|COVID-19 has placed an undue burden on post-secondary students with disabilities (undergraduate university, graduate university, college, cégep, and high school students entering a post-secondary institution) who were already facing immense socio-cultural and operational accessibility challenges before the pandemic. Particular challenges include rising tuition fees and a lack of transitional support for online learning such as assistive technologies, devices, and software. To do our part to help address these challenges, and as we are still in a recovery phase which places undue hardship on disabled students, the National Educational Association of Disabled Students (NEADS) has put in place the Accessibility Resilience Program, with generous support from the Government of Canada’s Supports for Student Learning Program. We are proud that we delivered close to $170,000 in awards in 2020/2021 to 104 post-secondary students across Canada. The program was so successful Employment and Social Development Canada has provided an upward amendment on our Virtual Access For All Program to support an additional 174 awards: 154 disabled college and university students will receive $1,000 and 20 disabled students will receive up to $5,000 under the Accessibility Resilience Program in 2022 and 2023.
Accessibility Relief Grants
Eligible costs would include, but are not limited to: devices, cables, assistive technology, educational software and training, living costs, ergonomic desk equipment or any other costs related to accessing education online or in person (e.g. tuition fees, mental health/wellness).
For all eligible costs, recipients are responsible for sending NEADS cost-estimates and/or receipts of purchases and would be reimbursed for costs incurred.
DISCLAIMER: Applicants must wait to receive confirmation from NEADS that they are an Emergency Relief Grant recipient, including the specified value of the grant so that they can purchase their item(s) for reimbursement. If an applicant purchases an item without receiving confirmation that they have been selected as a recipient, NEADS is not liable to cover these costs.
Applicant must be a Canadian citizen
Applicant must have a permanent disability
Currently enrolled in or accepted into a post-secondary institution
Applicant must demonstrate unmet needs and negative impacts on their education path as a result of recovering from the COVID-19 pandemic
Applicant must demonstrate they have not had their needs met by other funding available from federal or provincial sources
Once your application has been submitted, it will be reviewed for completeness and adherence to the above guidelines. Assuming all guidelines are met, selection committees will review applications based on the selection criteria described above. Due to the volume of applications received, only those selected to receive an award will be contacted. Recipients will be selected and contacted on an ongoing basis, with awards distributed quarterly and all awards delivered by March 31, 2023.
For any inquiries pertaining to the application process please contact the NEADS financial assistance programs team at firstname.lastname@example.org
The program opens on December 15th, 2021 with continuous intake of applications until December 15th, 2022. If you’re eligible, apply online here.