Government of Canada improves accessibility for persons with disabilities
January 22, 2019 Calgary, Alberta Employment and Social Development Canada
Today, the Minister of Public Services and Procurement and Accessibility, the Honourable Carla Qualtrough, announced financial support for close to 400 organizations across Canada through the small projects component of the Enabling Accessibility Fund (EAF).
With programs such as the EAF, the Government of Canada is breaking down the barriers that prevent persons with disabilities from fully participating in all aspects of Canadian society, ensuring that everyone has equal access and equal opportunity.
The EAF’s small projects component supports construction, renovation and retrofit projects that work to improve accessibility in facilities and venues where persons with disabilities work and access programs and services. Such projects can be found in small businesses, community centres, churches, and parks and playgrounds across Canada.
Through the 2018 EAF small projects call for proposals, eligible organizations were able to apply for up to $100,000 in project funding under two streams: Community Accessibility and Workplace Accessibility.
Today’s announcement took place at Evergreen Community SPACES, one of the several hundred organizations to receive EAF support this year. With $72,329 in EAF funding, SPACES will renovate its front entrance by installing a ramp and automatic door openers, and will make accessibility retrofits to its main floor washrooms.
While in Calgary, Minister Qualtrough also visited the Autism Calgary Association and the Calgary Scope Society: two organizations that received EAF funding through the 2017 call for proposals. With this support, these organizations were able to become more accessible to Calgarians.
The proposed Accessible Canada Act, currently making its way through the Senate, is another concrete step that the Government of Canada is taking to break down barriers to accessibility. This Bill is meant to promote broad organizational and cultural change across Canada, while proactively identifying, removing and preventing barriers in a number of priority areas.
“Programs such as the Enabling Accessibility Fund exist to ensure people with disabilities can participate and contribute to society on a full and equal basis. Through this funding and through partnerships with various organizations across the country, we are building a more inclusive and accessible Canada.”
– The Honourable Carla Qualtrough, Minister of Public Services and Procurement and Accessibility
“Evergreen Community SPACES is so thrilled to be receiving this investment. For over 25 years, Evergreen has been bringing the joy of learning to life through both our programming and the operation of our unique and inclusive spaces. With the federal government’s support, we can implement the access upgrades we have been planning for several years. These improvements will allow for even greater opportunities to connect with diverse, often under‑represented members of the Calgary community. Today is a great day!”
– Sean Fraser, Executive Director
The EAF Community Accessibility stream provides funding for projects that help improve accessibility and safety through renovations, retrofits or construction of community facilities and venues, so that programs and services can be accessed by persons with disabilities. This includes the provision of information and communication technologies for community use that eliminate systemic accessibility barriers.
The Workplace Accessibility stream provides funding for projects that improve accessibility and safety for persons with disabilities through renovations, retrofits or construction of workplaces, including the provision of accessible information and communication technologies for work use.
Since the creation of the EAF in 2007, the Government of Canada has supported over 3,500 accessibility projects, helping thousands of Canadians by improving their access to programs, services and employment opportunities in their communities.
Eligible organizations can submit funding applications through periodic calls for proposals. Recipients of funding under the mid-sized projects component and the youth innovation projects component of the EAF will be announced in coming months.
In 2018–19, the EAF’s grants and contributions annual budget grew to $20.65 million as Budget 2017 provided an additional $77 million over 10 years. These funds have expanded the activities of the program and support more small and mid-sized projects, including youth-driven project proposals, to improve accessibility in Canadian communities and workplaces.
The EAF enhancement is part of the Government of Canada’s Investing in Canada infrastructure plan in which the Government is investing more than $180 billion over 12 years in public transit projects, green infrastructure, social infrastructure, trade and transportation routes, and Canada’s rural and northern communities.
Director of Communications
Office of the Honourable Carla Qualtrough
Media Relations Office
Employment and Social Development Canada
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