Disability Innovation Fund (DIF)

To support innovative activities aimed at improving the outcomes of individuals with disabilities as defined by section 7(20)(B) of the Rehabilitation Act.

Related Programs84.126 Rehabilitation Services_Vocational Rehabilitation Grants to States

Agency - Department of Education

The Department of Education ensures equal access to education and promotes educational excellence through coordination, management and accountability in Federal education programs. The Department works to supplement and complement educational efforts on all levels, encouraging increased involvement by the public, parents and students.

Selected Recipients for this Program

RecipientAmount Start DateEnd Date
Massachusetts Rehabilitation Commission $ 17,006,736   2021-10-012026-09-30
Workforce Development, Wisconsin Department Of $ 14,013,750   2021-10-012026-09-30
Aging And Rehabilitative Services, Virginia Department For $ 9,236,300   2021-10-012026-09-30
Oregon Department Of Human Services $ 18,186,503   2021-10-012026-09-30
Human Services, Vermont Agency Of $ 6,589,481   2021-10-012026-09-30
Rehabilitation, California Department Of $ 18,333,000   2021-10-012026-09-30
Michigan Department Of Labor And Economic Opportunity $ 15,825,520   2021-10-012026-09-30
Education, Nebraska Department Of $ 8,469,796   2021-10-012026-09-30
Labor, Maine Department Of $ 8,343,937   2016-10-012022-01-31
Human Services, Vermont Agency Of $ 8,822,989   2016-10-012022-01-31

Program Accomplishments

Not Applicable.

Uses and Use Restrictions

In FY 2016, funds will support grants for innovative model demonstration projects designed to identify, develop, implement, and evaluate work-based learning models that are supported by evidence and will help students with disabilities prepare for postsecondary education and competitive integrated employment.

Eligibility Requirements

Applicant Eligibility

States and public or nonprofit agencies and organizations, including Indian tribes and institutions of higher education may apply.

Beneficiary Eligibility

Individuals with disabilities as defined in 7(20)(B) of the Rehabilitation Act will benefit.


No Credentials or documentation are required. This program is excluded from coverage under 2 CFR 200, Subpart E - Cost Principles.

Aplication and Award Process

Preapplication Coordination

Preapplication coordination is not applicable.

Environmental impact information is not required for this program.

This program is excluded from coverage under E.O.


Application Procedures

2 CFR 200, Uniform Administrative Requirements, Cost Principles, and Audit Requirements for Federal Awards applies to this program. The standard application forms as furnished by the Office of Special Education and Rehabilitative Services must be used for this program. Information about submitting applications may be found in the Notice Inviting Applications. Contact the program office for additional information.

Award Procedures

The Department will screen applications submitted in accordance with the requirements in the Notice Inviting Applications. Additional tiers of reviews of eligible applications may be used.


Contact the headquarters or regional office, as appropriate, for application deadlines.


Department of Education Appropriations Act, 2015, Public Law 113-235; Department of Education Appropriations Act, 2014, Public Law 113-76.

Range of Approval/Disapproval Time

From 90 to 120 days.


Not Applicable.


A continuation award may be made annually for up to 5 years depending on the availability of funds and the Department's determination that the grantee has made substantial progress in meeting the objectives of the approved application.

Assistance Considerations

Formula and Matching Requirements

Statutory formulas are not applicable to this program. Matching requirements are not applicable to this program. MOE requirements are not applicable to this program.

Length and Time Phasing of Assistance

Subject to the availability of funds, grants may be awarded for up to 5 years. Method of awarding/releasing assistance: lump sum.

Post Assistance Requirements


Reporting requirements will be included in the grant award documents.

Cash reports are not applicable.

Progress reports are not applicable.

Expenditure reports are not applicable.

No performance monitoring is required.


In accordance with the provisions of 2 CFR 200, Subpart F - Audit Requirements, non-Federal entities that expend financial assistance of $750,000 or more in Federal awards will have a single or a program-specific audit conducted for that year. Non-Federal entities that expend less than $750,000 a year in Federal awards are exempt from Federal audit requirements for that year, except as noted in 2 CFR 200.503.


Grantees must maintain accounts, records, and other evidence pertaining to all costs incurred, revenues or other applicable credits acquired under its award, as stated in grant terms and conditions. Generally, records related to grant funds, compliance and performance must be maintained for a period of 3 years after grant completion. (2 CFR 200.333 and 34 CFR 75.730-732).

Financial Information

Account Identification



(Project Grants) FY 16 $39,045,221; FY 17 est $0; and FY 18 est $0

Range and Average of Financial Assistance

Estimated Range of Awards: $800,000-$1,800,000 The Department estimates a wide range of awards given the potentially large differences in the scope of funded projects, including the number of students served and the intensity of services provided, the number of local sites where the proposed model will be implemented, and the scope and rigor of the proposed evaluation, particularly for those projects implementing proposals that met the requirements of Competitive Preference Priority 2. The maximum award for applications that meet Competitive Preference Priority 2 is $1,800,000 for a single budget period of 12 months and $1,000,000 for all other applications for a single budget period of 12 months.

Regulations, Guidelines, and Literature

This initiative is authorized under the Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2016 (Pub. L. 114-113. More information is available in the Notice Inviting Applications and the Notice of Final Priorities published on July 29, 2016.

Information Contacts

Regional or Local Office


Headquarters Office

Tom Finch Office of Special Education and Rehabilitative Services U.S. Department of Education 400 Maryland Ave, SW, Washington, District of Columbia 20202 Email: Tom.Finch@ed.gov Phone: 202.245.7343

Criteria for Selecting Proposals

Criteria for selecting among grant applications will be normally be selected from those in the Education Department General Administrative Regulations (EDGAR), 34 CFR Part 75.210. Contact the program office for additional information.

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