Youth leaders invited to help build a more accessible Canada

From: Employment and Social Development Canada
News release  -

May 30, 2018   -   Gatineau, Quebec   -   Employment and Social Development Canada -

Canada’s second annual National AccessAbility Week provides a great opportunity to appreciate all the efforts being made to remove accessibility barriers so that people with disabilities can fully participate and contribute in their communities and workplaces.

In celebration of National AccessAbility Week, today, the Honourable Kirsty Duncan, Minister of Science and Minister of Sport and Persons with Disabilities, met with young Canadians to exchange ideas on ways accessibility can be improved in local communities. The Minister took the opportunity to launch a call for expressions of interest for youth leaders across Canada, who will work with eligible organizations to submit project proposals under the Enabling Accessibility Fund’s (EAF) Youth Innovation Component.

This call for expressions of interest gives youth volunteers a chance to make a difference in their communities and help to raise awareness of the EAF program.

Youth interested in participating are required to identify accessibility barriers in public places or workplaces within their immediate and/or surrounding communities, and seek out interested organizations willing to work with them to develop an EAF accessibility project funding proposal.

The call for expressions of interest will support approximately 125 youth-driven projects aimed at increasing accessibility in community facilities and workplaces across Canada. Not-for-profit organizations, for profit organizations (with up to 99 full-time equivalent employees), small municipalities (with a population under 125,000), Indigenous organizations (including band councils, tribal councils and self-government entities) and territorial governments are eligible to apply for project funding of up to $10,000.

Interested youth between the ages of 15 and 30 years of age can apply online.

The call for expressions of interest for youth leaders will close on September 21, 2018.


    “Getting our youth involved in creating a place where everyone has equal opportunities, no matter their abilities, is a priority for me, our Government and all Canadians. That’s why, as part of National AccessAbility Week, I invite youth leaders interested in making a positive impact in their communities, to apply to the Youth Innovation Component under the Enabling Accessibility Fund to help break down barriers for all.”
    – The Honourable Kirsty Duncan, Minister of Science and Minister of Sport and Persons with Disabilities

    "Our Government is dedicated to building a more accessible Canada for all Canadians. Youth leaders play an important role in helping us achieve this commitment. I encourage all youth to participate in the Enabling Accessibility Fund and help make a difference for people with disabilities in your community.”
    – Stéphane Lauzon, Parliamentary Secretary for Sport and Persons with Disabilities

Quick facts

    Since the creation of the Enabling Accessibility Fund (EAF) in 2007, the Government of Canada has funded over 3,500 projects, helping several thousand Canadians gain access to their communities’ programs, services and employment opportunities.

    Starting in 2018–19, the EAF grants and contributions budget will grow from $13.65 million to $20.65 million, as Budget 2017 provided $77 million ($70 million in grant and contribution annual funding and $7 million in operational funding) over 10 years to expand the activities of the EAF and support more small and mid-sized projects, including youth driven proposals, aimed at improving accessibility in Canadian communities and workplaces.

    The 2017 EAF’s youth innovation pilot was the first phase of the new youth innovation component. As a result of the pilot, youth identified as "youth accessibility leaders" volunteered to create greater awareness about the EAF program across Canadian communities, which led to an increase in accessibility and safety in community facilities for persons with disabilities.

    The Government of Canada   permanently added the youth innovation component as part of the EAF Program in 2018.

    This call for expressions of interest is being launched during National‎ AccessAbility Week which is celebrated from May 27 to June 2, 2018 to promote accessibility and inclusion in Canadian communities and workplaces.

Associated links

    Enabling Accessibly Fund


Annabelle Archambault
Press Secretary
Office of the Minister of Sport and Persons with Disabilities
819-934-1122 / TTY: 1-866-702-6967

Media Relations Office
Employment and Social Development Canada