Backgrounder: Enabling Accessibility Fund

Employment and Social Development Canada

The Enabling Accessibility Fund (EAF): $45-million to support community-based projects to improve accessibility for Canadians with disabilities.

The Enabling Accessibility Fund (EAF) was originally announced as a three-year, $45-million program to support community-based projects across Canada. It was then renewed for another three years prior to being renewed on an ongoing basis at $15 million per year, to continue to improve accessibility for Canadians with disabilities.

Budget 2016 provided an additional $4 million over two years, starting in 2016–17, for the Enabling Accessibility Fund’s community stream to support the capital costs of construction and renovation related to improving physical accessibility and safety for Canadians with disabilities.

Budget 2017 provided $77 million over 10 years, starting in 2018–19, to expand the activities of the Enabling Accessibility Fund.

Eligible projects could include the construction of accessible ramps and the installation of automatic doors, and the provision of accessible information and communications technologies.

Since its creation, the EAF has funded over 2,890 projects.

Projects funded under the Workplace Accessibility Stream, the more recent of the two funding streams, must aim to improve accessibility or safety in workplaces in order to create or maintain job opportunities for Canadians with disabilities.

Projects funded under the Community Accessibility Stream must aim to remove barriers and increase accessibility for people with disabilities in Canadian communities, thus allowing access to community programs and services.

Eligible activities for both funding streams under the 2017 call for proposals include renovation, retrofit or construction activities specifically designed to eliminate barriers and increase safety for people with disabilities. This also includes the provision of information and communication technologies that eliminate systemic accessibility barriers.

Under the 2017 call for proposals, EAF offered up to $50,000 in project funding. Project costs are shared between the recipient or other project contributors and government. Contributions equal to or greater than 35 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). Both funding streams for this call for proposals closed on July 26, 2017.

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