Grants: Distance Learning, Telemedicine, Community Connect
Submitted by Nell Eckersley on June 8, 2014 - 11:22pm
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My apologies for not getting out my Tech Tool Thursday post last week. This week I will have a post comparing two tools to make up for the delay.
In the meantime below are two grants that were announced in last week's OCTAE Connection Newsletter. If you don't already receive it, you can subscribe to the OCTAE Connection Newsletter here.
USDA Announces Over $19 Million in Grant Funds Distance Learning and Telemedicine Program
Apply by July 7, 2014
The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) recently announced that $19.3 million in funds are available under the FY 2014 Distance Learning and Telemedicine (DLT) Grant Program. These grants are designed to provide rural Americans with access to education, training and health care resources.
The DLT Program, according to the grant notice, delivers financial assistance “to encourage and improve telemedicine services and distance learning services in rural areas through the use of telecommunications, computer networks, and related advanced technologies to be used by students, teachers, medical professionals, and rural residents.” The competitively awarded grants “may be used to fund telecommunications-enabled information, audio and video equipment, and related advanced technologies, which extend educational and medical applications into rural areas,” the grant notice indicates. DLT grants will benefit populations in rural areas, who are often not located near the source of educational or health care services. The following legally organized entities are eligible for DLT financial assistance: “An incorporated organization or partnership; an Indian tribe or tribal organization, as defined in 25 U.S.C. 450b; a state or local unit of government; a consortium, as defined in 7 CFR 1703.102; a library; or, (an) other legal entity, including a private corporation organized on a for-profit or not-for-profit basis.” Entities providing and coordinating services for adult learners in rural locations are encouraged to apply for this opportunity.
Please review the Federal Register notice for more information, including application instructions. Interested parties may also access the DLT website for up-to-date resources and contact information for DLT programs.
USDA Announces $13 Million in Grant Funds for Community Connect Program
Apply by July 7, 2014
The USDA’s Rural Utilities Service (RUS) recently announced that $13 million in grants are available under the FY 2014 Community Connect Grant Program to provide unserved areas with broadband service. According to the Federal Register notice, “this service is vital to the economic development, education, health, and safety of rural Americans.” The program intends to provide financial assistance to eligible applicants that will provide broadband service to currently unserved areas. This will be done on a “‛community-oriented connectivity’ basis … that fosters economic growth and delivers enhanced educational, health care, and public safety services” to rural, low-income areas.
This concept is intended to “stimulate practical, everyday uses and applications of broadband facilities by cultivating the deployment of new broadband services that improve economic development and provide enhanced educational and health care opportunities in rural areas.” The approach is also designed to offer rural communities the opportunity to benefit from the many advanced technologies available to them to reach these goals.
The notice indicates that priority will be given in the selection process to rural areas with the greatest need for broadband service. Those eligible to apply for a grant include incorporated organizations; Indian tribes or tribal organizations as defined in 25 U.S.C. 450b (e); state or local units of government; and cooperative, private corporations or limited liability companies organized on a for-profit or not-for-profit basis. Entities providing and coordinating services for adult learners in rural locations are encouraged to apply.
Please review the Federal Register notice for more information, including application instructions. Interested parties may also wish to access the Community Connect website, for up-to-date resources and contact information. Additionally, the RUS will host a series of public webinars about the Community Connect program, on June 3, June 18, and July 2, 2014, from 1–3 p.m., EDT. Registration is required and limited for these sessions. Click here for registration details.