WINDSOR, ONT. -- The federal government is granting $557,000 to help support accessibility projects in Windsor-Essex.

In celebration of ‘National AccessAbility Week’ Carla Qualtrough, minister of employment, workforce development and disability inclusion and Windsor-Tecumseh MP Irek Kusmierczyk held a virtual event Monday highlighting the projects.

“The COVID-19 pandemic has had a disproportionate impact on persons with disabilities and has shed light on the number of Canadians that continue to face barriers to full inclusion in their communities and workplaces. One of the many ways the Government of Canada is taking action to break down those barriers is through funding programs like the Enabling Accessibility Fund (EAF),” a news release from the event says.

The EAT is a federal grant program that supports construction projects across the country that help to improve accessibility, safety and inclusion for those living with disabilities.

"Building a more inclusive Canada takes work, and we are committed to getting the job done. Thanks to the Enabling Accessibility Fund, the Government of Canada has been able to support organizations in Windsor region that are working hard to make our community more accessible for persons with disabilities. Improving accessibility and promoting inclusion benefits all Canadians,” Kusmierczyk said.

Monday’s announcement included support for local projects such as a Stonehedge Properties Inc. plan to turn an existing building into the Walkerville Arts Centre, which would be a community arts space which would meet the needs of people of all abilities.

Another project highlighted is the installation of push button door openers and a ramp at the Welcome Centre Shelter for Women to help make their space more accessible.

In addition to the project announcements, there will be two calls for proposals under the EAF’s Mid-sized projects and Youth Innovation components that will launch this Friday.

The Mid-sized project component offers up to $1 million to support renovation or construction projects in facilities that house programs and services that increase social participation and labour market opportunities for people with disabilities.

The Youth Innovation component aims to engage youth between 15 to30 to volunteer and collaborate with organizations in their communities to secure funding up to $10,000 for accessibility projects.

More information will be released Friday, June 4 at Funding -