The application deadline for the 2023 AEBC and Allyant Scholarship Program is Sunday, April 30, 2023. All applications and supporting materials must be received by 11:59 P.M. Pacific Daylight Time on that date in order to be considered.
The scholarship winners will be announced on July 1, 2023, or at the 2023 annual general meeting in September of 2023.
The successful applicants will receive a confirmation email during the first week of June 2023.
In September, following confirmation of enrollment for the 2023-24 academic year, recipients will receive their awards.
The Alliance for Equality of Blind Canadians (AEBC) is a grassroots organization that works to improve the lives of blind, deafblind and partially sighted Canadians through education, empowerment, and advocacy. Each year, we offer scholarships to recognize outstanding blind, deafblind and partially sighted post-secondary students. This year, we are pleased to offer five awards in total. Eligible applicants will be considered for all scholarships; a separate application for each is not required. Previous applicants or past recipients are eligible to reapply if qualified. The AEBC Student and Education Committee reviews all applications and selects all scholarship recipients.
The Allyant Scholarships
This year, there will be one Allyant Scholarship, valued at $2,000. It is designed to help a student pursue their educational endeavours and is not limited to any one discipline. This scholarship will be awarded for the 2023-24 academic year beginning in the fall semester of 2023.
The AEBC Scholarships
This year, two AEBC Scholarships, in honour of Paul and Mary Ellen Gabias, and Irene Lambert, (worth $2,500 each) will be offered. We are honoured that, for the seventh year in a row, an anonymous donor has made these two awards possible.
In 1992, Paul and Mary Ellen Gabias founded the NFB:AE, modeled on principles of the National Federation of the Blind in the US. Their philosophy was rooted in the tenets of the consumer driven movement -- we must have access to, and control over, the goods and services needed allowing us to live productive and independent lives. Over the years, we sought a more Canadian brand for our organization, which included changing our name to AEBC, but the foundation of advocacy and public education has remained the focus of our work to the present day.
Irene Lambert is a long-time member who has worked tirelessly to improve the lives of individuals who are blind, deafblind, or partially sighted locally in Quebec and through her national work with AEBC. Her many achievements include a successful presentation to the CRTC advocating for more audio-described programming on television.
The John Rae Scholarship
AEBC National, the Toronto Chapter and the BC Affiliate are collaborating to provide a $1,500 scholarship in memory of John Rae, a member of AEBC whose unwavering support of this organization has been recognized for many years. John was a true advocate, someone who firmly believed in our ability to positively make changes to improve the lives of blind Canadians. He was involved in many disability organizations, where he influenced decision making processes which resulted in the provision of better conditions for folks who needed extra support to achieve equality. While he was a long-time member of the Toronto Chapter, he also took the time to touch the lives of many folks including friends from British Columbia who were mentored by him. He was a colleague and dear friend to many of us; he will be sincerely missed. In addition to the criteria outlined by AEBC's scholarship committee, every effort will be made to select a qualifying student interested in pursuing a career in Fine Arts or in the areas of Human Rights and advocacy.
The AEBC British Columbia Affiliate Scholarship
The Alliance for Equality of Blind Canadians BC Affiliate is very pleased to sponsor a $1,000 scholarship for the 2023-24 school year. This scholarship will be dedicated proudly in honour of Dr. Paul Thiele, a long-standing AEBC member who has served locally and nationally at both board and committee levels while mentoring many folks over the years. Paul is extremely passionate about the quality and accessibility of education needed for post-secondary students who are blind, deafblind and partially sighted, and was instrumental in shepherding AEBC towards promoting a scholarship program many years ago. The BC Affiliate is honoured to have worked closely with Paul over the years and this award represents his dedication which has enhanced the lives of so many who looked forward to furthering their educational goals. In addition to the criteria outlined by AEBC's scholarship committee, every effort will be made to select a qualifying student from BC, or a student planning to attend a post-secondary institution in the Province of British Columbia. However, if there are no students who meet this criteria, the scholarship will be awarded to an applicant from another province. Our goal is to provide financial support to students in need.
Applicants must meet all of the following qualifications:
1. Applicants must be:
Blind (no vision or light perception in the better eye, visual acuity of 20/200 or less);
Deafblind (combined sight and hearing impairment causes difficulties with communication, access to information and mobility [inability to travel independently due to lack of vision/hearing]); or
Partially Sighted (visual acuity of 20/80 or less in the better eye with best correction or a visual field less than 20 degrees [Snellan eye chart.])
Canadian citizens or permanent residents of Canada.
Enrolled in a Canadian post-secondary institution at a college or university, a vocational, educational upgrading, or performing arts program.
Exchange students studying abroad, students enrolled in programs not available in Canada, students not accepted into a Canadian program, where the program abroad is clearly superior to those available in Canada, or paying fees to a Canadian educational institution.
Enrolled in a minimum of two courses in the 2023-24 academic year in your chosen program.
Canada Revenue Agency Requirements:
Every payer (AEBC) of a scholarship must issue an information return in prescribed form (T4A Slip) to report the payment. AEBC must report scholarship payments to CRA, even if the recipient may be entitled to exclude all or part of these payments from their income. It is the responsibility of the recipient to determine the amount of any exemption available. Therefore, if the applicant is awarded an AEBC Scholarship, they will be asked to provide their Social Insurance Number to the National Bookkeeper.
Membership in AEBC
Because we in AEBC believe that membership benefits those who are blind, deafblind and partially sighted both collectively and individually, an annual membership in AEBC will be offered to all non-member first-time applicants. This affords these applicants an opportunity to learn about and participate in our organization beyond the scholarship process, should they wish to do so.
Completing and Submitting the Application
Previous recipients or new applicants must:
Submit an application in either English or French;
Ensure that the application is complete, including all of the following:
A copy of your most recent transcript;
A personal essay about yourself, approximately 2000 words in length; (NOTE: We can only know applicants through the information they provide.) Please be thorough and include:
A description of your visual condition and any additional medical or disability information that may be relevant;
The challenges you have faced as a result of your disability and how you have conquered them;
Your personal interests;
Your academic goals;
School activities, and work experience;
Your views about the meaning of accessible education, discussing your preferred formats for accessing information (digital and internet access), and the role self-advocacy plays in your success as a student;
Explain the importance of your community involvement including an accomplishment or unexpected outcome of this activity that has made you feel proud of yourself.
A letter of reference written within the past twelve months.
Should you have any questions about the application process, please contact the Student and Education Committee at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Application Deadline: April 30, 2023 by 11:59 PM Pacific Time.
Send all required documents as separate attachments emailed to: email@example.com. Image files, (excluding transcripts) will not be accepted.
Late or incomplete applications will not be considered.