Foreign entities are not eligible to compete for, or receive, awards made under this announcement. Faith-based and community organizations that meet the eligibility requirements are eligible to receive awards under this funding opportunity announcement.
The Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990, as amended (ADA), 42 U.S.C. 12101 et seq., prohibits discrimination against people with disabilities in employment, public accommodations, State and local government activities, and telecommunications.
Since 1991, NIDILRR has funded 10 regional ADA Centers to provide ADA training, technical assistance, and ADA-related materials to people and entities with rights and responsibilities under the ADA. These 10 regional centers, along with the ADA Knowledge Translation Center, and the ADA Collaborative Research Project (currently funded from 2017-2022), comprise what NIDILRR has most recently referred to as the ADA National Network.
The ADA National Network is the only federally-sponsored national network of technical assistance centers dedicated to providing information, training, and technical assistance on the ADA. These services are provided to a broad range of the community, including people with disabilities and their families, state and local government entities, employers, small businesses, and service providers. This training and information spans a range of topic areas and contributes to an enhanced understanding by ADA stakeholders of their rights and responsibilities under the ADA. While the work of the ADA National Network leads to improved community participation opportunities and outcomes for individuals with disabilities, there is significant progress to be made in improving stakeholder knowledge of their rights and responsibilities under the ADA.
Since 2006, NIDILRR has incorporated a research component into the scope of activities for the ADA National Network in order to develop new knowledge about barriers to ADA compliance, strategies for its effective implementation, and greater understanding of stakeholders’ need for and use of ADA National Network services. Research within the ADA National Network has been implemented at the individual center level and collectively on a national level using the regional center framework. Recent research efforts have focused on a range of topics, including community participation by people with disabilities, employment practices and workplace accommodations to promote effective hiring and retention of employees with disabilities, barriers to accessible healthcare, ADA implementation in emergency management, and access to assistive technology among postsecondary students with disabilities.
NIDILRR intends to continue to sponsor training, technical assistance, and information dissemination activities, as well as ADA research, through its priorities for the ADA National Network Regional Centers.
The Administrator of the Administration for Community Living establishes a priority for the funding of 10 Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) Regional Centers, 1 within each of the 10 HHS regions. Together, the 10 ADA Regional Centers, along with the ADA Knowledge Translation Center (ADA KT Center, funded under a separate funding opportunity announcement), and the ADA Collaborative Research Projects (funded from 2017-2022), will comprise the ADA National Network. Each ADA Regional Center must be designed to contribute to the following outcomes:
(a) Improved understanding by ADA stakeholders of their rights and responsibilities under the ADA. Each of the 10 ADA Regional Centers must contribute to this outcome by—
(1) Implementing a sustained program of outreach, training, technical assistance, information dissemination, and capacity building (collectively, ADA Network Services), aimed at ADA stakeholders, including local, regional, and national groups representing such stakeholders. For purposes of this priority, the term “ADA stakeholders” refers to people and entities with rights and responsibilities under the ADA; and
(2) Describing, in its original application, the racial and ethnic characteristics of its particular regional population. Based upon these racial and ethnic characteristics, each ADA Regional Center must describe in its application how its ADA Network Services will be designed and provided in order to maximize ADA knowledge and impact among the full diversity of stakeholders in the region.
(b) Identification of barriers to compliance with the ADA as well as innovative approaches for eliminating these barriers. Each of the 10 ADA Regional Centers must contribute to this outcome by—
(1) Conducting ADA research activities on topics that are relevant to at least one of the Titles of the ADA, which include employment, public entities and public transportation, public accommodations and commercial facilities, and telecommunications. Each regional ADA center must commit at least 15% of its overall budget to ADA research efforts. Research activities must be conducted on a local, center-specific level;
(2) Presenting research efforts and findings during an ADA Research Conference organized by the ADA KT Center in Year 5 of the funding cycle;
(3) Collaborating with the ADA KT Center on the development of research briefs intended to be a synthesis of current available ADA research. ADA Regional Centers will provide input to the ADA KT Center about what areas of research would be of interest to ADA stakeholders. This input will be based on the nature of service and information needs of ADA stakeholders, and results of periodic assessments of stakeholders needs.
(c) Improved understanding of ADA stakeholders’ need for and receipt of ADA Network Services over time, including services to address emerging issues related to compliance with ADA requirements. Each of the 10 ADA Regional Centers must contribute to this outcome by—
(1) Entering, directly into the Outcomes Measurement System (OMS) database maintained by the ADA KT Center, the required data about each of the ADA Network Services that it provides. These data must include, but are not limited to, (1) the ADA title or titles, regulations, and specific topics that are addressed by the ADA Network Services provided, (2) the modality of service provision (e.g., in-person presentation, webinar), and (3) non-personally identifiable information about the recipient or recipients of the ADA Network Services;
(2) Ensuring that any staff who collect OMS data or enter data into the OMS complete formal training offered by the ADAKT Center within the first year of the grant. The ADA Regional Center must ensure that any new staff with data collection or data entry responsibilities complete the training satisfactorily before performing those activities. After the first year of the grant, data collection or entry must only be performed by those who satisfactorily complete the training;
(3) Collaborating with the ADAKT Center to comply with NIDILRR requests for analyses of, and aggregated information from OMS data;
(4) Collaborating with the ADA KT Center to conduct periodic assessments of the knowledge, information, and service needs of ADA stakeholders. These needs assessments must be conducted through analyses of OMS data to identify emerging issues related to stakeholder rights and responsibilities under the ADA. ADA Regional Centers must also apply new knowledge from those analyses to further tailor and improve the provision of ADA Network Services and enhance understanding of emerging stakeholder needs;
(5) Collaborating with NIDILRR and the ADA KT Center to identify and implement other appropriate methods for periodically assessing the needs of ADA stakeholders;
(6) Measuring and tracking the impact of ADA National Network Services on stakeholder needs and outcomes;
(7) Collaborating with the ADA KT Center to produce and promote stakeholder awareness of and access to an annual public report. This report must be based on OMS data and must share information on ADA Network Services provided by the 10 ADA Regional Centers, including aggregate numbers and demographics of service recipients, and other non-confidential statistics, as appropriate. Applicants may request the ADA National Network Annual Report from the Competition Manager, Shelley Reeves, at email@example.com.
(d) Enhanced efficiency and effectiveness of ADA Network Services. Each of the 10 ADA Regional Centers must contribute to this outcome by—
(1) Partnering with the ADA KT Center and other ADA Regional Centers to develop and distribute ADA training and technical assistance materials, and other informational products and services that are national in scope. These materials, products, and services include, but are not limited to, the ADA National Network web site, as well as materials, products, and services that are relevant to ADA stakeholders across regions. Each ADA National Network Regional Center must collaborate with the other nine Regional Centers and the ADA KT Center to develop and distribute these nationally-relevant products. While individual Regional Centers may develop services and products based on their expertise and populations they serve, they must work with all members of the ADA National Network to optimize their national relevance and reach;
(2) Coordinating with the ADA KT Center to maintain national products, training and technical assistance documents in a centralized online system to be established and implemented by the ADA KT Center;
(3) In coordination with the NIDILRR Project Officer, collaborating with ACL staff to identify and implement opportunities to leverage other Administration for Community Living program and service investments (including, but not limited to, Aging and Disability Resource Centers, Area Agencies on Aging, and Centers for Independent Living) to further the goals of the ADA National Network;
(4) Attending and participating in annual meetings of the ADA Regional Centers’ Project Directors to be held twice per project year in Washington, DC. The meetings are expected to occur in-person unless extenuating circumstances prohibit in-person meeting, and in such cases the meetings may occur virtually, as approved by NIDILRR. These meetings will facilitate collaboration between the 10 ADA Regional Centers, the ADA KT Center, and the ADA Collaborative Research Projects (currently funded from 2017 - 2022). These meetings will also allow the grantees to meet and exchange information directly with their Federal partners in the Administration for Community Living, U.S. Department of Justice, U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, and other relevant agencies within and outside of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.