Office of Special Education and Rehabilitative Services, Department of Education.
The Assistant Secretary for Special Education and Rehabilitative Services proposes a priority for the Advanced Rehabilitation Research Training (ARRT) program under the Disability and Rehabilitation Research Projects and Centers Program administered by the National Institute on Disability and Rehabilitation Research (NIDRR). The Assistant Secretary may use this priority for competitions in fiscal year (FY) 2013 and later years. We take this action to ensure that NIDRR's resources are appropriately allocated across the three outcome domains of individual well-being—community living and participation, employment, and health and function. We intend this priority to strengthen the capacity of the disability and rehabilitation field to train qualified individuals, including individuals with disabilities, to conduct high-quality, advanced multidisciplinary rehabilitation research; and through this training contribute to improved outcomes for individuals with disabilities across the domains of community living and participation, employment, and health and function.
We must receive your comments on or before April 29, 2013.
Address all comments about this notice to Marlene Spencer, U.S. Department of Education, 400 Maryland Avenue SW., room 5133, Potomac Center Plaza (PCP), Washington, DC 20202-2700.
If you prefer to send your comments by email, use the following address: firstname.lastname@example.org. You must include the phrase “Proposed Priority Start Printed Page 18934for ARRT Projects” in the subject line of your electronic message.
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FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:
Marlene Spencer. Telephone: (202) 245-7532 or by email: email@example.com.
If you use a telecommunications device for the deaf (TDD) or a text telephone (TTY), call the Federal Relay Service (FRS), toll free, at 1-800-877-8339.
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This notice of proposed priority is in concert with NIDRR's Long-Range Plan (Plan). The currently approved Plan, which was published in the Federal Register on February 15, 2006 (71 FR 8166), can be accessed on the Internet at the following site: www2.ed.gov/legislation/FedRegister/other/2006-1/021506d.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 methods to facilitate the advancement of knowledge and understanding of the unique needs of traditionally underserved populations; (3) determine best strategies and programs to improve rehabilitation outcomes for underserved populations; (4) identify research gaps; (5) identify mechanisms for integrating research and practice; and (6) disseminate findings.
This notice proposes a new priority that NIDRR intends to use in FY 2013 and possibly later years. However, nothing precludes NIDRR from publishing additional priorities, if needed. Furthermore, NIDRR is under no obligation to make an award using this priority. The decision to make an award will be based on the quality of applications received and available funding.
Invitation to Comment: We invite you to submit comments regarding this notice. To ensure that your comments have maximum effect in developing the notice of final priority, we urge you to identify clearly the specific topic that each comment addresses.
We invite you to assist us in complying with the specific requirements of Executive Orders 12866 and 13563 and their overall requirement of reducing regulatory burden that might result from this proposed priority. Please let us know of any further ways we could reduce potential costs or increase potential benefits while preserving the effective and efficient administration of the program.
During and after the comment period, you may inspect all public comments about this notice in room 5133, 550 12th Street, SW., PCP, Washington, DC, between the hours of 8:30 a.m. and 4:00 p.m., Washington, DC time, Monday through Friday of each week except Federal holidays. Assistance to Individuals with Disabilities in Reviewing the Rulemaking Record: On request we will provide an appropriate accommodation or auxiliary aid to an individual with a disability who needs assistance to review the comments or other documents in the public rulemaking record for this notice. If you want to schedule an appointment for this type of accommodation or auxiliary aid, please contact the person listed under FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT.
Purpose of Program: The purpose of the Disability and Rehabilitation Research Projects and Centers Program is 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 to improve the effectiveness of services authorized under the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, as amended (Rehabilitation Act).
Advanced Rehabilitation Research Training:
The purpose of NIDRR's ARRT program, which is funded through the Disability and Rehabilitation Research Projects and Centers Program, is to provide advanced research training and experience to individuals with doctorates, or similar advanced degrees, who have clinical or other relevant experience. ARRT projects train rehabilitation researchers, including researchers with disabilities, with particular attention to research areas that support the implementation and objectives of the Rehabilitation Act, and that improve the effectiveness of services authorized under the Rehabilitation Act.
Additional information on the ARRT program can be found at: www.ed.gov/rschstat/research/pubs/res-program.html#DRRP.
Program Authority: 29 U.S.C. 762(g) and 764(a).
Applicable Program Regulations: 34 CFR part 350.
Proposed Priority: This notice contains one proposed priority.
Advanced Rehabilitation Research Training Program.
Background: NIDRR's mission is to support the generation of new knowledge and promote its effective use to improve the abilities of individuals with disabilities to participate in community activities of their choice and to enhance society's capacity to provide full opportunities and accommodations for these individuals. NIDRR research focuses on major life domains as identified in NIDRR's Final Long-Range Plan for FY 2005-2009 (Federal Register, 2006): (1) Employment, (2) Participation and Community Living, and (3) Health and Function. To help ensure that rehabilitation researchers receive advanced research training and experience consistent with the outcome areas identified in NIDRR's Long-Range Plan, NIDRR is proposing priorities under the ARRT program for the Plan's major life domains.
References: National Institute on Disability and Rehabilitation Research (2006). Notice of Final Long-Range Plan for Fiscal Years 2005-2009. Federal Register. Vol. 71, No 31. P 8166-8200.
Proposed Priority: The Assistant Secretary for Special Education and Rehabilitative Services proposes a new priority for the Advanced Rehabilitation Research Training (ARRT) program. For FY 2013, and potential subsequent years, ARRT projects must provide advanced research training to eligible individuals to enhance their capacity to conduct high-quality multidisciplinary rehabilitation and disability research to improve outcomes for individuals with disabilities in one of NIDRR's major domains of individual well-being: (a) Community living and participation, (b) employment, or (c) health and function.
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 Start Printed Page 18935preference over other applications (34 CFR 75.105(c)(1)).
Final Priority: We will announce the final priority in a notice in the Federal Register. We will determine the final priority after considering responses to this notice and other information available to the Department. 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 Orders 12866 and 13563
Regulatory Impact Analysis
Under Executive Order 12866, the Secretary must determine whether this regulatory action is “significant” and, therefore, subject to the requirements of the Executive order and subject to review by the Office of Management and Budget (OMB). Section 3(f) of Executive Order 12866 defines a “significant regulatory action” as an action likely to result in a rule that may—
(1) Have an annual effect on the economy of $100 million or more, or adversely affect a sector of the economy, productivity, competition, jobs, the environment, public health or safety, or State, local, or tribal governments or communities in a material way (also referred to as an “economically significant” rule);
(2) Create serious inconsistency or otherwise interfere with an action taken or planned by another agency;
(3) Materially alter the budgetary impacts of entitlement grants, user fees, or loan programs or the rights and obligations of recipients thereof; or
(4) Raise novel legal or policy issues arising out of legal mandates, the President's priorities, or the principles stated in the Executive order.
This proposed regulatory action is not a significant regulatory action subject to review by OMB under section 3(f) of Executive Order 12866.
We have also reviewed this regulatory action under Executive Order 13563, which supplements and explicitly reaffirms the principles, structures, and definitions governing regulatory review established in Executive Order 12866. To the extent permitted by law, Executive Order 13563 requires that an agency—
(1) Propose or adopt regulations only on a reasoned determination that their benefits justify their costs (recognizing that some benefits and costs are difficult to quantify);
(2) Tailor its regulations to impose the least burden on society, consistent with obtaining regulatory objectives and taking into account—among other things and to the extent practicable—the costs of cumulative regulations;
(3) In choosing among alternative regulatory approaches, select those approaches that maximize net benefits (including potential economic, environmental, public health and safety, and other advantages; distributive impacts; and equity);
(4) To the extent feasible, specify performance objectives, rather than the behavior or manner of compliance a regulated entity must adopt; and
(5) Identify and assess available alternatives to direct regulation, including economic incentives—such as user fees or marketable permits—to encourage the desired behavior, or provide information that enables the public to make choices.
Executive Order 13563 also requires an agency “to use the best available techniques to quantify anticipated present and future benefits and costs as accurately as possible.” The Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs of OMB has emphasized that these techniques may include “identifying changing future compliance costs that might result from technological innovation or anticipated behavioral changes.”
We are issuing this proposed priority only upon a reasoned determination that its benefits would justify its costs. In choosing among alternative regulatory approaches, we selected those approaches that would maximize net benefits. Based on the analysis that follows, the Department believes that this regulatory action is consistent with the principles in Executive Order 13563.
We also have determined that this regulatory action would not unduly interfere with State, local, and tribal governments in the exercise of their governmental functions.
In accordance with both Executive orders, the Department has assessed the potential costs and benefits, both quantitative and qualitative, of this regulatory action. The potential costs are those resulting from statutory requirements and those we have determined as necessary for administering the Department's programs and activities.
The benefits of the Disability and Rehabilitation Research Projects and Centers Programs have been well established over the years, as projects similar to the one envisioned by the proposed priority have been completed successfully. This proposed priority would strengthen the capacity of the rehabilitation and disability field to train qualified individuals, including individuals with disabilities, to conduct high-quality, advanced multidisciplinary research across all of NIDRR's major domains of community living and participation, employment, and health and function; and thereby contribute to advancing knowledge and solving problems encountered by individuals with disabilities of all ages.
Intergovernmental Review: This program is not subject to Executive Order 12372 and the regulations in 34 CFR part 79.
Accessible Format: Individuals with disabilities can obtain this document in an accessible format (e.g., braille, large print, audiotape, or compact disc) 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 or a TTY, 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: 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: www.federalregister.gov. Specifically, through the advanced search feature at this site, you can limit your search to documents published by the Department.
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Dated: March 25, 2013.
Delegated the authority to Perform the functions and Duties of Assistant Secretary for Special Education and Rehabilitative Services.
[FR Doc. 2013-07260 Filed 3-27-13; 8:45 am]
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