The Foundation supports organizations that respect and promote the independence and individual choice of children and adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities. This portfolio focuses on housing, jobs, and early intervention services provided in the most integrated setting appropriate to meet individual needs.
Promoting independence and integration through disabilities funding
Intellectual Disabilities (all ages, including autism, psychiatric disabilities, and learning differences)
- The Foundation will consider requests throughout the United States and Israel.
- First priority will be given to community-based, direct-service providers in Maryland, Greater Chicago, Northeastern Pennsylvania, Hawaii, and Israel.
- Applicants outside priority areas will be given consideration for ongoing, innovative programs that can be replicated.
Physical and Sensory Disabilities (all ages)
- The Foundation will consider requests from community-based, direct-service providers only in the Foundation’s priority areas: Maryland, Greater Chicago, Northeastern Pennsylvania, Hawaii, and Israel.
Housing in US and Israel (capital grants for renovation and new construction)
The Foundation funds safe, deeply affordable, accessible housing integrated into the community. Specifically, the Foundation funds scattered-site, independent apartment living (apartments owned by nonprofit housing providers) in the community and small group homes of no more than four people, with each person in his or her own bedroom. The Weinberg Foundation has hired a university-affiliated ombudsman to visit Weinberg-funded homes. By accepting a grant award from the Weinberg Foundation, the grantee accepts an ombudsman system as part of the Foundation’s ongoing due diligence of its grantees.
The Foundation supports customized employment in the community, meaning that time is invested in the individual to determine the person’s abilities, interest, and willingness to work and only then to identify appropriate employers. In other words, the Foundation supports projects that promote self-determination in employment—choice. The Foundation focuses on transitioning youth who are aging out of special education. A job is defined as at least three hours per day at minimum wage in an integrated work setting (no sheltered workshops, no enclaves).
Early education/early intervention
The Foundation seeks early intervention programs for children with multiple disabilities, especially the autistic spectrum disorders (ages 0 to 7). The Foundation seeks early-education programs that show positive outcomes and use evidence-based methods. Education programs can be in self-contained settings as long as the long-term goal is mainstreaming and integration into the general education classroom by first grade (80% of the time is the goal). The Foundation does not fund public schools. The Foundation funds only evidence-based programs that have credentialed staff, low student/teacher ratios, and are tailored to the specific needs of individual children. Family involvement and home-based programs are also crucial in the Foundation’s grantmaking decision.
Integrated (residential) summer camps
The Foundation’s trustees select integrated summer camp programs for children with and without disabilities. Preference is given to camps open all year for respite programs serving families.
Legal aid programs and access to benefits
The Foundation recognizes the importance for families to have an advocate to represent them in acquiring needed services. Disability law centers and legal aid bureaus, as examples, can help in identifying and accessing benefits such as Medicaid and helping parents with due process hearings and Individualized Education Plans (IEPs).
The Foundation understands the importance of assistive technology as a treatment tool for those with intellectual, sensory, or physical disabilities such as robotic-assisted physical therapy for children with cerebral palsy, telemonitoring of homes, or augmentative communication devices. Durable medical equipment such as rehab equipment for the home and home modifications including ramps will not be funded.
*Please note we do not fund therapeutic horseback riding or the purchase of medical equipment.*
Seeking a Grant?
If you are seeking a grant, can you answer “yes” to most of these questions? Please explain your answers. Do not write “N/A.”
- Do the people you serve own or rent their home in the community, or does your agency? Do they choose with whom they want to live?
- Do the people you serve have control over their own funding and how it’s spent? Do they save and spend their own money?
- Do the people you serve have other people in their lives (friends and acquaintances) beyond paid staff and family?
- Do the people you serve have jobs? What kinds of jobs? Do they get their own paycheck from their jobs? At what wage?
- Do the people you serve participate in activities in their community that are not related to any disability organization?
- Do you help the people you serve receive individualized services and supports? Do you help them learn to do things for themselves?
- Do you help the people you serve use adaptive technology such as assistive communication devices or tele-monitoring in homes?
- Does your organization measure long-term outcomes — not outputs? What do you measure to demonstrate that you have changed a person’s life for the better? Have you measured outcomes in the past (for how long, what outcomes)? You must discuss outcomes (past and future) in your Letter of Inquiry (LOI).
Your First Step in the Grants Process is the Letter of Inquiry (LOI)
LOIs are accepted on a rolling basis.
- Grants are made in one of three categories: General Operating Support, Program Support, Capital Project.
- Each type of grant requires its own specific LOI.
- The Foundation will confirm receipt of each LOI within 30 days.
For more information on how to apply, please click here.