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OSAP and Support for Students with Disabilities

Ontario Student Assistance Program (OSAP)​

OSAP provides funding for postsecondary students with financial need to help support their educational costs.  OSAP also provides supplementary funding for students with disabilities to help cover additional disability-related educational expenses (see below). 

We, Student Accessibility Services (SAS) at Nipissing University, recommend that you complete the OSAP application process to see if you may be eligible for disability-related funding to help cover additional disability-related educational costs that you may have such as tutoring, or note taking support, or assistive technology.  To qualify, you must demonstrate at least $1 of financial need.

When you apply for OSAP online, you can self-identify as a student with a permanent disability by checking off a box on the form.  You will need to provide documentation of your disability to Student Accessibility Services, and we will verify your status as a student with a permanent disability to the Financial Aid Office and to OSAP.

Some of the disability-related funding supports available through OSAP include:

  • Canada Access Grant for Students with Permanent Disabilities
  • Up to $2000 ($1000 per term) of grant funding to cover additional costs
  • If approved, this funding is automatically added to your OSAP entitlement in September and January​

The Canada Student Grant for Services and Equipment for Persons with Permanent Disabilities (CSG-PDSE) and the Bursary for Students with Disabilities (BSWD)​*

The Canada Student Grant for Services and Equipment for Persons with Permanent Disabilities (CSG-PDSE) and the Bursary for Students with Disabilities (BSWD) are the primary tools for OSAP eligible students to finance their disability-related educational expenses.  These grants assist with the costs of disability-related services or equipment, such as tutors, note-takers, interpreters, braillers or technical aids that are required to participate in postsecondary studies.

Who Can Access This Grant?

You must meet the following eligibility requirements to be considered for this grant:

  • You have applied for and are eligible for funding as indicated from one of the following sources for the current academic year:
    • OSAP for Full-Time Students and have at least $1 in calculated federal need; or
    • ​OSAP for Part-Time Students
  • You have self-identified as having a disability.
  • You have disability-related educational costs (e.g. note-takers, vision/learning aids) that are not covered by another agency or service.

What are Disability-Related Educational Expenses?

The 2015-2016 OSAP Eligibility, Assessment and Review Manual outlines the following criterion:

The Financial Aid Office may approve only expenses that:

  • are eligible expenses as set out in the manual;
  • are related to the individual’s disability;
  • are appropriate for the student’s unique needs based on the recommendations and rationale provided;
  • specifically result from the student’s participation in postsecondary education and not from day-to-day necessity; and,
  • have been incurred during the student’s study period.

How to Apply

Contact your Accessibility Consultant to discuss your eligibility and to access the application forms. *Note: Any purchases made prior your CSG-PDSE/BSWD application being approved are done so at your own risk as they may not be approved for this grant.

Application Deadlines

Your application must be received by the Financial Aid Office no later than 60 days before the end of your current study period.

Receiving Your Grant

Funding is released through the Financial Aid Office in the form of a cheque. To remain eligible for the grant funds issued to you, you must:

  • Purchase all approved equipment and/or services by the end of your study period, and
  • Provide valid receipts and time logs (if applicable) prior to the receipt deadlines for purchases made. The receipts must equal the amount of your approved equipment and/or services.
    • If the purchase price was less than the amount of funding approved, you must return the unused grant money corresponding to the approved items.
    • ​If you are unable to provide valid receipts for your approved services and/or equipment, you must return the grant money corresponding to those approved items.

If you do not meet the above requirements, you may be restricted from receiving any further funding through OSAP until you repay the grant money provided to you.

*Adapted from https://osap.gov.on.ca/OSAPPortal/en/A-ZListofAid/PRDR008134.html , 2015.​​​

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