Government of Canada Taking Action for Canadians With Disabilities

VANCOUVER, BRITISH COLUMBIA–(Marketwire – March 20, 2010) – The Honourable Diane Finley, Minister of Human Resources and Skills Development, today announced funding for projects that highlight the contributions that people with disabilities make to Canada and their communities. 

The announcement took place at Robson Square during the 2010 Paralympic Winter Games. Minister Finley announced $209,000 for the Canadian Paralympic Committee and for Ryerson University’s School of Disability Studies to support two projects that pay tribute to the achievements of Canadians with disabilities.

“The Government of Canada is proud to celebrate the abilities and accomplishments of all Canadians,” said Minister Finley. “Our government is investing in the Canadian Paralympic Committee and Ryerson University projects to improve accessibility and promote excellence in sport for Canadians with disabilities. These projects have been showcased at the 2010 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games, and are testaments to their overwhelming contributions to Canadian history, culture and sports.”

The Canadian Paralympic Committee received $189,000 to extend the reach of a national advertising campaign running for the duration of the Paralympics. The campaign consists of print and television ads to encourage Canadians with disabilities to participate in sports, and to promote interest in their athletic achievements.

“The hosting of the Vancouver 2010 Paralympic Winter Games is an historic moment in Canadian sport,” said Dr. Gaétan Tardif, Assistant Chef de Mission for the 2010 Canadian Paralympic Team and member of the Canadian Paralympic Committee’s Board of Directors. “Canadian Paralympic athletes are continuing Canada’s tradition of excellence by giving the performances of a lifetime in Whistler and Vancouver—on home soil for the first time. The funding provided by the Government of Canada is helping us to raise awareness across Canada and inspire all Canadians with a disability to get involved in sport.”

Ryerson University’s School of Disability Studies received $20,000 in support for its exhibit Out From Under: Disability, History and Things to Remember, which has been on display since March 8 as part of the Vancouver 2010 Cultural Olympiad celebration. The Government of Canada’s contribution has supported the development of plain language translation, audio recordings, readers and Braille signage to make the exhibit fully accessible to people with disabilities.

“Visitors from around the world could experience fully accessible visual culture that commemorates and honours the resilience and creativity of disabled
citizens,” said Dr. Melanie Panitch, Director of Ryerson’s School of Disability Studies. “This exhibit affirms the rights of disabled citizens to accessible and inclusive public culture.”

The Social Development Partnerships Program – Disability component has supported 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 has introduced several measures to help people with disabilities and their families participate more fully in Canada’s social and economic life. Year two of Canada’s Economic Action Plan builds on the significant investments made by the Government to assist people with disabilities.

To learn more about the Disability component of the Social Development Partnerships Program, visit
www.hrsdc.gc.ca/disability.

This news release is available in alternative formats on request. 

BACKGROUNDER

The Disability component of the Social Development Partnerships Program 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 the Disability component, 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 objectives of the Disability component 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. 

2010 Federal Budget Helps People with Disabilities

The Government is committed to helping people with disabilities and their families participate fully in Canada’s social and economic life. Budget 2010 proposes a number of actions:

  • a 10-year carry-forward of Canada Disability Savings Grant and Canada Disability Savings Bond entitlements, because some families may not be able to contribute regularly to their Registered Disability Savings Plan (RDSP).
  • allow a deceased individual’s RRSP or Registered Retirement Income Fund proceeds to be transferred, tax-free, to the RDSP of a financially dependent disabled child or grandchild.
  • $45 million over the next three years to extend and expand the Enabling Accessibility Fund, which enhances accessibility for people with disabilities.
  • $5 million a year to the Canadian Paralympic Committee to build on the successes of our Paralympians and continue to encourage people with disabilities to actively participate in sport.
  • $2 million over two years to Special Olympics Canada to help enrich the lives of Canadians with an intellectual disability through sport and competition and prepare them for competition in Special Olympics events.
  • a one-year $30-million increase in funding for Skills Link, a component of the Youth Employment Strategy, which helps youth facing a range of circumstances, including young people with disabilities.

In addition, the second year of Canada’s Economic Action will continue other projects announced in the 2009 federal budget that help people with disabilities. For example, Budget 2009:

  • provided a one-time federal investment of $1 billion over two years for renovations and energy retrofits to social housing, including renovations that support people with disabilities.
  • invested an additional $75 million over two years in the Affordable Housing Initiative for the construction of new housing units for people with disabilities. 
  • enhanced tax relief provided by the Working Income Tax Benefit (WITB) by $580 million, including an increase in the WITB supplement for people eligible for the Disability Tax Credit. The supplement currently provides up to $462.50 in additional WITB payments.
  • made available funds to enhance the accessibility of Crown-owned buildings for people with disabilities. To date, 40 projects have been completed, and over 175 projects worth about $16 million are currently underway.

This builds on the significant investments made by the Government to assist people with disabilities.

Reproduced from Government of Canada Taking Action for
Canadians With Disabilities