Pure Michigan Accessible Traveler Grant Application Q&A

The following questions pertaining to the Accessible Traveler Grant were submitted via the Travel Webmaster account between August 22 and September 5, 2023.

1. Could you please describe what you mean by Applicant’s Communication Plan in the scoring criteria for the accessible community audit option?  Does this refer to communication with Travel Michigan, communication with the community that is being audited, or communication with the visitors who could benefit from changes coming out of the audit?  Or something else?
The applicant share how they will publicize the EDA and Travel Michigan’s partnership to provide funding for this project to meet a critical need for taking the initiative to support travelers with visual and hearing impairments and to assist in conducting community accessibility audits. The plan should speak to all the audiences noted in the above question.

2. Will grants either be awarded or denied, or might grants be partially awarded?
Some grants may be partially awarded.  Each application will be reviewed and evaluated according to scope, timeline and achievability.

3. What does the proof of performance look like, or what will be required to prove project completion?
The applicant’s responsible party—CEO, CVB director/president, etc.— must provide a document certifying that the project has been completed along with applicable invoices.

4. What are the federal reporting requirements? How frequent will reporting be?
We anticipate making semi-annual reports to the EDA. However, this could change should the EDA mandate more frequent schedule.

5. Can two organizations who work closely together, but maintain separate websites, partner together for services under one application?
This is plausible as long as everything comes together under one DMO application.

6. Are funds only allowed for the initial implementation of the project, or can it be used to maintain the website during the two-year program period?
The funds are to be used for new website development and may be used to update existing websites as well.  

7. Is the 50% match in-kind or cash match?
This grant requires a 50% financial match.

8. Can my one application have a request for funds for both Able Eyes and website?
As both projects would require separate scoring, the combined projects cannot be covered with one application. The DMO would need to decide which area to seek funding with this grant.   Also, there is a maximum of only one application per organization.

9. Awardees must provide documentation supporting their ability to handle the grant’s 50 percent match. What type of documentation is required? Examples of acceptable.
The CVB’s CEO, president/director must provide a certifying document stating that the organization is fiscally able to provide the 50 percent financial match.

10. Awardees must provide proof of performance. What type of proof is required? Please explain?
Certification by the CEO or president of the CVB as well as a copy of applicable invoices are required for proof of performance.

11. We are already in the process of building an ADA compliant website. Can we apply for the grant? 
Yes, you may apply for funding if the project has not been completed.

12. Would an ADA maintenance contract be able to be covered for the grant? For instance, 3-year contract that covers:

  • Annual ADA review
  • Fixes for ADA found issues. 

This grant may not be used for any type of infrastructure undertaking. Th funds can only be used to cover only non-construction projects.

13. Is the grant solely purposed and directed toward aiding the visually and hearing impaired, or will it also be inclusive of those with a language barrier?
The scope of this grant is designed to cover visual and hearing impairments. Language barriers requiring bilingual/bicultural or linguistic competence is not covered.

14. If government or industry rights and restrictions change within the 2-year project completion duration, will this affect the grant or process in any way?
We do not anticipate any changes in requirements.

15. Is receipt of the remaining 50% grant balance contingent upon specific performance indicators or results? If so, what are the requirements or expectations?
The project needs to be completed as proposed and a certified proof of performance document and invoices must be provided prior to the release of the grant balance.

16. Will both healthy and economically challenged communities be given a fair chance by applying?
Yes, all applications will be given a fair chance for funding.

  • And how is financial stability scored?
    See question #10.

17. What is considered an "appropriate vendor"?
An appropriate vendor would be a company with experience in the particular area that you are applying for funding. The applicant should provide links to recent projects to verify the company’s ability to handle your project. The applicant should provide links to recent projects to verify the company’s ability to handle your project, or case studies demonstrating the vendor’s experience. The applicant must also use an RFP process to select vendors.

18. Can Tempest partner with Able Eyes or another vendor in the project?
The applicant may choose their own vendor and /or subcontractors.  However, all partners must have the necessary experience to meet the scope of this grant and the DMO must use an RFP process to select all vendors and subcontractors.

19. Are there recommended supplementing documents that should be included with the grant application?
DM0s must be up to date with their annual P.A. 59 audit and marketing plan.

20. Can the project include both the website upgrade and accessibility audit?
As these are separate grants, applicants must choose only one category for funding.

21. Does the vendor need to have a previous work history with MEDC?

22. What makes a firm qualified and what documentation needs to be provided to prove a firm is recognized for building accessible websites or completing audits?
After going through an RFP process, the DMO’s responsible party must certify that the selected firm has the necessary experience to satisfy the grant’s requirement.

23. What organizations qualify as DMO’s for this grant?
As it pertains to this grant, a DMO is a CVB or a regional Destination Marking Organization.

24. For the Accessible website development, can multiple vendors be used?  i.e., …  one vendor may do the actual website piece while another may create the content.
Multiple vendors are acceptable for a single project, providing all partners are experienced in the area for which you are requesting funding and are chosen through an RFP process. However, the DMO may only submit one application.

25. If a website is already designed, will this grant pay for services to upgrade it and make it accessible? 
If the desired services are for new work, grant funds may be used to upgrade the site for better accessibility for the visual and hearing impaired.

26. What is required under the “Communication Plan?” Who is the audience and what metrics are needed?
See Question #1

27. What is your definition of a “Community Accessibility Audit for ADA Combability”? 
A professional evaluation of “accessibility” to facilities that are open to the public such as museums, beaches, downtown retail zones, etc.        

28. What defines the “community” parameters?
The area that is served by the applicant DMO.

29. Is there a certain percentage of businesses in the “community” that need to be audited?  A minimum or maximum?

30. Are the audited businesses to only be in the hospitality sector?
Not necessarily so.  See first question #27.

Learn more about the Accessible Traveler Grant