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

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.

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.

NJCDD will hold an Applicant Question Period from January 10, 2022 to January 26 2022.  All questions must be submitted in writing to grants@njcdd.org by 5PM on January 26, 2022. Answers to questions will be posted to the NJCDD’s website at www.njcdd.org/applying-for-a-grant/ by February 2, 2022.

  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

Copyright 2021- The New Jersey Council on Developmental Disabilities
Advocate | Collaborate | Educate