As the country moves slowly into recovery from the coronavirus, we thought we would reach out to you with some resources. We hope you find them helpful.
- The Government of Canada has opened the Enabling Accessibility Fund (EAF). This granting source provides funding for projects that make communities and workplaces more accessible for people with disabilities. Eligible organizations can apply for up to $100,000 for things like:
- small construction, renovation or retrofit of existing spaces to improve
accessibility – like ramps, accessible doors, and accessible washrooms
- accessible information and communication technologies
- Congratulations to our partner, Canadian Parks and Recreation Association! They have developed an incredibly useful COVID-19 information HUB of resources for recreation professionals, including information on re-opening. As you and your organizations begin your re-opening, we encourage you to reach out to people with disabilities in your community to continue a conversation about participation and getting active. With the closure of recreation facilities, many people with disabilities have been further isolated, and supports have diminished or been eliminated.
- If your organization has had to close camp for the summer, you may want to check out what Easter Seals Ontario is doing online: https://www.campeasterseals.org/ Through the summer, full-week sessions start with a campfire each Sunday night. Each week, campers meet at the virtual flagpole for their activities. All activities are designed so that they can be done anywhere. The week ends with a Banquet Celebration including a campfire and talent show, created with the submissions sent in throughout the week. There is even a virtual Leaders-in-Training program with specific activities and workshops that focus on decision making, initiative and leadership capabilities. Contact info: firstname.lastname@example.org and/or email@example.com.
- Our partner, the Canadian Disability Partnership Program and the Abilities Centre (Oshawa, ON), in partnership with researchers from the University of British Columbia and Queen’s University, are conducting a national survey on the experiences and needs of people with disabilities in Canada during the COVID-19 pandemic. The current social isolation measures as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic may have an impact on physical and psychosocial wellbeing of people with disabilities. Please help share this survey with the people with disabilities in your community. The link is: https://abilitiescentre.org/disabilitysurvey
And finally, we just want to emphasize that physical activity for people with a disability is extremely important. Not only does it have health benefits, it reduces isolation, improves mental health, promotes social inclusion and reduces the chance of acquiring a secondary disabling condition.
If you or your organization are unsure as to how to continue to include people with disabilities in programming and services, you are welcome to contact us. We can provide information and answer questions about how to provide an accessible and welcoming environment as you re-open safely and inclusively. Contact firstname.lastname@example.org or visit ala.ca.