Government of Canada is accepting applications for $50,000 disability access grants until July 27, 2017

By Stephen Pate – The door just opened on funding projects that make your business or community facility accessible to people with disabilities.  The process is reasonably simple but there is competition for funding.

Generally the project must help the public or your employees to use previously inaccessible locations. There include “projects that improve accessibility and safety for people with disabilities through the construction, renovation or retrofit of workplaces and the provision of accessible information and communications technologies.”

Employment and Social Development Canada – During National AccessAbility Week,  we promote inclusion and accessibility across Canada. We are aware of how society benefits when all Canadians can take part equally in their workplaces and communities.

Carla Qualtrough, Minister of Sport and Persons with Disabilities (photo Twitter)

Carla Qualtrough, Minister of Sport and Persons with Disabilities (photo Twitter)

To help make a more accessible Canada, the Honourable Carla Qualtrough, Minister of Sport and Persons with Disabilities, invites businesses and community organizations to apply for funding through the 2017 Enabling Accessibility Fund (EAF) Call for Proposals.

“We’ve made great strides in promoting inclusion for Canadians with disabilities,” said Minister Qualtrough, “but there is still much work to do. That’s why, as part of National AccessAbility Week, I encourage businesses, community organizations and other eligible applicants to apply for Enabling Accessibility Fund funding, so that together we can create a more accessible Canada.”

Canadians with disabilities face challenges every day which prevent them from participating fully in their communities. Through programs such as the EAF, the Government of Canada is committed to reducing these accessibility barriers. We want to  make sure that everyone has equal access and opportunity.

This call for proposals includes Workplace Accessibility and Community Accessibility funding.

Two streams of grants

The EAF Workplace Accessibility Stream gives eligible businesses and other employers across Canada the opportunity to send funding proposals.  Projects should improve accessibility and safety for people with disabilities. This can be the construction, renovation or retrofit of workplaces and accessible information and communications technologies.

The EAF Community Accessibility Stream provides funding for community projects. They should improve accessibility and safety through the construction, renovation or retrofit of community facilities. They can also improve accessible information and communications technologies, allowing community programs to be accessed by people with disabilities.

Enabling Accessibility Fund Funding levels

Businesses with up to 99 full‑time equivalent employees and community organizations can receive government grant project funding of up to $50,000.

Not-for-profit organizations, for-profit organizations, small municipalities (population under 125,000), Indigenous organizations (including band councils, tribal councils and self-government entities) and territorial governments are eligible to apply.

Eligible applicants in all provinces and territories can send proposals until Wednesday, July 26, 2017.

Youth projects

In addition to this call for proposals, and in celebration of Canada 150, part of the 2017–18 EAF funding budget will support a pilot project for up to 150 youth-driven projects for increasing accessibility in community facilities and workplaces across Canada. The largest funding per project will be $10,000.

Youth interested in participating will name accessibility barriers in public places or workplaces in their communities and/or surrounding communities and seek interested organizations willing to work with them to lead the development of accessibility project proposals.

Quick Facts

  • The Enabling Accessibility Fund has an annual budget of $15 million.
  • Since the creation of the Enabling Accessibility Fund, the Government of Canada has funded over 2,890 projects, helping thousands of Canadians gain access to employment opportunities and their communities’ programs, services and workplaces.
  • Budget 2016 provided an additional $4 million over two years, starting in 2016–17, for the Enabling Accessibility Fund’s community stream to support the capital costs of construction and renovation related to improving physical accessibility and safety for Canadians with disabilities.
  • Budget 2017 proposes to provide $77 million over 10 years, starting in 2018–19, to expand the activities of the Enabling Accessibility Fund. This will enable the program to support more small and mid-sized projects in Canadian communities and workplaces.
  • National‎ AccessAbility Week is being celebrated from May 28 to June 3, 2017 to promote inclusion and accessibility in communities and workplaces.