March 7, 2018 – Students with disabilities take longer to finish post-secondary education and incur a greater student debt load than non-disabled students, yet still struggle to find employment. The fourth annual Life Without Limits Gala hosted by the Cerebral Palsy Association of BC (CPABC) will raise funds for the Tanabe Bursary supporting post-secondary education for students living with cerebral palsy.
For many young people with disabilities, education is the answer to both social stigma and professional development. While poverty and under-employment still tend to be over-represented in the disability community, education has the power to level the playing field and promote more universal access to social connection, employment, career, job security and dreams of a Life Without Limits.
On average, students with disabilities take longer to complete their course of study than non-disabled students, due to barriers such as fatigue and smaller class loads, and the necessity of devices and scribes for note-taking and writing exams. Students with disabilities may be less likely to supplement their income with part-time jobs and may incur up to 60% more in student debt than other students
Although students with post-secondary education are more likely to find jobs, unemployment continues to be a significant challenge for youth with disabilities. In 2011, the employment rate of Canadians with disabilities was 49%, compared with 79% for those without. The unemployment rate for youth with disabilities was 14.3% in 2012, compared with a rate of 6.0% for adults.
Breaking the unemployment cycle for young people with disabilities contributes to their greater health, happiness, and economic independence, and a more diverse and inclusive workforce that benefits from the full potential of society.
CPABC executive director Feri Dehdar says, “Since 1994, CPABC has been providing financial assistance to students with CP. Many have significant financial need and come from single income homes. We are proud to support students’ post-secondary education, so they can live a Life Without Limits.”
Frank Robertson, a Bachelor of Science student in Cranbrook and Tanabe Bursary recipient, says, “My plan is to get a PhD and teach as a professor. This will be a long, hard road, but I think I’m up to it and will excel. I am very grateful to CPABC for their contribution to my life – and to my dreams.”
The Life Without Limits Gala takes place at the Sheraton Wall Centre on Thursday, March 15th, 2018.
Bursary recipients are available for media interviews.
Feri Dehdar, Executive Director
(604) 408-9484, 1-800-663-0004
The Cerebral Palsy Association of BC was started in 1954. Our Mission is: To raise awareness of Cerebral Palsy in the community; To assist those living with Cerebral Palsy to reach their maximum potential; and To work to see those living with Cerebral Palsy recognize their place as equals in a diverse society. Recognized by the 2013 City of Vancouver Award for Accessibility and Inclusivity, the Cerebral Palsy Association of BC has supported people living with CP and other disabilities for over 60 years.