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National Institute on Disability and Rehabilitation Research

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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 a Technical Assistance Resource Center on Parenting with a Disability under the Disability and Rehabilitation Research Projects (DRRP) Program under the National Institute on Disability and Rehabilitation Research (NIDRR). The Assistant Secretary may use this priority for competitions in fiscal year (FY) 2003 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.


We must receive your comments on or before June 9, 2003.


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:

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Donna Nangle. Telephone: (202) 205-5880.

If you use a telecommunications device for the deaf (TDD), you may call the TDD number at (202) 205-4475 or via the Internet:

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.

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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 Start Printed Page 25018preserving 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 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. In any year in which we choose to use this proposed priority, we invite applications through a notice published in the Federal Register. When inviting applications we designate each priority as absolute, competitive preference, or invitational. The effect of each type of priority follows:

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 competitive priority over an application of comparable merit that does not meet the competitive 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)).


NIDRR supports the goals of President Bush's New Freedom Initiative (NFI). The NFI can be accessed on the Internet at the following site:​news/​freedominitiative/​freedominitiative.html.

The proposed priority is in concert with NIDRR's Long-Range Plan (the Plan). The Plan is comprehensive and integrates many issues relating to disability and rehabilitation research topics. While applicants will find many sections throughout the Plan that support potential research to be conducted under this proposed priority, a specific reference is included for the topic presented in this notice. The Plan can be accessed on the Internet at the following site:​offices/​OSERS/​NIDRR/​Products.

Through the implementation of 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.

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). An applicant for assistance under this program must demonstrate in its application how it will address, in whole or in part, the needs of individuals with disabilities from minority backgrounds (34 CFR 350.40(a)). The approaches an applicant may take to meet this requirement are found in 34 CFR 350.40(b).



This DRRP will provide expertise or information to assist people who have disabilities to fulfill their roles as parents. Dissemination is the systematic distribution of information or knowledge through a variety of ways to potential users or beneficiaries. Utilization relates research findings to practical applications in planning, policymaking, program administration, and delivery of services to individuals with disabilities.

NIDRR research addresses many aspects of parenting with a disability. NIDRR projects develop and evaluate assistive devices for use in child care; analyze employment and health care benefits and options to enhance families; assess the impact of public and private policies on parents with a disability; and investigate models of home-based care and positive family roles as community integration strategies. The resource center may provide information and technical assistance on custody, prenatal and neonatal, adoption, adaptive parenting equipment, and general parenting information. Information and technical assistance will assist individuals with a wide range of disabilities including, but not limited to, parents with physical, vision, hearing, intellectual, and behavioral disabilities.

In addition to parents with disabilities and their families, individuals in need of information about parenting with a disability may include advocates and personal care providers (especially those working in independent living); legal, social service, and medical professionals; rehabilitation personnel; teachers and school administrators; librarians and information specialists; and members of the media.

Proposed Priority—Resource and Technical Assistance Center on Parenting with a Disability

The Assistant Secretary proposes to fund one DRRP that will focus a dissemination, utilization, training, and technical assistance project to be a “Resource and Technical Assistance Center on Parenting with a Disability.” The references for this topic can be found in the Plan, chapter 2, Dimensions of Disability: Disability, Employment, and Independent Living and chapter 8, Knowledge Dissemination and Utilization: Overview. The DRRP must:

(1) Develop quality standards to guide the identification of information for dissemination;

(2) Provide information and technical assistance to people with disabilities who are or wish to be parents. A variety of methods and tools will be developed to provide information and technical assistance. Tools might include such items as: Catalogues and listings of assistive technology, fact sheets, and articles for publication in various media. Methods to reach interested parties might include: interactive features of the Internet, wide area telephone service, presentations at Start Printed Page 25019meetings or conferences and personal visits;

(3) Develop parent-to-parent support methods, including approaches for sharing of information about “best practices” in parenting with a disability;

(4) Train parents, potential parents, service providers and others on issues relating to parenting with a disability and the research, information and services available to them; and

(5) Evaluate project technical assistance and information dissemination activities.

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 projects sponsored by OSERS, academic institutions and organizations that are relevant to the project's proposed activities;
  • Demonstrate how the project will yield measurable results for people with disabilities;
  • Identify specific performance targets and propose outcome indicators, along with time lines to reach these targets; and
  • Using information developed from the project's dissemination, training, and technical assistance activities, with emphasis on materials from NIDRR projects, provide materials, consultation, technical assistance, and related capacity-building activities to NIDRR grantees on how to assist parents with disabilities.

Executive Order 12866

This notice of proposed priority has been reviewed in accordance with Executive Order 12866. Under the terms of the order, we have assessed the potential costs and benefits of this regulatory action.

The potential costs associated with the notice of proposed priority are those resulting from statutory requirements and those we have determined as necessary for administering this program effectively and efficiently.

In assessing the potential costs and benefits—both quantitative and qualitative—of this notice of proposed priority, we have determined that the benefits of the proposed priority justify the costs.

Summary of potential costs and benefits: The potential cost associated with this proposed priority is minimal while the benefits are significant. Grantees may anticipate costs associated with completing the application process in terms of staff time, copying, and mailing or delivery. The use of e-Application technology reduces mailing and copying costs significantly.

The benefits of the Resource and Technical Assistance Center on Parenting with a Disability has been well established over the years in that similar projects have been completed. This proposed priority will generate new knowledge through a dissemination, utilization, training, and technical assistance project.

The benefit of this proposed priority and proposed applications and project requirements will be the establishment of a new DRRP projects that generates, disseminates, and promotes the use of new information that will improve the options for disable individuals to perform regular activities in the community.

Applicable Program Regulations: 34 CFR part 350.

Electronic Access to This Document

You may view 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:​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 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:​nara/​index.html.

(Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance Number 84.133A, Disability Rehabilitation Research Project.)

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Program Authority: 29 U.S.C. 762(g) and 764(a).

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Dated: May 6, 2003.

Robert H. Pasternack,

Assistant Secretary for Special Education and Rehabilitative Services.

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[FR Doc. 03-11628 Filed 5-8-03; 8:45 am]