As the world observes an International Day of Persons with Disabilities each December, many institutions, including universities and scholarship donors, highlight their efforts to integrate this group of people into all areas of life.
In some countries, persons with disabilities are described as “people of determination” in recognition of their achievements in many fields. Their inclusion in education at all levels and the availability of scholarships for them are specific targets of the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goal 4.
While many scholarships that are open to broad groups of students actively encourage persons with disabilities to apply, some scholarships are specifically reserved for people in this group.
Al-Fanar Media has compiled a representative list to illustrate some of the scholarships in this category.
Scholarships for Persons with Disabilities
The Council of Citizens with Low Vision International awards three scholarships each year at American campuses to visually impaired students from around the world. Each winner will receive an individual prize of $3,000. The council seeks to provide the best technological means and services that enable those students to benefit most.
Documents that applicants must submit for the Fred Scheigert scholarship include a copy of the transcript(s) from the last school they attended, two letters of recommendation, and an acceptance letter from the school they will be attending, or the date they will be notified of acceptance.
The online application form will be available on the council’s webpage during an application period that runs from January through late March.
The Alexander Graham Bell Association for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing (AG Bell) offers several scholarships for full-time students who are pursuing an undergraduate or graduate degree at an accredited mainstream college or university.
The association stipulates that applicants must have been diagnosed with bilateral hearing loss before age 4 and must use listening and spoken language as their primary means of communication.
The number and amount of awards varies each year. In recent years, the association has provided about ten awards ranging from $1,500 to $2,500.
The association has not yet announced scholarship details for the 2023-24 academic year. For more information on the application process and eligibility criteria, see the guidelines for the 2022 awards.
Google and Lime Connect, a nonprofit organisation that supports students and professionals who have disabilities, have teamed up to help university students with disabilities achieve their academic goals in the field of computer science.
The programme offers awards of 10,000 U.S. dollars (for those studying in the United States) or 5,000 Canadian dollars (for those studying in Canada). The applications portal will re-open in early 2023.
The Google Lime Scholarship is open to current undergraduate, graduate, or Ph.D. students enrolled at a university in the United States or Canada. (Freshmen/first year students and international students studying in the U.S. or Canada are eligible to apply.)
In addition, applicants must be pursuing a degree in computer science, computer engineering, or a closely related field, and must have, or consider themselves to have, a visible or invisible disability.
See a fuller description of the eligibility requirements and Lime Connect’s approach to disability here.
Snowdon Trust Masters’ Scholarship (in the U.K.)
The Snowdon Trust Master’s Scholarship programme supports exceptional students with disabilities who wish to pursue a master’s degree at a university in the United Kingdom.
The scholarship is open to national and international students who have the qualities needed to create change and become an exceptional leader, a role model, or a pioneer in their area of expertise. The scholarship offers up to a total of £30,000, divided between a contribution towards fees of up to £15,000, plus a maintenance stipend of up to £15,000 (divided between the terms).
For the next funding round, applicants’ courses must begin in the 2023–24 academic year (i.e. the course must start after July 2023 and before September 2024).
The deadline for applications will be announced in January 2023. See additional details about the eligibility requirements and application procedure here.
SRH Scholarships for Students with Disabilities (in Germany)
The SRH Scholarship for Students with Disabilities, at SRH University Heidelberg, is a full scholarship covering all tuition fees. It aims to create the best possible study conditions for students with a physical or mental disability, including individual support and other measures.
To apply for the scholarship, students should first enroll or apply to enroll in a degree programme at SRH University Heidelberg. and fulfil the entrance requirements for your chosen programme.
The application deadlines are 31 July for the winter semester, and 31 January for the summer semester. See the scholarship’s webpage for a full list of documents to submit with the scholarship application.
Founded in 1969, SRH University Heidelberg is a private institution that originally concentrated on rehabilitation in employment. Today, it enrolls more than 3,400 students from 65 countries in over 40 degree programmes, including computer science, media and design, business administration, engineering and architecture, the social sciences, law, therapy and psychology.
More Disability Scholarships
QS Quacquarelli Symonds, the British higher-education analytics company known for its rankings of world universities, offers additional suggestions for scholarships for students with disabilities. Some of the scholarships on this list are restricted to citizens of a particular country, while others are open to all students.
Students with disabilities should also consult Al-Fanar Media’s scholarships database for news of the latest scholarships available to Arab students. While this is a general list, many of the scholarships it contains will be appropriate for students with disabilities.
Most universities and scholarship donor organisations strive to ensure diversity among their participants and encourage applicants of all backgrounds, including those with disabilities, to apply.
- The Chevening Scholarship: A Chance to Earn a Master’s Degree in the U.K.
- The Fulbright Scholarship: A Chance to Earn a Master’s Degree in the U.S.
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