The British Columbia government launched Accessibility 2024 in 2014 to make B.C. the most progressive place in Canada for people with disabilities.
B.C.’s Skills for Jobs Blueprint supports Accessibility 2024 by working to remove barriers people with disabilities have to accessing education and training. Through B.C.’s Blueprint, the Ministry of Advanced Education has invested $4.6 million since 2014 to connect students with disabilities with secure employment that will help support a better quality of life.
Other programs and supports for students with disabilities include:
Adaptive Services and Supports:
The Ministry of Advanced Education provides annual funding for adaptive services and supports through block funding to public post-secondary institutions.
$600,000 of the above-mentioned $4.6-million investment is additional one-time funding to help post-secondary institutions deliver these adaptive services and supports including:
- Langara College – Centre for Accessible Post-secondary Education Resources provides alternative educational material formats for students with disabilities.
- BC Institute of Technology – Post-Secondary Communication Access Services provides provincial co-ordination and service provision to students who are hard of hearing, deaf and deaf-blind.
- Vancouver School District – Program for Institutional Loan of Adaptive Technology provides institutions with adaptive technology to accommodate students with disabilities.
- These three programs support public post-secondary institutions and students throughout B.C.
Disability Resource Centres:
All 25 public post-secondary institutions receive block funding to provide Disability Resources Centres to assist students. Disability Resources Centres help students access financial aid programs and other supports such as interpretation services.
Adult Special Education:
Adult Special Education is offered by 14 public post-secondary institutions to support individuals with disabilities, or with a combination of barriers to education, employment or independence with training that focuses on life skills, literacy and employment skills.
Student Financial Assistance:
The Adult Upgrading Grant provides non-repayable funding to low-income students in adult upgrading programs, including Adult Special Education. The grant covers tuition, books and materials, fees, unsubsidized child care and transportation costs.
The Ministry of Advanced Education provides supports through the Student Financial Aid system that include the following:
- BC Access Grant for Students with Permanent Disabilities provides a non-repayable grant of up to $1,560 per program year.
- BC Supplemental Bursary for Students with Disabilities provides $800 per program year for full-time students and $400 for part-time students.
- BC Provision for Students with Severe Disabilities provides complete loan forgiveness for eligible students.
- BC Access Grant for Deaf Students offsets unmet student need of up to $30,000 per year for five years for deaf students attending specialized institutions outside of Canada.
- BC Learning Disability Assessment Bursary provides up to $1,800 to eligible students to cover the cost of a learning disability assessment.
- Assistance Program for Students with Disabilities:
- Up to $10,000 per fiscal year for students to cover the costs of exceptional education-related services and adaptive equipment.
- Up to $12,000 per fiscal year for students if attendant care is required.
- Assistive Technology BC provides assistive technology (hardware and software) as well as assessments and technical support to students with disabilities at post-secondary institutions.
Adult Education Grant: https://studentaidbc.ca/explore/grants-scholarships/201617-adult-upgrading-grant-application
Adult Special Education: http://www2.gov.bc.ca/gov/content/education-training/adult-education/adult-special-education
Student Aid BC: https://studentaidbc.ca/explore/grants-scholarships