Minister Bergen announces funding from the Government of Canada to improve accessibility for Canadians with disabilities in Calgary
14 Feb, 2015, 12:30 ET
CALGARY, Feb. 14, 2015 /CNW/ - The Honourable Candice Bergen, Minister of State for Social Development, today announced that the Calgary Cerebral Palsy Association is receiving nearly $46,000 from the Enabling Accessibility Fund to improve accessibility at the Cerebral Palsy Kids and Families Community Centre. The project will involve extending the vestibule, making the kitchen wheelchair accessible and installing a wall partition system and automated door openers. The community centre will also acquire a motorized bicycle lift system for their adaptive bike program, a motorized wall storage system for adaptive equipment, a portable change table and a portable lift system.
Minister Bergen toured the facilities where she could see first-hand how the planned renovations will improve the day-to-day operations at the community centre. Cerebral Palsy Kids and Families provides support, resources, programs and opportunities to Calgary area individuals and families affected by Cerebral Palsy.
- 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.
- Economic Action Plan 2013 extended the Enabling Accessibility Fund 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.
- So far, Canadians have registered close to 100,000 Registered Disability Savings Plans and have benefitted from over $1 billion in bonds and grants deposited by the federal government.
- With an investment of $222 million per year in the provinces and territories, Labour Market Agreements for Persons with Disabilities are the single largest federal government investment in helping Canadians with disabilities get jobs.
- Economic Action Plan 2014 announced a $15 million investment to the Canadian Association for Community Living for their Ready, Willing & Able initiative. 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.
"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, including our economy. Thanks to the work being done at the Cerebral Palsy Kids and Families Community Centre, individuals and families will benefit from better services in Calgary."
– The Honourable Candice Bergen, Minister of State for Social Development
"We're thrilled by the investment in Cerebral Palsy Kids and Families by the Government of Canada. With the support of the Government, we will be able to enhance the level of accessibility of our Adapted Bike Community Centre and improve community participation and quality of life for individuals and families affected by Cerebral Palsy."
– Sheralee Stetler, Executive Director, Cerebral Palsy Kids and Families
Government of Canada Programs for Persons with Disabilities
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. Economic Action Plan 2013 extended the EAF on an ongoing basis at $15 million per year to continue to help improve accessibility in communities and workplaces for Canadians with disabilities. Since the first call for proposals in 2008, over 1,800 projects have been awarded funding to improve accessibility in Canadian communities and workplaces.
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.
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.
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, close to 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.
Ready Willing & Able
Economic Action Plan 2014 proposes to invest $15 million over three years to expand the Ready, Willing & Able initiative, through which the Canadian Association for Community Living engages employers to hire and support youth and working-age adults with developmental disabilities—including people with intellectual disabilities and people with Autism Spectrum Disorders. With the proposed Government support, the Association will expand existing activities to 20 community-based locations across Canada and host 40 employer forums, which will support up to 1,200 new jobs for people with developmental disabilities.
SOURCE Employment and Social Development Canada
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