Government of Canada invests to make communities and workplaces barrier-free for persons with disabilities
June 3, 2022 Montreal, Quebec Employment and Social Development Canada
When everyone can participate fully in all aspects of society, our communities thrive, our economy prospers and all Canadians benefit. That is why the Government of Canada is investing to ensure accessibility and disability inclusion is prioritized in Canadian communities and workplaces.
Today, as part of National AccessAbility Week, Minister of Employment, Workforce Development and Disability Inclusion, Carla Qualtrough, announced $67.1 million to support projects by 959 organizations across Canada through the Enabling Accessibility Fund. $10.3 million of this funding went to 159 organizations in Quebec.
Also as part of today’s announcement, Minister Qualtrough launched a new call for proposals under the EAF Youth Innovation component. Up to $1M is now available to fund approximately 100 youth-driven projects that will help address accessibility barriers in Canadian communities. Interested youth must submit their expressions of interest in being named a Youth Accessibility Leader (YAL) by October 17, 2022, at 5:00 p.m. EST online at:
Canada.ca/en/employment-social-development/services/funding/enabling-accessibility-fund-youth-innovation.html. Eligible organizations must submit their funding application(s) in collaboration with the YAL by October 31, 2022 at 5:00 p.m. EST.
Minister Qualtrough made the announcement at Oasis des enfants de Rosemont in Montreal, Quebec, a center that supports children up to12 years old and their families, especially those in vulnerable situations, and contributes to their emotional, physical and intellectual development through accessible activities and services. The center received $46,876 in support under the EAF Small Projects component to help improve access to their facility for persons with reduced mobility with a new outdoor ramp, accessible doors, and a renovated washroom.
The EAF is a federal grants and contributions program that supports construction projects that make Canadian communities and workplaces more accessible for persons with disabilities. The program funds vital infrastructure projects involving building or installation of such things as ramps, automatic doors and accessible washrooms.
These investments support the Government’s Disability Inclusion Action Plan, which is focused on reducing poverty among persons with disabilities, helping persons with disabilities into good quality jobs, facilitating easier access to federal programs and services, and building accessible and inclusive communities while fostering a culture of inclusion.
“During National AccessAbility Week, it’s uplifting to see so many Canadians working to make their spaces, services, and systems accessible. It’s individual acts like these that are making disability inclusion a reality in Canada, and we’re excited to invest in organizations who are leading the way.”
– Minister of Employment, Workforce Development and Disability Inclusion, Carla Qualtrough
“Thanks to the Enabling Accessibility Fund, we are making strong investments for people in our region with a goal to make their communities and those across the country more accessible and inclusive for people with disabilities. We will continue to work together with our municipal organizations and non-for-profit organizations to deliver for Quebeckers with investments that will make a real difference!”
– Minister of Canadian Heritage, Pablo Rodriguez
“Building a more accessible and inclusive Canada requires leadership, collaboration and teamwork. I’m excited to see so many organizations and individuals working to further accessibility and disability inclusion in their communities. In many ways the projects supported by the Enabling Accessibility Fund make a world of difference to persons with disabilities and help us move forward together towards a more inclusive country, and that’s the Canada we all want.”
– Annie Koutrakis, Member of Parliament for Vimy
The 2017 Canada Survey on Disability found that one in five Canadians aged 15 and over—or about 6.2 million persons—report as having a disability.
National AccessAbility Week 2022 is taking place May 29 to June 4, and is a nationwide time of recognition, celebrating the many social, economic, cultural and political achievements of persons with disabilities. The theme for the week in 2022 is: “Inclusive from the Start”.
The Government of Canada has funded over 6,000 projects since the establishment of the Enabling Accessibility Fund (EAF) in 2007, helping thousands of Canadians gain access to programs, services and employment opportunities in their communities. Examples of projects include: renovation of buildings for overall accessibility by installing elevators, ramps, and wheelchair accessible lifts, and retro-fitting buildings with Braille signage and doorbells with visual cues for persons with hearing impairments.
The EAF Small Projects component typically provides grant funding of up to $100,000 per project. The EAF Youth Innovation component provides grants up to $10,000 per project, and empowers Canadian youth aged 15 to 30 to create greater awareness of accessibility needs, as well as gain invaluable experience in a volunteering environment that positively impacts the lives of persons with disabilities within their communities.
Through Budget 2021, the Government of Canada committed up to $100 million over two years, starting in 2021-22, to triple funding for the EAF, making communities and workplaces more accessible for persons with disabilities by reducing barriers to employment, activities, and programs. An additional $25 million over two years was committed to support childcare centres in making upgrades to improve the accessibility of their facilities.
Today’s announcement brings the total number of projects supported under the 2020 EAF Small Projects component call for proposals to 1,177 for a funding total of $82.6M. On November 27, 2020, Minister Qualtrough announced $15.5 M in funding for 218 of these projects. In Quebec, a total of 218 projects have received funding of $14.79M under the 2020 EAF Small projects component CFP.
For media enquiries, please contact:
Office of the Minister of Employment, Workforce Development and Disability Inclusion
Media Relations Office
Employment and Social Development Canada
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