Municipal ADA Improvement Grant Program

 

IMPORTANT NOTICE:
Please review "Section IV Application Process and Deadlines" below.    Applicants have been reporting issues submitting applications when there are pop-up blockers active on computers.  The steps listed in that section will allow for successful submissions but must be followed.

 

I. Overview:

The Massachusetts Office on Disability (MOD), is pleased to announce the Municipal Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) Improvement Grant Program application and selection process for FY18.  Eligible applicants include any Massachusetts city or town (hereinafter referred to as “Applicants.”)

These grants are aimed at supporting capital improvements specifically dedicated to improving programmatic access and/or removing barriers encountered by persons with disabilities in Applicant facilities throughout the Commonwealth.

Project Grants of up to $250,000 will be awarded to successful Applicants to remove barriers and create and improve accessible features and programmatic access for persons with disabilities throughout the Commonwealth. 

Planning Grants will also be awarded to assist a community in creating or updating a Self-Evaluation or Transition Plan required under Title II of the ADA.

Examples include but are not limited to increasing both physical access and programmatic access through the addition of features such as: ramps, elevators, power lifts and Limited Use/Limited Application (LULAs), signage, communication access devices, curb cuts and/or any other features that are designed to improve architectural access and/or programmatic access.  All applications will be reviewed by the Grant Application Review Committee.  Please do not ask MOD to review prospective grants for eligibility.

Grants will be awarded on a competitive basis to fund projects that demonstrate real and tangible positive impacts to persons with disabilities.  Please see the timeline provided below.

Thank you for your interest in improving access for persons with disabilities.  We look forward to working with you.

 

Please review the following prior to applying.  Information provided here will guide you through the application process and will answer most questions.

II. Grant Types:

  • Planning Grant: These grants are for updating or creating a Self-Evaluation and/or Transition Plan as required under the Administrative Requirements of Title II of the ADA.
    • This grant will require the following supporting documentation (at the time of application submission) indicating these items have been completed by the municipality.  Sample forms are available in the “Municipal ADA Improvement Grants Program – Addenda” section below.
      • Designation of a Responsible Employee (ADA Coordinator),
      • Notice of Non-Discrimination and proof of posting, and have
      • Established an ADA Grievance Procedure.
  • Project Grant: These grants are for removal of architectural or communication barriers that are present.  Design plans or Applicant salaries are not eligible project grants.
    • This grant will require the following supporting documentation (at the time of application submission) indicating these items have been completed by the municipality.  Sample forms and additional information can be found in the “Municipal ADA Improvement Grants Program – Addenda” below.
      • Designation of a Responsible Employee (ADA Coordinator),
      • Notice of Non-Discrimination and proof of posting,
      • Established an ADA Grievance Procedure,
      • A completed Self-Evaluation, and
      • A completed Transition Plan.
    • Detailed/Itemized cost estimates are required to be provided within the appropriate application section (Section. 3.1 of the Project Grant - “Cost Estimate”).

 

III. Grant Score Weight Considerations:

Every municipality in the Commonwealth is eligible to apply.

  • Only a municipality may submit an application.  If a special purpose district and/or regional governmental organization wants to apply, the grant must be submitted by the municipality in which the project would take place. 
    • Grant awards will be given to the municipality directly, to then be given to the special purpose district and/or regional governmental organization by said municipality.
  • At a minimum, applicants must be a member of, or are willing to become a member of, the Community Compact Cabinet (CCC) to be eligible to apply for a grant.
    • Municipalities that selected the "Public Accessibility Best Practice" option under the CCC will increase applicant score. 
  • Municipalities with a duly established Commission on Disability (adopted MGL Chapter 40 Section 8J) will increase applicant score.
  • Projects with matching funds will increase applicant score.  Also, applicants with a higher match percentage may increase the applicants score. 

 

IV. Application Process and Deadlines:

Applications can only be submitted through the use of the online application process.  Hard copies will not be accepted.  

PLEASE NOTE:

  • Once the applications are started, using the online portal, if you do not click submit prior to completing the forms, your work will not be saved.
    • To account for this, we have provided a PDF version of the applications for preparation purposes to assist with data collection prior to entering the online application process (see Section V below).
    • Before you start, please note that some users have indicated that they have had to disable their pop-up blockers and either close and restart their browser or reboot their computers in order to successfully submit an application.  Not ensuring this could result in lost data and unsuccessful application submission attempts.
    •  MOD is strongly recommending, if you have concerns regarding the disabling of your pop-up blockers, you prepare your answers in a Word document prior to entering it into the application.  This will allow you to keep your information if your submission is unsuccessful.
  • The online application process will require certain documents to be uploaded depending on what type of grant is being sought. You will be required to click the “Upload Applications” button first before being able to click the “Submit” button.  The upload feature may take a couple of minutes to complete.
    • Please follow these steps:
      1. Once you have completed entering your data and queuing your documents to upload, click the "Upload Attachments" button at the bottom of the page. 
        • You may also wish, if you are not using the PDF templates, to right-click and print your application for your records. 
        •  MOD is strongly recommending you prepare your answers in a Word document prior to entering it into the application.  This will allow you to keep your information if your submission is unsuccessful.
      2. PLEASE WAIT.  You will notice, on the lower left side of the screen, an "Uploading X%" status message.  Please wait for that to reach 100%.
      3. PLEASE CONTINUE TO WAIT.  You will notice, after you reached 100%, another status dialogue indicating "Waiting to connect to On Base...".
      4. A pop-up dialogue box will appear when all is complete.
        • Some users have indicated that they have had to disable their pop-up blockers and either close and restart their browser or reboot their computers in order to successfully submit an application.  Not ensuring this could result in lost data and unsuccessful application submission attempts.
          This image indicates a pup up dialogue box that shows that the files for the grant application have been successfully uploaded.
      5. Click "OK" to close the pop-up box.
      6. Now CLICK Submit.
      7. This will bring you a web page indicating that your Application Submission was successful.  You may now close your browser.
      8. You will receive an email within 15 minutes, confirming your application submission.
  • Once you click “Submit” please do not exit the page prior to receiving the application submission confirmation pop-up.  This could take 30 seconds to 2 minutes to appear. You will also receive an email within 15 minutes confirming your application submission was received.  Do not reply to the email.  If you received both the confirmation screen and email, know that your application was successfully completed.  If you did NOT receive a confirmation email or see the appropriate screens mentioned above, your submission was unsuccessful. Please do not contact us to confirm receipt or to check the status of your application review.

FY18 Application period beings on August 1, 2017. Only on-line submissions will be reviewed.  Use the links below to apply. 

FY18 Application submission period ends on November 17, 2017 (last date for application submission).

FY18 Applications will be reviewed after November 17, 2017.

FY18 Grant award notifications will sent by January 15, 2018.

PLEASE NOTE:

  • Once your application is submitted, it will be reviewed by the Grant Application Review Committee.  The online system will notify you that your grant application has been received by MOD. 
  • We will let you know when the grant application has been approved or denied. Please do not contact us regarding the status of the grant application.  
  • If approved, all expenses and invoices must be incurred by the following timeframe:
    • After execution of signed contracts, and
    • No later than June 30, 2018.  Invoices dated after June 30, 2018 or prior to contract execution will not be eligible for funding.
    • Take note of the dates as you plan for your application and any planning/project grant implementation such as getting RFP’s, Bids, and estimates.

 

V. Documents:

  • Municipal ADA Improvement Grant Program - Online Application
    This online application is used for both the Planning and Project Grants.  Please select the appropriate “grant type” under section 1 as different questions and requirements are provided based of the grant type. Please carefully review the instructions in Section IV above BEFORE entering the online application portal.  Failing to follow those instructions could result in unsuccessful application submission attempts. 
  • Planning Grant: This grant is related to the creation or update of a municipalities Self-Evaluation and Transition Plan.
    • This grant will require the following supporting documentation indicating these items have been completed by the municipality.  Samples forms are available in the “Municipal ADA Improvement Grants Program – Addenda” section below.
        • Designation of a Responsible Employee (ADA Coordinator),
        • Notice of Non-Discrimination and proof of posting, and have
        • Established an ADA Grievance Procedure.
    • PDF Version of Planning Grant Application pdf format of Planning Grant Template - NOT FOR SUBMISSION
– FOR PREPERATION PURPOSES ONLY
  • Project Grant: This grant is related to the removal of architectural or communication barriers or new construction. Design plans or applicant salaries are not eligible project grants.
    • This grant will require the following supporting documentation indicating these items have been completed by the municipality.  Sample forms and additional information can be found in the “Municipal ADA Improvement Grants Program – Addenda” below.
        • Designation of a Responsible Employee (ADA Coordinator),
        • Notice of Non-Discrimination and proof of posting,
        • Establishment of an ADA Grievance Procedure,
        • A completed Self-Evaluation, and
        • A completed Transition Plan.
    • PDF Version of Project Grant Application pdf format of Project Grant Template - NOT FOR SUBMISSION
– FOR PREPERATION PURPOSES ONLY
  • Municipal ADA Improvement Grants Program - Addenda  pdf format of Municipal ADA Improvement Grants Program - Addenda
    This document discusses the 5 Administrative Requirements required under Title II of the ADA.  There are sample forms that can be used to complete your requirements and can be used to upload where required under the online grant portal.

 

VI. Compliance:

If awarded, MOD reserves the right to request additional documentation or interaction depending on the grant type awarded.

  • Planning Grant – Recipients will be required to submit finalized documents to the MOD upon their completion. 
  • Project Grant – Recipients may be required to allow MOD to conduct a site visit to verify compliance, provide photographs of the before and after of a project, or provide additional materials at the request of MOD.

 

VII. Contact Information for Questions:

PLEASE NOTE:

We believe all questions related to the grant application process are answered here; however, if there are unanswered questions, please direct your inquiries to the appropriate individual below.  If questions are answered, either on this page or the “Municipal ADA Improvement Grants Program – Addenda” document above, you will be referred back to those documents. Questions to the incorrect individual WILL delay the responses to your inquiries.

  • For questions relating to disability related policies and procedures, architectural accessibility, and Self-Evaluation and Transition Plan particulars, please contact:
    Jeffrey Dougan, Assistant Director for Community Services.
    Email: Jeff.Dougan@Massmail.State.MA.US