YMCA locations in Kitchener and Waterloo have received about $29,000 of federal funding combined to make changes to their facilities that will enhance access for people with disabilities.
The funding comes from the government's Enabling Accessibility Fund, which supports community-based projects across the country.
Kent Hehr, Minister of Sport and Persons with Disabilities, has been touring Waterloo region since Monday.
He said in a release Thursday the A.R. Kaufman Family YMCA in Kitchener and Stork Family YMCA in Waterloo have been able to use that funding to make improvements to accessibility of their facilities.
Updates to the YMCA locations include:
- Widened and paved walkways.
- Installed eight automatic door openers and seven push buttons.
- Guard bars in washrooms.
- Fold down benches in change room showers.
"Organizations like these that are at the heart of their communities and are helping in making a difference for people with disabilities by allowing them to fully participate in their activities and to live engaging lives," said Hehr.
In the same release, Peter Sweeney, CEO of YMCA of Waterloo, said the YMCA prides themselves on "being a place where everyone belongs."
"We are grateful to Employment and Social Development Canada for providing us with an accessibility grant to ensure our facility and the programs we offer are accessible to everyone," said Sweeney.
This federal accessibility fund has helped almost 3,000 projects across the country. It has an annual budget of $15 million.