Apply for funding for the 2022 Small Projects Component – Enabling Accessibility Fund

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Application period

You can apply between September 7, 2022 and November 1, 2022 at 5:00 p.m. Eastern Daylight Time (EDT). If you need help or accommodations, please send us an email before November 1, 2022 at 3:00 p.m. EDT.

If you have been impacted by Hurricane Fiona and this is impeding your ability to complete your application, please contact us.

Employment and Social Development Canada (ESDC) will communicate decisions to applicants within 16 weeks from the closing of the application period.

For any questions, please contact us. Please note: ESDC will be holding information sessions.

Description of funding

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
  • access employment

This Call for Proposals (CFP) will provide up to $57,950,000 in funding in fiscal year 2022 to 2023 to support a minimum of 580 accessibility projects, and up to $6,500,000 to support a minimum of 65 Early Learning and Child Care (ELCC) projects.

The Department will prioritize funding to projects that help improve accessibility and safety for persons with disabilities in:

  • shelters, for those experiencing violence and/or gender-based violence
  • workplaces where persons with disabilities work or could work in the future
  • Early Learning and Child Care (ELCC) centres
  • Indigenous projects to improve accessibility in Indigenous organizations

Eligible organizations can only submit 1 application to this CFP and can apply for up to $100,000 for:

More information

There is now an easier way to apply for EAF funding by using our online fillable EAF Calculator. This form is required for applicants to submit their project proposals. In the Calculator, project activities can be under one of the 2 categories (or a combination of the 2).

  • Flat rate project activities – which are the most commonly requested EAF activities. These include:
    • ramps
    • accessible doors
    • accessible washrooms
    • elevators
    • accessible lifts
    • pool lifts
    • multi-sensory rooms and stations
    • accessible playgrounds

ESDC applies flat rate costs to these activities based on the specifications of your construction project. The flat rate costing estimates the amount of funding you could receive when you enter project information into the online fillable EAF Calculator. This replaces the need to provide external quotes or detailed project plans for these types of activities.

For more information, please read the Enabling Accessibility Fund flat rate information on how flat rate costing works.

One quote from a certified or professional contractor is required for these types of project activities. If a quote is not possible, a rationale is required explaining why the quote could not be obtained. Details on how you arrived at this estimated cost must be provided.

Note: Costs for all project activities (flat-rate and non-flat rate activities) must be entered into the EAF Calculator. Every applicant must fill this out. You must enter the total amount of requested funding from the EAF Calculator into question 23 of the application for funding form. You may use the back button in the Calculator to adjust your selections and recalculate project costs.

Objective

This funding supports projects that improve accessibility and safety for persons with disabilities in:

  • a facility where persons with disabilities work or could work in the future (Workplace Accessibility Stream); or
  • a community space where programs or services are, or will be available for persons with disabilities (Community Accessibility Stream)

Note: You can submit only 1 application per Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) or business registry number.

The limit of 1 application is important to remember if you have multiple offices using the same CRA or business registry number.

For multiple applications submitted with the same CRA or business registry number, only the first application received will be reviewed.

Eligibility

To apply, your application must meet all the following eligibility criteria.

Eligible applicants

Your organization must be 1 of the following:

  • not-for-profit organization
  • for-profit organization with a maximum of 99 full-time equivalent employees
  • municipalities
  • Indigenous organizations, including band councils, tribal councils and self-government entities
  • registered and/or licensed Early Learning and Child Care centres. ELCC centres situated in or on public school property will be required to demonstrate that the proposed project activity is exclusively for the use of the child care centre/program
  • Indigenous ELCCs, ESDC recognizes that not all Indigenous ELCC centres (including those on reserves, operating in Inuit communities, or operated by Self-Governing First Nations or Modern Treaty Holders) are issued a registration or licensing number. These organizations are still eligible to apply under this call. In question 34 of the application for funding form, please include a statement if this is the case
  • territorial government

Ineligible applicants

Your organization cannot be 1 of the following:

  • federal or provincial government
  • public school (primary and secondary), including an organization submitting proposals for projects that would take place on publicly funded school property. Exception applies to registered and/or licensed ELCC centres where the proposed project activity is exclusively for the use of the child care centre/program
  • public health care facilities or public hospitals (health care is an area of provincial or territorial jurisdiction, accordingly public health care facilities and hospitals have access to funding to support accessibility), including projects that take place on public health care and public hospital property
  • home-based child care centres
  • crown corporation and entities that are controlled by a federal, provincial or territorial government
  • organizations who have received funding through the 2021 EAF Mid-size projects funding process

Eligible projects

Your project must meet all of the following criteria:

  • a complete application package must be submitted before 5:00 p.m. EDT on November 1, 2022
  • must not take longer than 24 months to complete
  • request no more than $100,000 for eligible activities from ESDC
  • meet the program objective
  • for non-flat rate projects, 1 external quote must be provided for each project activity in your application. If you cannot provide an estimate, you must submit a rationale as to why a quote could not be provided. An explanation of how you calculated your projects costs will then need to be provided
  • you must have a minimum of 20% confirmed cash contributions from other sources of funding for your funding request, unless your organization is exempted as outlined below
    • Exemption: You do not need to have cash contributions if you are:
      • an eligible organization with project activities situated in one of the territories (Yukon, Northwest Territories and Nunavut)
      • an Indigenous organization (for the purpose of this CFP, includes organizations who specifically represent and serve those who self-identify as a First Nations, Inuit, Métis, or non-affiliated Indigenous persons)
      • an eligible organization with project activities located in a remote area as identified as Regions 4 and 5 based on the searchable EAF region tool
      • a shelter that provides services to those experiencing violence and gender-based violence
      • a registered and/or licensed Early Learning and Child Care centre
      • an Indigenous Early Learning and Child Care Centre
  • for small construction, renovation or retrofit projects of an existing space:
    • a digital picture of the project space to be improved must be submitted (JPEG) as a separate attachment
    • the picture must clearly show the accessibility barriers for persons with disabilities
    • pictures are not required for accessible equipment and Information and Communication Technologies projects
    • project activities must take place in the organization’s rented or owned property. If the property is rented, permission from the landlord must be provided

Ineligible projects

Your project cannot be one of the following:

  • retrofit of motor vehicles (for example, cars, vans, buses) for community or individual use
  • construction, renovation or retrofit activities that aim to decorate or improve esthetics of a building or its surroundings
  • construction, renovation, retrofit or any activities for personal use
  • project activities in a private home or dwelling
  • contingency costs
  • routine repairs and maintenance costs, or general costs (overhead, administrative, operating costs and amenities, and etc.)
  • employee salaries and benefits

How we assess your application

ESDC will screen applications, using a first-come, first-served approach. ESDC will prioritize projects that help improve accessibility and safety for persons with disabilities in:

  • shelters, for those experiencing violence and gender-based violence
  • workplace projects that increase accessibility to places where persons with disabilities work or could work in the future
  • Early learning and child Care (ELCC) centres
  • Indigenous Organizations

Additional funding considerations

We are distributing funding as equitably as possible. We may give consideration to:

  • projects based on geographic distribution
  • projects submitted by Indigenous organizations

If the number of applications received is higher than the amount of funding available, the Department may consider funding organizations that have never received EAF funding.

ESDC will screen your project using the following criteria:

Project description

Your application should:

  • describe the need for your project, including the current barriers to accessibility and safety for persons with disabilities in your workplace or community space
  • explain the support you have for your project in your community

Project impact

Your application should explain how your project will increase or contribute to the overall accessibility and safety of the space.

Your application should explain how your project would allow persons with disabilities to participate in and contribute to their workplace or community.

Project costs

  • Flat rate projects cost: ESDC applies flat rate costs based on the specifications of your construction. The flat rate costing estimates the amount of funding you could receive by entering information into the EAF calculator. This replaces the need for you to provide external quotes or detailed project plans for these types of activities
  • Non-flat rate projects cost: 1 quote from a certified or professional contractor is required that outlines the costs for the non-flat rate project activities. If a quote is not possible, a rationale is required explaining why the quote could not be obtained. Details on how you arrived at this estimated cost must be provided. They need to be reasonable and detailed and support the project activities

Steps to apply

  1. Read the applicant guide
  2. Gather your supporting documents
  3. Apply online

Please note that in order to apply you will need to submit your entire application package via the Online EAF Calculator Portal. It is important to follow the steps below to successfully submit your application.

Note that the Calculator serves 2 purposes:

  • it calculates the estimated costs of your project, and
  • once the totals are calculated, you will be prompted to upload all of the additional required documents

Step 1. Read the applicant guide

Read the complete applicant guide before filling out your application form. This guide includes details for each question of the form.

Step 2. Gather your supporting documents

A complete application package includes:

  • a completed application for funding form
  • the completed online fillable EAF Calculator (for both flat rate and non-flat rate project activities)
  • for non-flat rate projects, you will need to provide 1 external cost estimate (quote) or a valid rationale explaining why a quote could not be obtained. Details on how you arrived at this estimated cost must be provided
  • a proof of leveraging (if applicable)
  • a digital picture of the workplace or community space to be improved in an appropriate format (JPEG). This is not required for Information and Communication Technology (ICT) projects
  • a document which includes both your CRA number (or an acceptable alternative) and your organization’s address

Note: if your application is incomplete, it could be rejected as being ineligible for funding.

Step 3. Apply online

Step 3.1. Complete the application for funding form

Complete the Grant application for Funding - Small projects component under the Enabling Accessibility Fund (EMP5670).

  • The form uses PDF technology, and includes the following sections:
    • Part 1. Organization
    • Part 2. Project proposal
    • Part 3. Budget
      • For questions 23 and 31, you will need to get this information from the online fillable EAF calculator (see Step 3.2 below)
  • Part 4. Program specific questions and checklist
  • Part 5. Attestation
Important technical notes

Do not complete the form in your internet browser. Download and save the document to your computer first.

The form requires the latest version of Adobe Reader, version 8 or higher, including:

  • Acrobat Reader DC, or
  • Foxit Reader

They are only accessible through Mac or Windows computer systems. Mobile devices (smartphones or tablets) are not compatible with the form.

If you do not already have such a reader, there are several versions available on the Internet. The latest version of Adobe Reader and Foxit Reader can be downloaded for free.

If you are having technical issues or need to provide your proposal in an alternate format (such as in a Word document), please contact us.

Step 3.2. Complete the online fillable EAF calculator

You must complete the online fillable EAF calculator via the Online EAF Calculator portal.

Access the Online EAF Calculator Portal

Important technical notes
  • The questions with an asterisk (*) are mandatory
  • Until you complete the EAF Calculator portion, there is no capability to save a draft before completing your calculations. The EAF calculator can be saved only at the end
  • Inactivity in the portal: After 20 minutes of inactivity, you will be prompted to continue. If you respond, the session will continue. Otherwise, the session will end and all data will be lost
  • Saving application draft: Your whole application can be saved and accessed at a later time. In order to save a draft application, you must provide your email address and create a password. Once saved, an email will be sent to you with a link to resume completion of the application. However, you must complete and submit the application within 100 hours
  • Printing the total estimated eligible costs for your project: You will be able to print the total eligible costs of your project after you have entered your project’s details in the EAF Calculator. To do so, you will click the "Print" button located at the top center of your screen

Step 3.3. Submit your complete application package

Submit all these items via the Online EAF Calculator portal:

  • a completed application form (be sure to complete questions 23 and 31 with the information from the EAF calculator)
  • a digital picture of the workplace or community space that is being improved (JPEG). This is not required for Information and Communication technology projects
  • for non-flat rate projects, you will need to provide 1 external cost estimate (quote) or a valid rationale explaining why a quote could not be obtained. Details on how you arrived at this estimated cost must be provided
  • a proof of leveraging (if applicable)
  • a document which includes both your CRA business number and the address of your organization, or an acceptable alternative if your organization does not have a CRA number

Ensure to prepare your documents in advance:

  • acceptable document types: JPEG, TXT, PDF, DOC, DOCX
  • maximum document size is 5MB
  • if scanning or taking a photo of your documents, please ensure you capture the entire document as well as all pages: the top and the bottom must be visible as well as all the text in-between

Note: if your application is incomplete, it could be rejected as being ineligible for funding.

Important technical notes
  • Inactivity in the portal: After 20 minutes of inactivity, you will be prompted to continue. If you respond, the session will continue. Otherwise, the session will end and all data will be lost
  • Saving application draft: Your whole application can be saved and accessed at a later time. In order to save a draft application, you must provide your email address and create a password. Once saved, an email will be sent to you with a link to resume completion of the application. However, you must complete and submit the application within 100 hours
  • Printing the total estimated eligible costs for your project: You will be able to print the total eligible costs of your project after you have entered your project’s details in the EAF Calculator. To do so, you will click the "Print" button located at the top center of your screen

After you have applied

Once a fillable application has been successfully submitted, a confirmation number is generated by the system. This confirmation is considered an acknowledgement of receipt of your application. You will also receive a confirmation of receipt via email. If you do not receive a confirmation number acknowledging that your application has been received, this might mean that you have not completed your application successfully. Please attend an information session or contact us if you have any difficulties submitting your application.

Organizations will be notified of the outcome of the review within 16 weeks from the end date of the submission period.

Contact us

If you have questions or need accommodations, please email us at NC-HIP-PIP-EAF_ODI-GD@hrsdc-rhdcc.gc.ca. We will answer questions sent before November 1, 2022 at 3:00 p.m. EDT.

Information sessions

ESDC will hold virtual information sessions to provide an overview of this application process for organizations interested in applying for funding.

The sessions will also be fully accessible and include American Sign Language (ASL), Langue des signes québécoise (LSQ) and Communication Access Realtime Translation (CART).

The date for the sessions are as follows:

  • September 26 2022 at 10:00 AM (EDT) – French for shelter organizations
  • September 26, 2022 at 1:00 PM (EDT) – English for shelter organizations
  • September 20, 2022 at 1:00 PM (EDT) – English – all organizations
  • September 21, 2022 at 1:00 PM (EDT) – French – all organizations
  • September 28, 2022 at 10:00 AM (EDT) – French for Indigenous organizations
  • September 28, 2022 at 1:00 PM (EDT) – English for Indigenous organizations
  • October 5, 2022 at 1:00 PM (EDT) – English – all organizations
  • October 6, 2022 at 1:00 PM (EDT) – French – all organizations
  • October 19, 2022 at 1:00 PM (EDT) – English – all organizations
  • October 20, 2022 at 1:00 PM (EDT) – French – all organizations

A demonstration of the application process, including the EAF Calculator, will be presented. Participants will also have the opportunity to ask questions.

If you would like to attend an information session, send an email to NC-HIP-PIP-EAF_ODI-GD@hrsdc-rhdcc.gc.ca. In your email, specify the date and your preferred language (English or French). If you require accommodations to participate, please let us know.

Glossary

Accessibility project activity

A project element that addresses a barrier to accessibility. It directly contributes to increasing the degree to which an environment can be considered an “accessible facility”.

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 are able to reach, enter, access and fully participate in programs and services

Activities – Flat rate

The most commonly requested EAF activities. These include ramps, accessible washrooms, accessible doors, elevators, accessible lifts, accessible playgrounds, multisensory rooms and pool lifts.

Activities – Non-flat rate

Other types of accessibility activities not included under Flat rate. These could include, but are not limited to, accessible kitchens, accessibility equipment and Information and Communication Technology (ICT) projects.

Some ICT project ideas include:

  • purchasing specialized accessible communication equipment
  • modifying a website to make it accessible for persons with disabilities
  • installation of an FM loop system
  • installing audio visual-fire alarm systems
  • 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

Barrier

A physical, architectural or technological obstacle that makes it difficult for persons with disabilities to access or circulate within community spaces and workplaces. Barriers prevent persons with disabilities from using public spaces on an equal basis with others.

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 sat through and 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 event 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
  • in-kind is not considered a cash contribution. In-kind could include equipment, services or labour that you receive without having to pay

Early Learning and Child Care (ELCC) centre

A child care centre that provides regular full-time or part-time child care services and supervision to children. Child care centres may be run by private operators, local councils, municipalities, community organizations, employers or non-profit organisations but would not be operated inside someone’s private residence. For the purpose of this Call for Proposals, child care centres must be licensed and/or regulated to be eligible to apply for funding.

ESDC recognizes that not all Indigenous ELCC centres (including those on reserves, operating in Inuit communities, or operated by Self-Governing First Nations or Modern Treaty Holders) are issued a registration or licensing number. These organizations are still eligible to apply under this call. In question 34 of the application for funding form, please include a statement if this is the case

Exclusive use of child care facility on school property

Project activities exclusive for the use of the child care centre/program and located in spaces that are used only by the centre/program. School children cannot use the resulting space/equipment when the child care centre/program is operational.

First come, first served

Applications that arrive earliest get processed before the applications that arrive later in the process.

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

Information and Communication Technologies (ICT)

Some ICT project ideas include:

  • purchasing specialized accessible communication equipment
  • modifying a website to make it accessible for persons with disabilities
  • installation of an FM loop system
  • installing audio visual fire alarm systems
  • 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

Leveraging

An organization that is not exempt (those other than shelters, Indigenous organizations, registered/licenced ELCC centers, those located in regions 4 or 5 based on the searchable EAF region tool), must have 20% or more of the total eligible 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.

Remote area

A remote area is defined by a project activities location that cannot be reached year round by road or regular ferry. Locations with only air access or during the winter seasons only winter road or winter barge access are considered remote. For example, remote communities in the Northwest Territories using ice roads during the winter would meet this definition. This can be identified by using the EAF region tool .

Renovation

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.

Shelters

Organizations whose primary activities are providing temporary but immediate shelter and/or services for individuals/families fleeing domestic abuse or the threat of violence.

It has been established that organizations such as, but not limited to: women’s shelters, transition homes, and other facilities offering shelter services to those experiencing violence and gender-based violence will be eligible under the funding priority for shelters.

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