Inclusion grant applicants left hanging
NDP Status of Persons with Disabilities Critic Dale Kirby (MHA, St. John’s North) wants to know when government plans to notify recipients of the Accessible Vehicle Funding grants and Inclusion Grants.
The Accessible Vehicle Funding grants are for individuals or their families, and are supposed to allow adaptation of personal vehicles to increase accessibility. The Inclusion Grants are for non-profit community organizations to help them provide disability-related accommodations.
“Unlike most such grants, there are no dates specified on the grant information, application forms or funding manuals as to when the awarded money must be spent,” Kirby noted. “The only date mentioned was the deadline to apply – that was January 15, well over a month ago.
“However, it is reasonable to assume that money allotted in fiscal year 2012-13 would have to be spent by March 31. It seems entirely possible that funding announced in 2012 will not actually be awarded until the 2013-14 fiscal year. If so, I would call that confusing for those who apply.”
Kirby says that organizations and individuals who applied for the grants are watching the clock tick down and waiting to hear whether they have been successful. He adds it is incumbent on government to make the required decisions and communicate them sooner rather than later.
“I am sure that the individuals and organizations who have applied for these grants are anxiously waiting to hear whether they have been successful,” he said. “I would urge the minister to take some action on this.”
For information, contact Jean Graham, ph. 729-2137 (o) or 693-9172 (c).