tourism Vancouver

May 15 - 18, 2012 - Vancouver, BC, Canada

Global Advancement in Accessible Communities and Spinal Cord Injury Research for a Cure.

Co-hosted by the Rick Hansen Foundation and the Rick Hansen Institute, Interdependence 2012 is an international four-day conference and exposition with a focus on creating accessible communities and furthering spinal cord injury (SCI) research for a cure.

Thousands of delegates from around the world are expected to attend this inaugural event, which takes place from May 15 - 18, 2012, at the Vancouver Convention Centre in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada.

IMPORTANT UPDATE 6 February 2012

Rick Hansen Institute and Rick Hansen Foundation writes:
"Based on industry feedback and due to the current economic climate, we have made the difficult decision to rescale Interdependence 2012 to focus on Spinal Cord Injury Research and Development. Please be assured, the Rick Hansen Foundation remains committed to advancing accessibility through other initiatives.

We would like thank all those who submitted an abstract and for your interest in presenting at the conference".

The Conference Program

Coinciding with the 25th anniversary of the Rick Hansen Man In Motion World Tour, the Interdependence 2012 conference and exposition will advance the original goals of the Tour, and the mission of the Rick Hansen Foundation (RHF) today: to create accessible and inclusive communities and to find a cure for spinal cord injury (SCI).

Update 3 June 2011. Download the Preliminary Conference Overview document (16 pages) in PDF format from the right-hand panel.

Creating Accessible Communities

The accessibility agenda of the program, led by the Rick Hansen Foundation (RHF), will provide a meaningful and practical forum for experts and leaders from around the world to share best practices, lessons learned, and to set the stage for international collaboration for the next 25 years.

The accessibility agenda will be centered on the following themes:

  • Accessible and inclusive tourism
  • Accessible public spaces
  • Accessible transportation
  • International standards and rating systems
  • Legacies of major international sport events
  • UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities.

Delegates will include all levels of government, private sector, tourism industry, transportation industry, sport and recreation industry (inclusive of major sporting events), building and construction industry (e.g., architects, developers, trades people), national and international organizations who impact and are impacted by the field of accessibility and assessments, as well as people with disabilities.

Advancing Spinal Cord Injury Research Towards a Cure

The research agenda of the program, led by the Rick Hansen Institute (RHI), will focus on furthering research towards a cure for spinal cord injury through the engagement and collaboration of national and international partners. The ultimate goal is to accelerate the translation of evidence-based treatments and best practices from “bench to bedside” and out into the community. The agenda will include the following topics:

  • Acute SCI Interventions
  • Chronic SCI Interventions
  • Regenerative Neuroscience
  • Registry, Data Management and Clinical Trials
  • Rehabilitation.

Delegates will include researchers, clinicians, hospital administrators, organizations who impact and are impacted by the field of SCI research, and people with a spinal cord injury.

Interdependence 2012 Exposition

The Interdependence 2012 EXPO will be an integral part of the conference program, advancing the goals of both the accessibility and research agendas. This large exposition will focus on products and services that address the needs of a growing combined demographic of persons with a disability and the aging population, and will attract businesses and organizations with a desire to become more accessible.

The exposition will also cater to corporations, organizations, governments, universities and associations offering leading and innovative products or services related to SCI research.

In addition to the expected 3,000-plus delegates, the exposition will be open to the public for three days with an expected attendance of over 3,000 visitors.

Street of “The Possible”

Housed in a dedicated section of the exhibition, the Street of “The Possible” will feature real-life exhibits showcasing examples of best practice design, products and services to be explored and used by delegates and visitors.

Complimentary Events

In addition to the conference and exposition, Interdependence 2012 will feature a number of complimentary events including a Youth Symposium, which will foster youth leadership and promote youth engagement in issues of accessibility within their communities.

More information

Visit the Conference and Exposition website

Interdependence 2012 Host Organizations

Rick Hansen Foundation logo



Rick Hansen Institute logo




ENAT logoENAT is proud to have been chosen by the Host Organizations as an Official Partner of Interdependence 2012, contributing to the Conference's accessibility agenda, "Creating Accessible Communities".