What is accessible technology?
Assistive devices and accessible technology include both hardware and software solutions that address barriers faced by persons with disabilities to accessing and navigating the Internet and online services.
Why is the Government of Canada funding assistive technologies?
The Accessible Technology Program is part of the Innovation and Skills Plan, a multi-year strategy to create well-paying jobs for the middle class, equip Canadians with the skills to prepare them for jobs of the future and ensure that the benefits of a more innovative society are shared equally among all Canadians. By supporting the development and advancement of assistive technologies, this program is removing barriers to ensure persons with disabilities have greater opportunities to participate in the workforce and facilitating and encouraging the participation and inclusion of persons with disabilities in the digital economy.
Is this a permanent program?
No. The Accessible Technology Program will provide co-funding for up to 1 year to innovative projects beginning on April 1, 2023, and ending on March 31, 2024. Project-based funding will be made available through a national call for proposals.
Does the technology need to be related to the digital economy?
Yes. The technology developed through funding from the program will be expected to support the objectives of the program, which include:
- improving access to the digital economy for persons with disabilities
- making the technology commercially available
- creating affordable solutions that are financially accessible to Canadians with disabilities
- enhancing the employability and marketability of Canadians with disabilities through enabling new technologies
- developing a network of partners throughout the country
What is the deadline for submitting proposals?
The National Call for Proposals is now closed.
Will there be other opportunities to submit a proposal?
There is one application intake period planned at this time. Subject to funding availability, other opportunities may be announced in the future.
When do projects need to be completed?
Projects selected for funding must be completed by March 31, 2024. Costs incurred after this date will not be eligible for reimbursement.
How are projects selected for funding?
Projects are selected through a competitive process. Proposals that satisfy all program requirements may be given priority consideration. Applicants must clearly demonstrate the extent to which the project meets the following criteria: need, distribution, affordability, budget, project management and strategic collaboration.
Who is eligible for funding?
To be eligible, applicants must demonstrate their expertise and capacity to manage and/or develop and implement an eligible single project or a combined group of projects in Canada. Applicants must also demonstrate that the proposed project or group of projects requires a funding contribution from ISED in order to achieve the objectives.
To qualify for funding, applicants must be a Canadian legal entity in one of the following categories:
- for-profit organization
- not-for-profit organization
- research institute
In this context, research institute means any establishment that functions with the primary objective of conducting research, which may include activities in the natural, health or social sciences. This may include any institutes affiliated with post-secondary institutions.
Are post-secondary institutions eligible for funding?
Yes. Any research institute affiliated with a post-secondary institution is eligible to apply for funding.
Can an individual apply for funding?
No. Eligible applicants must be a Canadian legal entity in one of the following categories: for-profit organization, not-for-profit organization or research institute.
Is an organization eligible to apply if it cannot provide two years of audited financial statements?
No. Organizations applying for funding are required to provide their two most recent years of audited financial statements so program officials can perform due diligence in assessing the organization’s financial viability and risk.
However, organizations that cannot meet this requirement are encouraged to consider:
- Partnering with other organizations. Where an application is submitted by a consortium of applicants, it is the lead applicant that will be responsible for providing its financial statements to satisfy the requirements of the program. The lead applicant is the entity with which Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada would ultimately enter into an agreement should the proposal be selected for funding.
- Providing alternative income statements.
Once the projects are selected, what are the next steps?
Once projects are selected for funding, contribution agreements between successful applicants and the department will be negotiated. Once the agreements are established, projects will be publicly announced.
How will the projects be monitored?
Similar to other grants and contributions programs managed by the federal government, the Accessible Technology Program has a project management framework with a number of control mechanisms (e.g. regular reporting) that will allow for tracking of the project’s progress and funding throughout its lifecycle.
What is considered an eligible activity under this program?
Either of the following would be considered eligible activities:
- developing and testing assistive technologies that help Canadians with disabilities better participate in the digital economy
- repairing, retrofitting and improving assistive technologies that help Canadians with disabilities access the digital economy
In addition to those primary eligible activities are:
- activities aimed at promoting awareness of new assistive technologies developed through the program, such as workshops and events open to the public
- collaborations that support the development and implementation of assistive technologies
Is the program a grant or a contribution?
The Accessible Technology Program is a contribution program where eligible costs are subject to performance conditions that are specified in a contribution agreement.
What is the maximum level of funding available per project?
The program will co-fund projects through non-repayable contribution agreements. Where the primary recipient is a not-for-profit organization or research institute, the maximum cost-sharing ratio will be 80%. Where the primary recipient is a for-profit organization, the maximum cost-sharing ratio will be 50%.
How will funding be disbursed?
Funding will be distributed through claims for reimbursement of eligible costs incurred as outlined in a contribution agreement.
Will an in-kind contribution count toward a project’s cost-sharing ratio?
Yes. Eligible in-kind contributions that have been clearly detailed in the budget workbook can be counted toward the cost-sharing ratio; however, no in-kind costs will be reimbursed through program contributions.