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Sam Sullivan, founder of the Disability Foundation.

The Disability Foundation and its affiliated organizations were founded by Sam Sullivan after he became a quadriplegic as a result of a skiing accident at the age of 19. 

The foundation provides opportunities for people with disabilities. It promotes the capabilities and talents of people with physical challenges, once barriers in the physical landscape have been overcome.

The Tetra Society recruits technically skilled volunteers who have made more than 5,000 custom-made assistive devices for people with disabilities in locations throughout North America. ConnecTra Society serves as a connecting agency, linking people with physical disabilities to activities and programs . The  Disabled Sailing Association has catalyzed the formation of 20 sailing programs throughout North America and has 140 of its specially designed sip and puff 16-foot sailboats in use throughout the world (and now has its own boat donation site and blog, Sailing is Freedom). The  BC Mobility Opportunity Society Wilderness Access Program has 50 of its TrailRiders in use in programs throughout North America enabling ascents to the peak of Mount Kilimanjaro and the base camp of Mount Everest. Vancouver Adapted Music Society operates a music studio in the GF Strong Rehab Centre and has introduced hundreds of people with disabilities to the world of music. The Disabled Independent Gardeners Association operates two community gardens and holds regular workshops.

Since its origin in the late 1980s, the Sam Sullivan Disability Foundation has raised more than $20 million and provided quality of life opportunities for more than 10,000 people with significant disabilities. The Foundation supports six non-profit organizations and several other initiatives that provide services throughout Canada and beyond.

In recognition of his service to people with disabilities, Sam was invested as a member of the Order of Canada in 2005 and has been the recipient of the Terry Fox Award and the Christopher and Dana Reeve Award amongst many other honours.As mayor of Vancouver, Sullivan received international attention after he waved the Olympic and Paralympic flags during the closing ceremony of the 2006 Winter Olympics in Turin, Italy. He was later appointed Canada's 2010 Paralympic Winter Games Ambassador.


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Affiliated Societies
BC Mobility Opportunities Society
Connectra Society
Disabled Independant Gardeners Association of BC
Disabled Sailing Association of BC
Tetra Society of North America
Vancouver Adapted Music Society


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