The Yukon Association for Community Living has about $70,000 to hand out to individuals who need help improving their mobility or businesses that want to increase accessibility.
Since 2006, the Department of Health and Social Services and Canada’s Rick Hansen Foundation have given out around $20,000 a year to people or businesses that need it.
The job of handing out the cash used to fall to the Yukon Council on Disability, but that organization shut down last year. The Yukon Association for Community Living is now taking over.
This year’s pot is likely the biggest that has ever been handed out in the Yukon because it includes the 2016 allocation, money from last year, and some money that wasn’t spent in previous years, said Colette Acheson, the association’s executive director.
“We want to give it away. We don’t want to be hanging on to it and turning it back,” she said.
“We want to put it in people’s hands and allow people to tackle different projects that they might not otherwise be able to.”
To help with that, the association has increased the maximum amount of money a person or business can apply for this year. Now individuals and families can apply for up to $6,000 and businesses and other organizations can apply for up to $7,500.
In previous years it was capped at $4,000 for an individual or family and $2,500 for a business, Acheson said
In the past, money has gone to tools like computer software to help someone with low vision, scooters, bicycles, ramps or a specially designed mattress.
Businesses could apply for help to fund the widening of doors or the installation of grab bars, for example.
“It could be that you have an employee with a disability that you’d like to do a better job of accommodating or it might be that you have customers or clients or members that you’d like to be more accessible for,” she said.
A selection committee is being put together to decide how to distribute the money.
More information about the grants, dubbed the Many in Motion: 25th Anniversary Initiatives — Yukon, can be found on the association’s website, www.ycommunityliving.com.
The deadline to apply is Sept. 30.
Contact Ashley Joannou at firstname.lastname@example.org