EnAbling Change Program: Ontario Grants for Non-Profit Accessibility Projects

The Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act (AODA) has continued to guide the province towards meeting the goal of making Ontario more accessible and inclusive by 2025. This means that all provincial businesses and organizations have been urged to implement accessibility standards for daily life activities to reduce potential barriers for people living with disabilities. A well-known example of such is upgrading entrances by adding ramps or elevators to areas which were formerly inaccessible to all. 

The EnAbling Change Program provides eligible non-profit, industry or professional organizations with grants covering up to 75 per cent of total costs for projects that bring awareness to tools and educational resources which can make Ontario accessible to all.

Since 1999, this program, along with new business grants in Ontario, has been supporting community awareness about the benefits of accessibility through the Advancing Accessibility in Ontario framework. This year the EnAbling Change Program aims to focus on projects that enhance respect and dignity for people with disabilities, support awareness of requirements and regulatory compliance under the AODA, and create equitable opportunities for all in Ontario’s labour market.

“Our government is investing in people of all abilities by funding projects that raise awareness about how accessibility and inclusion benefits everyone. The EnAbling Change Program makes Ontario more accessible, with communities and businesses open to all.”
– Raymond Cho, Minister for Seniors and Accessibility

There are also new business grants in Ontario government funding directly for the purpose of hiring workers with disabilities that businesses should be aware of to support the progress of accessibility.

About The EnAbling Change Program and Who Can Apply

Administered by the Government of Ontario’s Ministry for Seniors and Accessibility, the EnAbling Change Program is now open for a new intake with an additional $1.5 million grant funding for not-for-profit, industry, and professional organizations to implement projects which encourage solutions to Ontario’s accessibility.

All eligible projects must meet at least one of the program’s following key priorities:

  1. Create Equitable Opportunities in the Labour Market;
  2. Support Awareness and Regulatory Compliance; or
  3. Drive a Culture of Respect and Dignity for People with Disabilities.

Funding Amount

The EnAbling Change Program is a shared-cost transfer payment program. The Ministry for Seniors and Accessibility contributes up to 75 percent of total project costs while applicants must contribute a minimum of 25 percent of the total project costs in cash or in-kind.

There is no minimum or maximum funding amount.

Eligible Applicants

Organizations are eligible to apply to the EnAbling Change Program if they are:

  • A not-for-profit organization that can reach across an industry or sector in Ontario;
  • Compliant with Ontario’s accessibility laws;
  • A not-for-profit organization that has been incorporated in Ontario for at least one year;
  • Practicing accountability processes to administer, manage, and oversee any funding received from the province; and
  • Able to provide proof of Commercial General Liability Insurance coverage in the amount of not less than $2 million.

The EnAbling Change Program will give preference to applications that demonstrate:

  • An ability to deliver proposed projects to networks and employers across an industry or sector;
  • An understanding of challenges related to accessibility and/or AODA compliance within an industry or sector;
  • That their project will benefit target audiences beyond the funding period and be sustainable over the longer term;
  • Adequate experience developing workplace training and adult education programs and products for employers and/or the public;
  • Access to expertise related to employers and people with disabilities in the workplace; and
  • Previous experience fostering cultural change in a community or industry.

Eligible Costs

  • Salaries for staff and consultants/contractors working on the project;
  • Project development and implementation costs;
  • Project administration and coordination;
  • Promotion and marketing of resources;
  • Segmented audited financial statements based on reasonability and if required in the TPA;
  • Development of an accessible website or other accessible materials specifically related to the project; and/or
  • Production of products including translation of resources and services such as guidebooks, fact sheets, toolkits, project-specific websites/webpages, event sessions, etc.) into French.

Examples of in-kind contributions include:

  • Executive oversight for a project;
  • Communications support;
  • Promotional activities;
  • Event expenses; and/or
  • Printing costs.

Program Timeline

The deadline to apply for grant funding through the EnAbling Change Program is December 8, 2022, at 5:00 p.m.

Previous Grants Through the EnAbling Change Program

To better understand the EnAbling Change Program, here are a few examples from the 14 projects that received funding in the 2021-22 recipients’ year:

  • Canadian Blind Hockey received up to $25,000 to develop written coaching manuals and web-based training videos as free resources to help existing and new coaches to implement blind hockey programs safely and effectively.
  • Let’s Talk Science received up to $150,000 to develop and deliver a free accessible training program for educators to engage youth with disabilities in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) learning.
  • Toronto Metropolitan University (previously known as Ryerson University) received up to $150,000 to create a design for work-integrated learning that meets the needs of and improves the employment opportunities for students living with disabilities.

If your business or any business you know could benefit from the EnAbling Change Program to help spread awareness about the benefits of accessibility, please contact the Mentor Works team to assess if your project could receive grant funding support.

Government Grants for Non-Profit Organizations

In addition to the EnAbling Change Program, there are a variety of other government funding programs available for non-profit organizations in Ontario and across Canada. These include programs such as the Strategic Innovation Fund (SIF) and the Scientific Research and Experimental Development (SR&ED)tax credit.

Find available Canadian government funding programs for your non-profit organization by browsing the free Non-Profit Organization Funding Directory from Mentor Works.

Did you know that your Canadian business or organization may also be eligible to stack grants, loans, and tax credits for a single project? Learn about the different types of government funding available to optimize your economic growth, innovation, and community support by downloading the free Types of Funding slide deck.

Types of Canadian Small Business Funding

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