Notice of Funds Available (RFP)

Michigan Developmental Disabilities Council

2022.B:  Developing Leaders for Life


Posted Applications Due Start Date End Date Amount MatchPoverty Match Council Staff
Sep 17, 2021 Oct 18, 2021 Jan 01, 2022 Dec 31, 2026 $1,125,000.00 $375,000.00$0.00 Tedra Jackson


The Council intentionally focuses on race, ethnicity, and other intersectional identities to eliminate historical and systemic marginalization and create systems change. We recognize the strengths and abilities of all individuals with I/DD and their family members, from all races, ethnicities, and cultures. Through our activities and advocacy, our goal is to increase the number of disability leaders and advocates from African American, LatinX, Asian American, Arab-American, and Native-American communities.

Guiding Principle
We remain committed to support and expand opportunities for culturally diverse individuals with developmental disabilities and their families representing diverse racial, ethnic, and socioeconomic backgrounds across the State of Michigan. We seek to integrate an intersectional approach to increase the participation of people of color in DD Council activities and advocacy across the state. Our goal is to support individuals with developmental disabilities and their families in a culturally competent manner, which is responsive to their beliefs, interpersonal styles, attitudes, language, and ensure effective and meaningful opportunities for full participation in their communities.

Cultural Competency
Culturally competent means services, supports, and other assistance that is conducted or provided in a manner that is responsive to the beliefs, interpersonal styles, attitudes, language, and behaviors of individuals who are receiving the services, supports, or other assistance, and in a manner that has the greatest likelihood of ensuring their maximum participation in the program involved.

Racial Equity
It is good to think of racial equity both as outcomes and as the process for achieving the desired outcomes. As outcome, we will achieve racial equity when a person's race no longer determines their access or lack of access to resources, healthcare, education, housing, employment, and just treatment by police and in the courts. As a
process, we practice or enact racial equity when those most impacted by structural racial inequity (people of color) are meaningfully involved in the creation and implementation of the institutional policies and practices that impact their lives. This practice is summed up in the declaration: “Nothing about us without us.”

Diversity, Equity, and Council Grantees
Given the Council’s focus on diversity and equity in all its work, we are facilitating a Cultural and Linguistic Community of Practice (CoP) for organizations that provide services to people with developmental disabilities. The CoP will help participants create and implement organizational changes in values, policy, structures, and practices, so people of color with developmental and other disabilities can achieve equity of access and participation. This opportunity will be available in 2022. The goal is to transform the DD System by building the capacity of organizations to provide cultural and linguistically competent services to people from diverse communities. All DD Council grantee organizations will be strongly encouraged to participate.

Project Description

This project will establish a leadership development and training program(s) for individuals with developmental disabilities, including people with intellectual and cognitive disabilities. The project will establish a technical assistance infrastructure to connect disability leaders to opportunities where they can advance their leadership in disability and non-disability settings.


Early intervention has proven to be effective in providing support to children and young people who are at risk of poor outcomes. Early intervention services can change a child’s path and improve outcomes.
That same approach can be true for mindset and perspective. Historically, parents of children with disabilities are shown one path in life for their child(ren); the path to a segregated and “safe” life. That path includes, segregated school and activities, sheltered work and sub-minimum wage leading to forced poverty and congregate living.

However, when parents and families are given an opportunity to see personal, lived experiences of others with developmental disabilities that shows them a different life for their child(ren) it can lead to a change in outlook, perspective, and expectation. That change in expectation can lead to a different path. That path includes inclusion and belonging, self-determination and supported decision-making, and employment and independent living.


The DD Council puts a strong emphasis on developing leaders with disabilities. This project will help to carry that emphasis forward over the next five years. Past projects have taught us the importance of meeting people where they are in terms of experience and what they hope to learn. It is equally important for people with developmental disabilities to learn from peer leaders. The project will work with leaders with developmental disabilities and others who are knowledgeable about leadership development as trainers and/or co-trainers.

To move the next level, continuous education, and the opportunity to practice what you’ve learned is necessary. It’s also important for people to practice leadership in disability and non-disability settings. This project will develop an infrastructure to locate opportunities and provide support and technical assistance to disability leaders to advance their leadership. The project will put particular emphasis on including people with intellectual and developmental disabilities as participants.

Project Requirements

Project Activities:
A proposal for Developing Leaders for Life must include a workplan that shows how the proposed project would achieve the Council's targeted outcomes and objectives.

1. Develop a leadership development program for people with developmental disabilities.
2. Develop and implement an infrastructure to connect disability leaders to opportunities to advance their leadership through existing programs. (For example: AmeriCorps, Peace Corps, AmeriCorps Vista, etc.)

1. Participants will increase ability to lead advocacy efforts.
2. Participants will gain skills to become leaders in the disability advocacy movement.
3. Participants will increase their ability to advocate or ask for what they want in their lives.
4. Participants will gain or increase public speaking skills.
5. Participants will become active in advocacy.
6. Participants will experience an increase in self-confidence, self-efficacy, and self-determination.
7. Participants will take the next step in their advocacy work by participating in existing disability and non-disability leadership programs.
8. People with developmental disabilities will serve as peer trainers/co-leaders.

# of people trained
# of people connected to leadership opportunities
# of people with disabilities providing training to other people with disabilities
# of people with disabilities leading advocacy efforts
# of people participating in advocacy
# of project collaborators

Performance Measures:
1. IFA 1.1 The number of people with developmental disabilities who participated
2. IFA 1.2 The number of family members who participated
3. IFA 2.1 After participation in Council supported activities, the percent of people with developmental
disabilities who report increasing their advocacy.
4. IFA 2.2 After participation in Council supported activities, the percent of family members who report
increasing their advocacy.
5. IFA 2.2.1 The percent of people who are better able to say what they want or say what services and supports
they want or say what is important to them
6. IFA 2.2.2 The percent of people who are participating now in advocacy activities
7. IFA 2.2.3 The percent of people who are on cross disability coalitions, policy boards, advisory boards,
governing bodies and/or serving in leadership positions.
8. IFA 3.1 The percent of people with developmental disabilities satisfied with a project activity
9. IFA 3.2 The percent of family members satisfied with a project activity.
10. SC 1 The number of Council efforts to transform fragmented approaches into a coordinated and effective system.
11. SC 1.1.1 The number of policy and/or procedures created or changed.

Funding Priorities

Projects that assist unserved or underserved people with intellectual/developmental disabilities will be given priority, including:
 Young adults (Ages 18-26)
 Culturally or linguistically diverse groups
 Low socioeconomic areas
 Areas of the state with limited access to services and supports where people
struggle to participate in their community

Data Evaluation and Measurement

An evaluation of the project activities is required for grant projects using council funds. The evaluation must measure the extent to which the project achieved the goals, objectives, outcomes, and performance measures. The grantee may select the evaluation method(s) and process for the project and participants. Past evaluation methods have included pre-tests and post-tests, interviews, written surveys, and focus groups. Performance measures, outputs and outcomes will be tracked and reported on as part of defined quarterly and annual reports submitted to the council. A final project report is also required in the last year of the project period.


All council grantees will participate in and contribute to collaborative activities and coordination with and among council staff and other council grant projects, including the Youth Leadership Initiative, Family Empowerment Initiative, Strengthening Communities of Color Through Leadership, and Self-Determination in Michigan, and the Community Transition Project. These activities will include at least quarterly meetings convened to:
1. Educate grant project staff on how to operationalize equity in the implementation of project activities; and
2. Coordinate activities, exchange information, assess progress on common goals, and provide mutual support.

Grantees must submit participant names and contact information for follow-up by DD Council.

Project Budget

The Council has up to $1, 1250,000 for one (1) project for a period of five (5) years. The project must provide local match (cash or in-kind) equal to 25% of the total project budget (1/3 of the amount of Council funds requested). Availability per year is expected to be:
Federal (DD Council) Local Match (Grantee)
FY 2022 (partial year) Federal $168,750 Local $56,250
FY 2023 Federal $225,000 Local $75,000
FY 2024 Federal $225,000 Local $75,000
FY 2025 Federal $225,000 Local $75,000
FY 2026 Federal $225,000 Local $75,000
FY 2027 (partial year) Federal $56,250 Local $18,750

Unallowable Costs

A. Entertainment expenses;
B. Capital expenditures or acquisition (construction, remodeling, or purchase of buildings);
C. The purchase or lease of vehicles;
D. Operations costs for existing programs;
E. Start-up costs for new businesses or organizations;
F. Large equipment (such as playground equipment);
G. Programs that are not fully inclusive (such as centers specifically for people with disabilities);
H. Direct supports or services or;
I. Therapy or treatment.

Eligible Applicants

Private non-profit organizations, institutions of higher education or governmental agencies that have access to the skills and experience needed to carry out the proposed project on a statewide basis, including:
1. Demonstrated knowledge and understanding of leadership development models and practices.
2. Experience with, understanding of, and commitment to the social justice movement, and knowledge of the cultural, societal, and structural factors that exclude people with developmental disabilities from decision-making processes in our society
3. Demonstrated knowledge and understanding of, and commitment to, self-determination and community inclusion for people with DD and their families.
4. Demonstrate knowledge of and established relationships with state and local organizations, policymaking bodies, and advisory boards for people with developmental disabilities.
5. Organizational capacity for and experience in:
a. Operating a statewide training and technical assistance initiative that includes multiple partners and collaborators.
b. Adult education and training for community members and people with developmental disabilities on issues and skills.
c. Ability to address diverse learning styles.
d. Identifying and successfully supporting individuals with intellectual disabilities and individuals with high and complex support needs.

Assistance & Information:

A Pre-Application Conference for the RFP/NOFA for the Developing Leaders for Life will be September 22, 2021, at 2:00 p.m. via Zoom Meeting.

Below if the connection information. You can find a live link to the Pre-Application Conference in the 'Attachments' section.

Join Zoom Meeting
Meeting ID: 859 6539 2581
Passcode: 216329

If you have any questions please contact LaJone’ McClinton at or 517-284-7297.

Please Note: First time applicants have been more successful in writing fundable applications if they attended the Pre-Application Conference.

A Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) will be made available on the DD Council website October 4, 2021.

Application Submission:

Complete applications for Developing Leaders for Life online in DD Suite and submit them by 11:59PM on October 18, 2021.

There a 20-page limit to the narrative, not including attachments.

A work plan, budget, and letters of support are also required.