December 2 is National Special Education Day

December 2 is National Special Education Day. Special needs is a broad term that describes children with developmental or learning disabilities, physical or mental disabilities, behavioral issues, or health conditions such as chronic illness. In times of budget cuts, it can sometimes be difficult to find the necessary equipment or access to best serve children with special needs. We have compiled a list of grants that focus on special education funding.

ALSC/Candlewick Press “Light the Way: Outreach to the Underserved” Grants offer funding to libraries to conduct outreach programs serving children with learning or physical differences. Funding may be used to create new and innovative programs or to expand already existing work. Among the previous grant winners is the Burke County Public Library that offered special story time programs to deaf and hard of hearing children to increase literacy and academic achievement.

The application is due December 1, 2018, and grants of $3,000 are awarded.


The Charles Lafitte Foundation supports innovative and effective educational programs, including access to schools. The foundation’s focus is on students with learning disabilities, integration of all learners, equal access, and holistic approaches to education. Among previous grant recipients is a program that addresses the unique emotional and developmental needs of hospitalized children and an experimental education unit for children with developmental disabilities at the University of Washington.

Applications are accepted year-round and the award amount varies by project.


The Oberkotter Foundation funds programs that promote listening and spoken language for children who are deaf or hard of hearing. Grants focus on supporting and empowering families to achieve listening and spoken language outcomes for their children who are deaf or hard of hearing through awareness, education, connections, collaboration, and access to resources. Previous grantees include a program that offered Listening and Spoken Language programming to children from birth through age 4.

Letters of Inquiry are accepted December 1 through December 31, 2018, and awards vary by program.


The American Sign Language (ASL) Honor Society provides minigrants to high school and postsecondary teachers for projects that enhance study of ASL. Funds must be used for expenses such as guest speaker fees, ASL Festival/Deaf Awareness Week costs, school-wide ASL entertainment or speaker, and study-related supplies and equipment.

Applications are accepted on a rolling basis and grants up to $500 are awarded on a first come, first served basis.


The Innovative Worthy Projects Foundation makes grants to organizations dedicated to serving children with special needs, acute illnesses, or chronic disabilities by developing innovative programs, disseminating ideas, or providing direct care or services. Among previous grant recipients are adaptive equipment projects for children who are deaf or hard of hearing.

Applications must be submitted by December 31, annually, and award amounts vary.


The National Cristina Foundation focuses on service-providing organizations targeting people with disabilities, students at risk, and economically disadvantaged populations. The goal is to support the delivery of essential educational and training programs through provision of suitable technology resources. Donated equipment may only be used for training, job development, educational programs, and other related projects that focus directly on improving the lives of people with disabilities, students at risk, and economically disadvantaged populations.

Requests for donations may be submitted year-round; the foundation awards computers and technology.




Leave a Reply

%d bloggers like this: