Government of Canada Helps Remove Barriers for People With Disabilities

BURNABY, BRITISH COLUMBIA–(Marketwire – June 12, 2009) - Senator Yonah Martin (new window) , on behalf of the Honourable Diane Finley, Minister of Human Resources and Skills Development (new window) , today announced funding to the Neil Squire Society to help improve the quality of life for people with disabilities across the country.

“Our government is committed to supporting people with disabilities and their families,” said Senator Martin. “With this funding, the Neil Squire Society will continue working on projects that increase opportunities and improve accessibility for people with disabilities.”

Senator Martin announced $210,000 in Social Development Partnerships Program – Disability (SDPP-D) (new window) funding to enable the Neil Squire Society to improve national programs that support people with disabilities.

“This funding is critical in helping us properly implement the direct services we deliver to Canadians with disabilities,” said Dr. Gary Birch, Executive Director of the Neil Squire Society. “We are extremely grateful to the Government of Canada (new window) for helping us fulfill this.”

SDPP-D (new window) supports a wide range of community-based initiatives that help people with disabilities overcome social and economic barriers to full participation in society.

The Government of Canada (new window) provides effective policies, programs and services that support opportunities for all Canadians, including people with disabilities, to participate in all aspects of life. Canada’s Economic Action Plan (new window) and other recent federal initiatives are addressing the needs of people with disabilities and their families through important measures that include:

- providing $1 billion for social housing energy retrofits and renovations that increase accessibility, including renovations that support people with disabilities;

- investing $400 million over two years in the construction of new social housing for seniors, including seniors with disabilities;

- investing an additional $75 million over two years in the construction of new social housing units specifically for people with disabilities;

- investing $20 million per year for two years to improve the accessibility of federally owned buildings;

- increasing the maximum amount of the Working Income Tax Benefit, including the supplement for people with disabilities;

- extending the Home Buyers’ Plan and the First-Time Home Buyers’ Tax Credit to people with disabilities who are not first-time home buyers but are buying a more accessible or functional home;

- beginning in fall 2009, increasing access to post-secondary education for students with permanent disabilities, including a new Repayment Assistance Plan for Borrowers with a Permanent Disability.

- creating an Enabling Accessibility Fund to support community-based construction and renovation projects across Canada that improve physical accessibility for people with disabilities; and

- creating the Registered Disability Savings Plan and matching grant and income-tested bond, as a way to help eligible individuals with disabilities, parents and others save for long-term financial security.

To learn more about Canada’s Economic Action Plan, visit www.actionplan.gc.ca (new window).

Further information on federal programs for people with disabilities can be found at www.hrsdc.gc.ca/disability (new window).

This news release is available in alternate format upon request.

BACKGROUNDER

The Social Development Partnerships Program – Disability component (SDPP-D) (new window) aims to increase the effectiveness of the not-for-profit sector in meeting the social development needs and aspirations of people with disabilities, by supporting innovative solutions to remove barriers through improved access to programs and services.

Under SDPP-D (new window) , the federal government has provided grant funding to national disability organizations since 1998 to increase the accessibility of information, programs and services to improve opportunities and life chances, and enhance the well-being of people with disabilities. The call for applications process was restricted to 18 not-for-profit disability organizations.

The overall budget for this call was $15 million in funding over three years (2009-2012).

The objectives of SDPP-D are to:

- support the development and use of effective approaches to address social issues and barriers confronting people with disabilities;

- develop, exchange and apply knowledge, tools and resources that sustain social inclusion for individuals, families and communities;

- foster collaboration, partnerships, alliances and networks to address existing and emerging social issues; and

- recognize and support the ability of not-for-profit organizations to identify and address social development priorities.

For more information, please contact

Office of Minister Finley
Michelle Bakos
Press Secretary
819-994-2482

or

Human Resources and Skills Development Canada (new window)
Media Relations Office
819-994-5559