This grant opportunity is intended to support the development of program innovations designed to increase the availability and accessibility of community transportation services for people with disabilities and older adults. Proposed innovations must have as their purpose the removal of barriers to transportation and expansion of mobility options. Applicants under this opportunity have an idea for an innovation that can fill current gaps in service and is likely to meet identified needs. Unlike a project that is ready to implement, the proposed innovation needs to be more fully developed, may not yet have full support from the transportation, aging and disability communities, and may not have fully engaged the active participation of older adults, people with disabilities, and caregivers.
These projects will serve as incubators to test and refine innovative ideas and develop community support and commitment to move toward full implementation. The process of innovation development to be supported under this grant program is meant to prepare and refine the innovative idea, and may include a pilot test and involve early innovation steps.
Funded projects will be expected to include these specific elements:
- An inclusive process that engages older adults, people with disabilities and caregivers in all phases of the project (e.g., creation of an advisory group, focus groups, surveys, etc.);
- Collaboration involving local transportation, aging and disability organizations and stakeholders;
- Coordination with local transportation planning processes and exploration of funding options to support the innovation;
- Data collection to identify current transportation options, gaps, needs and user preferences.
- Development of a framework for moving the concept forward toward full implementation after the grant period ends.