Harper Government improves accessibility for Canadians with disabilities in Kelowna

KELOWNA, BC, April 10, 2015 /CNW/ - The Honourable Candice Bergen, Minister of State for Social Development, and the Honourable Ron Cannan, Member of Parliament for Kelowna–Lake Country, today announced improved access for Canadians with disabilities to programs and services in their community.

The Starbright Children's Development Centre is receiving just over $3,000 from the Enabling Accessibility Fund (EAF) to improve accessibility for Canadians with disabilities. The funding will be used to install electric door mechanisms at two of the Centre's main entrances to improve access to the building in a safe way.

On March 16, 2015, the EAF call for proposals for community-based projects was launched, encouraging eligible organizations from all provinces and territories to apply for funding for projects that will help improve accessibility in community facilities across Canada. Proposals can involve a wide variety of projects; however, priority will be given to projects that enhance access for children with disabilities (e.g. outdoor playgrounds), veterans with disabilities or seniors with disabilities. The deadline for submissions is April 27, 2015.

In addition to this, Minister Bergen reiterated the Government's commitment to put money back in the pockets of hard-working Canadian families. The commitment includes the proposed enhancements to the Universal Child Care Benefit, which would increase to almost $2,000 per year for every child under the age of 6, and $720 for every child aged 6 through 17. The new benefit amounts would be retroactive to January 1, 2015, and reflected in monthly payments to recipients in July 2015.

Application information on how to apply for EAF funding is available on Employment and Social Development Canada's website at http://www.esdc.gc.ca/eng/disability/eaf/community.shtml.

Quick Facts

  • Since the launch of the Enabling Accessibility Fund in 2007, the Government of Canada has funded over 1,800 projects, helping thousands of Canadians gain better access to their communities' facilities, programs and services.
  • Under this call for proposals, organizations can receive a grant of up to $50,000.
  • Examples of eligible projects could include: 
    • building accessible playgrounds for children with disabilities;
    • widening hallways and doorways, installing elevators and automated power doors;
    • improving lighting, acoustics or contrast;
    • installing accessible washrooms and service counters;
    • upgrading facilities that offer programs for adults and/or children with autism and other cognitive/intellectual impairments; and
    • installing assistive technology, installing or updating information technology.

 

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 Canadians of all abilities can participate in their communities and workplaces. I encourage eligible organizations to apply for EAF funding under the most recent call for proposals before the April 27 deadline."
– The Honourable Candice Bergen, Minister of State for Social Development and Member of Parliament for Portage–Lisgar

"The Government of Canada is creating opportunities for Canadians with disabilities through support from the Starbright Children's Development Centre's project. Thanks to organizations like yours that care about accessibility, we are eliminating barriers and we're helping to bring workers, employers and communities together."
– The Honourable Ron Cannan, Member of Parliament for Kelowna–Lake Country

"Our agency, the Starbright Children's Development Centre, is a not-for-profit and a registered charity that provides programming and therapeutic early intervention services for children with developmental special needs. Families of the children we serve have had difficulties at times entering our facility with strollers or wheelchairs, or even while holding onto the hand of one child while carrying another. The funding provided from Service Canada to allow for the installation of an automatic door on both levels of our building means that parents, children and community members are now able to enter our facility independently and safely. We are thrilled to have received this support!"
Rhonda L. Nelson, Starbright Children's Development Centre

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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. Since the first call for proposals in 2008, over 1,800 projects have been awarded funding to improve accessibility in Canadian communities and workplaces.

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

All applications for funding though the EAF 2014 call for proposals were screened against mandatory program criteria. 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.

 

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


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