RFA Statewide Self Advocacy Network Capacity Building Graphic
RFA Statewide Self Advocacy Network Capacity Building Graphic

Table of Contents

The Texas Council for Developmental Disabilities (TCDD) announces the availability of funds to build the organizational capacity of self-advocacy organizations. Led by self-advocates with developmental disabilities (DD), organizations will become more established in their communities, create partnerships, conduct formal activities, and ultimately expand their role and impact statewide. Applicants will identify and achieve major activities to put self-advocate members in a position to network across communities. They will also expand their capacity to conduct additional activities and grant projects. Applications must be submitted by a group led by self-advocates.

TCDD has approved funding for one organization for up to three years. Funding is approved for up to $175,000 for year 1, up to $125,000 for year 2, and up to $75,000 for year 3.

Key Dates & Deadlines

The deadline to apply is 11:59 p.m. Central Time (CT) on Friday, Sept. 29, 2023. Applications submitted by this time may be reviewed at the November 2023 Council Meeting. Review dates are subject to change. Late applications will not be accepted.

Questions & Answers

Please submit questions to apply@tcdd.texas.gov. Questions will be received and answered by Monday, Sept. 25, 2023, at 5 p.m.  All questions will be posted on this webpage.

The detailed description of requirements for the RFA are located on the TCDD website, and additional help can be found on the How to Apply webpage.


Through self-advocacy, people with DD have more impact on their own situations, the public policies that affect them, and the supports and services they receive. Self-advocates also provide important knowledge, experience, and skills that individuals, organizations, and government agencies need to effectively support and enhance the lives of people with DD.

Councils are mandated by the Developmental Disabilities Assistance and Bill of Rights Act (DD Act) to promote engagement and support self-advocacy in a variety of ways. This includes training and technical assistance that may help an organization achieve operational capacity. These activities are outlined in TCDD’s 2022-2026 State Plan:

Goal 1: Individual Family and Advocacy and Leadership 

The Council will advance opportunities for more people with DD, their families, and other professionals to become strong self-advocates, disability advocates, peer trainers, and community leaders.

Objective 1.1: Self-Advocate Support

Increase capacity of self-advocates to organize at the state and local levels to share information, resources, and develop policy skills, train other self-advocates, participate in cross-disability initiatives, and support independence and engagement within communities on issues that are important to them and their families.

Project Description & Milestones

Through this grant, statewide self-advocacy groups will build their organizational capacity to become more established in their communities, create partnerships, and conduct formal activities. These activities may help organizations achieve short and long-term goals including, but not limited, to the following areas:

Governance: Improve board leadership and priority setting to make better and more aligned decisions, improve accountability and transparency, raise public awareness, and promote understanding and engagement.

Operations, Financial, and Communications: Expand administrative operations, staffing, workforce development, communications, and finances to ensure stability, sustainability, independence, and effectiveness over time.

State and Local Advocacy: Improve awareness and understanding of the DD community’s needs and perspectives and motivate them to make meaningful progress. Ensure that self-advocates are the faces and voices of the issues and serve as a resource to policymakers.

Local Outreach, Development, and Support: Build capacity and coverage statewide, diversify and expand participation rates, especially among young people, and promote sustainability and effectiveness in local policies, programs, services, and activities.

Education, Training, and Programming: Improve the knowledge, skills, and abilities of local groups or chapters and individuals with DD to be effective self-advocates. Equip them to participate fully in society and have a fulfilling life.

The scope and exact activities, deliverables, and timelines should be determined by the leadership of the statewide self-advocacy network. However, for planning and estimating purposes, this capacity-building grant may include the following activities:

  • Develop curriculum for leadership and advocacy training specific to statewide board and local or chapter participants.
  • Support governance and administrative activities to recruit and train new members and coordinate with local entities.
  • Identify resources to support financial independence.
  • Engage in capacity building activities associated with the development, maintenance, and contributions of community stakeholders.
  •  Collect data to measure progress on the goals and strategies identified.


The above list are examples only. There may be other activities an organization could consider. For this project, the applications must include a self-advocacy group as the lead entity. It is expected that the statewide self-advocacy organizations be DD-focused. Priority will be given to organizations that conduct activities in rural or underserved areas of the state.

Outcomes & Outputs

Funding is available for one statewide self-advocacy group to engage in capacity-building activities. Applicants will outline specific goals and activities as they relate to areas of governance, operations, outreach, advocacy, education, or training and how these activities will position the organization to become more engaged in state and local advocacy issues. Organizations that receive this funding must count the number of self-advocates involved in their activities and collect demographic information about all participants.

Grant Award & Term

TCDD has approved funding for one organization for up to three years. Funding is approved for up to $175,000 for Year 1, up to $125,000 for Year 2, and up to $75,000 for Year 3.

Funding is provided to TCDD by the U.S. Administration for Community Living, Department of Health and Human Services, per the Developmental Disabilities Assistance and Bill of Rights Act. For projects in federally designated poverty areas (PDF), non-federal matching funds of at least 10% of total project costs are required. For projects in other areas, non-federal matching funds of at least 25% of total project costs are required.

How to Apply

Proposals must be submitted through SM Apply. To learn more about TCDD’s RFAs, including the application process and what is required of grantees, visit the How to Apply webpage.

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