Arts & Autism in Ohio Research Initiative, Phase II


Request for Proposals

Proposal submission deadline: March 7, 2014

Award notification: March 12, 2014

Project Completion Date: May 23, 2014



Research question: How can the Ohio Arts Council, a state agency, better support access to the arts for students and young people living with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD)?

The Arts & Autism in Ohio Initiative began in the fall of 2012 and its first phase was implemented in spring/summer 2013. The Ohio Arts Council (OAC) commissioned VSA Ohio (VSAO) to conduct a research project to answer the above question. VSAO used three primary data collection methods: an online survey, focus groups, and a review of the literature. Research yielded rich information, themes and ideas to continue moving the Initiative further. However, limits to the data existed and additional information is sought to better answer the research question. The current Phase II of this project includes collecting information from Ohioans about their perceptions, needs and ideas for how the OAC can better support people living with ASD. A particular emphasis shall be placed on collecting information from geographic areas beyond the three major urban centers in Ohio and to a broad range of constituents.

This is an exciting opportunity to be part of a groundbreaking initiative. To date, the researchers have not identified a similar research initiative anywhere in the country. There are innumerable institutions, programs, and individuals who are working to make the arts accessible to people with autism Spectrum Disorder. However, no other statewide initiatives or leaders are pursuing this question of arts-access-autism with similarly broad perspectives and/or goals. The project has received recognition and attention from national partners such as VSA, The Kennedy Center, and National Endowment for the Arts.



Interested consultants are asked to submit proposals that include the following information:

·         A narrative outlining how the consultant will approach this project, including a timeline.

·         A budget not to exceed $10,000. Proposals are permitted to include budgets with various optional components.

·         Current resume or vita of key personnel.

·         Summary of experience on projects of a similar scope/nature.

·         A sample work product from a project of a similar scope/nature.

·         A list of two professional references, at least one of which are from projects of a similar scope/nature including current contact information.


Primary Responsibilities of the Consultant

1.  Utilize the Arts & Autism in Ohio Initiative Phase I Report, provided by VSA Ohio upon selection, to assist with project design and implementation.

2.  Identify and articulate the appropriate research methodologies for gathering data aimed at answering the research question.

3.  Identify, articulate, and implement the methodology by which the data will be collected.

4.  Identify strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats to the research question.

5.  Identify costs and benefits unanticipated by the Ohio Arts Council and VSA Ohio.


Deliverables should include but not be limited to the following:

1.  Final report including introduction that includes background, history, and context, methodology, results, analysis, and conclusion.



All travel, administrative and operational costs would be the responsibility of the consultant.  Payment will be made at the conclusion of the project when all responsibilities have been met and deliverables received by VSA Ohio.


Assumptions and Agreements

The following assumptions shall apply to the final contract

_ The expected budget for the project is not more than $10,000.

_ Work must be completed by Friday, May 23, 2014.

_ All written, electronic, or multimedia documents, presentations, reports, studies, or other types of documentation are the exclusive property of VSA Ohio and Ohio Arts Council.

_ The consultant will ensure cultural competence, relevance and inclusiveness in all methods, actions and communications.

_The consultant will take all steps possible to protect the confidentiality, anonymity, privacy, safety and reputations of all informants and participants.


How to Apply

Proposals should include a cover sheet identifying the consultant and all pertinent contact information.  The narrative will clearly identify the approaches and methodologies that will be employed to develop the feasibility study, a tentative project timeline, brief bios of key personnel, and what experience the consultant is able to bring to the project. A separate sheet should be included for the budget overview.  Applicants should also include information on their company and/or relevant past work and clients.


Proposals may be sent by email to or by regular mail to:

Erin Hoppe

VSA Ohio

77 S. High Street, 2nd Floor

Columbus, OH 43215-6108


All proposals must be received by 5:00 p.m. March 7, 2014.


Additional Information

If you have any questions concerning this project, please contact Erin Hoppe at 614.241.5325 or email at



This project is commissioned by the Ohio Arts Council, a state agency, with funds from the National Endowment for the Arts and VSA Ohio.

Ohio Arts Council   National Endowment for the Arts  

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