PHILADELPHIA, PA - The Innovation Fund, funded by the Philadelphia City Fund and managed by the Innovation Managers, has awarded funding to three city projects for its Fall 2023 cycle. With a total budget of $25,000, the Innovation Fund provides micro-grants to city departments to support innovative initiatives that enhance municipal government services. Each cycle involves a competitive application process, with final funding decisions made by the Philadelphia City Fund's Board of Directors.

The funded projects for this cycle are as follows:

1. "Accessible signage for Philly Phlush pilot locations" (Managing Directors Office for Health and Human Services): This project aims to install innovative and accessible signage in the City's public restroom pilot locations. The funding will be used to add signs for currently unlabeled restroom amenities, create accessible map signage, and replace existing characters that do not meet the visibility needs of low-vision users. The project team will engage blind and low-vision community stakeholders for input and conduct evaluations after implementation.

2. "Financial support pilot for Alternative Felony Disposition Program participants" (District Attorney's Office): This pilot program will provide financial assistance to individuals involved in the Alternative Felony Disposition Program. The funds will cover small costs that may hinder the participant's success in the program. Additionally, funding will be used to provide stipends for previous program graduates who will speak with current participants, demonstrating the program's effectiveness in supporting participants, increasing employment opportunities, and reducing recidivism.

3. "Accessible Domestic Violence Resources & Information" (Office of Domestic Violence Strategies): This pilot focuses on addressing the information gap for populations affected by domestic violence, particularly those with limited English proficiency or using American Sign Language (ASL), by developing inclusive resources. The project team will create printed resources with simple images and limited text, complemented by videos available in multiple languages and ASL. Feedback and input from the target audience will be gathered through focus groups, with compensation provided to participants. State-level partners, such as the PA DHS Office of Developmental Programs and ASERT, will offer resources and technical assistance, potentially extending the impact of this pilot beyond Philadelphia.

By funding these projects, the Innovation Fund aims to support innovative solutions that enhance government services and promote equity within the City.

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