Harper Government announces concrete measures to give better access to Canadians with disabilities to their communities

WINNIPEG, Sept. 5, 2013 /CNW/ - The Honourable Candice Bergen, Minister of State (Social Development), today announced that more Canadians with disabilities will gain better access to workplaces and services in their communities as a result of the Government of Canada's Enabling Accessibility Fund (EAF).

"Our government's priorities remain creating jobs, economic growth and prosperity across the country and right here in Manitoba," said Minister Bergen. "We are ensuring that everyone who wants to work has the opportunity to do so. This is why our government is steadfast in our commitment to improving accessibility for Canadians with disabilities and enabling them to participate fully in their communities and workplaces."

A total of 235 new projects across Canada, representing a total investment of almost $8 million, will receive funding to improve accessibility, remove barriers and enable Canadians with disabilities to continue to participate in their communities. Since the launch of the Enabling Accessibility Fund in 2007, the Government of Canada has supported over 1 000 projects across the country, helping thousands of Canadians.

The Canadian Mental Health Association (CMHA), Winnipeg Region is receiving Government of Canada support to install automated door openers, construct accessible work stations, and update computers and other communication equipment with adaptive devices for its client work centre.

"We would like to thank the Government of Canada for its support of accessible technology for CMHA Winnipeg's Education and Service Centre project," said Rudy Ambtman, Chairperson, CMHA. "This project made our organization's facilities and programs more accessible for people with disabilities by enhancing our computer equipment, and making our site more accessible."

Through Economic Action Plan 2013, the Government is extending the Enabling Accessibility Fund on an ongoing basis at $15 million per year to improve accessibility in facilities across Canada, including workplaces.

In addition, Economic Action Plan 2013 strengthens federal programming for Canadians with disabilities to help them get the skills and training they need to prepare for and find work. This includes ongoing support for the Opportunities Fund for Persons with Disabilities, starting in 2015-16, to help more Canadians with disabilities train for in-demand jobs.

This news release is available in alternative formats on request.


Backgrounder


Enabling Accessibility Fund (Small Project Component)

The Enabling Accessibility Fund was originally announced in 2007 as a three-year, $45-million program to support community-based projects across Canada. In 2010, the Fund was extended with an additional three-year, $45-million commitment and the creation of a new mid-sized component. Since the first call for proposals in 2008, over 1 000 projects have been awarded funding to improve accessibility in Canadian communities.

Through Economic Action Plan 2013, the Government is extending the Enabling Accessibility Fund on an ongoing basis at $15 million per year to continue to help improve accessibility for Canadians with disabilities.

All applications for funding though the Enabling Accessibility Fund's 2012 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 25 percent of the total eligible costs for each project will come from non-federal government sources.

SOURCE Employment and Social Development Canada



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