COVID-19 Response Small Grant Opportunity


Grant Opportunity Release: July 17, 2020

Proposal Due Date: August 14, 2020

Anticipated Award Announcement no later than: September 30, 2020


Short Description: The NYS Developmental Disabilities Planning Council (DDPC) is seeking grant proposals from organizations that will support people with intellectual and developmental disabilities (IDD), family members, caregivers, or service providers to promote engagement and advocacy, increase positive experiences and community inclusion, and/or reduce gaps in supports and activities, due to COVID-19. Up to $150,000 is available for this Small Grant Opportunity. The DDPC may award additional grants depending on the availability of additional funds, input from our Council, and the strength of the applications.


Tier 1 Grant Proposal: Ranging from a minimum of $2,500 up to $9,999

Tier 2 Grant Proposal*: Ranging from a minimum of $10,000 up to $50,000

*Please note: Tier 2 applicants will be required to answer additional application questions and have additional reporting requirements.


Eligible organizations include:

  • Nonprofit organizations (Note: the lead applicant cannot be a for-profit organization; however, for-profit organizations may serve as subcontractors to the lead applicant)
  • Public or private institutions, such as universities, colleges, hospitals
  • Disability-service organizations
  • Community-based organizations
  • Tribal organizations; and
  • Consortia, groups or partnerships among organizations


Eligibility Requirements:

  • Applicants must be registered as a Vendor in the NYS Statewide Financial System  (SFS).
  • The majority of people served by this grant must be people with intellectual and developmental disabilities (IDD), their families or caregivers, or the systems that support them.
  • The project proposal must be directly related to or a response to barriers identified throughout the COVID-19 pandemic.
  • The project must include at least one of the Focus Areas outlined in the grant description below.
  • For Tier 2, applicants must be Pre-Qualified in the Grants Gateway System (GGS).


Full Description: The DDPC is seeking grant proposals from organizations that will support people with intellectual and developmental disabilities (IDD), family members, caregivers, and/or service providers to promote engagement and advocacy, increase positive experiences and community inclusion, and/or reduce gaps in supports and activities, due to COVID-19. 

We especially encourage the submission of proposals that reach underserved members within the IDD community that are likely to get overlooked and face additional barriers. Some examples of underserved communities among people with IDD and their families include individuals from racial and ethnic minority backgrounds, economically disadvantaged individuals, individuals with limited English proficiency, individuals from underserved geographic areas (rural or urban), LGBTQ+ individuals, and individuals who need assistive technology to participate in community life.


Both Tier 1 and Tier 2 grant proposals must incorporate activities in at least one of the following 3 Focus Areas in order to be considered:

Focus Area 1: Creating and Sharing Information

Creating and sharing important information with individuals with IDD and their families who have been impacted by COVID-19. Examples of information and resources may include, but are not limited to: 

  • Plain language information on accessing COVID-19 related resources or other federal/state/local resources (for example filing for unemployment).
  • Plain language benefits information (for example how unemployment insurance and stimulus payments may affect Supplemental Security Income (SSI)).
  • Getting tested for COVID-19, accessing tele-health options, practicing social distancing, wearing masks, etc.
  • Using technology and online platforms. 
  • Educational resources for parents supporting education at home (for different age groups).
  • Stress reduction, mental health, and/or grief and loss resources.
  • Increasing social connections during this time of physical distance.
  • Crisis management or planning tools.


Focus Area 2: Creating or Modifying Programs

Creating or modifying programs that intend to build and maintain community capacity to support the short-term and long-term needs of individuals with IDD and their families during the COVID-19 pandemic. Examples of programs may include, but are not limited to ones that:

  • Reduce anxiety and isolation for individuals with IDD and their families.
  • Provide opportunities for people to engage with peers, employers, schools, families, and advocacy groups during this period of social distancing and isolation.
  • Support parents to learn specialized skills and support maintenance of previously attained milestones of their youth and adult children with IDD.
  • Support an organization to establish or restructure programs that serve those often disconnected from services, especially during this time.
  • Limit the impact of the digital divide, especially on underserved communities and communities that have limited access to technology.
  • Reimagine educational supports and opportunities while schools are remote or out of session.


Focus Area 3: Reducing Barriers and/or Driving Future Change

Respond to the additional barriers that COVID-19 has presented or worsened, by supporting systems' change efforts that seek to improve future services and supports. Examples of efforts may include, but are not limited to ones that:

  • Support direct care staff and providers to continue their work to provide supports needed for the people they serve under these unusual circumstances.
  • Inform efforts for future disaster preparedness and emergency response, specific to health crises and pandemics.
  • Compile research on the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic on the
  • IDD community/systems, with recommendations for future systems improvements.
  • Test innovative approaches to service delivery or address other emerging systems’ needs.
  • Support employment, transportation, and housing needs for people with IDD to ensure they are safely able to maintain employment, housing and community access of their choosing. 
  • Expand and continue supports of various specialists who may not be considered essential.


Application Documents: Both Tier 1 and Tier 2 Grant Applications are fillable pdf forms. We recommend opening and saving the Grant Applications in Adobe Acrobat for best functionality.


Application Review Process: DDPC will review all applications that are deemed eligible. Ineligible applications will not be reviewed (see eligibility requirements previously noted). Upon completion of the review, applicants will receive an Approval or Denial Letter. If approved, grantees must submit a "Grantee Award Acceptance" Form.


Timeline & Award: The grantee must spend the grant funds within one (1) calendar year, with a minimum award amount of $2,500 and a maximum award amount of $50,000.


Reimbursement: Grant funds will be disbursed via reimbursement and grantees must provide documentation of all expenses. Documentation of expenses include, but are not limited to payroll, timesheets, technology expenses, print/translation receipts/contracts, etc.


Reporting: To receive grant reimbursement funds, grantees must submit either a Final Report (Tier 1) or Quarterly Reports (Tier 2) which outline the activities, number of people who benefited, how people benefitted, and includes final expenditure information and documentation.


Budget & Matching Funds: In the application form, provide a detailed budget that reflects how you intend to utilize DDPC funds. Your budget must include an outline of your organizations’ Match contributions to the project. Match contributions must be at least 34%. For example, if you request $10,000 from the DDPC, you will need to have $3,400 in Match dollars. Match can be in-kind dollars (for example: staff time, volunteer hours, or donations), but must be provided from other sources beyond DDPC and other federal funds. For more information on the DDPC’s Match requirements, please see “Fiscal Fundamentals: Match Dollars.”


DDPC Acknowledgement: Any materials created with DDPC grant funds must indicate the support of the DDPC and our federal grantors prominently in the following statement: “This project was supported, in part by grant number (the specific grant number will be identified in the Award Letter) from the U.S. Administration for Community Living, Department of Health and Human Services, Washington, D.C. 20201. Grantees undertaking projects with government sponsorship are encouraged to express freely their findings and conclusions. Points of view or opinions do not, therefore, necessarily represent official ACL policy.”


DDPC Reserved Rights: DDPC reserves the right to:

  • Reject any or all applications received in response to this opportunity.
  • Withdraw or reissue this opportunity at any time, at the sole discretion of DDPC.
  • Reject any application if, in the sole discretion of DDPC, it determines the applicant is not a responsible vendor.
  • Change any of the scheduled dates stated in this opportunity.
  • Fund only one portion or selected activities of the selected applicant’s proposal and/or adopt all or part of the selected applicant’s proposal based on federal and state requirements.
  • Rescind awards for failure of awardees to meet timeframes that DDPC is required by statute to meet for contract development and approval.


Designated Agency Contact: If you have any questions about this opportunity please contact the DDPC’s Designated Agency Contact for this funding announcement:

Kay Broughton
Research Specialist
Email: [email protected]