May 31, 2021 Windsor, Ontario Employment and Social Development Canada
The COVID-19 pandemic has had a disproportionate impact on persons with disabilities and has shed light on the number of Canadians that continue to face barriers to full inclusion in their communities and workplaces. One of the many ways the Government of Canada is taking action to break down those barriers is through funding programs like the Enabling Accessibility Fund (EAF).
Today, to celebrate National AccessAbility Week (NAAW) 2021, the Minister of Employment, Workforce Development and Disability Inclusion, Carla Qualtrough, and Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Employment, Workforce Development and Disability Inclusion and Member of Parliament for Windsor—Tecumseh, Irek Kusmierczyk, participated in a virtual event to highlight 11 accessibility projects led by organizations in the Windsor area that have received over $557,000 in EAF funding.
The EAF is a federal grants and contributions program that supports construction projects across Canada that improve the accessibility, safety and inclusion of persons with disabilities in our communities. The program helps provide vital accessible infrastructure such as ramps, automatic doors and accessible washrooms. It directly supports organizations so they can offer programs, services and employment opportunities to persons with disabilities.
Today’s project announcements include support to Stonehedge Properties Inc. under the Youth Innovation component of EAF, to turn an existing building into the Walkerville Arts Centre, a multi-use community arts programming space designed to meet the needs of people of all abilities.
Also announced today, under the Small projects component of EAF is a project by the Welcome Centre Shelter for Women to install push button door openers and a ramp to make their facility more accessible to disabled Canadians in need of their essential services.
All of the 11 projects in the Windsor area are excellent examples of how, by working with community organizations, the Government of Canada is helping to break down barriers to accessibility and disability inclusion.
Minister Qualtrough also announced that two calls for proposals under the EAF’s Mid-sized projects and Youth Innovation components will launch on Friday, June 4, 2021. The Mid-sized projects component provides contributions of up to $1 million to support larger retrofit, renovation or construction projects in facilities that house programs and services that help increase social participation and labour market opportunities for persons with disabilities in Canada. The Youth Innovation component seeks to engage and challenge youth between 15 and 30 years of age, to volunteer and collaborate with local organizations in their communities to secure funding of up to $10,000 for accessibility projects. More information will be available on June 4 at Funding – Canada.ca.