Current Grant Projects

The Council administers federal funds to develop and support innovative practices that promote the independence, productivity, integration, and inclusion of people with developmental disabilities in their communities.
The issues and priorities identified by the Council for grant projects are based on the Council’s Five Year State Plan.
The Council typically funds short and long term (up to three years) grants, training events, and stipends for persons with developmental disabilities and their families to attend conferences and workshops.
Grants are expected to demonstrate new methods for supporting people with developmental disabilities, have statewide impact, be replicable, and not replace the responsibility of another agency or legal mandate.
 
Current grants include:

Grantee - The Arc of the Mid-Ohio Valley, Inc. People First of WV

The People First of WV (People First) project is a statewide self-advocacy initiative, led by people with developmental disabilities, that provides training and support for people with developmental disabilities on issues related to self-advocacy, self-determination, employment, healthcare, education, access to places and programs, and public policies. The project includes a network of local chapters that set up advisory boards, organizational and operational program structures, and processes for identifying important issues for training and education. The People First of West Virginia project is managed and supported by a state advisory board that coordinates network development, technical assistance, and outreach to local chapters. The WV Developmental Disabilities Council’s support of an advocacy organization of people with developmental disabilities, led by people with developmental disabilities, is a mandate of P.L. 102-402, the Developmental Disabilities Assistance and Bill of Rights Act of 2000. A statewide self-advocacy initiative led by people with developmental disabilities that provides training and support for people with developmental disabilities on issues related to self-advocacy, self-determination, employment, healthcare, education, access to places and programs, and public policies.   For further information, contact: Liz Ford, Executive Director (Liz.Ford@thearcmov.org)

Grantee - City of St. Albans Saint Albans on Purpose

People with intellectual and developmental disabilities have historically experienced high rates of abuse, unemployment, and health problems, and are at risk for social isolation that can contribute to these negative experiences. By increasing opportunities for people with developmental disabilities to participate in community improvement projects with their nondisabled peers, the City of St. Albans will demonstrate how people with developmental disabilities are assets that can make valuable contributions to civic life, improve their own relationships, and build the resilience and trust that is the foundation of a strong community. This project aims to increase the capacity of the St. Albans and Nitro communities to be inclusive of citizens with developmental disabilities, and to develop products that can be used by various stakeholders to accomplish similar objectives across West Virginia.   For further information, contact: Angela Breeden, Project Coordinator (angiebreedenwv@gmail.com)

Grantee - Fair Shake Network, Inc. Statewide Cross-Disability Advocacy Organization

The Fair Shake Network, Inc. (FSN) is a cross-disability advocacy organization that includes people with developmental and other disabilities and their families. The goals of FSN are to educate policymakers, people with disabilities, their family members, the media, and the general public about issues that impact the lives of people with disabilities. FSN will continue to expand as a grassroots advocacy organization and provide important training to its members and the general public about competitive employment, inclusive education, healthcare, the legislative process, effective advocacy, and other current issues. The principle aims are to advocate for state and national legislation and policies that contribute to self-determination, integration, and inclusion of people with developmental and other disabilities in their communities. The WV Developmental Disabilities Council’s support of a cross-disability advocacy organization is a mandate of P.L. 102-402, the Developmental Disabilities Assistance and Bill of Rights Act of 2000.  For further information, contact: Paul Smith, Director (Director@Fairshake.org)

Grantee - Think Kids, WV  Including All Kids: Transforming Health Care Delivery Systems for Children with Special Health Care Needs in West Virginia

Health problems that adversely affect the well-being of children and youth with developmental disabilities set the stage for life as adults that may be further, and perhaps unnecessarily, compromised. Research shows that a higher number of children with developmental disabilities are socially and economically disadvantaged, meaning that they may lack the resources necessary to address health care and health-related issues, and they may lack the community services and social supports to access needed care. Additionally, people with developmental disabilities often have co-existing or concurrent health conditions. The vast majority of medically fragile children who have complex special health care needs are being cared for by their families in their community. These children may lack the ability to vocalize their needs; they may be cared for by parents or caregivers with lower educational attainment, and so, they may lack the ability to articulate their health issues with healthcare providers. Families are relied upon to provide numerous, complex tasks related to the care of their child with periodic support from health care institutions and professionals. A continuing goal of the Including All Kids: Transforming Health Care Delivery Systems for Children with Special Health Care Needs in West Virginia project is for improved awareness and understanding of health care needs of children and adolescents with developmental disabilities and of what is being done to address the challenges facing these children in experiencing good health during early and adolescent years and growing into healthy adults. Also, our goal is to coalesce stakeholders from both the health care system and the disabilities community to advance reform to the pediatric health care system to meet their needs. For further information, contact: Kelli Caseman, Executive Director (mailto:Kelli@thinkkidswv.org)

Grantee - Vocational Services, Inc. Student Success Project

While federal laws have opened many doors for students with developmental disabilities, there remains, at times, an undercurrent of stigma and low expectations, especially for students with more significant disabilities. The belief that all students can succeed, and the attainment of high expectations have lagged. Vocational Services, Incorporated (VSI) will work to change attitudes and to inculcate a culture of high expectations by traveling the State to identify what is working, and to record these success stories. This project will allow parents, students, and stakeholders who have been told “not to expect much” of their family member to watch local success stories about sons and daughters like their own, and to talk to other parents of family members who have been given negative prognoses about success in life, but who have prevailed none-the-less. The project will also develop and connect effective parent mentors with families who are struggling.  For further information, contact: Jeff McCroskey, President (jeffmccroskey@netscape.net)