Office of Special Education and Rehabilitative Services, Department of Education.
Notice of proposed priority.
The Assistant Secretary for Special Education and Rehabilitative Services proposes a priority for Capacity Building, Coordination, and Collaboration projects under the Disability and Rehabilitation Research Projects (DRRP) Program of the National Institute on Disability and Rehabilitation Research (NIDRR). The Assistant Secretary may use one or more of these priorities for competitions in fiscal year (FY) 2002 and later years. We take this action to focus research attention on an identified national need. We intend this priority to improve rehabilitation services and outcomes for individuals with disabilities from traditionally underserved racial and ethnic populations.
We must receive your comments on or before July 5, 2002.
Address all comments about this proposed priority to Donna Nangle, U.S. Department of Education, 400 Maryland Avenue, SW., room 3412, Switzer Building, Washington, DC 20202-2645. If you prefer to send your comments through the Internet, use the following address: firstname.lastname@example.org.Start Further Info
FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:
Donna Nangle. Telephone: (202) 205-5880 or via the Internet: email@example.com.
If you use a telecommunications device for the deaf (TDD), you may call the TDD number at (202) 205-4475.
Individuals with disabilities may obtain this document in an alternative format (e.g., Braille, large print, audiotape, or computer diskette) on request to the contact person listed under FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT.End Further Info End Preamble Start Supplemental Information
Invitation to Comment
We invite you to submit comments regarding this proposed priority.
We invite you to assist us in complying with the specific requirements of Executive Order 12866 and its overall requirement of reducing regulatory burden that might result from this proposed priority. Please let us know of any further opportunities we should take to reduce potential costs or increase potential benefits while preserving the effective and efficient administration of the program.
During and after the comment period, you may inspect all public comments about this priority in room 3412, Switzer Building, 330 C Street, SW., Washington, DC, between the hours of 8:30 a.m. and 4:00 p.m., Eastern time, Monday through Friday of each week except Federal holidays.
Assistance to Individuals With Disabilities in Reviewing the Rulemaking Record
On request, we will supply an appropriate aid, such as a reader or print magnifier, to an individual with a disability who needs assistance to review the comments or other documents in the public rulemaking record for this proposed priority. If you want to schedule an appointment for this type of aid, please contact the person listed under FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT.
We will announce the final priority in a notice in the Federal Register. We will determine the final priority after considering responses to this notice and other information available to the Department. This notice does not preclude us from proposing or funding additional priorities, subject to meeting applicable rulemaking requirements.
This notice does not solicit applications. If we choose to use this proposed priority, we invite applications through a notice in the Federal Register. When inviting applications we designate the priority as absolute, competitive preference, or invitational.
Absolute priority: Under an absolute priority, we consider only applications that meet the priority (34 CFR 75.105(c)(3)).
Competitive preference priority: Under a competitive preference priority, we give competitive preference to an application by either (1) awarding additional points, depending on how well or the extent to which the application meets the priority (34 CFR 75.105(c)(2)(i)); or (2) selecting an application that meets the priority over an application of comparable merit that does not meet the priority (34 CFR 75.105(c)(2)(ii)).
Invitational priority: Under an invitational priority, we are particularly interested in applications that meet the invitational priority. However, we do not give an application that meets the priority a competitive or absolute preference over other applications (34 CFR 75.105(c)(1)).
Disability and Rehabilitation Research Projects (DRRP) Program
The purpose of the DRRP Program is to plan and conduct research, demonstration projects, training, and related activities that help to maximize the full inclusion and integration of individuals with disabilities into society and to improve the effectiveness of services authorized under the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, as amended (the Act).
Section 21(b)(2)(A) of the Act authorizes NIDRR to make awards to minority entities and Indian tribes to carry out activities authorized under title II of the Act. A minority entity is defined as a historically black college or university (a Part B institution, as defined in section 322(2) of the Higher Education Act of 1965, as amended), a Hispanic-serving institution of higher education, an American Indian tribal college or university, or another institution of higher education whose minority student enrollment is at least 50 percent. Consistent with section 21(b)(2)(A), eligibility is limited to minority entities and Indian tribes.
New Freedom Initiative and The NIDRR Long-Range Plan
This priority reflects issues discussed in the New Freedom Initiative (NFI) and NIDRR's Long-Range Plan (the Plan). The NFI can be accessed on the Internet at: http://www.whitehouse.gov/news/freedominitiative/freedominiative.html.
The Plan can be accessed on the Internet at: http://www.ed.gov/offices/OSERS/NIDRR/Products.
Through the implementation of the NFI and the Plan, NIDRR seeks to: (1) Improve the quality and utility of disability and rehabilitation research; (2) foster an exchange of expertise, information, and training to facilitate the advancement of knowledge and understanding of the unique needs of traditionally underserved populations; (3) determine best strategies and programs to improve rehabilitation outcomes for underserved populations; (4) identify research gaps; (5) identify mechanisms of integrating research and practice; and (6) disseminate findings.
In establishing section 21 of the Act, Congress noted patterns of inequitable treatment of traditionally underserved racial and ethnic populations (also referred to as minorities) in all major junctures of the vocational rehabilitation (VR) process. However, Start Printed Page 38581research findings have not yielded conclusive evidence about factors that contribute to the persistent pattern of inequitable treatment. Although recent research findings indicate that the experiences and rehabilitation outcomes for individuals from traditionally underserved racial and ethnic populations differ from nonminority individuals, the factors that influence rehabilitation outcomes is not clear. For example, evidence about the significance of race as a correlate of acceptance for VR services and contributor for differential rehabilitation outcomes are inconclusive.
NIDRR undertakes this priority to enhance our understanding of the unique needs of individuals with disabilities from traditionally underserved racial and ethnic populations and to support cooperative partnerships between minority and nonminority entities.
The priority invites capacity-building activities and development of strategies to improve the participation of consumers with disabilities from traditionally underserved racial and ethnic populations in research and decision-making activities in a variety of settings.
This proposed priority is intended to improve the quality and utility of research related to individuals with disabilities from traditionally underserved racial and ethnic populations and to enhance knowledge and awareness of issues related to these populations. The proposed priority would achieve this goal by (1) building the capacity of researchers, especially individuals from traditionally underserved racial and ethnic populations, and (2) conducting disability research that examines the unique needs and factors that influence rehabilitation outcomes for individuals with disabilities from traditionally underserved racial and ethnic populations.
Applicants must choose a minimum of three and up to a maximum of five research areas below. Due to the need to focus research and capacity-building activities on specific groups or topics, applicants may target those populations appropriate to the activities that they propose.
The DRRP research and capacity-building areas are:
(1) To investigate and evaluate disability and rehabilitation outcomes for individuals with disabilities from traditionally underserved racial and ethnic populations in State VR systems, and assess between State and within State differences in outcomes.
(2) To investigate and evaluate access to and acceptance rates for VR services, types of services provided, and costs of rehabilitation services for individuals with disabilities from traditionally underserved racial and ethnic populations compared to nonminority individuals.
(3) To investigate, evaluate, and develop, as needed, indices and measures to assess the capacity of the disability and VR personnel workforce to provide quality services to individuals with disabilities from traditionally underserved racial and ethnic populations.
(4) To investigate, evaluate, and report activities that strengthen disability-related research collaboration between minority entities and nonminority entities, particularly collaboration to improve rehabilitation services and outcomes for traditionally underserved racial and ethnic populations.
(5) To investigate, develop as needed, and evaluate strategies for strengthening resources and research capacity of minority entities, particularly the expertise and infrastructure requirements that are needed to ensure the optimal participation of minority entities in disability and rehabilitation research.
(6) To investigate, develop, and evaluate strategies, such as cultural competency training, targeted recruitment efforts, and incentives, to include and enhance retention of students and investigators from traditionally underserved racial and ethnic populations as rehabilitation researchers, administrators, and educators.
(7) To investigate and evaluate the effect of persons from traditionally underserved racial and ethnic populations participating in disability and rehabilitation research activities, direct service delivery, and training programs, and determine to what extent participation assists to improve VR outcomes for these underserved populations.
The DRRP project will provide information leading to better understanding of: (1) Factors that contribute to different VR outcomes for traditionally underserved racial and ethnic populations compared to nonminorities, (2) training needs and effective training strategies, (3) effective approaches for improving collaboration between minority entities and Indian tribes and other institutions, and (4) strategies that strengthen the research infrastructure and capacity-building for minority entities and Indian tribes.
In carrying out the purposes of the priority, the DRRP must:
- Through consultation with the NIDRR project officer, coordinate and establish partnerships, as appropriate, with other academic institutions and organizations that are relevant to the project's proposed activities, including minority entities and Indian tribes;
- Demonstrate use of culturally appropriate data collection, evaluation, dissemination, training, and research methodologies and significant knowledge of the needs of individuals with disabilities from traditionally underserved populations;
- Develop, implement, and evaluate dissemination strategies for research and capacity-building products developed by the project;
- Demonstrate appropriate multidisciplinary linkages;
- Develop and regularly update an online information dissemination system and make material readily available in alternate formats;
- Conduct an annual evaluation of all activities undertaken in support of capacity-building using formal measures and indicators;
- Provide expertise, consultation, and technical assistance on capacity-building and cultural competence to individuals and organizations seeking information; and
- Ensure an interdisciplinary outreach effort in conducting research and capacity-building activities.
Applicable Program Regulations: 34 CFR part 350.
Electronic Access to This Document
You may review this document, as well as all other Department of Education documents published in the Federal Register, in text or Adobe Portable Document Format (PDF) on the Internet at the following site: www.ed.gov/legislation/FedRegister.
To use PDF you must have Adobe Acrobat Reader, which is available free at this site. If you have questions about using PDF, call the U.S. Government Printing Office (GPO), toll free, at 1-888-293-6498; or in the Washington, DC, area at (202) 512-1530.
The official version of this document is the document published in the Federal Register. Free Internet access to the official edition of the Federal Register and the Code of Federal Regulations is available on GPO access at: http://www.access.gpo.gov/nara/index.html.
(Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance Number 84.133A, Disability Rehabilitation Research Project.)Start Signature
Dated: May 10, 2002.
Andrew J. Pepin,
Acting Assistant Secretary for Special Education and Rehabilitative Services.
[FR Doc. 02-13985 Filed 6-3-02; 8:45 am]
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