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Understanding the Federal Program Descriptions

Content provided by the Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance
17.720 Employment Programs for People with Disabilities

FEDERAL AGENCY:

OFFICE OF DISABILITY EMPLOYMENT POLICY, DEPARTMENT OF LABOR

AUTHORIZATION:

The Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2001 Section1(a)(1); Public Law 106-554; 29 U.S.C. 557b.
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To bring a heightened and permanent long-term focus to the goal of increasing employment of persons with disabilities by providing leadership, development policies and initiatives and awarding grants that further the elimination of barriers to the training and employment of people with disabilities.

TYPES OF ASSISTANCE:

Project Grants.
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Direct Payments for Specified Use.
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USES AND USE RESTRICTIONS:

Individual grants provide funds and technical assistance to serve adults and youth with disabilities through serveral initiatives. These initiatives usually require collaborative efforts between grantee and various programs established within the Workforce Investment Act (WIA), State and local government agencies, school districts, and other entities. Funds must be used for the purpose of the grant but there are no other specific restrictions on the use of funds.

ELIGIBILITY REQUIREMENTS:

Applicant Eligibility: Eligibility requirements vary with each grant. See Federal Register for specific grant requirements.
Beneficiary Eligibility: People with disabilities and the organizations that serve them.
Credentials/Documentation: Applicants must submit a detailed plan consistent with the proposed activities of the grant. Cost will be determined in accordance with OMB Circular No. A-87 as codified in 41 CFR 1-57.7 for State and local governments.
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APPLICATION AND AWARD PROCESS:

Pre-application Coordination: Selective grants require affiliation with one or more WIA funded One-Stop Centers; others have no restrictions. This program is excluded from coverage under E.O. 12372.
Application Procedure: Each candidate is required to prepare an application describing such factors as the following: significance of its proposed project; proposed contribution to increasing knowledge or understanding of the problems; the prospective demonstration results of new strategies; the likely utility of the products; the prospective extent of information dissemination; and the potential replicability of the project. The design of these program efforts is not specified, but must conform to the purposes, as well as the performance and reporting requirements of the grant.
Award Procedure: Applications will be reviewed by a Federal panel for fidelity to the Federal principles. The geographic distribution of the competitive applications, the availability of funds, assuring a variety of different program designs together with the Panel findings will be used to award these grants.
Deadlines: The deadline for filing applications for 2001 grants was August 2001.
Range of Approval/Disapproval Time: All approvals/disapprovals for 2002 grants made no later than September 30, 2002.
Appeals: None.
Renewals: Vary by grant. Most are renewable for one or more years. Some limited grants have no renewals.

ASSISTANCE CONSIDERATIONS:

Formula and Matching Requirements: There are no specific formula funding requirements.
Length and Time Phasing of Assistance: One-year grants, generally, with one-year period of performance. Youth program grants are one-year grants for a two-year period of performance and are not renewable.

POST ASSISTANCE REQUIREMENTS:

Reports: Quarterly reporting as a condition of all grants. Financial reports SF (269) quarterly. Customized employment grants at One-Stop Centers require monthly reports during the initial six months of operation.
Audits: Audits are conducted by the Inspector General, General Accounting Office, or independent public accountants selected by the Department of Labor. Specific grants may involve formal program evaluation review by outside evaluators.
Records: Not applicable.

FINANCIAL INFORMATION:

Account Identification: 16-0165-0-1-505.
Obligations: (Salaries and expenses) FY 01 $22,969,000; FY 02 est $43,263,000; and FY 03 est $47,426,000.
Range and Average of Financial Assistance:
Recent awards for cooperative agreements and grants have ranged from approximately $100,000 to $2,500,000 per year, depending on the project needs as detailed in the solicitation for cooperative agreement or grant applications and availability of funds. Awards have been to non-profit and for-profit organizations, State and local government agencies, academic institutions, and other entities.
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PROGRAM ACCOMPLISHMENTS:

The Office of Disability Employment Policy (ODEP) has been instrumental in bringing about improved awareness and national recognition of the skills and abilities that people with disabilities bring to the workplace. It operates three toll-free and/or electronic services: The Job Accommodation Network, which provides information on workplace accommodations and on the employment provisions of the Americans with Disabilities Act; the Employer Assistance Referral Network that brings together employers seeking to hire people with disabilities with providers who have qualified candidates; and the Small Business and Self-Employment Service that provides resources for individuals with disabilities who seek to go into business for themselves. The ODEP has expanded its Business Leadership Network (BLN), a program now active in more than 30 States. The BLN is designed to stimulate best disability employment practices to enable qualified individuals with disabilities to enter and succeed in the workforce. The ODEP has also expanded its Project EMPLOY projects that work to provide work and career opportunities to people with severe cognitive disabilities. With the Department of Defense, the ODEP sponsors the Workforce Recruitment Program that recruits college students with disabilities nationwide primarily for summer, but also for permanent, positions in the Federal and private sectors. The ODEP also provides leadership and guidance to State, local and private sector partners for the establishment of High School/High Tech (HS/HT) and Youth Leadership Forum (YLF) programs in local communities. HS/HT encourages students with disabilities to consider careers in engineering science and high technology fields. YLF provides leadership and citizenship opportunities for high school juniors and seniors with disabilities. The ODEP develops information, printed materials, a website, and tailored outreach programs that provide technical assistance to individuals, employers, and various organizations seeking to increase employment opportunities for people with disabilities.

REGULATIONS, GUIDELINES, AND LITERATURE:

Technical Assistance Resources are available free of charge on the ODEP website at www.dol.gov/dol/odep. Materials are also available in a variety of alternate formats.

INFORMATION CONTACTS:

Regional or Local Office: None.
Headquarters Office: Office of Disability Employment Policy, 200 Constitution Ave., NW, Room S-1303, Washington, District of Columbia 20210 Email: infoodep@dol.gov Phone: (202) 693-7880 / (202) 693-7881 Fax: (202) 693-7888.

Web Site Address:  
http://www.dol.gov/odep

EXAMPLES OF FUNDED PROJECTS:

Not applicable. New program.

CRITERIA FOR SELECTING PROPOSALS:

Awards are based on such factors as geographic distribution, the financial plan and the findings of the technical evaluation panel. The technical evaluation will be on the significance of the proposed project, and the quality of the project design. Applications will be evaluated on the basis of meeting the objectives of the SGA. In addition, variety of program designs and the availability of funds.

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