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Education and Employment

Canada invests in projects to improve access to services for persons with disabilities

woman in a wheelchair past the security gate in the office

COVID-19 has had a disproportionate impact on persons with disabilities and has shed light on the number of Canadians that continue to face barriers to being fully included 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).

The Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Employment Workforce Development and Disability Inclusion, Irek Kusmierczyk, and the Member of Parliament for Cumberland—Colchester, Lenore Zann, on behalf of the Minister of Employment, Workforce Development and Disability Inclusion, Carla Qualtrough, hosted a virtual event to highlight four projects led by organizations in Cumberland-Colchester that received over $317,000 in EAF funding. Funding through the Small projects components of the Enabling Accessibility Fund (EAF) will support Factory 58 Holdings Inc., the Village of Bible Hill, Rath Eastlink Community Centre, and the Municipality of the County of Colchester.

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.

The projects announced involve renovations of all sizes, from making two floors fully wheelchair accessible for the Municipality of the County of Colchester to installing a lift allowing access to another floor at Factory 58 Holdings. These projects are excellent examples of how, by working with organizations, the Government of Canada is helping to break down barriers to accessibility and disability inclusion.

PS Kusmierczky and MP Zann also highlighted the upcoming launch, on Friday June 4, 2021, of two calls for proposals under the EAF Mid-sized projects and Youth Innovation components. The Mid-sized projects component of the EAF provides contributions of up to $1 million to support larger retrofit, renovation or construction projects in facilities that house programs and services that help to 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.

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