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Activities for Underserved Populations

Assistance Listing Number: 84.315C
Program Type: Discretionary Grant

Program Description

Section 21 of the Rehabilitation Act, as amended by WIOA, requires RSA to reserve one percent of funds appropriated each year for programs under titles III, VI and VII to provide grant, contract or cooperative agreement awards to:

(1) Minority entities and Indian tribes to carry out activities under the Rehabilitation Act;

(2) Minority entities and Indian tribes to conduct research, training, technical assistance, or a related activity, to improve services provided under this Act, especially services provided to individuals from minority backgrounds; or

(3) State or public or private nonprofit agencies or organizations to provide outreach and technical assistance to minority entities and American Indian tribes to promote their participation in activities under the Rehabilitation Act.

Under this priority, the Department provides funding for a cooperative agreement for a minority entity or an Indian Tribe to provide training and technical assistance to a minimum range of 5 to 15 State VR agencies (Combined, General, or Agencies for the Blind) over a five-year period of performance so that the agencies are equipped to serve as role models for diversity, equity, inclusion, and accessibility in the workforce system by implementing policies, practices, and service delivery approaches that are designed to contribute to increasing competitive integrated employment outcomes for individuals with disabilities from underserved populations. Further, the grantee must contribute to VR research and pedagogical practices that promote access to approaches that are racially, ethnically, culturally, and linguistically inclusive.

During the first year of the project the grantee will focus on developing training and technical assistance material and gathering input and feedback from a diverse group of stakeholders including RSA, State VR agencies, and other relevant partners. During the period of performance, the grantee must enter into agreements with the State VR agencies receiving training and technical assistance. Each agreement must: specify the level of involvement from VR agency leadership and personnel and include an assurance that the VR agency is committed to sustainable systems change across the organization for improving delivery of services to underserved populations; explain how data will be collected and shared; identify training and technical assistance needs, intervention strategies, and implementation timelines; and describe how outcomes will be measured. The grantee must have a minimum of two agreements in place by the end of the first year of the grant.


States and public or private nonprofit agencies and organizations, including Indian tribes and institutions of higher education, are eligible for assistance under this program.