Financial Assistance for Differently Abled Students
In the past few decades, the division between “normal” and “physically handicapped” students has broken down completely. Differently abled individuals are now wholly accepted as regular students and the changing social conditions has led to a marked difference in society.
It has become mandatory for schools to take care of the needs of the students with disabilities, breaking down several barriers that prevented the disabled student body from accessing valuable educational resources. They can now enjoy the complete benefits of a college education provided, they have the resources to do so but many of them are unable to continue their higher studies owing to the absence of correct economic assistance. However, to remedy this situation, universities and colleges have begun to pay attention to these overlooked members of the student community; they can be helped especially beyond simply meeting their daily needs and the right to education.
Role of Schools and Educational Institutions
There are numerous schools at present which have economic aid opportunities and recruitment efforts aimed towards differently abled students. Moreover, a number of private schools offer scholarship money to these students to make sure that their disabilities do not prove to be a hindrance in the achievement of their goals of pursuing higher studies.
The National Handicapped Finance and Development Corporation in US has introduced a scheme – the Scholarships for differently abled – Trust Fund. This scheme seeks to offer 1000 scholarships to disabled students. Apart from this, blind students will also gain appliances like a Brailler typewriter, a laptop with screen reading software as well as screen magnifying software. Hearing handicapped students can expect to receive cell-phone with SMS/SIM card facility, WiFi equipped laptops and binaural digital programmable hearing aids.
In India National Handicapped Finance and Development Corporation (NHFDC) on behalf of Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment, Govt. of India has announced a scheme of 1500 scholarships for differently abled students. These funds will be utilized by eligible students for their degree and post graduate level professional and technical courses from various reputed organizations in India.
Difference between Disability Grants and Scholarships
Scholarships and grants go a long way in fulfilling the desire of the students for college education. A large number of grants are available for students who are mentally challenged but they have particular guidelines regarding what the money can be used for like special services, therapies, continuing education etc. In some cases, grants are not provided to the disabled students directly but rather to the non profit organizations affiliated with the government that take care of these mentally disabled students. Disability scholarships, on the other hand offer college funding to the students who have succeeded in overcoming tremendous difficulties to obtain a degree. Deserving students thus have a chance to remain in school without worrying about the money for higher education. This makes it easier for them to achieve their career and educational goals.
Terms of Loans
In some countries such as the United Kingdom, special loans are available for differently abled children and they have been designed in a custom manner in order to accommodate living and education expenses of the students. Loans can be a great way for differently abled who do not possess the means to alleviate a large part of the financial and mental stress and fulfil their dream of proper education. There are loans available for different kinds of illnesses, including mental illnesses. However, there is a major point of difference between loans and grants/ scholarships – loans need to be repaid within a specific period of time, grants do not. The student can simply use the grant to further his/her education but for a student who applies for a loan, they must bear the burden of paying back the money and so, they must be determined to continue and succeed in their studies prior to accepting the loan.
In order to find the right disability scholarship, you need to search for them and it is important you know where to look. Search for disability scholarships and go through each option carefully before you apply for it. Read the information properly and go through the terms and conditions to understand whether you (if you are the student in question) or your child/ward qualifies for a particular disability scholarship.
Explore the list for available scholarships for disabled students in 2014/15 academic year.