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Understanding NIDILRR Programs and How They Are Organized

NIDILRR programs are not social service programs; we do not provide services to individuals. Instead, we operate several applied disability research and development programs that provide money to various entities (e.g.institutions of higher education, state agencies, non-profit and for-profit organizations, and to a lesser extent individuals)to generate new knowledge and/or new solutions to problems that matter to people with disabilities, their families, and those who serve them.

Getting federal grant money under one of our programs, or funding mechanisms, is not easy. First, you have to locate the funding opportunity called Notice Inviting Applications (NIA) in the daily journal of the Federal Government known as the Federal Register. You must then submit a detailed proposal, outlining your ideas and plans for research and development work, that follow all of the requirements described in the Federal Register Announcement and the application materials that are available from http://www.grants.gov.

Submitting a completed application to one of NIDILRR's applied disability research and development programs does not guarantee that you will receive the grant money you requested from NIDILRR. You must earn the money you are requesting. "Earning the money" in the NIDILRR context means that your proposal must survive the scrutiny of our competitive peer review process that is required by federal regulation.

Assuming your proposal makes it through our competitive peer review process, it must then be recommended for funding by the Director of NIDILRR and the Director's recommendation must in turn be approved by additional individuals at the Office of Special Education and Rehabilitation Services' level and ultimately at the U.S. Department of Education level. Once your application is officially approved by all required parties, you are officially a NIDILRR family member under the NIDILRR Program that you applied.

Like other programs in the Department of Education, the ten NIDILRR Programs, or funding mechanisms, are organized according to their Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance(CFDA) number. This number contains a number portion and a letter portion. All of our programs begin with the numeric stem 84.133 and are followed by a letter. The specific letter that follows the "84.133" stem corresponds to a specific NIDILRR funding mechanism or program.

Listed below, by CFDA number, are all of NIDILRR's programs or funding mechanisms. To view a list of the most frequently-asked questions and answers about our programs, just click on the program or funding mechanism that interests you. If you want information on all of the programs run by the Department of Education, you might consult the Department's Guide to Education Programs

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Last Modified: 04/17/2015