On April 14, 2021, the Honourable Rochelle Squires, Minister of Families and Minister Responsible for Accessibility announced the Manitoba Accessibility Fund.  The fund and its grant program will assist municipalities, non-profit organizations and businesses in Manitoba to remove barriers encountered by persons with disabilities, and promote accessibility in all regions of the province.

The grants will support organizations to comply with accessibility requirements under The Accessibility for Manitoba Act and implement innovative projects that will make our province a more inclusive one for all.  Sample activities include:

  • creating information, campaigns, and events to promote public awareness and support for accessibility legislation;
  • facilitating the integration of accessibility standards into the activities of organizations;
  • developing and disseminating tools, resources and training to enhance compliance of accessibility requirements within a business or organizational sector or among demographic groups in Manitoba; and
  • investing in infrastructure, as required under an accessibility standard. In the future, these will include improvements in web accessibility, the design of public outdoor spaces, and accessible transportation.

This is a one-time $20 million contribution to the Winnipeg Foundation.  Beginning in 2022, the yearly return on investment will be used to provide grants up to $50,000.  The Winnipeg Foundation will manage and invest the endowment fund, whereas the Department of Families will administer the annual grants program.

Note: The accessibility grants program will be designed in the coming months, following research and consultations with key stakeholders. Information relating to selection criteria, ineligible costs, intake processes, etc., will be announced in subsequent months.