Meaningful Day Mini-Grants at-a-glance
- Projects will improve access to meaningful employment and community activities for people with disabilities
- Grantees will test models and build their organization’s capacity to help people with disabilities achieve meaningful outcomes
- Medicaid Waiver service providers are the primary audience for this RFP
- Up to 10 projects will be funded for a maximum of $15,000 per project
- The deadline to apply is Dec. 31, 2019
The Texas Council for Developmental Disabilities (TCDD) is committed to impact the service delivery system in Texas so people with disabilities have an opportunity to:
- develop natural connections in the community,
- be independent and socially engaged, and
- work in community-integrated jobs, whether paid or unpaid.
TCDD issued a Request for Proposals (RFP) to fund Meaningful Day Mini-Grants that will improve the design and delivery of services related to daily activities so more people with disabilities have access to meaningful day activities, supports, and services. Through the grant-funded projects, Medicaid Waiver service providers (providers) will explore, implement, and test methods designed to help people with disabilities participate in the meaningful activities of their choice.
“Meaningful Day” can be defined as providing the services and supports necessary so people with disabilities have the opportunity to participate in the same activities that are available to the general population. The term “day” does not exclusively denote activities that happen on weekdays between the hours of 9 a.m. and 5 p.m.
Activities that could be considered “meaningful” include:
- purposeful and personally-impactful work;
- the pursuit of healthy living, focusing on personal development, and developing real relationships; or
- skill development and/or maintenance.
Meaningful activities could also be derived from a person’s Individual Service Plan (ISP). The vision, goals, and desired personal outcomes documented in an ISP could serve as a link to meaningful social, educational, and community inclusion activities. Successful meaningful day supports are measured by whether the individual achieves their desired outcomes as identified in their ISP, as documented in daily schedules and progress notes. Each meaningful day activity could help move the person closer to a specified outcome identified in their ISP.
The concept of meaningful days has received more attention in service delivery systems since the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) released the Home and Community Based Services (HCBS) Settings Rule in 2014. The rule addresses the quality of HCBS long-term services and supports so people with disabilities can be more included in their communities and exercise control over their own lives. This RFP aims to create opportunities for individuals to pursue meaningful employment, to be engaged in community life, or both.
Meaningful Day Mini-Grants can help service providers licensed by the Texas Health and Human Services Commission to build their capacity to improve the way they provide their services. With these grants, providers will work to support more people with disabilities to get a meaningful job in their community and to have purposeful days when not working.
Grantees may use funds to develop and/or pilot strategies that will improve existing program models that result in a person-directed meaningful day that incorporates an individual’s preferences for improved community access and integration. Grantees will document the development, implementation, barriers, and successes of their proposed ideas and activities. Also, individuals who are served through this project will be surveyed.
Expected Outputs and Outcomes
Applicants will identify the specific activities to be conducted to reach identified goals. The project’s activities and goals should be able to be shared with other providers and organizations around the state. All grant recipients will be required to participate in a collaborative learning community to share their work, including barriers and successes, to improve person-centered outcomes and to provide peer support to future grantees.
Project Outcomes will include at least one of the following:
- Increase the number of people employed in community jobs of their choice or increase the number of hours a person in a community job works.
- For individuals already employed, improve the supports, services, and satisfaction related to the employment.
- Increase the number of people participating in the inclusive community activities of their choice when they are not working.
Listed below are some examples of activities that might be funded under this grant.
- Convert services: A grantee could contract with a subject matter expert to develop a strategic plan and vision to convert Day Program Vocational Services from a facility-based/mobile crew model to a model that promotes customized employment, competitive employment, self-employment, or community-based services.
- Culture change: A grantee could work to change its organization’s culture so all of its programs understand and develop a more open, person-directed approach regarding how an individual spends their day. A mini-grant could help the agency learn how to support people to have meaningful days outside of a typical Monday to Friday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. schedule. The grantee could develop plans and processes to achieve this and also to monitor and measure outcomes.
- Employment team: A project could focus on ensuring employment specialists have the support and coaching needed to focus on customized employment approaches for individuals with disabilities who are seeking independent employment options. An organization could grow and restructure its employment team to help more people get work and have more opportunities outside the Day Center.
- Transition services: A grantee could build its capacity and develop/improve a curriculum to work with students and create Pre-Employment Transition Services that target employment as the outcome. The organization could work with students before they exit the school system to create a more seamless transition to adult services.
- Person-centered: A mini-grant could support an organization to develop protocols for person-centered practices that are both more extensive and individualized.
- Promote hiring: A project could focus on developing strategies for talking to potential employers about the benefits of hiring people with disabilities.
- Restructure: A grantee could focus on changing its staffing model (e.g., create the necessary positions to support employment outcomes), closing a sheltered workshop, and building a discovery and customization process.
- Transportation: A mini-grant could support the development of partnerships and models for improved transportation services to get individuals to activities in the community or to places of employment.
The list above is not exhaustive. Your organization may have additional ideas for helping more people with disabilities have meaningful days.
Grant Funds Available
TCDD has made available up to $15,000 for one year for up to 10 organizations.
Priority may be given to proposals that address the needs of people who are unserved or underserved. This may include, but is not limited to:
- people living in rural areas,
- people with incomes below the poverty line,
- people of color, and
- people with limited English proficiency.
In accordance with the Developmental Disabilities Assistance and Bill of Rights Act, P.L. 106-402, TCDD receives funding from the Administration on Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities, Administration for Community Living, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.
TCDD can decide not to fund any application.
How to Apply
Complete the Meaningful Day Mini-Grants Application Packet and submit it to TCDD. Incomplete applications will not be accepted. Applications can be submitted via email or fax.
- To submit via email, send your application to firstname.lastname@example.org
- To submit via fax, fax your application to (512) 437-5434, attention: Danny Fikac (Meaningful Day)
Once you submit your application, you will not have an opportunity to provide additional information.
If you have questions about the application, contact Danny Fikac via email at email@example.com or via phone (512) 437-5415 or 1-800-262-0334. Also, you can refer to the Questions and Answers from the first application period.
The Meaningful Day Mini-Grants Application will always be open. The current application period closes at 5 p.m. on Tuesday, Dec. 31, 2019. Eligible applications submitted by this deadline will be considered for funding during TCDD’s February 2020 Council Meeting. Subsequent application periods are as follows:
- Jan. 1, 2020 – March 31, 2020 (for consideration in May 2020)
- April 1, 2020 – June 30, 2020 (for consideration in August 2020)
A maximum of up to 10 mini-grants may be funded at any one time. This is the second application period, so the Council will consider eligible applications if grant funds are available and if there are less than 10 projects funded at the time.
To begin the application process, download the Meaningful Day Mini-Grants Application.
Other Important Dates
TCDD will hold two webinars to provide more information about TCDD’s processes for proposal review and grant award. Applicants are not required to attend a webinar in order to be considered for funding. The webinars will be held at 12 p.m. CT on Wednesday, Oct. 16, 2019, and 11 a.m. on Tuesday, Nov. 12, 2019. To register for one of the webinars, contact Danny Fikac at firstname.lastname@example.org. Update: To access the slides that were presented during the first webinar, please go here.
The deadline to submit questions about the RFP or application is 5 p.m. CT on Friday, Nov. 15, 2019. Questions should be submitted via email to Danny Fikac at email@example.com. TCDD will not answer questions about the RFP or application after the deadline. Questions and answers will be posted on the Funding Available page of the TCDD website on Thursday, Nov. 21, 2019. Also, you can refer to the Questions and Answers from the first application period.