Government of Canada announces funding for the social and economic inclusion of persons with disabilities

News release

June 1, 2020                 Gatineau, Quebec        Employment and Social Development Canada

Canadians across the country are feeling the economic impacts of COVID-19. In order to ensure a strong recovery, all Canadians need to be able to contribute equally to our economy. That’s why the Government of Canada is committed to ensuring that everyone, including persons with disabilities, have the opportunity to participate fully in a barrier-free society. That means working in partnership with organizations that will help continue to build inclusive and accessible services, communities and workplaces.

As part of Canada’s fourth National AccessAbility Week, the Minister of Employment, Workforce Development and Disability Inclusion, the Honourable Carla Qualtrough, announced financial support of up to $6.4 million over three years for up to 16 organizations across Canada through the disability component of the Social Development Partnerships Program (SDPP-D). This funding will support partnerships between disability stakeholders and the federally regulated private sector and help to develop best practice tools and resources in the areas of accessible workplaces, accessible service design and delivery, and communication.

The calls for proposals were launched in 2019 under two different streams:

  • Financial Security: to help improve the financial security of persons with disabilities through innovative approaches aimed at improving the financial situation of working-age Canadians with disabilities living in or near poverty; and,
  • Youth Leadership: to develop the next generation of youth disability leaders by providing meaningful leadership experiences to youth with disabilities or lived experience, while also facilitating succession planning and sustainability in the disability sector.

Two targeted calls for proposals were also held in 2019:

  • Accessible Canada Partnership Project: to fund projects aimed at supporting ongoing participation by disability stakeholders in the implementation of the Accessible Canada Act; and,
  • Indigenous Leadership: to help provide the perspective of Indigenous persons with disabilities as part of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities reporting process.

The Social Development Partnerships Program helps children and families, persons with disabilities and other vulnerable Canadians improve their lives. The disability component of this program funds not-for-profit organizations that promote the social inclusion of persons with disabilities; address the social issues and barriers that persons with disabilities face in Canadian society; and support the implementation of the Accessible Canada Act. As a result of the pandemic, social barriers to inclusion have increased, which is why funding to organizations through SDPP-D is more important than ever. Organizations who will receive funding will be able to continue working with partners and stakeholders across the country to create an inclusive, equitable and accessible society for all using intersectional, sustainable and human-rights-based approaches.

Organizations receiving funding

Prosper Canada
University of Manitoba
Planned Lifetime Advocacy Network
Le Flambeau, finances inclusives
Canadian Council on Rehabilitation and Work (CCRW)
Institute for Research and Development on Inclusion and Society (IRIS)
Canadian Hard of Hearing Association (CHHA)
The Assembly of First Nations
Congress of Aboriginal Peoples
The Native Women’s Association of Canada
Sam Sullivan Disability Foundation
L’Arche Canada
Active Living Alliance for Canadians with Disabilities
Dawn Canada


As we navigate the COVID-19 pandemic, the Government is committed to helping persons with disabilities maintain their health, safety and dignity. There is a crucial role for the Government in continuing to help break down barriers to ensure that everyone has an equal opportunity to succeed and contribute to our society. Through the Social Development Partnerships Program – Disability component funding, we continue to change perceptions, by working with organizations across Canada to find projects that improve social inclusion and accessibility for persons with disabilities.”
– The Honourable Carla Qualtrough, Minister of Employment, Workforce Development and Disability Inclusion

Quick facts

  • National AccessAbility Week is from May 31 to June 6, 2020 and is an opportunity to highlight the contributions of Canadians with disabilities and recognize all efforts related to removing barriers to inclusion.

  • $11 million in funding has been provided annually to organizations to support projects intended to improve the participation and social inclusion of persons with disabilities in all aspects of Canadian society. Over 500 projects have been now been funded through the Social Development Partnerships Program.

  • Additional funding was announced in 2019 for the Social Development Partnerships Program to support the implementation of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities as well as the implementation of the Accessible Canada Act:

    • $2.6 million over two years (2019–21) to support the implementation of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities;
    • $6.13 million over three years (2019–22) to support accessibility; and
    • $2.7 million per year ongoing, effective 2021–22, to support accessibility.

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For media enquiries, please contact:
Marielle Hossack
Press Secretary
Office of the Honourable Carla Qualtrough

Media Relations Office
Employment and Social Development Canada
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