1. Funding
  2. Strategic Funds
  3. Access Support

Access Support

Strategic Funds

Access Support funds individual applicants who are Deaf, have disabilities or who are living with mental illness, as well as Deaf and disability arts groups and organizations. Grants provide a contribution towards costs for specific services and supports required to complete a project funded through a Canada Council program.

Access Support responds to the financial disadvantages that many Deaf or disabled artists routinely experience in creating, producing and disseminating art.  Funds are available as a supplement to an awarded grant and provided to recipients who identify specific disability-related supports that are needed to carry out their proposed activities. The supplement may not cover all of these costs but may be a contribution towards these types of expenses. Access support must be linked directly to the project activities; it does not fund daily living expenses.

Who can receive Access Support?

An individual applicant who:

  • self-identifies as Deaf, living with a disabilities, or mental illness, and
  • has been awarded a grant through any Canada Council program

A group or an organization that:

  • identifies as a Deaf and disability arts group or organization through the portal and has been validated as such by Council staff, and
  • has been awarded a grant through any Canada Council program

Eligible and ineligible expenses

Eligible expenses include:

  • sign language interpreters
  • personal attendants
  • support workers, guides, readers
  • transcription services 
  • rental of accessible van or specialized equipment

Ineligible expenses include:

  • major capital expenses (e.g. purchase of wheelchair, vehicle, computer, renovations, etc.)
  • supports for which an applicant is already receiving funding
  • supports not directly tied to the activities supported by the grant


The following examples reflect the range and nature of associated costs of Access Support requests. Requests should be logical in context of the scope of the funded activities.

  • A Deaf arts organization requests $2,900 to engage sign language interpretation in order to work with a consultant to explore new operating models.
  • A dance artist receives a travel grant to present at an international conference and requests Access Support for $300 to cover the costs of accessible accommodation and transportation.
  • The lead applicant of a group receives a grant to create a new work and requests $1000 for a studio assistant to help lift and manipulate art works.

How do I request Access Support?

  1. check your eligibility to apply to a Canada Council program
  2. complete the Access Support Request form when you apply for a grant
  3. indicate the type of support you require and explain why and how it is linked to the activity that you propose in your application

How will my request be assessed?

  • requests are personal information and not viewed by the Peer Assessment Committee. This is to protect an individual’s privacy and ensures that these types of requests do not influence the assessment of the actual grant application.
  • after the Peer Assessment Committee has assessed applications and grant recommendations are made, Council staff may award Access Support supplements for successful applicants.
  • Canada Council staff  determines the amount of the Access Support according to the information below:

Standard rates for disability specific services and supports can vary depending upon the region and type of support. The following is used as a general guide.

  • Attendant Services/Support Worker -$15-30/hr; $120-250 daily rate (travel costs are covered by Council, per diems are not covered by Council)
  • Sign Language Interpretation- ASL: $50/hr; Daily Rate: LSQ: $70/hr; Daily Rate: (travel costs are covered by Council, per diems are not covered by Council)
  • Transcription Services/readers - $40-60/hr

What are the final steps?

  1. you will be informed of the provision and amount of Access Support in a letter of notification about the successful grant
  2. access support will be paid with the grant in accordance with any applicable conditions outlined in the letter of notification

Apply on the portal

Create an account and submit one or more profile(s) for validation at least 30 days before you want to apply

Deadline and Grant Amount

You must submit this application within 90 days of submitting your associated grant

The amount of the Access Support is determined by Canada Council staff