Projects to increase individuals with I/DD who are engaged in competitive employment

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Plan and implement projects designed to increase the number of individuals with I/DD who are engaged in competitive, integrated employmentThe New Jersey Council on Developmental Disabilities announces a multi-year funding opportunity of up to $250,000 for two years/ $125,000 in year one (excluding required 25% match) for a qualified entity to plan and implement projects designed to increase the number of individuals with I/DD who are engaged in competitive, integrated employment.

In accordance with Goal 3 Objective 6 in the NJCDD’s Five Year State Plan for 2022-2026, NJCDD will support innovative projects based on best practices to increase the number of individuals with I/DD who are engaged in competitive, integrated employment, including those who have high and complex support needs such as behavior challenges, medical disabilities, and mental health issues.

In order to be considered, prospective applicants must submit full project proposals to NJCDD within 84 days of this announcement (please see the timeline outlined below). Applicants are required to complete NJCDD’s FY2022 Grant Proposal Form and Budget. These documents are available at www.njcdd.org/applying-for-a-grant/.

Entities applying for NJCDD funding are strongly encouraged to review the Council’s Effective Grant Writing Guide and NJCDD Grant Budget Instructions and Match Requirements, also available at www.njcdd.org/applying-for-a-grant/ . These documents will help applicants ensure that proposals comply with established guidelines.

The selected applicant is required to complete state and federal assurances.  These documents are available for your review at https://njcdd.org/state-and-federal-certificates-and-assurances/.

Download the Notice for Funding: Plan and implement projects designed to increase the number of individuals with I/DD who are engaged in competitive, integrated employment.

Q: Is this grant open to state-approved for-profit schools?

A: Yes.

 

Q: Is administrative expenses allowable to put on the budget list?

A: Yes. Typically, administrative and overhead costs shown as a percentage of salary for administrative support, accounting, rent, phone, etc. Indirect and administrative costs should be allocated at appropriate levels. These costs can also be put toward the required 25% match as long as they are not funded though state or federal dollars.

Learn more here: http://njcdd.org/wp-content/uploads/Budget-Instructions-and-Match-Requirements-2022.pdf

The budget form can be found here: https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1UTLRPoJK4fO3fVkQq0YfQ6G_fv9v5YN3/edit#gid=377204433

 

Q:  Can a foundation apply for this grant?

A: Yes.

 

Q: For the budgets, we wanted to clarify that indirect costs can be funded via our match.

A: Yes, indirect costs can be funded via grantee match, however, state and federal funds cannot be put toward the match.

 

Q: What is the variance policy for budgets upon award?

A: A budget variance is the difference between the budgeted expense, and the actual expense. The budget should be carefully considered before it is submitted. If costs in one area exceed the amount budgeted, a budget modification can be requested in order to move funds from one budget line to another.

NJCDD uses the NJDHS Contract Policy and Information Manual, P1.10 which is noted below. While modifications are allowed, there will be no increase in the contract ceiling after its awarded.

Applicable Budget Categories and Allowable Budget Modification Flexible Limits are:

  1. Personnel Category, Category A.

1) A Cumulative Increase in total salaries, excluding Fringe Benefits, of more than five percent (5%) from the approved Annex B Budget.

2) A Cumulative Increase in Fringe Benefit costs of more than fifteen percent (15%) from the approved Annex B Budget.

  1. Other Than Personnel, Categories B, C, D, F (These Budget Categories have been consolidated for modification purposes except that “Specific Assistance to Clients” is maintained as a separate Budget Category).

1) A Cumulative Increase in the combined value of Other Than Personnel categories * of more than ten percent (10%) from the approved Annex B Budget. The 10% Flexible Limit is applied only to the combined value of the following Annex B Budget categories, (B+C+D+F) x 10%: *(B) Consultants & Professional Fees *(C) Materials and Supplies *(D) Facility Costs *(F) Other

  1. Specific Assistance to Clients, Category E 1) All changes below the approved Annex B Budget require a modification.

1) A Cumulative Increase of more than fifteen percent (15%) from the Approved Annex B Budget requires a Contract Modification. Policy Circular P1.10 10

  1. Equipment, Category I

1) An item of equipment not included in the approved Annex B Budget of over $5,000 per item requires a Contract Modification.
2) A Cumulative Increase of more than ten percent (10%) from the Approved Annex B Budget requires a Contract Modification.

 

Q:  Should we plan a site visit? If so, how long before or after the award? 

A: Site visits are not uncommon for this type of grant. Such visits would be arranged at a mutually agreeable timeframe, typically beginning within the first few months.

 

Q: Will this grant be renewed?

A: The grant period is one year. Each of the grants is expected to be issued as part of a multi-year initiative, however renewal of funding is contingent on grantees meeting performance objectives, benchmarks and deliverables. The grantee will be required to submit a proposed application and budget for multi-year funded projects at least 60 days in advance of the new grant period (Year 2, or Year 3).  NJCDD staff will support the grantee in this process.

 

Q: How many grant proposals does the foundation typically receive in the cycle you are applying for and how many do they typically fund?

A: The process is competitive. NJCDD, a federally-funded state Council on disabilities, may receive as many as a dozen or more proposals for each RPF it announces. Typically, a single proposal is selected for funding, which may include two or more collaborating organizations.

 

Q: How much of this grant can be used for indirect expenses?

A: While there is no specific cap on indirect costs, the funds requested should be allocated across budget areas in ways that align with the goals of the RFP and the scope of work. The budget and budget narrative should present a cost-effective funding level for achieving the purpose of the project.

If the grantee has an indirect cost rate approved by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services or another governmental agency, it may utilize the rate for budgeting and expenditures reporting. Indicate (1) the approved rate; (2) the type of rate (i.e., provisional, fixed, predetermined, final); and (3) the base on which it is applied (e.g., total direct salaries and wages, total direct costs). Submit a copy of the complete Negotiation Agreement containing the approved rate. If an approved indirect cost rate is used, any expense item included in the indirect cost pool must not be included in any other part of the budget as a direct program cost. For example, the cost applicable to the provider agency’s chief executive officer should not appear in Budget Category A: Personnel as a direct program cost if it is part of the indirect cost pool used to compute the approved rate.

 

Q: If after receiving the application additional information is required of us, will there be an opportunity to supply that information, or will we be disqualified? 

A: Incomplete proposals cannot be considered and will be disqualified. The application must be complete as submitted and no additional information will be requested. NJCDD reserves the right to contact an applicant to request assurances or modifications to a proposal prior to finalizing a contract.

 

Q: Can nonprofit organizations during this same cycle simultaneously apply for both of the two current open grant opportunities (Improve access to and the provision of education and transition services AND Plan and implement to increase individuals with I/DD who are engaged in competitive, integrated employment)?

A: Yes.

 

(3.6) Q: Our question is similar for the opportunity to plan and implement projects designed to increase the number of individuals with I/DD who are engaged in competitive, integrated employment. Is this project to fund the provision of employment services?  Is it to educate employers?  Is it to trial some specific technique for supported employment?

A: The Council is looking for innovation and creativity, so a range of approaches may be considered. The work MUST increase competitive integrated employment, so the two strategies mentioned: “educating employers” and “to trial of some specific technique” could be included as strategies as part of a larger concept. Projects might include:

  • Demonstration projects that increase competitive integrated employment for individuals with I/DD. Strategies might include but are not limited to: innovative business models, innovative internships, job carving, job sharing, business ownership, natural job supports (supports integrated into the existing workforce/culture of the workplace/employer) and/or partnerships.
  • Trainings and collaborations that build local or regional capacity in ways that directly result in an increase in the number of individuals with I/DD in competitive integrated employment. Strategies might include but are not limited to benefits planning and coordination, training and technical assistance for businesses, school districts, local government, and Chambers of Commerce to measurably increase diversity and inclusion as it relates to people with I/DD in the competitive integrated workforce.

 

(3.6) Q: If our agency receives funding from DVRS and Medicaid for current programs/services we have, are we still eligible to submit a proposal?

A: Yes, however, it is important to note three issues:

  • Grant funds cannot be used to fund an existing program or service.
  • Grant funds cannot be used to supplant or supplement existing funding for an existing program, and,
  • State and federal funds cannot be used for the purposes of the required 25% match.

Council 5-Year Plan Goal #3: Capacity Building

All New Jersey residents with I/DD and their families will have increased information and support they need to access the services and support they need to live, work, and learn in the community with independence.

3.6 Objective: By 2026, NJCDD will support innovative projects based on best practices to increase the number of individuals with I/DD who are engaged in competitive, integrated employment, including those who have high and complex support needs such as behavior challenges, medical disabilities, and mental health issues.

Background/Statement of Need

The mission of NJCDD is to assure that individuals with intellectual/developmental disabilities (I/DD) in New Jersey, and their families, participate in the design of and have access to needed community services, individualized supports, and other forms of assistance that promote self-determination, independence, productivity, integration, and inclusion in all facets of life through culturally competent programs.

In 2012, New Jersey became an Employment First state, but has yet to fulfill the promise of completive integrated employment for many people with I/DD. This is particularly true for those with high and complex support needs. To that end, NJCDD is funding innovative projects based on best practice that are designed to increase the number of individuals with I/DD in New Jersey who are engaged in competitive, integrated employment, including those with behavior health challenges, medical disabilities, and mental health issues.

Competitive Integrated Employment has three major components:

  1. Competitive- Individuals with I/DD are paid the same as people without disabilities for doing the same or similar work. Competitive pay cannot be less than minimum wage.
  2. Integrated – Individuals with I/DD have opportunities to interact and work alongside co-workers without disabilities in the workplace to the same extent as any other employee doing the same or similar work. The focus is on interaction with non-disabled co-workers, not with supervisors, or paid disability support providers.
  3. Employment – Full or part-time paid work, including self-employment, seasonal work, and/or business ownership

The Council is looking for innovation and creativity. Projects might include:

  • Demonstration projects that increase competitive integrated employment for individuals with I/DD. Strategies might include but are not limited to: innovative business models, innovative internships, job carving, job sharing, business ownership, natural job supports (supports integrated into the existing workforce/culture of the workplace/employer) and/or partnerships.
  • Trainings and collaborations that build local or regional capacity in ways that directly result in an increase in the number of individuals with I/DD in competitive integrated employment. Strategies might include but are not limited to benefits planning and coordination, training and technical assistance for businesses, school districts, local government, and Chambers of Commence to measurably increase diversity and inclusion as it relates to people with I/DD in the competitive integrated workforce.

Applicants must:

Describe specifically and in detail what they will do.
Describe how they will measure the success of their efforts with quantitative and qualitative data (i.e., number of people who will be impacted and the number of people who will get jobs and keep jobs.)
Describe how the effort will be sustained beyond the funding period
Describe how they will disseminate information about the effort for replication.
Describe how they will reach a culturally and linguistically diverse population in their proposed work.
The goal of this RFP is to empower students (including those with behavioral health challenges, medical disabilities, and mental health issues), families and stakeholders in identifying and delivering education and transition services that align with Employment First, and that can lead to competitive integrated employment, and/or access to post-secondary education and training, and to live independently, with an emphasis on supporting those in urban and rural schools.

Who Should Apply?

The Council is seeking proposals from applicants who:

  1. Demonstrate solid knowledge about and experience with competitive integrated employment for people with I/DD, including those with complex support needs such as medical, behavioral or mental health needs.
  2. Have the resources and demonstrated capacity to carry out the work described in their proposal.
  3. Demonstrate that work will be carried out in a culturally-competent and linguistically-responsive manner, and;
  4. Demonstrate a solid understanding of the work of the NJCDD and its needs.

Eligible applicants may include, but are not limited, to:

  1. Private for-profit and not-for-profit organizations, including providers of special education and related services, transition/employment support services, employment agencies, and third-party agencies.
  2. Researchers and institutions of higher education.
  3. State, county, or local government entities, including schools.
  4. Other organizations that may contribute to the success of the project team, including consultants, not-for-profit organizations, business and civic organizations.

The credentials of the organization(s) and the CV of the person(s) to be engaged in this work must be described and attached to the proposal.

The Council strongly encourages proposals from two or more collaborating organizations. All partnerships/collaborations and interagency coordination must have a letter of agreement from the other party/parties unless it is a joint application.

Applicants MUST:

  • Demonstrate cultural competency and the ability to reach and support diverse and historically-underserved communities including but not limited to individuals who are Black, Hispanic, Asian, have limited English proficiency, and/or identify as LGBTQ+.
  • Address the needs of individuals with a full range of I/DD, including those with complex needs such as medical and/or behavioral challenges.
  • Show innovation and/or best practices.
  • Demonstrate sustainability of effort.
  • Describe how work will be carried out in a COVID-aware/COVID-safe manner.

NOTE: Funds cannot be used to supplant other government funds. A 25% Non-Federal Match of Proposed Funding is Required.

Implementation Targets/Deliverables

Proposals must include sequential implementation targets and deliverables that address:

  1. A written plan, for each year (2 years) that describes deliverables in the proposal, the project, its process, its outcomes
  2. A written budget narrative for Year 1 Only;
  3. Concrete and measurable activities, with a timeline for Year 1 Only;
  4. A comprehensive plan to share and disseminate best practices, including timelines for implementation to occur within the contract period for Year 1 Only.
  5. Benchmarks for project workflow and completion, tied to funding drawdown for Year 1 Only.

Reporting

Applicants who receive funding must submit written quarterly reports to the Council that address the progress made on the implementation targets. Contract payments are predicated upon successful completion of implementation targets and must be documented in order for payments to be issued.

Contract payments are predicated upon successful completion of implementation targets and must be documented in order for payments to be issued.

Contract Period: June 1, 2022 to May 31, 2023

Funding Amount: $125,000 in year one, with the option to apply for year two. Maximum funding of up to $250,000 for a two-year period. Budget submission in response to this RFP should be for Year One only.

  1. FOUR HARD COPIES of each proposal must be received by NJCDD not later than March 30 at 2PM. Hard copy proposals must be submitted/delivered to the following address. There are no exceptions. Late proposals CANNOT be considered.

NJ Council on Developmental Disabilities
c/o Grants
20 West State Street, 6th Floor
Trenton, NJ 08625-0700

E-signature is acceptable. Proof of delivery is strongly encouraged.

  1. Applicants must also email a copy of the full proposal application and budget to grants@njcdd.org not later than March 30, 2022 at 2PM.

Notice of Funds Available                                           January 6, 2022
Applicant Question Period                                         January 10 – 26, 2022
Question Deadline                                                      January 26, 2022 by 5pm
Posted Answers to Questions Submitted                February 2, 2022
Proposal Submission Deadline                                 March 30, 2022 by 2 pm
Award Notification                                                      Not later than May 4, 2022
Contract Period                                                           June 1, 2022 to May 31, 2023

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