Human Resources and Skills Development Canada

Human Resources and Skills Development Canada

December 03, 2009 10:45 ET

The Government of Canada Improves Accessibility for Canadians

OTTAWA, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - Dec. 3, 2009) - The Honourable Diane Finley, Minister of Human Resources and Skills Development, today announced investments across Canada that will expand opportunities for people with disabilities and improve accessibility.

"The Government of Canada is committed to supporting people with disabilities and their families," said Minister Finley. "Through the Enabling Accessibility Fund and other initiatives, our government is helping people with disabilities by improving access to facilities, activities and services."

Over $5.8 million has been made available from the Enabling Accessibility Fund to support 169 community-based projects. These projects are part of a $45-million, three-year commitment to expand opportunities for people with disabilities and improve accessibility across Canada.

The Enabling Accessibility Fund supports community-based programs across the country that improve accessibility and enable all Canadians, regardless of physical ability, to participate in and contribute to their communities and the economy.

This fund is part of the Government of Canada's commitment to address the needs of people with disabilities and help them reach their full potential.

December 3 is the United Nations' International Day of Persons with Disabilities. It also marks the one-year anniversary of the Registered Disability Savings Plan (RDSP). Through the RDSP, families and individuals can save for the long-term financial security of a loved one with a disability. To learn more about the RDSP, visit www.disabilitysavings.gc.ca.

Canada's Economic Action Plan and other recent federal initiatives are also addressing the needs of people with disabilities and their families through a series of important measures, including:

- $1 billion for renovations and energy retrofits to social housing, including renovations that support people with disabilities.

- $75 million over two years for the construction of new social housing units for people with disabilities.

- $20 million for each of two years to improve the accessibility of federally owned buildings.

- Effective doubling of the tax relief provided by the Working Income Tax Benefit, which includes a supplement for persons with disabilities.

- Extending the increase in the Home Buyers' Plan limit and the First-Time Home Buyers' Tax Credit to people with disabilities who are not first-time home buyers but are buying a more accessible or functional home.

To learn more about Canada's Economic Action Plan, visit www.actionplan.gc.ca.

This news release is available in alternative formats upon request.


BACKGROUNDER

Enabling Accessibility Fund

People with disabilities face a number of barriers, including inaccessible buildings, inadequate support or aids, and a lack of access to transportation, which limit their daily activities. As a result, Canadian communities are not fully benefiting from the participation of people with disabilities.

In 2007, the Government of Canada announced the creation of the Enabling Accessibility Fund (EAF), with $45 million over three years to contribute to projects that improve accessibility for people with disabilities.

The Fund promotes vibrant communities in which all individuals can contribute and participate, regardless of physical ability. To this end, the EAF helps communities by funding projects that make buildings, facilities, vehicles, information and communication more accessible for people of varying abilities, and that increase opportunities for everyone to participate socially and economically. Approved projects must have strong ties to and support from the communities they serve, as well as be accessible to the public.

Eligible recipients include:

- non-governmental organizations, such as community-based groups and non-profit organizations;

- small municipalities (with a population under 250,000 as per the latest census data);

- small private sector organizations (fewer than 50 employees and under $5 million in gross revenue per year);

- territorial governments; and

- Aboriginal governments and organizations.

Examples of eligible activities that enhance or improve accessibility include, but are not limited to:

- building an interior or exterior ramp;

- installing wider doors or installing automated door openers;

- lowering sinks or counters;

- improving lighting and increasing colour contrast;

- building an accessible washroom;

- installing accessible door handles and light switches;

- installing an FM loop system;

- installing a computer that is voice-interactive; or

- installing a wheelchair lift in a community-based vehicle.

The list of projects that received funding is available at the following address: http://media3.marketwire.com/docs/tablehumanresources.pdf

Contact Information

  • Office of Minister Finley
    Michelle Bakos
    Press Secretary
    819-994-2482
    or
    Human Resources and Skills Development Canada
    Media Relations Office
    819-994-5559