Government of Canada invests in projects to improve access to services for persons with disabilities in the Windsor region

News release

May 31, 2021              Windsor, Ontario              Employment and Social Development Canada

The COVID-19 pandemic has had a disproportionate impact on persons with disabilities and has shed light on the number of Canadians that continue to face barriers to full inclusion in their communities and workplaces. One of the many ways the Government of Canada is taking action to break down those barriers is through funding programs like the Enabling Accessibility Fund (EAF).

Today, to celebrate National AccessAbility Week (NAAW) 2021, the Minister of Employment, Workforce Development and Disability Inclusion, Carla Qualtrough, and Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Employment, Workforce Development and Disability Inclusion and Member of Parliament for Windsor—Tecumseh, Irek Kusmierczyk, participated in a virtual event to highlight 11 accessibility projects led by organizations in the Windsor area that have received over $557,000 in EAF funding.

The EAF is a federal grants and contributions program that supports construction projects across Canada that improve the accessibility, safety and inclusion of persons with disabilities in our communities. The program helps provide vital accessible infrastructure such as ramps, automatic doors and accessible washrooms. It directly supports organizations so they can offer programs, services and employment opportunities to persons with disabilities.

Today’s project announcements include support to Stonehedge Properties Inc. under the Youth Innovation component of EAF, to turn an existing building into the Walkerville Arts Centre, a multi-use community arts programming space designed to meet the needs of people of all abilities.

Also announced today, under the Small projects component of EAF is a project by the Welcome Centre Shelter for Women to install push button door openers and a ramp to make their facility more accessible to disabled Canadians in need of their essential services.

All of the 11 projects in the Windsor area are excellent examples of how, by working with community organizations, the Government of Canada is helping to break down barriers to accessibility and disability inclusion.

Minister Qualtrough also announced that two calls for proposals under the EAF’s Mid-sized projects and Youth Innovation components will launch on Friday, June 4, 2021. The Mid-sized projects component provides contributions of up to $1 million to support larger retrofit, renovation or construction projects in facilities that house programs and services that help increase social participation and labour market opportunities for persons with disabilities in Canada. The Youth Innovation component seeks to engage and challenge youth between 15 and 30 years of age, to volunteer and collaborate with local organizations in their communities to secure funding of up to $10,000 for accessibility projects. More information will be available on June 4 at Funding - Canada.ca.

Quotes

When barriers to accessibility and inclusion are removed, Canadians with disabilities can participate fully, helping our communities thrive and our economy prosper. This is why I am so excited to announce the launch of these two new calls for proposals under the Mid-sized projects and Youth Innovation components of the Enabling Accessibility Fund. As we work together with Canadian organizations to improve inclusion and access in our society, we are also building a successful recovery that will lead to a stronger, fairer and more inclusive Canada, now and in the future.”
– Minister of Employment, Workforce Development and Disability Inclusion, Carla Qualtrough

“Building a more inclusive Canada takes work, and we are committed to getting the job done. Thanks to the Enabling Accessibility Fund, the Government of Canada has been able to support organizations in Windsor region that are working hard to make our community more accessible for persons with disabilities. Improving accessibility and promoting inclusion benefits all Canadians.”
- Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Employment, Workforce Development and Disability Inclusion and Member of Parliament for Windsor—Tecumseh, Irek Kusmierczyk

Quick facts

  • May 30 to June 5, 2021 is National AccessAbility Week (NAAW), a time when accessibility and inclusion are promoted across Canada. It is an opportunity to highlight the contributions of Canadians with disabilities and recognize all efforts to remove barriers and ensure persons with disabilities are able to fully participate in all aspects of Canadian society.

  • The Government of Canada has funded over 4,700 projects since the establishment of the Enabling Accessibility Fund (EAF) in 2007, helping thousands of Canadians gain access to their communities’ programs, services and employment opportunities.

  • Under the EAF’s 2021 Mid-sized component, organizations will be able to submit project proposals for funding from $350,000 up to $1 million. The call for proposals will remain open until July 29, 2021. 

  • Under the EAF’s 2021 Youth Innovation component, expressions of interest from youth will be accepted until October 29, 2021. The deadline for organizations working with youth to submit their proposals will be November 30, 2021. 

  • Budget 2021 committed $100 million over two years, starting in 2021-22, to triple funding for the EAF and support small and mid-sized projects with not-for-profit organizations, women’s shelters, municipalities, Indigenous organizations, territorial governments, and businesses of all sizes. An additional $29.2 million was committed over two years to help children with disabilities by supporting child care centres to make physical upgrades to improve the accessibility of their facilities.

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Contacts

For media enquiries, please contact:


Marielle Hossack
Press Secretary
Office of the Minister of Employment, Workforce Development and Disability Inclusion, Carla Qualtrough
marielle.hossack@hrsdc-rhdcc.gc.ca


Media Relations Office
Employment and Social Development Canada
819-994-5559
media@hrsdc-rhdcc.gc.ca
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