February 14, 2022 – Applications Open March 1 for Funding to Remove Barriers for People with Disabilities, Promote Accessibility Provincewide: Squires
The Manitoba government is calling for applications for grants of up to $50,000 from the Manitoba Accessibility Fund (MAF) for organizations that will promote accessibility and remove barriers for people with disabilities, Families Minister Rochelle Squires, minister responsible for accessibility, announced today.
“The Manitoba Accessibility Fund was established to help organizations make changes to eliminate barriers to their services,” said Squires. “Including everyone is not only the right thing to do, it helps ensure services are easily available to all Manitobans, which makes a real difference in peoples’ lives. I encourage Manitoba employers to look at ways they can improve accessibility and apply for a grant to help make that idea a reality.”
For 2022-23, application intake will begin March 1 and must target the three accessibility standards under the Accessibility for Manitobans Act affecting customer service, employment or information and communications. Projects must fulfill one of three objectives including:
- raising awareness about the prevention and removal of barriers;
- developing tools, resources and training to support compliance with legislated standards; or
- removing barriers to information and communications electronically in print and in person.
The Manitoba Accessibility Fund, managed by the Winnipeg Foundation, was launched in 2021 with a $20 million investment.
The fund promotes increased compliance with the Accessibility for Manitobans Act, which became law in 2013 to ensure accessibility in important areas of everyday life. The law’s accessibility standards target government and public sector organizations, businesses, non-profit groups and municipalities. The customer service and employment provisions of the act are now in effect.
“With the launch of MAF, the Manitoba government is providing much needed financial support to Manitoba businesses and organizations that are eager to enhance their accessibility by complying with Manitoba’s accessibility standards,” said John Graham, director of government relations at the Retail Council of Canada and chairperson of the Accessibility Advisory Council.
Barriers to accessibility affect almost one in four Manitobans with disabilities and removing barriers benefits many more family members, communities and Manitoba’s economy, noted the minister.
Eligible applicants must have been in operation for one year prior to application and include:
- non-profit organizations such as:
- registered charities,
- non-profit organizations incorporated and registered with the Companies Office, and
- non-profit organizations that have a bank account and can verify activity for at least one year.
- local businesses or corporations based in Manitoba providing services to Manitobans that are registered with the Companies Office;
- on-reserve businesses and organizations that meet all other eligibility requirements;
- municipalities and local authorities such as planning districts and Northern Affairs Community Councils; and
- universities, colleges and school divisions.
For more information on accessibility in Manitoba and the new grant funding, visit www.accessibilitymb.ca. The application deadline is April 15.
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