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 Statewide Independent Living Council Training and Technical Assistance Center (SILC T&TA Center). The SILC T&TA Center will provide fiscal, operational, and compliance expertise for SILCs. Key functions of the SILC T&TA must:
Provide Training and Technical Assistance - Coordinate technical assistance to ensure operational excellence in financial management and effectiveness in performing SILC and DSE roles, duties and 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 training resources to SILCs and DSEs both in-person, and in accessible user-friendly digital formats (i.e. webinars, on-line modules, virtual meetings);
Provide technical assistance and resources that assist DSEs to properly receive, account for, and disburse funds received.
Research, identify, and provide training and information on promising practices/strategies for SILCs (i.e., drafting SPIL goals, objectives, indicators, resource plan recommendations, and collaborating with CILs and DSEs):
Review information to help understand the current landscape of the ILS 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 they can adequately perform duties and authorities, become fiscally and sound, and understand the role of the 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, SILCs, and DSEs.
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 ILS program;
Ensure SILCs and DSEs 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 SILCs and DSEs on Federal reporting systems, by increasing the number of approved CIL Performance Progress Report (PPR) submissions.
Improve SILC Service Delivery - Develop and operationalize products and services to create efficiencies and measurable impact in service delivery by improving performance, outcomes, operations, duties, authorities, and governance:
Collect and analyze promising practices related to complying with the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, as amended, and the SILC Indicators and DSE Assurances;
Improve the capacity of SILCs to address service innovations including, but not limited to, a review of finance and contracting methods used within States to procure services:
Provide training to SILCs that request assistance with negotiating contracts with State agencies and other funders; and
Develop best practices for creating contracts with the SILCs that are in line with ACL reporting requirements.
Report on the number or percentage of SILCs who scored 100% on critical compliance with all financial matters, and 80% on non-critical compliance matters:
Develop training material and procedures to address SILCs that were not able to meet the minimum threshold; and
Provide intensive T&TA to SILCs until they are compliant.
Ensure SILCs maintain statutory compliance and deliver service innovation pertaining to required duties:
Jointly develop the SPIL with the CIL Executive Directors;
Monitor, review, and evaluate the implementation of the SPIL;
Meet regularly, and ensure that such meetings of the SILC are open to the public and sufficient advance notice of such meetings is provided;
Submit to the Administrator such periodic reports as the Administrator may reasonably request, and keep such records, and afford such access to such records, as the Administrator finds necessary to verify the information in such reports; and
Coordinate activities with other entities in the State that provide services similar to or complementary to independent living services, such as entities that facilitate the provision of or provide long-term community-based services and supports.
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 SILCs;
Establish a partner-focused working relationship with SILCs that facilitates improved SILC operations (fiscal and SILC organizational competency), performance and outcomes; maintenance/achievement of statutory compliance; and positioning of SILCs 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 ILS 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 SILCs and DSEs;
Measurable impact based on the training; and
Barriers encountered that prevent results.
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 ILS program; and
Maintain, and monitor an email listserv for grantee communication and information dissemination purposes.