Engaging youth leaders to encourage organizations to apply for funding under the Youth Innovation Component of the Enabling Accessibility Fund
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The application period to become a Youth Accessibility Leader (YAL) is now open from June 5, 2023 to October 10, 2023, at 5:00 p.m. Eastern Daylight Time (EDT).
We are looking for young Canadians to help make Canada more accessible for persons with disabilities.
The Enabling Accessibility Fund (EAF) is looking for dynamic youth who want to demonstrate leadership and a commitment to their communities. Through this process, youth volunteer their time to build a more accessible Canada.
We want you and what you have to offer, if you:
- are determined to make a difference in your community
- want to develop valuable skills and gain key experience
To be considered eligible you must be:
- between 15 and 30 years of age at the time of the application
- legally authorized to work in Canada
- either a Canadian citizen, permanent resident or individual who has been granted refugee status in Canada
Apply to become an EAF Youth Accessibility Leader!
Note, as a Youth Accessibility Leader, you can either work alone or work as a team and have friends and family support you throughout the process.
About the EAF Youth Innovation Component
The EAF Youth Innovation Component provides an opportunity for dynamic youth who want to demonstrate leadership and a commitment to their communities to have a direct impact in the lives of persons with disabilities.
By becoming a Youth Accessibility Leader, you will promote the program and encourage organizations to apply for its funding. You can do this by addressing accessibility barriers in public spaces or workplaces within your community. Through this work, you will volunteer your time to:
- create greater awareness about accessibility needs
- encourage organizations to apply for EAF funding to address existing accessibility barriers, and
- build a more inclusive and accessible Canada
Role of the Youth Accessibility Leader
As a Youth Accessibility Leader, you will be part of a growing community of youth from across the country that have:
- found accessibility barriers in workplaces or public spaces
- talked with organizations about their existing accessibility barriers
- encouraged organizations to apply for funding to address their accessibility barriers
- helped an organization draft a project proposal (valued at up to $10,000)
- helped promote the program within your community, online and at media events, and
- made a difference in the lives of persons with disabilities
Benefits of being a Youth Accessibility Leader:
- increased awareness of accessibility barriers in your community
- personal and community empowerment
- valuable presentation skills
- experience preparing or assisting in preparing project proposals
- networking opportunities, and
- social responsibility and volunteer experience that impacts your community
What you need to know before you apply
Description of the funding process
Read this section to learn more about the process:
- apply to become a Youth Accessibility Leader (YAL) by completing the online form. After you have applied, you will receive an email confirming receipt of your application to become a YAL. You will hear back from us within 10 business days
- if you are eligible, we will send you a tool kit by email with all the information required to help you start your journey. You will have a basic understanding of the EAF program and the eligibility criteria of the process. The tool kit includes the:
- Youth Journey Journal
- application for funding form, and
- applicant guide for the EAF Youth Innovation Component
- you are now ready to think about your community or workplace and identify accessibility barriers that limit persons with disabilities from participating in everyday life. You will talk to an organization with existing accessibility barriers and encourage them to apply for funding through the EAF Youth Innovation Component
- you will help interested organizations complete the application for funding for accessibility projects valued up to $10,000
The following organizations are eligible to apply for funding under the EAF Youth Innovation Component:
- not-for-profit organizations
- small businesses (99 full-time equivalent employees or less)
- Indigenous organizations
- territorial governments
- Federal and provincial governments
- Publicly funded schools (primary and secondary)
- Publicly funded health care facilities and public hospitals
- Organizations located on public school or public health care property. Registered and/or licensed Early Learning and Child Care (ELCC) centres on school property are an exception if the proposed project activity is solely for the use of the childcare centre/program
For your project proposal to be eligible for funding, you must clearly and completely tell us:
- what barriers to accessibility and/or safety for persons with disabilities you have found
- how your project addresses the accessibility and safety needs of persons with disabilities
- how your project increases the opportunities for persons of disabilities to participate in and contribute to their community and/or a workplace
- which programs, service or employment opportunities persons with disabilities will be able to access after your project is in place
Your project must meet specific eligibility criteria depending on the proposed activity and the stream under which you are applying.
Examples of previously funded Youth Innovation projects include:
- installation of automatic door openers
- purchase of a tandem bike for persons with visual disabilities
- construction of accessible garden beds
- purchase of para-hockey sledges
- installation of an FM hearing loop system
- purchase of all-terrain beach wheelchairs and Mobi-mats
- installation of an audio-visual fire alarm system
- purchase of noise-cancelling headphones
- modifying a website to make it accessible for persons with disabilities
- purchase of a pool wheelchair
- installation of the Dragon Naturally Speaking speech recognition software
- purchase of a braille keyboard
The application period to submit your interest in becoming a Youth Accessibility Leader is from June 5, 2023 to October 10, 2023, at 5:00 p.m. (EDT).
Please send any questions to EDSC.JEUNESSEFA-YOUTHEAF.ESDC-GD@servicecanada.gc.ca. We will answer any questions about the YAL application process sent before October 10, 2023, at 5:00 p.m. (EDT).
We will hold information sessions virtually for those who are interested in becoming YALs as well, for organizations interested in applying for funding. Please email us at the address above to let us know your name and language and date you prefer of the following dates below.
The sessions will 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:
- August 15, 2023, at 1 p.m.(EDT) - English
- August 16, 2023, at 1 p.m. (EDT) - French
- October 3, 2023, at 1 p.m. (EDT) – English
- October 4, 2023, at 1 p.m. (EDT) – French
Once registered, you will receive an email invitation with a link to access the virtual session and its related materials.
We look forward to hearing from you!
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