STRATHROY, ONTARIO —Organizations can now apply for funding for projects that will create or enhance accessibility for people with disabilities in Canadian communities through the Government of Canada’s Enabling Accessibility Fund.
Bev Shipley, MP for Lambton-Kent-Middlesex, today invited organizations to submit proposals for small projects. These may include renovations, construction and retrofitting of buildings, modification of vehicles for community use or enhancements to make information and communication technologies more accessible.
“The Government of Canada recognizes the abilities of all Canadians and is committed to removing barriers for people with disabilities,” said Mr. Shipley. “Through the Enabling Accessibility Fund, our Government is improving access to facilities, activities and services to enable all Canadians to participate more fully in society.”
The call for proposals was launched by Dr. Kellie Leitch, Parliamentary Secretary to the Honourable Diane Finley, Minister of Human Resources and Skills Development, on August 21, 2012. Organizations can submit proposals until October 5, 2012, and can receive up to $50,000 per project.
To find out how to apply for funding or for more information about the Fund, visit www.hrsdc.gc.ca/disability.
Enabling Accessibility Fund – Small Project Component
All projects must create or enhance accessibility for people with disabilities within Canada and must involve community partnerships. At least 25 percent of the total eligible proposed project costs must come from non-federal government sources and must be confirmed at application stage.
The following types of organizations can apply for funding:
- not-for-profit organizations
- small municipalities (with a population under 250 000 as per census data)
- small private-sector organizations (fewer than 50 employees and under $5 million in gross revenue per year)
- colleges and universities
- territorial governments
- Aboriginal governments
Eligible activities include, but are not limited to:
- constructing an interior or exterior ramp;
- installing wider doors or automated door openers;
- building an accessible washroom;
- installing an elevator or lift; and
- enhancing interactive speech capability on a public-access computer.
The Enabling Accessibility Fund was originally announced in 2007 as a three-year, $45-million program to support community-based projects across Canada. In 2010, the Fund was extended with an additional three-year, $45-million commitment and the creation of a new mid-sized component. Since the first call for proposals in 2008, over 800 projects have been awarded funding to improve accessibility in Canadian communities.
In line with the Government’s top priority of job creation and economic growth, an additional benefit of the Enabling Accessibility Fund is that it creates jobs in construction and renovation, many of which are in smaller communities. To help more Canadians with disabilities prepare for and get jobs or become self-employed, Canada’s Economic Action Plan 2012 is providing an additional $30 million over three years to the Opportunities Fund.