Could this new funding stream benefit your department?

Amidst the massive influx of news and dramatic upheavals Covid-19 has brought about, the implications of the CARES Act may have gone under many peoples’ radars.

The Act, intended to provide $2 trillion emergency direct assistance to businesses, individuals and institutions, was passed on 27th March.

Now, over 1,700 institutions will be starting to receive funding packages, worth $14 billion in total.

Allocations so far have ranged from the tens of thousands to millions of dollars.

What’s the funding for?

The money is intended, on the one hand, to provide direct support to students in a financial emergency. This makes up the first portion of funding.

The second portion of the grant is for institutions to reimburse themselves for the costs incurred through a transition to remote learning. This includes the purchase of technology, improving internet access and service fees for new systems. 

There are also specific funding streams for Historically Black, Tribally Controlled and Minority Serving institutions.

How does this affect me?

If you work in disability support, you’ll no doubt have experienced significant challenges to routine delivery of services. We’ve heard stories from many of you about these issues over on the Note Taking Support Network – especially in the early days of the pandemic.

But the allocation of funding through the CARES Act means that your department could get some much-needed investment in technology as you prepare for an extended period of remote learning.

Your institution may have already received their allocation, so now’s the time to find out more.

Your next steps

To help with this, we asked Sonocent Sales Consultant Megan for her top tips on starting the conversation on CARES Act funding with your institution.

Starting the conversation

It’s always difficult talking about budget (especially in a time like this), but from my experience talking to disability support staff across North America, it all starts with asking a few simple questions.

Here are a few to get you started:

  1. Ask your director if they have heard of the CARES Act funding and what that could mean for the department

  2. If your director already knows about the funding, you could ask the following questions:

    • ‘what is the process for gaining access to these funds for students with disabilities?’ 
    • ‘Can this money be used to fund technology for our students?’
    • ‘Who do I need to speak to about funding for students with disabilities?’

  3. If your director is not aware of the funding, ask who would be the best person to speak to about this (in our experience, it is usually the finance/procurement office).

Any thoughts on what you just read?