WINDSOR, ON, Jan. 25, 2019 /CNW/ - Today, Kate Young, Parliamentary Secretary to the Honourable Carla Qualtrough, Minister of Public Services and Procurement and Accessibility, visited two Windsor organizations whose projects have received financial support from the Government of Canada.
Parliamentary Secretary Young's first stop was at the Windsor branch of the YMCA of Southwestern Ontario, where she announced over $900,000 in continuation funding for the Y Opportunities Employment Support Program, which assists persons with disabilities who face barriers to employment. Over a six-week period, the program provides supports to participants that include needs assessments, counselling, case management, and employability and skills-building workshops. Upon completion, participants are paired with a paid job opportunity and additional support is provided to encourage long-term job retention.
Funding for the project comes in part from the Government of Canada's Opportunities Fund for Persons with Disabilities (OF). The OF supports a wide range of programs and services, including pre-employability services, job placements, hands-on work experience, access to assistive devices, and wrap-around services to help persons with disabilities increase their labour market participation and independence.
Parliamentary Secretary Young also visited the Riverside Minor Baseball Club to announce $100,000 in government support through the Enabling Accessibility Fund (EAF). With this investment, the Baseball Club will have a fully accessible sport field that will meet the needs of persons with disabilities.
The Parliamentary Secretary also announced additional government funding through the EAF to support the University of Windsor by contributing to adaptive computer enhancements, such as speech capability software, and the installation of automated door openers. As well, the Windsor's Essex County Chinese Canadian Association (ECCCA) will receive EAF funding to retrofit its entrance and install automated doors to improve its access.
The EAF is a federal grants and contributions program that supports community-based projects across Canada aimed at improving accessibility and safety for persons with disabilities in Canadian communities and workplaces.
Providing support to help persons with disabilities join Canada's workforce and fully participate in communities and workplaces, is a key part of the Government's plan to create a more inclusive and accessible Canada. By tabling the proposed Accessible Canada Act in 2018, the Government is taking concrete steps towards the realization of a barrier-free Canada where all Canadians have the same rights and opportunities to contribute to society.
"I am very impressed by all the projects that will improve employment outcomes, and community and workplace accessibility for persons with disabilities in Windsor. Our government is investing in Canadians through programs like the Opportunities Fund and the Enabling Accessibility Fund that help break down barriers to access and inclusion in Canada. Organizations across Windsor have shown great leadership in accessibility and I look forward to seeing how this funding will positively support thousands of Canadians with disabilities in the region."
– Kate Young, Parliamentary Secretary to the Honourable Carla Qualtrough, Minister of Public Services and Procurement and Accessibility
"We are extremely appreciative to be the recipients of this three-year Service Grant for our Y Opportunities Employment Support Program. This funding allows us to have a huge impact in our community, assisting individuals with self-identified disabilities who face barriers to employment, and helping participants discover new skills and refine existing ones. We are truly grateful for this support."
– Andrew Lockie, CEO, YMCA of Southwestern Ontario
"The Riverside Minor Baseball Club is very excited and thankful to the Government of Canada for the $100,000 grant through the Enabling Accessibility Fund to support our project, the Riverside Farrow Miracle Park. This grant will allow us to remove barriers that keep children and young adults with disabilities off the sports fields. They will no longer be excluded due to natural barriers such as grass, dirt and uneven grounds. This specially built accessible field will allow inclusion, increased physical fitness, and socializing for all participants. Every child deserves a chance to play."
– Bill Kell, Chairperson, Riverside Minor Baseball Club
- The Opportunities Fund for Persons with Disabilities (OF) program has an annual budget of $40 million to assist persons with disabilities to prepare for, obtain and maintain employment. In June 2018, the Government of Canada announced a new investment of $18.4 million over six years. This will enhance existing programming by supporting the development of job matching services to connect employers with persons with disabilities, and to help employers to establish inclusive and effective recruitment and retention strategies.
- Since its inception in 1997, the OF has helped approximately 110,000 people with disabilities across Canada.
- In 2018–19, the EAF's grants and contributions annual budget grew to $20.65 million as Budget 2017 provided an additional $77 million over 10 years. These funds have expanded the activities of the program and will support more small and mid-sized projects, including youth-driven project proposals, to improve accessibility in Canadian communities and workplaces.
- Since the creation of the EAF in 2007, the Government of Canada has funded over 3,500 accessibility projects, helping thousands of Canadians by improving their access to their communities' programs, services and employment opportunities.
SOURCE Employment and Social Development Canada
For further information: Ashley Michnowski, Director of Communications, Office of the Honourable Carla Qualtrough, 819-997-5421, [email protected]; Media Relations Office, Employment and Social Development Canada, 819-994-5559, [email protected]