The Manitoba Accessibility Fund (MAF) is a one-time, $20 million contribution to the Winnipeg Foundation. Beginning in 2022, the yearly return on investment will be used to provide grants of up to $50,000. Applications opened on March 1, 2022. The deadline to submit applications is April 15, 2022. MAF will distribute $750,000 in grants.
For 2022/23, MAF applications must target the first three accessibility standards affecting:
- Customer Service (enacted 2015) – which prevents and removes barriers to accessing goods or services.
- Employment (enacted 2019) – which requires barrier-free practices related to employee recruitment, hiring and retention.
- Information and Communications (anticipated in 2022) – which sets requirements for removing barriers to information and communications electronically, in print and in-person.
Applications must fulfill at least one of the following objectives in support of The Accessibility for Manitobans Act (AMA) and the standards listed above:
- Raise awareness about preventing and removing barriers.
- Develop tools, resources and training to support compliance with AMA standards.
- Remove barriers to information and communications electronically, in print and in-person.
Ways to Invest In Removing Accessibility Barriers
There are many different accessibility barriers for people with disabilities that you may not even be aware of and ways to promote accessibility across Manitoba. Upanup has partnered with many municipalities to create and enhance website to not only meet, but exceed accessibility standards. If you don't already have a wishlist going for ways to improve your accessibility we have listed some different areas you could invest in and consider for this fund:
- Website Redesign—If your existing website is cumbersome, difficult to navigate, and doesn't meet accessibility standards this may be a great opportunity to do a complete website redesign. If you are unsure view this news post to help determine if it is time for a redesign project.
- Accessibility audit & action plan—Unsure about how accessible your website is? We audit sites to highlight areas that can be improved and provide an action plan.
- UX testing sessions—We have performed hundreds of UX testing sessions to provide insights into how users use a specific site or tool and the pain points that can be improved.
- Website improvements—There are numerous enhancements you can make to your existing website to make it more accessible; some of these include content writing and editing, feedback tools, and other technical or developmental updates.
- Accessibility training—Accessibility must always be maintained; if your content creators don't know what web accessibility is or how to create accessible content, we offer various training packages for customized for your team and website.
We highly recommend looking into this funding opportunity to improve your website's accessibility. If you aren't sure where to make improvements or invest the funds, get in touch with our team of experts at Upanup and we can help make some recommendations! To learn more about accessibility and Upanup's approach visit upanup.com/accessibility.
Check out these news posts for some helpful accessibility tips:
- How to write alt text
- Accessible logos
- Upanup's accessibility
- How accessibility benefits a business
- Tips for remote UX testing
- Sitemap best practices
- What is web accessibility?
- What is human-centred design?
- 5 ways to boost your website's accessibility
- Government of Manitoba – accessibilitymb.ca