RIT Disability Leadership Scholars Program
Disability Services Office
Now in its second year, RIT’s Disability Leadership and Scholarship Program aims to recruit a cohort of students who self-identify as members of the Disability and/or Deaf community, and who demonstrate strong leadership skills and commitment to equity and justice for the Disability community.
Students selected for this opportunity should be particularly invested in disability, equity, and social justice. Awards will be made to selected students after acceptance to RIT.
- Recruit promising prospective students who identify as Disabled, Deaf Plus, d/Deaf, or hard of hearing to join the RIT community
- Provide pre-college workshops to the cohort of students focused on:
- Awareness of resources and processes for pursuing accommodations and other supports in college
- Self-advocacy skill development
- Development of an intentional peer community of RIT students who share a commitment to disability equity and empowerment
- Engagement in an ongoing mentorship with an RIT faculty/staff member throughout their first two years at RIT
- Ongoing leadership development experiences and opportunities
- Positively impact retention and graduation rates amongst Disabled, Deaf Plus, d/Deaf, and hard of hearing students
A one-time $10,000 scholarship to be used towards costs of RIT education
Pre-orientation resource education on student rights, resources, and supports on the RIT campus
A dedicated RIT faculty/staff mentor and established peer community
Ongoing professional and leadership development opportunities
Who is Eligible?
Current high school seniors intending to enroll in college in the Fall who self-identify as Disabled, Deaf Plus, d/Deaf, or hard of hearing are eligible to apply before the application deadline.
We understand disability as broad and as manifesting in a multitude of ways, whether lifelong or acquired, hidden or readily apparent. Those who identify with a physical disability, learning disability, mental health disability, chronic illness, Deaf or Deaf Plus identity and more are within the scope of this initiative. Of particular importance to us is a student’s understanding of Disability as an identity and not a deficit.
Nominations should come directly from the interested student, due by the application deadline listed below. A select group of identified candidates will then be invited to interview virtually with RIT. Recipients will be notified and students selected for the program must commit to participating by the date indicated below.
Students with any accessibility needs or questions related to the application process may contact the RIT Disability Services Office at firstname.lastname@example.org or 585-475-2023.
2023-2024 Academic Year
|April 30||Deadline for student self-nominations|
|Early May||Finalists to interview with RIT via Zoom|
|Mid-May||Decisions released to all applicants|
|May 31||Deadline for selected students to commit to the Disability Leadership Scholars Program|
|August 18—20||Mandatory pre-orientation program for Disability Leadership Scholars (early RIT Housing move-in will be arranged for participating students)|
Non-discrimination Statement: The RIT community is committed to a diverse, inclusive and dynamic learning, working and living environment. RIT does not discriminate. Disclosures regarding disability status will be kept independent of a student’s admission review, unless disclosed directly with the Admissions Office. Only students offered admission to RIT will be considered for the RIT / Microsoft Scholarship opportunity.
March 1, 2023
RIT disability leadership scholars advocate, educate for those with disabilities
Spectrum News talks to student Gavin Morrobel and Catherine Lewis, director of RIT’s Disability Services office, about RIT's Disability Leadership Scholars program.
January 6, 2023
Disability Leadership Scholars program aims to educate and empower
Eight first-year RIT students have been selected to become the university’s first Disability Leadership Scholars to advocate and to educate about disabilities.