Are your looking for additional funding sources to support your business’ or organization’s accessibility and inclusion initiatives? Did you know there are funding sources that support sensory-friendly changes at businesses and organizations in Canada? This blog post reviews different funding sources available for sensory-friendly changes in Canada. However, remember that grants and funding sources may not be available year-round. So, make a list of what is a match for your businesses or organization. Then, investigate and plan to apply when the grant is open.
Are you are a reader from another country than Canada? Furthermore, do you know of a funding source for sensory-friendly initiatives in your country? Then, please contact us and share! Sensory Friendly Solutions will publish another blog post in future with funding sources for different countries. Likewise, if you are a reader from Canada, and have sensory-friendly funding to add to this list, reach out and share!
The Enabling Accessibility Fund
The Enabling Accessibility Fund (EAF) in an initiative of the Federal Government of Canada. It has different programs, such as youth, small and medium sizes grants that fund accessibility projects. Moreover, the funding supports projects that make Canadian communities as well as workplaces more accessible. The funds are open at different times of year or in different years.
There are three different grant components:
- The Youth Innovation Component: encourages youth to work with local organizations to find accessibility barriers around the community to improve accessibility and promote inclusiveness. For this project, the funding can be up to $10,000 per project.
- The Small Projects Component: provides grants for small-scale construction and communication technology projects around the community. For this project, the funding can be up to $100,000 per project.
- The Mid-Sized Projects Component: provides funds for large-scale projects. Eligible projects can be renovating or expanding centers that offer services for people with disabilities. For this project, the funding can be up to $3 million per project.
In addition, I had the privilege of applying for the Youth Innovation Component to support an accessibility project. The project I took part in aimed to modify the existing website content of Canadian Singer-Songwriter Christina Martin to be more accessible for persons with disabilities. Changes included the content copy and design to meet website accessibility standards. Furthermore, changes also included the addition of closed captions and audio descriptions to videos. Most importantly, we believed that this initiative would trigger more artists, as well as organizations, to adopt accessible practices. We encourages a more inclusive, diverse workforce by hiring people with disabilities for the project. Finally, as a Youth Leader, I had the opportunity to make our society more accessible.
The Rising Youth funding program is led by TakingITGlobal. It helps youth to take action through youth-led community service grants. In this fund, the available grants for this funding program are $250, $750, and $1500.
Specifically, the $250 grant is for simple ideas that can be implemented on a small scale by you and your friends. An example is hosting an online or in-person event. Secondly, a $750 grant is meant for bigger ideas that can be implemented by a group of friends. For example, distributing care packages in your neighbourhood. Lastly, a $1500 grant involves a larger group of people.
The Awesome Foundation
The Awesome Foundation offers micro-grants of $1000 to individuals, groups, and organizations doing awesome things. Awesome projects include initiatives in a wide range of areas. For example, these include arts, technology, and community development. This foundation was created in 2009 in Boston. In addition, this foundation is supported by many volunteers around the globe who support monthly grants. As of 2022, $6,019,000 has been granted. Moreover, 6019 projects have been funded. Consider The Awesome Foundation for your next sensory-friendly initiative.
The community development grants from Jump Start have two different funding streams. Firstly, the operational stream assists with administrative costs. On the other hand, the programming stream help organizations develop recreational programs. Examples of operational support include a new organization and hiring new coaches and staff. Examples of program support include facility, transportation, and equipment costs. Think about Jump Start to create sensory-friendly programs by training your team.
New Horizons for Seniors
New Horizons for Seniors funds senior-facing programs. The objective of this program is to engage seniors in the community. It uses senior mentoring seniors. Further more, it helps expand awareness of older adult abuse, supports the social inclusion of seniors, and, lastly, promotes volunteerism among seniors. Consider this program when creating senior-friendly events that are also sensory-friendly. Include team training to learn how to make programs and events accessible and inclusive.
Workplace Innovation and Productivity Skills Incentive
Workplace Innovation and Productivity Skills Incentive (WIPSI) funds can be used to train staff to offer sensory-friendly experiences at events or locations.
WIPSI provides funding for any direct training costs. It may also cover other expenses, such as travel and any accommodation costs for persons with disabilities. For businesses with 50 or fewer employees, the minimum application amount is $5,000. The minimum amount is $10,000 for businesses with 50 or more employees. For any business association, organization, and private sector union, the minimum amount is $10,000.
Labour Force Training
Labour Force Training can be used to train staff to offer sensory-friendly experiences at events or locations.
Workplace Skills Training
The Workplace Skills Training fund was developed for employers to train new or existing employees to develop their skills. For example, this fund can be used to train staff to offer sensory-friendly experiences at events or locations.
Job Grant Program
The following are regions that offer Job Grant Programs that allow employers to apply for funding for staff training:
- British Columbia
- Newfoundland and Labrador
- Northwest Territories
The job grant initiative provides employers with opportunities for organizations to train staff to offer sensory-friendly experiences at events or locations. Moreover, these grant programs are employee-driven and cost-sharing programs. The key objective of these grant programs is to increase labour force participation by helping people to develop the skills that they need for a job.
In conclusion, make use of the sensory-friendly funding programs to make your business or organization more sensory-friendly, accessible and inclusive.
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