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New Initiative to support youth to build a more accessible Canada

Young disabled woman looking and smiling at camera sitting on wheelchair at beach

TORONTO – In celebration of Canada’s third National AccessAbility Week, the Minister of Public Services and Procurement and Accessibility, Carla Qualtrough, announced several initiatives to support youth leaders in their efforts to build a more accessible Canada.

The OCAD U is receiving $1.7 million in funding from the Accessible Technology Program to develop a new coding platform that will support the participation of students with complex learning needs and will share critically needed classroom resources to support educators in inclusive teaching.

The Minister also announced over $430,000 in financial support from the Youth Innovation Component of the Enabling Accessibility Fund (EAF) to 53 organizations across Canada for youth-driven projects that will increase accessibility for persons with disabilities in their communities and workplaces. The Youth Innovation Component of the EAF empowers youth to play a leadership role in their communities by identifying barriers to accessibility and safety in community spaces and workplaces, and then partnering with local businesses and organizations to manage a project that will remove those barriers.

“Together we are building an innovation nation—one that is inclusive and works for everyone. To achieve this, our focus is squarely on our greatest asset: our people. Programs like the Accessible Technology Program, and partners like OCAD University, are setting the bar higher, sparking discussions, and leading the way with their passion for increasing accessibility and our awareness of its necessity.” said the Minister of Innovation, Science and Economic Development, Navdeep Bains.