Dorchester, Ontario — As a result of the Government of Canada’s Enabling Accessibility Fund, three organizations in the London region will increase accessibility for people with disabilities and enable them to participate more fully in their community.
Mr. Joe Preston, Member of Parliament for Elgin—Middlesex—London, made the announcement today on behalf of the Honourable Diane Finley, Minister of Human Resources and Skills Development, at the Municipality of Thames Centre. The Municipality of Thames Centre, the Elgin Theatre Guild and the Straffordville Library are receiving grant funding under the Enabling Accessibility Fund.
“Our government recognizes the abilities of all Canadians and is committed to removing barriers to participation for people with disabilities,” said Mr. Preston. “We are proud to work with the Municipality of Thames Centre, the Elgin Theatre Guild and the Straffordville Library which are helping Canadians gain greater access to facilities, programs and services in their communities.”
“I am pleased that the Enabling Accessibility Fund (EAF) has chosen to make an investment in the Municipality of Thames Centre for accessibility enhancements at the Thames Centre Recreation Centre – Dorchester” commented Mayor Jim Maudsley."We expect to commence construction shortly in the facility shortly"
The Municipality of Thames Centre is receiving $50,000 to lower sinks and counters, build an accessible washroom, install accessible door handles and make other accessibility improvements. The Elgin Theatre Guild is receiving $24,655 to install a wheelchair lift at their facility. The Straffordville Library is receiving $50,000 to renovate the entranceway to the facility by installing automated door openers and removing the vestibule as well as creating an accessible washroom. The Enabling Accessibility Fund, the Government has supported over 800 projects across the country, including 188 new projects totalling $6.2 million that were recently announced.
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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 800 projects have been awarded funding to improve accessibility in Canadian communities.
The following types of organizations were eligible to apply for funding:
- not-for-profit organizations;
- small municipalities (with a population under 250 000 as per census data);
- small private-sector organizations (fewer than 50 employees and under $5 million in gross revenue per year);
- colleges and universities;
- territorial governments; and
- Aboriginal governments.
Eligible activities include, but are not limited to:
- constructing an interior or exterior ramp;
- installing wider doors or automated door openers;
- building an accessible washroom;
- installing an elevator or lift; and
- enhancing interactive speech capability on a public-access computer.
All applications for funding though the Enabling Accessibility Fund’s 2011 Call for Proposals were screened against mandatory program criteria and for completeness. Successful projects demonstrated they were able to create or enhance accessibility for people with disabilities within Canada and involve community partnerships.
At least 25 percent of the total eligible costs for each project is coming from non-federal government sources.
As part of the Government’s continued commitment to supporting Canadians with disabilities, Canada’s Economic Action Plan 2012 also provided an additional $30 million invested over three years in the Opportunities Fund. This funding will enable more Canadians with disabilities to obtain work experience with small and medium-sized businesses. As well, through the Registered Disability Savings Plan, beneficiaries and their families will have increased flexibility to establish, contribute to and access savings from their plans.