Social Opportunities Initiative

DDPC announces the availability of one (1) grant up to $750,000 ($250,000 per year, for three years) to develop, pilot, and evaluate a mini-grant program model which supports community based social opportunities for people with intellectual, developmental (ID/DD) and other disabilities living in rural and urban communities with high rates of poverty and disparate access to social opportunities and other community resources.

Individuals with ID/DD and other disabilities face significant barriers participating in social opportunities within their communities. This lack of social engagement results in less robust social networks and increased social isolation. Consequently, individuals with ID/DD experience a lack of social skills training opportunities (e.g., communications, etiquette, and social behaviors) and a limited number of opportunities to build upon and practice those same skills. Existing programs that attempt to address these barriers primarily target students transitioning from high school. However, research indicates that individuals across the lifespan have a need for these opportunities.

Individuals with ID/DD living in un- and underserved communities face increased barriers when seeking social opportunities. Many of these communities have trouble not only retaining essential services, but also supporting social and recreational services for individuals with developmental and other disabilities due to lack of funding, scant existing community resources, transportation, among other difficulties. 

The DDPC is pursuing community-based initiatives that target un- and underserved rural and urban communities throughout New York State that are sustainable and can be replicated in other communities that meet or exceed the NY State Poverty Rate. DDPC will select one grantee to develop, administer, and evaluate a mini-grant program focused on high-poverty, rural counties in year 1, and expanding to include high-poverty urban counties in years 2-3. These mini-grant initiatives should prioritize:

  • Reducing social isolation and developing social opportunities;
  • Supporting development of social skills, soft skills and prevocational skills; and
  • Exploring innovative transportation solutions to support community participation.


Deadlines for Letter-of-Intent Submission & Proposal Submission:  

• RFP Posting Date:                         Wednesday, September 5, 2018

• Letter of Intent Due Date:            Friday, September 28, 2018

• Proposal Due Date:                       Friday, October 19, 2018


Contact Person:      Kimberly Berg