CRANBROOK, BC, Aug. 20, 2014 /CNW/ - Today, the Honourable Candice Bergen, Minister of State (Social Development), highlighted Government of Canada support for six community projects aimed at improving accessibility for people with disabilities. The funding, which totals $140,723, is provided through the Enabling Accessibility Fund (EAF).
Recipients of the grants include the City of Cranbrook (two projects), the District of Invermere, the City of Kimberley (two projects), and the Valley Community Resource Society. Funding received through the EAF supports projects aimed at improving accessibility.
The cities of Cranbrook and Kimberley, the District of Invermere and the Valley Community Resource Society have all received funding to improve the accessibility of their facilities through projects to install automated doors and exterior ramps, lower sinks and counters, and widen doorways so that people with various abilities can participate in the lives of their cities.
Minister Bergen also took the opportunity to reiterate the EAF Workplace Accessibility Stream call for proposals that opened on August 6, 2014. This stream allows small businesses to submit applications to receive grants of up to $50,000.
- Since the creation of the EAF in 2007, our government has funded over 1,400 projects, helping thousands of Canadians gain better access to their communities' facilities, programs and services.
- Economic Action Plan 2013 extended the EAF on an ongoing basis at $15 million per year to improve accessibility in facilities across Canada, including workplaces.
- The EAF launched a call for proposals for workplaces on August 6, 2014. The call will be open for small businesses to apply until October 1, 2014. Up to $5 million in funding support is available through this year's call for proposals.
- To be considered eligible for the Workplace Accessibility Stream, projects must be aimed at creating or maintaining job opportunities for people with disabilities through renovation, retrofitting or construction of accessible workplaces, and/or the provision of assistive technologies for work use, among other requirements.
- Our government also supported the creation of a Canadian Employers Disability Forum, expanded the Opportunities Fund for Persons with Disabilities, created a new generation of Labour Market Agreements for Persons with Disabilities, and expanded the Ready, Willing & Able Initiative.
"All across Canada and right here in the Kootenay Region in BC, we are improving accessibility for Canadians with varying degrees of abilities in their communities and workplaces to ensure that they can participate in and contribute their many skills to Canadian society. Through this fund, we are working together to achieve our government's goals of job creation, economic growth and long-term prosperity."
- The Honourable Candice Bergen, Minister of State (Social Development)
"Improving accessibility for people with disabilities is a priority for me as Mayor and for Council. I am so proud of the work that our city is doing to help the community and people with disabilities have barrier-free access to community programs and services offered here in Cranbrook. On behalf of Council and the City of Cranbrook, I wish to thank those who have helped to bring these projects to life, and the federal government for providing financial support through the Enabling Accessibility Fund. This is an important step in the right direction."
- Wayne Stetski, Mayor of the City of Cranbrook
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 a new mid-sized project component was created. Since the first call for proposals in 2008, over 1,400 projects to improve accessibility in Canadian communities have received funding.
Through Economic Action Plan 2013, the Government extended the EAF on an ongoing basis at $15 million per year to continue to help improve accessibility for Canadians with disabilities in their communities and their workplaces.
For the Community Accessibility Stream, applicants are required to leverage some of the project costs through non-federal government sources. Further information on leveraging requirements is available during calls for proposals.
Projects receiving funding under the Workplace Accessibility Stream must create or enhance accessibility in workplaces and create or maintain job opportunities for Canadians with disabilities. The current call for proposals will be open until October 1, 2014.
Project costs will be shared between the recipient and the government. Cash contributions equal to or greater than 50 percent of the total eligible costs of the project must be provided by sources other than the federal government (which can include the applicant's own organization).
Small businesses with fewer than 50 employees and less than $5 million in gross revenue per year are eligible to apply through this year's call for proposals.
For more information about the Enabling Accessibility Fund or to apply under the current call for proposals, please visit http://www.esdc.gc.ca/eng/disability/eaf/
SOURCE: Employment and Social Development Canada
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