Services for Students with Disabilities

Burt Black Memorial Scholarship

Disability: Physical Disabilities and/or Learning Disabilities (not ADHD)

Managed through the Ann Arbor Area Community Foundation (AAACF), this scholarship provides two $2,000 awards each year to University of Michigan students with learning or physical disabilities who embody the qualities of optimism, determination, courage, and a zest for life; have demonstrated involvement in school and community; and have persevered in academic achievement.

This scholarship is not currently accepting applications. 

Forbes Family Fund

Disability: Learning Disabilities

The Forbes Family Fund is for U-M SSD registered students who are in need of technological equipment to augment their academic success. Students can only receive this award once during their tenure at the University.

This scholarship is not currently accepting applications. 

Saul and Shirley Lederer Award

Two merit scholarships have been established from Saul and Shirley Lederer to honor their grandson Adam Miller. This award is offered to students who have hearing, visual, and mobility disabilities. Two recipients are chosen annually for awards of $1,000 each.


To be eligible for these awards, students must be enrolled at The University of Michigan, registered with the SSD office, have one of the prescribed impairments listed above, and be active in their University Community.

Application Process

Students must submit a one page essay describing your academic journey, accomplishments, and challenges. Please describe with details your intended use of the scholarship fund.

Essays were due by March 18, 2022 at noon.

Nabi Family Scholarship

Disability: Learning Disabilities (not ADHD)

Two awards of $4,000 will be given to U-M SSD registered students with learning disabilities (LD). To apply for this scholarship, the recipient(s) will need to demonstrate financial need and include a personal statement as to how this scholarship will benefit them in their academic career.

This scholarship is not currently accepting applicants.

Jessie Ridley Foundation Scholarship

Disability: Chronic health conditions, hearing, visual or mobility impairment

The Jessie Ridley Foundation Scholarships are typically awarded to six to seven U-M SSD registered students who have chronic health, visual, hearing or mobility impairment. The following will be considered when awarding scholarship: financial need, parental income, impact of disability, funding received from Michigan Rehabilitation Services, Council for the Blind or other rehabilitation agency, graduate or undergraduate status.

This scholarship is not currently accepting applications. 

Wesley Smith Memorial Award

The Wesley Smith Memorial Award is an annual award available to all undergraduate and graduate students who are deaf or hard of hearing. Each year, one recipient will receive a $500.00 cash award in recognition of curricular and co-curricular success at the University of Michigan.


  • Students applying must be enrolled for the Fall term as an undergraduate or graduate student.
  • Students must be deaf or hard of hearing and registered with the SSD office.
  • Preference will be given to students who demonstrate financial need.

Application Process
Please submit your name and student ID number. Write an essay describing your academic career, accomplishments, and indicate your anticipated date of graduation.

Essays were due by March 18, 2022 at noon.

Beverly J. Waterman Scholarship

The Beverly J. Waterman scholarship is open to full-time students who are in good academic standing and are Deaf or hard of hearing.


  • Students must be registered with Services for Students with Disabilities Office at the University of Michigan
  • Applicants must be a full time student that is in good academic standing
  • Must be Deaf or hard of hearing

Application process:

Applicants need to submit a brief essay as to intent of the funds if awarded, up to $1,000.

Essays were due by March 18, 2022 at noon.

Wolens Speech and Language Fund

Disability: Speech dysfluency (stuttering)

On behalf of a very generous donor, SSD has set up a fund for students who stutter. The goal of this fund is to offer assistance and support to those who have speech dysfluency commonly known as stuttering. Students with this condition can receive adaptive technology, tutoring, and professional networking opportunities through the funding support given by this donor.

This scholarship is not currently accepting applications. 

Craig H. Neilsen Foundation Scholarship Program

Disability: Spinal Cord Injuries

The Craig H. Neilsen Foundation “was established in 2002 as a private foundation dedicated to spinal cord injury (SCI) research and quality of life programs for people living with SCI. Mr. Neilsen lived with a high-level spinal cord injury for twenty-one years until his passing in 2006. He was a visionary with an entrepreneurial spirit who led his companies with inexhaustible passion. Craig Neilsen wanted his foundation to contribute in a significant way to SCI research and to offer those with SCI the quality of life they deserve.” As a recipient of the Craig H. Neilsen Scholarship Program, his vision can hopefully continue through you in its dedication for individuals with spinal cord injuries to live full and productive lives as active participants in their communities.” All University of Michigan students (including Ann Arbor, Dearborn, and Flint campuses) are eligible to apply for the Neilsen Scholarship Program. Funding decisions would come through in late Summer/early Fall term.

Here is a Newsletter article detailing our 2018 NSP recipients:

This scholarship is not currently accepting applications. 

Alex Powell Scholarship

In honor of Alex Powell who was a student at Michigan State and was treated at UM for cancer. As celebrated each year at Alex's Great State Race which is a fundraiser for SSD. Alex's Great State Race will occur on October 28, 2022.

This scholarship fund is for students with financial need who are registered with SSD. Two candidates will be selected and awarded $1,000.

Students must complete a one page essay and indicate their anticipated graduation date.

Essays were due by March 18, 2022 at noon.

E. Royster Harper ACHIEVABILITY Award

E. Royster Harper ACHIEVABILITY Award

E. Royster Harper devoted her career to providing programs and support to every student at the University of Michigan so that they could achieve their full potential. The E. Royster Harper ACHIEVABILITY Award honors Dr. Harper’s commitment to creating an environment that allows every student to have Achievability. Students applying for this award should indicate which groups they are involved with or actions they have taken to enrich the University’s community.

Eligible students: Mobility impaired, visually impaired, and/or hard of hearing students registered with Services for Students with Disabilities.

Candidates for this scholarship are chosen from Saul and Shirley Lederer Merit Award essays.

Award amounts determined by donors.

Essays were due by March 18, 2022 at noon.