The Manitoba government is calling for applications for grants of up to $50,000 from the Manitoba Accessibility Fund (MAF) for organizations that will promote accessibility and remove barriers for people with disabilities, Families Minister Rochelle Squires, minister responsible for accessibility, announced in a media release today.
"The Manitoba Accessibility Fund was established to help organizations make changes to eliminate barriers to their services," said Squires. "The first intake last year resulted in 30 groups across the province receiving over $750,000 in funds to promote accessibility and remove barriers for people with disabilities. Our government encourages Manitoba businesses and organizations to apply for a grant this year to help continue to increase accessibility in the province."
Applications for the 2023-24 intake period begin today and must target the three accessibility standards under the Accessibility for Manitobans Act affecting customer service, employment or information and communications. Projects must fulfil one of three objectives including:
- raising awareness about the prevention and removal of barriers;
- developing tools, resources and training to support compliance with legislated standards; or
- removing barriers to information and communications electronically, in print, and in person.
The Manitoba Accessibility Fund, managed by The Winnipeg Foundation, was launched in 2021 with a $20-million investment. The fund promotes increased compliance with the Accessibility for Manitobans Act, which became law in 2013 to ensure accessibility in important areas of everyday life, the minister noted. The act's accessibility standards target government and public sector organizations, businesses, non-profit groups and municipalities.
"We were grateful to be a recipient of the Manitoba Accessibility Fund last year and are excited about the upcoming launch of our new community education learning portal that our grant supported. The learning portal will help Manitobans learn about the Accessibility for Manitobans Act standards and about accessibility overall," said Samuel Unrau, acting manager, community inclusion and support services, Manitoba Possible. " This fund will make meaningful impacts for all Manitobans as we look to eliminate barriers experienced by persons with disabilities in our communities. We hope that others will apply to the Manitoba Accessibility Fund and work together to create a more inclusive and accessible Manitoba."
Eligible applicants, which must have been in operation for one year prior to application, include:
- registered charities;
- non-profit organizations incorporated and registered with the Companies Office;
- non-profit organizations that have a bank account and can verify activity for at least one year;
- local businesses or corporations based in Manitoba providing services to Manitobans that are registered with the Companies Office;
- on-reserve businesses and organizations that meet all other eligibility requirements;
- municipalities and local authorities such as planning districts and Northern Affairs Community Councils; and
- universities, colleges and school divisions.
For more information on accessibility in Manitoba and the Manitoba Accessibility Fund, visit: https://accessibilitymb.ca
The application deadline is March 10.