Q: What is the UCP-Elsie S. Bellows program?
A: The UCP-Elsie S. Bellows program is a national program operated by UCP that provides funds to individuals with disabilities for assistive technology equipment. Individuals are recommended by UCP affiliates. UCP affiliates submit an application on behalf of an individual to the UCP national office. Applications are reviewed for funding by the Bellows Committee.
Q: What is the amount of funding available to UCP affiliates?
A: In fiscal year 2002, approximately $273,000 was available to UCP affiliates. Each fiscal year, the total is derived from the income of the fund. Each UCP affiliate, in good standing, is eligible to receive funding from the UCP-Elsie S. Bellows Program based on a formula established by the Board of Trustees.
Q: How can I receive information about the program or a Bellows Program application and guidelines?
A: The Bellows Program application is distributed to UCP affiliates when the annual allotment is declared. UCP affiliates may also download an application or contact Jack Schillinger at 305-757-8989 for information about the Bellows Program.
Q: How do I submit a Bellows Program application?
A: After completing the application, UCP affiliates can mail, fax or e-mail the application to UCP National (contact information on application). Each application submitted must contain the signature of the UCP executive director. In lieu of a signature when the application is submitted via e-mail, the email should originate from the UCP executive director’s e-mail or the executive director can e-mail a separate e-mail confirming knowledge of the application.
Q: Can an affiliate submit more than one application during the year that adds up to the total available annual allotment?
A: Yes, an affiliate may submit as many applications as possible that add up to the total available annual allotment that year. For example, an affiliate eligible for an allotment of $2,250 can submit three applications in the amount of $700 each for a total of $2,100. However, any remaining funds from the first year will be carried over for only one fiscal year.
Q: Can an affiliate use these funds to match dollars from another program?
A: Yes, an affiliate can use Bellows Program funds as a match for other programs so long as the Bellows funds are used to purchase assistive technology equipment.
Q: Are individuals with disabilities who are NOT represented by a UCP affiliate able to participate in the program?
A: No, only individuals with disabilities who are represented by a UCP affiliates can participate. This is because the “certification” that the individual receiving the grant meets the Bellows Program guidelines can be accomplished most efficiently through a direct relationship with a UCP affiliate.
Q: I understand that the Bellows Program applicant must be in financial need. What are the parameters for “financial need”?
A: UCP is entrusting the UCP affiliate with certifying that the individual or family is in financial need. UCP believes the affiliate staff are in the best position to judge “financial need”.
Q: Are the Bellows Program grants given only to individuals with cerebral palsy?
A: No, the Bellows Program award can be given to any individual with a disability.
Q: What is the approximate turnaround time for Bellows Program grants?
A: Once an application is submitted, it will take approximately 10–15 working days – if no questions are raised about the application.
Q: Is it appropriate to request assistive technology that will be used by more than one individual at the UCP affiliate?
A: No, the assistive technology equipment must be owned by an individual who meets the requirements established by the bequest—an individual with disabilities who is in financial need.
Q: Can the funds be utilized to repair assistive technology equipment?
A: Yes, that is an allowable cost.
Q: Is there a deadline for applications?
A: No, there is no deadline however, it would be wise to submit an application by the end of the fiscal year (October 1 – September 31). Any funds unspent at the end of the first fiscal year may be carried over for one year only.
Q: When will UCP affiliates get information on their specific allotment for the Bellows program?
A: Each year, this information will be distributed to UCP affiliate executive directors by December of the fiscal year.
Q: Will the check for the Bellows Program grant be made payable to the individual or to the UCP affiliate?
A: UCP does not want to make that decision for the UCP affiliate. UCP will make the check payable to either the UCP affiliate or nominee depending on what the UCP affiliate requests.
Q: Does the assistive technology equipment have to be from a vendor? My UCP affiliate produces assistive technology equipment that our consumers use and the Bellows Program grant would go to the UCP affiliate to purchase the assistive technology. Is this appropriate?
A: As long as the funds are used to purchase assistive technology equipment that will be owned by an individual, that would be allowable. It does not matter that the UCP affiliate would be the vendor in this scenario.