BSWD & CSG-PDSE BURSARIES
Bursary for Students with Disabilities (BSWD) &
Canada Student Grant for Services & Equipment for
Persons with Permanent Disabilities (CSG-PDSE)
Centre for Students with Disabilities
Student Centre, Level 2, 51 McCaul Street
Tel: 416-977-6000 ext 339
Office hours: Monday through Friday, 8:30 am to 4:30 pm
For assistance with these bursaries:
Lisa Allen, Adaptive Technologist/Learning Strategist
416-977-6000 ext 484, firstname.lastname@example.org
Kelly Dickinson, Manager, Financial Aid & Awards
416-977-6000 ext 346, email@example.com
What is a bursary?
A bursary is a grant that does not have to be repaid. It is given on the basis of financial need and specific criteria which vary from program to program. Any bursary funds received generally do not affect the amount of funding you may receive from another source during the same time period (from the Ontario Student Assistance Program [OSAP] or the Ontario Disability Support Program [ODSP] for example).
OCAD issues T4A forms in February for all scholarship, bursary and award income received in the prior tax year, including Bursary for Students with Disabilities (BSWD) and Canada Study Grant for the Accommodation of Students with Permanent Disabilities (CSG-PDSE) funds. In most cases, you are not required to declare bursary funds as income on your personal tax return; however, you should refer to Canada Revenue Agency guidelines for details, since whether you declare bursaries or not will depend on your individual tax situation.
What are the BSWD and CSG-PDSE bursaries?
The Bursary for Students with Disabilities (BSWD) and the Canada Study Grant (CSG-PDSE ) for the Accommodation of Students with Permanent Disabilities are components of the Ontario Student Assistance Program (OSAP) and the Canada Student Loan Program (CSLP) respectively. They are intended to:
- Help students with financial need meet their disability-related educational costs without having to incur additional debt; and
- Increase the participation rate of students with disabilities in postsecondary education.
How much are the bursaries for?
The Bursary for Students with Disabilities (BSWD) is funded by the Government of Ontario. Eligible full- or part-time students with permanent or temporary disabilities may receive up to $2,000 per academic year.
- The Canada Study Grant for the Accommodation of Students with Permanent Disabilities (CSG-PDSE) is funded by the Government of Canada. Eligible full- or part-time students with permanent disabilities may receive up to $8,000 per academic year.
- Full- and part-time students with a permanent disability who meet the eligibility criteria may receive up to $10,000 per academic year (August 1 through July 31 in any given year) from the combined federal and provincial components of the bursary.
Full- and part-time students with a temporary disability may receive up to $2000 per academic year from the provincial component of the BSWD.
What is a considered a permanent disability?
To be eligible for federal CSG-PDSE funding, a student’s disability must be considered permanent. The Canada Student Financial Assistance Regulations defines a "permanent disability" as:
“a functional limitation that is caused by physical or mental impairment that restricts a student’s ability to perform the daily activities necessary to participate in studies at a postsecondary level or in the labour force, and that is expected to remain with the student for the student’s expected life.”
For a student to be considered to have a permanent disability under the federal CSG-PDSE program, his/her disability documentation must therefore include sufficient detail to confirm the following:
The student has a functional limitation caused by a physical or mental impairment;
- The functional limitation restricts the borrower’s ability to perform the daily activities necessary to participate in studies at a postsecondary level or the labour force; and
- The functional limitation is expected to remain with the qualifying student for his/her expected life.
Some medical conditions/illnesses may also qualify as a permanent disability for federal funding under the CSG-PDSE. Please check with the Disability Counsellor. The severity of the disability must necessitate the student’s need for disability-related educational equipment and/or services to participate in postsecondary education. As with other disabilities, a student is required to submit medical documentation to demonstrate that s/he has one of these disabilities.
BSWD funding may be considered for students with temporary disabilities provided that they meet BSWD eligibility criteria and provide the supporting documentation identified on the BSWD/CSG-PDSE application.
If the documentation does not provide enough detail to confirm a permanent disability, the student will be contacted for additional information. If the additional information does not confirm a permanent or temporary disability, then the student would not eligible for BSWD and/or CSG-PDSE funding.
What types of disability-related expenses could these bursaries cover?
There are differences between the BSWD and the CSG-PDSE in the eligible services and equipment funded. The Disability Counsellor or Adaptive Technologist at the CSD will help you access the appropriate goods and services through the BSWD/CSG-PDSE. All disability-related expenses must be considered essential to the student’s participation in his/her postsecondary education.
Staff in the Centre for Students with Disabilities (CSD) are responsible for:
- reviewing a student’s proof of disability documentation;
- determining whether the proposed expenses are related to the disability and that they will be incurred as a result of the student’s participation in postsecondary education;
- verifying the above information in the appropriate section of the student’s BSWD/CSG-PDSE application form;
- determining the most cost-effective means of providing an item or service to a student (e.g., by ensuring that quotes for equipment and services are obtained prior to the disbursement of funds); and
- recommending the appropriate disbursements of funds.
Below are examples of eligible services and equipment. This is not an exhaustive list.
Disability-Related Equipment (BSWD & CSG-PDSE):
- Assistive software (for example: voice recognition software, screen reading/magnification software, text to speech software, assistive writing software);
- Computers, printers and accessories generally to a maximum of $2,000 (for example: computer systems including warranty, printer and taxes, MS Office, large screen monitor for low vision users, scanner);
- Other one-time only disability-related equipment (for example: Portable word processors, CCTVs for low vision users, digital recorders, spell checkers, reading pens, Braille products, FM systems);
- Replacement, insurance, warranties or repair costs as necessary.
Disability-Related Equipment (BSWD only):
- Ergonomically designed furniture specifically related to participation in postsecondary studies for students with physical disabilities that affect mobility.
Disability-Related Services (BSWD & CSG-PDSE):
- Learning disability (diagnostic) assessments;
- Tutoring / readers / note-takers;
- Interpreters (oral, sign);
- Educational assistant in the classroom;
- Academic strategist;
- Attendant care for studies (in classroom or course-related activities);
- Specialized transportation to and from the postsecondary institution only for students who have a physical disability affecting mobility.
Disability-Related Services (BSWD only):
- Medical or psychological assessments;
- Assistive technology assessments.
What’s not covered by the BSWD/CSG-PDSE?
The following types of expenses are not eligible for CSG-PDSE and/or BSWD funding (these are examples only – this is not an exhaustive list):
- Expenses that are not related to a student’s participation in postsecondary education;
- Expenses that are typically incurred by all students participating in postsecondary studies or in the course or program of study (e.g. a calculator for a student in business or mathematics, or a digital camera in a photography course);
- Capital costs such as vehicle modifications, alterations for educational institutions and/or residences;
- Hearing aids;
- TTY phones;
- Non-ergonomic furniture;
- Wheel chairs;
- Expenses for services, assessments, and/or accommodations that are provided for under the Accessibility Fund for Students with Disabilities or that are provided by the institution as part of the institutional obligation to accommodate persons with disabilities under the Ontario Human Rights Code;
- Expenses that are already factored into the OSAP need-assessment, such as tuition and compulsory fees, cost of books and other supplies, and living expenses;
- Expenses that are already covered by another agency, such as Income Support from the Ontario Disability Support Program, Ontario Works, Workers Compensation Insurance Board, OHIP, or the Assistive Devices Program;
- Expenses incurred during time periods that the student is not enrolled in postsecondary studies (as per the student’s study period start and end dates according to OSAP and the Financial Aid & Awards office). Learning Disability assessments are an exception and assessments dated up to six (6) months prior to August 1 of the current loan year may be reimbursed.
Who can apply for this bursary?
To be eligible for funding through the BSWD and/or CAG-PDSE, a student must apply for and have at least $1.00 of calculated financial need under one of the following OSAP programs:
- Part-time Canada Student Loan and Grants (eligible only for federal CSG-PDSE);
- Ontario Part-time Grant: (eligible for provincial BSWD)
- Ontario Special Bursary Program (eligible only for provincial BSWD); or,
- Canada-Ontario Integrated Student Loan and grants through the OSAP Application for Full-time Studies (eligible for both provincial BSWD and federal CSG-PDSE):
- Students must have financial need under both the federal and provincial need assessments of the Canada-Ontario Integrated Student Loan to be eligible for funding under both the federal CSG-PDSE and the provincial BSWD.
- If a student has financial need under the federal need assessment only, the student may be eligible for the CSG-PDSE up to a maximum of $8,000, but not the BSWD.
- Likewise, a student who has financial need under the provincial need assessment only, may be eligible for BSWD up to a maximum of $2,000, but not CSG-PDSE funding.
You are not required to accept loan funding in order to be eligible for the BSWD and/or CSG-PDSE.
How do I apply for a bursary through this program?
Contact the Centre for Students with Disabilities office to arrange a meeting with the Disability Counsellor to discuss your situation. Bring whatever professional documentation of your disability you may already have to this meeting. The Disability Counsellor will review your medical specialist’s (or registered psychologist’s/psychological associate’s) report. This report needs to explain your diagnosis and specific reason (related to your disability) why you require the device or service for educational support.
If you have not already been diagnosed with a disability, but suspect you may have one, the Disability Counsellor will determine what steps you should take to obtain the appropriate professional documentation and report.
Once the Disability Counsellor is able to determine the disability accommodations that you require to complete your classes, she will have you complete and sign a BSWD/CSG-PDSE Application Form, which will then be forwarded to the Financial Aid & Awards Office for approval, along with the supporting documentation detailing the supplier and costs for the required products or services.
If approval is granted for some or all of your eligible BSWD/CSG-PDSE expenses, the Disability Counsellor will let you know the specific details around the purchase of your required products or services. In some cases, you will have to visit the Financial Aid & Awards office to pick up a cheque (either payable to you or a third-party vendor), but the Disability Counsellor will let you know if this is the case. In some cases, you will be asked to bring in receipts confirming purchase of a particular good or service, and you must bring these receipts in within 45 days of the request.
When is the deadline to apply?
You must submit an application for OSAP assistance for 2010/2011 AND submit a BSWD/CSG-PDSE application through the Centre for Students with Disabilities (CSD) no later than Friday, January 21, 2011 (final deadline) in order to be eligible for BSWD/CSG-PDSE assistance during the 2010/2011 academic year (this date varies annually).
On a case-by-case basis, a student may receive BSWD/CSG-PDSE funding if the BSWD/CSG-PDSE application form is received by the Financial Aid & Awards office after the normal application deadlines, provided the OSAP Application for Full-time Studies, the Ontario Special Bursary application or the application for Part-time Canada Student Loan and Grants, as applicable, was received within the deadline. Decisions to provide BSWD/CSG-PDSE funding after the normal application deadlines are left to the discretion of the Financial Aid & Awards office in consultation with the Centre for Students with Disabilities.
Applications to BSWD/CSG-PDSE for equipment or services received during the final weeks of a study period or the last semester of a student’s program of studies will be carefully considered before being approved. For example, if a student has not requested funding for equipment or services prior to the last semester of their program, discretion may be used to determine the necessity of the equipment and/or services at that time.
What if I applied but did not qualify for OSAP assistance?
If you have less than one dollar ($1.00) in calculated financial need according to the need assessment for the OSAP program to which you have applied, you may still be considered to have financial need for disability-related costs if adding your estimated disability-related educational expenses from the BSWD/CSG-PDSE application results in at least $1.00 of financial need. In order to have your eligibility reviewed to determine if you have grounds for an appeal, the Disability Counsellor can submit a BSWD/CSG-PDSE application outlining your estimated disability-related expenses to the Financial Aid & Awards Office by January 21, 2011.
Where can I get more information?
Additional information on the BSWD/CSG-PDSE is available from the Centre for Students with Disabilities. Additional information on OSAP assistance is available from the Financial Aid & Awards Office or on the OSAP web site at http://osap.gov.on.ca.
Last Modified:3/21/2013 1:21:38 PM