Vocational Rehabilitation Grant Opportunities

NC DHHS Notice of Funding Availability

DHHS Division/Office issuing this notice: Division of Vocational Rehabilitation Services

Date of this notice: November 13, 2017

Program Name: Community Integration Services and Supports/Youth Leadership Forum (RFA #00904)

Purpose: The purpose of programs funded under Part B, Chapter I of Title VII of the Rehabilitation Act of I973, P93-112, as amended (29 U.S.C. 796e-796e-2) is` to promote a philosophy of independent living, including a philosophy of consumer control, peer support, self-help, self-determination, equal access, and individual and systems advocacy, in order to maximize the leadership, empowerment, independence and productivity of individuals with significant disabilities, and the integration and full inclusion of individuals with significant disabilities into the mainstream of American society.

Reality for today's young people with disabilities presents a great irony. Although young people with disabilities enjoy greater opportunities, they arguably face more challenges in fully realizing these opportunities. On the one hand, the Americans with Disabilities Act and other laws have fostered an unparalleled environment in which young people have opportunities to fully develop as constructive, contributing members of society. Yet on the other hand, these kinds of opportunities cannot come to fruition unless young people have the support and access to the resources they need to develop as leaders in their communities.

Description: Brief statement of nature and scope of the program:

The NC Division of Vocational Rehabilitation Services (DVRS) announces a funding opportunity to establish a week long Youth Leadership Forum (YLF) for youth with disabilities between the ages of 15 and 28.

The YLF will include meeting space, lodging, meals, interpreters, support staff, personal assistance services, transportation and material including alternate formats for the Youth Leadership Committee meetings; development and distribution of a YLF application throughout NC in a manner that will ensure statewide representation; recruitment of nationally-recognized facilitators for the YLF who are youth with disabilities and are knowledgeable about both leadership and the independent living philosophy within three months after the contract execution date. Additional requirements are defined in RFA #00904.

Anticipated contract period: The contract shall be for a period beginning January 8, 2018 and ending December 31, 2018 with the option to extend, if mutually agreed upon, through a written amendment for an additional 12 months up to two additional years.

Funding Availability: The maximum annual reimbursement shall not exceed $40,000.

Eligibility: Eligibility is limited to North Carolina Grassroots Organizations with a minimum of least three years proven experience providing services to youth with disabilities. Qualifying organizations must be committed to person-centered practices.

Deadline for Submission: All applications must be electronically received by the Division by 5:00 p.m. on Monday December 4, 2018. Only electronic copies will be accepted. Applications must be emailed to Pamela.lloyd@dhhs.nc.gov. Incomplete applications will be returned and will negatively impact the determination of the award and/or the execution of the start date for the contract. Mail or hand delivered applications are not accepted for this funding opportunity. When the application is accepted, the organization will be notified to submit a signed original hard copy.

Application Process Summary Dates:

November 13, 2017: This Notice of Funding Availability (NOFA) will be emailed to SILC members and qualifying Centers for Independent Living.

November 27, 2017: Deadline for written questions concerning the NOFA specifications which must be sent to Pamela.Lloyd@dhhs.nc.gov. All questions must be sent via email.

November 29, 2017: Summary of all questions and answers will be emailed to all SILC members and qualifying Centers for Independent Living.

December 4, 2017: Applications must be received by 5:00 pm.

December 11, 2017: Successful applicant will be notified.

January 8, 2018: Estimated Contract Start Date.

Direct all inquiries concerning this RFA by email to:
Pamela Lloyd-Ogoke
NC Department of Health and Human Services
Division of Vocational Rehabilitation

RFA Application Documents:

  1. DVRS Youth Leadership Forum Request for Applications (RFA)
  2. Terms and Conditions – Private Sector
  3. Federal Certifications
  4. State Certifications
  5. State Grant Certifications – No Overdue Tax Debts
  6. IRS Tax Exemption Verification Form
  7. Conflict of Interest Acknowledgment and Policy
  8. Conflict of Interest Verification – Annual
  9. FFATA Reporting Requirements Questionnaire
  10. Proof of Insurance Verification Form


DVRS/DSB RFA 00864 PETS: Pre-Employment Transition Service

DHHS Divisions Issuing Notice: Division of Vocational Rehabilitation Services and Division of Services for the Blind

Date of Notice: September 30, 2016

Program Name: Pre-Employment Transition Services (PETS)

Purpose: The purpose of this Request for Applications (RFA) is to solicit agencies or organizations to provide pre-employment transition services (PETS) in order to increase the Divisions’ capacity for reaching and serving students with disabilities across North Carolina. 

Description: Pre-Employment Transition Services (PETS) are a specific set of activities that are defined by the federal Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA) of 2014 (Public Law 113-128), and are intended to expose students with disabilities at an early age to self-advocacy, postsecondary training, and employment skills and options.  WIOA requires that the vocational rehabilitation program provide a continuum of services to students and youth which begins with PETS and, for individuals who are eligible for the vocational rehabilitation program, continues with vocational rehabilitation transition services.  The NC Division of Vocational Rehabilitation (NCDVR) and NC Division of Services for the Blind (NCDSB) are seeking applications from eligible organizations and agencies to provide pre-employment transition services to students with disabilities across the state.

Funding Availability: The Divisions will award up to $16 million for approved PETS projects, contingent on funding availability.  The actual number of awards will be dependent on the number of submitted applications that meet the requirements defined in the RFA.

Eligibility: As part of their response to the RFA, eligible applicants must demonstrate that the organization’s direct service staff have three or more years of related experiences in the specific area of pre-employment transition services for which the Applicant is applying.  These related experiences must also be specific to serving individuals with disabilities between the ages of 14 and 21.  Applicants must be registered as a business in the state of NC by the NC Secretary of State.

How to Apply: Please refer to Request for Application Documents below.

Submit response to RFA to:
NC Division of Vocational Rehabilitation
2801 Mail Service Center
Raleigh, NC 27699-2801

Faxed applications will not be accepted.

Deadline for Submission: Applications are accepted on an ongoing basis. Any applications received after the completion of funds shall be considered on an ongoing basis for future awards based on funding availability.

How to Obtain Further Information: Agencies may submit questions regarding the RFA to dvr.vrPETSRFA@dhhs.nc.gov. Questions will only be accepted via email for tracking purposes. Questions will be responded to via email within two weeks to the inquiring party.

Webinar Information: Webinar- Link to QA, PETS RFA QA

Request for Application Documents:
1 PETS RFA 00864 Revised 7.12.17.docx
2 PETS RFA 00864 Appendix C.xlsx
3 PETS RFA 00864 Appendix.xls


Community Rehabilitation Programs

Division Issuing Notice: Division of Vocational Rehabilitation Services

Date of Notice: August 20, 2015

Purpose: In Federal Fiscal Year 2014, the North Carolina Division of Vocational Rehabilitation served over 54,000 consumers with significant or most significant disabilities who were seeking competitive employment.

The goal of these potential contracts is to provide assessment and training along with appropriate supports for Division consumers with disabilities to reach successful competitive employment. The Community Rehabilitation Program (CRP) will provide services (facility and/or community based) along with the supports needed to gain and sustain competitive employment.

CRPs are integral partners in the network of services designed to provide people with disabilities equal opportunities in achieving their highest level of economic and social independence. Service models include:

  • Supported Employment (SE)
  • Individual Placement and Support (IPS)
  • Work Adjustment Services (WA)
  • Transitional Employment (TE)
  • Quality Services Team (QST)
  • Project Search

Description: The objective of this Request for Applications (RFA) is to identify quality CRPs that can provide services in the area of vocational evaluation and community based assessment services, work adjustment training, work adjustment job development and job coaching, and supported employment. These services create employment opportunities for individuals with significant disabilities.

  • Vocational Evaluation Community or facility based vocational evaluation will assist in the assessment of an individual’s assets and liabilities, vocational strengths and weaknesses, along with their vocational potential.
  • Work Adjustment Training includes activities to improve and increase productivity, attendance, punctuality, ability to work with others, work tolerance, and ability work under supervision and is typically facility or community based.
  • Work Adjustment Services include job development, and job coaching.
    • Job Development Assistance with securing employment that is consistent with the goals of the consumer
    • Job Coaching – One-on-one, short term job support with the consumer to assist with successful employment
  • Traditional Supported Employment (SE) includes activities to provide job development, job placement and intensive job coaching support to foster greater success and independence on the job. Long-term vocational support is required.
  • Individual Placement and Support (IPS) includes job development, job placement and intensive job coaching support along with extended support for behavioral health services, peer support and long term vocational support. IPS is designed for those with severe mental illness (SMI)/severe and persistent mental illness (SPMI). Targeted diagnostic categories include bipolar disorder, schizophrenia, schizoaffective disorder, major depressive disorder with psychotic features, and severe anxiety disorders such as PTSD.
  • Transitional Employment (TE) includes job development, job placement, and job coaching support. TE is designed for SPMI population with targeted diagnostic areas to include bipolar disorder, schizophrenia, schizoaffective disorder, and major depressive disorder with psychotic features.
  • Quality Services Team (QST) includes evaluation, job development and placement, intensive job coaching support, and long term vocational supports using a team approach including rehabilitation engineers and care coordinators to assist with employment success. QST is designed for individuals with the most significant disabilities who have do not have an employment history or successful employment history and require jobsite modifications and accommodations to be successful. 
  • Project Search (PS) includes transition training and placement services for individuals with significant intellectual or developmental disabilities. Services are provided in the context of a local, multi-agency collaborative team.

Funding Availability

  • We project $34,000,000 to be awarded.
  • The reimbursement rates are established for each service provided.
  • The maximum amount of a single award is dictated by the volume of consumer need within the local community and the availability of funding.

Eligibility: Applicants are public and private for-profit or non-profit CRPs. Applicants shall be accredited by the Commission on Accreditation of Rehabilitation Facilities (CARF), the Council on Accreditation (COA) or the Council on Quality Leadership (COL). Transitional Employment providers must also have current ICCD Certification prior to application. Project Search providers must possess a Project Search license or be part of a multi-agency collaborative team in which one member has been licensed or is actively pursuing licensure.

For applicants that have not yet received accreditation, the applicant must provide at the time of application evidence of the applicant’s intent to pursue training towards accreditation within one year of the vendor application date.  If the applicant is pursuing accreditation, then accreditation must be rewarded within three years from the date of vendor application. A copy of the accreditation shall be submitted to the Division. Each CRP shall comply with the accessibility and nondiscrimination standards set forth in federal and state law. The agency may deny funding to and refuse to contract with any CRP that fails to comply with such provisions.

One of the following two conditions must also be true:

  1. The CRP shall have a minimum of three years of experience as a service provider in the area of service delivery for which they are seeking approval.
  2. Key staff providing direct consumer services for the CRP (such as the coordinator of the program) must have a minimum of three years of experience providing services in the area for which the CRP is applying to become an approved vendor.

Once the community rehabilitation program is an approved vendor, they shall maintain accreditation in the areas that they are providing service for the Division. A copy of the current accreditation must be submitted to DVRS. The CRP must maintain accessibility and nondiscrimination standards. The community rehabilitation program shall comply with the accessibility and nondiscrimination standards set forth in federal and state law. DVRS may deny funding to and refuse to contract with any community rehabilitation program that fails to comply with such provisions.

Individualized Placement and Support (IPS)
The Division requires evidence of blended funding to ensure a full program of services can be provided at the point of application. Prior to a contract award with the Division, the CRP must provide an executed contractual agreement with the Local Management Entity/Managed Care Organization (LME/MCO) or the behavioral health agency that is contracted with the LME/MCO. The contract between the CRP and the LME/MCO or behavioral health agency must be maintained during the contract period to make sure that all facets of IPS can be fully implemented.

Project Search (PS)
Evidence must be provided that supports a local, multi-agency collaborative team in which a team member has been licensed to adhere to Project Search model fidelity. In order to be eligible, the applicant must first be a DVRS-approved CRP vendor. Contact the Program Specialist for Transition Services for a complete Project Search application packet.

How to Apply: Prospective CRP providers are encouraged to contact the Regional CRP Specialist before beginning the process of becoming an approved CRP vendor by the Division. Below are steps in the application process:

  • Review the Community Rehabilitation Program Standards
  • Contact a Regional CRP Specialist to discuss the need for services in your area
  • Complete the Community Rehabilitation Program Vendor Application
  • Submit your application and supporting documentation to the CRP specialist in your area. For Project Search applicants, submit the Project Search application addendum to the Program Specialist for Transition Services.
  • You will be contacted within 30 days for further information regarding the status of your application
  • Final approval will be determined only after a complete application packet is received, a satisfactory on-site review has been conducted, and funds have been identified for contractual agreement

Located across the state, community rehabilitation programs provide employment-related services for people with disabilities. The services provided may range from a few to several, depending upon local community needs and available funding.

Community Rehabilitation/Supported Employment Programs: By County
Community Rehabilitation/Supported Employment Programs: By CRP Name

Deadline for Submission

Applications are accepted on an ongoing basis.


Individual Placement and Support/Supported Employment (IPS SE)

DHHS Division Issuing This Notice
Division of Vocational Rehabilitation Services (DVRS)

Date of Notice

February 1, 2016

In Federal Fiscal Year 2015-16 the NC DVRS served approximately 43,000 VR program participants under a plan for employment, of which approximately 30% were individuals with SMI/SPMI.   Individuals with SMI/SPMI also accounted for nearly a third of the more than 6,300 individuals exiting the VR program in employment, including 38% of the 1,110 VR program participants exiting in employment with long term vocational supports. The success rate for this population is about 40%, whereas research shows that IPS SE has an employment rate of 55% resulting in long term positive outcomes for those we serve as well as on investment.

Individual Placement and Support-Supported Employment (IPS-SE) is a person-centered, behavioral health service with a focus on employment, that provides assistance in choosing, acquiring, and maintaining competitive paid employment in the community for consumers 18 years and older for whom employment has not been achieved or employment has been interrupted or intermittent.

The goal of these potential contracts is to provide IPS Supported Employment to eligible Division consumers who have a severe mental illness (SMI) or severe and persistent mental illness (SPMI) in order to meet their employment goals.  Community Rehabilitation Programs (CRP) as well as Behavioral Health Organizations will provide services and supports needed to gain and sustain competitive employment.

The objective of this Request for Applications (RFA) is to identify qualified CRPs and/or Behavioral Health Organizations to provide IPS SE services.  IPS SE services help people with severe mental illness work in competitive employment opportunities of their choosing. IPS SE is predicated in eight practice principles: 

  • Focus is on Competitive Employment
  • Eligibility Based on Client Choice
  • Integration of Rehabilitation and Mental Health Services
  • Attention to Worker Preferences
  • Personalized Benefits Counseling
  • Rapid Job Search
  • Systematic Job Development
  • Time unlimited and Individualized Support

Contractors will be evaluated according to a standardized fidelity measure to evaluate the extent to which defining elements of the program model are being implemented.  Contractors shall meet at least fair fidelity within 11 months of receiving a contract with the Division for IPS SE and/or shall maintain at least fair fidelity for the duration of the contract.

Funding Availability

  • Reimbursement has been established for each milestone achieved
  • The maximum amount of a single award is dictated by the volume of consumer need within the Local Management Entity/Managed Care Organization (LME/MCO) catchment area and the availability of funding
  • IPS SE is a braided funding model.  Support may be provided through the applicable LME/MCO, county or city government, or a federal grant such as from Substance Abuse and Mental Health Service Administration (SAMHSA).

Applicants must meet the following criteria in order to be a Division approved IPS SE provider:

  • Any public, private for profit, or private nonprofit organization that has a current contract to provide IPS SE with the LME/MCO, county or city government, or a federal grant; AND HAVE
  • Fulfilled the requirements of the Rules For Mental Health, Substance Abuse and Developmental Disabilities, found in 10A NCAC 27G, and provide a current copy of the license if Contractor is a behavioral health organization; or
  • Is a Division approved CRP; and,
  • Submit a completed response to RFA # 00840 for approval.

How to Apply
For a full copy of RFA # 00840, prospective applicants are encouraged to contact the NC DVRS Program Specialist for Mental Health and Substance Use Disorders at dvr.ips.se.rfa@dhhs.nc.gov

Deadline for Submission
February 29, 2016 will complete the first round of applications for IPS SE.  Applications will be accepted on an ongoing basis.

How to Obtain Further Information
Direct all inquiries concerning the RFA to the NC DVRS Program Specialist for Mental Health and Substance Use Disorders at dvr.ips.se.rfa@dhhs.nc.gov.