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Office of Special Education and Rehabilitative Services; Overview Information; Demonstration and Training Programs-Braille Training Program; Notice Inviting Applications for New Awards for Fiscal Year (FY) 2004

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Information about this document as published in the Federal Register.

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Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance (CFDA) Number: 84.235E

Dates: Applications Available: March 12, 2004.

Deadline for Transmittal of Applications: April 26, 2004.

Deadline for Intergovernmental Review: June 25, 2004.

Eligible Applicants: State agencies and other public or nonprofit agencies and organizations, including institutions of higher education.

Estimated Available Funds: $200,000.

Estimated Range of Awards: $75,000-$100,000.

Estimated Average Size of Awards: $100,000 per 12-month period.

Estimated Number of Awards: 2.

Note:

The Department is not bound by any estimates in this notice.

Project Period: Up to 60 months.

Full Text of Announcement

I. Funding Opportunity Description

Purpose of Program: This program offers financial assistance to establish projects that will provide training in the use of braille for personnel providing vocational rehabilitation services or educational services to youth and adults who are blind.

Priority: In accordance with 34 CFR 75.105(b)(2)(iv), this priority is from section 303(d)(2) of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, as amended (Act), 29 U.S.C. 773(d)(2). Start Printed Page 11848

Absolute Priority: For FY 2004 this priority is an absolute priority. Under 34 CFR 75.105(c)(3) we consider only applications that meet this priority.

This priority is:

Grants must be used for the establishment or continuation of projects that may provide (1) development of braille training materials; (2) in-service or pre-service training in the use of braille, the importance of braille literacy, and methods of teaching Braille to youth and adults who are blind; and (3) activities to promote knowledge and use of braille and nonvisual access technology for blind youth and adults through a program of training, demonstration, and evaluation conducted with leadership of experienced blind individuals, including the use of comprehensive, state-of-the-art technology.

Program Authority: 29 U.S.C. 773(d).

Applicable Regulations: (a) The Education Department General Administrative Regulations (EDGAR) in 34 CFR parts 74, 75, 77, 79, 80, 81, 82, 84, 85, 86, 97, and 99.

Note:

The regulations in 34 CFR part 79 apply to all applicants except federally recognized Indian tribes.

Note:

The regulations in 34 CFR part 86 apply to institutions of higher education only.

II. Award Information

Type of Award: Discretionary grants.

Estimated Available Funds: $200,000.

Estimated Range of Awards: $75,000-$100,000.

Estimated Average Size of Awards: $100,000 per each 12-month period.

Estimated Number of Awards: 2.

Note:

The Department is not bound by any estimates in this notice.

Project Period: Up to 60 months.

III. Eligibility Information

1. Eligible Applicants: State agencies and other public or nonprofit agencies and organizations, including institutions of higher education.

2. Cost Sharing or Matching: This program does not involve cost sharing or matching.

IV. Application and Submission Information

1. Address to Request Application Package: Education Publications Center (ED Pubs), P.O. Box 1398, Jessup, MD 20794-1398. Telephone (toll free): 1-877-433-7827. FAX: (301) 470-1244. If you use a telecommunications device for the deaf (TDD), you may call (toll free): 1-877-576-7734.

You may also contact ED Pubs at its Web site: www.ed.gov/​pubs/​edpubs.html or you may contact ED Pubs at its e-mail address: edpubs@inet.ed.gov.

If you request an application from ED Pubs, be sure to identify this competition as follows: CFDA number 84.235E.

Individuals with disabilities may obtain a copy of the application package in an alternative format (e.g., Braille, large print, audiotape, or computer diskette) by contacting the Grants and Contracts Services Team, U.S. Department of Education, 400 Maryland Avenue, SW., room 3317, Switzer Building, Washington, DC 20202-2550. Telephone: (202) 205-8207.

2. Content and Form of Application Submission: Requirements concerning the content of an application, together with the forms you must submit, are in the application package for this program.

3. Submission Dates and Times: Applications Available: March 12, 2004. Deadline for Transmittal of Applications: April 26, 2004. The dates and times for the transmittal of applications by mail or by hand (including a courier service or commercial carrier) are in the application package for this program. The application package also specifies the hours of operation of the e-Application Web site.

We do not consider an application that does not comply with the deadline requirements. Deadline for Intergovernmental Review: June 25, 2004.

4. Intergovernmental Review: This program is subject to Executive Order 12372 and the regulations in 34 CFR part 79. Information about Intergovernmental Review of Federal Programs under Executive Order 12372 is in the application package for this program.

5. Funding Restrictions: Indirect cost reimbursement for grants under this program is limited to the recipient's actual indirect costs, as determined by its negotiated indirect cost rate agreement, or 10 percent of the total direct cost base, whichever amount is less (34 CFR 373.22(a)). We reference additional regulations outlining funding restrictions in the Applicable Regulations section of this notice.

6. Other Submission Requirements: Instructions and requirements for the transmittal of applications by mail or by hand (including a courier service or commercial carrier) are in the application package for this program.

Application Procedures:

Note:

Some of the procedures in these instructions for transmitting applications differ from those in EDGAR (34 CFR 75.102). Under the Administrative Procedure Act (5 U.S.C. 553) the Department generally offers interested parties the opportunity to comment on proposed regulations. However, these amendments make procedural changes only and do not establish new substantive policy. Therefore, under 5 U.S.C. 553(b)(A), the Secretary has determined that proposed rulemaking is not required.

Pilot Project for Electronic Submission of Applications

We are continuing to expand our pilot project for electronic submission of applications to include additional formula grant programs and additional discretionary grant competitions. Demonstration and Training Programs—Braille Training Program—CFDA Number 84.235E is one of the programs included in the pilot project. If you are an applicant under the Demonstration and Training Programs— Braille Training Program, you may submit your application to us in either electronic or paper format.

The pilot project involves the use of the Electronic Grant Application System (e-Application). If you use e-Application, you will be entering data online while completing your application. You may not e-mail an electronic copy of a grant application to us. If you participate in this voluntary pilot project by submitting an application electronically, the data you enter online will be saved into a database. We request your participation in e-Application. We shall continue to evaluate its success and solicit suggestions for its improvement.

If you participate in e-Application, please note the following:

  • Your participation is voluntary.
  • When you enter the e-Application system, you will find information about its hours of operation. We strongly recommend that you do not wait until the application deadline date to initiate an e-Application package.
  • You will not receive additional point value because you submit a grant application in electronic format, nor will we penalize you if you submit an application in paper format.
  • You may submit all documents electronically, including the Application for Federal Education Assistance (ED 424), Budget Information—Non-Construction Programs (ED 524), and all necessary assurances and certifications.
  • Your e-Application must comply with any page limit requirements described in this notice.
  • After you electronically submit your application, you will receive an Start Printed Page 11849automatic acknowledgement, which will include a PR/Award number (an identifying number unique to your application).
  • Within three working days after submitting your electronic application, fax a signed copy of the Application for Federal Education Assistance (ED 424) to the Application Control Center after following these steps:

1. Print ED 424 from e-Application.

2. The institution's Authorizing Representative must sign this form.

3. Place the PR/Award number in the upper right hand corner of the hard copy signature page of the ED 424.

4. Fax the signed ED 424 to the Application Control Center at (202) 260-1349.

  • We may request that you give us original signatures on other forms at a later date.

Application Deadline Date Extension in Case of System Unavailability: If you elect to participate in the e-Application pilot for Demonstration and Training Programs—Braille Training Program and you are prevented from submitting your application on the application deadline date because the e-Application system is unavailable, we will grant you an extension of one business day in order to transmit your application electronically, by mail, or by hand delivery. We will grant this extension if—

1. You are a registered user of e-Application, and you have initiated an e-Application for this competition; and

2. (a) The e-Application system is unavailable for 60 minutes or more between the hours of 8:30 a.m. and 3:30 p.m., Washington, DC, time, on the application deadline date; or

(b) The e-Application system is unavailable for any period of time during the last hour of operation (that is, for any period of time between 3:30 p.m. and 4:30 p.m., Washington, DC, time) on the application deadline date.

We must acknowledge and confirm these periods of unavailability before granting you an extension. To request this extension or to confirm our acknowledgement of any system unavailability, you may contact either (1) the persons listed elsewhere in this notice under FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT (see VII. Agency Contacts) or (2) the e-GRANTS help desk at 1-888-336-8930.

You may access the electronic grant application for Demonstration and Training Programs—Braille Training Program at: http://e-grants.ed.gov.

V. Application Review Information

Selection Criteria: The selection criteria for this program are in the application package.

VI. Award Administration Information

1. Award Notices: If your application is successful, we notify your U.S. Representative and U.S. Senators and send you a Grant Award Notification (GAN). We may also notify you informally.

If your application is not evaluated or not selected for funding, we notify you.

2. Administrative and National Policy Requirements: We identify administrative and national policy requirements in the application package and reference these and other requirements in the Applicable Regulations section of this notice.

We reference the regulations outlining the terms and conditions of an award in the Applicable Regulations section of this notice and include these and other specific conditions in the GAN. The GAN also incorporates your approved application as part of your binding commitments under the grant.

3. Reporting: At the end of your project period, you must submit a final performance report, including financial information, as directed by the Secretary. If you receive a multi-year award, you must submit an annual performance report that provides the most current performance and financial expenditure information as specified by the Secretary in 34 CFR 74.51 and in 34 CFR 75.118.

4. Performance Measures: All grantees will submit an annual performance report documenting their evaluation findings, as required by section 303(d)(2)(C) of the Act. This report must describe whether they were successful in increasing the knowledge and use of braille for program participants. For example, reports could include the number of participants who successfully completed a college-level or advanced-level Braille course, achieved demonstrated competence in reading and writing Braille (i.e., certificate of completion of a program of self-study or training module that will lead to successful completion of the National Literary Braille Competency Test offered by the Library of Congress, National Library Service for the Blind and Physically Handicapped), successfully completed in-service training activities leading to achievement of agency or State qualifications or standards of competency in Braille reading, writing, and technology for rehabilitation or education professionals, or demonstrated increased knowledge of Braille through pre- and post-measures or other appropriate measures.

VII. Agency Contacts

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FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

Theresa DeVaughn or Alfreda Reeves, U.S. Department of Education, 400 Maryland Avenue, SW., room 3316, Switzer Building, Washington, DC 20202-2650. Telephone: for Theresa DeVaughn (202) 205-5392; for Alfreda Reeves (202) 205-9361.

If you use a telecommunications device for the deaf (TDD), you may call the Federal Information Relay Service (FIRS) at 1-800-877-8339.

Individuals with disabilities may obtain this document in an alternative format (e.g., Braille, large print, audiotape, or computer diskette) on request to the program contact persons listed in this section.

VIII. Other Information

Electronic Access to This Document: You may view this document, as well as all other documents of this Department published in the Federal Register, in text or Adobe Portable Document Format (PDF) on the Internet at the following site: www.ed.gov/​news/​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.

Note:

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 www.gpoaccess.gov/​nara/​index.html.

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Dated: March 8, 2004.

Troy R. Justesen,

Acting Deputy Assistant Secretary for Special Education and Rehabilitative Services.

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[FR Doc. 04-5669 Filed 3-11-04; 8:45 am]

BILLING CODE 4000-01-P