Government of Canada invests in over 900 projects to increase accessibility and inclusion in Canadian communities
May 30, 2023 Gatineau, Quebec Employment and Social Development Canada
Every Canadian deserves to fully participate in all aspects of society and to contribute to our communities and the economy. For this reason, the Government of Canada continues to support organizations across the country, who are investing to make spaces, communities, workplaces, services and systems more accessible and improving the inclusion of persons with disabilities.
Today, as part of National AccessAbility Week 2023, Minister of Employment, Workforce Development and Disability Inclusion, Carla Qualtrough, announced $70.8 million in funding to support 903 accessibility projects led by organizations across Canada. Organizations were selected as a result of a Call for Proposals, launched in 2022, under the Enabling Accessibility Fund (EAF) small projects component.
Today’s announcement took place at Mouvement d’entraide communautaire à l’emploi, based in Gatineau, Quebec. The organization is receiving $100,000 through the EAF small projects component to retrofit 12 accessible doors in a building soon to be partially converted into 10 fully accessible housing units for persons with disabilities. The organization’s partners, Exdeltra and Entre Deux Roues, also received $100,000 each in funding under the EAF small projects component for this joint initiative. Once finalized, the initiative will help persons with disabilities stay within their community, increase their ability to participate, and thereby help promote a wider social inclusion.
The small projects component of the EAF mostly supports construction, renovation and retrofit projects that increase accessibility, inclusion and safety in communities and workplaces. Under the fund, eligible projects can receive a grant of up to $100,000 each.
This funding contributes to the Government of Canada’s on-going commitment toward its Disability Inclusion Action Plan, by promoting the creation of a fully inclusive Canada, free of physical, societal, and attitudinal barriers.
“Making sure persons with disabilities are able to participate in all aspects of their communities is a critical component of Canada’s Disability Inclusion Action Plan. By helping organizations across Canada make their buildings more accessible through the Enabling Accessibility Fund, we’re removing barriers to participation that often go overlooked.”
– Minister of Employment, Workforce Development and Disability Inclusion, Carla Qualtrough
“The reconfiguration of 55 rue Marengère to an adapted residence for persons with disabilities is an excellent example of what the Enabling Accessibility Fund can do for our communities. Once completed, the initiative will allow Gatineau residents with disabilities to stay within their communities, where their families and loved ones are, and maintain their daily routine. I am particularly proud to see our community organizations join forces, with the support of the Government of Canada, to improve accessibility and the inclusion of persons with disabilities across the Outaouais.”
– Steven MacKinnon, Member of Parliament for Gatineau
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.
The Enabling Accessibility Fund (EAF) is a federal grants and contributions program that supports infrastructure projects across Canada that improve the accessibility, safety and inclusion of persons with disabilities in communities and the labour market. Over 7,200 projects have been funded under the EAF since its launch in 2007, helping thousands of Canadians gain access to programs, services and employment opportunities in their communities.
Through Budget 2021, the Government of Canada committed up to $100 million over two years, starting in 2021-22, to increase funding for the EAF to help make communities and workplaces more accessible for persons with disabilities by reducing barriers to employment, activities, and programs.
National AccessAbility Week (NAAW) 2023 takes place from May 28th to June 3rd, and is a nationwide week of recognition, celebrating the many social, economic, cultural and political achievements of persons with disabilities. The theme for NAAW 2023 is: “Disability inclusion: from possibilities to practice”.
For media inquiries, 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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