The EnAbling Change Program is an initiative of the government of Ontario. Through the Accessibility Directorate of Ontario (ADO), the program provides financial support and expertise to incorporated non-profit organizations, such as industry umbrella organizations and professional associations, that have wide reach to help obligated organizations comply with the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act (AODA).
The program funds a limited number of projects, such as targeted education campaigns across a sector or industry to promote and distribute existing accessibility tools and resources.
Organizations should demonstrate a commitment to accessibility in order to lead by example in their sector.
The EnAbling Change Program DOES NOT provide funding for building renovations such as ramps, lifts, or elevators. This program IS NOT the same as the Government of Canada’s Enabling Accessibility Fund.
The EnAbling Change Program DOES NOT provide funding to directly cover the cost of meeting AODA requirements. For example, no funding will be provided to refresh websites to meet accessibility requirements.
The EnAbling Change Program DOES NOT provide funding to directly cover the cost of workplace accommodations, wage subsidies, or placement programs for people with disabilities. This program IS NOT the same as the Abilities Connect Fund.
In 2017-18 the EnAbling Change Program priorities are:
Promoting and distributing resources to help organizations with the 2017 accessibility compliance reporting deadline
In 2017, businesses and non-profits with 20 or more employees, and public sector organizations must file an accessibility compliance report with the Government of Ontario. Sector associations may receive funding to educate obligated organizations on their accessibility requirements and 2017 reporting obligations (i.e., distributing existing tools and resources). While all project proposal submissions will be given due consideration, focus will be on organizations which have extensive reach within their sector.
Educating small and medium-sized employers about Ontario’s Accessible Employment Standard
In 2017, businesses and non-profits with 1-49 employees must comply with the Accessible Employment Standard. Sector associations may receive funding to educate small and medium sized employers about Ontario’s Accessible Employment Standard to help increase accessibility in Ontario’s workplace. While all project proposal submissions will be given due consideration, focus will be on associations which represent organizations that employ large numbers of employees and proposals that aim to set up a mentorship program framework or tool to promote inclusion of people with disabilities in the workplace.
Educating obligated organizations about Ontario’s Design of Public Spaces (DOPS) standard
Municipalities and public sector organizations had to start making new or redeveloped public spaces compliant with DOPS in 2016. In 2017, businesses and non-profits with 50+ employees will have to comply with DOPS for new or redeveloped public spaces. In 2018, businesses and non-profits with 1-49 employees will have to comply with DOPS. Associations and non-profits may receive funding to educate obligated organizations about Ontario’s Design of Public Spaces Standard to help increase accessibility in communities. While all project proposals will be given due consideration, focus will be on organizations which have expertise in design and / or have extensive reach to all sectors.
Promoting a culture of accessibility
This year the EnAbling Change Program may fund projects that promote a culture of accessibility, including a focus on organizations reaching or impacting off-reserve indigenous communities, and children and youth.
Projects may include the promotion and distribution of existing tools and resources that look to achieve real and measurable change for indigenous communities or support a cultural shift and persuade children and youths’ attitudes towards accessibility and disability at an early age.
Preference will be given to applicants that:
• Demonstrate the ability to deliver proposed projects to employer networks across an industry or sector, using various communications channels, including social media and other digital platforms.
• Demonstrate experience promoting and distributing educational products for employers.
• Demonstrate understanding of challenges related to compliance with Ontario’s accessibility standards.
• Demonstrate access to expertise related to employers and people with disabilities in the workplace.
• Demonstrate that projects will benefit stakeholders beyond the funding period.