Donations to this fund will support a scholarship to benefit disabled, chronically ill and neurodivergent social work students. The scholarship will serve to contribute financial support to these students for educational expenses, to decrease barriers and to increase awareness of disability within the profession.
Why is this needed?
In Social Work Education
Overall, an estimated 19% of undergraduates and 12% of graduate students report having a disability. In social work academic programs, disabled students face additional barriers to internships (less than 15% of social work students receive field placement accommodations), a lack of priority in addressing disability within courses in general and a lack of incorporating university design principles in course design.
In Social Work Employment
Barriers in employment include the 44% labor force participation rate gap between people with disabilities and those without, a lack of disability & accessibility knowledge in workplaces and high levels of burnout within the profession.
In Social Work Associations
In attaining licensure, social work graduates face multiple barriers related to accommodations, to date there have been no efforts within the social work profession to determine how many social workers have a disability and there are very few groups or initiatives within existing social work associations that prioritize disability conversations.
Disabled social workers frequently see a lack of support and to quote a recent research article from Sellmaier & Kim, “Within social work, can our profession conceptualize participation and inclusion of people with disabilities to multiple identities: client, citizen, and colleague?”.
The scholarship will be available to high school students, undergraduate students, graduate students and graduates who are focused on paying off their student debt.