NEADS Announces Recipients of the 2020 NEADS National Student Awards and AMI Scholarship Programs!

(Ottawa, February 15, 2021) –

The National Educational Association of Disabled Students (NEADS), and our funding partners: the Government of Canada’s Supports for Student Learning Program, iA Financial Group and private donors, are excited to announce the outstanding winners of the 2020 NEADS Students Awards Program, including the NEADS Holly Bartlett Memorial Award and the NEADS Christine Nieder Memorial Award in support of the recipients' post-secondary tuition and student fees. The academic programs of the recipients listed below represent the programs of study in progress at the time of application. We are also thrilled to acknowledge recipients of the AMI Robert Pearson Memorial Scholarship Program. AMI previously announced the winners of its 2020 AMI Robert Pearson Memorial Scholarship program on December 2, 2020. NEADS manages the AMI Scholarships applications in a partnership with AMI and applicants apply for consideration for all awards/scholarships at the same time through our online application system.

NEADS Student Awards Recipients ($3,000)

Hannah MacLellan - Bachelor of Human Rights and Social Justice, Carleton University, Ontario

Bailey Wilson - Bachelor of Human Kinetics, University of British Columbia Okanagan, British Columbia

Humera Sadiq -  Bachelor of Science (Honours) in Psychology , University of Manitoba, Manitoba

Karen Tang - Doctorate Clinical Psychology, Dalhousie University, Nova Scotia

Daphnée Lévesque - Bachelor of Arts (English major literature; minor in education), University of British Columbia, British Columbia

David Pugh - Bachelor of Psychology (Honours), York University, Ontario

Hannah Crouse - Bachelor of Psychology & Sociology Double Major, Mount Allison University, New Brunswick

Laurie Meadows - Diploma Advanced Massage Therapy, MCG Career College, Alberta

Jenise Finlay - Master of Nursing, University of Calgary, Alberta

Sarah Renaud - Maîtrise en administration publique, profil pour professionnels at École nationale d'administration publique, Quebec
Jessie Sylvain - Bachelor of Education, Trinity Western University, British Columbia

Testimonials from some of our NEADS Student Awards Recipients

"My intentions are to use this award to become a Certified Personal Trainer through CSEP which will enhance my knowledge of exercise prescriptions and ultimately allow me to better serve my community as a Kinesiologist. I'll be using the remaining funds to pay down my student loans which will help alleviate the financial stress of obtaining my bachelor's degree. My gratitude for this award is immense and the recognition has increased my motivation to finish off my undergrad strong!" - Bailey Wilson, Bachelor of Human Kinetics at University of British Columbia Okanagan in British Colombia

“I am incredibly honoured to receive the NEADS Student Award for 2020. With this support, I can now (virtually) continue my volunteerism for the disabled community and strive more comfortably toward achieving my academic dreams in Psychology. In particular, this award will enable me to sustain my own wellbeing as an immunocompromised student during this viral pandemic."- David Pugh, Bachelor of Psychology (Honours) at York University in Ontario

“It is an honour to be a recipient of the 2020 NEADS Student Awards—thank you for supporting disabled students in their higher education journey! This award empowers me to continue to pursue my career goals of working as a clinical psychologist specializing in diverse populations, including individuals from the disabled community, by bringing my lived experience with disability into my clinical approach.”- Karen Tang, Doctorate Clinical Psychology at Dalhousie University in Nova Scotia

NEADS Holly Bartlett Memorial Award Recipient ($1,000)

Shannon Reaume - PhD candidate in Public Health Systems, University of Waterloo, Ontario

"From what you have told me about Holly, she was an amazing woman and it is such an honour to receive this award in her memory. My PhD program is a PhD in Public Health and Health Systems at University of Waterloo, where my area of research is child multimorbidity.
The award will allow me to examine more contextual factors that influence the development of mental illness in children and youth living with chronic physical illness. I will also be able to focus on knowledge translation which will help ensure my research has real-world impact and improve children’s overall well-being." Shannon Reaume, PhD candidate in Public Health Systems, University of Waterloo, Ontario

NEADS Christine Nieder Memorial Award Recipient ($1,000)  

Jason Beharriell - Diploma Radio Broadcasting, Mohawk College, Ontario

Accessible Media Inc. (AMI) Recipients ($5,000)

Accessible Media Inc. (AMI) is pleased to announce the recipients of its 2020 AMI Robert Pearson Memorial Scholarship. The program, which launched in 2012, is open to Canadian students enrolled in a diploma or degree program at a Canadian post-secondary school. Two scholarships valued at $5,000 each are awarded annually to students with a disability, one in English and one in French.

The recipients of this year’s AMI Robert Pearson Memorial Scholarship are Nik Provenzano of Sault-Ste Marie, Ontario, and Marie-Pier Lemay from Brossard, Quebec. Nik is in the fourth year of Biomedical Engineering at the University of British Columbia, while Marie-Pier is completing her Bachelor of Computer Science at Laval University.

“I would like to sincerely thank AMI for granting me this amazing scholarship,” Nik said of learning he was the English recipient. “I will be using this money to further pursue my educational goals.” The scholarship will help offset the tuition of Nik’s fifth year of school and the cost of living in Vancouver.

“Thank you for this scholarship,” said French recipient Marie-Pier. “It will greatly alleviate the financial stress related to my studies.”

AMI partnered with the National Educational Association of Disabled Students (NEADS) to administer the program. Since its founding in 1986, NEADS has been mandated to support full access to education and employment for post-secondary students and graduates with disabilities across Canada.

"A huge congratulations to this year’s award recipients,” says Lauren Gravis, Director of the NEADS Student Awards Program. "The recipients demonstrate excellence in their academics, extra-curriculars, and self-advocacy efforts in a way that is incredibly transformative for themselves and others. We hope these awards empower recipients to build on their leadership efforts and drive inclusion forward in their own unique ways”.

“Congratulations to our 2020 scholarship winners! I am very excited that our association can aid students in being successful in their academic pursuits. And I’m proud that we’ve provided over $300,000 in awards to more than 110 deserving disabled students across Canada in the 14 years since we launched the NEADS Student Awards programs," says Margaret Lyons-MacFarlane, Chair and New Brunswick Director of NEADS.

About the NEADS Student Awards:
The NEADS National Student Awards Program is offered to encourage full access to post-secondary education for persons with disabilities, who often have greater barriers to participation in higher education, as well as extra costs because of their disabilities. Students must currently be registered in and continuing at post-secondary institution and provide documented proof of registration as part of the application and on receipt of the award. The award is offered to outstanding applicants who meet the criteria of the program. The awards are paid directly to the post-secondary institution (in the students’ accounts) that the recipients are attending to defray the cost of tuition fees for post-secondary study.

About the NEADS Holly Bartlett Memorial Award:
The Holly Bartlett Memorial Award was established by the NEADS board of directors after the passing of Holly in 2010. Holly Bartlett served on the NEADS Board of Directors as the association’s Nova Scotia Director for a number of years. Holly's accomplishments, in a life that was way too short, were phenomenal. The Holly Bartlett Memorial Award is a tribute to Holly. The scholarship assists students with disabilities realize success in post-secondary education. This is the ninth year for the Award in Holly's memory.

About the Christine Nieder Memorial Award:
The Christine Nieder Memorial Award was established in 2015 to commemorate the life and contributions of Ms. Christine Nieder, NEADS Board member, who passed away in July 2014. The award will be, in most cases, offered to a graduate student with a disability in the amount of $1,000 in recognition of Christine’s passionate work to address barriers faced to participation in graduate programs of study.
About the AMI Scholarship Program:
Information and eligibility requirements for the 2021 AMI Scholarship program will be posted on the AMI websites later this month. Visit  and  for complete details.
About Accessible Media (AMI) Inc.
AMI is a not-for-profit media company that entertains, informs and empowers Canadians who are blind or partially sighted. Operating three broadcast services, AMI-tv and AMI-audio in English and AMI-télé in French, AMI’s vision is to establish and support a voice for Canadians with disabilities, representing their interests, concerns and values through accessible media, reflection and portrayal. To learn more visit and

For more information, please contact: Janis Davidson Pressick, Communications Manager 800-567-6755 ext. 0971,

Look for an announcement of intake of applications for all NEADS Awards Programs and the AMI Robert Pearson Memorial Scholarship on February 23, 2021 on the NEADS website: