22-444-30-0189-01 Independent Living Services for Older Individuals Who are Blind

1. Awarding Agency Illinois Department of Human Services (IDHS)
2. Agency Contact: Kristen Bethke
Kristen.bethke@illinois.gov
Phone: (217) 606-9200
3. Announcement Type: X Initial announcement - program is being NOFO'd for fiscal year FY22
4. Type of Assistance Instrument: Grant, Competitive
Capital Grant? No
5. Agency Opportunity Number (if applicable): 22-444-30-0189-01
6. Funding Opportunity Title: Independent Living Services for Older Individuals Who are Blind
7. CSFA Number: 444-30-0189
8. CSFA Popular Name: Older Blind Program
9. CFDA Number(s): 84.177
10. Number of Anticipated Awards: There will be 12 awards
11. Estimated Total 1.8 Million
12. Single Award Range: $1 - $150,000
13. Funding Source: Federal or Federal pass-through and State
14. Cost Sharing or Match Allowed? Cost Sharing - NO
Match - No
15. Indirect Costs Allowed?
Restrictions on Indirect Costs?
Other Funding Restrictions, (specify):
Indirect Costs Allowed - Yes
Restrictions on Indirect Costs - No
Other Funding Restrictions, (specify): None
16. Posted Date: Date agency posted the NOFO to grants.illinois.gov
17. Application Date Range: Start Date: 02/19/21
End Date: 03/24/21
End Time: 12:00 p.m.
18. Application Review Date 03/24/21
19. Technical Assistance Session: Session Offered: Yes
Session Mandatory:  Yes
Date and time: 11:00 a.m. on 03/03/21
Conference Info/Registration Link:
Join from the meeting link:
https://illinois.webex.com/illinois/j.php?MTID=m35fc996902abd0e684cefc17d7acc310
20. NOFO / Application Frequently Asked Questions Due date for submitting questions: 3/10/21
Submit questions to:
DHS.grantapp@illinois.gov
Posting date for the master list of submitted questions and state agency responses:
03/15/21

NOFO Contents

A. Program Description

Full Description

Purpose:

The purpose of the Older Blind Program is to provide services for individuals age 55 or older whose severe visual impairment makes competitive employment difficult to obtain but for whom independent living goals are feasible. Services are designed to help persons served under this program to adjust to their blindness by increasing their ability to care for their individual needs.

Definition -

Assistive Technology Device, means any item, piece of equipment, or product system whether acquired commercially, modified, or customized that is used to increase, maintain, or improve functional capabilities of individuals with disabilities." Assistive technology devices may include such items as canes, slates, insulin gauges, CCTVs, computers, adaptive software, magnifiers, adaptive cooking items, adaptive recreational items, handwriting guides, Braillers, large button telephones, etc.

Assistive Technology Service, means any service that directly assists an individual with a disability in the selection, acquisition, or use of an assistive technology device." Services may include the evaluation of assistive technology needs of an individual, services related to acquisition of technology, costs of loan programs, maintenance and repair of assistive technology, training or technical assistance for the individual or professionals related to the use of assistive technology, programs to expand the availability of assistive technology, low vision therapy services related to the use of optical aids and devices, and other services related to the selection, acquisition, or use of an assistive technology device

Awareness events may include functions at State, County and local fairs, Churches, Hospitals, Nursing Homes, etc.

Communication, alternative non-visual or low vision technique, instruction in the areas of reading and writing Braille, keyboarding and computer literacy, computer skills training, using the telephone, handwriting guides, telling time, using readers, use of audio and tactile technologies for home, recreational or educational use, training in the use of newspaper reading services and radio services.

Independent Living Skill Training means instruction to develop independent living skills in areas such as personal care, coping, financial management, social skills, and household management. this may include education and training necessary for living in the community and participating in community activities.

Information and referral may include outreach and contact with organizations such as senior programs, public and private social service programs, faith-based organizations, consumer groups, etc.

Orientation training refers to instruction to provide the individual the ability to know where they are their home and yard.

Orientation and Mobility Training refers to instruction to provide the individual the ability to move safely, efficiently, and effectively from one place to another, such as being able to walk without tripping or falling, cross streets, and use public transportation. O&M services are provided by a Certified Orientation and Mobility Specialist (COMS).

Peer group support service means meetings held in grantee location or in the community with customers to assist them in adjusting to visual impairment and blindness.

Personal Management and Daily Living Skills Training means instruction in the use of adaptive aids and assistive technology devices for personal management and daily living, blindness and low vision alternative techniques for food preparation, grooming and dress, household chores, medical management, shopping, recreational activities, etc.

Support services include reader services, transportation, support service providers, and sign language interpreters.

Objectives:

(a)Provide DHS-DRS stated independent living (IL) services to older individuals who are blind that may include; 

  1. Outreach services
  2. Provision of visual aids as determined necessary
  3. Provision of services and equipment to aid in mobility and self-sufficiency
  4. Mobility training, Braille instruction, and other services and equipment designed to assist in the adjustment to blindness
  5. Guide service, reader services, and transportation
  6. Independent Living Skills Training

(b) Conduct activities that will improve or expand services for these individuals; and

(c) Conduct activities to help improve public understanding of the challenges of these individuals.

Program Exhibit language

Performance Measures:

  1. Provision of information and referral to other service providers, programs, and agencies to enhance adjustment, independent living, and integration into the community.
  2. Provision of information and referral services to any individuals requesting information about low vision or blindness for whom this is the only service provided.
  3. Provision of assistive technology devices and aids as outlined in definition section.
  4. A. Provision of home orientation services. B. Provision of community and travel Orientation and Mobility (O&M) services by a Certified O&M specialist
  5. Provision of communication skills training
  6. Provision of support services while actively participating in the program leading to attaining independent living goals.
  7. Provision of personal management and daily living skills training
  8. Provision of various activities to identify appropriate housing, accessible transportation, and other support services.
  9. Provision of advocacy training or support network activities such as consumer organization meetings, peer support groups, etc.
  10. Provision of individual counseling and support group meetings in your location or in the community to assist them in adjusting to visual impairment and blindness
  11. Provision of independent living service information and resources targeting minorities and other older blind individuals who have traditionally been underserved.
  12. Provision of community awareness events and activities to individuals for whom this was the only service provided. Information and training to other professionals, general public, friends and relatives.

Performance Standards

Measure 1. # ________and ______% of individuals served in the quarterly reporting period.

Measure 1.1

# and % of individuals who received information and referral to other services providers, programs or agencies to enhance adjustment, independent living, and integration into the community

Measure 1.2

# and % of requesting individuals who received information about low vision or blindness for whom this is the only service provided.

Measure 1.3

# and % of individuals who received assistive technology devices and aids and who regained, increased or improved functional abilities previously lost as a result of vision loss.

Measure 1.4

# and % of individuals who received assistive technology services and training who regained, increased or improved functional abilities previously lost as a result of vision loss.

Measure 1.5

  1. and % of individuals who received home orientation and mobility services, who experienced functional gains or maintained their ability to travel safely and independently in their home environment.
  2. and % of individuals who received community and travel orientation and mobility services, who experienced functional gains or maintained their ability to travel safely and independently in their community.

Measure 1.6

# and % of individuals who received services or training in communication, alternative non-visual or low vision techniques.

Measure 1.7

# and % of individuals who received support services while participating in the program.

Measure 1.8

# and % of individuals who can list one or more skills in activities of daily living and personal management that they have now that they didn't have before they received services.

Measure 1.9

# and % of the individuals served that reported that they are in greater control and are more confident in their ability to maintain their current living situation as a result of services.

Measure 2. # _________of projected peer group meetings for Fiscal Year 2022.

Measure 2.1

# and % of peer group meeting accomplished in the quarterly reporting period.

Measure 2.2

# and % of advocacy or support network activities in the quarterly reporting period.

Measure 3. #_________of projected awareness and community event for Fiscal Year 2022.

Measure 3.1

# and % of community events and public awareness activities targeting minorities and other older blind individuals who have traditionally been underserved.

Measure 3.2

# and % of awareness and community event accomplished in the quarterly reporting period.

Measure 4. #___________of projected Satisfaction Surveys conducted in Fiscal Year 2022.

Measure 4.1

# _______ and _______% of individuals surveyed in the quarterly reporting period.

Description of State awarding agency's funding priorities, technical or focus areas in which the State awarding agency intends to provide assistance:

DHS-DRS funding priorities are centered on programs that will reach and assist the greatest number of individuals who are older blind throughout the state of Illinois while targeting underserved geographical locations.

Indicator of successful program:

The services implemented through this grant will enhance the ability of older blind individuals to access information and resources, to receive rehabilitation technology and the training to utilize devices that promote Independent Living opportunities.

Authorizing statutes and regulations for the funding opportunity 34 CFR PART 367 of the Independent Living Services for Older Individuals who are Blind

Goals and performance measures of the program including timing and scope of expected performance related to outcomes intended to be achieved by the program

  1. At least 95% of individuals served from the amount projected for each funding year (state fiscal year).
  2. At least 80% of individuals received recommended assistive technology or low vision aids.
  3. At least 80% of individuals who received Assistive Technology services and training, regained, increased or improved functional abilities previously lost as a result of vision loss.
  4. At least 80% of individuals who received home Orientation services, who experienced functional gains or maintained their ability to travel live safely and independently in their home environment.
  5. At least 80% of individuals who received community and travel Orientation and Mobility services, who experienced functional gains or maintained their ability to travel safely and independently in their community.
  6. At least 80% of individuals who received services or training in alternative non-visual or low vision techniques where these activities were able to help them to experience functional gains or were able to successfully restore and maintain their functional ability to engage in their customary life activities within their home environment and community.
  7. At least 80% of individuals who can list one or more skills in activities of daily living that they have now that they didn't have before they received services.
  8. At least 80% of the individuals served that reported that they are in greater control and are more confident in their ability to maintain their current living situation as a result of services.
  9. At least 90% of the projected peer group meetings, targeting minorities and other older blind individuals who have traditionally been underserved.
  10. At least 90% of the projected awareness and community event established for each funding year (state fiscal year).
  11. Satisfaction Surveys will be sent to 100 percent of individuals served and with a 25% return rate.

B. Award and Funding Information

1. Source of Funding

  • Federal or Federal pass-through
  • State

Applications for renewal or supplementation of existing projects are eligible to compete with applications for new awards

  • Yes

Renewals are at the discretion of the department and is based on the performance of the grantee.

Successful applicant(s) will receive a 

  • Grant

Award Period and Available Funds

This NOFO is considered a competitive application for funding.

This award is a mixture of federal and state funds. The Department anticipates the availability of approximately $1,800,000 in total funding. The grant period will begin no sooner than July 1, 2021 and will end on June 30, 2022.

The release of this NOFO does not obligate the Illinois Department of Human Services to make an award. Services may not be provided until a contract is fully executed by the Department and a Notification of Services Award (NOSA) has been signed and submitted by the grantee.

Requested funding should not exceed an annualized award amount of $150,000 and the anticipated number of awards is 12.

Funding may be renewed for up to three years, subject to appropriation. Renewal is conditional on meeting performance measures, timely compliance with reporting requirements, and compliance with any corrective action plan or findings.

2. Payment Terms

The Illinois Department of Human Services (IDHS) payment policy complies with 2 CFR 200.302, 2 CFR 200.305, and 44 Ill. Admin. Code 7000.120 (GOMB Adoption of Supplemental Rules for Grant Payment Methods) and the and the Cash Management Improvement Act and the Treasury-State Agreement (TSA) default procedures codified at 31 CFR 205. IDHS Payments to grantees will be governed in accordance with the established criteria set forth in IDHS Administrative Directive 01.07.01.070 - Grant Payments. In accordance with IDHS Administrative Directive 01.07.01.070 - Grant Payments, grantees have the following payment options.

  • Advance and Reconcile
  • Reimbursement
  • Working Capital Advance Method

All requests for authorization to receive advance payment, working capital advance and reimbursement must be submitted on forms prescribed and approved by the Department as set forth in IDHS Administrative Directive 01.07.01.070 - Grant Payments and the executed grant agreement (Exhibit C). Additional data may be requested by the Department,

Funding is contingent upon and subject to the availability of fund and amendments to awards may be necessary within the grant cycle.

IDHS Approved Forms

  • Monthly Expenditure Report (MER)
  • Periodic Financial Report (PFR)
  • Customer Tracking Report (CTR)
  • Periodic Performance Report (PPR)

Schedule of Payments

  • Monthly

Method of Submission

  • Email, encrypt as relevant

Supporting Documentation Requirements

Monthly

Monthly Expenditure Report (MER) or other DHS-DRS reporting forms -The MER is required monthly to initiate payment. The MER will be provided by the DRS Contract Project Officer at the beginning of the contract period. Training and technical assistance on the completion of the form is available from the DRS Contract Project Officer. MERs are sent email to the DRS Contract Project Officer within 15 calendar days of the beginning of the month for the previous month of service. Financial documentation to support the MER must be submitted when requested by the DRS Contract Project Officer. Failure to provide financial documentation when requested will suspend payment for services.

Customer Information:

A Customer Tracking Report (CTR) is required to be submitted with the MER. The CTR is required to measure and monitor customer satisfaction and met needs. The CTR will be provided by the DRS Contract Project Officer at the beginning of the contract period. Training and technical assistance on the completion of the form will be provided by the DRS Contract Project Officer. CTRs are emailed to the DRS Contract Project Officer within 15 days of the beginning of the month for the previous month of service. CTRs include customer demographic and service-related information. Additional data elements may be added during the contract period as deemed necessary to support reporting requirements. Grantees will be expected to comply with any added reporting fields on the CTR for all customers.

Quarterly

Periodic Performance Report (PPR) is required quarterly. The PPR will be provided by the DRS Contract Project Officer at the beginning of the contract period. Training and technical assistance on the completion of the forms will be provided by the DRS Contract Project Officer. The PPR must be emailed to the DRS Contract Project Officer. Failure to provide the required reports when requested may suspend payment for services

Periodic Financial Report (PFR) is required quarterly. The PFR will be provided by the DRS Contract Project Officer at the beginning of the contract period. Training and technical assistance on the completion of the forms will be provided by the DRS Contract Project Officer. The PFR must be emailed to the DRS Contract Project Officer. Failure to provide the required reports when requested may suspend payment for services

The report deadlines for the reports are as follows:

  • For the 1st Quarter Ending September 30 - Due October 15
  • For the 2nd Quarter Ending December 31 - Due January 15
  • For the 3rd Quarter Ending March 30 - Due April 15
  • For the 4th Quarter Ending June 30 - Due July 15

Annually

7-OB

A 7-OB Form is a federally required form which measures and monitors financial and performance standards. The 7-OB Form will be provided by the DRS Contract Project Officer at the beginning of the contract period. Training and technical assistance on the completion of the form will be provided by the DRS Contract Project Officer. The 7-OB Forms are accepted by email. The 7-OB must be completed by October 30th of the current fiscal year and submitted to the DRS Project Officer.

Financial Closeout Report:

A Final Reconciliation is the final financial closeout of the award. The Financial Reconciliation will be provided by the DRS Contract Project Officer by January 31 of the contract period. Training and technical assistance on the completion of the form will be provided by the DRS Contract Project Officer. Financial Reconciliations will only be accepted by email to the DRS Contract Project Officer no later than July 15.

C. Eligibility Information

1. Eligible Applicants

A public or private nonprofit agency or organization may apply for a grant but will not be eligible for a grant award until the entity has pre-qualified through the Grant Accountability and Transparency Act (GATA) Grantee Portal , www.grants.illinois.gov. During pre-qualification, Dun and Bradstreet verifications are performed including a check of Debarred and Suspended status and good standing with the Secretary of State. The pre-qualification process also includes a financial and administrative risk assessment utilizing an Internal Controls Questionnaire. If applicable, the entity will be notified that it is ineligible for award as a result of the Dun and Bradstreet verification. The grantee must complete a Programmatic Risk Assessment for each competitive program; Register and access both the Illinois Department of Human Services Community Service Agreement (CSA) tracking system and the Centralized Repository Vault (CRV);

The entity will be informed of corrective action needed to become eligible for a grant award. Eligible Providers must meet the demographic requirements outlined below:

Grantees may submit a proposal for one or both demographic specifications. Current grantees with an active grant award supporting the Older Individuals who are Blind program may apply.

Statewide Eligibility to Apply for a Grant - Pre-award and Prequalification

All entities are required to register with the State of Illinois through the Grant Accountability and Transparency Act (GATA) Grantee Portal, www.grants.illinois.gov/portal to be eligible apply for a grant, How To Access The Grantee Portal. An Illinois.gov public account authenticates the relationship between the individual and the organization they represent, How to create an Illinois.gov Public Account.

The following information is required to complete registration:

  1. Organization's Dun & Bradstreet number (DUNS);
  2. Organization's federal employer identification number (FEIN);
  3. Organization type;
  4. Illinois Secretary of State File ID (required for non-profits, for-profits and limited liability corporations);
  5. Organization's name
  6. Organization's mailing address;
  7. Organization's primary email address;
  8. Organization's primary phone number
  9. Organization's fiscal year-end date

Entities are federally required to have an active SAM.gov entity registration, How to register with SAM.gov. Illinois uses SAM.gov automation to determine qualification status based on the entity's registration. Refer to GATA Administrative Rules on Grantee Pre-qualification Status: http://www.ilga.gov/commission/jcar/admincode/044/044070000A00700R.html. An entity may apply for a grant award prior to qualified status. The entity must be in "qualified status" based on the Grantee Portal by the Application Review Date. See #18 in the NOFO Transmittal. [Non-competitive applications aren't subject to MBR so the more generic term Application Review Date vs. Merit Based Review Date may be appropriate.]

The Grantee Portal will indicate in red if a status is not qualified. Links for self-remediation help are provided in the Portal.

  1. Current SAM.gov account;
  2. Current FEIN
  3. Good standing with the Illinois Secretary of State (Illinois Secretary of State Business Services website: https://www.cyberdriveillinois.com/departments/business_services/home.html
  4. Not on the Illinois Stop Payment List;
  5. Not on the SAM.gov Exclusion List;
  6. Not on the DHFS Sanctioned Party List.

State agencies are federally required to evaluate the risk posed by each applicant. Risk assessments are a pre-award requirement and include two components: fiscal and administrative and programmatic. Illinois uses an Internal Control Questionnaire (ICQ) to complete the fiscal and administrative component. Entities are required to access, complete and submit the ICQ through the Grantee Portal for the state fiscal year associated with the grant funding. The programmatic risk assessment is distributed by the state awarding agency as part of the application process. Both the ICQ and the programmatic risk assessment must be accepted by the state and approved before a grant award can be executed.

2. Cost Sharing or Matching

Applicant Requirements - No

3. Indirect Cost Rate

Annually, each organization receiving an award from a State grant making agency is required to record an indirect cost rate election through the Grantee Portal or negotiate an indirect cost rate through the Indirect Cost Rate System. Indirect costs cannot be compensated without an election or a negotiated rate is one file with the State of Illinois.

The following elections for indirect costs to State and federal pass-through grants are available through the Grantee Portal:

  1. Report a Federal Negotiated Indirect Cost Rate Agreement (NICRA);
  2. Elect the de minimis rate of 10% of Modified Total Direct Costs; or
  3. Elect not to charge indirect costs.

An indirect cost rate may be negotiated through the Indirect Cost Rate System.

Refer to the Indirect Cost Rate Election and Negotiation Manual for technical assistance.

The awardee shall make an election or negotiate a rate that all State agencies must accept unless specific federal or State program limitations, caps or supplanting issues apply.

4. Other, if applicable

D. Application and Submission Information

1. Address to Request Application Package

All components of the application package can be accessed through the Catalog of State Financial Assistance (CSFA).

Since high-speed internet access is not yet universally available for downloading documents or accessing the electronic application, and applicants may have additional accessibility requirements, applicants may request paper copies of materials by contacting:

DHS.grantapp@illinois.gov

Applicants are required to submit a complete electronic version of their Proposal Narrative, Application, Budget, and Attachments. All documents submitted must comply with the applicable requirements of the Illinois Information Technology Accessibility Act Standards as posted at https://www.dhs.state.il.us/iitaa on or before March 24, 2021 at 12:00 p.m.

2. Content and Form of Application Submission:

Application forms requirements : 

1. Each applicant is required to submit a Uniform Application for State Grant Assistance (UGA).

a. Application content requirements: 

Submit the completed application materials as a single word document to: DHS.grantapp@illinois.gov.

i. Specifically, the subject line of the email MUST state:

  • Entity Name,
  • Funding Opportunity Number (22-444-30-0189-01),
  • Contact

ii. The submission must be in the following order:

  • Summary Data Sheet
  • Uniform State Grant Application
  • Program Narrative
  • Attachments to include (Not included in narrative page limit)
    • Attachment A: Organization Chart
    • Attachment B: Resumes of Key Personnel
    • Attachment C Job Descriptions of staff charged to the Proposal
    • Attachment D Linkage Agreements with other Service Providers & Referral Source
    • Attachment E Physical Space Information
    • Attachment F Copy of Current Approved Federal or State Negotiated Indirect Cost Rate Agreement, if applicable

2. Each applicant is required to submit a Program Narrative which includes all areas as detailed in Section E: Application Review Information below, consistent with the following technical guidelines.

a. The Program Narrative must include headers consistent with the criteria listed in Section E (Program Design and Implementation, Agency Qualification and Organizational Capacity, Budget Costs and Justification, Community Identification and Customer Projection) and be sequentially page numbered.

3. Each applicant must submit their budget through the CSA tracking system.

  1. The CSA budget and included narrative should express and support the submitted program narrative.
  2. The budget should be prepared to reflect the full 12-month grant cycle and be consistent with the total amount requested.

4. Each applicant must have a current Dun and Bradstreet Universal Numbering System (DUNS) Number and System for Award Management (SAM) Account. (See Section C.1.h-i)

  1. Application format requirements:  All documents must be typed single space using 12-point Arial font with 1-inch margins on all sides and at 100% magnification.
  2. Be on 8 1/2 x 11-inch page size.
  3. The entire application and program narrative packet should be in black typeface on a white background.

5. Other unique programmatic application requires:  Each applicant must adhere to the following submission dates and times and methods:

  1. To be considered for award, all application materials must be in the possession of the DHS-DRS March 24, 2021 at 12:00 p.m.. Materials that must be submitted via email will be electronically date and time stamped upon arrival. It is the applicant's responsibility to ensure their application package arrives at the appropriate email address before the submission deadline date and time.
  2. Application materials will only be accepted electronically. Those that are delivered by any other means, and/or late will not be accepted and will be immediately disqualified. DHS-DRS is under no obligation to review applications that do not comply with the above requirements. There will be no exceptions. Applicants will receive an email to notify them that the application was received within 72 hours of receipt, and if it was received by the due date and time. The email reply will be sent to the original sender of the application materials. Applications received after the due date and time will not be considered for review and funding.

3. Unique Entity Identifier/Dun and Bradstreet Universal Numbering System (DUNS) Number and System for Award Management (SAM)

Each applicant (unless the applicant is an individual or Federal or State awarding agency that is exempt from those requirements under 2 CFR § 25.110(b) or (c), or has an exception approved by the Federal or State awarding agency under 2 CFR § 25.110(d)) is required to:

 (i)Be registered in SAM.gov before the specified application review date. To establish a SAM.gov registration, go to https://sam.gov/content/home/ and/or utilize this instructional link: "How To Register in SAM" https://www2.illinois.gov/sites/GATA/Documents/Resource%20Library/SAM-Registration.pdf

(ii) Provide a valid DUNS number in its application; and

(iii) Continue to maintain an active SAM registration with current information at all times during which it has an active Federal, Federal pass-through or State award or an application or plan under consideration by a Federal or State awarding agency.

The State awarding agency may not make a Federal pass-through or State award to an applicant until the applicant has complied with all applicable DUNS and SAM requirements and, if an applicant has not fully complied with the requirements by the time the State awarding agency is ready to make a Federal pass-through or State award, the State awarding agency may determine that the applicant is not qualified to receive a Federal pass-through or State award and use that determination as a basis for making a Federal pass-through or State award to another applicant.

4. Submission Dates and Times

Applicants are required to submit a complete electronic version of their Proposal Narrative, Application, Budget, and Attachments. All documents submitted must comply with the applicable requirements of the Illinois Information Technology Accessibility Act Standards as posted at https://www.dhs.state.il.us/iitaa on or before March 24, 2021 at 12:00 p.m.

Application dates are stated in the NOFO transmittal. Any application not fully submitted by the Application End Date will not be considered.

If the due date falls on a Saturday, Sunday, or Federal or State holiday, the reporting package is due the next business day.

Submission Method: Acceptable Proof of Timely Submission:

Email or Another Electronic Platform with Electronic time date and stamp

5. Intergovernmental Review Not Applicable

6. Funding Restrictions

Refer to Section C. Eligibility Information, 3. Indirect Cost Rate for Indirect Cost Rate Restrictions and Match Requirement details.

 The following funding restrictions apply (specify n/a for non-applicable items):

  • Institution of Higher Education Indirect Cost Rate Restrictions

2 CFR 200 - Subpart E Allowable/Unallowable Costs 

Unallowable activities dictated by the funding terms 

Awards cannot be used to pay for alcoholic beverages; and cannot be used to pay for entertainment, which includes costs for amusement, diversion, and social activities. A grantee hosting a meeting or conference may not use grant funds to pay for food for conference attendees unless doing so is necessary to accomplish the legitimate meeting or conference business. Grantees must receive written pre-approval to use grant funds to host a meeting or conference that includes food. Furthermore, all meeting or conference materials or publicity of any nature paid for with grant funds must include appropriate disclaimers, such as:

The contents of this (insert type of publicity or public action) must identify the Department of Human Services, Division of Rehabilitation Services as the sponsoring agency and must not be released without prior written approval from the State's Authorized Representative. The publicity or public action must also include a provision that the contents do not necessarily represent the policy of the Department of Human Services, Division of Rehabilitation Services nor is it an endorsement. For purposes of this provision, publicity includes: notices, informational pamphlets, press releases, research, reports, signs, and similar public notices prepared by or for the grantee individually or jointly with others, with respect to the program, publications, or services provided resulting from the grant agreement or subsequent amendments.

Costs of contributions and donations, including cash, property, and services are unallowable as is the cost of organized fund raising. Depreciation on equipment purchased by the State/Federal government directly or through a grant is an unallowable cost. Other prohibitions related can be found in the GATA Legislation 30 ILCS 708 and 2 CFR 200 Federal Uniform Guidance.

  • Restrictions on Pre-award Costs
  • Other unique and regulatory programmatic restrictions N/A

7. Other Submission Requirement

The applicant must additionally submit the following:

a. Program Plan and Narrative - The program narrative at a minimum must include the categories to be evaluated in the merit review process:

  1. Need:   Community Identification and Customer Projection
  2. Capacity:  Agency Qualifications
  3. Quality:  Program Design and Implementation
  4. Other:  Budget Costs and Justification

b. Budget

 i. The budget and narrative must tie fiscal activity to program objectives and deliverables and demonstrates that all proposed costs are:

  1. Reasonable and necessary
  2. Allocable, and
  3. Allowable as defined by program regulatory requirements and the Uniform Guidance (2 CFR 200), as applicable.

ii. the applicant must submit a budget using the appropriate IDHS designated template/system (presently CSA).

c. Other as applicable: 

d. Electronic and Other submission addresses:

i. Email: DHS.grantapp@illinois.gov

E. Application Review Information

All competitive grant applications are subject to merit-based review. Review criteria is based upon the requirements set forth in the following:

As dictated by the authoritative references above, the following minimum review criteria apply:

  • Need: Identification of stakeholders, facts and evidence that demonstrate the proposal supports the grant program purpose.
  • Capacity: The ability of an entity to execute the grant project according to project requirements.
  • Quality: The totality of features and characteristics of a service, project or product that indicated its ability to satisfy the requirements of the grant program.
  • Other unique program criteria.

Application is subject to Merit Based Review  Yes

1. Criteria and Weighting of Each Criteria

Quality-Program Design and Implementation (30 points)- Provide a detailed, clear and accurate picture of the intended program design, project implementation details, and associated outcomes.

  1. Detailed description of the overall program design
  2. Detailed description of the plan to serve and provide comprehensive living training
  3. A plan to ensure individuals are able to achieve independence.
  4. In Detail, describe the program design will implement each of the program requirements
  5. Describe how services will be individualized, how services will be provided to meet individual needs and how planned services will be based on evidence of success.
  6. Strategies for evaluating, assessing and training individuals to achieve independence by identifying performance measures and deliverables as identified in this NOFO.
  7. Provide a summary of recent performance outcomes achieved in operating similar programs.
  8. Plan to monitor subcontracted providers ensuring they are meeting timelines.

Capacity-Agency Qualifications (25 points)

The purpose of this section is to present an accurate picture of the agency's ability to successfully implement an independent living services program for older individuals who are blind that will meet the requirements of this application and will lead to self-reliance and independence in their home and community environment.

  1. Evidence that the applicant agency is capable of carrying out the proposed program.
  2. Relevant examples of major accomplishments of the organization in the area of services to this population
  3. Organizational chart of the applicant organization showing staff and placement. Include subcontractors is appropriate.
  4. Identification of key staff positions that will be responsible for the program which includes evidence that adequate staff coverage and supervision will be maintained. Present resumes of key staff.
  5. Job descriptions for all employee positions that will be funding in whole or in part with this grant and indication of the percent of time or hours those employees will spend in this program. Programs must recruit and hire staff that are qualified for the positions through education, experience and/or training.

Includes a description of how these programs will impact individuals who are older blind

6. Application includes a description of existing services provider partnerships the agency has to other community resources and services essential to the positive development of independent living services to older individuals who are blind.

Other: Budget Costs and Justification (25 points)

This category will serve multiple purposes. First as a scored portion of this application and second for successful applicants it will serve as a stand-alone document that may be shared with various state-level stakeholders and others requesting a brief overview of each funded project. Applicants should be concise and direct in their description.

  1. Applicants Name
  2. Name of the proposed project
  3. Total amount of funds requested through this grant
  4. Service Area and Description
  5. Highlights of the Identified Need
  6. Description of the target population
  7. Estimated number of older blind to be served
  8. Estimated cost per older blind individual
  9. Brief description of the overall program model and implementation design
  10. Identification of project partners (service providers and their roles/responsibilities)
  11. Performance goals and objectives/Expected Outcomes

Need-Community Identification and Customer Projection (20 points)

The purpose of this section is for the applicant to provide a clear and accurate picture of the need for these services within the specified area and how the proposed project will address these needs.

  1. The applicant must demonstrate that it has a thorough knowledge and understanding of the needs of the individual who are older blind in the specific service area.
  2. A description of the targeted community service area and include data to support the description.
  3. A description of how the older blind population will be targeted for services based on the identified need.

Is the award subject to Cost Sharing/Matching?  No

2. Review and Selection Process

In addition to the Merit Based Review Process, consideration may then be given to past performance, if applicable. Funding decisions will be made based on the quality of the complete proposal as score through the Merit Based Review Process. Final award decisions will be made by the Director of the Division of Rehabilitation Services at the recommendation of the Bureau Chief for the Bureau of Blind Services. The Department reserves the right to negotiate with successful applicants to cover unserved areas that may result from this process of modify the overall budget request to meet the funding availability.

Application Review Date: 3/24/21

In accordance with Section C. Eligibility Information, an entity must be in qualified status as of the Application Review Date for their grant application to be considered by the state awarding agency.

Merit-Based Review Appeal Process

In accordance with GATA Administrative Rules, Section 350, Merit Based Review of Grant Applications, a merit-based application review is required for competitive (discretionary) Grants and Cooperative Agreements, unless prohibited by State or federal statute. http://www.ilga.gov/commission/jcar/admincode/044/044070000D03500R.html

Under a competitive grant, the evaluation process may be subject to appeal. Evaluation scores or funding determinations/outcomes cannot be appealed. Refer to the Merit Based review Appeal Process as stated in GATA Administrative Rules, Section g: http://www.ilga.gov/commission/jcar/admincode/044/044070000D03500R.html

Appeals submission IDHS contact information:

  • Name of Agency contact for appeals: Kristen Bethke
  • Email of Agency contact for appeals: DHS.DRSBBS@illinois.gov
  • USP address, if applicable: 809 Commercial Ave, Springfield, IL 62703

Other specific appeals instructions:  

1. Competitive program grant appeals are limited to the merit based

evaluation process only. Evaluation scores may not be

protested; only the evaluation process is subject to appeal.

  1. An appeal must be submitted in writing to the Division.
  2. An appeal must be received within 14 calendar days after the

date of publication of the grant award.

iii. The written appeal shall include at a minimum the following:

  1. The name and address of the appealing party;
  2. Identification of the grant (i.e. CSFA Number); and
  3. A statement of reasons for the appeal.

3. Anticipated Announcement and State Award Dates, if applicable.

Anticipated Program Start Date:  07/01/2021

Anticipated Program End Date:   06/30/2022

Other announcement and award date information: 

F. Award Administration Information

1. State Award Notices

Applicants recommended for funding under this NOFO following the above review and selection process will receive a notice of award. The award notice shall include:

  1. The terms and conditions of the award.
  2. Specific conditions, if any, assigned to the applicant based on the fiscal and administrative (ICQ), programmatic risk assessments (PRA) and merit-based review.

The announcement of the grant award shall be published by the awarding grantor to www.grants.illinois.gov

A written Notice of Denial shall be sent to the applicants not receiving the award.

2. Administrative Requirements

Upon the receipt of an award, the successful applicant is obligated to comply with the following:

  1. The Grant Accountability and Transparency Act (30 ILCS 708);
  2. The applicable requirements of the Uniform Guidance (2 CFR 200), and;
  3. Any additional programmatic and administrative special conditions that may be required.
  4. Other

The applicant awarded these funds shall provide services as set forth in the DHS grant agreement and shall act in accordance with all state and federal statutes and administrative rules applicable to the provision of the services including indirect cost rate requirements in Section C - Eligibility, of the NOFO.

The legal agreement between DHS and the successful applicant(s) will be the standard DHS Uniform Grant Agreement. If selected for funding, the applicant will be provided a DHS grant agreement for signature and return.

3. Reporting

Upon execution of the grant agreement, reporting shall be in accordance with the requirements set forth in the Uniform Grant Agreement and related Exhibits which includes, but is not limited to the following:

  • Periodic Financial Report (PFR),
  • Periodic Performance Report (PPR),
  • Annual Audit in conformance with Audit Requirements set forth in the grant agreement.

Frequency of periodic financial reporting:  Quarterly

Frequency of periodic performance reporting: Quarterly and Other

Other Unique Programmatic Reporting Requirements - As stated above the MER and CTR is also required and due by the 15th of each month.

Non-compliance with any of the above reporting requirements may lead to being placed on the Illinois Stop Payment List.

G. State Awarding Agency Contact(s)

Name:   Kristen Bethke, Project Officer

Email Address:  DHS.DRSBBS@illinois.gov

Phone Number:  217-606-9200

Technical Assistance Information:

Technical Assistance Inquiries:

  • Frequently asked "Questions and Answers" will be posted to DHS Website.
  • The "Questions and Answers" will be posted in a timely, responsive manner to ensure current information regarding NOFO clarifications are available to applicants;
  • All questions submitted to the program area must be answered publicly through the designated public forum (presently DHS website) within 48 hours or 2 business days (excluding weekends and holidays).

Technical Assistance Session:

* See transmittal page for setting, URL link and dates.

H. Other Information, if applicable

The Department of Human Services is not obligated to make any State Award as a result of this announcement. Additional resources supporting the programmatic and administration of the Independent Living Services for Older Individuals who are Blind Grant can be found here: Rehabilitation Act of 1973, as amended, Title VII, Chapter 2; Education Department General Administrative Regulations (EDGAR) in 34 CFR Parts 76, 77, 79, 80, 81, 82, 84, 85, and 97; Program Regulations in 34 CFR Parts 367 and selected sections of 34 CFR 364 and 365, listed in 34 CFR 367.4; 2 CFR 200; 20 ILCS 2405; 20 ILCS 2407; 30 ILCS 70; 89 ILCS 507; 89 ILCS509; and 89 ILCS 511. For awards made on or after 12/26/2014, 2 CFR Part 200, which includes the substance formerly in parts 74 and 80, applies. For more information on the transition to 2 CFR Part 200, see the Uniform Guidance Technical Assistance for Grantees

You can view current versions of the EDGAR Parts of Title 34 at the e-CFR website, a regularly updated, unofficial, non-legal edition of the CFR, created in a partnership between the Office of the Federal Register and the Government Printing Office. The e-CFR links for most of EDGAR are given below. Parts 74 and 80 are only found on the Government Printing Office site for annual CFRs.

Mandatory Forms - Required for grant program

  • Uniform State Grant Application
  • Project Narrative
  • Budget/Budget Narrative
  • Other program-specific mandatory forms*
    • a. Organization Chart
    • b. Resumes of Key Personnel
    • c. Job Descriptions of staff charged to the Proposal
    • d. Linkage Agreements with other Service Providers & Referral Source
    • e. Physical Space Information
    • f. Copy of current approved Federal or State Negotiated Indirect Cost Rate Agreement, if applicable.