Mike Bossio, Member of Parliament for Hastings—Lennox and Addington, on behalf of the Honourable Kirsty Duncan, Minister of Science and Minister of Sport and Persons with Disabilities, encouraged not-for-profit and Indigenous organizations, municipalities and territorial governments to apply for funding for retrofit, renovation or new construction projects of accessible facilities or venues through the 2018 Enabling Accessibility Fund (EAF) call for concepts (CFC) for mid-sized projects.
Through the Enabling Accessibility Fund, the Government of Canada is taking action to ensure Canadians with disabilities have access to services and programs that will help them participate fully in their community and in the labour market.
The EAF mid-sized CFC provides contribution funding to organizations for projects that help improve and make Canadian facilities and venues more accessible for people with disabilities. As a result of the projects, eligible organizations must offer or plan to offer services and programs that support the social and labour market integration needs of people with disabilities. Financial contributions between $350,000 and $1 million will be provided through the current CFC for each successful retrofit, renovation or construction project.
The CFC follows a two-step application approach. First, applicants are invited to submit their project concepts. Then, applicants whose project concepts are successful will be asked to submit a detailed proposal at a later date.
Eligible applicants have until May 24, 2018, to submit their project concept application online, by mail or email.
“The Government of Canada is committed to reducing barriers for Canadians with disabilities and ensuring that everyone has equal access and opportunity. The Enabling Accessibility Fund supports organizations across Canada that improve accessibility and enable Canadians with disabilities to participate fully in society, including in our rural communities.”
– Mike Bossio, Member of Parliament for Hastings—Lennox and Addington
“Our communities are stronger and everyone benefits when all members of society are included. The Enabling Accessibility Fund aims to do just that, and plays an important role in making sure that Canadians of all abilities are fully included in their workplaces and communities. I encourage eligible organizations to put forward projects that will help create spaces that are accessible to all.”
– The Honourable Kirsty Duncan, Minister of Science and Minister of Sport and Persons with Disabilities
- Since the creation of the Enabling Accessibility Fund (EAF) in 2007, the Government of Canada has funded over 3,000 projects, helping Canadians gain access to their communities’ programs, services and workplaces.
- Starting in 2018–19, the EAF grants and contributions budget will grow to $20.65 million, as Budget 2017 provided $77 million ($70 million in grant and contribution funding and $7 million in operational funding) over 10 years to expand the activities of the EAF and support more small and mid-sized projects, including youth‑driven proposals, aimed at improving accessibility in Canadian communities and workplaces.
- This is the Government of Canada’s second funding opportunity for mid-sized projects under the EAF. The mid-sized projects component was launched in 2010 and since then, has undergone changes to better suit the needs of applicants, including making the objective and parameters of the CFC more precise.
Enabling Accessibility Fund
The Enabling Accessibility Fund supports the capital costs of construction and renovations related to improving physical accessibility and safety for people with disabilities in Canadian communities and workplaces.
Eligible recipients can apply for funding through periodic funding processes, where eligibility criteria are further defined, under three program components:
- The Small Projects Component provides grant funding, typically up to $50,000 per project, to support small scale construction, renovation or retrofit projects that have a quick impact to increase accessibility in communities or workplaces. Examples of types of projects are: installing screen reader devices, hearing induction loop systems, accessible pathways and ramps, creating a controlled multisensory environment (Snoezelen room), constructing a universally designed office, and retrofitting a washroom with an accessible toilet, grab bars and taps.
- The Mid-Sized Projects Component provides contributions of up to $3 million to support larger retrofit, renovation or construction projects of facilities or venues that house programs and services geared towards addressing the social and/or labour market integration needs of people with disabilities in a holistic manner. Eligible projects may include the creation or expansion of existing centres or hubs which offer centralized programming and services for people with disabilities in their communities. Examples of such programs and services may include: educational and career planning support, job search assistance, interview and job skills development, counselling, life transition support, etc.
- NEW – The Youth Innovation Component empowers youth to identify accessibility barriers within their communities and work with local organizations to develop solutions to increase accessibility and safety in community spaces and workplaces. Funding of up to $10,000 is available to support capital costs of eligible projects, which may include initiatives like: installing automatic door openers, constructing raised garden beds in a community garden, or acquiring specialized wheelchairs to access sandy beaches.