Notice of Funds Available (RFP)

Texas Council for Developmental Disabilities

2018-9  New Initiatives


Posted Applications Due Start Date End Date Amount MatchPoverty Match Council Staff
Aug 10, 2018 Oct 26, 2018 Apr 01, 2019 Mar 31, 2023 $100,000.00 $33,333.00$11,111.00 Danny Fikac


The Texas Council for Developmental Disabilities (TCDD) has approved funding for up to three field-initiated projects that are consistent with TCDD's mission "to create change so that all people with disabilities are fully included in their communities and exercise control over their own lives." Organizations that apply shall propose the goal of their projects and the strategies they will use the meet their goal.

TCDD may award a maximum of $100,000 per year, per project, for up to three project(s), for up to four years. TCDD will negotiate the budget as needed and may choose not to award funding for these projects.

About This Funding Opportunity
  • TCDD may post this Request for Proposals (RFP) up to four times per year, depending on the availability of funds for these types of projects.
  • If your proposal is not selected, you may re-submit the same proposal or a new proposal for consideration at a later date.
  • You may apply if you have previously received a New Initiatives grant, but no earlier than one year after the end of the previous TCDD New Initiatives grant.
  • Past success and performance with TCDD grants will be a factor in the selection process.
  • Applicants who have not received a TCDD New Initiatives grant before will be given priority in the selection process.

TCDD does not plan to provide funding for these projects beyond four years. TCDD does not automatically continue funding each year and may terminate funds prior to the end date in this RFP.

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

Who May Apply

Any organization that meets the requirements set forth in this RFP can apply. Types of organizations could include:

  • government agencies,
  • nonprofits,
  • colleges and universities,
  • faith-based institutions,
  • technical and/or professional schools, and
  • for profit businesses.
The organization that applies for this grant must administer the grant and receive, disburse and account for grant funds.

Individuals may not apply for this grant.

Important Dates

Informational Conference Call: September 20, 2018

TCDD will hold an informational conference call to provide more information about TCDD's processes for proposal review and grant award. You are not required to attend in order to apply.

The informational conference call will be held: September 20, 2018 at 11:00 AM CST. To participate:

  • Phone number: 1-877-820-7831
  • Participant passcode: 649944#

Deadline to Submit Questions: September 28, 2018

Submit all questions about the RFP or application to by 5:00 PM Central Time on September 28, 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 October 2, 2018.

Deadline to Submit a Proposal: October 26, 2018

Proposals must be received by 5 PM Central Time on Friday October 26, 2018. TCDD does not consider late applications under any circumstances, including user error. If you have questions about DD Suite and cannot find answers in the DD Suite Guide attached to this RFP, email Danny.Fikac@TCDD.Texas.Gov or call 512-437-5415. This should be done as early in the process as possible.

Award Notification: February 28, 2019

TCDD will notify proposers about funding decisions by February 28, 2019.

How to Apply

To have your application considered, complete the steps listed below by the due date. Applications and all associated documents must be submitted via DD Suite. Documents received by fax, email, hand delivery, or mail will not be accepted. Applications that do not include the items listed below, or that include incomplete items, will not be considered.

  1. Complete all required sections of the application in DD Suite.
  2. Complete all sections of the Supplemental Forms packet. The Supplemental Forms packet is attached to this RFP. This information will include 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.
  3. Upload the Supplemental Forms packet. Upload the Supplemental Forms packet and other required documents to DD Suite as attachments to your proposal by the due date.
  4. Upload Letters of Support. 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.
  5. Submit all attachments through DD Suite by the due date and time.


New Initiative projects provide funding opportunities for organizations that have expertise to identify and propose solutions to a statewide need, a regional or local need, and/or the needs of people with developmental disabilities who are typically unserved or underserved.

New Initiatives projects proposed to TCDD in the past were related to employment; long term services and supports; inclusive childcare; early childhood intervention; education; alternatives to guardianship; housing; culturally competent leadership and advocacy training; accessible website design; dentistry; education of medical personal; establishment of mentoring programs; creation of exercise programs; recreation; and development of a family support network. Some of these were funded as submitted, and others may have been developed into projects funded at a later date through a competitive RFP.

TCDD funds may not pay for the following for this project:

  • ongoing direct services to people with developmental disabilities unless those services:
    • are part of a demonstration or pilot project, and/or
    • relate to providing training that will enable people with developmental disabilities and/or families of people with developmental disabilities to be stronger advocates, to be more independent, or to better able to take control over their own lives;
  • capital expenses (an amount spent to acquire or improve a long-term asset such as equipment or buildings);
  • to make architectural modifications; nor
  • other items that are considered not allowable per the Uniform Grants Manual. For your reference, these items can be found in the Uniform Grants Manual Section 45 CFR 75.

Project Description and Milestones

Applicants must propose the goal of their project and include the project description and milestones in their proposal. Those who are awarded a grant and who hope to receive multiple years of funding will be expected to work each year toward meeting the same goal as described in their original proposal.

The project description must include the following:

  • A specific goal for the project that states what should be achieved if the entire project is implemented.
  • A clearly defined strategy or strategies showing how the goal will be met. Strategies to be used in these projects might include:
    • developing, piloting, and/or demonstrating promising or best practices in services and supports;
    • developing, piloting, and/or demonstrating ways to promote community inclusion;
    • addressing public policy issues;
    • developing the capacity of communities to support and include people with developmental disabilities;
    • promoting advocacy and self-advocacy; or
    • another approach that is likely to achieve the goal.
  • Measures to evaluate the success of the goal and objectives, such as how many people will be trained, what change(s) will be made, and/or how the effectiveness of a new model will be measured.
  • A description of the related need(s) or want(s) that have been identified by people with developmental disabilities and/or families of people with developmental disabilities.
  • How the project will address disproportionalities and disparities experienced by people who are typically underserved and/or unserved.

Outputs and Outcomes

The applicant organization must state what specific outputs and outcomes their project will create. "Outputs" include things done or produced that may be counted, such as numbers of training events held, number of people who became employed, products created, policies changed, etc. An "outcome" is the impact that a project has on the lives of people with developmental disabilities. For example, people who are trained to advocate may then create changes in their communities; a policy changed may result in people having more control over their lives; building the capacity of a community to support people with complex medical needs may mean that fewer people with developmental disabilities have to be admitted into a hospital, nursing home, or other institution.

TCDD expects your project to document the implementation and success of project activities, any barriers, and feedback from any individuals served in this project. Grantees are also required to complete federal performance measures.

Project activities must be self-sustaining without TCDD funds by the completion of the project period or must create a change that will have a long-lasting positive impact that benefits people with developmental disabilities and/or the families of people with developmental disabilities.


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.

Match Amount: The front page of this RFP provides the amount of match expected for non-poverty counties and for poverty counties 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 percent of the people in the county live in poverty. The attachments to this RFP includes a list of counties that has poverty counties highlighted.

  • Non-poverty counties: Project activities located in counties not designated as federal poverty areas require matching resources equal to at least 25 percent of total project costs.
  • Poverty counties: 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 Review Process

    Your proposal will be reviewed based only on what is in your:

    • application,
    • supplemental forms and budget,
    • workplan,
    • 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.

    Step 1: Staff Review

    TCDD 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.

    Step 2: Independent Review Panel Review

    Proposals that meet the initial requirements will be reviewed by an Independent Review Panel consisting of three to five people with expertise related to the RFP. The panel’s 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 TCDD State Plan Goals and Objectives. The panel will consider only the information specifically allowed by the RFP and the application instructions. The panel also considers only the information included in the submitted proposal.

    Step 3: Executive Committee Review and Decision

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

    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

    Organizations that are awarded funding must submit continuation funding proposals each year. Continuation funding will not exceed the maximum per-year funding amount stated in the RFP. 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.

    Continuation funding is not automatic and TCDD may choose not to award continuation grants. Continuation proposals are generally due approximately three months before the end of the grant year.

    Expectations of All Grantees

    Reporting: Grantees must submit progress reports and 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.

    Continuation proposals: Grantees may be asked to provide information about public policy implications and sustainability in their continuation proposal.

    Advisory committee: Grantees may be asked to develop an advisory committee.

    TCDD support: 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 digital, 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 the 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.
    • 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.