CFDA Number: 84.421C
Program Type: Discretionary/Competitive Grants
The purpose of the Disability Innovation Fund (DIF) Program, as provided by the Further Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2020 (Pub. L. 116-94), is to support innovative activities aimed at improving the outcomes of "individuals with disabilities," as defined in section 7(20)(A) of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, as amended by title IV of the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act. Consistent with this purpose, the Department published a Notice Inviting Applications in the Federal Register (Public Inspection) on January 5, 2021, soliciting applications for career advancement initiative model demonstrations.
The Career Advancement Initiative Model Demonstrations will identify and demonstrate practices, which are supported by evidence, in improving VR-eligible individuals with disabilities, including previously served VR participants in employment who re-enter the VR program, to advance in high-demand, high-quality careers, such as science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM), including computer science, careers; to enter career pathways in industry-driven sectors through pre-apprenticeships, registered apprenticeships and Industry Recognized Apprenticeship Program (IRAP); to improve and maximize competitive integrated employment outcomes, economic self-sufficiency, independence, and inclusion in society; and to reduce reliance on public benefits (e.g., Supplemental Security Income (SSI)/Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI), and/or Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF), and State or local benefits).