Human Resources and Skills Development Canada

Human Resources and Skills Development Canada

September 17, 2011 11:30 ET

Government of Canada Supports Accessibility for Canadians With Disabilities in Niagara Falls

NIAGARA FALLS, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - Sept. 17, 2011) - Canadians with disabilities in Niagara Falls and surrounding areas will benefit from a fully accessible nature centre at Heartland Forest Nature Experience, as a result of funding from the Government of Canada's Enabling Accessibility Fund.

The Honourable Rob Nicholson, P.C., Q.C., Member of Parliament for Niagara Falls, Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada, made the announcement today on behalf of the Honourable Diane Finley, Minister of Human Resources and Skills Development.

"We are proud to partner with organizations such as Heartland Forest Nature Experience to work toward full accessibility for people with disabilities," said Minister Nicholson. "Through the Enabling Accessibility Fund, the Government of Canada is improving access to facilities, activities and services, which helps all Canadians to participate fully in society."

The Government of Canada is providing contribution funding in an amount of $1,644,037 through the Mid-sized Component of the Enabling Accessibility Fund to support Heartland Forest Nature Experience in building a nature centre that is an example of accessibility and environmental leadership. The centre will offer new programs, including a day program for adults with disabilities, an accessible wood-working shop and program, and a universally accessible environmental education program. The total cost of the project is $2,192,050.

A call for proposals under the Enabling Accessibility Fund's Small Project Component is currently open and will run until September 23, 2011. For more information, please visit

This news release is available in alternative formats on request.


The Enabling Accessibility Fund

The Enabling Accessibility Fund was originally announced in Budget 2007 as a three-year, $45 million program to support community-based projects across Canada. In 2010, the Fund was extended with an additional three year, $45 million commitment and the creation of a new Mid-sized Component, allowing communities to undertake larger retrofit projects or to foster partnerships for new facilities, such as the one announced today.

Since the first call for proposals in 2008, funding in support of over 600 projects have been awarded to improve accessibility in Canadian communities.

Mid-sized Project Component

Organizations could receive contribution funding of $500,000 to $3 million under the Mid-sized Component for projects that create or enhance accessibility for people with disabilities. Projects include retrofits, renovations or new construction of facilities within Canada that house services and programs that focus on the social and labour market integration needs of people with disabilities. All funded projects must involve community partnerships.

A Call for Proposals for mid-sized projects ran from October 28, 2010 to January 13, 2011.

Small Project Component – Call for Proposals Open Now

A call for proposals under the Fund's Small Project Component is currently open and will run until September 23, 2011. Organizations can receive up to $50,000 per project.

Under the current call for proposals, all projects must create or enhance accessibility for people with disabilities within Canada and must involve community partnerships. At least 25 percent of the total eligible project costs must come from non-federal government sources.

The following types of organizations can apply for funding:

  • not-for-profit organizations;

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

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

  • colleges and universities;

  • territorial governments; and

  • Aboriginal governments.

Eligible activities include, but are not limited to:

  • constructing an interior or exterior ramp;

  • installing wider doors or automated door openers;

  • building an accessible washroom;

  • installing an elevator or lift; and

  • enhancing interactive speech capability on a public-access computer.

For more information, please visit

Contact Information

  • Alyson Queen
    Press Secretary
    Office of Minister Finley

    Media Relations Office
    Human Resources and Skills Development Canada