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CNIB Post-Secondary Scholarships & Bursaries

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CNIB post-secondary scholarships help support people who are blind, Deafblind, or have low vision in their educational journeys. From youth entering apprenticeships or skilled trades to adults enrolling in continuing education or certificate programs – and everyone in between – there are multiple scholarships, bursaries, and other educational awards available. 

It’s not just about grades. Scholarships are awarded based on a wide range of factors, including financial need, location, community involvement, demonstrated resilience to overcoming barriers, leadership skills, ambitions, achievements, and goals. If you are pursuing a diploma or degree, skilled trades certificate, apprenticeship, continuing education program, or post-graduate degree, we encourage you to apply!

Available scholarships and bursaries

By submitting an application, you will automatically be considered for any scholarships you are eligible for based on the criteria.

Agnes L. and Thomas S. Harrison Scholarship – 1 at $250 to $500 

Awarded to financially assist a female student attending the University of Victoria. Applicant must reside on Vancouver Island or the Gulf Islands.

Barney Danson Scholarship – 1 at $5,000

Created in honour of Barney Danson, partially sighted veteran, MP, cabinet minister, consul general, businessperson and philanthropist. Awarded to a student with proven dedication to success through academic, personal and charitable endeavours. 

Ben McConnell Scholarship – 1 at $1,000

Started in memory of Ben McConnell. Awarded to a student from Alberta who is registered or accepted into any year of post secondary program

The Betty Towler Bursary – 1 at $1,000

Started in memory of Betty Towler. Awarded to a student from Nova Scotia who is studying at a Canadian post-secondary institution. 

Carl G. Frink Scholarship – 3 or 4 from at $500 to $1,000 

Awarded to assist persons who do not receive funding from any government programs. Applicant must be planning to, or already attending, post-secondary training in British Columbia. Awarded based on applicant's ability to demonstrate financial need, motivation, responsibility, and goals aligned with achieving independence. 

CNIB Scholarships – Multiple at $3,000

Awarded to students who demonstrate 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, Ont., ophthalmologist who extracted the first two human eyes donated to the Eye Bank of Canada in 1955. Awarded to a student living in Southwestern Ontario (Perth, Wellington, Oxford, Middlesex and Huron counties). 

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 who is studying at a Canadian university and has demonstrated financial need.

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 a World War II veteran who was blinded in action. Made possible by the families of veterans who were blinded during combat in World Wars I and II, as well as the Korean War, to encourage students with sight loss to pursue post-secondary education and training. 

Gladys N. and Maynard L. Norton Scholarship – 1 at $250 to $500 

Awarded to financially assist a male student who is planning to attend the University of Victoria. Applicant must reside on Vancouver Island or the Gulf Islands. 

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.

Kathleen L. and Angus Robson Bursary – 2 or 3 from $500 to $1,000 

Awarded to assist students in reaching their educational goals from senior secondary and beyond. Applicant must be sixteen years of age and older and a resident of Vancouver Island or the Gulf Islands.  

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, Deafblind, or have low vision. 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. 

Lorne Hassan Memorial Bursary – 2 or 3 from $500 to $1,000 

Awarded to financially assist students wishing to further their post-secondary education. Applicant must be planning to attend a post-secondary institution in British Columbia or Yukon.

Martha Guest Memorial Bursary – 2 to 4 at $500 

Awarded to financially assist students continuing their post-secondary education or adult upgrading. Applicant must planning to attend a post-secondary institution or pursuing continuing education and must be a resident of British Columbia or Yukon.

OSR Clinics Psychology Scholarship – 2 at $3,000 each

Established in 2024, the OSR Clinics scholarship was created to support students with sight loss who are dedicated to enhancing the mental health and social justice landscape. OSR Clinics is committed to excellence, personal growth, and helping others thrive in the face of adversity. Their scholarship is awarded to undergraduate or graduate students pursuing an education in psychology who have demonstrated strong leadership, personal and academic excellence, perseverance, and the ability to overcome barriers. 

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

Awarded to students interested in post-secondary education in the field of blindness with the intent of working with the 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. Applicant 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) with sight loss from the BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, Person of Colour) population.

The Tammy MacDonald-Doran Memorial Scholarship – 2 at $2,500

Established in 2024 by the family of Tammy MacDonald-Doran. Tammy was a dedicated and well respected Blind and Low Vision teacher and a strong advocate for the rights of her students. During her 25-year career she worked at the Toronto District, Thames Valley and Halton District School Boards and was a regular presenter at Provincial and National Blind and Low Vision conferences. A $2500 scholarship will be awarded annually to two students who are entering a post-secondary education institution or beginning a skills trade apprenticeship. Preference will be given to applicants who have financial need, are involved in voluntary activities beneficial to the community, and are pursuing a field in health care or education.

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 who is pursuing post-secondary studies in any area of music or the healthcare field.


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

  • Blind, Deafblind, or have low vision (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, continuing education 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

Thank you to everyone who applied for a CNIB scholarship for the 2024/25 academic year. As a reminder, applicants are automatically considered for all eligible scholarships (unless stated otherwise). At this time, CNIB's scholarship selection committee is carefully reviewing all applications and will be in touch by the end of the summer, regardless of the outcome. If you have any questions or concerns, please email scholarships@cnib.ca. Thank you once again for your application and for sharing your journey with us. We wish you all the best in your academic endeavours!

Scholarship applications for the 2025/26 school year will open spring 2025. 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.


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