Funding Options

These are some resources that may be helpful for your family. We do not endorse any external organizations or websites, and we encourage you to contact them directly to find the best fit for your family.


Autism Ontario Education Scholarships: Three scholarships: for individuals on the autism spectrum entering the first year of a post-secondary program; for siblings of a person on the autism spectrum who are entering the first year of a post-secondary program; and for students with a parent with ASD.

Bursary for Students with Disabilities: For Full-time and part-time students who: self-identify as having either a permanent or temporary disability, have disability-related educational costs for services or equipment that are not covered by another agency or service, and require these services/equipment to participate in postsecondary studies.

Canada Student Grants for Students with Permanent Disabilities: Under this grant, students with permanent disabilities may receive $2,000 per academic year to help cover the costs of accommodation, tuition, and books.

General Funding

Extended Health Benefits – Employees may have insurance benefits through their place of work. Ask your employer to see what is covered.

Passport is a program that helps adults 18 years or older with a developmental disability to participate in their communities. It also helps caregivers of an adult with a developmental disability take a break from their caregiving responsibilities. Contact Developmental Services Ontario to apply for adult developmental services, including Passport.

Presidents Choice Children’s Charity Special Needs Assistance: We support children with special needs by providing financial grants for essential specialized equipment and essential therapies.

The Special Services at Home program helps families who are caring for a child with a developmental or physical disability. It is funded and managed by the Ministry of Children and Youth Services. The program helps families pay for special services in or outside the family home as long as the child is not receiving support from a residential program.

Government Support and Tax Credits

Try the Benefits Finder for a customized list of federal, provincial and territorial programs and services

Assistance for Children with Severe Disabilities (ACSD): financial support program for low and modest income families who have children with special needs. Call to speak with a worker and get an intake form: 519-886-4700.

Assistive Devices Program: Financial assistance for Ontario residents with long term physical disabilities to obtain basic, competitively priced, personalized assistive devices appropriate for an individual’s needs and essential for independent living.  E.g. Visual and Communication Aids.

Caregiver Tax Credit: The dependent must be 18 years of age or older and when they lived with you, and must be dependent on you due to a mental or physical infirmity.

Child Disability Benefit: nontaxable supplement to the Canada Child Tax Benefit (CCTB.)  The Child Disability Benefit provides financial assistance to low and modest income families to help with the costs of raising children under 18 years of age who have a severe and prolonged mental or physical impairment.

Children’s Activity Tax Credit: This credit helps parents with the cost to register their child(ren) in organized activities.

Children’s Art Tax Credit: You can claim to a maximum of $500 per child the fees paid in 2014 relating to the cost of registration or membership for your or your spouse’s or common-law partner’s child in a prescribed program of artistic, cultural, recreational, or developmental activity.

Children’s Fitness Tax Credit: You can claim to a maximum of $1,000 per child the fees paid in 2014 relating to the cost of registration or membership for your or your spouse’s or common-law partner’s child in a prescribed program of physical activity.

Disability Supports Deduction: If you are a person with a disability, you may be able to deduct disability supports expenses you incurred in the year to work, go to school, or to do research for which you were paid. (E.g. Bliss Symbol boards, tutoring services, etc.).

Disability Tax Credit Certificate:  The disability amount is a non-refundable tax credit used to reduce income tax payable on your income tax and benefit return.

Ontario Disability Support Program (ODSP): If you have a disability and need help with your living expenses, you may be eligible for the Ontario Disability Support Program (ODSP).

Ontario Drug Benefit: You are eligible for ODB program benefits if you live in Ontario, you have a valid Ontario health card and at least one of these statements applies to you: I am 65 years of age or older; I live in a Long-Term Care Home or a Home for Special Care; I am enrolled in the Home Care program; I have high drugs costs relative to my income and am registered in the Trillium Drug Program; I receive social assistance through Ontario Works or the Ontario Disability Support Program.

The Registered Disability Savings Plan (RDSP) is a long-term savings plan to help Canadians with disabilities and their families save for the future. If you have an RDSP, you may also be eligible for grants and bonds to help with your long-term savings.

A Registered Education Savings Plan (RESP) is a contract between an individual (the subscriber) and a person or organization (the promoter). Under the contract, the subscriber names one or more beneficiaries (the future student(s)) and agrees to make contributions for them, and the promoter agrees to pay educational assistance payments (EAPs) to the beneficiaries.

Healthcare Related

Ability Online provides grants to families in need of equipment for their children to improve independence and quality of life.  They raise the money and purchase the equipment on behalf of the child.  Only one equipment request per family is accepted.  The applicant must be active members of Ability Online for a minimum of 3 months.

Incontinence Supplies Grant Program: The program is for children and youth between the ages of 3 to 18 years with chronic disabilities (physical or developmental) that result in irreversible incontinence or retention problems lasting longer than six months and requiring the use of incontinence supplies.  The grant is a contribution to the cost of supplies and may not cover all costs.

The Waterloo Wellington CCAC team provides health and support services for children with medical needs at home and/or at school.


A Child’s Voice Foundation is designed to help financially disadvantaged children in Canada when all other doors have been closed to them.  Through the application process, the grants given provide children with necessary products and services not otherwise provided by health care plans, levels of government, or other organizations.  Some examples of this may be small medical equipment and supplies, limited in-home nursing care or therapy, required short term therapies, transportation to and from medical appointments, parking permits for hospital visits, medication not covered by government or insurance, dental procedures not covered by government or insurance, and specialized or needed furniture and equipment.

Ceridian Cares provides grants for clothing & footwear,  food & basic household needs, medical devices & therapies, and personal development & recreation.  The applicant must be 18+ years of age to apply for the grant.  Read about application criteria and apply here.

The March of Dimes Assistive Devices Program can help you buy, repair and maintain a wide variety of mobility or assistive equipment (including wheelchairs). The Program may also have contact information or resources to help you find alternate funding sources in your area. This includes communication devices.

Little Geeks: Our mission is to provide free computing technology and hardware to children who cannot afford this resource on their own by diverting perfectly good refurbished computers from landfill and giving them to children in need.

Region of Waterloo Children’s Services: The Child Care Subsidy program can help you pay for child care for children up to age 12 at licensed, recreation or Extended Day programs in the community.

Planning for the Future

The “Special Needs” Planning Group is an organization that is made up entirely of parents of people with disabilities. The Group’s sole purpose has been to assist families in establishing plans which will provide their family members with a disability with a decent quality of life for their entire lifetime while at the same time, preserving their entitlement to government support programs.

The Registered Disability Savings Plan (RDSP) is a long-term savings plan to help Canadians with disabilities and their families save for the future. If you have an RDSP, you may also be eligible for grants and bonds to help with your long-term savings.

Henson Trust Handbook: This booklet is for families who want to help support a relative who receives ODSP benefits. It explains how you can help your family member without affecting their ODSP benefits.

Recreation and Leisure

Access 2 Entertainment program seeks to offer more opportunities for people with disabilities to participate in recreational activities with an attendant, without added financial burden.

Autism Ontario: One-to-One Summer Support Worker Reimbursement Fund and March Break Reimbursement Fund

Canadian Tire Jumpstart: Kids aged 4 to 18 from families in financial need can receive funding to help with registration fees, equipment and/or transportation.

This Disability Travel Card is intended for people with disabilities who require the assistance of a support person when traveling. The Card offers its holder discounts to the support person in attendance with them when traveling with participating partners Via Rail, Greyhound bus lines and Coach Canada.

Kids In Camp is a charitable organization established to financially assist families to send their kids to camp.

KidSport™ is a grass roots Canadian non-profit organization that provides support to under-resourced children and youth 18 years of age and under across the country by removing financial barriers that prevent them from playing organized sport.

The PAL card is a program that allows individuals with a disability to be accompanied by a personal attendant so that they may have the help they need to participate in recreation and leisure programs and services offered by the municipality and PAL card partners.

Three to Be has two funding initiatives that allow parents to apply for support. The programs include: Fee Subsidy Program and Give Me A Break Program (formerly the Respite Program)– designed to respond directly to the here and now needs of our families, as well as enhance the degree to which they are nurtured and supported within our community.