Community Inclusion Mini-Grants

Executive Summary

The Texas Council for Developmental Disabilities (TCDD) issued a Request for Applications (RFA) for Community Inclusion Mini-Grants (RFA 2020-10). Through these grants, organizations will create opportunities and address barriers so people with disabilities can experience full community life.

Local organizations will conduct projects that will result in more people with disabilities participating in education, employment, and social activities in the community. Organizations will address barriers and/or identify opportunities to increase community inclusion and projects will allow people with disabilities to participate in the community-integrated activities of their choice. To foster increased community inclusion, projects may replicate an existing best practice or develop a unique and innovative idea.  

The funding amount for this RFA is $15,000 for up to 12 months. Funding is available for up to 10 projects. The RFA will be open for one year and the first deadline to apply is June 22, 2020.

Background

TCDD works to create change so people with disabilities can achieve their potential for independence and be included in their communities. When people with disabilities are included in school, work, and social activities, individuals have a higher quality of life and communities are stronger. However, many people with disabilities in Texas don’t experience full community inclusion. Barriers to inclusion could be due to a lack of available services or due to how the community addresses disability-related issues.

There may be specific barriers that prevent people with disabilities from participating in their communities, such as inadequate accessible transportation, a lack of integrated employment options, or segregated after-school activities for students. There also may be a lack of understanding about how the community as a whole can support and include people with disabilities. Every community — and the people in it — is unique, so identifying barriers and creating innovative solutions may be unique to each community.

Project Description and Milestones

Projects will address barriers to, and identify opportunities for, full community inclusion for people with disabilities in their community. Full community inclusion is defined as participating in education, employment, and social activities in the community alongside both people with and without disabilities. Ultimately, the goal of Community Inclusion Mini-Grants is to produce short-term and/or long-term systems change.

Projects can include solutions to typical barriers, barriers that have developed due to the COVID-19 situation, or both. To address the barrier, projects may either replicate best practices or develop unique and innovative ideas. At the conclusion of the project, grantees will be able to clearly demonstrate how the barrier was addressed and how community inclusion has improved.

Below are examples of projects that could improve community inclusion.

  • Awareness: Conduct an awareness campaign about developmental disabilities and how the community is stronger when people of all abilities are included.
  • Education: Work with parents and teachers to promote greater inclusion in school activities.
  • Employment: Collaborate with local employers to promote hiring people with disabilities for community-integrated jobs at a competitive wage.
  • Socializing: Work with community members and local leaders to create opportunities for individuals with disabilities to access public spaces and/or events.
  • Transportation: Work with the local transit authority and transportation providers to develop models that increase the accessibility and availability of transportation options.

The above list is not exhaustive and there may be other project activities to consider. Projects should have an impact beyond the duration of grant funding, both by the direct impact they’ve had at the local level and through potential replication by other communities and/or implementation by larger organizations. Preference will be given to new and innovative project ideas.

Outputs and Outcomes

Projects will successfully overcome a barrier to community inclusion that is experienced by people with disabilities. Projects will either implement a best practice or develop an innovative approach to address the barrier. Grantees will demonstrate how people with disabilities in their community are more included in education, employment, or social activities. Strategies, products, and resources developed by the project will be shared with a statewide audience to allow other communities to address similar barriers.

Grant Award and Term

The anticipated total amount of federal funding available for this RFA is $15,000 for up to 12 months. Up to 10 projects may be funded.

Funds available for these projects are provided to TCDD by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Administration on Disabilities, pursuant to the Developmental Disabilities Assistance and Bill of Rights Act. Funding for the project is dependent on the results of a review process established by TCDD and on the availability of funds. Non-federal matching funds of at least 10% of the total project costs are required for projects in federally designated poverty areas. Non-federal matching funds of at least 25% of total project costs are required for projects in other areas.

Key Dates and Deadlines

This RFA will be open for one year and applications will be reviewed by TCDD according to the following schedule:

  • applications received by 11:59 p.m. on June 22, 2020 may be reviewed at the August 2020 Council Meeting;
  • applications received by 11:59 p.m. on Sept. 14, 2020 may be reviewed at the November 2020 Council Meeting;
  • applications received by 11:59 p.m. on Dec. 14, 2020 may be reviewed at the February 2021 Council Meeting; and
  • applications received by 11:59 p.m. on March 15, 2021 may be reviewed at the May 2021 Council Meeting.

Proposals will not be accepted outside of these due dates. TCDD will notify applicants about decisions following the applicable Council Meeting. Review dates are subject to change.

Informational webinar: TCDD will hold a webinar to provide more information about TCDD’s processes for application review and grant award. Attendance is not required in order to apply. The informational webinar will be held at 10 a.m. CT on Tuesday, May 19, 2020. To register for the webinar, go here.

Questions: Email all questions regarding this RFA to apply@tcdd.texas.gov by 11:59 p.m. CT on Wednesday, May 27, 2020. The estimated date for posting questions and answers for this RFA is Tuesday, June 2, 2020.

How to Apply

TCDD uses an online application tool called SMApply to accept applications for RFAs. In SMApply, applicants submit their applications by entering information and uploading documents. All application activities take place in SMApply and the application includes detailed instructions regarding what information to provide. To apply for this RFA, go to TCDD’s Mini-Grant Application in SMApply.

General RFA Information

To learn more about TCDD’s RFAs, including the application process and what is required of grantees, visit the General RFA Information webpage. For information on completing an application — including a preview of the RFA application, an example of a budget, and more — visit the Resources webpage.