People with Disabilities
The Foundation has unique experience and contacts by virtue of its core grantmaking in this area. Since the early 1990s we have funded scholarships for students with disabilities at each campus of Florida’s State University System and have developed close ties with the disability service offices at each of the 12 campuses. The Foundation also provides scholarships for students with disabilities at Dalhousie University, National Technical Institute for the Deaf at Rochester Institute for Technology and Gallaudet University. As in other areas of its programing, the Foundation supports early education, which is especially important for deaf and hard-of-hearing students and blind students. Since inception we have made an annual grant to Florida School for the Deaf and the Blind and in recent years we have made grants to Clarke Schools for Hearing and Speech.
The Foundation makes grants to organizations that educate, mentor or otherwise support students with learning disabilities. Examples of these are Landmark East School, Mount Allison University, Eye to Eye and the Edge Foundation.
In this area of funding the Foundation has chosen to focus on employment. People with disabilities, even those with good educational qualifications, still have difficulty entering the work force. Therefore the Foundation has developed a portfolio of grants to transition oriented programs, which are designed to help people with disabilities obtain traction in the workplace. These grants are riskier than scholarships but, when they work, often have great social impact. They also resonate with the Foundation’s desire to identify niche areas which may have been overlooked by other educational funders.
Examples of workplace transition grants include National Organization on Disability’s Bridges to Business and Career Opportunities for Students with Disabilities.