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Government of Canada improves accessibility for Canadians with disabilities within their workplaces and communities
January 17, 2017 Surrey, British Columbia Employment and Social Development Canada
Today, the Honourable Carla Qualtrough, Minister of Sport and Persons with Disabilities, visited the Centre for Child Development of the Lower Mainland to announce the approval of 573 Enabling Accessibility Fund (EAF) projects. The Minister highlighted how these projects will help strengthen the Government of Canada’s commitment to ensuring greater accessibility and opportunity for Canadians with disabilities in their communities and workplaces.
Canadians with disabilities face challenges every day which prohibit them from participating fully in their community and workplace. The Government of Canada is committed to reducing these accessibility barriers and ensuring that everyone has equal access and opportunity through programs such as the EAF. This is why Budget 2016 provided an additional $4 million over two years, starting in 2016–17, to support the capital costs of construction and renovation related to improving physical accessibility and safety for Canadians with disabilities in their communities.
On May 31st, 2016, the Government of Canada invited businesses and community organizations to apply for funding through the 2016 Enabling Accessibility Fund (EAF) call for proposals which closed on July 26, 2016. This call included a Workplace and a Community Accessibility funding stream.
The EAF Workplace Accessibility Stream gives eligible businesses and other employers across Canada, such as not-for-profit organizations, social enterprises, small municipalities, Indigenous organizations and territorial governments; the opportunity to submit funding proposals for projects that improve accessibility and safety for people with disabilities through renovations, retrofits or construction of workplaces, including the provision of accessible information and communication technologies for work use.
The EAF Community Accessibility Stream provides funding for projects that help improve accessibility and safety through renovations, retrofits or construction of community facilities and venues so that programs and services can be accessed by people with disabilities. This includes the provision of information and communication technologies for community use that eliminate systemic accessibility barriers.
“Funded projects for Canadian businesses, community organizations and other eligible recipients will have a direct and positive impact in the everyday life of people with disabilities and their families. Together, we can help build a more accessible and inclusive society.”
– The Honourable Carla Qualtrough, Minister of Sport and Persons with Disabilities
- 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 their communities’ programs, services and workplaces.
- In July 2016, the Accessible Canada website (Canada.ca/Accessible-Canada) was launched in order to start the online consultations to inform the development of planned federal accessibility legislation. From September 2016 and up to February 2017, the Government of Canada will have conducted 18 public sessions and 9 roundtables in 18 different cities across Canada. A national youth forum was held in November 2016 to seek input from youth with disabilities or youth with relevant work, education and / or life experiences.
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For media enquiries, please contact:
Office of the Minister of Sport and Persons with Disabilities
819-934-1122 / TTY: 1-866-702-6967
Enabling Accessibility Fund
The Enabling Accessibility Fund (EAF) is a federal Grants and Contributions program which supports community-based projects across Canada aimed at improving accessibility in public facilities and in workplaces.
Funding is provided through two streams: Community Accessibility Stream and Workplace Accessibility Stream.
The Workplace Accessibility Stream supports projects that improve accessibility and safety in workplaces across Canada through capital cost investments, i.e. renovation, retrofit or construction of facilities in which job opportunities can be created or maintained for people with disabilities. Projects must respond to systemic accessibility issues in workplaces.
The Community Accessibility Stream of the EAF provides funding to eligible recipients for capital cost projects that improve accessibility in public facilities to improve access to programs and services for people with disabilities. Projects must be directly related to removing barriers and increasing accessibility for people with disabilities in Canadian communities. All projects must also respond to specific eligibility criteria identified in the call for proposals, including support from the community.
For further information on the EAF, please visit https://www.canada.ca/en/employment-social-development/programs/disability/eaf.html
Consultation to inform the development of planned accessibility legislation
Minister Qualtrough, Canada’s first Minister of Sport and Persons with Disabilities, was mandated by the Prime Minister to lead an engagement process with Canadians with disabilities, stakeholders, provinces, territories and municipalities that would inform planned legislation to transform how the Government of Canada addresses accessibility in the federal jurisdiction.
The consultation process period is July 2016 to February 2017.
Additionally, Minister Qualtrough led a National Youth Forum that engaged Canadian youth with disabilities in the policy discussion and, has also participated in roundtable discussions with various stakeholders.
For more information on the consultations and to participate in the online survey, Canadians have been encouraged to visit Canada.ca/Accessible-Canada.
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