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Disability Rights and Inclusion (DRI) Coalition Grant

DRI coalition affiliates will receive a one-time grant of up to $25,000 to implement initiatives that build member advocacy and action
Published: February 16, 2024

What is the NEA DRI Coalition Grant Program? 

To support the formation of an alliance of NEA local affiliates that will advocate on behalf of educators and students with disabilities, the NEA has created the Disability Rights and Inclusion (DRI) Coalition Grant Program. DRI coalition affiliates will receive a one-time grant of up to $25,000 to implement initiatives that build member advocacy and action. In 2024, up to four grants will be awarded to local affiliates. Recipients will need to identify a problem or challenge affecting educators and/or students with disabilities and commit to an action plan, led by a disability rights and inclusion expert.

Apply for the DRI Coalition Grant Here

Examples of Appropriate Events and/or Activities Meeting Criteria Include:

  • Community Partnerships: Collaborating with other organizations, parents, and stakeholders in the field can lead to a stronger collective voice advocating for change.
  • Caseload vs Workload: The caseload of special education teachers varies significantly from their workload. Workload and caseload can be protected via collective bargaining.
  • Professional Isolation: Educators must be empowered to advocate for individuals with disabilities. This means they must be protected from employer retaliation and isolation.
  • Resources & Training: Capacity-building empowers affiliates to serve the community more effectively. Funds can be used to train staff, develop resources, and acquire assistive technology.
  • Social Justice Leadership: Affiliates have the power to raise awareness about the challenges faced by educators and students with disabilities and the importance of disability rights.
  • Recruitment & Retention: Up to 29 percent of vacated special education teacher positions are due to attrition. We must recruit, retain, and uplift special education teachers, and support administrators and educators with disabilities.


Who is eligible to apply for an NEA DRI Coalition Grant?

NEA local and state affiliates. Click here to learn more about NEAs unified structure of local and state affiliates.

How long will the application window be open?

The application will be open for 45 days. Applications are available on this page. An informational Q&A session will be held on Wednesday, April 3, 2024. Register for the information session here.

  • APPLICATION LIVE: April 1, 2024
  • APPLICATION CLOSES: May 15, 2024 at 11:59PM PST
  • FUNDS AWARDED: July 2024

What is the maximum grant amount?

Successful applicants are eligible for a one-time grant of up to $25,000.

How will the grant funds be dispersed?

  • Payment I – 50% of the grant award will be dispersed within 45 days of notification & acceptance of the grant award.
  • Payment II – the balance, or 50%, will be dispersed within 45 days after submitting a mid-grant report that meets grant program requirements.

How long do grantees have to implement the grant?

DRI Initiatives must commence no later than October 2024. Implementation must be completed on/or before December 2025.

Are there other supports that coalition members will receive in addition to funding?

  • Access to self-paced DRI curriculum/coursework on the NEA Learning Management System
  • Coaching & consultation with Disability Rights Resource Cadre member(s)
  • Grant Implementation office hours with NEA HQ program staff

What is required of grantees?

  • A plan must be developed as part of a needs assessment in which the grantee identifies key areas and resources needed to address a problem of disability inequity.
  • Two members of the grantee leadership committee must attend a 2-day Disability Rights Leadership Coalition retreat in Washington, DC at the NEA headquarters in late October 2024.
  • A minimum % of membership must complete one or more DRI courses via NEA LMS over the life of the grant.

Apply Today

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