The CIF is a reimbursement program that provides partial funding for individuals with developmental disabilities, their family members, or their guardians in Alabama to participate in professional or informational conferences, legislative advocacy skills training events, public forums, focus groups, hearings and other similar activities. The intent of the CIF is to promote consumer empowerment and involvement in activities that enhance independence, productivity and community inclusion of people with developmental disabilities. Funds are distributed based on goals and priorities set by the Council.
Many policy, procedure, and program decisions affecting the lives of individuals with developmental disabilities are made without the involvement of the people who are most affected by those decisions. Often, individuals with disabilities and their families cannot afford the costs associated with involvement in some activities or do not have the experiences and information, which would make their participation as meaningful as it could be. The Consumer Involvement Fund is designed to empower individuals with disabilities and their family members with the opportunities, experiences, resources and information they need to participate meaningfully in the decisions that are being made which affect their lives. Requests are considered on a first-come, first-serve basis. However, the Consumer Involvement Fund Committee (CIFC) will give considerable weight to CIF applicants that are:
- First time users of the fund
- First time attendees at a particular activity or event
- Attending to enhance ethnic or cultural sensitivity
- Applicants residing in rural or other underserved and/or unserved areas