Calls for proposals launched to create lasting impact and greater opportunities for persons with disabilities  

News release

February 4, 2022              Gatineau, Quebec              Employment and Social Development Canada

Building accessible and inclusive communities, where persons with disabilities have equal opportunities to thrive and succeed, will be an essential part of Canada’s recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic. That is why the Government of Canada is supporting community projects to provide greater access and opportunities for persons with disabilities.

Today, Minister of Employment, Workforce Development and Disability Inclusion, Carla Qualtrough launched two calls for proposals totalling up to $5.6 million over two years through the Social Development Partnerships Program (SDPP), Disability component.

Funding will be provided through two distinct streams:

The National AccessAbility Week (NAAW) stream will provide up to $1.6M in grants over two years to support projects that will help to: improve Canadians understanding of accessibility and inclusion; reduce stigma and attitudinal barriers towards persons with disabilities; and, enable the sharing of best practices and lessons learned across the disability community. Special focus will be given to awareness-raising projects within under-represented communities, including official language minority communities, LGBTQ2+, Indigenous (First Nations, Métis and Inuit) and other minority communities, including Black Canadians and other visible minority groups.

The Accessible Canada Partnerships stream will provide up to $4M in contributions over two years to support projects involving multi-sectoral partnerships that contribute to the development of accessible and inclusively designed environments, spaces, programs and services. The Government of Canada is providing funding in two phases to focus funding support for projects that have lasting impacts. Only projects that demonstrate the potential for reaching more persons, communities and settings, and have a plan for sustainability will progress to Phase 2.

In addition to these new calls for proposals, the Government is continuing to work on its first-ever Disability Inclusion Action Plan, which will include a new Canada Disability Benefit, improved processes for eligibility for Government disability programs and benefits, and a robust employment strategy for Canadians with disabilities. 


“Building a barrier-free Canada happens one project, one community at a time. That’s why our government is partnering with organizations who are leading this work on the ground. In the spirit of ‘Nothing Without Us,’ we’ll continue to create a more equal, inclusive country by supporting those who are advocating for the rights of persons with disabilities and taking concrete action to make our communities more accessible.”

– Minister of Employment, Workforce Development and Disability Inclusion, Carla Qualtrough

Quick facts

  • According to the 2017 Canadian Survey on Disability, more than 6 million Canadians aged 15 and over (22% of the population) identify as having a disability, and it is expected actual numbers are likely higher.

  • Only 59% of Canadians with disabilities aged 25 to 64 are employed compared to 80% of Canadians without disabilities. 

  • Persons with disabilities earn less than Canadians without disabilities (12% less for those with milder disabilities and 51% less for those with more severe disabilities) and are more likely to live in poverty.

  • National AccessAbility Week is an annual event that starts on the last Sunday in May. It is an opportunity to celebrate the valuable contributions of Canadians with disabilities and to recognize the efforts of individuals, communities and workplaces that are actively working to remove barriers to accessibility and inclusion.

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Jane Deeks
Director of Communications
Office of the Minister of Employment, Workforce Development and Disability Inclusion, Carla Qualtrough

Media Relations Office
Employment and Social Development Canada
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