The Texas Council for Developmental Disabilities (TCDD) issued a Request for Proposals (RFP) to fund TCDD Media Fellows programs that will support opportunities for experienced media professionals to train and mentor media fellows to create media products that cover disability-related issues and include the voices, experiences, and knowledge of people with disabilities. The deadline to submit a proposal is November 2, 2018.
Historically, media representation of people with disabilities and disability-related issues has not been positive. People with disabilities are often either not represented in the media or are represented in a negative way. Disability advocates maintain that media has contributed to a misunderstanding of the lives of people with disabilities and the issues that impact them. Before the passage of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), advocates for the ADA decided not to rely on the media to push their ideas because they believed that the media would only perpetuate stereotypes and misinform the public.
Media creation and coverage that includes the voices, experiences, and knowledge of people with disabilities can help improve public awareness of the capabilities and competencies of people with disabilities. Also, media that covers disability-related issues can help further the policy and social change goals of disability advocates. In addition to public perception, the media can also influence self-perception. Studies have found that media contributes to underperformance among stigmatized groups and can prevent the people in these groups from realizing their potential.
Including the voices, experiences, and knowledge of people with disabilities in media creation and coverage can promote:
- accurate and dignified representations of people with disabilities and disability-related issues,
- the capabilities and competencies of people with disabilities for policy and social change, and
- positive self-perception among people with disabilities.
The training conducted, and the media created, through the TCDD Media Fellows programs should contribute to an increased awareness and understanding of disability issues.
About the RFP
Through this grant project, TCDD will support opportunities for experienced media professionals to train and mentor a TCDD Media Fellow to create media products that cover disability-related issues. The grantee is expected to conduct outreach and hire a Fellow through a competitive hiring process. A concerted effort should be made to recruit, interview, and select people who have disabilities. Additional preference will be given to applicants who plan to recruit people with disabilities who are also people of color and/or people who are bilingual.
The Fellow will develop knowledge and skills related to media creation and coverage that includes the voices, knowledge, and experiences of people with disabilities. Fellows will gain a deep level of understanding in the methods to communicate disability-related issues. Potential media platforms to be used could include but are not limited to:
- Social media
- Graphic design
The Fellow will develop his or her effectiveness at working in media outlets at the local/community, state, and/or national levels to promote accurate and dignified representations of people with disabilities and disability-related issues by the end of the project.
Any organization that meets the requirements set forth in this RFP can apply. Types of organizations could include:
- news organizations,
- media entities,
- production companies,
- government agencies,
- colleges and universities, and
- for profit businesses.
The organization that applies for this grant must administer the grant and receive, disburse, and account for grant funds. Individuals may not apply for this grant.
Grant Funds Available
TCDD has made available up to $67,500 per year, for up to two years, for up to two organizations.
Proposals are due to TCDD by 5 p.m. Central Time on Friday, November 2, 2018. Late proposals will not be accepted. Other key dates include:
- Informational conference call: October 16, 2018
- Deadline to submit questions: October 19, 2018
- Award notification: February 28, 2019 (this date may change)
- Project start date: April 1, 2019 (this date may change)
Learn More and Submit a Proposal
For more information, the complete RFP is available on the DD Suite website. Proposals for this RFP and all forms must be submitted using DD Suite.