CNIB Post-Secondary Scholarships & Bursaries

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CNIB post-secondary scholarships  help support people who are blind or partially sighted in their educational journeys. If you are pursuing a post-secondary diploma, degree, skilled trades certificate or apprenticeship program, we encourage you to apply!

Available scholarships and bursaries

Barney Danson Scholarship – 1 at $5,000

Created in honour of Barney Danson, partially sighted veteran, MP, cabinet minister, consul general, businessperson and philanthropist, this scholarship honours students who have proven their dedication to success through academic, personal and charitable endeavours in spite of sight loss.

Ben McConnell Scholarship – 1 at $1,000

Started in memory of Ben McConnell, the scholarship will be given to a legally blind student from Alberta registered or accepted into any year of post secondary program.

The Betty Towler Bursary – 1 at $1,000

Started in memory of Betty Towler, this bursary will be given to a post-secondary student with sight loss from Nova Scotia who is studying at a Canadian institution. 

      CNIB Scholarships – Multiple at $3,000

      Awarded to students who are blind or partially sighted and who demonstrate amazing courage, determination and passion in fighting for their independence and future.

      Dr. John and Olive Pyper Scholarship – 1 at $4,000

      Established by the family of Dr. John Pyper, a Stratford, ON ophthalmologist who extracted the first two human eyes donated to the Eye Bank of Canada in 1955. The scholarship is given to a student who is blind or partially sighted living in Southwestern Ontario (Perth, Wellington, Oxford, Middlesex and Huron counties).

      eSight Award

      As part of the CNIB scholarship program, eSight will provide one student, who would benefit from eSight eyewear, with a device. eSight is a life-changing device that enhances functional vision. eSight users typically live with serious eye conditions such as macular degeneration, Stargardt’s disease, diabetic retinopathy, optic nerve hypoplasia and more. A typical eSight user has a visual acuity range from 20/60 to 20/800 but some users live with up to 20/1800. To find out if eSight is the right device for you, please visit esighteyewear.com.

      FJL Woodcock SAPA Scholarships – Multiple at $1,000

      Established in 1989 in honour of Capt. Fred Woodcock, a WWII war-blinded veteran. Families of veterans blinded in WWI, WWII and the Korean War donated to encourage students with sight loss to pursue post-secondary education and training.

      The Joyce Family Foundation Bursary – Multiple renewable awards from $6,000 to $8,000

      The Joyce Family Foundation is dedicated to supporting the social, economic, and emotional well-being of children and youth by empowering them to develop into healthy, confident, independent contributors to Canadian society. Candidates for these bursaries must be young Canadian students (i.e. not going abroad) pursuing undergraduate studies with good academic standing, demonstrate continued financial need, demonstrate resilience to overcome barriers, and demonstrate an on-going commitment to work with a mentor throughout their undergraduate career.

      KPMG Scholarship – 8 at $2,500

      Established in 2022, the KPMG scholarship was created to help alleviate financial barriers, promote access and inclusivity, and ensure an equitable playing field to post secondary education for people who are blind or partially sighted. KPMG is committed to education and continuous learning, and recognizes that workforce inclusion and diversity strengthens business, enriches our culture and enables us to deepen relationships with our colleagues and communities. 

      Dr. Phiroz N. Dastoor Memorial Scholarship – 1 at $1,000

      Established in 2022 by the family of Dr Phiroz N. Dastoor. Dr. Dastoor had a passion for education and believed that everyone should have equitable access to post-secondary opportunities. To commemorate and honour his love of education and spirit of volunteerism, his family is awarding one scholarship to a student with sight loss who is studying at a Canadian university and has demonstrated financial need.

      Queen Elizabeth II CNIB Insight Scholarship – 5 at $1,000

      Awarded to students who are blind or partially sighted and/or individuals interested in post-secondary education in the field of blindness with the intent of working with the blind community upon graduation. Applications will be accepted year-round for students attending post-secondary in the upcoming school year and are issued for fall or winter term. All applicants must be a Manitoba resident and a Canadian citizen or a Landed immigrant.

      The Sappani Foundation Ela Award – 1 at $5,000

      The Sappani Foundation strives to inspire, educate, and empower, believing that education has the single largest impact in our ability to transform lives of people from impoverished and marginalized communities. This is the essence of their $5000 annual scholarship, the ‘Ela Award’, to support post secondary education for children (primarily girls) who have sight loss, and are from the BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, Person of Colour) population.

      Terry Collins Memorial Scholarship Award – 1 at $3,000

      Established in 2023 by the family of Terry Collins. After losing his sight at 17, Terry Collins completed his post-secondary education and became the first non-sighted hospital darkroom technician in Canada, where he worked for 46 years. Beloved by all who knew him for his endless optimism, laughter and goodwill toward others, Terry was also a talented drummer and singer, spending much of his free time performing in bands. To commemorate and honour Terry Collins, his family is awarding one scholarship to a student with sight loss who is pursuing post-secondary studies in any area of music or the healthcare field.

      Eligibility

      To be considered eligible for a CNIB post-secondary scholarship, you must be:

      • Blind or partially sighted (i.e. best corrected visual acuity of 20/70" and/or you have a visual field of 20 degrees or narrower).
      • Pursuing a post-secondary diploma, degree, skilled trades certificate, apprenticeship program or equivalent.
      • A Canadian citizen, or have held landed immigrant status for one year prior to the date of application.
      • Highly motivated, independent and able to demonstrate a reasonable level of personal achievement.

      How to apply

      Scholarship applications for the 2024/25 school year will open spring 2024. Please check back then.

      Applicants will be asked to complete and submit an application form, along with:

      • Proof of secondary education completion (interim).
      • At least two letters of references (1 academic and 1 community source). All reference letters should be on official letterhead, professional letter format and in an accessible format.
      • Letter of acceptance from an accredited post-secondary institution, college or university.
      • Transcript (interim).
      • A short essay (two pages max) detailing how a CNIB scholarship will change what it means to be blind for you in your education.
      • List of other sources of funding.

      Questions?

      Have questions? We’re here to answer them! Browse our FAQ. For more information about CNIB's scholarship program, please email scholarships@cnib.ca.