Who can apply
This page explains
Your organization must be one of the following:
- not-for-profit organizations whose mandate is to exclusively serve persons with disabilities (as defined in the leveraging section)
- for-profit organization with up to 99 full-time equivalent employees whose mandate is to serve or hire persons with disabilities
- small municipalities of less than 50,000 in population, as per the 2021 census, offering more than one program and/or service targeted for persons with disabilities
- Indigenous organizations offering more than one program and/or service targeted for persons with disabilities
- organizations located in the Territories and remote and rural regions offering more than one program and/or service targeted for persons with disabilities
- territorial governments
Your organization is ineligible if it is one of the following:
- federal and provincial governments
- municipalities with more than 50,000 of population according to the 2021 census
- public and private universities and colleges
- public schools, publicly funded health care institutions and hospitals as these are areas of exclusive provincial/territorial jurisdiction
- private health care facilities
- crown corporations and entities that are controlled by a Federal or Provincial government or on land owned by a Federal or Provincial government
- residential housing organizations such as condo boards, co-op boards and other not-for-profit organizations that manage residential housing
- organizations that received funding through the 2021 EAF Mid-sized projects funding process
Note to organizations located and operating in Québec
If your project proposal is selected for funding, you may be required to obtain approval from the Quebec government before you can accept our funding.
Successful projects under this CFP will provide funding to eligible organizations for new construction, renovation, and/or retrofit activities that will contribute to reducing waitlists and/or increasing access to programs, services and support targeted for persons with disabilities by improving accessibility in facilities in Canadian communities.
Projects must be ready to start as early as September 1, 2024, and no later than October 31, 2024 and must be completed within a 2-year timeframe.
Please note that we will not pay or reimburse funding for any activities that take place before you have a signed agreement with ESDC. For this Call for Proposals, expense reimbursement will be based on actual expenditures incurred.
Ineligible projects/activities include, but are not limited to
- Retrofit of motor vehicles
- Construction, renovation or retrofit activities that aim to decorate or improve the esthetics of a building or its surroundings, or
- Construction, renovation or retrofit activities for personal use
What the funding can be used to pay for
The project must consist of a minimum amount of accessibility project activities that increases as per the total project value.
- For projects requesting up to $1.2M, the minimum amount of accessibility project activities is set at $500,000
- For projects requesting between $1.2M and up to $2M, the minimum amount of accessibility project activities is set at $600,000
- For projects requesting between $2M and $3M, the minimum amount of accessibility project activities is set at $800,000
For example, for an organization that is requesting a total of $2M in funding, of that there must be a minimum of $600,000 for accessibility features. This organization is requesting $200,000 for the new accessible flooring throughout the building as well as, an additional $500,000 for new accessible washrooms and doors on the first floor. This is a total of $700,000 in accessibility project activities. The remaining funds from their request ($1.3M) can support construction and renovation costs.
How ESDC determines the amount of funding provided
Employment and Social Development Canada (ESDC) will use an EAF Mid-sized projects calculator for determining the amount of funding provided to cover the costs.
Determining cost based on project activities category
Costs for all project activities (flat rate and non-flat rate activities) must be entered into the EAF Mid-sized projects calculator. Every applicant must fill this out. You must enter the total amount of requested funding from the EAF Mid-sized projects calculator when prompted in the application in the online portal.
It is important to note that unexpected costs are frequent in construction projects. It is recommended that you have a contingency budget of approximately 20% of the total project cost to offset any additional costs that may arise. Contingency is not an eligible project cost for EAF funding.
In the EAF Mid-sized projects calculator, project activities can fall under 1 of the 2 categories (or a combination of the 2):
1. Projects with flat rate
The flat rate costing estimates the amount of funding you could receive by entering your project information and specifications into the EAF Mid-sized projects calculator. EAF has introduced flat rate costing for the following project activities:
- accessible doors
- accessible washrooms
- accessible lifts
- pool lifts
- multi-Sensory rooms and stations
- accessible playgrounds
- accessible parking
- accessible drop-off areas
- accessible electric vehicle charging stations
The flat rate costing estimates the amount of funding you could receive by entering your project information into the calculator. This replaces the need for you to provide external quotes or detailed project plans for these types of activities.
Please consult the information sheet for more information on how the flat rate costing works.
2. Projects with non-flat rate activities
All accessibility activities, other than the 11 flat-rate activities listed. These could include, but are not limited to:
- installing an accessible kitchen
- constructing a raised accessible garden beds
- installing accessible safety alarm systems (refer to the new guidance on the EAF webpage)
- replacing the carpet from the corridors with slip resistance flooring
- installing software or peripheral hardware including
- screen readers
- symbolic software
- voice recognition software and speech synthesizers for employees with hearing or visual impairments
- enhancing lighting, to accommodate people with low vision
- replacing doorknobs that are difficult to grasp with accessible handles
- implementing wayfinding through appropriate signage, tactile cues, and painting with contrasting colors
- building continuous accessible pedestrian pathways between outdoor amenities and recreation area. To be accessible, the routes must have:
- proper grading
- include signage directing people through the walkways
- ramps when necessary
- providing information and communication technologies such as:
- interactive speech capability software on a computer used by patrons in a professional training centre, operated by a not-for-profit organization
One quote from a certified or professional contractor is required for all non-flat rate project activities.
3. Projects with flat rate activities and non-flat rate activities
You can request funding for flat rate activities and non-flat rate activities in the same application form by using the EAF Mid-sized projects calculator.
The leveraging requirement is dependent on the organization type and is either 0% for exempt organizations or 35% of the funding request for all other applicants. All leveraging is in the form of cash only.
Exempt - No leveraging required (0%)
- Organizations located in the Territories (Yukon, Northwest Territories and Nunavut)
- Indigenous organizations: for the purposes of this CFP, this includes organizations that specifically represent and serve those who self-identify as First Nations, Inuit, Métis Nation citizens, or non-affiliated Indigenous persons
- An organization located in Region 4 or 5 based on the searchable EAF Region tool
Minimum 35% leveraging required for
- Organizations that have a mandate to serve persons with disabilities: for the purpose of this CFP, these are defined as organizations with a mandate to offer programs, support and services exclusively for persons with disabilities
- Small municipalities of less than 50,000 of population, as per the 2021 census, offering more than one program or service targeted for persons with disabilities
Meets the most recent national and/or local building codes
You are responsible for ensuring your project meets the most recent national and/or local building codes. It is strongly encouraged that you consult the Canadian Standard Association’s “Accessible Design for the Built Environment” in the planning stages of your project and where necessary, this document should be shared with your contractor so they have the information to meet the standards of accessible design.
How we assess your application
We may refuse applications that are incomplete or contain errors
We may contact you to request any mandatory information if it is missing from your application. We will do this before we determine if your application is eligible. If you receive such a request, you must respond within 5 business days of the date we sent the request. If you do not respond before the deadline, your application will be considered incomplete and deemed ineligible.
We will review your application in 3 steps by:
Step 1: Screening for eligibility
Screening for eligibility is based on whether the:
- application is received by the deadline
- application is complete
- organization is eligible
- project is eligible
We will assess your project only if all the eligibility requirements are met.
Things that may impact your eligibility
- Your past performance or issues of default in projects with ESDC may impact the eligibility of your application
- When determining the eligibility of your application, ESDC may review information in the public domain including, but not limited to, materials on your website and media articles
Step 2a: Assessing on project relevance, activities and results
If your application is eligible (which means you meet the criteria listed above), we will first assess your application using the following criteria.
Applicants will be required to demonstrate how the result of their accessibility infrastructure project will contribute to reducing active waitlists and increase access to programs/services targeted for persons with disabilities upon project completion.
Project activities and results
The degree to which the project activities are relevant to the project objective and demonstrate how the project outputs and outcomes will be achieved. Activities should be broken down into clear, measurable and realistic steps with clearly established timelines.
The application should:
- describe how the project activities will contribute to reducing waitlists and increase access to programs, services and/or support targeted for persons with disabilities (outcomes and outputs). They must be specific, concrete and measurable.
- describe the timelines and steps of the project (as outlined in question 57)
- describe the plan to gather, measure and report on results achieved by the project
- confirm the readiness of the project to commence by September 2024 or no later than October 31, 2024
Step 2b: Organization’s capacity
Based on the first level of assessment, and funding priorities, an external contractor with expertise in construction and accessible design will conduct a second assessment on a “short list” of applications.
Your application shows that your organization has the capacity to successfully manage the project.
The contractor will review the specific construction, adherence to building codes and budget-related sections of each application as well as any quotes (for non-flat rate activities) to assess feasibility and cost accuracy, evaluate proposed timelines, and identify areas of a project that may require adjustments or improvements.
Step 3: Assessing other criteria to select a diverse range of projects to fund
We may consider the following to select a diverse range of projects to fund based on the following:
- Indigenous organizations
- geographic distribution
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