Grant program helps businesses become more accessible

HALIFAX: Government is partnering with businesses across Nova Scotia to make locations, products and services more accessible.

This year, through the Business ACCESS-Ability Program, government has invested more than $1 million to help 41 businesses increase their accessibility.

“As a province we are working to remove barriers and provide equal opportunities to all Nova Scotians,” said Minister of Communities, Culture and Heritage Leo Glavine. “It takes businesses, communities and government working together to make the changes needed for a truly accessible province.”

In the Strait area, Dr. John Waters Community Health in Port Hood was approved for $27,551; Route 19 in Inverness, $82,699; Corvid Enterprises in Antigonish, $10,554; Celtic Air Services in Port Hastings, $8,600; Iron Mountain Wilderness Cabins in Whycocomagh, $10,000; Glenora Distillers 1994 Ltd., $50,000; Bluenose Insurance in St. Peter’s, $15,372; Cabot Links in Inverness, $11,110; Caper Gym and Fitness in Inverness, $36,811; Dog Place Inc. in Port Hawkesbury, $3,511.86; and Janova Enterprises in St. Peter’s, $10,985.80.

“Independence is a gift for people with disabilities,” said Paul Vienneau, accessibility advocate. “This service will allow more freedom to do the simplest of tasks like multiple errands in a day or being spontaneous like going to the beach with friends. Activities that others take for granted.”

Under the program, businesses based in Nova Scotia can apply for grant funding to make upgrades and improvements. This includes removing physical barriers, providing accessible communication and information, accessible transportation, assistive devices, and education and training programs.

Businesses interested in the program are encouraged to visit the program Web site. A complete list of grant recipients and more information are available at: https://cch.novascotia.ca/business-access-ability-grant-program.

The grant program supports government’s efforts to achieve an accessible Nova Scotia by 2030. Statistics show almost one in three Nova Scotians identify as having a disability. Government’s strategy, Access by Design 2030, identifies priorities for preventing and removing barriers to accessibility. Nova Scotia is one of three provinces that has accessibility legislation in place.