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Core Programs and Services:
Intellectual Disabilities 

The Tower Foundation offers three opportunities per year to apply for funding for its Core Programs and Services grants ( Intellectual Disabilities, Learning Disabilities, Mental Health, and Substance Use Disorders) as well as for Technology, Small Grants, and Healthy Communities.

Our Definition

The Tower Foundation has adopted the definition of an intellectual disability used by the American Association for Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities:

A disability characterized by significant limitations both in intellectual functioning and in adaptive behavior, which covers many everyday social and practical skills. This disability originates before the age of 18.
  • Intellectual functioning refers to general mental capacity, such as learning, reasoning, and problemsolving.
  • Adaptive behavior comprises three skill types:
    • Conceptual skills (e.g., language and literacy, money, time, number concepts, selfdirection)
    • Social skills (e.g., interpersonal skills, social responsibility, selfesteem, gullibility,  naïveté, social problem solving, ability to follow rules/obey laws and avoid being victimized);
    • Practical skills (e.g., personal care, occupational skills, healthcare, travel/transportation, schedules/routines, safety, money use, telephone use).

Our Funding Goals

For our Intellectual Disabilities category, we have identified four key goals:

  1. Children with intellectual disabilities are identified early and receive services that meet their evolving needs.
  2. Young people with intellectual disabilities are engaged in meaningful, social, vocational, and educational pursuits.
  3. Families understand intellectual disabilities and secure needed supports.
  4. Communities embrace persons with intellectual disabilities and provide them with a full range of supports and opportunities to engage in community life.

Preferred Strategies

While open to creative approaches, some preferred strategies for supporting our goals include:

  • Screening and Assessment
  • Community-Based Education and Supports
    - Community and Professional Education
    - Family Supports
  • Transition/Service Navigation

For More Information

If you are interested in submitting a grant application, please see our 2018 Core Programs and Services Guidelines.  Subscribe to our mailing list to be notified when guidelines are posted.