New Diverse Learners Recovery Fund for Chicago Students with Disabilities

June 5th, 2024

A girl with dark skin sits in a wheelchair and smiles as she plays with blocks inside an inclusive classroom for children with physical and intellectual disabilities.

Eligible Chicago families who have children with disabilities in grades K-12 can apply for a chance to receive a one-time grant through Oct. 30

If you live in Chicago and have at least one child with disabilities enrolled in a public or private k-12 school, you may be eligible for a one-time grant.

The Chicago Mayor’s Office for People with Disabilities and Ada S. McKinley Community Services has launched the Diverse Learners Recovery Fund for students with disabilities.

The program aims to help families who were uniquely challenged by the COVID-19 pandemic.

The fund will provide one-time grants of $500 to up to 8,000 eligible K-12 students through a lottery. Students with autism, physical and developmental delays and other disabilities may be eligible.

Families can use these funds to pay for things such as medical expenses, supplemental education resources or other accommodations their student needs.

Parents and guardians can apply for the Diverse Learners Recovery Fund grant at through Oct. 30.

Families applying for the grant must:

  • Live in Chicago
  • Have a student currently enrolled in a K-12 public or private school
  • Have an Individualized Education Program (IEP), a 504 Plan, an Individual Support Plan (ISP), or a doctor’s note verifying a disability diagnosis covered under the Americans with Disabilities Act
  • Have a household income level at or below 300 percent of the federal poverty level

Families can receive a maximum one-time payment of $500 for one student and $1,000 for two students.

The program will select recipients using a lottery system. All eligible applications will be included in the drawings on:

  • July 1
  • Sept. 16
  • On or after Nov. 30

Submitting an eligible application does not guarantee you will receive the funds. Eligible applications that are not chosen will be included in the following drawing(s).

See the Diverse Learners Recovery Fund flyer for more information on the fund and eligibility requirements. It also has a QR code to apply.

You can also visit the Diverse Learners Recovery Fund for Students with Disabilities website. The site features tools to help with the application process, including:

  • A video
  • Eligibility requirements
  • Frequently asked questions and a chart to help determine the federal poverty level
  • A list of documents necessary to complete your application
  • Contact information (phone and online)

If you’re ready to apply, be sure to set up your Diverse Learners Recovery Fund for Students with Disabilities account online.

The deadline to apply for a chance to receive a grant is Oct. 30.

The program receives funding from The Coronavirus State and Local Fiscal Recovery Funds (SLRF) program authorized by the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA).