Notice of Funds Available (RFP)

Texas Council for Developmental Disabilities
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2017-5:  Leadership Development & Advocacy Skills Training in Rural Areas


Posted Applications Due Start Date End Date Amount MatchPoverty Match Council Staff
Nov 30, 2017 Mar 01, 2018 Jul 31, 2023 $85,000.00 $28,333.00$9,444.00 Danny Fikac


The Texas Council for Developmental Disabilities (TCDD) approved funds up to $85,000, per project, per year, for up to three project(s), for up to five years.

TCDD intends to provide funding for projects that will provide leadership development and advocacy skills training using TCDD approved curriculum. For this project, the applicants are limited to those groups and organizations located in designated rural areas of the State.

The intention of this requirement is to ensure that the training is conducted by organizations that are very closely affiliated with and are a part of the rural community in which project activities are conducted. TCDD also expects that a majority of the funding should be used for staff and/or services in rural counties. However, TCDD understands that organizations may serve a rural county but have a central office that is located closely to, but slightly outside, that county.

Organizations whose office is not located in a rural county are eligible if they can demonstrate:

  • The proposed rural county is in the usual coverage/region of the organization;
  • The organization typically works in that rural county in some capacity and deeply understand the strengths, needs, and culture of the community; and
  • Project staff will include people who are considered a part of the community in which project activities will be conducted.

Attached to this RFP is an Excel Spreadsheet identifying rural and urban counties. Applicants may also refer to Texas Health and Human Resources website ( for additional information.

Funding for the second through fifth years is not automatic. See the "Continuation Funding" section of this Request for Proposals (RFP) for more information about continuation funding application requirements. TCDD does not plan to provide funding for these projects beyond five years.

There was an initial error in calculating match, TCDD had to update and increase the match for the grant. As a result of this error, the due date for the applications has been extended to November 30, 2017 at 5:00 PM.

If you have questions after reading this RFP, contact Danny Fikac, Planning Specialist, at or at 512-437-5415.

About TCDD

TCDD is a state entity that is funded by the federal Administration on Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities (AIDD) in accordance with the Developmental Disabilities Assistance and Bill of Rights Act of 2000 (DD Act). TCDD's mission is to create change so that all people with disabilities are fully included in their communities and have control over their own lives. TCDD awards grants to entities sharing TCDD's vision and values for projects that are consistent with the Goals and Objectives in the Five Year State Plan. TCDD expects these projects to help TCDD meet the following TCDD FY 2017 - 2021 State Plan Goal:

Goal 3: Increase the access that individuals with developmental disabilities and families of individuals with developmental disabilities have to information, training, and support to advocate for themselves and/or to collaborate with allies to impact public policy, service systems and community supports.

Objective 3.1: Support at least nine leadership development and advocacy skills training programs for people with disabilities, family members of people with disabilities and allies by 9/30/21.

You may read more about TCDD, TCDD's mission and values, and the Five Year State Plan, at

Who May Apply

Public agencies, not-for-profit organizations, secondary schools and post-secondary institutions, faith-based institutions, and for-profit businesses may apply. The entity that applies for this grant must be the entity that will administer the grant and receive, disburse, and account for grant funds.

Individuals may not apply for this grant.

Funding and Duration

TCDD may award a maximum of $85,000 per year, per project, for up to three project(s), for up to five years. TCDD reserves the right to negotiate the budget as needed and may choose not to award funding for these projects.

Up to $25,000 in additional funding may be made available to provide reasonable accommodations to Project Directors or Project Coordinators who have a developmental disability if accommodations are necessary and exceed the amount the organization can afford.

The suggested funding amount for these projects would allow the grantee to support participation of participants in rural areas who may have to travel long distances, have reduced access to transportation, and/or may be living in poverty.

TCDD grantees must provide a matching contribution each year. Matching contributions may include funding, volunteer hours, or other "in-kind" donations, such as office space and utilities. Other federal funds may not be used as match. Items or funds that are used for match for another federally-funded project also may not be used as match. TCDD prefers that the amount of match increase each year of the project.

Project activities located in counties not designated as federal poverty areas require matching resources equal to at least 25 percent of total project costs. Project activities located in counties designated as federal poverty counties require matching resources equal to at least 10 percent of the total project costs. The minimum amount of required match can be found on the front page of this RFP.

A list that identifies poverty counties is included in the "DD Suite Guide and Application Instructions" attached to this RFP.

Due Dates

All questions must be asked in writing and emailed to by 5:00 PM Central Standard Time on October 25, 2017. Questions will not be accepted after that date and time. TCDD will post questions and answers on DD Suite as an attachment to this RFP by 5:00 PM Central Standard Time October 30, 2017.


Proposals must be received by 5 PM on November 30, 2017. Late proposals will not be reviewed. User errors that result in a failed or late submission will not be grounds for an exception to the deadline. If you have questions about DD Suite and cannot find answers in the DD Suite Guide and Application Instructions attached to this proposal, email Joanna.Cordry@TCDD.Texas.Gov or call 512-437-5410. This should be done as early in the process as possible.

TCDD will applicants about decisions within 30 days following the Council meeting.

How to Apply

To submit your proposal:

  1. Complete all required sections of the application in DD Suite. If the application is not complete, the proposal will not be reviewed for funding.
  2. Complete all sections of the Supplemental Forms packet and upload it to DD Suite as an attachment to your proposal. If Supplemental Forms packet is not complete, the application will not be reviewed.
  3. Upload the Supplemental Forms packet and other required documents to DD Suite as attachments to your proposal. Documents received by fax, email, hand delivery, or mail will not be considered.
  4. If you have Letters of Support or letters from other entities or individuals that state they will partner on the project, upload them to DD Suite as an attachment to your proposal. Letters will not be accepted by fax, email, hand delivery, or mail.
  5. Submit the completed proposal, the Supplemental Forms, and allowed attachments through DD Suite by the due date and time. Late proposals will not be accepted.

Please note:

  • The DD Suite application states "no budget selected." This is because TCDD requires the budget to be submitted as a part of the Supplemental Forms packet that must be completed and uploaded to DD Suite. Proposals that do not include a budget will not be reviewed.
  • The "DD Suite Guide and Application Instructions" provides information about using DD Suite. You may also click on the "Help" link in the upper right hand corner of DD Suite. If you still have a question, TCDD staff are available to help.
  • TCDD will only accept applications and documents that are submitted through DD Suite by 5:00 PM Central Standard Time on the due date.

Bidders Conferences

TCDD will hold two telephone bidders' conferences to provide more information about TCDD and TCDD's proposal review and grant award process. The same information will be covered at each teleconference. You are not required to attend in order to apply.

Telephone bidders conferences will be held:
  • September 28, 2017 10:00 AM CST
  • October 12, 2017 at 1:00 PM CST

Please email to sign up. To join the conference, dial the toll free number:

  • Dial 1-877-820-7831
  • Enter participant Passcode 649944#


TCDD includes multiple objectives in its 2017-2021 State Plan to provide leadership development and advocacy skills training to support individuals in creating systems change. TCDD strives to assist with the development of leaders and advocates statewide and include diverse individuals in multiple locations around the state. There is an ongoing need to develop programs located in rural areas, and in areas with a high percentage of people living in poverty. Advocacy training programs are also needed that can recruit and provide culturally appropriate training to people who are African American, Latino, Native American, or Asian. Currently, there are no TCDD funded leadership development projects specific to the designated rural areas of Texas.

Please note: TCDD funds may not be used to support people to engage in activities that would require registration with the Texas Ethics Commission as a lobbyist.

Outputs and Outcomes

TCDD expects your project to:

  • On average, provide leadership development and advocacy skills training for at least 50 people each year. NOTE: A project located in a rural area, may not be able to recruit or train as many people. In your application, state the number of people you will train each year. If this number is less than 50, explain why and describe how you determined the number you can reach.
  • Provide TCDD with information about relevant public policy issues, how public policy issues can be or were addressed, and whether efforts to address them were successful. Public policy issues might be related to such things as rules, laws, budgets, practices, or other barriers that prevent people from accessing information, services and supports, and/or being included in community life.
  • Provide TCDD with at least one story each year about a person who experienced a benefit from the project.
  • Provide TCDD with relevant information to assist TCDD to better understand and address the experiences of diverse groups of people who are unserved and underserved (including, but not limited to, people of color, people living in rural areas, and people living in poverty).
  • Ensure that the project outcomes have a sustained long-term impact that benefits people with developmental disabilities. This might include things such as:
    • changing or creating at least one policy, procedure, statute, and/or regulation;
    • educating and sharing information with decision makers or others in the community;
    • training, supporting, and/or organizing people with developmental disabilities to advocate for themselves and/or serve in leadership positions;
    • creating new partnerships that increase the capacity of the community to support individuals with developmental disabilities;
    • creating a new program, model, or technology that continues to be available after the grant funding ends;
    • producing a product that will be of value beyond the life of the grant; and/or
    • enabling more people to have access to services and supports.
This is not a complete list. You may identify other ways through which a long-term impact will be achieved. TCDD staff may contact grantees annually for up to five years after a grant has ended to evaluate the long-term impact.

It is your responsibility to determine what the sustainable change or impact of your project will be and to explain that in their proposal. You are expected to begin work on this in the first year of your project.

Project Description and Milestones

For this project, the applicants are limited to those groups and organizations located in designated rural areas of the State. Attached to this RFP is an Excel Spreadsheet identifying rural and urban counties. Applicants may also refer to Texas Health and Human Resources website ( for additional information.

Training participants may include individuals with disabilities, family members of people with disabilities, and other interested community members who do not fall into either of these categories. Priority shall be given to support the participation of individuals with developmental disabilities; spouses or partners of individuals with developmental disabilities; siblings and other family members of adults with developmental disabilities. Space permitting, other community members may attend training.

The selected projects will provide leadership development and advocacy skills training using TCDD approved curriculum. Project staff will determine the curriculum to be used and how the training will be provided. Training must include:

  • History and philosophy of the disability rights movement;
  • Principles of self-determination;
  • Strategies to find and access necessary services and supports;
  • Activities to develop self-advocacy skills; and
  • Activities to promote interaction between participants and peer support.
By the end of the first year, you must:
  • Develop the curriculum for leadership development and advocacy skills training using curriculum selected by project staff and approved by TCDD.
  • Conduct outreach and recruitment of the training participants from your local community.
  • Begin training an agreed upon number of individuals related to the location of the project activities (a rural area may mean fewer participants).

Throughout the project, you must:

  • Train the agreed upon number of individuals related to the location of the project activities (a rural area may mean fewer participants) each year.
  • Track and survey all of the participants' advocacy activities and their satisfaction with the project (See TCDD survey tools for federal reporting).
  • Provide TCDD with up-to-date information and recommendations that can be used to develop further policy actions and future projects.
  • Evaluate the project and use the information gained to improve the training.

By the end of the fifth year, you must:
  • Document at least 10% of program participants who continue their involvement in leadership roles or public advocacy after their training is completed. These ongoing activities may include the trained advocates serving on committees, boards or workgroups.
  • Document that at least 80% of program participants demonstrate perceived improvement in their ability to advocate for themselves and others.

All organizations must have procedures in place to obtain contact information (including e-mail addresses) from participants and to inform participants that their contact information will be forwarded to TCDD so that TCDD may provide information related to advocacy opportunities to advocates. Grantees should forward to TCDD names of individuals who are interested in ongoing advocacy, advanced training or serving on a board or committee.

Project Evaluation

All proposals should describe how you will evaluate, at a minimum, the following:

  • The quality and effectiveness of the all training provided and to document the target audiences reached.
  • The number of participants.
  • The degree to which training or educational activities increased the skill and knowledge of participants to take part in the discussions and decisions that affect an individual's life, the lives of others and/or systems.
  • The successes and barriers related to recruiting and including diverse participants from the local community including unserved or underserved populations.
  • The progress towards achieving the expected long-term impact/sustainability in your local rural community.

You will also be expected to report the Performance Measures relevant to your project. Please see the list of Performance Measures attached. TCDD can assist you with selecting measures and providing templates to gather data, but you must ensure that data is gathered, analyzed, and reported to TCDD. In the Project Evaluation Section, explain how you will gather this information.

Qualifications and Organizational Experience

Entities that receive grants must be able to disburse funds for project activities and expenses, complete TCDD's forms correctly and on time, and be legally able to receive grant funds to reimburse the organization for expenses. Some forms must be submitted online and some must be submitted through email.

The proposal must show that grant activities and funds can be managed effectively.

Reporting Requirements

Grantees must submit quarterly reports, data for Performance Measures, continuation proposals to request funding for the second through fifth years, and a final report at the end of the grant. These must be submitted on time. Failure to meet reporting and spending requirements may impact continuation or future grant awards. TCDD Grants Specialists will provide more information about these processes to the successful applicant(s).

Continuation Funding

If the RFP states that the project may be funded for more than one year, you may apply for continuation funding each year, up to the maximum number of years. TCDD does not automatically provide continuation funding and may choose not to award continuation grants.

In addition to addressing progress on the project and other grant requirements, continuation applications should include information about public policy issues that caused barriers, if or how they were addressed, and the results of any efforts to address them. TCDD also expects you to provide at least one story about a person or family who benefited from the project.

Continuation funding will be based on a review of the project's accomplishments, progress towards stated goals and objectives, financial management, compliance with reporting requirements, review of the most recent program audit and findings of TCDD's onsite reviews, development of alternative funding, and the availability of TCDD funds.

Proposals for continuation years shall not request funding that exceeds the maximum funding amount stated in the RFP.


Applicants must agree to the following terms:

  • Applicants must disclose any conflicts of interest between themselves and TCDD council members, employees or their immediate families.
  • Applicants must use respectful language. For examples of respectful language, please see TCDD’s "People First Language" resource in the Supplemental Forms Packet and the DD Suite Guide and Application Instructions.
  • All printed materials must be available in Spanish and in an appropriate accessible format — including electronic, tagged PDF, or large print. Funding for this should be included in the budget.
  • Videos, DVDs and teleconferencing and distance learning activities produced by this project must be fully accessible. Any videos or DVDs must be captioned.
  • TCDD will retain rights to all products created using funding awarded through this RFP. The grantee will retain rights to materials that were created prior to receiving the grant and the rights to materials created without using funds that are associated with this project.
  • TCDD reserves the right not to fund any proposal under this announcement.
  • Proposals received by TCDD are subject to release consistent with provisions of the Texas Public Information Act.

See "Assurances" in the attached Supplemental Forms for all terms relating to this grant.

The Review Process

Evaluation Criteria will include, but is not limited to: program quality, costs, financial ability to perform services, regional needs and priorities, improved access for underserved and unserved areas and/or groups of individuals; ability to continue services at the conclusion of grant funding, and past performance and compliance with previous grant awards.

An independent review panel consisting of people with expertise related to this RFP will evaluate each proposal based on how well the proposal responds to the RFP requirements and intent and how well the applicant follows instructions in the outline questions. Reviewers will also take into account the extent to which the proposed project may move TCDD closer to meeting the State Plan Goals and Objectives.

Priority will be given to strong proposals that address the needs of people living in rural areas; people living in poverty; and others who are frequently unserved and/or underserved, such as people of color and people whose primary language is one other than English.

Reviewers consider only the information included in the DD Suite application form, the attached Supplemental Forms Packet, and documents that are specifically allowed and are attached to the application. Applicants will not have the opportunity to clarify or add to the information provided in the proposal after the deadline unless they are awarded the grant. TCDD will only review materials specifically requested or allowed by the RFP, the application, or the application instructions.

The review panel considers all evaluation criteria and provides recommendations to TCDD's Executive Committee. The Executive Committee makes all funding decisions.

Supporting Documents