Notice of Funds Available (RFP)

Texas Council for Developmental Disabilities
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2018-3:  Disability-Related Participatory Research


Posted Applications Due Start Date End Date Amount MatchPoverty Match Council Staff
May 18, 2018 Nov 01, 2018 Oct 31, 2023 $25,000.00 $8,333.00$2,777.00 Joanna Cordry


TCDD may award a maximum of $25,000 per year, per project, for up to three (3) project(s), for one (1) to five (5) years to assist teaching and/or research entities located in Texas to support at least one person who has a developmental disability to participate as a researcher in a non-clinical study.

TCDD intends to fund participatory research that includes the perspective of individuals with developmental disabilities to inform TCDD's future activities on a wide range of topics. Funding may be used to conduct a new project or include individuals with developmental disabilities in an existing research project. The project must be overseen by an appropriately qualified individual to oversee the research. TCDD encourages the involvement of student researchers in addition to the person with a developmental disability, and this may be a class project.

Applicants may choose to do a one-year project or a project for more than one year, for up to five years. Grantees will have to reapply for each year following the first year. TCDD reserves the right to negotiate the budget as needed and may choose not to award funding for these projects.

TCDD does not plan to provide funding for these projects beyond five years.

If you have questions after reading this RFP, contact Joanna Cordry, Planning Director, at or at 512-437-5410.

Who May Apply

Public agencies, not-for-profit organizations, secondary schools and post-secondary institutions, faith-based institutions, technical and/or professional schools, and for-profit businesses may apply if they can meet the requirements noted elsewhere in this RFP. 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.

Important Dates

This Request for Proposals will remain open until three projects are funded, and proposals will be reviewed for funding at TCDD’s quarterly meetings. To be considered at the August 2, 2018 meeting, proposals must be received by 5 PM on May 18, 2018. TCDD does not consider late applications. You will not receive an exception to the deadline if you fail to submit your application on time because of a user error. If you have questions about DD Suite and cannot find answers in the DD Suite Guide attached to this RFP, email Joanna.Cordry@TCDD.Texas.Gov or call 512-437-5410. This should be done as early in the process as possible.

If three proposals are not accepted at the August 2, 2018, meeting, proposals submitted after May 18 will be considered at later meetings.

TCDD will hold one telephone bidders' conference to provide more information about TCDD's proposal review and grant award process. You are not required to attend in order to apply.

The telephone bidders conference will be held: April 12, 2018, 11 AM To participate:
  • Dial 1-877-820-7831
  • Enter participant Passcode 649944#

Submit all questions about the RFP or application to by 5:00 PM Central Time on April 18, 2018. TCDD will not answer questions about the RFP or application 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 Time April 25, 2018.

TCDD will notify proposers of decisions about proposals by August 31, 2018.

How to Apply

To submit your application:

  1. Complete all required sections of the application in DD Suite. Applications will only be considered for funding if all sections of the application are complete.
  2. Complete all sections of the Supplemental Forms packet that is attached to this RFP. Both must be fully completed. This includes all sections of the budget and all sections of the budget justification. The budget justification section must be detailed enough to show how calculations were made. Any zeros in the Fringe Benefits Section must be explained in the budget justification. The application will only be considered for funding if all sections of the Supplemental Forms packet are complete.
  3. Upload the Supplemental Forms packet and other required documents to DD Suite as attachments to your proposal by the due date. 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 with you on the project, upload them to DD Suite as an attachment to your application. Letters will not be accepted by fax, email, hand delivery, or mail.
  5. Submit all attachments through DD Suite by the due date and time.


Information collected from research studies may improve understanding of complex issues, aid in the design of innovative practices, and contribute to the improvement of people's lives. Participatory research is a partnership approach to research that equitably involves, for example, community members, organizational representatives, and researchers in all aspects of the research process and in which all partners contribute expertise and share decision-making and ownership. Including people with developmental disabilities as researchers in studies that can impact their lives provides a valuable perspective that may influence the direction and design of the study and/or add an extra dimension to the interpretation of the data. Although there appears to be an increase in the use of participatory research, individuals with developmental disabilities have not traditionally been involved as researchers in studies about the experiences of people with developmental disabilities.

TCDD intends to fund participatory research that includes the perspective of individuals with developmental disabilities that will inform TCDD's future activities on a wide range of topics. Funding can be used to conduct a new project or include individuals with developmental disabilities in existing research projects.

Examples of the types of methods that could be used to gather and/or present data for this project include:

  • focus groups
  • electronic statewide surveys
  • literature review
  • Class project
  • Student led research or evaluation
  • Analysis of existing data sets from the perspective of individual with developmental disability
  • photography to document information
  • personal story journals on a topic
  • other
This list is not all-inclusive. The primary requirements of the project are that it involves a person with a developmental disability as a researcher; the project is supervised by a qualified individual or individuals; and the project be related to a topic in TCDD's FY 2017 - FY 2021 State Plan. The State Plan Goals and Objectives can be found at Applicants are strongly encouraged to propose an innovative project.

TCDD funds shall not be used to conduct clinical research.

Project Description and Milestones

Each grantee will examine an issue or issues related to TCDD State Plan Goals and Objectives, found at In your proposal you must describe your area of research and how that research will be conducted. The project must involve an individual with a developmental disability as a researcher. There is no upper limit on the number of researchers who may be involved in the project, and preference will be given to projects that will involve a number of people in a group project to expose a larger number of people to work that supports the Council’s mission and how leaders with developmental disabilities can successfully influence and/or drive important work. The study must be on a specific topic and be:

  • directly related to an existing State Plan Goal and Objective
  • conducted in a manner that is consistent with the mission and positions of the Council
  • appropriately address disparities/disproportionalities related to the topic
The information gathered should inform TCDD's ability to promote best practices or promising practices in services and supports, understand the direct experiences and needs of Texans with developmental disabilities, and/or evaluate TCDD's level of success in creating systems change.

TCDD does not fund clinical research. Grantees must follow their organization's/institution's guidelines on certain types of research if it is required. The researcher providing oversight is responsible for obtaining approval. Funding for activities may be withheld if approval is not obtained.

The entity receiving the grant should provide the majority of the financial support for the academic adviser or primary researcher who will provide oversight. TCDD funds may be used to provide hourly wages; accommodations for individuals with developmental disabilities (including expenses for an attendant) if not covered through another avenue; transportation, meals, and lodging that is within federal guidelines and only for research-related travel; equipment and materials to support project implementation; expenses related to processing and analysis of data; and/or indirect costs of the sponsoring organization per TCDD policies.

Outputs and Outcomes

TCDD expects your project to:

  • Provide a final report that provides a thorough explanation of the background, methodology, conclusions, and limitations of the research.
  • Increase knowledge of at least one specific issue of importance to the Council, resulting in improved decision-making.
  • Document any changes in perceptions of the benefits of collaborating with individuals who have developmental disabilities on research projects.


Grantees must provide a matching contribution each year. This may include funding from non-federal sources, 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 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 front page of this RFP provides the amount of match expected for non-poverty areas and for poverty areas if you request the full amount. Requesting less than the full amount will reduce the amount of match you must provide.

Poverty counties are counties in which at least 20% of the people in the county live in poverty. The attachments to this RFP includes a list of counties that has poverty counties highlighted.

The Review Process

Your proposal will be reviewed based only on what is in your application, supplemental forms, other required attachments, and optional letters of support and/or letters from organizations committing to partnering with you. You will not have the opportunity to provide additional information or to clarify questions about your proposal.

Evaluation Criteria include, but are 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.

Staff review proposals upon submission for compliance with the requirements of the RFP and ensure that all sections are complete. Incomplete applications and applications that do not meet the requirements of the RFP will be disqualified. If you have received a grant in the last five years, staff document your performance on that project and provide that to the Executive Committee.

Proposals that meet the initial requirements will be reviewed by three to five people with expertise related to the RFP. Their review focuses on the quality of the proposed plan, the feasibility of completing the plan, and how well the proposed project may move TCDD closer to meeting the State Plan Goals and Objectives. Reviewers will consider only the information specifically allowed by the RFP and the application instructions. Reviewers also consider only the information included in the submitted proposal.

The TCDD Executive Committee reviews the above information and makes the final funding decisions.

TCDD may give priority to proposals that address the needs of people who are unserved or underserved. This may include, but is not limited to, people living in rural areas; people living in poverty; people of color; and people with limited English proficiency.

Continuation Funding

TCDD does not automatically provide continuation funding and may choose not to award continuation grants. Continuation proposals are generally due approximately three months before the end of the grant year. Grants staff will inform grantees of the due dates.

Continuation funding is based on the project's accomplishments, progress towards stated goals and objectives, financial management of funds, compliance with reporting requirements, review of the most recent program audit, review of 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.

Expectations of All Grantees

Grantees must submit progress reports each quarter and must required financial documents, including reimbursement requests, at least quarterly. Grantees must also provide required evaluation data, annual continuation proposals, and a final report. Failure to meet reporting and spending requirements may impact continuation or future grant awards.

Grantees may be asked to provide information about public policy implications and sustainability in their continuation proposal. Grantees also may be asked to develop an advisory committee.

TCDD will serve as a resource to support grantees to be successful throughout their project. Throughout the project period, grantees may be asked to participate in grants management training as needed. Grantees may also expect calls from TCDD staff about outcome and performance measures, public policy issues that relate to your project, products produced, and project events (if applicable). Grantees may be asked to present their progress at quarterly Council meetings. TCDD may share opportunities for grantees to present at state and/or national conferences.


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 People First Language or Identity-First Language (where appropriate) in all materials.
  • 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.

Supporting Documents