NEADS Announces Winners of the 2017 NEADS National Student Awards and AMI Scholarship Programs!

Ottawa, November 8, 2017) –

The National Educational Association of Disabled Students (NEADS), and our generous funding partners: Imperial, Industrial Alliance Insurance and Financial Services and private donors, are thrilled to announce the ten outstanding winners of the 2017 NEADS Students Awards Program, including the NEADS Holly Bartlett Memorial Award and the NEADS Christine Nieder Memorial Award. Five students will receive $3,000 and five recipients of the Holly Bartlett Memorial Award (3) and the Christine Nieder Memorial Award (2) are awarded $1,000 in support of their 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.

NEADS Student Awards Winners ($3,000)

Laurie Chalmers, Bachelor of Social Work, University of Victoria

Ben Fulton, Osgoode Hall Law School JD Candidate, York University

Chantal Lemire, Doctorate, Music Research and Composition, Western University

Chase Valiant, Bachelor of Community Studies, Cape Breton University

Denise Quesnel, Masters of Science, School of Interactive Art and Technology, Simon Fraser University

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

Kerri Stone, Bachelor, Honours Psychology, Wilfrid Laurier University

Tamara Orlando, Bachelor, Children’s Studies and Psychology, York University

Ed Schmidt, B.A., Biology and Chemistry, Wilfrid Laurier University

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

Guillaume Seragalini, Bachelor, Faculty of Education, Saint-Boniface University

David Newman, Doctoral student, Business Administration, Athabasca University

Accessible Media Inc. (AMI) Scholarships

Accessible Media Inc. (AMI) previously announced the winners of its 2017 AMI Robert Pearson Memorial Scholarship program on October 19, 2017. 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. NEADS manages the AMI Scholarships in a partnership with AMI. The winners of this years’ AMI Robert Pearson Memorial Scholarship are Shelby Brown of Calgary, Alberta and Yan Gobeil from Montreal, Quebec. Shelby is in year three of a Bachelor of Arts program majoring in Native Studies at Vancouver Island University while Yan is pursuing his Doctorate in Physics at McGill University.

“A huge congratulations to the 2017 NEADS Awards winners and the recipients of the AMI Scholarship,” said Lauren Gravis, Director of the Student Awards Program. “We received over 250 applications for the 2017 competition. The high amount of outstanding applications made choosing the recipients very difficult.. Our recipients are exemplary of what it means to overcome barriers faced from having a disability and advocating for oneself, while maintaining a track record of success. We are proud of their stupendous achievement and hope these awards pave the way to an even brighter future. We would like to thank our sponsors including Imperial and Industrial Alliance Insurance and Financial Services for generous support in helping make this program possible.”

“Congratulations to our 2017 scholarship winners! I am very excited that our association can aid students in their academic pursuits," said Christine Bezanson, Vice-Chair 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 seventh 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 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 2018 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 early in 2018 on the NEADS website:


For further information contact: Frank Smith, National Coordinator , National Educational Association of Disabled Students (NEADS) , Rm. 514 Unicentre, Carleton University Ottawa, Ontario, K1S 5B6 , tel. (613) 380-8065 ext. 201 , email: , website:

"Supporting access to post-secondary education and employment for students with disabilities"