Funding: Opportunities Fund for Persons with Disabilities – Review process

3. Review process

The criteria-based assessment process for evaluating proposals ensures that all project proposals are evaluated objectively against the Terms and Conditions of the Program, availability of funds, and stated priorities.

Proposals are assessed, recommended and approved based on the following criteria:

  • eligibility of the applicant
  • how proposed activities will address identified needs
  • experience and results achieved in delivering the specified type of activity
  • degree to which the proposal’s identified needs and proposed activities support program objectives and priorities
  • means to measure the progress of the participants and the success of project activities
  • organizational capacity to manage the project, including financial controls
  • clarity of project objectives, outcomes and scheduled timeframes
  • expected project results for participants -- the proposal must target a minimum success rate of 60%, of participants served, for the key performance indicators ‘number of participants employed’ and/or ‘number of participants who have returned to school or remained in school’ with an expectation that the majority of successful participants will find employment
  • demonstration of partner support required for success (may include letters of support from partners, and/or leveraging information) – for those proposals which include a wage subsidy component, applicants are required to submit a list of potential employers (including information on the sector and size of employers) with whom participants could be placed
  • proposals are required to leverage a minimum of 20% (cash or in-kind) of total project costs (this includes employers funding their own wage subsidy activities) or include some form of social innovation (see Social Innovation above). If required, please consult the following website for the calculation of percentages: Percentage Calculator; and
  • value-for-money (e.g. cost per participant)

In addition to the above-mentioned assessment criteria, the following are areas of priority for the Program:

  • proposals where some or all project activities target youth with disabilities (defined as being between the ages of 15 -30 inclusive who is legally entitled to work in Canada and is a Canadian citizen, permanent resident, or person who has been granted refugee status in Canada) – such proposals may include part-time employment experience (up to 15 hours per week) for secondary and post-secondary students (both full- and part-time) during the school year
  • proposals which include work placements within the private sector; and
  • proposals which include work placements with small- to medium-size employers (defined as having fewer than 500 employees)

Please note that the Department is obliged to consider the geographical distribution of projects when recommending funding: proposals which would otherwise be eligible for funding may not be recommended due to a concentration of available OF activities within a particular region. Generally, there exists a lack of projects within rural and remote communities.

Following the assessment and approval of proposals, applicants will be notified in writing of ESDC's decision. Please note that project recommendation and approval are subject to the availability of funds. In addition, funding of proposals may be approved in part or in their entirety.

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