June 3, 2020. A ‘newly modernized Enabling Accessibility Fund (EAF) – small projects component’ has been announced by Employment and Social Development Canada. The news release correctly noted the need for meeting the needs of persons with disabilities by “…. building more accessible communities and workplaces. The call for proposals for the EAF small projects component provides funding to organizations for small-scale construction, renovation or retrofit projects that enable persons with disabilities to live and work in more inclusive and accessible communities...” (See https://www.canada.ca/en/employment-social-development/news/2020/06/newly-modernized-enabling-accessibility-fund-issues-a-call-for-proposals.html)
In previous years, places that wanted to take advantage of this fund had to provide half the money themselves. This year, “projects approved for funding will now be 100% funded to a maximum of $100,000.”
40% of Islanders have some degree of hearing loss!
The social distancing measures in place on PEI have resulted in plexiglass barriers in many businesses and offices, resulting in an additional barrier to hearing accessibility by people with hearing loss. 40% of Islanders have some degree of hearing loss. This is an opportunity to make a change for the better, with the simple addition of a Speech Transfer System so people can hear people behind plexiglass barriers, using hearing loop technology. (See The Challenge To Hear During The Pandemic) It’s also an opportunity to install hearing loop technology in a church or theatre.
If you have hearing loss please encourage the places where you worship, shop, go for appointments – your church, workplace, place of business, doctor’s office, hospital, municipal office, etc – to have a hearing loop installed for better accessibility for those with hearing loss. Deadline for applications is July 13, 2020. Here is the link: https://www.canada.ca/en/employment-social-development/programs/enabling-accessibility-fund.html
Currently on PEI, three churches and Charlottetown’s City Hall have installed hearing loops and these alone are making a difference to Islanders with hearing loss. Now, there is an additional opportunity to move the Let’s Loop PEI project forward with the opportunity to apply for federal funding. Certified hearing loop technicians on the Island can install these hearing accessibility products.
Many places are already on the wish list for a hearing loop….
- Grocery stores, gas stations, and other places that have installed plexiglass barriers
- Theatres around the island that offer live performances
- Churches and church halls
- Registration desks at the hospitals in Charlottetown and Summerside
- Charlottetown Airport
- Doctors’ offices
- Pharmacy counters
- Hotel registration desks
Please encourage the venues we all use to get in the loop!
More looping suggestions? Send an email to email@example.com, comment on the blog, or send a tweet to @HearPEI
Please consider a donation to help the volunteers at Hear PEI do more. 100% of your donation stays on PEI to help Islanders. During the month of June, each donation made through Canada Helps gives the charity donated to an entry to win $20,000.
Canada Helps page: https://www.canadahelps.org/en/dn/34708
© Daria Valkenburg