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A Guide to University Accessibility Services and Financial Support for Students with Disabilities in BC

Updated: Jun 1

The journey to higher education can be an exciting milestone, yet it can present unique challenges for students with disabilities. Recognizing the importance of inclusivity and accessibility, Canadian universities are dedicated to providing comprehensive support through their Centre’s for Accessibility.


If you are in the post-secondary planning stage and looking at the possibilities that lie ahead, this blog highlights the accommodations and support available at several prominent universities across Canada. We will also provide you with a list of scholarships and bursaries specific to students facing learning disabilities, mental health difficulties, or other chronic health conditions to empower you on your journey of getting accepted into your dream university.


Finding Your University Home with Centre’s for Accessibility


Each university in Canada has its unique approach to supporting students with disabilities. There are Centre’s for Accessibility at several prominent universities where you can find detailed information on how to apply for accommodations and support tailored to your needs. If you find the post-secondary educational landscape daunting, we are available to help you with this process - just click here.


Scholarships and Bursaries: Opening Doors to Opportunity


For British Columbian students with disabilities looking for scholarships or grants to help fund their university studies, here are some of the most suitable options tailored specifically to your needs. These financial aids aim to support students with various disabilities, including physical disabilities, learning disabilities such as ADHD and dyslexia, mental health difficulties, and chronic health conditions.



No.1: Burnouts in the Sky Scholarship


The Burnouts in the Sky Scholarship is dedicated to supporting students with ADHD or other learning disabilities in their pursuit of post-secondary education. Applicants are required to submit a completed application typically by May 1st, which includes letters of recommendation, proof of enrollment or acceptance into a post-secondary institution, a current high school transcript, documentation of the disability, and a career goals essay. This scholarship aims to ease the financial burden on students, enabling them to focus on achieving their educational and career aspirations. More information can be found on their website: Burnouts in the Sky.


No.2: BC Access Grant for Students with Permanent Disabilities


The BC Access Grant for Students with Permanent Disabilities aims to diminish the financial barriers faced by students with permanent disabilities pursuing higher education. By offering non-repayable financial assistance, this grant ensures that eligible students can access the necessary support for their studies without the added stress of financial strain. Students interested in applying for this grant must do so in conjunction with their student loan application, ensuring they tick the box indicating they have a permanent disability on their student loan application form. This proactive measure is designed to provide comprehensive financial support, aligning with British Columbia's commitment to inclusive education.




No.3: BC Epilepsy Society Bursary Program


This bursary is awarded annually to people living with epilepsy in BC who are entering or who are currently enrolled in a post-secondary educational program.





No.4: Andre Courtemanche Green Ribbon Scholarship


This scholarship supports students who are pursuing education in fields that promote physical health and who are managing mental health challenges. BC students enrolled in trades or programs related to fitness, nutrition, or the outdoors, living with mental illness or addiction are eligible.


No.5: Lisa Huus Memorial Bursaries

These bursaries are intended to assist persons with physical disabilities to begin or continue post-secondary education in British Columbia or Alberta. Students with physical disabilities attending post-secondary education in BC or Alberta are eligible.



No.6: Lorne Fraser Educational Bursary


Since 1982, CMHA BC has been offering this bursary to support people with mental illness in their pursuit of post-secondary education. Students in British Columbia living with a mental illness or addiction are eligible.


No.7: Cerebral Palsy Association of British Columbia Education Bursaries


This bursary is for students in British Columbia with Cerebral Palsy who are members of their association. Aimed at making a life without limits possible for students with Cerebral Palsy, these bursaries support educational pursuits at various levels.



No.8: Joint Diversity Scholarship


This scholarship celebrates students who contribute to promoting diversity within their community, including those with disabilities. Post-secondary students in British Columbia who have worked to promote diversity awareness and acceptance in their communities are eligible.


No.9: Yes2Me Scholarship Program


The amount of this scholarship is up to $2000, assessed based on each individual application. Offered by the Otsuka-Lundbeck Alliance and BC Schizophrenia Society, this program supports the educational efforts of young people living with schizophrenia.

Each of these opportunities has been carefully selected to cater to the diverse needs of students with disabilities in British Columbia, ensuring they have the financial support needed to pursue higher education without barriers.


Moving Forward with Confidence


Navigating the admissions process and seeking accommodations at university can be overwhelming, but remember, you are not alone, we are here to help. Universities across Canada are increasingly recognizing the importance of accessibility and inclusivity, ensuring that all students have the resources and support they need to succeed.


As you take these steps towards your future, keep in mind that your unique perspective and resilience are invaluable assets. With the right accommodations and support, there is no limit to what you can achieve. This guide is not just a starting point but a testament to the possibilities that await you in higher education!

If you’re looking for additional guidance and support, contact us today!


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