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Council Announces Funding for COVID-19 Needs

One-time small grants for disability community
Wednesday, April 08, 2020 | 04:14pm

IMPORTANT NOTICE: Due to immediate, overwhelming response, this grant opportunity is now closed.

Our hearts are touched by the challenges facing many in Tennessee's disability community. If you or someone you know needs help with finances or other supports, please contact Disability Pathfinder (; 800-640-4636) to find the help you need.


The TN Council on Developmental Disabilities is pleased to announce a fiscal year 2020 COVID-19 Special Funding initiative through June 30, 2020.

Individuals with disabilities, families of people with disabilities, and disability non-profit organizations are encouraged to apply for one-time grants to use technology in innovative ways to support people with disabilities to continue their leadership development and help with connecting people with disabilities during the social distancing for COVID-19.  

Funds must be used to meet the needs of people with disabilities and/or their families by doing one or several of the following: promoting their health and well-being; providing opportunities for leadership development; creating activities that follow social distancing guidelines, and engagement with family, friends, and peers; decreasing anxiety due to social distancing; or increasing positive shared experiences.  

Activity categories that will be considered for funding:  

  • Activities that target stress and anxiety reduction due to social distancing (e.g. technology for virtual visiting, facilitation of peer support groups)
  • Adapting to COVID-19 (e.g., managing work and school at home, staying connected with family and friends)
  • Meaningful virtual engagement during social distancing:
    • Arts and culture (e.g., classes teaching arts and crafts skills, remote performances, gardening while you’re home, cooking and meal prep)
    • Education and leadership activities (e.g., hosting speakers on topics about disability issues or the history of the disability movement, training on various technology devices or skills for self-advocates)
    • Health, fitness, and wellness (e.g., yoga, dance, aerobics; mindfulness and meditation; music or art classes)
  • Other items needed for people experiencing social isolation
  • Other items to support people’s access to health care during the COVID-19 outbreak (e.g., teaching a class on telehealth, developing a resource to explain COVID-19 and how to stay healthy)

Funding will be based on review of the application, but approval amounts are based on general funding levels approved for the Scholarship Fund which are $500 per individual, $1,000 per family, and $1,500 per agency. The funding is reimbursement only. Priority is given to individuals with disabilities and family members, especially those in rural areas.

Submit applications by 05/30/2020 by filling out this online application or downloading an application in a Word document and emailing to

Contact Director of Program Operations Alicia Cone with questions: