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The Government of Canada Launches the First Call for Proposals for the Enabling Accessibility Fund

by NationTalk on April 1, 2008562 Views

OTTAWA, ONTARIO–(April 1, 2008) – The Honourable Monte Solberg, Minister of Human Resources and Social Development, today announced the first Call for Proposals for the Enabling Accessibility Fund, which will help Canadians regardless of their physical ability participate in their communities.Announced in Budget 2007, The Enabling Accessibility Fund will invest up to $45 million over three years to help contribute to the cost of community-based projects across Canada that will improve accessibility.

“The federal Government is committed to helping all Canadians, regardless of their physical ability, participate fully in their communities,” said Minister Solberg. “The Enabling Accessibility Fund will go a long ways towards helping people with disabilities take part in an activity at a community centre or having easier access to something we take for granted like a trip to the local grocery store.”

This year, the Enabling Accessibility Fund will provide funding of $6.25 million for small projects up to $50,000 and will accept applications for major projects between $1 million and $15 million.

Approved projects will have strong ties to, and support from, the communities they serve and will be able to demonstrate improvements in accessibility for people with disabilities.

Applications for two types of projects are eligible.

Funding for major projects could go towards new construction or the expansion of abilities centres that offer programs for individuals with varying physical abilities.

Funding for smaller projects could go towards the addition of interior or exterior ramps, or the installation of wider doors and automatic door openers, modifications to vehicles or other improvements that make the physical environment more accessible. All projects must be accessible to the public.

The first Call for Proposals for the Enabling Accessibility Fund will open on April 1, 2008 and will close April 30, 2008.

Eligible organizations (see attached backgrounder) are invited to apply before the deadline of April 30, 2008.

This news release is available in alternative formats upon request.

Visit the new HRSDC Web site – www.hrsdc.gc.ca.

BACKGROUNDER

In Budget 2007, the Government of Canada announced the creation of the Enabling Accessibility Fund in the amount of $45 million over three years. This fund will contribute to the capital costs of construction and renovations related to physical accessibility for people with disabilities. Human Resources and Social Development Canada (HRSDC) is responsible for administering the Fund.

Non-governmental organizations such as community-based groups and non-profit organizations; public-sector organizations such as small municipalities with a population under 250,000 as per the latest census data; small private-sector organizations with fewer than 50 employees and under $5 million in gross revenue per year; provincial and territorial governments; and Aboriginal governments and organizations may comprise the eligible class of recipients.

The Enabling Accessibility Fund Call for Proposals has two components:

Under the first component, Major Projects Enabling Accessibility, eligible activities will include the construction of a new participatory abilities centre or the expansion of an existing facility to create a participatory abilities centre within Canada. Project funding levels will range from $1 million to $15 million over two years.

Under the second component, Small Projects Enabling Accessibility, eligible activities will include the renovation of buildings or the modifications of existing vehicles within Canada that improve physical, information, and/or communication accessibility. All projects must ensure accessibility for people with disabilities.

Examples of eligible activities for projects that enhance or improve physical accessibility include, but are not limited to:

- building an interior or exterior ramp;

- installing wider doors or automated door openers;

- lowering sinks or counters;

- improving lighting and increasing colour contrast;

- building an accessible washroom;

- installing accessible door handles and light switches;

- installing a computer that is voice interactive; and

- installing a wheelchair lift on a community-based vehicle

Who is eligible to apply?

- Non-governmental organizations such as community-based groups and non-profit organizations;

- Public-sector organizations such as municipalities with a population under 250,000 as per the latest census data;

- Small private-sector organizations with fewer than 50 employees and under $5 million in gross revenue per year;

- Provincial and territorial governments; and

- Aboriginal governments and organizations.

For small projects, the maximum amount payable per recipient will be $50,000. The project will normally begin and end within a 52-week period in accordance with the terms and conditions.

The application and assessment process has been structured to ensure fairness and transparency in the selection process.

For more information and to get an application, go to: www.hrsdc-rhdsc.gc.ca/disability

For more information, please contact

Human Resources and Social Development Canada
Media Relations Office
819-994-5559

or

Office of Minister Solberg
Pema Lhalungpa
Press Secretary
819-994-2482

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