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Community Connections for People with Disabilities

Overview

The Community Connections for People with Disabilities grant opportunity is offered through the Indiana Division of Disability and Rehabilitative Services, in partnership with the Indiana Office of Community and Rural Affairs. The CCPWD grant opportunity is a Community Development Block Grant made available due to supplemental CDBG Coronavirus funds authorized under the CARES Act. OCRA has made $3.26 million in CDBG-CV funds available for Round 2 of this grant opportunity.

A $200,000 per-recipient maximum grant award amount has been established for the CCPWD grant. Local units of government receiving funding in Round 1 of the CCPWD grant are not eligible for Round 2 funding.

The CCPWD grant opportunity is restricted to applicants proposing activities targeted at Hoosiers with disabilities aged 18 and over. Only proposed activities that can feasibly be completed within six to nine months of the grant award will be considered.

CCPWD grant applications are reserved for applicants proposing public services activities; public facilities activities are not eligible for consideration under the CCPWD grant opportunity. Proposed public service activities must provide collective benefit to the target population by enhancing municipal and/or provider capacities and programming.

Round 2 applications open on March 22, 2021. The round 2 application period ends May 21, 2021, at 4 p.m. EDT.

Objectives

The CCPWD grant supports Governor Holcomb’s vision, delivered during his 2020 State of the State address, to support Hoosiers with disabilities in their aspirations to be successful and “to live and work in a safe, affordable and accessible environment.” The CCPWD grant opportunity encourages local units of government to develop innovative strategies and cultivate strong community partnerships to address the negative social, economic, and health effects of COVID-19 on Hoosiers with disabilities and to increase community and workplace inclusion for this population.

Round 2 funding is targeted at applicants proposing creative strategies to address current effects of COVID-19 and assist individuals in preparing for and transitioning to the resumption of in-person interactions in the workplace and community. Successful grant applications will seek to implement strategies targeted at one or both of the following issues:

  • Social isolation and lost access to natural supports (i.e., friends, family, community network); or
  • Loss of employment and training opportunities.

Applicants are encouraged to incorporate virtual and technology-assisted strategies into the design of the proposed grant activities when necessary to effectively carry out the proposed activities.

This CCPWD grant opportunity requires a local unit of government to enter into partnership with a qualifying community disability organization that serves Hoosiers with disabilities within the geographic area of the local unit of government. This partnership with qualifying community disability organizations assists local units of government in identifying the population supported by the CCPWD grant and encourages leveraging of existing infrastructure and capacity to facilitate the delivery of the proposed activities.

Round 2 of the CCPWD grant expands the pool of potential sub-recipients but will retain the heightened emphasis on organizations with capacity and experience serving individuals with intellectual or developmental disabilities that was present in Round 1.

Eligible applicants

Round 2 CCPWD grants will be available only to selected applicants comprised of eligible local units of government partnering, via sub-recipient agreements, with community disability organizations.

Eligible local units of government are counties, cities, or incorporated towns. Unincorporated areas must apply through the county in which they are located. This grant opportunity is available to eligible local units of government designated as either entitlement or non-entitlement communities.

A community disability organization may be any of the following:

  • a developmental disabilities organization enrolled as a DDRS - Bureau of Developmental Disabilities Services provider;
  • an Indiana Center for Independent Living recognized by DDRS;
  • a Community Mental Health Center (CMHC) certified by the Indiana Division of Mental Health and Addiction;
  • a community rehabilitation provider enrolled as a DDRS – Bureau of Rehabilitation Services provider;
  • an Indiana Local Education Agency currently delivering special education to students aged 18 to 22; or
  • a Special Education Cooperative formed according to IC 20-35-5.

To qualify, a community disability organization must be a non-profit, serve individuals within an area geographically connected to the partner local unit of government, and have the capacity and specialized experience to deliver activities to individuals with IDD.

Grant Activities

Due to the COVID-19 public health emergency, the Governor’s resulting stay-at-home order, and subsequent staged reopening of in-person social interaction, many Hoosiers with disabilities have experienced a substantial disruption to their normal service delivery models. COVID-19 social distancing considerations have also resulted in decreased access to natural supports and opportunities for community and workplace inclusion.

Round 2 CCPWD grant funds are intended to encourage local units of government and their partner community disability organizations to develop strategies to respond to or mitigate the negative social, economic, and health effects of COVID-19 for the target population. As the state begins to reopen more sectors and services to in-person interaction, applicants are encouraged to consider the changing COVID-19 related needs for individuals with disabilities in their communities.

Applications must clearly describe how proposed grant activities will result in concrete community inclusion outcomes for adults with disabilities residing in their communities. Funding is available for the following eligible activities:

Social isolation and lost access to natural supports

Community inclusion is an orienting objective of Indiana’s efforts to support Hoosiers with disabilities across the lifespan. Social distancing guidance has meant lowered access to inclusive social spaces, workplaces, and service settings. Public health considerations related COVID-19 have resulted in capacity and route reductions in public and community-based transportation services relied upon for social interaction and community integration. Isolation or quarantine protocols may have resulted in Hoosiers with disabilities losing access to their natural support networks or direct service professionals. CCPWD grant funds are available for activities related to mitigating social isolation and lost access to natural supports.

Examples of activities may include:

  • Increasing access to friends, family, and community members by,
    • developing virtual social circles, pairing individuals in the target population with family, friends, and/or community volunteers to enhance social interaction,
    • establishing community-driven virtual or hybrid health and wellbeing resources, or
    • creating opportunities for individuals to engage in hybrid (a mix of in-person and virtual) interaction with friends, family and community members;
  • Developing virtual or technology-assisted strategies to mitigate social isolation due to COVID-19-related transportation issues:
    • e.g., eliminating need for transportation by bringing provider and community services to the individual, coordinating community ride-share or carpool efforts, providing virtual training on transportation rerouting; and
  • Establishing platforms for individuals in the target population to request supportive activities from community volunteers,
    • e.g., requests for meal or grocery deliveries, assistance in outside maintenance activities, and assistance with in-home needs such as housekeeping

Loss of Employment and Training Opportunities

Hoosiers with disabilities experience a much lower rate of employment than their non-disabled peers, even in traditional in-person workplace settings. As a result of COVID-19, many workplaces have transitioned their workforce to telework, reduced business hours or decreased their workforce. However, employment is a key avenue for community inclusion. As workplaces begin to open up and resume hiring, it is critical that Hoosiers with disabilities are positioned to participate fully in the workforce. CCWPD grant funds are available for activities related to enhancing opportunities for individuals in the target population to engage in employment or training programs.

Examples of activities may include:

  • establishing virtual, in-person or hybrid mentorship programs pairing individuals in the target population with business owners or employers;
  • increasing accessible hybrid and telework opportunities for the target population in community employers;
  • increasing access to virtual or in-person job readiness training to individuals in the target population, including those aged 18 and over transitioning from education to employment; and
  • using virtual strategies to adapt existing in-person employee training programs for individuals in the target population.

Resources

Questions on the CCPWD grant application and eligible activity design may be directed to CCPWDgrant@fssa.in.gov.

Questions related to CDBG requirements, including public hearings, may be directed to your respective OCRA Community Liaison.

Archived Round 1 Materials