NOFAs (Notice of Funds Available)

The Georgia Council on Developmental Disabilities is currently offering the following Notice of Funds Available (NoFA).


Technology Education Initiative

Georgia Council on Developmental Disabilities
24DIV3: Technology Education Initiative

Apply for this grant in DD Suite: https://ddsuite.org/index?nofa_id=2165

Purpose

The purpose of this funding opportunity is to support the development of technology training for individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities (I/DD), their family members, and direct support professionals throughout the state of Georgia.

Schedule of Events

This Request for Proposals will be governed by the following schedule:

Applications Due – July 1, 2024

  • Staff Application Review – July 1, 2024 – July 15, 2024
  • Grants Selection Committee Review – July 15, 2024 – August 9, 2024
  • Council Approval – By August 19, 2024
  • Contract Negotiations and Signed Contracts – August 20, 2024 – August 30, 2024
  • Start Date/Work Begins – September 1, 2024

Restrictions on Communication

All questions about this NoFA must be submitted in the following format:

Organization/Individual Name

1. Question Citation of relevant section of the NoFA

2. Question Citation of relevant section of the NoFA Questions must be directed in writing to the Operations & Contracts Director (OCD) Lisa Eaves at:

Questions must include the company name and the referenced NoFA section. From the issue date of this NoFA until a contractor is selected and the selection is announced, Applicants are not allowed to communicate for any reason with any State staff except through the OCD, or during the Applicants' conference, or as provided by existing work agreement(s).

The State reserves the right to reject the proposal of any Applicant violating this provision. All questions concerning this NoFA must be submitted in writing by email to . Only written questions will be accepted. No response other than written will be binding upon the State.

The DD Council

The Georgia Council on Developmental Disabilities (GCDD) is one of 56 entities of its type in the United States and territories that report to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and the Administration for Community Living. It is authorized under Public Law 106-402, the Developmental Disabilities Assistance and Bill of Rights Act Amendments of 2000.

The Georgia Council on Developmental Disabilities (GCDD) makes funds available to fulfill its mission in accordance with its Five-Year Strategic Plan (pdf file) and in compliance with the American with Disabilities Act (ADA). Through its funding, GCDD works to increase the capacities and resources of public and private nonprofit entities and others to develop a comprehensive community system that responds to the choices, capabilities and needs of persons with developmental disabilities and their families. The purpose of GCDD grants is to expand best practices and contribute to system-wide changes that support the rights of people with developmental disabilities and their full inclusion as community members. Recipients of GCDD grants are expected to be ongoing partners in bringing about positive change.

Our activities are governed by a 27-member board, appointed by the Governor and comprised of at least 60 percent individuals with developmental disabilities and family members. Other members include policymakers that represent various federally mandated partners and state agencies and organizations having a vested interested in persons with developmental disabilities.

GCDD is charged with creating systems change for people with developmental disabilities and their families by increasing opportunities for independence, inclusion, integration, productivity, and self-determination. Activities include public policy research and analysis, project demonstrations, education and training, advocacy, and public information. The GCDD is a quasi-state agency, attached to the Department of Behavioral Health and Developmental Disabilities (DBHDD) for administrative purposes.

Scope of Work

GCDD intends to increase access to technology in order to decrease barriers to education, employment, housing, transportation and healthcare for people with intellectual/developmental disabilities in rural and underserved areas by 2027. The Technology Education Initiative is a foundational step towards that aim and will support the training of people with developmental disabilities, their family members, and caregivers across the state of Georgia in tech-based platforms that will increase their access to healthcare, career, and educational opportunities, as well as other activities of community living that are accessible via digital devices. Successful projects will create inclusive and accessible trainings using both in-person and web-based curriculums. These trainings will increase the understanding of computer-based resources for Georgia’s disability community.

Grantees will have proven experience with training audiences on technology platforms that support daily living and resource access. These accessible trainings should include instruction in the areas of assistive technology, email platform navigation, smart phones, safe online shopping, healthcare management and vocational rehabilitation case management. This is not an exhaustive list and applicants can feel free to present additional trainings that would be useful to these new technology users. Additionally, grantees will have proven experience building technology access and capacity across various digital platforms.

The Technology Education Initiative should include, but is not limited to, (1) accessible in-person and web-based technology trainings, (2) written how-to guides for the usage of various web-based resources as well as recorded webinar content/materials that will be housed on the GCDD website that can be used by future audiences, (3) involvement in the existing statewide Tech Access Advisory Committee that meets once a month.

The grantee is ultimately responsible for detailing their plans for successful implementation and completion of the technology education initiative; however, some activities that should be included in the work plan include:

1. Develop a questionnaire and/or survey to interview participants about their training experience.
2. Identify and recruit people with developmental disabilities and their families to participate in the trainings. Participants must represent urban, suburban, and rural areas of Georgia and mirror the socio-economic strata of the community, with attention paid to having racial, ethnic, and gender identity diversity. Participants should also mirror the socio-economic strata of the community, with attention paid to having racial, ethnic, and gender identity diversity.
3. Utilize best practices of other states, including state councils, for delivering four in-person/web based accessible trainings that educate people with developmental disabilities and their families on how to use cellular devices, tablets and computers to access digital tools that support daily living and resources.
4. Deliver training curriculum and recorded trainings to be used by future audiences that will be housed on GCDD’s website.

Experience Requirements:

  • Extensive and proven experience in field of technology access or assistive technology
  • Experience providing accessible technology instruction to diverse communities
  • Proficient using Microsoft Office Suite
  • Effective communicator, both orally and written

Performance Measures includes the following:

IFA.1.3 The number of 'other individuals' who participated in Council supported in activities designed to increase their knowledge.

IFA.3.1B The number of people with developmental disabilities satisfied with a project activity.

IFA.3.2B The number of family members satisfied with a project activity.

SC.1.3.1 The number of promising practices created.

Application Submission & Evaluation

The Applicant must submit a complete application in DD Suite which includes a Project Outline, a Project Work Plan and a Project Budget.

Applications must be submitted online via https://www.ddsuite.org, prior to the published deadline. No hard copies will be accepted. Applicants must have or create a DD Suite user account and an organization account in order to submit an application. Go to https://www.ddsuite.org and click on "HELP TAB" for detailed instructions on creating DD Suite user and organization accounts. (See complete application process and Guide to DD Suite attached)

Additional Submission Requirements:
1) Upload of copy of the Federal W-9 (attached to this NoFA)
2) Two written professional references who can speak to your qualifications and experience. (Upload references to your DD Suite application.)
3) 2 sample work products related to this proposal (Please upload)

Each proposal should be prepared simply and economically, avoiding the use of elaborate promotional materials (unless materials have been requested) beyond those sufficient to provide a complete presentation. If supplemental materials are a necessary part of the proposal, the Applicant should reference these materials in the technical proposal, identifying the document(s) and citing the appropriate section and page(s) to be reviewed.
Any proposal received after the due date and time will not be evaluated.

Evaluation Process
The evaluation of proposals received on or before the due date and time will be conducted in the following phases. Any proposal received after the due date and time will not be evaluated.

Administrative Review
The Operations & Contracts Director will screen each proposal. The screening will consist of:

(1) determining if the Applicant is eligible to receive Council funds including determining if the Applicant meets eligibility requirements and is registered to do business in Georgia;
(2) the budget is within the funding limits and includes the required match;
(3) the application is complete and all sections in DD Suite have responses; and,
(4) the required forms are attached.

DD Suite will issue an automatic reply acknowledging receipt of your proposal immediately after successful submission.

There will be no debriefing for applicants who are not selected. All applicants who respond to this NOFA will be notified of the outcome of their application (awarded, application modifications requested, or denied) by email through DD Suite.

Proposal Evaluation
The GCDD Chairperson will appoint a selection committee and may consider individuals other than Council member or advisory members. No one may evaluate proposals in which there is, or there is an appearance of, a conflict of interest. They will recuse themselves from all parts of the grant evaluation and award process.

The Selection Committee may meet twice within 30 days of proposal due date. Before the first meeting, staff will send proposals and the Solicitation Evaluation Form. The first meeting may be either in person or virtual and members will review, rank, and narrow down proposals to the top 2 or 3 for consideration as finalist. Staff will collect and file all completed Solicitation Evaluation Forms.

Using the Solicitation Evaluation Form, members will identify the most critical factors contributing to the value or success of the proposed solutions to the issues identified. Among the criteria used are the following:

1. Does the outline clearly state goals and major activities?

2. Is applicant qualified or experienced to complete the goals and activities?

3. Does the application satisfactorily describe the impact of activities of the project will have on people with developmental disabilities?

4. Is each required goal and outcome addressed? Are the goals and outcomes satisfactory?

5. Does the application adequately describe who will be responsible for each activity and a timeframe for completion?

6. Is the proposed budget consistent with the goals and activities identified in the project?

7. Does the budget justification for each item include how amounts were determined?

8. Does the evaluation plan satisfactorily describe both process and outcomes evaluation approaches?

The criteria are scored by each member of the selection team and a proposal is eligible to receive a maximum of 1000 points. Each criteria is rated either Exceptional (receives full points), Acceptable (receives half points), Not Acceptable (Receives no points). For example, if the criterion Organizational Ability has a maximum points value of 75. An Exceptional Rating gets 75 points, Acceptable gets 37.5 and Not Acceptable gets 0. If there is more than one proposal, only those that have a score of at least 700 (70% ) will have their applications forwarded to the Council’s Grants Selection Committee.

Oral Presentations

GCDD reserves the right to conduct site visits or to invite Applicants to present their proposals between July 15, 2024 to August 9, 2024 by video conference (Zoom) virtually during this time.

Financial (Cost) Proposal Evaluation

The Successful Applicant submit a proposed budget for this initiative. The Financial Proposal will provide a 25% match (in-kind or funds) to augment the federal grant. The 25% match may be in the form of matching dollars, and/or in-kind costs, on an annual basis. Match funds must be documented by submitting a Report of Certified or In-Kind costs at each reporting period.

What kind of things can be considered in-kind match? Your in-kind match may include expenses that are:

  • allowable under federal guidelines and GCDD policies;
  • necessary for your project;
  • not paid by federal funds (ours or those of another agency); and
  • not already being used as match for another federal grant.

Some examples include office space, utilities, volunteer time (including members of your Project Advisory Committee), printing costs, consultants (if not paid through the grant), or staff not paid for through the grant.

Applicant should provide a detailed annual plan explaining how it will generate the required match and how much, i.e., the percentage that will be provided. The plan must show in detail what will be done, how it will be done, and what specific commitment the Applicant is willing to make as a match.

Rejection of Proposals/Cancellation of NoFA

The State reserves the right to reject any or all proposals, to waive any irregularity or informality in a proposal, and to accept or reject any item or combination of items; when to do so would be to the advantage of the State. It is also within the right of the State to reject proposals that do not contain all the elements and information requested in this document. The State reserves the right to cancel this NoFA at any time. The State will not be liable for any cost/losses incurred by the Applicants throughout this process.

NoFA Amendments

The State reserves the right to amend this NoFA prior to the proposal due date. All amendments and additional information will be posted to http://ddsuite.org Applicants are encouraged to check this website frequently.

Proposal Withdrawal

A submitted proposal may be withdrawn prior to the due date by a written request to the Operations and Contracts Director. A request to withdraw a proposal must be signed by an authorized individual.

Cost for Preparing Proposal

The cost for developing the proposal is the sole responsibility of the Applicant. The State will not provide reimbursement for such costs.

Conflict of Interest

If an Applicant has any existing client relationship that involves the State of Georgia, the Applicant must disclose each relationship.

Reciprocal Preference Law OCGA 50-5-60(b)

For the purposes of evaluation only, Applicants resident in the State of Georgia will be granted the same preference over Applicants resident in another State in the same manner, on the same basis, and to the same extent that preference is granted in awarding bids for the same goods or services by such other State Applicants resident therein over Applicants resident in the State of Georgia. NOTE: For the purposes of this law, the definition of a resident Applicant is one who maintains a place of business with at least one employee inside the State of Georgia. A post office box address will not satisfy this requirement.

ADA Guidelines

The State of Georgia adheres to the guidelines set forth in the Americans with Disabilities Act. Applicants should contact the Operations and Contracts Director at least 48 hours in advance if they require special arrangements when attending the Applicant's Conference. The Georgia Relay Center at 1-800-255-0056 (TDD Only) or 1-800-255-0135 (Voice) will relay messages, in strict confidence, for the speech and hearing impaired.