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Scholarships and Resources for Students with Disabilities

If you’re a student with a disability looking for extra financial support, you’re in the right place. This guide covers scholarships and financial aid specifically for students with disabilities. It also offers free resources, advocacy groups, and networking events to help you succeed academically and professionally.

Author: Kathleen Curtis
Editor: STEPS Staff
A male student in a wheelchair smiling in the library.

Supporting students with disabilities, along with other student groups, as they work toward higher education is critically important, as is improving access to educational resources and funding. Doing so makes college and professions more diverse and representative, something we can all get behind.

If you’re a student with a disability and you’re looking for some extra help paying for college or want to take advantage of the many academic and career support programs available, you’ve come to the right place. This guide highlights 40 scholarships to help you reach your academic and career goals, including paths focused on public service such as teaching, law, nursing, and firefighting. Read on to find the funding sources that fit your individual goals and learn about professional resources, advocacy organizations, and opportunities for networking.

Scholarships & Grants for Students with Disabilities

Plenty of scholarships and grants are exclusively available to students with disabilities, and even those that aren’t are worth applying to. Whether you have visual or hearing loss, a speech impediment, a physical disability, or a different type of disability, here’s a look at 40 top scholarships to consider for public-service-related majors and other academic fields.

General Scholarships & Grants

Students with Visual Disabilities

Students with Hearing Loss

Students with Speech/Language Impairment

Students with Learning, Cognitive, or Developmental Disabilities

Students with Physical Disabilities

Scholarships & Grants in Public Service

Student and Career Resources for Students with Disabilities

The best colleges and universities work hard to ensure that students with disabilities have access to myriad resources, offering support to help them realize their academic and professional goals. Throughout this next section, we spotlight some of these tools, including financial aid, and professional development resources. Additionally, we highlight some of the advocacy and educational services that can prove invaluable for students with disabilities.

Financial Aid

30 Top Scholarships for Public Service Students Looking for even more funding opportunities for your public service career goals? Use this comprehensive resource to find a variety of scholarships, grants, and fellowships.ps.

Getting Financial Aid for Your Public Service Degree Use this guide as a starting point for understanding all of your college financial aid options, how to fill out the FAFSA, and more.

Reducing Your Student Loans Through Acts of Public Service Did you know that qualifying students can have some or all of their federal loans forgiven by working in underserved areas, for a nonprofit, or through other options? Learn more about the variety of programs available.

Professional Development and Networking

ADA National Network This comprehensive resource provides information, guidance, and training on the Americans with Disabilities Act – including resources for jobseekers.

Lime Connect This global nonprofit connects university students with disabilities and hiring companies to help them find professional opportunities after college.

Networking Tips for Workers with Disabilities Monster offers several actionable ideas for making the most of networking opportunities with a disability.

Advocacy Groups

Association on Higher Education and Disability AHEAD has worked to advocate for the rights of students and education professionals with disabilities since 1977. The group provides many resources and professional development opportunities.

Disability Rights Education & Defense Fund DREDF serves students with disabilities by providing legal advocacy, public policy initiatives, and promotion of civil rights laws for individuals in all walks of life.

DREAM DREAM focuses on providing disability rights, education, activism, and mentoring for college students across the U.S. with disabilities of all types.

Public Service Education

Law School Disability Programs Directory The American Bar Association offers this resource for law students with disabilities as well as lawyers and others in the legal community who advocate for this population. Students can learn about which law schools offer programs related to disabilities.

National Association of Social Workers The NASW provides a section of its website devoted to resources for students considering a career in social work. Students can find information on tools for job seekers, financial resources, and continuing education opportunities.

National Association of Special Education Teachers National organization of those teaching or preparing to teach in the special education field. Although focused primarily on special ed teachers, students visiting the site can access a wealth of articles, publications, and other resources on topics that affect them.