Accessing Training Funds from the Indiana Governor's Council for People with Disabilities
Contributed by Marci Wheeler, M.S.W.
The Consumer Education Fund (CEF) implemented by the Indiana Governor’s Council for People with Disabilities (GPCPD) can help individuals with disabilities and family members with funding to participate in educational events. Educational activities include conferences, workshops, and other training formats as well as attendance at public forums, hearings, and task force meetings.
The Consumer Education Fund (CEF) is designed and implemented to invest resources to support the participation of persons with disabilities and/or family members, who do not otherwise have the organizational or financial support, to attend educational events. Individuals or a sponsoring nonprofit agency or organization can request the forms and complete the paperwork.
Upon request, an application that includes several forms, is promptly sent. Applications can be requested at any time and should be submitted no more than three months prior to the event. Completed applications must be received at least 3 weeks prior to an in-state event and 5 weeks prior for an out of state event to process and authorize the application. Applications are accepted on a first come, first served basis. Applications can be requested directly from the Indiana Governor’s Council for People with Disabilities. They are located in Indianapolis. The address, phone, and website are as follows:
Governor’s Council for People with Disabilities
Indiana Government Center South, Room E145
402 W. Washington Street
Indianapolis, IN 46204
The Consumer Education Fund application also can be accessed online at http://www.in.gov/gpcpd/2328.htm.
As part of the application process, a budget must be submitted. The budget must indicate any funds or ways in which the individual will reduce costs, such as sharing a hotel room or transportation. A 50% match of funds is required for applicants not receiving Social Security benefits (SSI or SSDI) or TANF. If your request is funded, Consumer Education Funds will reimburse recipients for actual expenses. A receipt for each expense must be submitted to the Council after the event. Funds may be paid in advance ONLY for those receiving SSI benefits (excluding airfare). There is a separate form to be filled out (and approved) when requesting advanced funding. You are expected to pay half your expense as a match for some expenses, as shown on the budget worksheet to be submitted.
Funds can be tailored to address individual need and can cover the cost of registration, mileage, hotel room, meals, respite care, attendant care, or any other service that is needed for full participation, such as a communication device for the event. Currently, funds are limited to $1,000 per person and $2,000 per household per event.
The applicant must demonstrate how participation in the proposed event will benefit the consumer and how the event reflects the Council’s mission and commitment to community inclusion. The Indiana Governor’s Council for People with Disabilities has the right to deny a request if the proposed activity is found to be inconsistent with the purpose of the Fund and/or with the mission of the Council.
Due to limited funds, out-of-state travel is restricted to one conference per family every two years. Also, an individual will not be funded for more than one educational event per calendar year. Funds must be used specifically for those individuals identified in the grant. After the event, recipients are required to conduct/participate in two community activities from a list provided by the Council. Please contact Becca Tocco to obtain application forms, to gather information, and to ask specific questions at firstname.lastname@example.org or 317-232-7772.
Wheeler, M. (2018). Accessing training funds from the Indiana governor’s council for people with disabilities. Bloomington, IN: Indiana Resource Center for Autism.