Almost every forthcoming college and university student requires one or another form of financial aid or loan to pay for their education. Every student faces challenges, but nobody has to face more obstacles than disabled students. Besides funding their college, students with some form of disability have to face additional barriers throughout their academic careers.
Students with mobility issues can be presented with countless difficulties while navigating their way on campus. Those with hearing or visual impairments can find it quite challenging to integrate with a conventional classroom setting. Moreover, far beyond the concrete challenges, they have to fight their way through plenty of psychological barriers too.
Many academic institutions in the US have structurally renovated their campuses to accommodate the physically challenged and disabled and made provisions for individuals with hearing and visual impairments. Furthermore, several institutions and organizations offer all kinds of financial aid, scholarships, and federal or private grants for individuals with disabilities.
Students with Special Needs and Disabilities
Regular students opt for colleges or universities based on affordability and location. Students with a disability have to consider aspects like ease of navigation, the institute’s access level, and the school’s unique hearing and visually impaired programs.
Disabled students are often required to make an on-campus visit to see if it will be easy for them to fit in and where they will be living. After settling in, students with a disability will initially need to look for the right financial assistance package to make everything fall into place.
Several charitable foundations, organizations, schools, and colleges offer substantial grant opportunities for students with disabilities to accomplish their academic goals. Grants prove an essential source of college funding for all students and even more for disabled individuals.
Private Grants for Disabled Students
Students with special needs and disabilities have a more significant advantage to qualify for educational scholarships and private grants. Several private and public organizations are known to sponsor grants explicitly for students with all levels and types of disability.
They serve as significant financial assistance sources and support for the physically and mentally challenged disabled students who might not have the resources to complete their education.
Here are some of the most influential private organizations that provide sufficient grants and award scholarships to the disabled that might be of interest to you.
Sertoma is a charity foundation that is entirely dedicated to helping individuals with hearing impairments and health concerns. Altogether, this foundation provides 2 scholarship programs per annum, namely:
- Scholarship for the Deaf and/or Hard of Hearing (designed for undergrad students.)
- The Communicative Disorders Scholarship (designed for grad students pursuing further studies in speech pathology or audiology.)
National Federation of the Blind
National Federation of the Blind (NFB) is one of the most prominent national-level organizations devoted to the health and welfare of the visually impaired and blind citizens in the United States.
Altogether, they support 30 scholarship programs and grants every year for graduate and undergraduate students. The applicants need to be legitimately blind to be eligible for the grant money. All the applications are provided in braille.
The Cystic Fibrosis Scholarship Foundation
The Cystic Fibrosis Scholarship Foundation is another foundation that backs numerous grants and scholarships annually to college-bound students with Cystic Fibrosis. The grants are determined based on financial requirements along with academic accomplishments.
Colleges and Universities that Offer Grants to Disabled students
Before choosing which academic institutions you want to go ahead with to pursue your education, you might want to examine which ones provide grants for students with special needs and disabilities.
A few colleges sponsor scholarships and grants routinely for their students, including supporting grant programs for the disabled. Grants vary from college to college and might help you decide which college can superiorly adhere to your needs.
These institutions will provide grants to students who need unique equipment to easily participate in the class. These include braille keyboards, printers, and books for the blind and adaptable computer software and reading services for those who have difficulty hearing.
The best way to know if the college you are applying for provides such grants or not is to check with the financial assistance counselor on campus or the official website.
University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Ever since the Division of Disability Resources and Educational Services was founded in 1948, the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign continues to be the leading governor in the educational services for the special need and disabled students. It even organizes one of the nation’s leading wheelchair sports programs.
University of California, Berkeley
The University of California, Berkeley commenced a world-class disability program back in the 1960s, which is now recognized today as the Disabled Students Program. It continues to provide widespread academic career opportunities to disabled children. Additionally, it even teaches more skills to the severely disabled so that they can easily live independently.
➔ READ MORE: Why get into disability sports?
Universities and Colleges Designed for Students With Disabilities
A few outstanding universities, colleges, and technical schools further specialize in offering higher education opportunities to students with disabilities. These also provide a wide array of scholarships and substantial grants to eligible students based on their academic performance and accomplishments.
Here are three of the best vocational schools and colleges that adhere to the needs of students with particular disabilities:
The Perkins School for the Blind
The Perkins School for the Blind is entirely devoted to the vocational training and educational needs of the visually impaired and blind students. It also caters to the students who are enduring other types of disabilities such as speech impairments and deafness. Financial aid in the shape of scholarships and grants is awarded to the needy and deserving students.
The National Technical Institute for the Deaf
The National Technical Institute for the Deaf, positioned in the Rochester Institute of Technology premises, is a pioneering institute that focuses on providing technical education for students with hearing impairments.
It is indeed one of the most top-ranked technical schools across the nation that provides various grants that deaf students can apply for and get based on financial needs and academic accomplishments.
The Landmark College is devoted to satisfying the educational aspirations and desires of students who have had learning difficulties for the past 25 years. This institute specializes in tending to students with ASD, ADHD, and dyslexia and provides a significant amount of financial assistance services, scholarships, and grants to the students who are eligible for it.