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Ability Central Grant

Grants to California Nonprofits and Educational Institutions
to Improve Communications Resources for People with Disabilities

Agency Type:

Foundation / Corporation

Funding Source:

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Ability Central

Conf. Date:


LOI Date:


Deadline Date:

10/09/19 5:00 PM


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Grants starting at $10,000 to California nonprofit organizations, educational institutions, and government units to improve information and communications resources for State residents with disabilities. A letter of inquiry is required prior to submission of a full application.

For a project to be considered it must address one of the following areas:

- Training AT and AAC Professionals: Supporting projects that build capacity and skills of professionals (specialists & general care providers)

- Facilitating Research and Innovation: Supporting organizations in the collection and evaluation of data on a service or target population or the development and testing of new technologies and services

- Collaboration and Exchange: Fostering collaboration and exchange to share successful models and strengthen networks

- Organizational Capacity Building (Pilot): Supporting previous grantees to build capacity through planning and leadership development

In addition to project-related operating costs, Ability Central allows applicants to include up to 15% of their request to be used for general operating costs in their budget. Additional general operating costs that exceed the 15% limit may be used to satisfy the match (if applicable).

DCF’s grant support is project-based. It is intended for projects (with a finite start & end date) or as seed and pilot support for new programs.

GrantWatch ID#:

GrantWatch ID#: 161912

Estimated Total Program Funding:


Estimated Size of Grant:

Priorities and request amounts:
- Training AT & AAC Professionals: $10,000 -$100,000
- Facilitating Research & Innovation: 12 months: $10,000 - $100,000, 24 months: up to $150,000, 36 months: up to $200,000
- Collaboration & Exchange: 12 months: $10,000 - $100,000, 24 months: up to $150,000, 36 months: up to $200,000
- Organizational Capacity Building (Pilot): $10,000 - $50,000
- Small Grants Program (applicable to all Priorities): $10,000 - $20,000

Term of Contract:

The default grant period will be January 1 - December 31, 2020, to complete proposed activities. An alternate grant period may be requested for well-justified reasons. Current and past grantees are eligible to apply for two- and three-year support under the “Research & Innovation”, and “Collaboration & Exchange” priorities.

Additional Eligibility Criteria:

Applicants eligible to apply for Ability Central funding are:
- Tax-exempt, public charities as defined under Section 501(c)3 of the U.S. Internal Revenue Code, including schools, universities and governmental units; or b) Programs that use a fiscal sponsor with 501(c)(3) tax-exempt status
- Organizations which have a physical location in California (not an online entity) and provide services which benefit people with disabilities in California

Only California-based organizations will be eligible for Ability Central grants. “California-based” is defined as an organization which has a physical location in California (not an online entity) and provides services in California. However, local chapters of a national organization are eligible.

Priorities and eligible applicants:
- Training AT & AAC Professionals: Open to all applicants
- Facilitating Research & Innovation: Open to all applicants
- Collaboration & Exchange: 12 months: Open to all applicants
- Organizational Capacity Building (Pilot): Open to previous grantees only
- Small Grants Program (applicable to all Priorities): Applicant Operating Budget < $1 million, Applicant or project service area outside of Bay Area & Los Angeles

Ability Central is not making grants to:
- Individuals
- Projects providing equipment and services that are covered by other publicly funded programs
- Projects providing communications equipment and services for employees of the applicant. According to the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), it is the employer's responsibility to provide reasonable accommodations for their employees.

Unrestricted/general operating or ongoing program support is not provided.

Pre-proposal Conference:

The LOI Information Webinar will be held on Tuesday, June 18, 2019, at 11:00 AM (recording will be made available).

Join the LOI Information Webinar here:

In addition, for applicants that fulfill all of the following criteria, Ability Central is offering a one-on-one pre-LOI submission feedback session:
- Applicant has never received a grant from Ability Central
- The request is less than or equal to $40,000
- Applicant has an operating budget of less than $1 million
- Applicant or project service area covers counties outside California’s major metropolitan areas, the Greater Bay Area (nine counties bordering the San Francisco Bay) and Greater Los Angeles (including Ventura and Orange County)

Please contact the Ability Central Team for details and instructions

Pre-Application Information:

Ability Central uses a two-stage application process, beginning with a Letter of Intent (LOI). A limited number of applicants will then be invited to submit a Full Application. The entire LOI/Application review process takes approximately four (4) months.

- Deadline for LOI submission: Tuesday, August 6, 2019, 5:00 PM
- Announcement of LOI decisions: Friday, September 13, 2019
- Deadline for submission of full grant application: Wednesday, October 9, 2019, 5:00 PM
- Announcement of grant awards: December 2019

Current Ability Central grantees may re-apply, however, there is no guarantee that continued funding will be granted.

Grantees cannot have concurrent Ability Central grants. Grantees need to complete their ongoing project before a subsequent Ability Central grant (one-year or multiyear) can begin. Organizations may receive a maximum of three years of funding in a row, after which time they will be required to take a one-year break from submitting a new Letter of Intent (LOI).

Applicants may submit multiple project proposals. Please submit a separate LOI for each of the projects. However, Ability Central does not fund multiple projects from one organization in a grant cycle.

Priorities and match requirement
- Training AT & AAC Professionals: 20%
- Facilitating Research & Innovation: 12 months: 20%, Year 2: 30%, Year 3: 40%
- Collaboration & Exchange: 12 months: 20%, Year 2: 30%, Year 3: 40%
- Organizational Capacity Building (Pilot): No match required
- Small Grants Program (applicable to all Priorities): No match required

What We Fund:

Contact Information:

Before starting your grant application, please review the funding source's website listed below for updates/changes/addendums/conferences/LOIs.

Online application portal:

Ability Central Philanthropy Team
(800) 240-6182

URL for Full Text (RFP):

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