Skip to Content

Notice

Applications for New Awards; Technology and Media Services for Individuals With Disabilities-Captioned and Described Educational Media

Document Details

Information about this document as published in the Federal Register.

Published Document

This document has been published in the Federal Register. Use the PDF linked in the document sidebar for the official electronic format.

Start Preamble

AGENCY:

Special Education and Rehabilitative Services, Department of Education.

ACTION:

Notice.

Overview Information

Technology and Media Services for Individuals With Disabilities—Captioned and Described Educational Media

Notice inviting applications for new awards for fiscal year (FY) 2011.

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

DATES:

Applications Available: May 4, 2011.

Deadline for Transmittal of Applications: June 20, 2011.

Deadline for Intergovernmental Review: August 17, 2011.

Full Text of Announcement

I. Funding Opportunity Description

Purpose of Program: The purposes of the Technology and Media Services for Individuals with Disabilities program are 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 are appropriate for use in the classroom setting.

Priority: In accordance with 34 CFR 75.105(b)(2)(v), this priority is from allowable activities specified in the statute, or otherwise authorized in the statute (see sections 674(c) and 681(d) of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA)).

Absolute Priority: For FY 2011 and any subsequent year in which we make awards from the list of unfunded applicants from this competition, 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— Captioned and Described Educational Media

Background

Section 674(c) of the IDEA requires, in part, that the Secretary of Education support video description, open captioning, or closed captioning that is appropriate for use in the classroom setting, of (a) television programs; (b) videos; and (c) other materials, including programs and materials associated with new and emerging technologies.

Recent developments in education policy and practice and advancements in technology have significant implications for supporting video description and captioning that are appropriate for use in the classroom setting. New and emerging technologies (such as video streaming, digital video recording, digital image processing, and other forms of multimedia) are becoming a more integral part of instructional practice and are replacing older, more expensive, and less adaptable media sources, such as compact discs (CDs) and digital video discs (DVDs). However, multimedia and other new and emerging technologies are usually not accessible to students who have hearing or vision impairments because only a small percentage of educational multimedia used in the classroom is captioned or described. For example, a recent survey of the top 35 educational media producers/distributors in the United States revealed that only slightly more than 25 percent of educational media is captioned by media producers/distributors and less than five percent of educational media is described (Described and Captioned Media Program, 2008). Federal requirements for captioning and video description do not apply to many forms of educational media, even with the expansion of these requirements included in the recently-enacted Twenty-First Century Start Printed Page 25312Communications and Video Accessibility Act of 2010. This priority will help to ensure that the captioning and description services funded under this priority keep pace with advancements in new and emerging technologies so that instructional content that is delivered using new and emerging technologies is accessible to students, including English learners, who have hearing or vision impairments.

In addition, this priority will address the critical need to ensure that all students receive high-quality instruction in the academic subjects of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM). STEM-related television programs, videos, and other materials must be accessible to students who have hearing or vision impairments if they are to participate in, and benefit from, effective STEM instruction. This priority will help to ensure that STEM-related television programs, videos, new and emerging multimedia technologies, and other materials are accessible to students, including English learners, who have hearing or vision impairments.

Priority

The purpose of this priority is to fund a cooperative agreement to support the establishment and operation of an Accessible Learning Center (Center) that will oversee the selection, acquisition, closed captioning, video description, and distribution of free educational media through a loan service for eligible users who we are defining as students, including English learners, in early learning and kindergarten through grade 12 (K-12) classroom settings, who have hearing or vision impairments, and individuals, such as teachers and paraprofessionals who are directly involved in early learning or K-12 classroom instruction. The Center will develop procedures to be used in identifying educational media that meet the curricular needs of students, including English learners, in early learning and K-12 classroom settings; make arrangements for the media to be screened, purchased, captioned, and described; and establish strategies for distributing and making the media available to eligible users. Some of the activities and procedures must focus on selecting titles geared toward improving early learning outcomes for young children who have hearing or vision impairments and using technologies such as video streaming and other forms of multimedia to reach children with hearing or vision impairments in rural and high-need schools.

To be considered for funding under this priority, the applicant must meet the application requirements contained in this priority. The project funded under this absolute priority also must meet the programmatic and administrative requirements specified in the priority.

Application Requirements. An applicant must include in its application—

(a) A logic model that depicts, at a minimum, the goals, activities, outputs, and outcomes of the proposed project. A logic model communicates how a project will achieve its outcomes and provides a framework for both the formative and summative evaluations of the project;

Note:

The following Web sites provide more information on logic models:

http://www.researchutilization.org/​matrix/​logicmodel_​resource3c.html and http://www.tadnet.org/​model_​and_​performance.

(b) A plan to implement the activities described in the Project Activities section of this priority;

(c) A plan, linked to the proposed project's logic model, for a formative evaluation of the proposed project's activities. The plan must describe how the formative evaluation will use clear performance objectives to ensure continuous improvement in the operation of the proposed project, including objective measures of progress in implementing the project and ensuring the quality of products and services;

(d) A budget for attendance at the following:

(1) A one and one half day kick-off meeting to be held in Washington, DC, within four weeks after receipt of the award, and an annual planning meeting held in Washington, DC, with the Office of Special Education Programs (OSEP) Project Officer during each subsequent year of the project period.

(2) A three-day Project Directors' Conference in Washington, DC, during each year of the project period.

(3) A two-day trip annually to attend Department briefings, Department-sponsored conferences, and other meetings, as requested by OSEP; and

(e) A line item in the proposed budget for an annual set-aside of five percent of the annual grant amount to support emerging needs that are consistent with the proposed project's activities, as those needs are identified in consultation with OSEP.

Note:

With approval from the OSEP Project Officer, the Center must reallocate any remaining funds from this annual set-aside no later than the end of the third quarter of each budget period.

Project Activities. To meet the requirements of this priority, the Center, at a minimum, must conduct the following activities:

(a) Develop strategies and procedures for identifying educational media in early learning programs and elementary and secondary schools that are not accessible to students, including English learners, who have hearing or vision impairments and that meet the curricular needs of those students;

(b) Select and obtain media from license-holders for screening. Once the media have been screened by Center staff, select items that have been judged by Center staff to closely match the curricular needs of students identified under paragraph (a) of this priority by taking into account the media most commonly used in school districts and early learning programs across the nation that are not currently captioned or described;

(c) Make arrangements with producers and distributors for the Center to purchase, closed caption, describe, and distribute selected media, including distribution in alternate formats, such as video streaming. Provide closed captioned and described master copies to producers and distributors so that they can make these accessible copies available to interested parties beyond the eligible users who will be served under this program;

(d) For selected media purchased, prepare closed captions and descriptions according to the guidelines referenced in paragraph (e) for closed captioned and described media and taking into account the grade level of the material, as well as the age and vocabulary level of the likely target audience. Materials to be captioned or described must include materials in STEM fields;

(e) To help ensure that closed captioning and description service providers keep up with new and emerging technologies and produce quality closed captioned or described products, revise or improve existing guidelines for closed captioning and video description that are currently used by closed captioning and description service providers. Existing guidelines include the “Captioning Key: Guidelines and Preferred Techniques,” developed by the Described and Captioned Media Program (DCMP) and the “Description Key: Guidelines for the Description of Educational Media,” developed through a partnership between DCMP and the American Federation for the Blind (AFB) in 2008. These guidelines can be viewed at: http://www.dcmp.org/​captioningkey/​ Start Printed Page 25313and http://www.dcmp.org/​descriptionkey, respectively.

(f) Develop and implement quality control standards and procedures for checking media after it has been closed captioned and described;

(g) Prepare up to 150 copies of each media purchased for distribution through the electronic distribution system described in paragraph (h). These copies must be made available for loan free of charge to eligible users. Twenty-five percent of the media acquired annually also must be closed captioned and described in Spanish so that Spanish speakers who are learning English and who have hearing or vision impairments have access to the media;

(h) Develop a plan for implementing and operating an electronic distribution system for online ordering from the loan service. The distribution system must be computerized and allow electronic ordering;

(i) Identify and, as appropriate, utilize alternate delivery methods and vehicles for the loan service, as new and emerging technologies become available for classroom use;

(j) Establish and make available computerized registration and application procedures, accessible via the Internet, that will be used to register eligible users for the loan service, schedule the delivery of captioned and described media material, and track and record consumer feedback and usage information;

(k) Prepare, update, and distribute a catalog listing all closed captioned and described media available under this project as they become available. The catalog must be made available online;

(l) Maintain a Web site that meets government or industry-recognized standards for accessibility and that links to the Web site operated by the OSEP-funded Technical Assistance Coordination Center (TACC);

(m) Establish and maintain an advisory group of seven members, which shall meet annually, and include video producers and distributors, closed captioning and description service providers, parents and families of students with hearing or vision impairments, and public and private school administrators, and other educational personnel. This advisory group must develop an evaluation plan; provide input regarding the usefulness of program activities and services; review the effectiveness of the Center's media acquisition, captioning, description, and distribution; and make recommendations to ensure maximum effectiveness, including recommendations relating to the selection of media to be closed captioned and described based on input from consumers;

(n) Develop and maintain a comprehensive database containing information related to the availability of closed captioned and described educational media; information regarding the closed captioned and described media loan service; requirements governing the use of closed captioned and described media in the grantee's collection; and closed captioning and description service providers. In addition, the project shall maintain a clearinghouse of information on the subject of closed captioning and description for use by consumers, agencies, corporations, businesses, schools, and other interested stakeholders. All information must be accessible via the Internet;

(o) Develop strategies and use technologies for improving the Center's productivity by replacing older, more expensive, and less adaptable methods of captioning and describing videos;

(p) Upgrade technologies used by the Center for captioning and describing selected educational media as newer technologies emerge;

(q) Select media that are intended to improve early learning outcomes for young children who have hearing or vision impairments; and

(r) Use technologies such as video streaming and other forms of multimedia to reach students with hearing and vision impairments attending rural and high-need schools.

Fourth and Fifth Years of the Project

In deciding whether to continue this project for the fourth and fifth years, we will consider the requirements of 34 CFR 75.253(a), and in addition—

(a) The recommendation of a review team consisting of experts selected by the Secretary. This review will be conducted during a one-day intensive meeting in Washington, DC, that will be held during the last half of the second year of the project period. The Center must budget for travel expenses associated with this one-day intensive review;

(b) The timeliness and effectiveness with which all requirements of the negotiated cooperative agreement have been or are being met by the Center; and

(c) The quality, relevance, and usefulness of the Center's activities and products and the degree to which the Center's activities and products have contributed to an increased number of available accessible educational media for students with hearing or vision impairments.

References

Described and Captioned Media Program (2008). Educational Media Producers & Accessibility Survey Results (Fact Sheet), Spartanburg, SC. Retrieved from http://www.dcmp.org/​caai/​nadh226.pdf.

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 and requirements. Section 681(d) of IDEA, however, makes the public comment requirements of the APA inapplicable to the priority in this notice.

Start Authority

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

End Authority

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 institutions of higher education (IHEs) only.

II. Award Information

Type of Award: Cooperative agreement.

Estimated Available Funds: $1,500,000.

Contingent upon the availability of funds and the quality of applications, we may make additional awards in FY 2012 from the list of unfunded applicants from the competition.

Maximum Award: We will reject any application that proposes a budget exceeding $1,500,000 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.

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: State educational agencies (SEAs); local educational agencies (LEAs), including public charter schools that are considered 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.Start Printed Page 25314

2. Cost Sharing or Matching: This competition does not require cost sharing or matching.

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 project (see section 682(a)(1)(A) of IDEA).

IV. Application and Submission Information

1. Address to Request Application Package: You can obtain an application package via the Internet, from the Education Publications Center (ED Pubs), or from the program office.

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: ED Pubs, U.S. Department of Education, P.O. Box 22207, Alexandria, VA 22304. Telephone, toll free: 1-877-433-7827. FAX: (703) 605-6794. 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.EDPubs.gov or at its e-mail address: edpubs@inet.ed.gov.

If you request an application package from ED Pubs, be sure to identify this competition as follows: CFDA number 84.327N.

To obtain a copy from the program office, contact the person listed under FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT in section VII of this notice.

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 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″ × 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.
  • Use a font that is either 12 point or larger or no smaller than 10 pitch (characters 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, the references, 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: May 4, 2011.

Deadline for Transmittal of Applications: June 20, 2011.

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 in paper format by mail or hand delivery, please refer to section IV. 7.

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: August 17, 2011.

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. Data Universal Numbering System Number, Taxpayer Identification Number, and Central Contractor Registry: To do business with the Department of Education, you must—

a. Have a Data Universal Numbering System (DUNS) number and a Taxpayer Identification Number (TIN);

b. Register both your DUNS number and TIN with the Central Contractor Registry (CCR), the Government's primary registrant database;

c. Provide your DUNS number and TIN on your application; and

d. Maintain an active CCR registration with current information while your application is under review by the Department and, if you are awarded a grant, during the project period.

You can obtain a DUNS number from Dun and Bradstreet. A DUNS number can be created within one business day.

If you are a corporate entity, agency, institution, or organization, you can obtain a TIN from the Internal Revenue Service. If you are an individual, you can obtain a TIN from the Internal Revenue Service or the Social Security Administration. If you need a new TIN, please allow 2-5 weeks for your TIN to become active.

The CCR registration process may take five or more business days to complete. If you are currently registered with the CCR, you may not need to make any changes. However, please make certain that the TIN associated with your DUNS number is correct. Also note that you will need to update your CCR registration on an annual basis. This may take three or more business days to complete.

In addition, if you are submitting your application via Grants.gov, you must (1) be designated by your organization as an Authorized Organization Representative (AOR); and (2) register yourself with Grants.gov as an AOR. Details on these steps are outlined in the Grants.gov 3-Step Registration Guide (see http://www.grants.gov/​section910/​Grants.govRegistrationBrochure.pdf).

7. Other Submission Requirements: Applications for grants under this competition may be submitted electronically or in paper format by mail or hand delivery.Start Printed Page 25315

a. Electronic Submission of Applications

We are participating as a partner in the Governmentwide Grants.gov Apply site. The Captioned and Described Educational Media competition, CFDA number 84.327N, is included in this project. We request your participation in Grants.gov.

If you choose to submit your application electronically, you must use the Governmentwide Grants.gov Apply site at http://www.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.

You may access the electronic grant application for the Captioned and Described Educational Media competition at 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 (e.g., search for 84.327, not 84.327N).

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 date and time stamped. Your application must be fully uploaded and submitted and must be date and time stamped by the Grants.gov system no later than 4:30:00 p.m., Washington, DC time, on the application deadline date. Except as otherwise noted in this section, we will not accept your application if it is received—that is, date and time stamped by the Grants.gov system—after 4:30:00 p.m., Washington, DC time, on the application deadline date. We do not consider an application that does not comply with the deadline requirements. When we retrieve your application from Grants.gov, we will notify you if we are rejecting your application because it was date and time stamped by the Grants.gov system after 4:30:00 p.m., Washington, DC time, on the application deadline date.
  • 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 submission 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 you submit your application in a timely manner to the Grants.gov system. You can also find the Education Submission Procedures pertaining to Grants.gov under News and Events on the Department's G5 system home page at http://www.G5.gov.
  • 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.
  • If you submit your application electronically, 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.
  • If you submit your application electronically, you must upload any narrative sections and all other attachments to your application as files in a .PDF (Portable Document) format only. If you upload a file type other than a .PDF 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.
  • After you electronically submit your application, you will receive from Grants.gov an automatic notification of receipt that contains a Grants.gov tracking number. (This notification indicates receipt by Grants.gov only, not receipt by the Department.) The Department then will retrieve your application from Grants.gov and send a second notification to you by e-mail. This second notification indicates that the Department has received your application and has assigned your application 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.

Application Deadline Date Extension in Case of Technical Issues with the Grants.gov System: If you are experiencing problems submitting your application through Grants.gov, please contact the Grants.gov Support Desk, toll free, at 1-800-518-4726. You must obtain a Grants.gov Support Desk Case Number and must keep a record of it.

If you are prevented from electronically submitting your application on the application deadline date because of technical problems with the Grants.gov system, we will grant you an extension until 4:30:00 p.m., Washington, DC time, the following business day to enable you to transmit your application electronically or by hand delivery. You also may mail your application by following the mailing instructions described elsewhere in this notice.

If you submit an application after 4:30:00 p.m., Washington, DC time, on the application deadline date, please contact the person listed under FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT in section VII of this notice and provide an explanation of the technical problem you experienced with Grants.gov, along with the Grants.gov Support Desk Case Number. We will accept your application if we can confirm that a technical problem occurred with the Grants.gov system and that that problem affected your ability to submit your application by 4:30:00 p.m., Washington, DC time, on the application deadline date. The Department will contact you after a determination is made on whether your application will be accepted.

Note:

The extensions to which we refer in this section apply only to the unavailability of, or technical problems with, the Grants.gov system. We will not grant you an extension if you failed to fully register to submit your application to Grants.gov before the application deadline date and time or if the technical problem you experienced is unrelated to the Grants.gov system.

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 following address: U.S. Department of Education, Application Control Center, Attention: (CFDA Number 84.327N), 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 25316accept 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 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 84.327N), 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

1. Selection Criteria: The selection criteria for this program are from 34 CFR 75.210 and are listed in the application package.

2. Review and Selection Process: We remind potential applicants that in reviewing applications in any discretionary grant competition, the Secretary may consider, under 34 CFR 75.217(d)(3), the past performance of the applicant in carrying out a previous award, such as the applicant's use of funds, achievement of project objectives, and compliance with grant conditions. The Secretary may also consider whether the applicant failed to submit a timely performance report or submitted a report of unacceptable quality.

In addition, in making a competitive grant award, the Secretary also requires various assurances including those applicable to Federal civil rights laws that prohibit discrimination in programs or activities receiving Federal financial assistance from the Department of Education (34 CFR 100.4, 104.5, 106.4, 108.8, and 110.23).

3. Additional Review and Selection Process Factors: In the past, the Department has had difficulty finding peer reviewers for certain competitions because so many individuals who are eligible to serve as peer reviewers have conflicts of interest. The Standing Panel requirements under IDEA also have placed additional constraints on the availability of reviewers. Therefore, the Department has determined that, for some discretionary grant competitions, applications may be separated into two or more groups and ranked and selected for funding within specific groups. This procedure will make it easier for the Department to find peer reviewers, by ensuring that greater numbers of individuals who are eligible to serve as reviewers for any particular group of applicants will not have conflicts of interest. It also will increase the quality, independence, and fairness of the review process, while permitting panel members to review applications under discretionary grant competitions for which they also have submitted applications. However, if the Department decides to select an equal number of applications in each group for funding, this may result in different cut-off points for fundable applications in each group.

4. Special Conditions: Under 34 CFR 74.14 and 80.12, the Secretary may impose special conditions on a grant if the applicant or grantee is not financially stable; has a history of unsatisfactory performance; has a financial or other management system that does not meet the standards in 34 CFR parts 74 or 80, as applicable; has not fulfilled the conditions of a prior grant; or is otherwise not responsible.

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: (a) If you apply for a grant under this competition, you must ensure that you have in place the necessary processes and systems to comply with the reporting requirements in 2 CFR part 170 should you receive funding under the competition. This does not apply if you have an exception under 2 CFR 170.110(b).

(b) 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: Under the Government Performance and Results Act of 1993 (GPRA), the Department has established a set of performance measures, including long-term measures, that are designed to yield information on various aspects of the effectiveness and quality of the Technology and Media Services for Individuals with Disabilities program. These measures focus on the extent to which projects are of high quality, are relevant to improving outcomes of children with disabilities, and contribute to improving outcomes for children with disabilities. We will collect data on these measures from the project funded under this competition.

The grantee will be required to report information on its project's performance in annual performance reports to the Department (34 CFR 75.590).

5. Continuation Awards: In making a continuation award, the Secretary may consider, under 34 CFR 75.253, the extent to which a grantee has made “substantial progress toward meeting the objectives in its approved application.” This consideration includes the review of a grantee's progress in meeting the targets and projected outcomes in its approved application, and whether the grantee has expended funds in a manner that is consistent with its approved Start Printed Page 25317application and budget. In making a continuation grant, the Secretary also considers whether the grantee is operating in compliance with the assurances in its approved application, including those applicable to Federal civil rights laws that prohibit discrimination in programs or activities receiving Federal financial assistance from the Department (34 CFR 100.4, 104.5, 106.4, 108.8, and 110.23).

VII. Agency Contact

Start Further Info

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

Ernest Hairston, U.S. Department of Education, 400 Maryland Avenue, SW., room 4070, Potomac Center Plaza (PCP), Washington, DC 20202-2550. Telephone: (202) 245-7366.

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: 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 via the Federal Digital System at: http://www.gpo.gov/​fdsys. At this site 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). To use PDF you must have Adobe Acrobat Reader, which is available free at the site.

You may also access documents of the Department published in the Federal Register by using the article search feature at: http://www.federalregister.gov. Specifically, through the advanced search feature at this site, you can limit your search to documents published by the Department.

Start Signature

Dated: April 28, 2011.

Alexa Posny,

Assistant Secretary for Special Education and Rehabilitative Services.

End Signature End Further Info End Preamble

[FR Doc. 2011-10907 Filed 5-3-11; 8:45 am]

BILLING CODE 4000-01-P