Government of Canada Supports Greater Accessibility in Public Consultation Forums for People with Speech and Language Disabilities

GATINEAU, QC, Aug. 31, 2017 /CNW/ – Communications Disabilities Access Canada, a national not-for-profit organization, will make public consultation forums more accessible to Canadians who have speech and language disabilities.

Today, the Honourable Kent Hehr, Minister of Sport and Persons with Disabilities, announced the launch of this initiative, funded through the disability component of the Social Development Partnerships Program.

A more inclusive Canada is one where all Canadians are given equal opportunity to contribute to their communities and share their views on the social and economic issues that affect their lives. This is why the Government of Canada is committed to support innovative accessibility projects that reduce barriers for people with disabilities and improve their participation and integration into all aspects of society.

With a federal contribution of $307,475, allocated over a span of two years, Communications Disabilities Access Canada will offer Canadians with speech and language disabilities better opportunities to communicate and contribute more effectively in public consultation forums across Canada. Funds will go towards increasing the availability and capacity of specialized speech and language moderators and coordinators to approximately 300, providing communication assistants with best practices and training, facilitating access to online information related to consultations and offering greater supports.

This funding was awarded following a six-week call for proposals that closed on November 3, 2016. A total of $4.5 million will be awarded over two years to national not-for-profit organizations with a disability-focused mandate.


“I’m delighted to be named Minister of Sport and Persons with Disabilities, and look forward to seeing the development of innovative projects, like this one, that eliminate barriers and address the needs of people with disabilities. Through projects like this one, which makes civic engagement more inclusive, we are helping to identify real solutions to reach a truly accessible society.”
The Honourable Kent Hehr, Minister of Sport and Persons with Disabilities

“Communication Disabilities Access Canada is delighted to receive the funding announced today by Minister Kent Hehr from the Government of Canada. This funding will enable us to develop communication supports and resources to make public forums, consultations and meetings accessible for Canadians who have speech, language and communication disabilities. We look forward to having a voice at these future events.”
Barbara Collier, Executive Director, Communication Disabilities Access Canada.

Quick Facts

  • The Social Development Partnerships Program is a grants and contributions program that supports Government of Canada priorities through investment in not-for-profit organizations aiming to improve the lives of people with disabilities, children and families, and other vulnerable populations.
  • The Program has two funding components: Disability, and Children and Families.
  • The Disability Component supports projects intended to improve the participation and integration of people with disabilities in all aspects of Canadian society.
  • Since the inception of the Disability Component of the Social Development Partnerships Program in 1998, it has provided $11 million annually in grant and contribution program funding to organizations to support projects intended to improve the participation and integration of people with disabilities in all aspects of Canadian society with respect to social inclusion.

SOURCE Employment and Social Development Canada

For further information: For media enquiries, please contact: Ashley Michnowski, Press Secretary, Office of the Minister of Sport and Persons with Disabilities, 819-934-1122 / TTY: 1-866-702-6967; Media Relations Office, Employment and Social Development Canada, 819-994-5559

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