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Plan and Projects

Jump to: 5 Year State Plan | In-House Projects | Statewide Projects | Request for Proposals and Awards  | SEEDS  | Sponsorships

All projects and activities work towards the completion of VTDDC's 5-Year State Plan Goals and Objectives. These projects and activities seek to change Vermont for the better with partiality towards underserved communities, self-advocates, and systems change.



Every five years the Vermont Developmental Disabilities Council shapes a new State Plan that best reflects the current needs of their family, friends, and neighbors in our state. The State Plan guides how the Council uses its resources -- including VTDDC’s annual allocation of federal funds -- to improve the lives of Vermonters with developmental disabilities.a thumbnail where five pages come out of "the heart of vermont" accompanied by an hour glass and arrow.


The State Plan helps VTDDC to measure and realize its goals and objectives, and how it has impacted Vermonters state wide.  Its three goals aim to identify and assist underserved communities, support self-advocates, and give Vermonters with developmental disabilities more opportunities to seize statewide supports.

"The first barrier is money. It’s easier to identify economic barrier, as it’s the reason why people are underserved." - Terry Holden, Council Member 


Writing the 2017-2022 State Plan

When Council Members wrote VTDDC’s 2017-2022 5 Year State Plan Goals and Objectives, they focused on supporting and improving the lives of those with developmental disabilities who are unserved and underserved in Vermont’s communities.


The 5 Year State Plan was updated:

 council members brainstorm and discuss their ideas for the 2017-2022 state plan.


What's the research supporting the State Plan?

The Human Services Research Institute (HSRI) from Cambridge, Massachusetts, was hired as an important part of VTDDC’s Needs Assessment. The indepedent firm collected and analyzed information from many sources; their research came from public documents,  stakeholder interviews, an online survey, and focus groups.


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VTDDC's Executive Director, Senior Planner and Policy Analyst, and Admin Assistant, all contribute to meeting the Goals and Objectives in the 5 Year State Plan.


Inclusive Healthcare Partnership Project

The Inclusive Healthcare Partnership Project (IHPP) was initiated by VTDDC to bring the voices of people with intellectual and developmental disabilities into Vermont’s conversation about healthcare reform.

a woman in a wheelchair is lowered from an accessible van.

A team of self-advocates, family members, physicians, and other healthcare providers met monthly. They reviewed findings from focus groups, key stakeholder interviews, Medicaid claims data, and research into innovative best practices. They found that adult Vermonters with intellectual and developmental disabilities are a medically underserved population, and recommended steps to improve the health and healthcare experience of this group.

“Our staff has no special training on the best way to care for people with intellectual disabilities— whether it’s how to communicate or how to feel comfortable— nobody has had that training.” - a Vermont medical professional

The “triple aim” of healthcare reform promises better health and a better care experience at a reduced cost. These three goals can be achieved for adults with complex disabilities by:

  • Ensuring that healthcare workers are trained in disability-related issues and provide appropriate accommodations.
  • Adapting wellness supports and programs to the unique needs of people with disabilities.
  • Supporting a “warm hand-off” when youth with disabilities transition to the adult healthcare system.
  • Reimbursing provides for extra appointment time, pre-visit nursing assessments, and other best practices.

A special thanks to the State of Vermont's Health Care Innovation Project for their grant to make this project and study possible.


Disability Core Competancy Tool Kit and Training

The Disability Core-Competency Training Project is the first of its kind to deliver 20+ hours of instruction to healthcare officials on 11 disability-related topics. The training team educated 240 care coordinators, nurses, case managers, and other community health workers.

an icon of a bag with a "health" symbol on it. a bandaid, heart, and stethoscope are inside. 

To preserve the intent of the project, all training materials were consolidated into an online-toolkit. This allows for trainees to return for a “refresher” or for new interested parties to educate themselves on this delicate and much-needed orientation. The end-goal is to improve health-outcomes and experiences, and prevent medical emergency situations for Vermonters with disabilities.

The second of two grants from the Vermont Health Care Innovation Project, the toolkit illustrates what the Pacific Health Policy Group calls “the disability core-competencies”.


Some topics within the toolkit include:
  • Universal Design
  • Best Practices in Communicating
  • Sexuality and Disability
  • The Role of Early Trauma
  • Person and Family Centered Care
  • Transitioning from Pediatric Care to Adult Care
 a young woman fills out a questionaire.


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The Vermont Developmental Disabilities Council sends out a Request-for-Proposal for projects that are greater than $10,000.

Potential grantees first have their applications reviewed by the Programs Committee, and then are voted on by the full council. Not all applications reach the full council. A Request-for-Proposal's inital requirements must be met in order to be recommended by the Programs Committee.

VTDDC uses its funds for:

  • Training
  • Educating Legislators and the Public
  • Coalition Building
  • Outreach


Self-Advocacy Project

Building a Strong Network. Green Mountain Self-Advocates, a statewide organization governed by people with developmental disabilities, provided peer-led support, training and technical assistance to over 20 local self-advocacy groups.


self-advocates and family members brainstorm ideas. someone is taking notes.


We Can

Ensuring our Voices are Heard. Through the We Can grant to Green Mountain Self-Advocates, VTDDC ensured that self-advocates received the coaching, accessible materials, and support that they need to speak with their elected officials.


a senior self-advocate grins while he reviews an informative packet.


Start Spreadin' the News

Promoting Positive Perceptions. Champlain Community Services, Inc. guided self-advocates in composing their personal stories. The group hosted a regional gathering of community leaders invited to listen and learn.


two self-advocates smile and take a selfie together.


Information, Referral, and Assistance

Empowering Vermonters. Vermont Family Network has developed a model program that fields nearly 10,000 inquiries each year from individuals and families impacted by a disability and requiring support to advocate for their needs.


a group of children, adults, and a support dog sit outside for a presentation.


Disability Awareness Day

Celebrating our Strengths. The Vermont Coalition for Disability Rights and Vermont Center for Independent Living hosted their yearly gathering at the Statehouse. They organized workshops, press, keynote, and support for self-advocates to connect with their elected officials.


self-advocates, family members, and allies, listen to a welcoming speech by governor peter shumlin.


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The Vermont Developmental Disabilties Council is not seeking a Request for Proposal at this time.

What does the State of Vermont Grant Agreements Attachments look like if you were to recieve the award?

Active and past projects:


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SEEDS projects will enhance the capacity of Vermont communities to welcome and support people with developmental disabilities and their family members.

VTDDC encourages applications from individuals and organizations with creative, new ideas that support inclusion, self-determination, and productivity.


Sow the SEEDS of Systems Changeseeds grants logo is a sprout coming out of the vtddc logo.

This unique opportunity supports innovative projects that increase community capacity to support Vermonters with developmental disabilities and family caregivers. SEEDS grants are nonrenewable awards that provide $10,000 to $15,000 in project support for up to one year. Seeds projects must:

  • Support at least one goal or objective in VTDDC's Five-Year Plan
  • Be managed by a nonprofit entity
  • Reflect the values of the federal DD Act - inclusion, productivity, independence, and self-determination.


SEEDS grants aid projects in Capacity Building

VTDDC places priority on projects that will improve the lives of people with developmental disabilities living in underserved rural areas of Vermont where there is significant poverty. Capacity-building activities include:

  • Strategic planning
  • Outreach and coalition development
  • Training
  • Small scale demonstration projects (pilots)

 self-advocates promote a dance they choreographed together.


Deadlines for the current round of applications:

Have a great project idea you'd like funding for? Check to see if VTDDC is accepting SEEDS applications.


Apply and jump-start a new way of thinking...

“It is like the seed put in the soil - the more one sows, the greater the harvest." - Orison Swett Marpden

What do SEEDS grants applications and requirements look like?

We've asked interested parties to fill out an application, and read the Request for Proposal and attachments.

If there is a need for assistance in either identifying an appropriate nonprofit sponsor or in obtaining support to complete the application, VTDDC will refer potential applicants to appropriate partner organizations.


self-advocates, family members, and allies, walk around town to spread disability awareness.Tell your friends...

Do you know someone who could do incredible things with a SEEDS grant from VTDDC?

Download and share the brochure.


What are the Active and Past Awards?

  • The Peer Mentoring Leadership grant was awarded to New England Youth Theater for $12,318. The grant ends December 31, 2018.
  • The Unified Fitness Program grant was awarded to Special Olympics Vermont for $15,000. The grant ends December 31, 2018.
  • The Northeast Kingdom Alternatives to Guardianship Project grant was awarded to Vermont Legal Aid for $15,000. The grant ended December 31, 2017.
  • The Nuturing Alternatives grant was awarded to the Green Mountain Self-Advocates for $15,000. The grant ended December 31, 2017.
  • The Windham County Support Specialist grant was awarded to the Vermont Family Network for $15,000. The grant ended July 31, 2017.


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The Council supports organized events that celebrate people with disabilities and educates members of the public.

Contact VTDDC if you know of an event or publication that's seeking sponsorship and mirrors the Councils mission.


What has VTDDC sponsored so-far in Federal Fiscal Year 2018?



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