Government of Canada invests in projects to increase accessibility and inclusion in Canadian communities and workplaces
From: Employment and Social Development Canada
May 29, 2023
Building a barrier-free Canada can only be achieved if we work together, which is why the Government of Canada continues to support and collaborate with organizations across the country to improve accessibility, safety and the inclusion of persons with disabilities in communities and workplaces.
In celebration of National AccessAbility Week 2023, Minister of Employment, Workforce Development and Disability Inclusion, Carla Qualtrough, announced the Government of Canada’s investment through the Enabling Accessibility Fund (EAF) mid-sized projects component to support infrastructure accessibility projects led by 14 organizations, to help increase the social participation and labour market opportunities of persons with disabilities.
Minister Qualtrough made the announcement during a visit to the Neeginan Center Inc, an organization that promotes the social, educational and entrepreneurial growth of the Indigenous community in Winnipeg. It offers employment readiness programs, career counseling, placement services, as well as educational and health programs. The Centre received $543,321 in funding through the EAF mid-sized projects component to improve safe access to its facility by persons with disabilities with the construction of an interior ramp, installation of an elevator, and the building of accessible doors and washrooms.
Today’s funding announcement results from a 2021 call for proposals under the EAF mid-sized projects component that provided contributions of up to $1 million to support larger retrofit, renovation, or construction projects. The approved projects seek to improve access to employment preparedness programming and services, social inclusion community programming, sports and recreation programming, and peer-led support and/or workforce onboarding and retention programs for persons with disabilities.
This funding supports the employment of persons with disabilities, and the development of accessible and inclusive communities, which are two pillars under the Government of Canada’s Disability Inclusion Action Plan. It also contributes to the Government’s on-going commitment to create a truly inclusive Canada, free of physical, societal, and attitudinal barriers.
“It is essential we continue the work of creating a Canada where no one is left behind. Through the Enabling Accessibility Fund, we’re making safer, more accessible communities and workplaces. These spaces give persons with disabilities access to more opportunities to fully participate in society.”
– Minister of Employment, Workforce Development and Disability Inclusion, Carla Qualtrough
- The 2017 Canada Survey on Disability found that one in five Canadians aged 15 and over—or about 6.2 million persons—report as having a disability.
- The Enabling Accessibility Fund (EAF) is a federal grants and contributions program that supports infrastructure projects across Canada that improve the accessibility, safety, and inclusion of persons with disabilities in communities and the labour market. Over 7,200 projects have been funded under the EAF since its launch in 2007, helping thousands of Canadians gain access to programs, services and employment opportunities in their communities.
- Today, over $8.8 million in funding is being invested by the Government of Canada under the EAF mid-sized projects component for infrastructure accessibility projects led by 14 organizations from across Canada.
- Through Budget 2021, the Government of Canada committed up to $100 million over two years, starting in 2021-22, to increase funding for the EAF to help make communities and workplaces more accessible for persons with disabilities by reducing barriers to employment, activities, and programs.
- Budget 2023 committed $10 million over two years, beginning in 2024-25, to Employment and Social Development Canada (ESDC) to support additional projects under the mid-sized components of EAF and help address the unique needs and ongoing barriers faced by persons with disabilities in communities and workplaces across the country.
- National AccessAbility Week (NAAW) is taking place May 28 to June 3, 2023, and is a nationwide week of recognition, celebrating the many social, economic, cultural, and political achievements of persons with disabilities. The theme for NAAW 2023 is: “Disability inclusion: from possibilities to practice.”
For media inquiries, please contact:
Office of the Minister of Employment, Workforce Development and Disability Inclusion
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Employment and Social Development Canada