Government of Canada invests in youth-driven projects to improve accessibility and disability inclusion

News Release


August 12, 2022,       Vancouver, British Columbia        Employment and Social Development Canada


The imagination, determination, and innovation of Canada’s youth are essential to building the Canada we all want: a country that is inclusive and barrier-free for persons with disabilities. By continuing to invest in youth and working with local and community-based organizations to increase accessibility and inclusion in communities and workplaces, the Government of Canada is reinforcing its commitment to prioritize disability inclusion across the country.

Today, in celebration of International Youth Day 2022, Minister of Employment, Workforce Development and Disability Inclusion, Carla Qualtrough, announced over $1 million in funding for projects led by youth in partnership with 133 organizations across Canada. This funding is distributed through the Enabling Accessibility Fund (EAF) Youth Innovation component 2021-2022 call for proposals.

Illustrating this year’s theme “Intergenerational Solidarity: Creating a World for All Ages”, Minister Qualtrough made the announcement at the University of British Columbia BC Brain Wellness Program in Vancouver, British Columbia. The program leverages clinical care, lifestyle programs, education, and research to design a comprehensive approach to brain wellness, improving the quality of life and well-being of persons with disabilities of all ages, people with chronic brain conditions, program participants and care partners. The organization is receiving:

  • $9,982 in funding to purchase communication technology equipment such as microphones, cameras, and a computer to create a teaching kitchen that is more accessible for university staff, dieticians, cooks, and medical students with disabilities; and
  • $9,999 in funding to purchase technology such as webcams and microphones for program instructors to improve the accessibility and quality of the virtual programming, as well as exercise and recreation equipment.

On June 3, 2022, a new call for proposals under the EAF Youth Innovation component was launched. Youth are invited to submit their expressions of interest in being named a Youth Accessibility Leader (YAL) by October 17, 2022, at 5:00 p.m. EST online at Eligible organizations are invited to submit their funding application(s) in collaboration with the YAL by October 31, 2022 at 5:00p.m. EST online.

These investments support the Government’s Disability Inclusion Action Plan (DIAP), which is focused on reducing poverty among persons with disabilities, helping persons with disabilities into good quality jobs, facilitating easier access to federal programs and services, and building accessible and inclusive communities while fostering a culture of inclusion.


 “Young people in Canada care very deeply about equality and inclusion. So when a young person wants to better their community and make it more disability inclusive, we’re going to help them do that. Thanks to 133 young leaders we are supporting today, persons with disabilities will be able to access more spaces, systems and services in their communities.”

– Minister of Employment, Workforce Development and Disability Inclusion, Carla Qualtrough

“When young people are supported with opportunities to grow, learn, and be a part of real change, everyone benefits. A priority for our government is to ensure an inclusive recovery for all Canadians. The EAF Youth Innovation component is a prime example as it empowers young Canadians in helping to build barrier-free communities across the country. The skills and experience gained through this initiative will enhance the lives of young people, persons with disabilities, and the future of Canada.”

–        Minister for Women and Gender Equality and Youth, Marci Ien

“Young people play an important role in Canada in driving change. That’s why it’s so important that through programs like the EAF Youth Innovation Component, we provide young people with an opportunity to make meaningful enhancements in their communities, while also supporting them in obtaining valuable experience for the future.”

–        Taleeb Noormohamed, Member of Parliament for Vancouver Granville

“We are grateful for this funding which will have a direct impact on improving the lives of people with disabilities and other neurological conditions. We have already seen benefits for our participants and will utilize the funding to further improve accessibility and reach of the program.”

–         Director and Co-Founder, BC Brain Wellness Program, Dr. Silke Appel-Cresswell

Quick facts

  • The 2017 Canada Survey on Disability found that one in five Canadians aged 15 and over—or approximately 6.2 million persons—report as having a disability.
  • The Enabling Accessibility Fund (EAF) is a federal grants and contributions program that supports infrastructure projects across Canada that improve the accessibility, safety and inclusion of persons with disabilities in communities and the labour market. Over 6,000 projects have been funded under the EAF since its launch in 2007, helping thousands of Canadians gain access to programs, services and employment opportunities in their communities.
  • The EAF Youth Innovation component offers unique opportunities for youth between 15 and 30 years of age to demonstrate leadership and help their communities by volunteering. Funded projects create and improve accessible and inclusive spaces, environments, workplaces and communities supporting Canadians of all ages.
  • Through Budget 2021, the Government of Canada committed up to $100 million over two years, starting in 2021-22, to triple funding for the EAF, making communities and workplaces more accessible for persons with disabilities by reducing barriers to employment, activities, and programs. An additional $25 million over two years was also committed to support childcare centres in making upgrades to improve the accessibility of their facilities.

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For media enquiries, please contact:

Tara Beauport
Press Secretary
Office of the Minister of Employment, Workforce Development and Disability Inclusion

Media Relations Office
Employment and Social Development Canada
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