For Immediate Release - December 10, 2015

AG's Office Opens Application Period for $250,000 Grant Program to Improve Access and Opportunities for Individuals with Disabilities

Funding is a Result of Settlement with ATM Owner and Operator Cardtronics, Inc.

BOSTON — As part of her ongoing and groundbreaking efforts to secure the civil rights of all residents of Massachusetts, Attorney General Maura Healey today announced a $250,000-grant program to use technology and innovative design to improve access and opportunities for individuals with disabilities.

The Innovating to Improve Access and Opportunity for Individuals with Disabilities (“Access and Opportunity Grant”) grant program will support new projects that utilize technology or innovative design to improve access and opportunity in the fields of education, transportation, employment and health care.

“Expanding access and opportunities for people with disabilities in this state is a top priority for our office,” said AG Healey. “This grant will help us channel the vast talent we have in Massachusetts’s technology sector and to promote innovation that will make a difference in the lives of many families.” 

The AG’s Office will be assisted in its review of grant applications by a selection committee that includes representatives from Yahoo, Apple, IBM, and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.  The selection committee will be comprised of advocates, experts, and individuals with disabilities.

The AG’s Office will issue grants (with a maximum amount of $75,000 to any one applicant) to one or more applicants from municipalities, public schools or non-profit organizations. The AG’s Office will also issue micro-grants (with a maximum amount of $10,000 awarded to any one applicant) to one or more non-profit organizations, post-secondary student organizations, or small for-profit businesses.

In selecting grant recipients, the AG’s Office will give special consideration to grant applicants who are able to demonstrate that their project will be used to improve access and opportunity for people living with disabilities who are also part of other underserved populations, including veterans, LGBTQ individuals, and racial and ethnic minority communities.

 In July, the AG’s Office announced the formation of a Disability Rights Advisory Committee to advise AG Healey and her staff on matters pertaining to inclusion, access, and equality for individuals with disabilities.

The grant program is funded through a settlement with ATM owner and operator Cardtronics, Inc., which was entered in November 2014 and later approved by the court in May 2015. The settlement resolved claims relating to Cardtronic’s failure to comply with a court order requiring it to make the company’s machines accessible to blind and visually impaired consumers.

Interested applicants can visit the Attorney General’s website for additional information about the application process and to submit a written or video recorded statement of intent. Entities interested in submitting a statement of intent are asked to do so by Jan. 20, 2016. Selected statements of intent will be invited to submit a full grant proposal.