Adult Career and Continuing Education Services-Vocational Rehabilitation

Financial Aid and Scholarship Opportunities For Students who are Deaf, Blind, Deafblind, or Hard of Hearing

New York State Readers Aid Program

The Readers Aid Program (RAP) provides funding assistance for college students who are deaf, deafblind or blind by helping to meet the costs of note-taker, reader and/or interpreter services. The funding, administered through a public or private college or university disabled students service office is normally divided between semesters but may be fully used in one semester. Annual funding has recently amounted to $1,000 per academic year and are subject to change based on annual appropriations.


To be eligible for the program, students must:

Have a severe to profound hearing loss (70dB or more ) or a speech discrimination of less than 70%;

Be legally blind (meaning 20/200 vision in the better eye (with best correction);


Be a legal resident of New York State.
Be matriculated or actively working to earn a certificate through an institution of higher education authorized by law to grant degrees and, if in New York State, approved by the New York State Board of Regents.

Apply For the Readers Aid Program

Interested students should obtain a “Student Application for Readers Aid Program Funds” (availbale below) and contact their college’s Disability Services Office to apply for this funding opportunity.

For more information on the Readers Aid Program, see Readers Aid Program at a Glance.

Contact Us

For additional information, please contact:
Dennis Barlow
Coordinator, Readers Aid Program
New York State Education Department
Adult Career and Continuing Education Services-Vocational Rehabilitation (ACCES-VR)
Phone: (518) 474-7343

Last Updated: February 11, 2015