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Disability Innovation Fund - Subminimum Wage to Competitive Integrated Employment (SWTCIE)

CFDA Number: 84.421D
Program Type: Discretionary/Competitive Grants

The purpose of the Disability Innovation Fund (DIF) Program, as provided by the Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2021 (Pub. L. 116-260), is to support innovative activities aimed at increasing CIE as defined in section 7 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 (Rehabilitation Act) (29 U.S.C. 705(5)), for youth and other individuals with disabilities.

Consistent with this purpose, the Department published a Notice Inviting Applications in the Federal Register on March 22, 2022, inviting applications for fiscal year (FY) 2022 for the Disability Innovation Fund - Subminimum Wage to Competitive Integrated Employment (SWTCIE) Innovative Model Demonstration Project, Assistance Listing Number 84.421D. The Department intends to fund multiple innovative model demonstration projects to assist individuals with disabilities currently employed in, or contemplating, subminimum wage employment (i.e., SWTCIE program participants) to engage with State vocational rehabilitation (VR) agencies so they may obtain competitive integrated employment (CIE). The Rehabilitation Services Administration (RSA) recognizes that models to obtain CIE are needed for students and youth with disabilities seeking subminimum wage employment and individuals with disabilities who are employed or contemplating employment at subminimum wage by entities holding special wage certificates (employers or entities holding 14(c) certificates) under section 14(c) of the Fair Labor Standards Act of 1938 (FLSA) (“under section 14(c) certificates”). This notice relates to the approved information collection under OMB control number 1820-0018.

The purpose of this competition is to increase the opportunity for SWTCIE program participants - students and youth with disabilities seeking subminimum wage employment and potential VR program applicants or VR-eligible individuals with disabilities who are employed or contemplating employment at subminimum wage - to obtain CIE, defined in section 7(5) of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 (Rehabilitation Act) and in the Definitions section of this notice. To achieve this purpose, projects funded under this priority will create innovative models, for dissemination and replication, to: (1) Identify strategies for addressing challenges associated with access to CIE ( e.g., transportation, support services); (2) provide integrated services that support CIE; (3) support integration into the community through CIE; (4) identify and coordinate wraparound services for any individual served by the project who obtains CIE; (5) develop evidence-based practices and share those practices with other entities holding 14(c) certificates, State VR agencies, local rehabilitation providers, State and local workforce agencies and regional and local employers; and (6) provide entities holding section 14(c) certificates with readily accessible transformative business models for adoption.