Office of Special Education and Rehabilitative Services, Department of Education.
Notice of final priority.
The Assistant Secretary for Special Education and Rehabilitative Services announces a funding priority for the Disability and Rehabilitation Research Projects and Centers Program administered by NIDRR. Specifically, this notice announces a priority for a center on disability in the family. The Assistant Secretary may use this priority for competitions in fiscal year (FY) 2011 and later years. We take this action to focus research attention on areas of national need. We intend this priority to contribute to increased participation and community living within the context of family life for individuals with disabilities and their families.
Effective Date: This priority is effective July 11, 2011.Start Further Info
FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:
Marlene Spencer, U.S. Department of Education, 400 Maryland Avenue, SW., room 5133, Potomac Center Plaza (PCP), Washington, DC 20202-2700. Telephone: (202) 245-7532 or by e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org.
If you use a telecommunications device for the deaf (TDD), call the Federal Relay Service, toll free, at 1-800-877-8339.End Further Info End Preamble Start Supplemental Information
This notice of final priority (NFP) is in concert with NIDRR's currently approved Long-Range Plan (Plan). The Plan, which was published in the Federal Register on February 15, 2006 (71 FR 8165), can be accessed on the Internet at the following site: http://www.ed.gov/about/offices/list/osers/nidrr/policy.html.
Through the implementation of the Plan, NIDRR seeks to: (1) Improve the quality and utility of disability and rehabilitation research; (2) foster an exchange of expertise, information, and training to facilitate the advancement of knowledge and understanding of the unique needs of traditionally underserved populations; (3) determine the best strategies and programs to improve rehabilitation outcomes for underserved populations; (4) identify research gaps; (5) identify mechanisms of integrating research and practice; and (6) disseminate findings.
This notice announces a priority that NIDRR intends to use for DRRP competitions in FY 2011 and possibly later years. However, nothing precludes NIDRR from publishing additional priorities if needed. Furthermore, NIDRR is under no obligation to make an award for this priority. The decision to make an award will be based on the quality of applications received and available funding.
Purpose of Program: The purpose of the Disability and Rehabilitation Research Projects and Centers Program is (1) to plan and conduct research, demonstration projects, training, and related activities, including international activities, to develop methods, procedures, and rehabilitation technology, that maximize the full inclusion and integration into society, employment, independent living, family support, and economic and social self-sufficiency of individuals with disabilities, especially individuals with the most severe disabilities, and (2) to improve the effectiveness of services authorized under the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, as amended (Rehabilitation Act).
Applicable Program Regulations: 34 CFR part 350.
We published a notice of proposed priority (NPP) for this program in the Federal Register on March 29, 2011 (76 FR 17403). That notice contained background information and our reasons for proposing the particular priority.
There are no differences between the proposed priority and this final priority.
Public Comment: In response to our invitation in the notice of proposed priority, one party submitted comments on the proposed priority.
Generally, we do not address technical and other minor changes. In addition, we do not address general comments that raised concerns not directly related to the proposed priority.
Analysis of Comments and Changes: An analysis of the comment and of any changes in the priority since publication of the notice of proposed priority follows.
Comment: One commenter recommended that NIDRR require the DRRP on Disability in the Family to partner with the network of Parent Training and Information Centers that are funded by the Department's Office of Special Education Programs (OSEP), as well as with the Parent Training and Information Projects funded by the Department's Rehabilitation Services Administration (RSA). The commenter stated that these partnerships would ensure widespread dissemination of DRRP resources and information.
Discussion: NIDRR agrees that these partnerships may help provide a targeted means of dissemination to families that include at least one member with a disability. Nothing in the priority precludes applicants from proposing partnerships with OSEP's Parent Training and Information Centers, or RSA's Parent Training and Information Projects. However, NIDRR does not have a sufficient basis for requiring all applicants to do so. Applicants under this priority have a large number of stakeholder groups and organizations with whom they can collaborate. NIDRR does not want to limit applicants' choices by requiring partnerships with a particular type of entity.
Priority—DRRP on Disability in the Family
The Assistant Secretary for Special Education and Rehabilitative Services establishes a priority for a Disability and Rehabilitation Research Project (DRRP) on Disability in the Family. The DRRP must contribute to the outcome of increased participation and community living for individuals with disabilities and their families.
To contribute to this outcome, the DRRP must—Start Printed Page 33745
1. Conduct research activities, development activities, or both;
2. Identify or develop, and test or evaluate interventions, programs, technologies, or products;
3. Conduct knowledge translation activities (i.e., training, technical assistance, utilization, dissemination) in order to facilitate stakeholder (e.g., people with disabilities, families that have at least one member with a disability) use of the interventions, programs, technologies, or products that resulted from the research activities, development activities, or both;
4. Involve key stakeholder groups in the activities described in paragraphs 1 through 3 in order to maximize the relevance and usability of the interventions, programs, technologies, or products to be developed or studied; and
5. Include families who are from traditionally underserved populations and who have at least one member with a disability as participants when conducting the activities described in paragraphs 1 through 3.
To contribute to this outcome, the DRRP may—
1. Focus its activities at the individual level, the family level, the systems level, or any combination of the three levels;
2. Include in its activities families with a person with a disability of any age and any disability;
3. Interpret the term “family” broadly; and
4. Choose from a wide range of research and development topics and approaches within any of the domains in NIDRR's currently approved Long Range Plan (i.e., participation and community living, technology for access and function, health and function, employment) in order to contribute to the outcome goal of increased participation and community living for individuals with disabilities and their families.
Types of Priorities
When inviting applications for a competition using one or more priorities, we designate the type of each priority as absolute, competitive preference, or invitational through a notice in the Federal Register. The effect of each type of priority follows:
Absolute priority: Under an absolute priority, we consider only applications that meet the priority (34 CFR 75.105(c)(3)).
Competitive preference priority: Under a competitive preference priority, we give competitive preference to an application by (1) awarding additional points, depending on the extent to which the application meets the priority (34 CFR 75.105(c)(2)(i)); or (2) selecting an application that meets the priority over an application of comparable merit that does not meet the priority (34 CFR 75.105(c)(2)(ii)).
Invitational priority: Under an invitational priority, we are particularly interested in applications that meet the priority. However, we do not give an application that meets the priority a preference over other applications (34 CFR 75.105(c)(1)).
This notice does not preclude us from proposing additional priorities, requirements, definitions, or selection criteria, subject to meeting applicable rulemaking requirements.
This notice does not solicit applications. In any year in which we choose to use this priority, we invite applications through a notice in the Federal Register.
Executive Order 12866: This notice has been reviewed in accordance with Executive Order 12866. Under the terms of the order, we have assessed the potential costs and benefits of this final regulatory action.
The potential costs associated with this final regulatory action are those resulting from statutory requirements and those we have determined as necessary for administering this program effectively and efficiently.
In assessing the potential costs and benefits—both quantitative and qualitative—of this final regulatory action, we have determined that the benefits of the final priority justify the costs.
Summary of Potential Costs and Benefits
The benefits of the Disability and Rehabilitation Research Projects and Centers Programs have been well established over the years in that similar projects have been completed successfully. This final priority will generate new knowledge through research, development, and knowledge translation activities. Another benefit of this final priority is that the establishment of a new DRRP will improve the lives of individuals with disabilities and their family members. The new DRRP will generate and promote the use of new information that will improve the community living and community participation options for individuals with disabilities and their families.
Accessible Format: Individuals with disabilities can obtain this document 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, Potomac Center Plaza, 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: June 6, 2011.
Assistant Secretary for Special Education and Rehabilitative Services.
[FR Doc. 2011-14345 Filed 6-8-11; 8:45 am]
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