Jean Wolff-Rossi Fund for Participant Involvement (Rossi Fund)

The Rossi Fund is designed to empower people with I/DD and their family members with opportunities and experiences, as well as resources and information, to actively participate in decisions that often impact them personally.  Armed with this knowledge, people with I/DD and their family members can make informed choices regarding the policy, procedure and program decisions affecting their lives.  For too many years, those with I/DD had no say nor involvement in these decisions.  The Rossi Fund is changing that.


The funds are available to individuals with I/DD and their family members as reimbursement for specific expenses for seminars and conferences designed to improve their knowledge, networking and skill levels for advocacy, and to improve the lives of others.


The Rossi Fund Advisory Committee makes all decisions on the disbursement of funds.  Applicants receiving Rossi funds will be asked to complete a Rossi Fund Participant survey and are expected to share their knowledge with the local community and with the NCCDD members.

Be sure to view our list of suggested conferences and events.

Who is Eligible?

People with an intellectual disability or developmental disability (see definition I/DD) or a parent, family member or individual guardian of a person with a I/DD.

Parents of a child at risk of I/DD.

Applicants must be residents of North Carolina.

NCCDD Council Members are not eligible.

Reimbursement Funds Available For:

In order to allow more people with disabilities and families to participate, the Rossi Fund can only partially fund the cost of attending an event. Rossi Funds are available to reimburse individuals for the following types of expenses (individuals may apply for funds to cover up to 3 of these expenses on their application):

Seminar/conference registration

Child Care or Respite (up to $8/hr., maximum $170/day)

Personal Assistance Services (up to $8/hr, maximum $170/day)

Hotel/Lodging (up to $63.90 plus tax in-state; $75.60 plus tax out of state)

Transportation (55.5 cents/mile – NC State government rate is subject to change)

Other expenses are at the discretion of the Rossi Fund Advisory Committee.

Application Process

An application must be received by the NC Council on Developmental Disabilities 30 days prior to the registration due date for an in-state event and 60 days prior to the registration due date for an out-of-state event. (All "Early Bird" registration dates will be used as the due date.)  Applications are reviewed monthly by the Rossi Fund Advisory Committee. All applications for a particular event will be reviewed at the same time.

The Committee's Decisions on all applications will be mailed in writing to all applicants.

Awards Decision Making

A limit of $600 per year per person for in-state events, and up to $800 per year per person for out-of-state events.

The maximum amount available for any single activity or event cannot exceed $1,200 in-state and $1,800 out-of state, regardless of how many people apply.

To allow more families of people with disabilities to attend events, the committee could decide to only partially fund the cost of attending an event. Individuals are encouraged to secure additional funding from other sources, such as other state agencies, private foundations, consumer or advocacy organizations, or his/her employer.

If the total amount of applications exceeds the above limits, the committee will use the following criteria to fairly award the funds to:

Is this a first time user of the fund?

Is this the first time attendee for this activity or event?

Will the attendee enhance ethnic or cultural diversity?

Is the applicant from rural or other underserved or unserved areas?

Which applications were received first, second, third etc.?

NOTE: Eligibility for the Rossi Funds requires distribution consistent with the Council’s mandate in federal law for commitment to systems change, advocacy building and capacity building.

Jean Wolff-Rossi Fund for Participant Involvement - Application: pdf | doc | apply online

Be sure to view our list of suggested conferences and events.
Jean Wolff-Rossi Fund for Participant Involvement - Participant Survey: pdf | doc | online