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Notice

Office of Special Education and Rehabilitative Services; Overview Information; Technology and Media Services for Individuals With Disabilities-Television Access; Notice Inviting Applications For New Awards For Fiscal Year (FY) 2005

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Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance (CFDA) Number: 84.327C.

Dates:

Applications Available: May 2, 2005.

Deadline for Transmittal of Applications: June 13, 2005.

Deadline for Intergovernmental Review: August 12, 2005.

Eligible Applicants: State educational agencies (SEAs); local educational agencies (LEAs); public charter schools that are LEAs under State law; institutions of higher education (IHEs); other public agencies; private nonprofit organizations; outlying areas; freely associated States; Indian tribes or tribal organizations; and for-profit organizations.

Estimated Available Funds: $7,200,000.

Estimated Average Size of Awards: $800,000.

Maximum Award: The Secretary does not intend to fund an application that proposes a budget exceeding $800,000 for a single budget period of 12 months.

Estimated Number of Awards: 9.

Note:

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

Project Period: Up to 36 months.Start Printed Page 22301

Full Text of Announcement

I. Funding Opportunity Description

Purpose of Program: The purpose of this program is to: (1) Improve results for children with disabilities by promoting the development, demonstration, and use of technology, (2) support educational media services activities designed to be of educational value in the classroom setting to children with disabilities, and (3) provide support for captioning and video description that is appropriate for use in the classroom setting.

Priorities: This competition contains an absolute priority and a competitive preference priority. In accordance with 34 CFR 75.105(b)(2)(v), these priorities are from allowable activities specified in the statute (see sections 674 and 681(d) of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA)).

Absolute Priority: For FY 2005 this priority is an absolute priority. Under 34 CFR 75.105(c)(3), we consider only applications that meet this priority.

This priority is:

Technology and Media Services for Individuals With Disabilities—Television Access

Background of Priority:

On July 21, 2000, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) adopted rules to make television more accessible to people with visual disabilities by mandating that a certain amount of programming contain video description. However, in November 2002, a Federal court struck down these rules. Thus, because FCC accessibility rules do not currently require video description, only a limited number of television programs provide video description for individuals with blindness or low vision. For more information about video description, please refer to: http://ftp.fcc.gov/​cgb/​consumerfacts/​vid_​des.html.

The FCC is also responsible for implementing and monitoring the closed captioning requirements of the Telecommunications Act of 1996. In that law, Congress authorized the FCC to adopt exemptions from general captioning requirements. For more information about closed captioning and the exemptions please refer to: http://www.fcc.gov/​cgb/​consumerfacts/​closedcaption.html.

Statement of Priority: Under this priority, which supports cooperative agreements, an applicant must describe, or describe and caption, widely available programs that are appropriate for, and designed to be of educational value in the classroom setting for children with disabilities at the preschool, elementary, or secondary level.

A project must do the following:

(a) Include criteria for selecting programs of high educational merit and take into account the preference of educators, students, and parents.

(b) Identify and support a consumer advisory group, including parents and educators, which must meet at least annually.

(c) Use the expertise of this consumer advisory group to certify that each program described or described and captioned with project funds is of educational value in the classroom setting at the preschool, elementary, or secondary level for children with disabilities. Acceptable programming must be appropriate for use in the classroom setting, focusing on the educational needs of students, including intellectual/cognitive or social/emotional needs.

(d) Identify the extent to which the programming is widely available.

(e) Identify the total number of program hours the project will make accessible and the cost per hour for description and, if the applicant is proposing both description and captioning, the cost per hour for description and captioning.

(f) For each video program, identify the source of any private or other public support, and the projected dollar amount of that support, if any.

(g) Demonstrate the willingness of program providers or program owners to permit and facilitate the description or, the description and captioning of their programs.

(h) Provide assurances from program providers or program owners stating that programs made accessible under this project will air, and will continue to air, with descriptions, or with descriptions and captions.

(i) If the applicant is proposing both description and captioning, provide assurances from program providers or program owners stating that programs captioned under this project would not otherwise be captioned to meet the FCC's captioning requirements, or are specifically exempt from the FCC's captioning requirements.

(j) Implement procedures for monitoring the extent to which full accessibility is provided, and use this information to make refinements in project operations.

(k) Identify the anticipated shelf-life and range of distribution of the video programs that is possible without further costs to the project.

In addition, projects funded under this priority must—

(a) Budget for a two-day Project Directors' meeting in Washington, DC during each year of the project.

(b) If the project maintains a Web site, include relevant information and documents in a format that meets a government or industry-recognized standard for accessibility.

Competitive Preference Priority: Within this absolute priority, we give competitive preference to applications that address the following priority. Under 34 CFR 75.105(c)(2)(i) we award up to an additional 10 points to an application from a small business. Thus, an applicant meeting this competitive preference could receive a maximum possible score of 110 points.

Waiver of Proposed Rulemaking: Under the Administrative Procedure Act (APA) (5 U.S.C. 553), the Department generally offers interested parties the opportunity to comment on proposed priorities. However, section 681(d) of IDEA makes the public comment requirements of the APA inapplicable to the priority in this notice.

Program Authority: 20 U.S.C. 1474 and 1481(d).

Applicable Regulations: The Education Department General Administrative Regulations (EDGAR) in 34 CFR parts 74, 75, 77, 79, 80, 81, 82, 84, 85, 86, 97, 98, 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 IHEs only.

II. Award Information

Type of Award: Cooperative agreements.

Estimated Available Funds: $7,200,000.

Estimated Average Size of Awards: $800,000.

Maximum Award: The Secretary does not intend to fund an application that proposes a budget exceeding $800,000 for a single budget period of 12 months.

Estimated Number of Awards: 9.

Note:

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

Project Period: Up to 36 months.

III. Eligibility Information

1. Eligible Applicants: SEAs; LEAs; public charter schools that are LEAs under State law; IHEs; other public agencies; private nonprofit organizations; outlying areas; freely associated States; Indian tribes or tribal organizations; and for-profit organizations.

2. Cost Sharing or Matching: This competition does not involve cost sharing or matching.Start Printed Page 22302

3. Other: General Requirements— (a) The projects funded under this competition must make positive efforts to employ and advance in employment qualified individuals with disabilities (see section 606 of IDEA).

(b) Applicants and grant recipients funded under this competition must involve individuals with disabilities or parents of individuals with disabilities ages birth through 26 in planning, implementing, and evaluating the projects (see section 682(a)(1)(A) of IDEA).

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: http://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 84.327C.

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 program contact person listed under FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT in section VII of this notice.

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 competition.

Page Limit: The application narrative (Part III of the application) is where you, the applicant, address the selection criteria that reviewers use to evaluate your application. You must limit Part III to the equivalent of no more than 50 pages, using the following standards:

  • A “page” is 8.5″ x 11″, on one side only, with 1″ margins at the top, bottom, and both sides.
  • Double space (no more than three lines per vertical inch) all text in the application narrative, including titles, headings, footnotes, quotations, references, and captions, as well as all text in charts, tables, figures, and graphs.
  • Use a font that is either 12 point or larger or no smaller than 10 pitch (characters per inch).

The page limit does not apply to Part I, the cover sheet; Part II, the budget section, including the narrative budget justification; Part IV, the assurances and certifications; or the one-page abstract, the resumes, the bibliography, the references, or the letters of support. However, you must include all of the application narrative in Part III.

We will reject your application if—

  • You apply these standards and exceed the page limit; or
  • You apply other standards and exceed the equivalent of the page limit.

3. Submission Dates and Times:

Applications Available: May 2, 2005.

Deadline for Transmittal of Applications: June 13, 2005.

Applications for grants under this competition may be submitted electronically using the Grants.gov Apply site (Grants.gov), or in paper format by mail or hand delivery. For information (including dates and times) about how to submit your application electronically, or by mail or hand delivery, please refer to section IV. 6. Other Submission Requirements in this notice.

We do not consider an application that does not comply with the deadline requirements.

Deadline for Intergovernmental Review: August 12, 2005.

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 competition.

5. Funding Restrictions: We reference regulations outlining funding restrictions in the Applicable Regulations section of this notice.

6. Other Submission Requirements: Applications for grants under this competition may be submitted electronically or in paper format by mail or hand delivery.

a. Electronic Submission of Applications.

We have been accepting applications electronically through the Department's e-Application system since FY 2000. In order to expand on those efforts and comply with the President's Management Agenda, we are continuing to participate as a partner in the new government wide Grants.gov Apply site in FY 2005. Television Access-CFDA Number 84.327C is one of the competitions included in this project.

If you choose to submit your application electronically, you must use the Grants.gov Apply site (Grants.gov). Through this site, you will be able to download a copy of the application package, complete it offline, and then upload and submit your application. You may not e-mail an electronic copy of a grant application to us. We request your participation in Grants.gov.

You may access the electronic grant application for Television Access-CFDA Number 84.327C competition at: http://www.grants.gov. You must search for the downloadable application package for this program by the CFDA number. Do not include the CFDA number's alpha suffix in your search.

Please note the following:

  • Your participation in Grants.gov is voluntary.
  • When you enter the Grants.gov site, you will find information about submitting an application electronically through the site, as well as the hours of operation.
  • Applications received by Grants.gov are time and date stamped. Your application must be fully uploaded and submitted with a date/time received by the Grants.gov system no later than 4:30 p.m., Washington, DC time, on the application deadline date. We will not consider your application if it was received by the Grants.gov system later than 4:30 p.m. on the application deadline date. When we retrieve your application from Grants.gov, we will notify you if we are rejecting your application because it was submitted after 4:30 p.m. on the application deadline date.
  • If you experience technical difficulties on the application deadline date and are unable to meet the 4:30 p.m., Washington, DC time, deadline, print out your application and follow the instructions in this notice for the submission of paper applications by mail or hand delivery.
  • The amount of time it can take to upload an application will vary depending on a variety of factors including the size of the application and the speed of your Internet connection. Therefore, we strongly recommend that you do not wait until the application deadline date to begin the application process through Grants.gov.
  • You should review and follow the Education Submission Procedures for submitting an application through Grants.gov that are included in the application package for this competition to ensure that your application is submitted timely to the Grants.gov system.
  • To use Grants.gov, you, as the applicant, must have a D-U-N-S Number and register in the Central Contractor Registry (CCR). You should allow a minimum of five business days to complete the CCR registration.Start Printed Page 22303
  • You will not receive additional point value because you submit your application in electronic format, nor will we penalize you if you submit your application in paper format.
  • You may submit all documents electronically, including all information typically included on the Application for Federal Education Assistance (ED 424), Budget Information—Non-Construction Programs (ED 524), and all necessary assurances and certifications. Any narrative sections of your application should be attached as files in a .DOC (document), .RTF (rich text) or .PDF (Portable Document) format.
  • Your electronic application must comply with any page limit requirements described in this notice.
  • After you electronically submit your application, you will receive an automatic acknowledgement from Grants.gov that contains a Grants.gov tracking number. The Department will retrieve your application from Grants.gov and send you a second confirmation by e-mail that will include a PR/Award number (an ED-specified identifying number unique to your application).
  • We may request that you provide us original signatures on forms at a later date.

b. Submission of Paper Applications by Mail.

If you submit your application in paper format by mail (through the U.S. Postal Service or a commercial carrier), you must mail the original and two copies of your application, on or before the application deadline date, to the Department at the applicable following address:

By mail through the U.S. Postal Service: U.S. Department of Education, Application Control Center, Attention: (CFDA Number 84.327C), 400 Maryland Avenue, SW., Washington, DC 20202-4260; or

By mail through a commercial carrier: U.S. Department of Education, Application Control Center—Stop 4260, Attention: (CFDA Number 84.327C), 7100 Old Landover Road, Landover, MD 20785-1506.

Regardless of which address you use, you must show proof of mailing consisting of one of the following:

(1) A legibly dated U.S. Postal Service postmark,

(2) A legible mail receipt with the date of mailing stamped by the U.S. Postal Service,

(3) A dated shipping label, invoice, or receipt from a commercial carrier, or

(4) Any other proof of mailing acceptable to the Secretary of the U.S. Department of Education.

If you mail your application through the U.S. Postal Service, we do not accept either of the following as proof of mailing:

(1) A private metered postmark, or

(2) A mail receipt that is not dated by the U.S. Postal Service.

If your application is postmarked after the application deadline date, we will not consider your application.

Note:

The U.S. Postal Service does not uniformly provide a dated postmark. Before relying on this method, you should check with your local post office.

c. Submission of Paper Applications by Hand Delivery.

If you submit your application in paper format by hand delivery, you (or a courier service) must deliver the original and two copies of your application by hand, on or before the application deadline date, to the Department at the following address: U.S. Department of Education, Application Control Center, Attention: (CFDA Number 84.327C),550 12th Street, SW.,Room 7041, Potomac Center Plaza,Washington, DC 20202-4260.

The Application Control Center accepts hand deliveries daily between 8 a.m. and 4:30 p.m., Washington, DC time, except Saturdays, Sundays and Federal holidays.

Note for Mail or Hand Delivery of Paper Applications: If you mail or hand deliver your application to the Department:

(1) You must indicate on the envelope and—if not provided by the Department—in Item 4 of the Application for Federal Education Assistance (ED 424) the CFDA number—and suffix letter, if any—of the competition under which you are submitting your application.

(2) The Application Control Center will mail a grant application receipt acknowledgment to you. If you do not receive the grant application receipt acknowledgment within 15 business days from the application deadline date, you should call the U.S. Department of Education Application Control Center at (202) 245-6288.

V. Application Review Information

Selection Criteria: The selection criteria for this competition are from 34 CFR 75.210 of EDGAR and are listed 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 75.118.

4. Performance Measures: Grantees will be expected to submit data on total number of hours of programs captioned or described in the aggregate. No additional data collection or review activities are planned.

VII. Agency Contact

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

Jo Ann McCann, U.S. Department of Education, 400 Maryland Avenue, SW., room 4067, Potomac Center Plaza, Washington, DC 20202-2600. Telephone: (202) 245-7434.

If you use a telecommunications device for the deaf (TDD), you may call the Federal Relay Service (FRS) 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 by contacting the following office: The Grants and Contracts Services Team, U.S. Department of Education, 400 Maryland Avenue, SW., Potomac Center Plaza, Washington, DC 20202-2550. Telephone: (202) 245-7363.

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: http://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 Start Printed Page 22304using 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: http://www.gpoaccess.gov/​nara/​index.html.

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Dated: April 25, 2005.

John H. Hager,

Assistant Secretary for Special Education and Rehabilitative Services.

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[FR Doc. 05-8615 Filed 4-28-05; 8:45 am]

BILLING CODE 4000-01-P