Human Resources and Skills Development Canada

Human Resources and Skills Development Canada

March 24, 2009 13:40 ET

The Government of Canada Enabling Accessibility for All Canadians

OTTAWA, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - March 24, 2009) - The Honourable Diane Finley, Minister of Human Resources and Skills Development, today announced that the Enabling Accessibility Fund (EAF) is open for organizations to apply for small project funding until May 4, 2009

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

The EAF is part of a $45 million, three-year commitment to expand opportunities for people with disabilities and improve accessibility across Canada. The goal of the EAF is to promote vibrant communities that benefit from the participation of people with varying abilities in everyday life activities.

Organizations can receive a grant of up to $50,000 for projects to renovate buildings within Canada; to enhance existing transportation through the modification of an existing vehicle; and/or to modify or enhance media and/or hardware in order to increase accessibility to information and communication. All projects must be accessible to the public. Projects may include installing ramps, improving lighting, building accessible washrooms and installing voice-interactive computers.

The program supports community-based projects that improve accessibility, reduce barriers and enable Canadians, regardless of physical ability, to participate in, and contribute, to their community and the economy.

The EAF supports community-based projects across Canada. This funding builds upon the Program's successful efforts to support community-based projects that enable people with varying abilities to participate in and contribute to their communities.

Canada's Economic Action Plan is also addressing the needs of people with disabilities and their families through a series of important measures that include:

- Providing $1.0 billion for renovations and energy retrofits of social housing, including renovations that support people with disabilities.

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

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

- Increasing the maximum amount of the Working Income Tax Benefit (WITB), including the supplement for people with disabilities.

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

To obtain information on how to apply for funding or further information about the program, please visit www.hrsdc.gc.ca or call 1-800-O-Canada (1-800-622-6232) For people using a teletypewriter device (TTY), call 1-800-926-9105.

This news release is available in alternative formats upon request.


BACKGROUNDER

The Government of Canada is committed to working with people with disabilities to enable them to participate fully in their communities. The Government is breaking down barriers that prevent Canadians from reaching their full potential and is introducing initiatives to support the vulnerable and provide assistance to those Canadians faced with difficult and unique challenges.

The Enabling Accessibility Fund supports community-based projects across Canada that improve accessibility, reduce barriers and enable Canadians, regardless of physical ability, to participate in, and contribute to, their community and the economy.The Government set aside $45 million for this fund over three years.

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

The EAF seeks to promote vibrant communities in which all can contribute and participate, regardless of physical ability. The EAF helps communities to do this by making buildings, facilities, vehicles, information, and communication more accessible for people of varying abilities and increasing the opportunities for everyone to participate socially and economically. Projects will have strong ties to, and support from, the communities they serve.

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 that include:

- Providing $1.0 billion for renovations and energy retrofits of social housing, including renovations that support people with disabilities.

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

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

- Increasing the maximum amount of the Working Income Tax Benefit (WITB), including the supplement for people with disabilities.

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

Small Project Funding:

EAF Small Projects Enabling Accessibility: Funded through a grant, eligible activities include renovations for buildings within Canada that improve physical accessibility; the enhancement of existing transportation through the modification of an existing vehicle that improves physical accessibility; and the modification or enhancement of media and/or hardware in order to increase accessibility to information and communication. All projects must be accessible to the public. For small projects, the maximum amount payable per recipient will not exceed $50,000.

Examples of eligible activities for projects 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; and

- installing a wheelchair lift in a community-based vehicle

Who is eligible to apply?

- 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.

For more information, visit the Human Resources and Skills Development Canada Web site at: www.hrsdc.gc.ca/disability or contact 1-800-O-Canada
(1-800-622-6232). For people using a teletypewriter device (TTY), call 1-800-926-9105.

Contact Information

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