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Interagency Outreach Training Initiative (IOTI)

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Background:

The Interagency Outreach Training Initiative (IOTI) is a collaborative effort between the Utah State University Center for Persons with Disabilities (CPD) and the Utah Coordinating Council for Persons with Disabilities (CCPD). This partnership was established by the Utah State Legislature in 1995. In 1995 (HB 234) and 1996 (HB 107) the Utah State Legislature appropriated ongoing funds to Utah State University’s Center for Persons with Disabilities to support an Interdisciplinary Outreach Training Initiative (IOTI). The IOTI’s purpose is to support training that responds to needs identified through a statewide needs assessment conducted by the USU Center for Persons with Disabilities.

CPD Needs Assessment and IOTI

Every 5 years the CPD engages in a yearlong collaborative planning study to identify statewide needs facing people with disabilities and their families. The statewide needs assessment and planning process is guided by the CPD’s Consumer Advisory Council (CAC), with input from the Utah Developmental Disabilities Council (UDDC), the Utah Disability Law Center (DLC), State agencies, advocacy organizations, schools, and service providers. Self-advocates from across the state and family members also participate and provide feedback throughout the process. Other interested stakeholders and the general public are also given an opportunity to comment on the planning process and resulting work-plan prior to its adoption. The statewide needs assessment results in a five-year work-plan that guides the work of the USU CPD.

Training and professional development activities funded through IOTI grants are expected to fit within the areas of needs identified through the needs assessment process, and address critical gaps in knowledge and skills for paraprofessionals who work directly with people with disabilities, direct care staff, individuals with a disability, family members of people with disabilities, and/or volunteers. This does not exclude the participation of professional staff, but they cannot be the primary target group for IOTI funding proposals.

Focus of IOTI Projects

IOTI proposals should facilitate coordination of training efforts among disability service agencies and organizations in Utah. Whenever possible the training activities should also benefit participants across the state, including underserved and hard to reach populations including those from culturally and linguistically diverse populations and those living in diverse geographic areas of Utah.

Funding for IOTI projects cannot supplant funds for training responsibilities that are required functions of the agency or organization applying for funding. The following principles guide decisions regarding project funding under the IOTI:

  • Evidence of responsiveness to the legislative intent: bridging gaps in training and coordinating training across agencies and organizations of and for people with disabilities and their families.
  • A focus on short-term funding (3-year project periods) for specific activities, especially for projects that build training capacity or resolve personnel development gaps in a timely way.
  • Project designs that permit an efficient and effective response to emerging training needs and that can be completed in a 3-year project period.
  • Evidence that the training can be sustained following the end of the funded IOTI project period.

Guidelines for Proposal Submission

IOTI funds will be allocated on a 3-year project cycle starting July 1, 2019, to projects that address critical training gaps for Utah's disability community in the areas identified in the Request for Proposal (RFP). Using a blind review process, proposals will be evaluated individually, on their own merits, according to how well they address the criteria set forth in the RFP. A like to the official IOTI RFP is provided on the upper right hand side of this page.

Eligible Applicants

Public agencies, nonprofits, or private for-profit organizations may apply. Applicant agencies must be legally incorporated in the state of Utah and must be able to furnish proof of Worker’s Compensation and other required insurance if necessary.

Funding Process

All proposals will be reviewed by USU staff to ensure compliance with the basic formatting guidelines in the official RFP. Proposals that meet the basic application guidelines will be evaluated and scored by an independent review panel. Each panel will be comprised of three reviewers who are familiar with disability issues in Utah, the development and delivery of training programs, and program evaluation. Reviewers will be selected from non-profit organizations, academic institutions, state and local disability agencies, and the community at large. Reviewers will be assigned to proposals based upon content alignment and expertise. Each proposal will be evaluated using an objective, criterion referenced review process. Reviewers will evaluate each proposal strictly on the merits of the project proposal related to the criteria listed below:

2019-2022 Training Priority Areas

The following training priority areas were identified through a robust and comprehensive statewide needs assessment regarding disability-related service and support needs. Funding proposals should address at least one of these areas of need. Proposals that use innovative delivery mechanisms and take advantage of technology to provide high quality, accessible training are especially encouraged.

  • HEALTH CARE: Training initiatives to improve the quality of and access to healthcare services for people with disabilities and their families/caregivers. Proposals that specifically provide training to improve health and wellness outcomes for adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities are especially encouraged.
  • MENTAL HEALTH: Training initiatives to improve the access to and quality of mental health services and supports for people with disabilities and their families/caregivers. Proposals that specifically propose training to build capacity around supporting individuals with dual diagnosis (mental health/illness and intellectual and/or developmental disabilities) are especially encouraged.
  • EMPLOYMENT: Training initiatives to improve access to, and the availability of, evidenced-based employment related supports and services for people with disabilities and their families/caregivers. Proposals that build capacity around competitive integrated employment or customized employment are especially encouraged.
  • TRANSITION: Training initiatives to improve the quality and experience of transitions for people with disabilities and their families/caregivers, across the lifespan. Proposals that specifically address transition to postsecondary educational opportunities or other transition activities that lead to competitive integrated employment are especially encouraged.
  • DIRECT SUPPORT WORKFORCE DEVELOPMENT: Training initiatives to increase the use of evidence-based practices, improve the capacity of direct support staff, paraprofessionals, and pre-professionals who serve (or are preparing to serve) people with disabilities and their families/caregivers. Proposals that specifically address cultural and linguistic competence in service delivery, or workforce retention are especially encouraged.
  • ACCESSIBILITY: Training initiatives to increase access to the physical and virtual environment for people with disabilities and their families/caregivers. Proposals that specifically address increasing cognitive accessibility in the development and delivery of training and in training materials are especially encouraged.
  • FIELD INITIATED: We recognize that other gaps may arise in the training available to address issues of disability services and supports. Applicants may identify an area of critical need not listed, that is currently unmet, and propose a training plan to address it. Field initiated proposals must provide clear evidence to substantiate the identified need, and must describe the methodology used to gather and validate the evidence provided.