The Texas Council for Developmental Disabilities (TCDD) issued a Request for Proposals (RFP) to fund a project that will improve the sexual health of people with intellectual and developmental disabilities (I/DD) in Texas. Through the project, adults with I/DD, families, providers, and other allies will participate in training and/or educational events that focus on improving the sexual health of people with I/DD. The deadline to submit a proposal is November 2, 2018.
When it comes to being in romantic relationships, dating, and/or getting married, most people with I/DD have the same desires as people who don’t have I/DD. However, people with I/DD may not have had the support necessary to be in – or to understand – the dynamics of healthy romantic relationships. And when it comes to knowledge about sexual health, people with I/DD may have had even less support and access to information.
Without training and information, sexual health can be a difficult and complex topic to address. Consider the following:
- Some family members report that they don’t feel comfortable talking about sexual health with their family members who have I/DD.
- Some providers report that they are unsure about the most appropriate way to address sexual health in a manner that promotes self-determination and independence.
With access to support and information, people with I/DD can become knowledgeable about sexual health and engage in healthy romantic relationships.
Other organizations, including Developmental Disabilities (DD) Councils in other states, have conducted educational and training events so people with I/DD, family members, and allies could learn more about sexual health for people with I/DD. Listed below are three types of events that were held:
- A conference
- A training with small group conversations
- A “train the trainer” session
Also, some events have combined these approaches. For example, the Michigan DD Council held a three-day event. The event included two days of “train the trainer” programming and a one-day summit for a larger audience. During the two-day training, two-person teams that included a person with I/DD and an ally were taught to provide training on sexual health. Teams from around the state of Michigan participated and then returned to their communities to provide training to others. Many of the team members who had I/DD were certified peer mentors who were employed by local centers to provide services and supports that were reimbursable by Medicaid. During the larger summit that was held on the third day, attendees were presented with information and participated in discussions.
About the RFP
Through this grant project, at least five training and/or educational opportunities will be held in multiple locations throughout Texas over the course of the three years. The training and/or educational opportunities will:
- Teach participants about sexual health using an evidence-informed model or models
- Ensure that people have the support they need to participate fully
- Provide time for interaction and discussion
- Reflect self-determination, support for families, and respect for cultural values in all activities
- Reflect evidence-informed practices
Prior to implementing the first event, the trainer must provide evidence of a deep understanding of sexual health education for people with I/DD. Evidence could include proof of timely training or experience providing evidence-based sexual health education to individuals with I/DD. The grantee may use an existing curriculum or develop a new one.
Any organization that meets the requirements set forth in this RFP can apply. Types of organizations could include:
- Government agencies
- Colleges and universities
- Faith-based institutions
- Technical and/or professional schools
- 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 $100,000 per year, for up to three years, for one organization. Funding for the second and third years is not automatic.
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 15, 2018
- Deadline to submit questions: October 18, 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.