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Office of Special Education and Rehabilitative Services; Overview Information; Rehabilitation Training-Rehabilitation Continuing Education Programs (RCEP)-Institute on Rehabilitation Issues (IRI); Notice Inviting Applications for New Awards for Fiscal Year (FY) 2009

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Information about this document as published in the Federal Register.

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Start Preamble

Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance (CFDA) Number: 84.264C.

Dates:

Applications Available: June 16, 2009.

Deadline for Transmittal of Applications: July 31, 2009.

Deadline for Intergovernmental Review: September 29, 2009.

Full Text of Announcement

I. Funding Opportunity Description

Purpose of Program: The Rehabilitation Continuing Education Programs—

(1) Train newly employed State agency staff at the administrative, supervisory, professional, paraprofessional, or clerical levels in order to develop needed skills for effective agency performance;

(2) Provide training opportunities for experienced State agency personnel at all levels of State agency practice to upgrade their skills and to develop mastery of new program developments dealing with significant issues, priorities, and legislative thrusts of the State and Federal vocational rehabilitation (VR) program; and

(3) Develop and conduct training programs for staff of—

(a) Private rehabilitation agencies and facilities that cooperate with State VR units in providing VR and other rehabilitation services;

(b) Centers for independent living; and

(c) Client assistance programs.

Priorities: These priorities are from the notice of final priorities for this program, published in the Federal Register on October 23, 2003 (68 FR 60828).

Absolute Priorities: For FY 2009 and any subsequent year in which we make awards from the list of unfunded applicants from this competition, these priorities are absolute priorities. Under 34 CFR 75.105(c)(3) we consider only applications that meet both of these priorities.

Note:

Previously the Rehabilitation Services Administration (RSA) has funded multiple grants per fiscal year under these priorities. For FY 2009, we will fund only one grant under these priorities. While RSA had made multiple awards to carry out IRI activities in the past, we have decided to make only one IRI award for FY 2009 to improve the efficiency of the monitoring process and the quality of the products produced under this competition. Thus, all references to projects should be interpreted as meaning one project and that project will be responsible for two Primary Study Groups and the National Forum.

These priorities are:

Priority 1—Leadership of IRI Primary Study Group (PSG)

This priority funds projects to lead a PSG on a topic selected by the IRI Planning Committee. Projects must demonstrate the ability to provide leadership to members of the PSG that results in the production of a high quality document in the assigned topic area. Projects must ensure that documents are relevant to the public rehabilitation system and to the work of VR counselors and accurately interpret and integrate the current body of knowledge of the selected topic contained in published professional research and demonstrations.

Specifically, projects must demonstrate an in-depth knowledge of and understanding of relevant current and emerging issues in the public rehabilitation system, the public VR program, and the continuing education needs of VR personnel and related professionals. Projects must have the demonstrated ability to direct a rehabilitation research investigation in cooperation with a variety of experienced participants.

Projects must provide leadership to all phases of the IRI process, including assisting PSG members to define the areas of focus for the designated topic, to identify and address the continuing education needs of personnel of the public rehabilitation system, and to plan and write the project document. Projects must ensure that the group product meets the expectation of the IRI Planning Committee in terms of content areas and depth of review. At the conclusion of the National IRI Forum, projects must submit the final version of the IRI document to RSA for approval. Projects must distribute the approved document to State VR agencies and to others in an accessible format on request for use in staff development, training, and service planning.

Projects must include a plan to meet the communication, coordination, logistical, and budgetary requirements necessary to conduct at least three in person meetings of the PSG, one of which must take place at the National IRI Forum in Washington, DC, at the end of the project year.

Priority 2—Leadership of the National IRI Forum

This priority funds projects to plan and to lead the annual National IRI Forum of PSG members and other stakeholders in each year of the project period. Projects must demonstrate in-depth knowledge of current, relevant issues in the public rehabilitation system and of methods to facilitate professional development and continuing education activities. Project staff, in cooperation with the IRI Planning Committee, must identify and solicit key stakeholders to provide input and feedback on selected IRI topics, and facilitate discussion and input sessions of diverse individuals with a wide variety of backgrounds so that each of the two IRI PSGs receives feedback on its draft document in a collaborative and positive manner.

Projects must provide a detailed plan for all aspects of the planning and coordination of the meeting, including, but not limited to, facilitation of document feedback sessions, site planning, coordination of accommodations and travel for PSG members funded by the project, coordination of accommodations requested by other participants, and the provision of on-site support services, including the provision of reasonable accommodations upon request. Projects must include a description of a process and methods that will result in high Start Printed Page 28489quality input on the IRI documents presented for review.

Start Authority

Program Authority: 29 U.S.C. 772.

End Authority

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, 98, and 99. (b) The regulations for this program in 34 CFR parts 385 and 389.

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 grant.

Estimated Available Funds: $190,000.

Maximum Award: We will reject any application that proposes a budget exceeding $190,000 for a single budget period of 12 months. The Assistant Secretary for Special Education and Rehabilitative Services may change the maximum amount through a Notice published in the Federal Register.

Estimated Number of Awards: 1.

Note:

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

Project Period: Up to 60 months.

III. Eligibility Information

1. Eligible Applicants: States and public or nonprofit agencies and organizations, including Indian Tribes and institutions of higher education.

2. Cost Sharing or Matching: Cost sharing of at least 10 percent of the total cost of the project is required of grantees under the RCEP (34 CFR 389.40).

IV. Application and Submission Information

1. Address To Request Application Package

You can obtain an application package via the Internet or from the Education Publications Center (ED Pubs). To obtain a copy via the Internet, use the following address: http://www.ed.gov/​fund/​grant/​apply/​grantapps/​index.html. To obtain a copy from ED Pubs, write, fax, or call the following: Education Publications Center, 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), call, toll free: 1-877-576-7734.

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

If you request an application from ED Pubs, be sure to identify this program as follows: CFDA number 84.264C.

Individuals with disabilities can obtain a copy of the application package in an accessible format (e.g., braille, large print, audiotape, or computer diskette) by contacting the person or team listed under Accessible Format in section VIII 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 program.

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 the application narrative [Part III] to the equivalent of no more than 45 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 (character per inch).
  • Use one of the following fonts: Times New Roman, Courier, Courier New, or Arial. An application submitted in any other font (including Times Roman or Arial Narrow) will not be accepted.

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, or the letters of support. However, the page limit does apply to all of the application narrative section [Part III].

We will reject your application if you exceed the page limit or if you apply other standards and exceed the equivalent of the page limit.

3. Submission Dates and Times

Applications Available: June 16, 2009.

Deadline for Transmittal of Applications: July 31, 2009.

Applications for grants under this competition must be submitted electronically using the Electronic Grant Application System (e-Application) accessible through the Department's e-Grants site. For information (including dates and times) about how to submit your application electronically, or in paper format by mail or hand delivery if you qualify for an exception to the electronic submission requirement, please refer to section IV. 6., Other Submission Requirements of this notice.

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

Individuals with disabilities who need an accommodation or auxiliary aid in connection with the application process should contact the person listed under FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT in Section VII of this notice. If the Department provides an accommodation or auxiliary aid to an individual with a disability in connection with the application process, the individual's application remains subject to all other requirements and limitations in this notice.

Deadline for Intergovernmental Review: September 29, 2009.

4. Intergovernmental Review

This competition 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 must be submitted electronically unless you qualify for an exception to this requirement in accordance with the instructions in this section.

a. Electronic Submission of Applications

Applications for grants under the Rehabilitation Continuing Education Programs competition—CFDA Number 84.264C must be submitted electronically using e-Application, accessible through the Department's e-Grants Web site at: http://e-grants.ed.gov.

We will reject your application if you submit it in paper format unless, as described elsewhere in this section, you qualify for one of the exceptions to the electronic submission requirement and submit, no later than two weeks before the application deadline date, a written statement to the Department that you qualify for one of these exceptions. Further information regarding Start Printed Page 28490calculation of the date that is two weeks before the application deadline date is provided later in this section under Exception to Electronic Submission Requirement.

While completing your electronic application, you will be entering data online that will be saved into a database. You may not e-mail an electronic copy of a grant application to us.

Please note the following:

  • You must complete the electronic submission of your grant application by 4:30:00 p.m., Washington, DC time, on the application deadline date. E-Application will not accept an application for this competition after 4:30:00 p.m., Washington, DC time, on the application deadline date. Therefore, we strongly recommend that you do not wait until the application deadline date to begin the application process.
  • The hours of operation of the e-Grants Web site are 6:00 a.m. Monday until 7:00 p.m. Wednesday; and 6:00 a.m. Thursday until 8:00 p.m. Sunday, Washington, DC time. Please note that, because of maintenance, the system is unavailable between 8:00 p.m. on Sundays and 6:00 a.m. on Mondays, and between 7:00 p.m. on Wednesdays and 6:00 a.m. on Thursdays, Washington, DC time. Any modifications to these hours are posted on the e-Grants Web site.
  • You will not receive additional point value because you submit your application in electronic format, nor will we penalize you if you qualify for an exception to the electronic submission requirement, as described elsewhere in this section, and submit your application in paper format. You must submit all documents electronically, including all information you typically provide on the following forms: the Application for Federal Assistance (SF 424), the Department of Education Supplemental Information for SF 424, Budget Information—Non-Construction Programs (ED 524), and all necessary assurances and certifications.
  • You must attach any narrative sections of your application as files in a .DOC (document), .RTF (Rich Text), or .PDF (Portable Document) format. If you upload a file type other than the three file types specified in this paragraph or submit a password protected file, we will not review that material.
  • Your electronic application must comply with any page limit requirements described in this notice.
  • Prior to submitting your electronic application, you may wish to print a copy of it for your records.
  • After you electronically submit your application, you will receive an automatic acknowledgment that 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 SF 424 to the Application Control Center after following these steps:

(1) Print SF 424 from e-Application.

(2) The applicant'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 SF 424.

(4) Fax the signed SF 424 to the Application Control Center at (202) 245-6272.

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

Application Deadline Date Extension in Case of e-Application Unavailability: If you are prevented from electronically submitting your application on the application deadline date because e-Application is unavailable, we will grant you an extension of one business day to enable you 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 electronic application for this competition; and

(2) (a) E-Application 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) E-Application is unavailable for any period of time between 3:30 p.m. and 4:30:00 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 acknowledgment of any system unavailability, you may contact either (1) the person listed elsewhere in this notice under FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT (see VII. Agency Contact) or (2) the e-Grants help desk at 1-888-336-8930. If e-Application is unavailable due to technical problems with the system and, therefore, the application deadline is extended, an e-mail will be sent to all registered users who have initiated an e-Application. Extensions referred to in this section apply only to the unavailability of e-Application.

Exception to Electronic Submission Requirement: You qualify for an exception to the electronic submission requirement, and may submit your application in paper format, if you are unable to submit an application through e-Application because—

  • You do not have access to the Internet; or
  • You do not have the capacity to upload large documents to e-Application; and
  • No later than two weeks before the application deadline date (14 calendar days or, if the fourteenth calendar day before the application deadline date falls on a Federal holiday, the next business day following the Federal holiday), you mail or fax a written statement to the Department, explaining which of the two grounds for an exception prevents you from using the Internet to submit your application.

If you mail your written statement to the Department, it must be postmarked no later than two weeks before the application deadline date. If you fax your written statement to the Department, we must receive the faxed statement no later than two weeks before the application deadline date.

Address and mail or fax your statement to: Edwin W. Powell, U.S. Department of Education, 400 Maryland Avenue, SW., room 5038, Potomac Center Plaza (PCP), Washington, DC 20202-4260. FAX: (202) 245-7505.

Your paper application must be submitted in accordance with the mail or hand delivery instructions described in this notice.

b. Submission of Paper Applications by Mail

If you qualify for an exception to the electronic submission requirement, you may mail (through the U.S. Postal Service or a commercial carrier) your application to the Department. You must mail the original and two copies of your application, 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 84.264C), LBJ Basement Level 1, 400 Maryland Avenue, SW., Washington, DC 20202-4260.

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.

(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 Start Printed Page 28491accept either of the following as proof of mailing:

(1) A private metered postmark.

(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 qualify for an exception to the electronic submission requirement, you (or a courier service) may deliver your paper application to the Department by hand. You 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 84.264C), 550 12th Street, SW., Room 7041, Potomac Center Plaza, Washington, DC 20202-4260.

The Application Control Center accepts hand deliveries daily between 8:00 a.m. and 4:30:00 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 11 of the SF 424 the CFDA number, including suffix letter, if any, of the competition under which you are submitting your application; and

(2) The Application Control Center will mail to you a notification of receipt of your grant application. If you do not receive this grant notification 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 and 34 CFR 389.30(a).

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 notify you informally, also.

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 directed by the Secretary under 34 CFR 75.118. The Secretary may also require more frequent performance reports under 34 CFR 75.720(c). For specific requirements on reporting, please go to http://www.ed.gov/​fund/​grant/​apply/​appforms/​appforms.html.

4. Performance Measures

The Government Performance and Results Act (GPRA) of 1993 directs Federal departments and agencies to improve the effectiveness of their programs by engaging in strategic planning, setting outcome-related goals for programs, and measuring program results against those goals.

The goal of RSA's RCEP Institute on Rehabilitation Issues program is to synthesize and disseminate information about relevant topics in the form of publications that are used in educating VR professionals and as technical assistance resources for other stakeholders in the VR program. In order to measure the performance of this project, we require the grantee to collect data on the number of IRI documents disseminated; the types of individuals requesting the documents, e.g., State agencies, training programs; the opinion of State VR directors and training program directors regarding the quality of the IRI publications; and the number of citations of IRI publications in other literature. The grantee is required to report this information annually to RSA using the RSA Grantee Reporting Form, OMB number 1820-0617, an electronic reporting system. This form allows RSA to measure results against the goals of the project. Performance will be measured by assessment of (a) the number of State VR directors and training grant project directors who deem the IRI products to be of high quality and useful to the field and (b) the number of citations of IRI publications in other literature.

VII. Agency Contact

Start Further Info

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

Edwin W. Powell, U.S. Department of Education, Rehabilitation Services Administration, 400 Maryland Avenue, SW., room 5038, PCP, Washington, DC 20202-2800. Telephone: (202) 245-7505 or by e-mail: Edwin.Powell@ed.gov.

If you use a TDD, call the Federal Relay Service (FRS), toll free, at 1-800-877-8339.

VIII. Other Information

Accessible Format: Individuals with disabilities can obtain this document and a copy of the application package in an accessible 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 5075, PCP, Washington, DC 20202-2550. Telephone: (202) 245-7363. If you use a TDD, call the FRS, toll free, at 1-800-877-8339.

Electronic Access to This Document: You can 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 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: http://www.gpoaccess.gov/​nara/​index.html.

Delegation of Authority: The Secretary of Education has delegated authority to Andrew J. Pepin, Executive Administrator for the Office of Special Education and Rehabilitative Services, to perform the functions of the Assistant Secretary for Special Education and Rehabilitative Services.

Start Signature

Dated: June 11, 2009.

Andrew J. Pepin,

Executive Administrator for Special Education and Rehabilitative Services.

End Signature End Further Info End Preamble

[FR Doc. E9-14142 Filed 6-15-09; 8:45 am]

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