Government of Canada improves accessibility for Canadians with disabilities in Guelph
May 17, 2019
MP Longfield making the announcement at the Bookshelf.
Lloyd Longfield, Member of Parliament for Guelph, on behalf of the Honourable Carla Qualtrough, Minister of Public Services and Procurement and Accessibility, announced that the Bookshelf in Guelph has received financial support through the small projects component of the Enabling Accessibility Fund (EAF).
This support will allow the Bookshelf to add an elevator to make the second floor fully accessible and improve accessibility for Canadians with disabilities.
With programs such as the EAF, the Government of Canada is breaking down the barriers that prevent persons with disabilities from fully participating in all aspects of Canadian society, ensuring that everyone has equal access and equal opportunity.
Through the 2018 EAF Call for proposals for small projects, eligible organizations could apply for project funding for up to $100,000 per project under two funding streams: Community Accessibility and Workplace Accessibility.
The Workplace Accessibility stream gives eligible organizations across Canada funding for projects that improve accessibility and safety for persons with disabilities through renovations, retrofits or construction of workplaces, including the provision of accessible information and communication technologies for work use.
The 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 persons with disabilities. This includes the provision of information and communication technologies for community use that eliminate systemic accessibility barriers.
Providing support to help persons with disabilities access their communities and workplaces is a key part of the Government’s plan to create a more inclusive and accessible Canada. By tabling the proposed Accessible Canada Act in 2018, the Government is taking concrete steps towards the realization of a barrier-free Canada where all Canadians have the same rights and opportunities to contribute to society.
“Canada is at its best and all of society benefits when everyone is included. Investing in the Enabling Accessibility Fund is one of the ways our Government is ensuring persons with disabilities in Canada have opportunities to participate in society on an equal basis. Through this funding and through partnerships with organizations like the Bookshelf in Guelph, we are building a more inclusive and accessible Canada.”
– The Honourable Carla Qualtrough, Minister of Public Services and Procurement and Accessibility
“Today’s announcement is another example of what our Government is doing to help Canadians with disabilities gain access and contribute to our communities. This funding will have a tremendous impact on persons with disabilities in downtown Guelph. I want to thank the Bookshelf for applying for funding that will help to make our public spaces and workplaces more inclusive for all Canadians.”
– Lloyd Longfield, Member of Parliament for Guelph
- Today’s announcement falls under the small projects component. Additional recipients of funding under this component, as well as recipients of funding under the other two components of this program, which are the mid-sized projects component and the youth innovation projects component, will be announced in coming months.
- Since 2015, the Government of Canada has supported over 2,000 accessibility projects through the Enabling Accessibility Fund. These projects have helped several thousand Canadians by improving their access to their communities’ programs, services and employment opportunities.
- Eligible organizations can submit funding applications through periodic calls for proposals.
- In 2018-19, EAF’s grants and contributions annual budget grew to $20.65 million as Budget 2017 provided an additional $77 million over ten years. These funds have expanded the activities of the program and support more small and mid-sized projects, including youth-driven project proposals, to improve accessibility in Canadian communities and workplaces.
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Lianne C. Cassidy
Executive Assistant to Lloyd Longfield
Member of Parliament for Guelph
Enabling Accessibility Fund
The Enabling Accessibility Fund supports the capital costs of construction and renovations related to improving physical accessibility and safety for persons with disabilities in Canadian communities and workplaces. Eligible recipients can apply for funding through periodic funding processes, under three program components:
The different components are described as follows:
- The small projects component supports small-scale construction, renovation or retrofit projects that have a quick impact to increase accessibility in communities or workplaces through grants with a maximum value up to $100,000 depending on the parameters that are further defined under each funding process.
Examples of types of projects are: installing screen reader devices and hearing induction loop systems, building accessible pathways and ramps, creating a controlled multisensory environment (Snoezelen room), and constructing a universally designed office.
- The mid-sized projects component provides contributions 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 persons with disabilities in a holistic manner. For the 2018–19 funding process, organizations could apply to receive funding between $350,000 and $1,000,000. Eligible projects may include the creation or expansion of existing centres or hubs which offer centralized programming and services for persons with disabilities in their communities.
- The youth innovation component, introduced as a pilot in 2017 and as a program component in 2018, 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.
Recipients of funding under the mid-sized projects component and the youth innovation projects component will be announced in coming months.