Economic and Community Participation (ECP) Grant Round 2019-2020

Up to $58M is available from ECP Grant to improve the economic and community participation of people with disability across Australia.


Economic and Community Participation (ECP) Grant

The Economic and Community Participation (ECP) Grant aims to build the capacity of the community to create opportunities for people with disability to contribute to community prosperity and participate in community life. The program will be implemented through three streams: Economic Participation, Social and Community Participation, and Activating Community Inclusion.



Building from the interim ILC Economic Participation of People with Disability Grant Round 2019-20, the Economic Participation stream will focus on initiatives that create pathways to employment and drive more inclusive practices by employers. This also includes recognising the value of volunteering as providing a pathway to employment for people with disability, their families and carers.

The Social and Community Participation stream will drive more inclusive practices so people with disability can participate in community life.

The Activating Community Inclusion stream will provide small grants to assist with improving community attitudes towards disability and provide opportunities for people with disability to be included in everyday life. This stream will be commissioned at a later date and is not part of this grant round.

This grant round is an open, competitive selection process.



This grant round aims to fund projects that provide a catalyst for increasing access and inclusion in economic and community participation. The funding is not intended to be ongoing, but rather to provide a catalyst for activities to build their capacity to be accessible and inclusive of all people with disability.



There are two streams under the ECP Program within this grant round. Together these streams enable a top-down and bottom-up approach to creating opportunities for people with disability. The streams are:

  • Stream 1: Economic Participation
    • Sector based initiatives to create pathways to employment and drive inclusive practices for people with disability to contribute to Australia’s economic prosperity.
  • Stream 2: Social and Community Participation
    • Drive inclusive practices to create opportunities for people with disability to participate in community life, with a focus on arts, culture, sport and recreation.

The NDIA has allocated a total of $58 million (GST exclusive) of funding for the Economic and Community Participation Grant Program over three years.  A total of $30 million (GST exclusive) is available over three years for this grant round. Minimum funding amount that applicants can apply for is $100,000 per year (or $300,000 over three years).

The NDIA reserves the right to increase or decrease the overall amount of funding available in this funding round based on the quantity and quality of applications received.


Eligible Projects

The NDIA encourages applications that focus on activities for specific cohorts that require detailed cultural or other knowledge to be effective. These ILC Priority Cohort Groups include:

  • Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities
  • Culturally and Linguistically Diverse communities
  • Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Intersex, Queer/Questioning, Asexual and Plus (LGBTIQA+) cohort
  • communities living in rural and remote areas.

Stream 1 Economic Participation

Types of economic participation activities that this grant round will fund include, but are not limited to the following:

  • Capacity Building for Employers – projects that build the capacity of workplaces to attract, employ and retain people with disability. Eligible activities can include:
    • education and awareness building for mainstream recruitment and employment agencies to address perceived barriers in placement and employment of people with disability
    • targeted employment opportunities for people with disability in sectors where they have engagement (e.g. health and justice)
    • development programs for organisational management or committee/board members to raise awareness and improve motivation to employ people with disability (e.g. people with disability leading education programs on employing people with disability)
    • training or education for organisational management in developing and implementing policy and practice change to create inclusive workplace environments for people with disability, to complement the employer toolkit on JobAccess (e.g. workplace exchange program
      between a Disabled Peoples Organisations or Families Organisations and manufacturing organisation to understand systems and processes to create inclusive workplace practices)
    • establishing a framework or recruitment structure that enables partnerships to collaborate with other organisations to share staffing resources (e.g. developing cooperative agreements to provide secondment or share employment of a person with disability with a
      focus on sustainable employment)
    • developing and delivering promotional or marketing activities to attract people with disability to seek employment with your organisation (e.g. a service run by people with disability offering education to employers to promote your organisation as an employer of
      choice to people with disability)
    • delivering regional wide programs that build a community of practice between employers of people with disability
    • delivering regional programs which facilitate the creation of peer networks and mentoring opportunities for employees with disability, people with disability looking for work and/or employers
    • scaling a successful prototype that increases inclusion.
  • Pathways to Employment – projects that build employable skills of people with disability in workplace settings. Eligible activities can include:
    • mentoring and coaching programs for job seekers with disability to identify and achieve their career goals
    • innovative partnerships between employers, training organisations and schools to prepare people with disability for work and to access meaningful employment
    • programs which actively link and leverage off existing Commonwealth and state government employment services and support, to provide appropriate pathways for people with disability to employment
    • developing and implementing models of evidenced based practice that encourage skills development, at any level of an organisation, in the enhancement of employment readiness or greater independence and leadership in the workplace
    • programs that establish partnerships across a network of organisations to offer a diversity of workplace experiences and skill development
    • programs that provide assistance to a group of people with disability to be inducted, trained and integrated into the workplace (e.g. employing a technical specialist to work alongside management and team leaders during the workplace orientation of a group of people with disability)
    • delivering regional programs that foster a community of practice between local chambers of commerce to facilitate employment through School Based Apprenticeship or Traineeship opportunities
    • coordination of an online peer support group for employees with disability in a sector or sectors participating in work placement  programs
    • skills advancement / secondment programs that encourage clusters of business to create opportunities to temporarily place employees with disability in allied businesses and/or higher duties to develop leadership skills and knowledge.
  • Fostering Entrepreneurship – projects that build capability for people with disability to develop and maintain successful self-employment. Eligible activities can include:
    • programs that establish networks for existing or prospective entrepreneurs with disability
    • programs that mentor a group of people with disability to scope and establish entrepreneurship
    • events or forums to promote the capabilities of people with disability in entrepreneurship
    • furthering social enterprises and co-operative ventures that are established and operated by people with disability.
  • Other – other innovative projects to increase employment of people with disability.

Stream 2 Social and Community Participation

For this round, the arts and culture, and sport and recreation sectors are being targeted. This means you must apply to deliver projects within these sectors.

Types of social and community participation activities that this grant round will fund include, but are not limited to the following:

  • Activities that foster and encourage the development and creation of bespoke adaptive equipment. These activities must solve a specific identified need and be co-produced alongside the person with disability. The activities should result in solutions that enhance the autonomy, access and quality of life of people with disability, thereby enabling improved participation within the workplace or community. Proposals that incorporate open source solutions and promote pro bono and volunteer engagement are encouraged. Please note that the purchase of adaptive equipment is not permitted within the ILC policy and applicants will need to delineate between the development and the costs associated
    with the manufacture of the equipment.
  • Contextualising educational resources and program delivery approaches so that the targeted sector improves its understanding of disability (social model) and prospects for increasing opportunity and inclusive practices.
  • Piloting and growing pathways to involvement in civic participation and leadership.
  • Programs of work that enhance the capacity of local communities to improve inclusive approaches.
  • Community awareness raising to improve the community’s response to supporting and including people with disability.
  • Training for volunteers to enable them to better work alongside people with disability, including co-design and redesign of activities to better enable inclusion.
  • Development of capacity building modules and opportunities for staff in business or community facilities.
  • Establishment of governance structures centred on facilitating opportunities for people with disability to influence decision making (e.g. disability consumer representative committees).
  • Establishing and maintaining inclusive playgroups for children with developmental delays that enable community participation.
  • Coordination of a regional peer group for people with disability participating in cultural and recreational placement programs.
  • Other innovative projects to increase the social and cultural participation of people with disability.


Eligible Applicants

The NDIA can only provide funding to an organisation that is a legal entity. Non-legal entities, specifically Unincorporated Associations, may work with other organisations through a consortia or auspice arrangement to submit an ILC grant application. Lead organisations of a consortium and auspicors (in the case of grant rounds) must also be an eligible entity type.

Applications will only be accepted from applicants that:

  • have an Australian Business Number (ABN) or be willing to obtain one prior to the execution of the grant agreement
  • are registered, or willing to register for the purposes of GST if their income turnover, as a result of a successful grant, will exceed the thresholds defined by the Australian Tax Office
  • have an account with an Australian financial institution
  • have Public Liability Insurance coverage for the duration of the project. [Note: applicants may be asked for a copy of their have Public Liability Insurance]

Applicants that are eligible to be registered with the Office of the Registrar of Indigenous Corporations (ORIC) should be registered prior to submitting an application.



Applications close 21 October 2019.


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