​Tips, Funding and Resources for Post-Secondary Education for Students with Disabilities

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Making the decision to pursue college or university can be both exciting and stressful for young adults starting this important life transition. 

When you are a student with a disability entering post-secondary school, this transition often comes with added planning and resources to be sure that you have the right support to be independent, successful, included and have equal access to all that college and university life has to offer! 

Leaving high school and possibly leaving home requires new skills and resources to help adjust to the many changes ahead. Parents will often take a backseat and students will now lead the choice-making in their education and the supports they require at school. Your new role of self-advocate will be important as professors and teachers look to you for guidance in what will help you adjust to life at post-secondary school.

Whether you are choosing the right college, university or awaiting acceptance letters, there may still be many questions you still have to answer. Perhaps you are even looking for financial support to help ease the pressure of first year. An important first step is to connect with your chosen school’s Disability Services Office or Accessibility Centre (there are different names so search “disabilities” and “accessibility”) to learn about all that the school has to offer you.

In addition to contacting the school of your choice, here are some important links for students and their families when they are starting college or university in the fall.

Ontario Association of Children’s Rehabilitation Services (OACRS) offers an opportunity for a youth who has been served by one of Ontario’s 21 children’s treatment centres to receive an OACRS Scholarship Award. Read about the CTN’s winners, here.

Transition Resource Guide with links to specific colleges and universities.

Inclusive Education Program at Ontario Colleges

March of Dimes Attendant Care Program at York University and Seneca College for students living in residence as well as those who commute daily to campus, at their 4700 Keele St. Campus. 

Tamara Gordon Foundation offers financial assistance. 

Easter Seals Scholarships

DisabilityAwards.ca- Portal for Colleage and University Awards and Scholarships

The Joubin/Selig Scholarship Fund providing financial assistance to post-secondary students in Ontario with permanent physical (mobility) disabilities.

Ontario Student Assistance Program (OSAP) for students with special circumstances - If you have a permanent disability, you could be eligible for grants and bursaries in addition to an OSAP loan. 

Tips and Resources for students with a learning disability

National Educational Association for Disabled Students- links to disability centres at Canadian colleges and universities. 

Post-Secondary Supports for students with autism.

For more resources, check the CTN Online Resource Centre.