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Transforming and Improving Practices through Customized Technical Assistance (TIP) Grant

Grants to Maryland Organizations to Enhance Work
Opportunities for People with Developmental Disabilities

Agency Type:

Foundation / Corporation

Funding Source:

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Maryland Developmental Disabilities Council and Maryland Works

Conf. Date:

07/21/17

Deadline Date:

08/16/17 12:00 PM (Noon) Receipt

Description:

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Grants of up to $10,000 to Maryland licensed community service providers to improve the employment outcomes of individuals with developmental disabilities. Funding may be used to retain customized technical assistance services. This grant enables organizations to improve their services so that more of their beneficiaries are able to find and keep meaningful work in their communities, make decent wages, and have meaningful days when not working.

Providers will identify the specific assistance and support needed to reach specified goals. All grant recipients will be required to participate in a learning community to share their efforts to improve employment outcomes and receive mutual peer support.

Background:

People with developmental disabilities in Maryland want jobs in the community, pay that provides a living wage with benefits, and opportunities for career advancement. This initiative addresses several of the components that are critical for this to happen, including:

-Community service provider capacity and needed resources
-Implementation of best and promising practices that will maximize the employment opportunities and career potential of people with developmental disabilities, including those with the most significant disabilities
-Implementation of best and promising practices that lead to people with developmental disabilities having meaningful days when not working
-Peer-to-Peer mentoring

State and federal laws and policies are shifting toward requiring and supporting increased opportunities for people with developmental disabilities to work in their communities and to have meaningful days in the community when not working. In addition, the Developmental Disabilities Administration (DDA), with support from the DD Council and many others, is implementing an Employment First framework to support more people with developmental disabilities to be successfully employed in the community in jobs of their choice.

State and federal requirements include:

-HCBS Settings Rule: The Home and Community Based Settings Rule requires all Medicaid – funded settings to provide people with developmental disabilities opportunities to engage in community life, have access to the community, control their personal resources, and seek jobs in competitive employment. The HCBS Settings Rule applies to all community services funded by the Developmental Disabilities Administration.

-WIOA: Requirements in the federal Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act will help further advance employment of people with disabilities by requiring coordination with all partners in workforce development systems to provide high quality services and supports. As a result, it is expected that people with disabilities will be better prepared for meaningful employment.

-Phase out of 14c certificates: The Ken Capone Equal Employment Act phases out the use of 14c certificates which allow organizations, under certain circumstances, to pay people with disabilities sub-minimum wage. After a four-year phase out, this will no longer be possible. Extensive planning for each individual as well as statewide planning and reporting will now occur to ensure successful implementation and positive outcomes.

Assistance available through this round of TIP Grants is intended to support more community service providers in concert with those state and federal laws and Maryland’s Employment First initiative. Through this technical assistance initiative, the partnership seeks to assist service providers who are strongly committed to improving the employment outcomes of people with developmental disabilities, including those with significant disabilities, and who need targeted, customized technical assistance to achieve this outcome. In addition to a focus on employment, the technical assistance may also assist with improving the way people are supported during the day when not working.

This opportunity is intended to support but not supplant other assistance provided by DDA, the Division of Rehabilitation Services (DORS), the Maryland Association Community Services (MACS) and others that are helping agencies to transform their practices. Because training and other assistance is being offered by other local and state organizations and agencies, this funding cannot be used for training purposes.

Scope of Work:

Applicants for customized technical assistance under this initiative are required to:

1. Demonstrate a commitment to supporting people with developmental disabilities to get and keep jobs in their communities making decent wages and to have meaningful days when they are not working.

2. Set goals for increasing the number of people employed in community jobs of their choice, increasing the number of hours they work and/or increasing the number of people participating in meaningful community activities of their choice when they are not working.

3. Set goals for decreasing the number of people in facility-based employment and day services.

4. Identify and undertake specific activities to achieve the goals.

5. Participate in a learning community to engage in peer-to-peer support and share successes, challenges, strategies and best practices. Once applicants are selected, the funding partners (the DD Council and Maryland Works) will work with them to create one or more learning communities. The funding partners will also support the learning community by: facilitating activities the learning community finds beneficial; connecting the learning community to already existing peer networks; and sharing lessons learned.

Selected providers will receive technical assistance from subject matter experts and ongoing peer-to- peer mentoring to address the issues outlined in their proposals that lead to improved employment and community-based outcomes for people with developmental disabilities.

Funding can be used for a range of technical assistance activities. Funding cannot be used for training purposes. If requested, the project partners will provide assistance to help identify the sources of technical assistance that have been successful in achieving positive employment outcomes. Examples of activities supported through this initiative may include, but are not limited to the following:

-Developing or strengthening an agency’s commitment to improving employment outcomes for people with developmental disabilities, including working with boards, families, individuals and key stakeholders.

-Developing and/or implementing necessary organizational changes to achieve the transformation goals, including changes to budget and personnel.

-Developing and/or implementing a strategic plan to increase customized employment for people with developmental disabilities.

-Implementing sustainable practices to build the capacity of the agency that lead to more people with developmental disabilities, including those with significant disabilities, working in integrated settings and participating in more community activities of their choice.

-Downsizing or closing day services or sheltered workshops.

-Testing innovative approaches.

Expected Outcomes:

1. An increase in the number of individuals with developmental disabilities, including those with the most significant disabilities, who are employed in integrated community jobs that they choose.

2. For individuals already employed, a measurable improvement in their employment status, measured in a variety of ways, including but not limited to: increased hours, higher satisfaction with their job, and/or increased pay and benefits.

3. Improved employment supports and services, reflected in the mission, vision, policies, and, most importantly, practices of provider agencies.

4. An increase in the number of individuals with developmental disabilities who meaningfully participate in their communities when not working.

5. New ideas and approaches tried and evaluated that can be replicated.

GrantWatch ID#:

GrantWatch ID#: 181970

Estimated Size of Grant:

Each agency submitting an application may apply for a maximum of $10,000.

Collaborative proposals submitted by two or more providers who want to work together to address similar issues are encouraged and should reflect a lower cost per agency.

Term of Contract:

Funds will be available beginning September 1, 2017 and should be expended within one year.

Additional Eligibility Criteria:

Community service providers licensed by the Developmental Disabilities Administration to provide employment services for people with developmental disabilities in Maryland are eligible to submit proposals.

Community service providers who were awarded a TIP grant in 2016 are not eligible to apply.

Applicants from rural areas are encouraged to apply and will be given special consideration if their proposal meets the requirements of this solicitation. For this initiative, rural areas include: Allegany, Garrett and Washington Counties in Western Maryland; Calvert, Charles and St. Mary’s Counties in Southern Maryland; and, Caroline, Cecil, Dorchester, Kent, Queen Anne’s, Somerset, Talbot, Wicomico, and Worchester Counties in Eastern Maryland.

Pre-proposal Conference:

Two pre-proposal information sessions will be held. The purpose and topics of the pre-proposal information sessions will be the same. The pre-proposal information sessions will be the only opportunity to ask questions. Attendance, however, is not mandatory.

The In-person Information Session will be held July 21, 2017, 11:00 AM at:

Maryland Works
10270 Old Columbia Rd # 100
Columbia, Maryland 21

Registration is not required for the In-Person Session.

If you require an accommodation at the Information Session, notify Jay Stewart at MD Works (see contact details below) by July 17.

The Conference Call Information Session will be held July 24, 2017 at 11:00 AM.

Pre-Application Information:

A non-federal match is required for this initiative. Twenty-five (25%) percent of the total cost of the project (not of grant funds requested) is required unless the agency is located in Baltimore City or Somerset County and then only ten percent (10%) is required. Matching funds may include in-kind supports or other non-federal sources of funds. Any in-kind support used as match must have a value directly related to the grant.

To be considered, proposals must be received by Wednesday, August 16, 2017 at 12:00 PM (noon).

Contact Information:

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

To be on the call for the July 24 Information Session, send an email request to info@md-council.org and call-in information will be sent.

Jay Stewart
410-551-3130
JayS@mdworks.com

URL for Full Text (RFP):

Geographic Focus:

USA: Maryland

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