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Canada invests in youth-driven projects to improve accessibility and disability inclusion

Disabled man in wheelchair outdoor in the sun

The imagination, determination, and innovation of Canada’s youth are essential to building the Canada we all want: a country that is inclusive and barrier-free for persons with disabilities. By continuing to invest in youth and working with local and community-based organizations to increase accessibility and inclusion in communities and workplaces, the Government of Canada is reinforcing its commitment to prioritize disability inclusion across the country.

On August 12, in celebration of International Youth Day 2022, Minister of Employment, Workforce Development and Disability Inclusion, Carla Qualtrough, announced over $1 million in funding for projects led by youth in partnership with 133 organizations across Canada. This funding is distributed through the Enabling Accessibility Fund (EAF) Youth Innovation component 2021-2022 call for proposals.

“Young people in Canada care very deeply about equality and inclusion. So when a young person wants to better their community and make it more disability inclusive, we’re going to help them do that. Thanks to 133 young leaders we are supporting today, persons with disabilities will be able to access more spaces, systems and services in their communities.”

Minister of Employment, Workforce Development and Disability Inclusion, Carla Qualtrough “When young people are supported with opportunities to grow, learn, and be a part of real change, everyone benefits. A priority for our government is to ensure an inclusive recovery for all Canadians. The EAF Youth Innovation component is a prime example as it empowers young Canadians in helping to build barrier-free communities across the country. The skills and experience gained through this initiative will enhance the lives of young people, persons with disabilities, and the future of Canada.”

Illustrating this year’s theme “Intergenerational Solidarity: Creating a World for All Ages”, Minister Qualtrough made the announcement at the University of British Columbia BC Brain Wellness Program in Vancouver, British Columbia. The program leverages clinical care, lifestyle programs, education, and research to design a comprehensive approach to brain wellness, improving the quality of life and well-being of persons with disabilities of all ages, people with chronic brain conditions, program participants and care partners. The organization is receiving:

$9,982 in funding to purchase communication technology equipment such as microphones, cameras, and a computer to create a teaching kitchen that is more accessible for university staff, dieticians, cooks, and medical students with disabilities; and

$9,999 in funding to purchase technology such as webcams and microphones for program instructors to improve the accessibility and quality of the virtual programming, as well as exercise and recreation equipment.

On June 3, 2022, a new call for proposals under the EAF Youth Innovation component was launched. Youth are invited to submit their expressions of interest in being named a Youth Accessibility Leader (YAL) by October 17, 2022, at 5:00 p.m. EST online.

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