Barriers to Education: Access to Funding for Students with Disabilities
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Three main barriers to post-secondary education for students with disabilities: physical accessibility, financial issues, and stereotypical attitudes have been identified in the literature (Canadian Council on Learning, 2009). This paper explores the barrier of financial issues. Specifically, information provided by post-secondary institutions on their websites, for students and potential students with disabilities, regarding funds that are available to them. The websites should include information on Alberta Student Loan, Canada Student Loan, Canada Access Grant, Canada Study Grant, Disability Related Employment Supports and other various scholarships and bursaries. Twelve post-secondary institutions in the Province of Alberta were randomly chosen to determine what information was disseminated on each website in regard to funding availability. There were a number of issues that emerged. While some websites had all of the financial information that a student with a disability would require, others had minimal information. This lack of information can act as a deterrent to those who are seeking higher education. Little or no information may equate to lack of and/or insufficient funds. Research indicates that there are numerous funds available for students with disabilities to access, but this information was not disseminated consistently in the sample reviewed.