What this program offers
The Enabling Accessibility Fund (EAF) provides funding for projects that make communities and workplaces across Canada more accessible for persons with disabilities. EAF creates more opportunities for persons with disabilities to:
- take part in community activities, programs and services, and
- access employment
On this page
Successful projects under this CFP will receive funding for new construction, renovation and/or retrofit activities that will contribute to reducing waitlists for persons with disabilities to access programs, services and/or support.
In addition, applicants will be required to demonstrate how the result of their accessibility project will contribute to reducing active waitlists for persons with disabilities within a two-year timeframe.
How much you could get
This Call for Proposals (CFP) will provide up to $18.2M in funding in fiscal years 2024 to 2026.
Eligible organizations can apply for funding for a minimum of $500,000 and a maximum of $3,000,000 per project (1 application per Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) Business number only).
We may prioritize funding to projects based on the following:
- Indigenous organizations
- geographic distribution
Here is a list of key terms used within this application guide.
- Accessible facilities
- For the purpose of this funding process, an accessible facility is defined as:
- all or any portion of a building, structure, workplace, passageway or park that offers barrier-free access for persons with disabilities
- more precisely, facilities where persons with disabilities can reach, enter, access and fully participate in programs and services
- Accessibility project activity
- A project element that addresses a barrier to accessibility and directly contributes to increasing the degree to which an environment can be considered an “accessible facility”.
- Activities – Flat rate
- These activities include ramps, accessible washrooms, accessible doors, elevators, accessible lifts, pool lifts, accessible playgrounds, multi-sensory rooms, accessible parking, accessible drop-off areas, and accessible electric vehicle charging stations.
- Activities – Non-flat rate
- Other types of accessibility activities not included under flat rate could include, but are not limited to, accessible kitchens, accessibility equipment, and Information and Communication Technology (ICT) projects.
Some ICT project ideas include:
- modifying a website to make it accessible for persons with disabilities
- installation of an FM loop system
- installing accessible safety alarm systems (refer to the new guidance on the EAF webpage)
- purchasing screen readers
- installing voice recognition software and speech synthesizers
- installing adaptive technology for a client services desk to render them accessible for employees with disabilities
- A physical, architectural, or technological obstacle. It makes it difficult for persons with disabilities to access or circulate in community spaces and workplaces. It prevents persons with disabilities from accessing or using public spaces on an equal basis with others.
- Barrier free path of travel
- A barrier-free path of travel allows people with all types of disabilities to circulate into, throughout, and out of the facility without accessibility obstacles. Persons with disabilities should be able access programs, services and basic necessities such as washrooms, without any accessibility obstacles.
Best practices could include, but are not limited to,
- installing directional tactile indicators (e.g., colour-contrasting floor or ground material with raised linear bars) along a barrier-free path of travel to help persons with visual impairments find key building components such as information desks, elevators, stairs, and rooms
- using colour-contrasting floor materials to differentiate seating or waiting areas from the main barrier-free path of travel.
- incorporating unobstructed floor areas with the intent to permit wheelchair users to pass one another and/or provide a resting opportunity outside the required barrier-free path of travel
- using tactile attention indicators colour-contrasting floor/ground material with raised truncated domes—to be installed to identify changes in elevation, tops of stair landings, and places where vehicular pathways are at the same level as a barrier-free path of travel
- Certified contractor
- A certified contractor has obtained a license allowing them to work anywhere within the province in which they are licensed in. They have typically passed a provincial exam. They maintain certain levels of insurance and have shown they are financially responsible.
- Confirmed cash contribution
- Confirmed cash contribution means, for example:
- a fundraising activity that has already taken place and cash is in hand
- a cash donation that has been received (not promised)
- grants from other organizations or levels of government that are approved, and cash is in hand
- The EAF Mid-sized projects calculator will calculate eligible costs for flat rate activities for your project. Unexpected situations and costs are common with construction projects. We recommend that you consult a certified contractor to scope your project. This can help reduce unexpected costs. We also recommend that you have a contingency budget of around 20% of your total project to offset unexpected costs for all flat and non-flat rate activities.
- Refers to any impairment including a physical, mental, intellectual, cognitive, learning, communication or sensory impairment—or a functional limitation—whether permanent, temporary or episodic in nature, or evident or not, that, in interaction with a barrier, hinders a person’s full and equal participation in society.
- Gaps in services
- Gaps in service can refer to an incomplete, deficient, or inconsistent approach in how programs or services are offered and/or delivered. The result of this approach will often, be detrimental to the individual and can lead to decreased motivation, missing or gaps in knowledge and appropriate guidance for them to reach their goal. Ultimately this can delay success or in worse case scenarios, a failure to succeed.
- Indigenous organization
- Organizations that:
- have mandates that support First Nations, Inuit, Métis or non-affiliated Indigenous persons, and
- are governed by people who self-identify as First Nations, Inuit, Métis or non-affiliated Indigenous persons.
- An organization that is not exempt must have 35% or more of the total costs of their project available before the project begins. Leveraged funding can come from your own organization or it can be provided through a partnership organization that agrees to give you money towards the project.
- This is the level of government that is based in a city, town or district (a municipality). Municipal governments are responsible for areas such as parks, community water systems, local police, roadways, and parking.
- Private dwelling/residence
- This refers to a separate set of living quarters with a private entrance either from outside the building or from a common hall, lobby, vestibule or stairway inside the building. The intention or purpose of the private dwelling/residence is solely for non-business/commercial type activities or in other words private living. This would also include the exterior property of a private residence/house.
- Programs/services - New versus existing
New: waiting list or documented interest from participants with disabilities for a service not yet offered due to infrastructure accessibility barrier (for example, para hockey league in an inaccessible arena).
Existing: program targeted to persons with disabilities that is offered in an environment lacking accessibility (for example, second floor without an elevator) preventing participants with mobility issues from participating.
- To create a new space to enhance accessibility, without adding additional square feet. For example, making an accessible washroom in what was previously a storage room.
- Retrofit (upgrading an existing space)
- Install (new or modified parts or equipment) in something previously constructed. For example, to make upgrades to your existing washroom to include accessible features.
- For the purpose of this Call for Proposals, a waitlist is to serve as the description of a need that cannot be answered due to inaccessible infrastructure. Examples of waitlists can include, but are not limited to:
- a description of an actual list that an organization has on hand of persons with disabilities who are waiting to access an existing service or program (this list should not be submitted as part of the application in order to protect the privacy of the individuals on the list), or
- a written rationale describing the delay that includes the timeframe, that persons with disabilities are experiencing in obtaining a service or accessing a program, or
- a written rationale outlining the demonstrated interest in a program or service not being offered due to the inaccessible infrastructure
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