Federal government improves accessibility for Canadians with disabilities in New Glasgow

Funding support to ensure greater participation in the community and an improved quality of life

NEW GLASGOW, NS, July 20, 2015 /CNW/ - The Honourable Peter MacKay, Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada, on behalf of the Honourable Candice Bergen, Minister of State for Social Development, today announced $50,000 in funding to improve accessibility at the Summer Street Industries Society.

Summer Street Industries Society will undertake renovations to construct barrier-free washroom facilities, providing accessibility to people with disabilities attending community events.

The funding is provided through the Enabling Accessibility Fund, which supports the inclusion and participation of Canadians with all abilities in every aspect of society.

Today's announcement is one example of what the Government is doing to help Canadians. To help hard-working families, the Government is also enhancing the Universal Child Care Benefit, introducing the Family Tax Cut and making improvements to the Child Care Expenses Deduction and the Children's Fitness Tax Credit.

Quick Facts

  • Since the launch of the Enabling Accessibility Fund (EAF) in 2007, the Government of Canada has funded over 2,200 projects, helping thousands of Canadians gain better access to their communities' facilities, programs and services.
  • In 2013, the Government of Canada extended the EAF on an ongoing basis at $15 million per year to improve accessibility in facilities across Canada, including workplaces.
  • In recent years, the Government of Canada has taken concrete action to support programs for people with disabilities:
    • The Opportunities Fund for Persons with Disabilities has helped 40,000 people with disabilities across Canada to prepare for, obtain and maintain employment or self-employment.
    • As of March 2015, Canadians have registered over 100,000 Registered Disability Savings Plans and have benefitted from over $1 billion in bonds and grants deposited by the federal government.
    • The Government provides $222 million annually to the provinces and territories through Labour Market Agreements for Persons with Disabilities to help Canadians with disabilities develop skills to improve their job prospects.
    • Through Economic Action Plan 2014, the Government is providing $15 million over three years to the Canadian Association for Community Living to help connect people with developmental disabilities with jobs. It is also providing $11.4 million over four years to the Sinneave Family Foundation and Autism Speaks Canada to expand vocational training programs for people with autism spectrum disorders. 
  • The Universal Child Care Benefit will increase from $100 to $160 per month (totalling up to $1,920 per year) for children under the age of 6, and parents will receive a new benefit of $60 per month (up to $720 per year) for each child aged 6 through 17.

Quotes

"Our Government is committed to ensuring that Canadians of all abilities have the chance to contribute to our communities and be included in all aspects of society. Through our investments in the Enabling Accessibility Fund, more than 1,800 projects across the country are improving accessibility so that all Canadians can participate in their communities and workplaces."
– The Honourable Candice Bergen, Minister of State for Social Development

"Ensuring that all Nova Scotians can contribute more fully to their community is essential to our province's economic growth, long-term prosperity and to our collective improved quality of life. People with varying abilities have the right to participate in all aspects of society and be valued for their engagement. Thanks to the efforts of organizations like the Summer Street Industries Society, we're eliminating barriers and helping to bring workers, employers and communities together."
– The Honourable Peter MacKay, Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada

"The only reason Summer Street exists is to create opportunities for people with intellectual disabilities. We are a people-centred organization and it is reflected in everything we do. This project is a good example of government and community working very well together. The new barrier-free washrooms are a most welcome addition to our facilities and would not have been possible without the support of the Enabling Accessibility Fund."
Bob Bennett, Executive Director, Summer Street Industries Society

Associated Links

Funding: Enabling Accessibility
Economic Action Plan
Helping Families Prosper

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Backgrounder


 

Enabling Accessibility Fund

The Enabling Accessibility Fund (EAF) was originally announced in 2007 as a three-year, $45-million program to support community-based projects across Canada. In 2010, the EAF was extended with an additional three‑year, $45-million commitment and the creation of a new mid-sized project component.

Economic Action Plan 2013 extended the EAF on an ongoing basis at $15 million per year to continue to help improve access in communities and workplaces for Canadians with disabilities.

Successful projects demonstrated they were able to create or enhance accessibility for Canadians with disabilities and involve community partnerships.

At least 35 percent of the total funding for each project comes from non-federal government sources.

To date, over 1,800 projects have received funding to improve accessibility in Canadian communities and workplaces.

Opportunities Fund for Persons with Disabilities

The Opportunities Fund for Persons with Disabilities assists Canadians with disabilities to prepare for, obtain and keep employment, or become self-employed, to help them participate fully in the workforce and increase their independence.

Economic Action Plan 2013 announced a $10-million increase in funding for the Opportunities Fund, to $40 million annually, starting in 2015–16. Recently announced reforms will place a greater emphasis on hands-on experience, including work experience for more youth with disabilities, and ensure employers and community organizations are involved in the design and delivery of projects.

To further help Canadians with disabilities in the workforce, the Government has:

  • extended the Enabling Accessibility Fund on an ongoing basis at $15 million per year to improve accessibility in facilities across Canada, including workplaces; and
  • provided funding of $7 million per year for the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada, some of which will support research related to the labour market participation of people with disabilities.

Other measures to connect Canadians with available jobs and equip them with the skills and training they need include the Canada Job Grant, creating opportunities for apprentices and providing support to under-represented groups, including people with disabilities, Aboriginal people, newcomers and youth.

Registered Disability Savings Plan

The Registered Disability Savings Plan (RDSP) is a long-term savings plan to help Canadians with disabilities and their families save for the future. With written permission from the person who manages the RDSP, anyone may contribute any amount to the RDSP each year, up to the lifetime contribution limit of $200,000.

The person with a disability for whom the RDSP is opened (the beneficiary) may also be eligible for grants and bonds to help with long-term savings.

The Canada Disability Savings Bond is money the Government deposits into the RDSPs of modest-income Canadians. Beneficiaries who qualify for the Bond can receive up to $1,000 a year, depending on their family income. There is a limit of $20,000 over the beneficiary's lifetime. Bonds are paid into the RDSP until the end of the calendar year in which the beneficiary turns 49 years of age. Beneficiaries are eligible for the Bond even if no contributions are made to the RDSP.  

The Canada Disability Savings Grant is money the Government deposits into RDSPs to help people with disabilities save. The Government provides grants of up to 300 percent of contributions, depending on the amount contributed and the beneficiary's family income. The maximum grant is $3,500 each year, with a limit of $70,000 over the beneficiary's lifetime. Grants are paid on contributions made to the RDSP until the end of the calendar year in which the beneficiary turns 49 years of age.

Since launching the RDSP in 2008, over 100,000 plans have been opened across Canada, and the Government has contributed over $1 billion in bonds and grants into those RDSPs.

Labour Market Agreements for Persons with Disabilities

Labour Market Agreements for Persons with Disabilities (LMAPDs) are the single largest federal government investment in helping Canadians with disabilities get jobs. Currently, there are about 300,000 interventions each year through over 100 programs, which are designed and delivered by provinces and territories. Examples of supported programs could include employment counselling, career planning, pre-employment preparation, skills training, wage subsidies, technical aids and other supports.

Economic Action Plan 2014 reaffirmed the Government's commitment to introduce a new generation of LMAPDs with an investment of $222 million per year beginning in 2014–15. The reformed Agreements are designed to better meet the employment needs of Canadian businesses and improve the employment prospects for people with disabilities.

 

SOURCE Employment and Social Development Canada

For further information: Media Relations Office, Employment and Social Development Canada, 819-994-5559, media@hrsdc-rhdcc.gc.ca; Clarissa Lamb, Press Secretary, Office of the Minister of Justice, 613-992-4621


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