Foreign entities are not eligible to compete for, or receive, awards made under this announcement.
The purpose of this Funding Opportunity Announcement (FOA) is to announce the availability of Federal funds for a single awardee that demonstrates the ability to successfully design and implement a Centers for Independent Living Training & Technical Assistance Center (CIL T&TA Center). The CIL T&TA Center will provide operational, programmatic, and compliance expertise for CILs. Key functions of the CIL T&TA must:
Provide Training and Technical Assistance -Coordinate training and technical assistance to ensure operational excellence in financial and core programmatic responsibilities:
Submit to ACL a strategic plan documenting and establishing a direction for the development of training, materials, and products that demonstrate effectiveness and results in critical and non-critical operational and fiscal management;
Enhance efficient use of fiscal Federal funds via a thorough understanding of fiscal requirements, use of accessible technology, accurate tracking and reporting of fiscal information, and proactive use of fiscal data to improve agency performance;
Provide training opportunities and resources to CILs both in-person, and in accessible user-friendly digital formats (i.e. webinars, on-line modules, virtual meetings);
Research, identify, and provide training and information on promising practices/strategies for CIL program grantees (i.e., creating and updating work plans, establishing goals and objectives, collaborating with the SILC):
Review information to help understand the current landscape of the CIL network; and
Determine how information can best be incorporated into technical assistance strategies, resources, and tools.
Develop training materials and procedures to educate, recruit, and train staff and qualified board members; so CILs can adequately provide core services, become fiscally and programmatically sound, and understand the role of Office of Independent Living Programs (OILP);
Conduct on-going evaluation of training and technical assistance opportunities:
Synthesize the evaluation data and use the information to improve future results; and
Share the results with ACL and the CIL grantees.
Provide to ACL technical editing, graphic design, and desktop publishing support to finalize the draft of fact sheets, publications, Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs), press releases, and training materials and products that improve the administration of the CIL program;
Ensure CILs are adhering to ACL administrative requirements:
Develop training materials related to the timely and accurate submission of fiscal and programmatic reports to ACL; and
Increase the number of approved reports submitted in Federal reporting systems.
Provide effective TA to CIL grantees on Federal reporting systems, by increasing the number of approved CIL Performance Progress Report (PPR) submissions.
Improve CIL Service Delivery -Develop and operationalize products and services to create efficiencies and measurable impact in service delivery by improving performance, outcomes, operations, and governance:
Collect and analyze long-term sustaining promising practices related to complying with standards and assurances for CILs according to section 725(a)(b)(c) of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, as amended;
Promote and practice the independent living philosophy of:
Consumer control of the center regarding decision-making, service delivery, management, and establishment of the policy and direction of the center;
Self-help and self-advocacy;
Development of peer relationships and peer role models; and
Equal access for individuals with significant disabilities, within their communities, and to all services, programs, activities, resources, and facilities, whether public or private and regardless of the funding source.
Provide services on a cross-disability basis, including individuals with significant disabilities who are members of populations that are unserved or underserved by programs;
Facilitate the development and achievement of independent living goals selected by individuals with significant disabilities who seek such assistance by CLs;
Increase the availability and improve the quality of community options for independent living in order to facilitate the development and achievement of independent living goals by individuals with significant disabilities; and
Conduct resource development activities to diversify funding sources.
Report on the number or percentage of CILs who scored 100% on critical compliance with all financial matters, and 80% on non-critical compliance matters:
Develop training material and procedures to address CILs that were not able to meet the minimum threshold; and
Provide intensive T&TA to CILs until they are compliant.
Ensure CILs maintain statutory compliance and deliver service innovation pertaining to the provision of independent living core services:
Independent living skills training;
Information and referral services;
Individual advocacy training; and
Transition and community integration.
Develop and Maintain Critical Partnerships - Foster Federal, State, and national partnerships to expand external stakeholder network:
Establish and maintain a partner-focused working relationship with the Administration on Disabilities and its programs, and other Federal agencies that fosters a shared accountability for overall outcomes and responsibility for specific project efforts requiring close collaboration, including federal initiatives involving the CILs;
Establish a partner-focused working relationship with CILs that facilitates improved CIL operations (program, fiscal, and CIL organizational competency), performance and outcomes; maintenance/achievement of statutory compliance; and positioning of CILs as leaders and agents of systems change, capacity building and advocacy at the national, state and local levels;
Establish a multi-stakeholder, representative, participatory group to provide guidance and general direction in the design and implementation of the T/TA contract;
Establish a partner-focused working relationship with the T/TA provider for State Councils on Developmental Disabilities, Protection and Advocacy agencies, and University Centers for Excellence in Developmental Disabilities (UCEDDs) to enhance the relationship among the disability networks in each state/territory and:
Collaborate to develop and implement outcomes-based measurement of T/TA and advance understanding and collection of outcomes across disability network programs;
Address issues related to disability network collaboration; and
Address pressing disability issues in the States/Territories.
Work cooperatively with organizations and agencies, including other ACL funded T&TA centers, to maximize collaboration on areas of mutual benefit;
Establish a partner focused working relationship with external organizations to enhance the relationship among the independent living network: and
Attend and speak at relevant conferences and trainings as needed;
Address issues related to independent living network collaboration; and
Address pressing CIL program issues.
Exchange and transfer knowledge and best practices between State and national partners to:
Develop and utilize advancements in technology and services; and
Expand external network resources.
Develop Evaluation Strategies - Provide effective evaluation strategies for T&TA activities:
Demonstrate grantee compliance, competency, and training delivery results;
Evaluate the effectiveness of T&TA activities monthly, quarterly, and annually including the following items:
Status of all tasks and deliverables;
Problems encountered or expected along with suggested corrective actions; and
Proposed alternative tactics necessary to evaluate activities.
Conduct follow-up surveys 3-4 months after on-location conferences, workshops, and online courses. The follow-up surveys should identify:
Changes implemented by CILs;
Measurable impact based on the training; and
Barriers encountered that prevent results.
Plan and Organize a National Training and Technical Assistance Institute - Conduct a bi-annual training and technical assistance institute to increase CIL performance and compliance with statutory requirements. Specific areas include service delivery innovation, peer-to-peer training/sharing, and dissemination/translation of research:
Provide grantees with the opportunity to learn from each other, to share educational resources and promising practices, and expand partnerships across states;
Provide an accessible and inclusive learning environment;
Recruit expert speakers; and
Promote the event to CILs.
Develop a Compliant Online and Digital Presence - Maintain an online and digital presence that responds to changing online and digital trends:
Maintain, and monitor a real-time webpage for grantees, to support technical assistance and training opportunities;
Operate a collaboration platform for the sharing of documents among grantees, other internal and external stakeholders, and ACL staff;
Ensure the accessibility, security, and privacy of the data and systems used to support the CIL program; and
Maintain, and monitor an email listserv for grantee communication and information dissemination purposes.