Engaging youth leaders to encourage organizations to apply for funding under the Enabling Accessibility Fund - Step 1: Overview

From: Employment and Social Development Canada

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Deadline: September 21, 2018 at 11:59 p.m. Pacific time

Step 1. Overview

Young Canadians help build an accessible Canada

The Enabling Accessibility Fund (EAF) is currently looking for dynamic youth who want to demonstrate leadership and their commitment to their communities by volunteering their time to build a more accessible Canada. This is a very unique opportunity for young leaders to make a tangible difference in the lives of people with disabilities by addressing accessibility barriers in public spaces or workplaces within Canada.

If you are:

  • Between 15 and 30 years of age
  • Determined to make a difference in your community and
  • You want to develop valuable skills and gain key experience.

Then we want you and what you have to offer!

As a youth leader we challenge you to:

  • Identify accessibility barriers that people with disabilities face every day in your community
  • Take charge and approach organizations in your community with existing accessibility barriers and encourage them to apply for funding under the EAF youth innovation component
  • Assist an organization in developing and submitting a project proposal and
  • Make a difference in the lives of people with disabilities

Success Stories of the Enabling Accessibility Fund's 2017 youth innovation pilot

Alexander helped the Peace Arch Hospital Foundation get $10,000 in funding through the Enabling Accessibility Fund to support the construction of an accessible playground.

“I think it is a great privilege to have the opportunity to be a part of a grant that gives so much money. We are becoming really progressive for inclusion and to have a small part in that is an honour. I can’t wait to see the All Abilities Park built in White Rock. It is going to be great to see kids playing, intergenerational connections made and all abilities enjoying the space. This shows kids that we care about inclusion. This has been an amazing experience.”

Alexander, Enabling Accessibility Fund Youth Accessibility Leader

Sierra helped the Semiahmoo House Society get almost $5,000 in funding through the Enabling Accessibility Fund for the purchase of a beach wheelchair and the modification of two existing beach wheelchairs.

“It is awesome to live by the beach. The view from the sand, the smell of the ocean, the sound of the water are all parts of being there. It is great that White Rock has beach wheelchairs. For people who use walkers and wheelchairs it makes it possible to get on the beach. For people like me who have mobility challenges it helps us get there easily. Now by using the beach wheelchair, I can hang out with my friends and socialize, and I don’t worry that I might fall. I think it is great that Feral Boardsports helps people use the beach wheelchairs. Their business helps everyone get to the beach. I am happy that Canada is giving these grants. I like that Canada helps people with accessibility. It makes me feel good. I like watching people across Canada be able to do everything and have opportunities. For me, accessibility means “making it easy to use” or “to be able to do it by myself”. When there is accessibility, people can participate and be a part of their community.”

Sierra, Enabling Accessibility Fund Youth Accessibility Leader

Olivia helped the town of Ajax get $8,400 in funding through the Enabling Accessibility Fund for the installation of accessible automated door operators.

“Being part of the Enabling Accessibility Fund Youth Pilot Initiative has not only opened my eyes to some of the accessibility barriers that continue to exist, but also the ways in which these barriers can be removed. Ongoing interaction with my town’s Accessibility Advisory Committee continues to broaden my perspective and inspire me to advocate for improved awareness about accessibility issues. Thank you for introducing this exciting initiative to Canadian Youth, and for giving us the opportunity to be Accessibility Leaders in our communities!”

Olivia, Enabling Accessibility Fund Youth Accessibility Leader

Mandy helped the Empower Disability Resource Centre get $ 9,795 in funding from the Enabling Accessibility Fund for the construction of accessible washroom.

“I really enjoyed working with Empower, the Disability Resource Centre (Empower) to complete the Enabling Accessibility Fund (EAF) funding application. It was a learning experience that helped me develop my skills in fundraising. I have a bachelor of social work degree, so this was a skill that I would need in my career, especially in the non-profit world. I was also able to volunteer in an area of interest of mine, accessibility and inclusion for persons with disabilities. I have enjoyed seeing how this funding opportunity has improved the experiences of the consumers at Empower.”

“Since then, I have continued to raise funds for Empower. I raised $1,000 so far to provide para-transit bus passes to consumers of the Centre. Additionally, this opportunity allowed the Empower staff to see me develop my skills and they offered me a job and I gladly accepted. I have to complete funding applications as part of my work and volunteer experiences, so this opportunity was of great benefit to me. I really appreciate the opportunity. Thank you for allowing me to have this experience.”

Mandy, Enabling Accessibility Fund Youth Accessibility Leader

Background on the EAF

There are three different funding components under the EAF: small projects, mid-sized projects, and youth innovation. General information about these three funding components can be found on the Enabling Accessibility Fund webpage. Information about funding opportunities for the small and mid-sized projects components can be found on the ESDC funding page.