Fifteen community-based projects are benefiting from more than $450,000 in government funding to increase accessibility and community inclusion.
The successful projects were announced on the United Nations’ International Day of Persons with Disabilities.
“People with disabilities bring a diverse range of skills and experiences to our communities,” said Nicholas Simons, Minister of Social Development and Poverty Reduction. “This year’s accessibility grant recipients represent a variety of great projects that will support and promote inclusion in B.C.”
In May 2021, as part of the Province’s ongoing commitment to increasing accessibility and improving community inclusion, government announced funding for community-based accessibility projects. This year, 15 applicants have been selected to receive grants ranging from $10,500 to $40,000, depending on the size and scope of the project.
“This is the fourth year running that government has made accessibility grants available to not-for-profit organizations operating for community benefit,” said Dan Coulter, Parliamentary Secretary for Accessibility. “The depth and scope of these new accessibility projects will make a difference in the lives of British Columbians with disabilities.”
Successful applications include projects that range from art instruction and movement therapy to emergency response plans and bicycle programs for the deaf and hard of hearing.
“It has been very meaningful to be a part of this year’s Accessibility Project Grant review team and to learn about organizations across B.C. working to improve accessibility,” said Julia Lamb, board member, Disability Alliance BC. “This grant makes possible projects that allow people with disabilities to participate as equals in community, inclusive of our diverse experiences. I’m looking forward to witnessing the progress and positive impact of these projects on our collective future.”
To help people with disabilities live with dignity and remove barriers in their communities, the provincial government introduced accessibility legislation in spring 2021. The Accessible British Columbia Act became law on June 17, 2021.
Under the act, new policies and standards will help establish accountability from government and empower persons with disabilities to have a direct role in making government and organizations more accessible.
- The provincial government provides more than $5 billion annually to fund services and supports for people with disabilities in B.C.
- One in five Canadian adults has a disability.
- Over the past three years, 44 community projects received funding.
- This is the fourth year in a row that these grants are being made available.
- The UN first observed the International Day of Persons with Disabilities in 1992.
United Nations International Day of Persons with Disabilities: https://www.un.org/development/desa/disabilities/international-day-of-persons-with-disabilities-3-december.html
United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities: https://www.un.org/development/desa/disabilities/convention-on-the-rights-of-persons-with-disabilities.html
The Disability Alliance of BC has many supports for British Columbians with disabilities: https://disabilityalliancebc.org/
Accessibility Directorate: https://www2.gov.bc.ca/gov/content/governments/about-the-bc-government/accessibility
A backgrounder follows.