Funding for Services and Equipment
- General Overview
- What is the BSWD
- Eligibility Criteria
- Funding Options
- Additional Information
BSWD is funding made available to students with disabilities as a bursary for purchasing equipment and services to support their learning.
You must be eligible for the Ontario Student Assistance Program (OSAP) to qualify.
The equipment or services you are seeking must be related to the intersection of a disability and an academic need, and must be an expense that is above and beyond what non-disabled students would face.
In order to apply, you must be registered with SAS, and we are required to sign the application form to confirm the equipment or services you are seeking is necessary.
The government has established many rules to ensure the funds are spent appropriately. There are also specific deadlines. The staff of SAS help students understand what is required for this funding (contact firstname.lastname@example.org). When your application is complete, we will submit it to Student Financial Services on your behalf. Once processed, Student Financial Services with communicate decisions to you and outline next steps.
What is the BSWD?
What we commonly refer to as the “BSWD” is two sources of funding rolled into one – the Bursary for Students with Disabilities provided by the Province of Ontario, and the Canada Student Grant for Students with Disabilities for Services and Equipment provided by the federal government.
Note that each university and college in the province has a limited amount of funding allocated by the government for students at their institution. There are consistently more applications than available funding. As such, there is no guarantee that all applications will be approved. Approvals are based on guidelines established by the government.
The equipment or services sought by the funding application satisfies both of the following:
Is related to a disability that intersects with an academic need, and
Is a cost beyond what non-disabled students typically face
- The student must have a documented “permanent” disability or “persistent and prolonged” disability or is seeking confirmation of this for a learning disability or ADHD.
- The student must have been approved for at least $1 of OSAP for the current study period and be considered a full-time student by OSAP.
The student has submitted a complete Disability Verification Form to OSAP - except if they are seeking funding for a psychoeducational assessment.
Funding for psychological assessments (Learning disabilities and ADHD) is only available if SAS requires one in order to support accommodations. Talk to us first.
We will assist you with understanding the process and filling out the application form.
You will need to provide a cost estimate for the equipment/services you are seeking.
If you require assistive technology, we may suggest you meet with a colleague from Library Accessibility Services before we complete your application.
Once the application is complete, SAS will submit it on your behalf.
If you are approved for funding, you will receive an email from Student Financial Services and the funding will be deposited to your bank account using the information on file with OSAP.
If you are receiving funding up front (before you purchase the equipment/services) then there will be a deadline for submitting your receipt.
Funds that are not entirely spent, not spent according to the application guidelines, or not supported by the necessary receipt(s) will be considered an “overpayment” by the government and recovered from the student.
Pay up front and get reimbursed
Receipt is dated no earlier than 60 days before the start of the current study period, except:
Psychoeducational assessments can be up to 6 months before the start of the current study period
You assume the risk of being out of pocket if the application is not approved.
In some cases, funding can be requested in advance. There are complex rules about when this applies, and we are happy to help you figure this out.
- 60 days before the start of the semester - Equipment
- 6 months before the start of the semester - Psychoeducational Assessments
Receipts must be submitted within 30 days of purchasing of equipment, or at the time of application if purchased in advance.
September 7, 2023: The earliest an application can be submitted
October 16, 2023: Application deadline
December 15, 2023: Receipts for fall semester services due to Student Financial Services
January 8, 2024: The earliest an application can be submitted
February 22, 2024: Application deadline
Applications for funding to support the purchase of computer equipment (including laptops) will only be supported when it is required for assistive technology and is an expense beyond what a typical student would face.
There is a maximum amount of funding per student (e.g., up to $20,000 per year). This is not to say that any given student is entitled to the full amount. In most cases, the government’s guidelines result in students being eligible for a much smaller amount (if anything).
The University of Guelph is not responsible for funding services and equipment when a student is ineligible for this funding program. Our duty to accommodate means we are responsible for ensuring classrooms and other facilities on campus are accessible, and for ensuring that teaching and assessing what you have learned are made accessible. We are not responsible for the equipment or services you require in your home, when you are studying independently, or other routine expenses commonly faced by students (e.g., textbooks, study materials, ordinary computer requirements, etc.)
SAS helps students navigate the process, but the student is accountable to the government for the funding they receive. SAS does not have access to your student account, OSAP information, or funds you are approved to receive – we rely on you to provide us with any relevant information.
The information on this page serves as a general guide. If there is a discrepancy between this webpage and official government guidelines, the government’s information takes precedence.
Important: Tests & Exams
If you use the SAS Exam Centre, please remember that all test and exam bookings must be submitted at least 10 BUSINESS DAYS ahead of when you intend to write.
In addition, the last day any bookings can be received is the first business day in November, March or July as appropriate for the semester.