NEADS Announces Recipients of the 2019 NEADS National Student Awards and AMI Scholarship Programs!

(Ottawa, February 21, 2020) – The National Educational Association of Disabled Students (NEADS), and our generous funding partners: iA Financial Group and private donors, are excited to announce the three outstanding winners of the 2019 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 2019 AMI Robert Pearson Memorial Scholarship program on November 20th, 2019. 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 Recipient ($3,000)

Allison Headrick, Bachelor of Arts and Bachelor of Education (year2), Queen’s University

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

Tarah Sawler, Bachelor of Arts, Economics and Philosophy (year 3), Saint Mary’s University

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

Lou Lamari, Bachelor of Arts, Women and Gender Studies (year 4), University of Winnipeg

"I am delighted to receive the generous 2019 NEADS scholarship to assist with my tuition at Queen's University,” says Allison. “As a student with mobility challenges, I incur extra expenses such as transportation costs, which these funds will offset. It will now be easier for me to get to my classes and my teaching practicum placements." 

“Receiving this scholarship from NEADS will have a huge impact on my studies as it will contribute to my ability to support myself and live independently,’ says Lou.

Accessible Media Inc. (AMI) Recipients ($5,000)
The recipients of this year's AMI Robert Pearson Memorial Scholarship are Victoria Lacey of Toronto, Ontario, and Léonie Côté from Quebec City. Victoria is in Year 5 of a Masters program in Creative Industries at Ryerson University while Léonie is completing her graduate studies in Clinical Kinesiology at Laval University in Quebec City.

"This is a really big relief," Victoria says. "This will really, really help me with my education this year." Victoria is enrolled in extra courses associated with her minor program in Disability Studies. The scholarship will help offset those costs as well as going towards tuition. Léonie plans to put her scholarship towards tuition, textbooks and class costs as well.

"A huge congratulations to this year’s award recipients,” says Lauren Gravis, Director of the NEADS Student Awards Program. "The recipients truly demonstrate what it means to address day to day barriers, while also being able to self-advocate in a way that is incredibly transformative for themselves and others. We are proud of their astonishing accomplishments in their respective universities and communities. We hope these awards will empower them to continue their self-advocacy efforts and make a significant impact in advancing their academic and career goals”.
“Congratulations to our 2019 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 $280,000 in awards to more than 100 deserving disabled students across Canada in the 13 years since we launched the NEADS Student Awards programs," says Margaret Lyons-MacFarlane, Acting 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 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 2020 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 25, 2020 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
"Supporting access to post-secondary education and employment for students with disabilities"