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Community Connections for People with Disabilities

Overview

The Community Connections for People with Disabilities (CCPWD) grant opportunity is offered through the Indiana Office of Community and Rural Affairs (OCRA), in partnership with the Indiana Division of Disability and Rehabilitative Services (DDRS). 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 $4.9 million in CDBG-CV funds available for this grant opportunity. 

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.

Applications open on October 23, 2020, with an informational webinar being held on Oct. 26 from 1 to 2:30 p.m. ET. Click here for more information. 

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 technology 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. 

Successful grant applications will seek to implement strategies, including virtual or technology-assisted activities, targeted at one or both of the following issues:

  • internet access and technology equity, or
  • social isolation and lost access to natural supports (i.e., friends, family, community network).

Applications must explain how the proposed activities are specifically responding to or mitigating the negative effects of COVID-19 for Hoosier adults with disabilities. 

This CCPWD grant opportunity requires a local unit of government to enter into partnership with a qualifying developmental disability (DD) organization that serves Hoosiers with disabilities within the geographic area of the local unit of government. This partnership with qualifying community DD 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.

Eligible applicants

CCPWD grants will be available only to selected applicants comprised of eligible local units of government partnering, via sub-recipient agreements, with geographically-connected Developmental Disability organizations. 
To qualify, a Developmental Disability organization must be a non-profit, be enrolled as a DDRS - Bureau of Developmental Disability Services (BDDS) service provider, and serve individuals within an area geographically connected to the partner local unit of government.  

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.

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. CCPWD grant funds are intended to encourage local units of government and their partner DD organizations to develop strategies, including virtual and/or technology-assisted activities, to respond to or mitigate the negative social, economic, and health effects of COVID-19 for the target population.  

Applications must discuss how proposed grant activities will both target COVID-19 effects and increase community and workplace inclusion for Hoosiers with disabilities.

Internet Access and Technology Equity

During a period of increased social distancing, virtual modes of interacting with others and accessing necessary services is of critical importance. Technology and internet access can support community and workplace inclusion and promote self-advocacy and independence for Hoosiers with disabilities. CCPWD grant funds are available for activities related to increasing access to the internet and internet-capable devices. 

Examples of activities may include:

  • increasing internet access in provider-owned settings and public settings accessible to individuals in the target population;
  • increasing accessibility of existing internet access points through assistive technology and universal design strategies;
  • increasing access to internet-capable devices or programs,
    • e.g., device lending library, accessible internet platforms designed for people with intellectual and/or developmental disabilities;
  • establishing technical assistance and training programs to increase technology literacy;
  • increasing access to telework opportunities for the target population in community employers; and
  • developing accessible virtual entry-points to community supports and government services.

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 virtual access to friends, family, and community members,
    • developing virtual social circles, pairing individuals in the target population with family, friends, and/or community volunteers to enhance social interaction,
    • establishing virtual mentorship programs, pairing individuals in the target population with business owners or employers to support workplace inclusion,
    • establishing community-driven virtual health and wellbeing resources,
      • e.g., virtual emotional support groups, virtual peer-to-peer mentoring, warmlines, virtual exercise initiatives;
  • 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.

Resources

More information will be released at a later date. Questions may be directed to your respective OCRA Community Liaison.