NEADS Announces Recipients of the 2022 NEADS National Student Awards and AMI Scholarship Programs!

(Ottawa, March 23, 2023) 

The National Educational Association of Disabled Students (NEADS), and our funding partners — the Government of Canada's Supports for Student Learning Program, Canada Post, Accessible Media Inc. (AMI) Connor Clark & Lunn Financial Group and private donors — are excited to announce the outstanding winners of the 2022 NEADS Student Awards Program. 

NEADS Student Awards Recipients ($3,000)

NEADS National Student Awards are offered annually to encourage full access to postsecondary education for persons with disabilities, who often have higher costs and greater barriers to participation in higher education. The awards are paid directly to the post-secondary institution the student attends to offset the cost of tuition. We continue to prioritize these awards to multi-marginalized disabled students who face even greater barriers in accessing education (e.g. students who identify as part of the 2SLGBTQIA+ community, as part of a visible minority group, as a first generation Canadian or Indigenous, including Inuit or Métis).  

Thanks to generous support from the Government of Canada’s Supports for Student Learning Program, 45 $3,000 NEADS Student Awards were awarded in 2022. The outstanding recipients of this year's awards attend 28 post-secondary institutions across Canada, studying an impressively broad range of subjects. An alphabetized appendix listing the names and program information for all 45 NEADS Student Award recipients is included at the end of this press release.

Testimonials from some of our outstanding NEADS Student Awards Recipients:

"Ph.D students are, generally, guaranteed funding for four years when most students require 5 or 6 years on average to complete their degree. This creates substantial uncertainty and stress regarding financial security. The NEADS scholarship I was generously awarded for 2022 will ease the financial burden of graduate school and help me focus on finishing my Ph.D without delay.” - Dan Tingskou, PHD Social Sciences, Economics, McMaster University.  

"I feel great honour and privilege to be chosen as a 2022 NEADS National Student Award recipient. Winning this award means that I can spend fewer hours working off campus to meet my financial responsibilities, and have more time dedicated to my studies and clinical training. The added financial security this award provides will also allow me to allocate more time to my research endeavours, all of which aim to improve the lives of those with disabilities. Thank you to the National Educational Association of Disabled Students for honouring me with this award, your support has tremendous implications in furthering my personal and professional goals.” - Cole Kennedy, Master of Science in Clinical Neuropsychology, University of Victoria.   

"As a student with a disability trying to navigate the world can be overwhelming at times, especially in school and with financial stresses. Receiving such a generous scholarship like the NEADS Student Award helps to reduce some of the financial pressures and burdens I have faced. Going undiagnosed for so long with my disability meant that I spent a lot of money and student loans on school and was unsuccessful. Being officially diagnosed a few years ago with a disability has helped to understand my challenges better which has been such a relief. However, knowing that I have a disability means I often have much less time to work a job than my peers in order to focus on school. This means a scholarship like the NEADS Student Award will help me to be successful in school and in my future goals. It will allow me to worry less about financial pressures and focus more on my studies and navigating my disability.” - Emily Brown, Bachelor of Public Relations, Mount Saint Vincent University.   

"As a first-generation learner, I am incredibly honoured and grateful to have received the NEADS National Student Award! This scholarship will make a significant impact in advancing my academic and career goals, as it helps alleviate the financial stress related to obtaining my Bachelor of Social Work degree. I hope to pay it forward by fostering inclusion in my community" - Cheri Pottinger, Bachelor of Social Work, University of Victoria. 

"As someone with a learning disability, finishing a four-year degree in four years is unrealistic. Unfortunately, the longer you are enrolled in university the more money you must pay. On top of that, I have other accessibility needs that require extra financing. It is in part to the NEADS National Student Award that I can continue to afford to learn at a pace that is realistic for me, so I can pursue my dreams and further my education" - Tai Linklater, Bachelor of Arts in Interdisciplinary Studies, Canadian Mennonite University. 

Canada Post Award Recipient ($10,000)

The Canada Post Student Award was launched in 2020 and recognizes contributions made to Canadian society through community development and knowledge sharing, and is given to a student with a disability who demonstrates leadership, innovation, respect and integrity in their research, studies and community involvement. 

Back on February 13th, Canada Post and NEADS announced Rivellie Aimée Tchuisseu Tchepnkep  as the 2022 recipient of the 3rd annual Canada Post Award! Rivellie is completing a Ph.D in Environmental Science at l’Université du Québéc à Montreal.

Rivellie's response to the news that she was selected as the 2022 Canada Post Award recipient was: 

"The foundation of the NEADS - Canada Post scholarship touches me deeply and connects with my aspirations and my daily and voluntary actions. For me, if we talk about community development and knowledge sharing, I think about our differences that make us all unique. These differences bring richness and warmth to our human relationships. I am involved in causes that I am passionate about, and for me, volunteering is the foundation of our society. It is through community action that we grow together in innovation and respect. I like to innovate and push those around me to reach the maximum potential in each and everyone. I would also like to say that living with a disability is not an easy thing to do…the NEADS scholarship is making a big difference in helping me to excel and persevere in my studies despite my disability ... This scholarship gives me even more courage because as a mother of five young and adorable children in elementary and high school, I will be able to pay for my education and take care of my children. As a parent, I have learned a lot and met wonderful people through volunteering. I am showing my children that diversity is a richness and volunteering is an opportunity to innovate and express leadership" - Rivellie Aimée Tchuisseu Tchepnkep, Ph.D in Environmental Science, L'université du Québéc à Montreal.  

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

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.

AMI previously announced the winners of its 2022 AMI Robert Pearson Memorial Scholarships back on December 6, 2022. The recipients of this year’s AMI Robert Pearson Memorial Scholarships are: Selali Tettevi of Regina Saskatchewan, and Élise St-Laurent from Rouyn-Noranda, Quebec. 

Selali is completing a Master of Business Administration degree at Thompson Rivers University and Élise is completing a Masters of Psychoeducation at l’Université du Québec en Abitibi-Témiscamingue.

"This award has lightened the financial burden of tuition and afforded me the opportunity to focus on creating opportunities for persons with disabilities to become agents of change through social entrepreneurship," says Selali. "I am hopeful that I can champion the cause of persons with disabilities into a future where disability is not a barrier but rather a different path by which one can reach for the skies.” - Selali Tettevi, Master of Business Administration, Thompson Rivers University.

When asked how this award would support her in achieving her academic and career goals Élise said: 

“The AMI-scholarship came at an important time in my life. It has allowed me to realize that perseverance is always the right choice, in spite of the various obstacles that stand in my way. This bursary gives me the wind in my sails and allows me to believe that everything is possible. This bursary will support me in my beginnings as a psychoeducator and will give me a boost when I undertake graduate studies again, probably a doctorate.” - Élise St-Laurent, Masters of Psychoeducation at Université du Québec en Abitibi-Témiscamingue. 

Connor Clark & Lunn Financial Group Scholarship Recipient ($5,000)

NEADS and Connor Clark & Lunn Financial Group are pleased to announce Julie Cho as the recipient of the 1st annual Connor Clark & Lunn Financial Group Scholarship. This scholarship is awarded to a student with a disability who displays community leadership, and is enrolled in a three+ year program in business, economics, computer science/technology or engineering. Julie is completing a Bachelor of Commerce at Carleton University with a concentration in entrepreneurship. 

When asked how receiving the Connor Clark & Lunn Financial Group Scholarship would support her in achieving her academic and career goals, Julie said:

"It can be exhausting and overwhelming dealing with multiple fronts that are challenging to survival. Vision becomes obscured by all these competing factors critical to survival -- this blizzard -- prevents you from seeing the bigger picture and defining your place within it. I grew up learning about ceilings, about making compromises in my worth thinking that survival meant settling for whatever was in front of me. I’m learning this is not true, denying your identity—is denying the pathway that leads to your highest self and purpose in life. I never thought I would have a future; much less be here pursuing my degree. The Connor Clark & Lunn Financial Group award has inspired me as my co-founder and sister, Linda and I  embark on this challenging journey to become entrepreneurs. My sister Linda and I are artists with disabilities who have faced housing insecurity throughout our lives. Our mission is to create a digital marketplace that connects artists with disabilities facing housing insecurity with buyers. We firmly believe that artists with disabilities facing housing insecurity have competitive talent--they just lack access to buyers. Ascend Art aims to be that bridge connecting our artists to our buyers who champion our mission, art driven to power impact.” - Julie Cho, Bachelor of Commerce, Carleton University.  

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

The Holly Bartlett Memorial Award was established by the NEADS Board of Directors after Holly's passing in 2010. Holly 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. 

This is the 13th year for the Award in Holly's memory. A big congratulations goes out to the 2022 award recipient, Angela Lam who is completing the Respiratory Therapy Program at the Michener Institute of Education.

"It is a great honour to be the recipient of The Holly Bartlett Memorial Award," says Angela. "As a respiratory therapy student at the Michener Institute, my final year of study comprises a rigorous 1,085 hours of clinical placement to ensure we are equipped with the proper training to be successful in the workforce. Scholarships like this award alleviate some of the financial burden that healthcare students like me carry throughout our education. With this extra support, I can have a focused pursuit of success in both my academic and extracurricular activities. Awards from NEADS bring forth an opportunity to triumph over barriers and I am very grateful to be a successful candidate.” - Angela Lam, Respiratory Therapy Program, Michener Institute of Education.

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

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 is offered to a graduate student in recognition of Christine’s passionate work to address barriers faced by disabled students in graduate studies. 

A big congratulations goes out to the 2022 award recipient, Daniel Friedberg who is in his 3rd year of the Doctor of Medicine Program at the University of Ottawa. Preparing for a career in Emergency Medicine, he is passionate about showing humanity in medicine and recognizes the strong value of having practitioners with disabilities in the field. Daniel developed these passions during his junior years as a medical student as he overcame his own disability-related challenges. He subsequently applied these passions to create and lead a student group, the Medical Student Accessibility Committee, that supports medical students with disabilities through their journey in medical school. Daniel is grateful and excited to have received the Christine Nieder Memorial Award as it will help propel him through medical school and to the next stage of his career, where he will continue his work in advocating for and supporting medical practitioners with disabilities.

Bridgeman Hogue Memorial Award for the Visually Impaired Recipient ($1,000) 

The Bridgeman Hogue Memorial Award for the Visually Impaired was established to support access to higher education for students who are blind, partially sighted or deafblind. Funded by a group of private donors in Winnipeg, Manitoba, the award is valued at $1,000 and is granted yearly to a student with a vision related disability. A big congratulations goes out to this year's recipient, Salman Alsehh, who is pursuing a Bachelor of Business Administration at the University of Regina.

"I am honoured to have been selected as the recipient of the Bridgeman Hogue Memorial Award for the Visually Impaired," says Salman. "Winning this scholarship inspires me to focus on my studies at the University of Regina, which will help me to achieve my dream of being an accountant.” - Salman Alsehh, Bachelor of Business Administration, University of Regina.

"A huge congratulations to this year’s award recipients," says Katja Newman, Director of NEADS Financial Assistance Programs. "The students have proven their commitment to academia, are involved in their communities, and are powerful self-advocates. Each in their own way, they are making a tremendous difference for themselves and their communities.” - Katja Newman, Director of the NEADS Financial Assistance Programs.

Thank you to the 2022 Student Awards Selection Committee:

In an effort to expand and diversify its selection committee, in 2021 NEADS began recruiting a small group of individuals from other external disability, advocacy and inclusion organizations to join its annual selection committee. Alongside NEADS staff and board members, these individuals contributed to the scoring process for recipients of all award types other than the Accessible Media Inc. Robert Pearson Memorial Scholarships.

"It is important to us that our applicants are being scored by individuals who have an intimate knowledge of barriers faced by young people with disabilities as well as first hand knowledge of good quality advocacy and inclusion work," says NEADS Financial Assistance Programs Director Katja Newman. "Inviting individuals from diverse backgrounds and different geographical areas who in some way support advocacy and inclusion in their local communities, some of whom even had disabilities themselves, to join in the scoring and selection process seemed like a fantastic way to improve and further develop the recipient selection process.” 

A heartfelt thank you goes out to the following organizations who had a representative who gave their time and expertise as a part of the 2022 Selection Committee:

•Independent Living Resource Centre of Calgary

•Barrier Free Saskatchewan


•Citizens With Disabilities Ontario

•Tamarack Institute

•Association québécoise pour l'équité et l'inclusion au postsecondaire (AQEIPS)

•Nova Scotia League For Equal Opportunities



The 2023 application period for the NEADS National Student Awards Program and Accessible Media Inc. Robert Pearson Memorial Scholarship program began back on March 1st and applications will be accepted through May 31st, 2023. 

For inquiries related to the AMI scholarships, please visit  and  or contact 

Janis Davidson Pressick, Marketing and Communications Manager, (800) 567-6755 Ext. 0971,

To submit an application in English visit  or to access the French version of the application form, please visit  

 Appendix - Alphabetized NEADS Student Awards 2022 Recipients, including programs of study and schools:

•Alexandria Wild, Bachelor of Arts in Theatre, York University  

•Alex Gallaway, Pre Bachelor of Arts/Bachelor of Education, University of Lethbridge   

•Anonymous Student, Doctor of Medicine, University of Calgary   

•Assia Messaoudi, Master of Social Work, University of Toronto  

•Callum Hunter, Bachelor of Philosophy in interdisciplinary leadership, University of New Brunswick  

•Camille Laty, Bachelor of International Relations & Law, l’Université du Québec à Montréal  

•Camille St-Laurent, Master of Science in Health Services Administration, l’Université De Montréal 

•Catherine Lavigne, Master of Nursing, University of Saskatchewan 

•Chelsey Munroe, Bachelor of Science in Therapeutic Recreation, Dalhousie University  

•Cheri Pottinger, Bachelor of Social Work, University of Victoria  

•Cole Kennedy, Master of Science in Clinical Neuropsychology, University of Victoria 

•Cosette Ayoub, Bachelor of Veterinary Sciences, University of Bristol 

•Dan Tingskou, PHD Social Sciences Economics, McMaster University 

•Elisa Akcakiryan, Juris Doctor, University of New Brunswick   

•Elizabeth Doherty, Bachelor of Social Work, Saint Thomas University  

•Emily Brown, Bachelor of Public Relations, Mount Saint Vincent University   

•Emma Rath, Master of Architecture, Carleton University  

•Emma Searle, Juris Doctor, University of Calgary 

•Eric Damecour, PHD in Industrial/Organizational Psychology, Saint Mary’s University   

•Ethan Parikh, Bachelor of Health Sciences, McMaster University  

•Anonymous, Master of Science in Speech Language Pathology, McMaster University 

•Fania Taylor, Honours Bachelor Science in Human Kinetics, University of Ottawa 

•Hilary Hennessey, Masters of Health Ethics, Memorial University of Newfoundland  

•Ibrahim Kettaneh, Bachelor of Computing Honours, Queen's University  

•Joshua Gibson, Bachelor of Music in Vocal Performance, University of Toronto   

•Julie Mcgoey, Bachelor of Education After Degree, Concordia University of Edmonton   

•Kaitlin Ehrhardt, Doctor of Pharmacy, University of Saskatchewan  

•Kristyn Mcdougall, Juris Doctor, University of Saskatchewan 

•Laura Bain, Master of Social Work, Dalhousie University  

•Lee Frketich, Bachelor of Arts in Dance, University of Winnipeg  

•Marie Johns, Master of Science in Medical Genetics, University of British Columbia  

•Michael Francis, Master of Science in Electrical Engineering, University of Calgary

•Miriam Spies, PHD in Theological Studies, University of Toronto

•Nakita Sekhon, Masters of Counselling, City University In Canada   

•Naomi Abrahams, PHD in Social Work, University of Ottawa  

•Odelia Bay, PHD in Law, York University  

•Pénélope Cossette Fortin, Bachelor of Arts in Sociology, Bishops University  

•Sarah Simpson, Master of Social Work, York University  

•Stéphanie Gallagher, Bachelor of Arts, Literary Studies, l’Université du Québec à Montréal  

•Stephanie Park, Master of Arts in Counselling Psychology, Yorkville University   

•Tai Linklater, Bachelor of Arts in Interdisciplinary Studies, Canadian Mennonite university

•Thomas Head, Master of Science in Chemistry, University of British Columbia 

•Tobi Falana, Bachelor of Civil Law Juris Doctor, McGill University  

•Victoria Chen, Juris Doctor, University of Ottawa 

•William Verreault, Masters of Mathematics, l’Université Laval 

Katja Newman (she/her), NEADS Student Awards Program Director, National Educational Association of Disabled Students (NEADS)
Rm. 514 Unicentre, Carleton University
Ottawa, Ontario, K1S 5B6

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