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AEBC/T-Base Scholarship Program

The 2017 AEBC/T-Base Scholarship Program is now accepting applications.

The application deadline for the 2017 AEBC scholarship program is Friday, March 31st, 2017. All applications and supporting materials must be received by AEBC by 11:59 p.m. Eastern Standard Time on Friday, March 31st, 2017, in order to be considered.

INTRODUCTION

The Alliance for Equality of Blind Canadians (AEBC) is a grassroots organization that works to improve the lives of blind, deaf-blind and partially sighted Canadians through education, empowerment, and advocacy.

Each year, the AEBC offers scholarships to recognize outstanding blind, deaf-blind, and partially sighted post-secondary students. This year, we are pleased to offer three awards in total.

JENNIFER LAURA EVE WILSON MEMORIAL SCHOLARSHIPS

Two Jennifer Laura Eve Wilson Memorial Scholarships (worth $1,000 each) will be offered.

Jennifer was someone who was always selfless, always there for someone in need. She showed courage in overcoming adversity. She took the challenges life sent her way from the complications of Type 1 diabetes including visual impairment, and rose above them by her courage, inner strength and determination to make the world a better place for others. These annual AEBC scholarships continue her tradition of helping others.

THE T-BASE COMMUNICATIONS SCHOLARSHIP

The T-Base Communications scholarship program helps fund the educational pursuits of an outstanding blind, deaf-blind or partially sighted student in Canada who is continuing his/her academic education at the post-secondary level.

The T-Base Communications Scholarship, valued at $2,000, is designed to help students pursue their educational endeavors and is not limited to any one discipline. This scholarship will be awarded for the 2017-2018 academic year beginning in the fall semester of 2017.

AWARD CRITERIA

Scholarships will be awarded on the basis of:

  • Academic performance;
  • Community involvement; and
  • Overcoming adversity.

While each criterion will contribute in the overall evaluation process, equal weight will not be applied when determining a final score. Rather, each criterion will serve to assist in distinguishing the exceptionalities and strengths among the candidates.

The winner of the T-Base Communications scholarship is expected to participate in two ad-hoc advisory committee meetings on the topic of accessibility in education and T-Base’s involvement/services in the education sphere.

The Student and Education Council Committee includes a national executive member and three regular members of AEBC. This committee reviews all applications and selects the two Jennifer Laura Eve Wilson Memorial scholarship recipients.

In the case of the T-Base scholarship, T-Base’s Executive Management Team will review all applications and select one recipient.

The scholarship winners will be announced during the 2017 AEBC National Conference and Annual General Meeting in Toronto, ON, on April 29, as we celebrate our 25th anniversary. During the first week of May 2017, recipients will receive a confirmation email. In September 2017—and following confirmation of enrollment for the 2017-2018 academic year—recipients will receive their cheques in the mail.

APPLICANT QUALIFICATIONS

The following students are welcome to apply: Students at the undergraduate and graduate levels (masters, doctorate, or post-doctorate) and students in college, vocational, educational upgrading, and performing arts programs.

Eligible applicants will be considered for both the Jennifer Laura Eve Wilson Memorial scholarships and the T-Base Communications scholarship; a separate application for each is not required. AEBC will select two recipients for the Jennifer Laura Eve Wilson Memorial scholarship and T-Base will select one recipient for its scholarship. If the same person is selected for both scholarships, he or she will be awarded both scholarships (for a total of $3,000).

Previous applicants or past recipients of AEBC scholarships and T-Base Communications scholarships are eligible to reapply if qualified.

To be eligible for this scholarship program, you must meet all of the following qualifications:

  • You must be blind, deaf-blind or partially sighted. For our purposes, you are considered to be “blind” if you have no vision or only light perception in the better of your two eyes, and “partially sighted” if you have a visual acuity of 20/60 or less (as measured on the Snellan eye chart) in your better eye with best correction, or if your visual field measures less than twenty degrees.

  • You must be studying (or planning to study) at a post-secondary institution in Canada. (Canadian citizens or permanent residents studying abroad under an exchange program and paying fees to a Canadian educational institution are eligible, as are students who choose to study abroad due to a lack of a similar program in Canada, failure to be accepted into a Canadian program, or the clear superiority of a program abroad.).

  • You must be attending (or planning to attend) a post-secondary institution during the period between September 2017 and April 2018 on at least a part-time basis (i.e. taking the equivalent of at least two courses per semester).

  • You will be required to provide your social insurance number for income tax purposes if you receive a scholarship. Scholarships are taxable items and you must report these when filing your income tax return.

MEMBERSHIP IN AEBC

Scholarship applicants and recipients need not be members of the Alliance for Equality of Blind Canadians. However, involvement in the organization is strongly encouraged, as we seek to gain a stronger voice in Canada, and membership benefits those who are blind, deaf-blind and partially sighted both collectively and individually.

A year's free membership to AEBC is included with each scholarship. This affords the winner an opportunity to learn about and participate in our organization.

COMPLETING YOUR APPLICATION

You may submit your application in either English or French. Please double check that your application is complete before submitting it. A complete application comprises the following six items:

  • The application form. Download the application form in English (as a Microsoft Word document) or Download the application form in French (as a Microsoft Word document).
  • A copy of your most recent transcript. This need not be an official copy – a printout from your school’s website is acceptable. We may ask for an official copy at a later date.
  • A one-page (500-word) personal statement: This is an opportunity for you to describe yourself, provide background on your visual condition (and any additional medical or disability information that may be relevant), your academic goals, interests, school and community activities, work experience, and so on. In this essay, please answer this question: “What barriers or obstacles have you faced and conquered in your life as a result of your disability?” This may include financial hardship. Please do not simply send a resume.
  • A one-page (500-word) essay on ‘accessible education’: Tell us how accessibility in learning makes a difference in your education. Please let us know which format (e.g. print, large print, Braille, audio, etc.) is most important to you for your success as a student and why. NOTE: We can only know you through the information you give us. Please be thorough.
  • A one-page (100-200 word) reflection on your community involvement: Please tell us about the activities you have been a part of as a means to give back to your community. In addition, briefly explain the role and importance of community involvement in your life. NOTE: We can only know you through the information you give us. Please be thorough.
  • One letter of reference: You should include one letter of reference (must be current—written in the last 12 months) from an individual who can comment in detail on your academic progress, personal strengths, and any other aspects of your life that support your application. The individual may be an employer or supervisor, clergy member, academic advisor, department head, academic planner, etc. If possible, this reference letter should be forwarded with your application package. If your reference would prefer to send it directly to AEBC, please ensure that he/she clearly indicates in his/her email the student applicant’s name.

SUBMITTING YOUR APPLICATION

The deadline for submitting an application is 11:59 p.m. Eastern Standard Time on Friday, March 31st, 2017.

Each part of your application should be submitted as a separate electronic file, preferably in Microsoft Word (.DOC or .DOCX), Rich Text (.RTF), or plain text (.TXT) format. Only the above formats will be accepted. Some members of the scholarship committee are themselves blind, and picture files (.JPG, .GIF, .PNG, etc.) are not accessible. Adobe Acrobat (.PDF) files may or may not be accessible to users who are blind; therefore, if possible, please avoid them. (We understand, however, that some documents, such as your transcript, may only come in one format from your institution.).

Please attach all of these documents to an email message and send them to: scholarship@blindcanadians.ca

Incomplete applications as well as any applications (complete or incomplete) received after 11:59 p.m. Eastern Standard Time on March 31st, 2017, will not be considered when awarding the scholarships.  

Click here to view a list of the past scholarship winners!