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Grants & Awards

If you know about more grants and awards that are not listed here, let us know by email or by using our contact form.

Submit this form to learn about more grants and awards in our newsletter:

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Paul G. Hearne Leadership Awards

Every year, the American Association of People with Disabilities (AAPD) recognizes outstanding individuals personifying leadership, advocacy, and dedication to and for the disability community at large. Three individuals, who are emerging as leaders in the cross-disability civil rights movement, will each receive $10,000 to help them continue their progress as leaders and further connect their work with the national grassroots of AAPD. Deadline: must be received by November 1, 2011


Arts Connect All Grant

Access to the arts is achieved when all people have equal opportunity to attend, participate in, and learn through arts experiences. VSA arts and MetLife Foundation have designed the Arts Connect All funding opportunity to encourage arts organizations to create or enhance multi-session, inclusive education programs by strengthening partnerships with local public schools. The goals of Arts Connect All are to: enable more students with disabilities to experience social, cognitive, and cultural development through arts learning alongside their peers without disabilities; create educational access and inclusion in the arts for students with disabilities; and document the contributions that arts organizations make to inclusive education in public schools.

A maximum of 10 awards of up to $15,000 will be given to selected organizations. Examples of appropriate use of funds may include, but are not limited to: expanding existing accessibility programs into educational efforts, program development support, knowledge and skill building of inclusive practices, and promotional/outreach efforts to expand audience. Deadline: November 19, 2010


AAAS Science & Technology Policy Fellowships

The AAAS Science & Technology Policy Fellowships enable scientists and engineers from a broad range of disciplines, sectors and career stages to apply their knowledge to help improve policymaking and implementation while learning first-hand how federal policies are developed and deployed. Year-long fellowship assignments start in September and are available in the U.S. Congress and nearly 20 executive branch agencies in Washington DC. Stipends range from $75,000 to $96,000 plus benefits. Enhance public policy while advancing your career! Deadline: December 5, 2011


Grinnell College Young Innovator for Social Justice Prize

The Grinnell College Young Innovator for Social Justice Prize is an annual awards program to honor individuals under the age of 40 who have demonstrated leadership in their fields and who show creativity, commitment, and extraordinary accomplishment in effecting positive social change. Up to three individuals will be honored annually. Each prize carries an award of $100,000, half to the winning individual and half to an organization committed to the winner’s area of social justice. Deadline: December 11, 2011


TED Fellows Program

The TED Fellows program is designed to bring together young world changers and trailblazers who have shown unusual accomplishment and exceptional courage. The program targets individuals from the Asia/Pacific region, Africa, the Caribbean, Latin America and the Middle East, though anyone from anywhere in the world, age 18 and over, is welcome to apply. We are looking for an eclectic, heterogeneous group of young thinkers and doers from the fields of technology, entertainment, design, the sciences, engineering, humanities, the arts, economics, business, journalism, entrepreneurship and NGOs. At TED, we can take risks on unconventional innovators. We value achievement over credentials -- making and doing over merely talking. Deadline: December 13, 2011 and July 23, 2012


Assistive Technology Fund Available for Blind People

The Association of Blind Citizens has a new Assistive Technology Fund that provides funds to individuals needing adaptive devices or software to increase independence and opportunities for employment. They will pay 50% of the retail costs if the cost of the equipment is between $200 and $6000. In order to be eligible for these funds, your family income must be less than $50,000 and you must have less than $20000 in cash assets. If you are selected by the committee to receive the grant, you will be asked to provide financial documents to the Assistive Technology Committee. You also must be a resident of the US and legally blind. Deadlines: June 30, 2012 and December 31, 2011


Advocates in Disability Awards (ADA)

The purpose of the ADA program is to award and encourage a young individual with a disability between the ages of 14 and 26, who has dedicated him/herself to positively affecting the lives of individuals with disabilities and their families in the Washington, DC metropolitan area. The selected recipient is awarded a total of $10,000 in recognition of his/her past disability advocacy and a proposed program focused on empowering individuals with disabilities. Of the $10,000 award, $7,000 must go directly to support the recipient’s proposed program. Applicants must reside in the Washington, DC metropolitan area at the time of application submission and recipient selection. Students who are attending school or who are interning in the area are eligible to apply. Deadline: February 28, 2012


Do Something Awards

Since 1996, has honored the nation’s best young world-changers, 25 and under. Do Something Award nominees and winners represent the pivotal "do-ers" in their field, cause, or issue. This year, the five nominees will be rewarded with a community grant, media coverage and continued support from The grand prize winner will receive $100,000. Deadline: March 1, 2012


SHIFT - An international juried exhibition for artists with disabilities

VSA, the international organization on arts and disability, announces a call for art for artists ages 18 and older who have a physical, cognitive, or mental disability. Artists are invited to submit up to four artworks of any media that address the theme of Shift - an investigation of a moment of change in one's life that alters the direction of a person's path. Deadline: March 11, 2011


RIT Spirit Writing Contest for Deaf or Hard-of-Hearing High School Students

High school students with hearing loss in 10th or 11th grade can enter the fourth annual RIT SpiRIT Writing Contest, and compete for prizes, including a summer camp scholarship. Winners will have their choice of a scholarship and travel expenses to the Explore Your Future program at RIT's National Technical Institute for the Deaf, or a $500 cash prize. EYF is a six-day summer career exploration program for deaf and hard-of-hearing students that gives them the opportunity to sample different careers as well as college life. Proyecto Visión has more info about EYF on our Educational Opportunities page. Deadline: March 15, 2012


The Paul G. Hearne Award for Disability Rights

The Hearne Award honors the work of Paul G. Hearne, a lawyer who was born with a connective tissue disorder. Although Mr. Hearne’s disease limited his growth to less than four feet and restricted his movement, his mark on the disability rights movement, especially from a legal perspective, was tremendous. He founded the first legal services office in New York for people with disabilities, authored the first national legal handbook on disability rights, and helped draft the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990. The award is presented to an individual who has performed exemplary service in the furtherance of access to justice for people with disabilities, or to an organization or group that furthers the goal of full participation for people with disabilities in society. Nomination Deadline: April 15, 2012


The VSA arts Playwright Discovery Award

The VSA arts Playwright Discovery Program invites middle and high school students to take a closer look at the world around them, examine how disability affects their lives and the lives of others, and express their views through the art of playwriting. Playwrights may write from their own experience or about an experience in the life of another person or fictional character. Young playwrights with and without disabilities are encouraged to submit a script. Entries may be the work of an individual student or a collaboration by a group or class of students. The winning play will be professionally produced at the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts. The winning playwright receives $2,000 and a trip to Washington, D.C., to see his or her play performed. Deadline: April 16, 2012


Ability One Network Design Challenge

The Ability One Network Design Challenge encourages the development of creative technological solutions for barriers that prevent people with disabilities from entering or advancing in the workplace. It is open to any college student or student team at the graduate or undergraduate level and is a great service learning opportunity for engineering, computer science, industrial design, physical therapy and occupational therapy students. Up to three awards are given annually: 1st place is $10,000, 2nd place is $5,000, and 3rd place is $3,000. Students are encouraged to register early in the school year so that they can receive updates and additional program information over the course of the year. Deadline: April 20, 2012


The National Center on Physical Activity and Disability Video Contest

Being physically active is good for every body. This is especially true for people with disabilities who tend to participate in less physical activity, carry excess weight, and have higher rates of chronic heart disease and other health conditions. The intention of this video contest is to illustrate to society that people with disabilities do live healthy active lifestyles as well as share various ways to get physical activity for individuals with disabilities and activity limitations. The top prize is $1,250. Deadline: May 13, 2011


Young Described Film Critic Contest (YDFC)

This contest, presented by the American Council of the Blind’s (ACB) Audio Description Project, is under way, and this year we’re hoping that even more schools, families, and others get involved in reviewing described films and media! All you need to do for a chance to win is to write, type, or record (audio or video) your own film review of any described movie and send it to us for review. Keep it short: 250 words maximum. There are three age categories: Sophomore (ages 7 to 10), Junior (ages 11 to 14), and Senior (ages 15 to 18). You can enter as many times as you like! Deadline: June 8, 2012


Herb Levine Legacy Fund Grant

The Herb Levine Legacy Fund has been established by the Independent Living Resource Center San Francisco (ILRCSF) to support grass roots efforts aimed to raise awareness of disability rights issues, address access issues, and encourage the wider public to participate in disability rights advocacy. While projects that benefits individuals will be considered, an emphasis will be placed on projects that address issues from a systems change perspective. The award amount will range from $500-$1,000. Deadline: June 30, 2012


The Edna Award for Young Women working for Justice

The Berger-Marks Foundation announces this award of $10,000 to a young woman who has made an extraordinary contribution to social justice early in her career. Nominees must be 35 years or younger on December 31st. The recipient's outstanding achievements to date should indicate that her ongoing work will significantly improve the lives of working women and men. Deadline: July 15, 2011


Courage Center Seeks Applications for Judd Jacobson Memorial Award

Courage Center, a nonprofit rehabilitation and resource center for people with disabilities, is seeking applications for its annual Judd Jacobson Memorial Award. Established in 1992, the Jacobson Award recognizes the pursuit or achievement of a business entrepreneurial endeavor by a person with a physical disability or sensory impairment. The award recipient will be honored at an event in November and receive a $5,000 cash award to advance their business endeavors.

To be considered for the award, applicants must be 18 years of age and reside in Minnesota, Wisconsin, Iowa, or North or South Dakota. Applicants must also demonstrate entrepreneurial skill, financial need, exceptional personal commitment, and have received little or no public recognition for their business endeavor. Deadline: July 20, 2012


National Inclusion Project Grants for Programs that Promote the Inclusion of Children with Developmental Disabilities

The National Inclusion Project Grant Program focuses on programs that fulfill its mission. Eligible programs are ones that focus on the inclusion of children with special needs with their peers. These grants range in value from $1,000 to $20,000 annually and are divided into three categories: Inclusion in Recreation Programs; Inclusive Recreational and Learning Experiences promoting Awareness, Education, and Health; Financial Assistance for Child Participation in Approved Inclusive Programs; and Continuing Education Programs/Symposia aimed at the Development of Best Practices Protocols and Strategies. There is a four step grant process that begins in March. Phase One Application Deadline: July 31, 2012


Disability Employment App Challenge

The Department of Labor wants your help in building innovative tools to improve employment opportunities and outcomes for people with disabilities. The grand prize winner will receive $5,000 cash. In addition, the winner will be invited to attend and prominently showcase his/her winning app at the FCC developer event, “Developing with Accessibility,” in Washington DC. Deadline: August 23, 2012


National Disability Institute Video Contest

The National Disability Institute presents the My American Dream video contest. The premise is simple: create a video that tells us your American Dream and how you are working toward that dream. We want to hear the stories of individuals and their families who are working to achieve their American Dream. The grand prize is $1,000. Deadline: September 18, 2011


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