STATE HOUSE – Lt. Gov. Suzanne Crouch announced Thursday that 12 communities that have partnered with nonprofits will receive more than $ 1.58 million in federal funding through the second round of the Community Connections for People with Disabilities scholarship program. CCPWD is offered through a partnership between the Indiana Office of Community and Rural Affairs (OCRA) and the Indiana Division of Disability and Rehabilitative Services (DDRS).
Lt. Gov. Suzanne Crouch
“Hoosiers are working together once again to make sure all people are involved as Indiana moves forward,” said Crouch. “Through this collaborative scholarship program, people with disabilities receive critical support to advance their daily lives. The technology and resources made available through these funds will further strengthen social, economic and health aspects by keeping these people connected to their support networks. ”
The program aims to help develop innovative technology strategies and forge strong partnerships with the community to address the negative social, economic and health impacts of COVID-19 on hoosiers with disabilities. In addition, the aim of CCPWD is to improve integration in the community and in the workplace for this population group.
“These projects provide vital technology resources to hoosiers with disabilities at a time when we have had to go virtual in many aspects of our lives,” said OCRA Executive Director Denny Spinner. “Even as we work to get back to normal, the help these projects create will have a lasting positive impact on communities and help ensure that no Hoosier remains isolated.”
Round 2 of this program will implement strategies, including virtual or technology-based activities, to address social isolation and lost access to natural resources or job and training opportunities due to COVID-19. This round will also address the changing realities of the COVID-19 public health emergency by targeting activities that will assist Hoosier adults with disabilities in preparing for a return to face-to-face interactions in the workplace and community must.
“We are very excited that this second round funding means that 12 additional communities will work with their local disability organizations to mitigate the impact of COVID-19 on Hoosier adults with disabilities,” said DDRS Director Kim Opsahl. “These funds will help communities re-engage Hoosier adults with disabilities in services, employment and community inclusion efforts.”
The following applicants are funded for this round:
- That City of Angola, in partnership with EasterSeals RISE, will receive $ 195,585 to set up a virtual work readiness academy to enable attendees to develop employment skills. Virtual employment activities will utilize a 35-unit tablet loan library. The city will also install virtual meeting and video conferencing technology in the City Hall and the Angola Training Center to improve attendees’ ability to engage in community training and local government processes.
- That City of Auburn, in partnership with EasterSeals RISE, will receive US $ 174,870 to create virtual employment and training programs using an equipment rental library of 100 tablets and 100 MiFi devices. The city will also set up a virtual employability academy to enable participants to develop employment skills and virtual job clubs to connect participants with potential employers.
- That City of Lebanon, in partnership with ARC Greater Boone County, will receive $ 25,648 to create virtual learning and networking content, including videos, discussion groups, and courses. This includes the creation of an equipment rental library and equipment access training program.
- That City of Noblesville, in partnership with Janus Developmental Services, will receive $ 193,067 to develop a multi-pronged strategy for public relations, training and community access. The city will offer sensory community activities. Janus will develop a virtual version of employee training programs and employment training videos. Partners use a device loan library with 24 Chromebooks and 24 hotspot devices to conduct funding activities.
- That City of Vincennes, in partnership with YMCA Betty J. McCormick, will receive US $ 200,000 to create virtual and hybrid social inclusion activities focused on health and wellness. These include activities such as sensory bike path, virtual grocery shopping aid, online wellness classes, exercise classes, drum lessons, etc. The city will use a library of 30 borrowing devices to facilitate promotional activities.
- That City of Westfield, in partnership with Westfield Washington Schools, will receive $ 53,255 to expand virtual and personal employment training and transition activities from school to work. The city will increase the number of job coaches available to students and buy interactive video panels to improve the curriculum of the transition program.
- Well County, in partnership with Child-Adult Resource Services, will receive $ 55,500 to develop online Zoom courses on a variety of topics including music, art, professional skills, social hour, self-care, cooking, advocacy, health and wellness , Leisure and Hobby Research, Technical Skills, Fitness, Finance, and Home Care. The funds will be used to hire program specialists to coordinate the running of the courses and to buy a library of 10 units for equipment loan.
- Hendricks County, in partnership with Sycamore Services, will receive $ 112,763 to create a device loan library that provides access to a virtual suite of services. Services can include exercise and recreational therapy, career counseling, work preparation, health and wellness.
- Huntington County, in partnership with Pathfinder Services, will receive $ 156,464 to create a multi-pronged hybrid employment and training program. The program includes mentoring opportunities, work experience, site visits, a library to borrow equipment, and the purchase of barcode scanner technology for training purposes.
- Knox county, in partnership with Knox County ARC, is receiving US $ 146,300 to create a new public relations and basic employment services program that connects previously unreached people with disabilities with employment and training opportunities. The county will purchase smartboards, projectors, VR devices and tablets to facilitate project activities.
- Aristocratic district, in partnership with ARC Noble County, will receive US $ 68,381 to create a new video series titled “Find Your Way In Our Community,” which enables a virtual exploration of Noble County’s workplaces that target people with disabilities are tailored.
- St. Joseph Circle, in partnership with LOGAN Community Resources, receives US $ 200,000 to develop a community employment initiative with the local South Bend Airport. The funds will be used for staff support. The county will set up a library to borrow equipment and purchase smart boards to facilitate virtual reconnection with the community and natural support networks.
Eligible applicants included local government entities such as counties, towns or cities, both eligible and non-eligible municipalities. Each applicant has partnered with a qualified, non-profit, disability organization that services adults with disabilities within the geographic area.
The state has now made 23 grants to Hoosier communities under this program, totaling more than $ 3.2 million, according to Crouch. To find out more about the 11 scholarships awarded earlier this year, click here.
This scholarship opportunity is provided through complementary funds from the Community Development Block Grant Coronavirus (CDBG-CV) approved under the CARES Act. For more information, see in.gov/fssa/ddrs/community-connections-for-people-with-disabilities.