RFA: Leadership and Advocacy Training by a Local Self-Advocacy Organization

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The Texas Council for Developmental Disabilities (TCDD) issued a Request for Applications (RFA) for a Leadership and Advocacy Training by a Local Self-Advocacy Organization Grant (RFA 2020-08). Funding is available for one local self-advocacy organization to provide leadership and advocacy skills training. The deadline to apply is June 15, 2020.


This project is intended to support self-advocates to develop their skills, participate in local self-advocacy groups and partnerships, and to become more visible leaders in their communities. Training participants will become active in creating change in their communities.

About the RFA

The Leadership and Advocacy Training by a Local Self-Advocacy Organization project will have self-advocates in leadership positions for project development, coordination, curriculum choices, and implementation. Self-advocates will provide leadership and advocacy training to people with disabilities, family members of people with disabilities, and other community members.

Project staff will determine how the curriculum will be used and how training will be provided. Training must include:

  • history and philosophy of the disability rights movement;
  • principles of self-determination;
  • strategies to find and access necessary services and supports;
  • activities to develop self-advocacy skills; and
  • activities to promote interaction between participants and peer support.

Organizations implementing the training may charge a reasonable fee for training or for continuing education units but must ensure that people with DD and family members will be able to participate regardless of ability to pay. TCDD will have final approval of any fee structure and procedure.

By the end of the first year, project staff must:

  • develop the curriculum for leadership development and advocacy skills training using curriculum selected by project staff and approved by TCDD;
  • conduct outreach and recruit training participants from the local community; and
  • begin training an agreed-upon number of individuals.

Throughout the project, staff will:

  • train a minimum of 20 individuals each year;
  • track and survey all participants’ advocacy activities and their satisfaction with the project;
  • provide TCDD with up-to-date information and recommendations that can be used to develop further policy actions and future projects; and
  • evaluate the project and use the information gained to improve the training.

By the end of the final year of the project, project staff must:

  • document at least 10% of program participants who continue their involvement in leadership roles or public advocacy after their training is complete. These ongoing activities may include serving on committees, boards, or workgroups; and
  • document that at least 80% of program participants demonstrate perceived improvement in their ability to advocate for themselves and others.

All organizations must have procedures in place to obtain contact information (including e-mail addresses) from participants and to inform participants that their contact information will be forwarded to TCDD so that TCDD may provide information related to advocacy opportunities to advocates. Grantees should forward to TCDD the names of participants who are interested in ongoing advocacy, advanced training, or serving on a board or committee.

The funding amount for this RFA is open-ended based on activities proposed, but funding for typical TCDD projects that address leadership and advocacy range from $25,000 to $150,000 per year. A maximum of one project will be funded for up to five years and the project should provide training to at least 20 people each year.