People with Disabilities

group of studentsThe Foundation makes grants to organizations that educate, mentor or otherwise support students with learning disabilities. It funds scholarships for students with disabilities at each campus of the State University System of Florida as well as schools throughout the United States and Canada that specifically focus on those populations. The Foundation also supports programs that focus on employment for people with disabilities.

Since the early 1990s the Foundation has funded scholarships for students with disabilities at each State University System of Florida campus and has 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, the Foundation has made an annual grant to Florida School for the Deaf and the Blind, and in recent years it has 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 and Eye to Eye.

The Foundation also focuses on employment for people with disabilities.  Even with good educational qualifications, people with disabilities still have difficulty entering the work force. Therefore the Foundation has developed a portfolio of grants to transition-oriented programs that 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 VIA and Bridges from School to Work.

People with Disabilities Grant Making Strategy

Why we make grants in this focus area

To help people with disabilities overcome barriers to both education and employment and complete successful transitions as they overcome such barriers.

Focus area theory of change

People with disabilities face obstacles to education and employment. Education leads to employment. Education leads to advantages. Education leads to citizenship. If obstacles to education and employment are removed, students are more likely to achieve their goals.

Linkage to JSF Mission, Core Values, and JSF Theory of Change

This purpose echoes the JSF mission and links to our overall theory of change because our grants help to provide:

  1. Support, encouragement and funding
  2. Establish conditions that enable students with disabilities to fulfill their educational goals and transition to employment or other life goals.

Short-Term Outcomes
(1-3 Years)

Success in education

Successful transition as education progresses

Successful transition to employment or other life goals

Educational institutions will have increased capacity so they can continue supporting these student outcomes after JSF grant investments have ended

Intermediate-Term Outcomes
(3-5 Years)

Attainment of a foothold in the workplace or success in attaining other life goals

Continued employment or continued success in attaining other life goals

Advancement in employment as desired and qualified or continued success in attaining other life goals

Educational institutions and other grantee organizations will have increased capacity so they can continue supporting these
student outcomes after JSF grant investments have ended

Long-Term Outcomes
(Over 5 Years)

Demonstrate that people with disabilities are as employable as anyone else

Change societal attitudes, perceptions and systems

Contributing citizens