Notice of Funds Available (RFP)

Texas Council for Developmental Disabilities
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2019-3:  Research of Substance Use Disorder in People with Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities


Posted Applications Due Start Date End Date Amount MatchPoverty Match Council Staff
Nov 15, 2019 Mar 01, 2020 Apr 30, 2021 $125,000.00 $41,667.00$13,889.00 Danny Fikac

Application Steps

To submit a proposal for this RFP, review all of the information pertaining to the RFP below. Once you are ready to apply, complete the application in DD Suite (here) and attach a completed Supplemental Forms Packet to your DD Suite application. The packet can be found as an attachment at the bottom of this RFP.


TCDD has approved funding for the Research of Substance Use Disorder in People with Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities. TCDD may award a maximum of $125,000 for one project, for up to one year. TCDD will negotiate the budget as needed and may choose not to award funding for this project.

TCDD does not plan to provide funding for these projects beyond the one year. 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 Fernando Rodriguez, TCDD Operations Assistant, at or at 512-437-5432.

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.


In recent years, the Administration on Community Living (part of the federal Department of Health and Human Services) and the Texas Legislature have both identified addressing the opioid crisis as a priority. More broadly than just opioids, substance use disorder is an area that impacts many people, including people with IDD. Yet, it is largely unknown how much, and how many, people with IDD are impacted. What’s also unknown is what prevention and treatment strategies and best practices exist for people with IDD who have a substance use disorder. The purpose of this RFP is for a project to provide information that can be used in the future to ensure Texans with IDD who have substance use disorder can access the services and supports necessary so they can be fully included in their communities and exercise control over their own lives.

A substance use disorder describes a problematic pattern of using alcohol or another substance that results in impairment in daily life or noticeable distress. (Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fifth Edition). Some people with disabilities who use alcohol and/or illicit substances have a higher risk of having a substance-related problem and are less likely to receive or remain in treatment. (Chapman SL, Wu LT, 2012). Also, new evidence suggests that people with disabilities may be more likely than the general population to misuse opioids and develop an opioid use disorder [National Institute on Disability, Independent Living, and Rehabilitation Research (NIDILRR), 2018].

However, there is a lack of information related to prevalence rates and other data regarding people with IDD who have a substance use disorder. The most-commonly used prevalence rate cited in articles references Medicaid claims from 1999, where claims gathered from 49 states found that 2.6% of people who had an intellectual disability code also had a code for a substance use related treatment. But this information is limited and potentially outdated. More recently, in a 2017 presentation, Hannah Jurewicz, LPC, CCPD, gave a prevalence rate of 2–20% for people with developmental and learning disorders; notably, this information is not specific to IDD and the range is broad.

As a result, people with disabilities also may be less likely to receive treatment than those without disabilities. People with disabilities resulting from a serious traumatic injury (e.g., spinal cord injury or traumatic brain injury) may be at greater risk of opioid misuse and unintentional death due to opioid poisoning. Barriers to treatment for opioid use disorder among people with disabilities, as well as contributors to the epidemic, include:

  • insufficient physical accessibility of treatment centers,
  • limited insurance coverage, and
  • policies that withhold opioid prescriptions without first offering pain management alternatives.

In terms of treatment, including opioid treatment, access is a common barrier for people with disabilities. A report published in 2018 by NIDILRR cited information from Colorado about people with disabilities who developed opioid use disorder. Some people in Colorado couldn’t access treatment because inpatient psychiatric facilities would not accept people with care needs, such as personal assistance with bathing, dressing, and transferring. The behavioral health system in Colorado denied behavioral health services to some people with a brain injury or intellectual disability, stating that the real problem was not opioid use disorder, but the other disability. Finally, some crisis centers in Colorado offering short-term respite for people in crisis would not accommodate people who had opioid use disorder.

Another factor for consideration is the co-occurrence of mental health conditions and substance use disorder. Among the general population, it has been estimated that more than one in four people living with serious mental health problems also has a substance use problem; there is less data to quantify the prevalence of co-occurring substance abuse problems and mental health conditions among people with IDD. However, data show that 30% of people with intellectual and developmental disabilities have a diagnosis of a mental health condition, which is a higher rate than among the general population. To adequately understand and address the issue of substance use disorder among people with IDD, it is critical to address substance use disorder, mental health, and IDD in an integrated manner.

State Plan reference: Goal 4, Objective 4.2 (TCDD 2017-2021 State Plan).

Project Description and Milestones

Through this project, the grantee will study and expand knowledge related to substance use disorder in people with IDD. The grantee will:

  • gather statistical information related to Texans with IDD who have a substance use disorder, including opioids addiction;
  • determine what resources exist related to the prevention and treatment of substance use disorders in people with IDD;
  • determine the barriers and system gaps that prevent people with IDD from accessing services and supports; and
  • identify and recommend what best practices are available to address barriers to the prevention and treatment of substance use disorders in people with IDD.

When conducting studies related to the items above, the grantee will acquire and review local, state, and national data, information, and outcomes.

Outputs and Outcomes

The grantee will provide TCDD with a report that:

  • features comprehensive data – including prevalence rates and demographic data – related to Texans with IDD who have a substance use disorder (as available);
  • lists and summarizes what prevention and treatment options exist;
  • lists and summarizes barriers and systems gaps that prevent access to prevention and treatment services and supports;
  • lists and summarizes the best practices related to prevention and treatment – including the most effective treatment components, as well as outcome data, when possible – available in Texas and other states; and
  • includes the best practices the grantee recommends for implementation in Texas, including relevant details and the rationale for the recommendations.

The report could include text, charts, graphs, graphics, photos, etc. The report will be shared with decision-makers in state government and the legislature. The report and the research findings may provide the basis for future RFPs issued by TCDD. The report should be accessible for people with disabilities. All data and information acquired by the grantee will be shared with TCDD.

Important Dates

Informational Webinar: October 17, 2019

TCDD will hold an informational webinar 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 webinar will be held October 17, 2019 at 10:00 AM Central Time. To register for the webinar, contact Danny Fikac at

Deadline to Submit Questions: October 22, 2019

Submit all questions about the RFP or application to Danny Fikac at by 5:00 p.m. Central Time on October 22, 2019.

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 p.m. Central Time on October 28, 2019.

Deadline to Submit a Proposal: November 15, 2019

Proposals must be received by 5 p.m. Central Time on November 15, 2019 to be considered by the Council in February. 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 Fernando Rodriguez, Operations Assistant at or call 512-437-5432. This should be done as early in the process as possible.

Award Notification: February 2020

TCDD intends to notify applicants about funding decisions after the February 2020 Council Meeting (review dates subject to change).


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 General Information section 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. A Match Calculator is attached to this RFP to help you calculate match.

Poverty counties are counties in which at least 20% of the people in the county live in poverty. Attached to this RFP is a document that lists poverty counties.

  • Non-poverty counties: Project activities located in counties not designated as federal poverty areas require matching resources equal to at least 25% of total project costs.
  • Poverty counties: Project activities located in counties designated as federal poverty counties require matching resources equal to at least 10% of the total project costs.

Continuation Funding

Organizations that are awarded funding must apply for continuation funding each year. Continuation funding will not exceed the maximum per-year funding amount stated in the RFP. Continuation funding is based on the availability of TCDD funds and a review of:

  • the project's accomplishments,
  • progress toward stated goals and objectives,
  • management of funds,
  • compliance with reporting requirements,
  • the most recent program audit,
  • findings of TCDD's onsite reviews, if conducted, and
  • development of methods through which sustainability will be achieved.

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: You must submit progress reports quarterly. You must submit financial documents, including reimbursement requests, at least quarterly. You must also provide required evaluation and survey data, information about systems change measures, contact information for project participants, annual continuation proposals, personal stories related to impact of project activities, and a final report. Failure to meet reporting and spending requirements may impact continuation or future grant awards.

Continuation proposals: You may be asked to provide information about public policy implications and sustainability in your application for continuation funding.

Advisory committee: You may be asked to develop a project advisory committee (PAC).

TCDD support: TCDD will serve as a resource to support grantees to be successful. You may be asked to participate in grants management training during the project period. You may also receive calls from TCDD staff about outcome and performance measures, public policy issues that relate to your project, products produced, and project events (if applicable). All grantees are required to attend a new grant kick-off at TCDD’s office in Austin, Texas. If your project is funded for additional years, you may be asked to present about your project’s progress at a quarterly Council meeting (typically held in Austin). Kick-off meetings and Council meetings should be factored into your annual budget. TCDD may share opportunities for you to present at state and/or national conferences.

Project communications: Grantees will work with TCDD to develop and execute a communications plan for their project. Plans could include promoting grantee activities via external communications, raising awareness about products created as part of the project (if any), and developing required stories about the project’s impact at both the community and personal level. All communications products must be approved by TCDD.

Grants Manual: All Grantees are expected to adhere to the TCDD Grants Manual which is a 44-page document that provides information related to program policies and procedures, financial regulations, financial guidelines, and more. The manual is available online at

Terms and Conditions

Applicants must agree to the following terms and conditions:

  • 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 and other assets 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.
  • Applicants may not use TCDD funds to supplant non-Federal funds that would otherwise be made available for the purposes for which the funds are provided.
  • Applicants may not use TCDD funds to provide, duplicate, or replace services for individuals with developmental disabilities and their families who are eligible for Federal assistance under other State programs.
  • Funds awarded under this RFP may not be used for direct services and supports.
  • Funds awarded under this RFP may not be used for food, beverages, or promotional items.
  • TCDD reserves the right not to fund any proposal under this announcement. All funding decisions will be based on the availability of funds and funding amounts for projects could increase or decrease.

See "Assurances" in the attached Supplemental Forms Packet for other terms and conditions relating to this RFP. The Assurances form must be signed and submitted as part of your application packet.

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.

Application steps:

  • DD Suite: Complete all required sections of the application in DD Suite, which includes a workplan and project evaluation plan.
  • Supplemental Forms Packet
    • Complete all sections of the Supplemental Forms Packet, which includes financial information (budget), assurances, and other forms. All forms must be signed before being submitted. The packet is attached to this RFP. With the packet, you’ll submit a project profile and financial information, as well as certify you understand and will comply with TCDD Assurances and TCDD Required Approvals. The Budget Justification Information (Part II: Financial Information, Section D) must:
    • be detailed enough to show how calculations were made in the Budget Detail (Sections B and C), and
    • explain any zeros in the Fringe Benefits table of the Budget Detail (Section B).
    • Sign the documents in the Supplemental Forms Packet.
    • Upload the Supplemental Forms Packet and other required documents to DD Suite as attachments to your proposal.
    • Letters of Support: Letters of Support are optional. 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. A maximum of up to five letters can be submitted as part of your application.

    Submit Your Application

    The Review Process

    Your proposal will be reviewed based only on the quality and details provided in your:

    • DD Suite application (workplan and narrative),
    • Supplemental Forms Packet, (including budget and justification) 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 following submission. Below is the process for RFP review.

    Step 1: TCDD 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 not be considered.

    Step 2: Independent Review Panel

    Proposals that meet the 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 only consider the contents of an applicant’s proposal.

    Step 3: Executive Committee Review and Decision

    The TCDD Executive Committee reviews information related to the steps above and makes the final funding decisions. If you have received a grant in the last five years, TCDD staff inform the Executive Committee about your performance on the past project.

    Note: 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 who experience poverty,
    • people of color, and
    • people with limited English proficiency.

    Supporting Documents