Office of Special Education and Rehabilitative Services, Department of Education.
Educational Technology, Media, and Materials for Individuals with Disabilities—Television Access Notice inviting applications for new awards for fiscal year (FY) 2015.
Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance (CFDA) Number: 84.327C.
Applications Available: January 14, 2015.
Deadline for Transmittal of Applications: March 16, 2015.
Deadline for Intergovernmental Review: May 14, 2015.
Full Text of Announcement
I. Funding Opportunity Description
Purpose of Program: The purposes of the Educational Technology, Media, and Materials for Individuals with Disabilities Program 
are to improve results for children with disabilities by: (1) Promoting the development, demonstration, and use of technology; (2) supporting educational media activities designed to be of educational value in the classroom for students with disabilities; (3) providing support for captioning and video description that is appropriate for use in the classroom; and (4) providing accessible educational materials to students with disabilities in a timely manner.
Priority: In accordance with 34 CFR 75.105(b)(2)(v), this priority is from allowable activities specified in the statute (see sections 674(c) and 681(d) of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) (20 U.S.C. 1474(c) and 1481(d))).
Absolute Priority: For FY 2015 and any subsequent year for 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:
Educational Technology, Media, and Materials for Individuals With Disabilities—Television Access
The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) is responsible for implementing and monitoring compliance with the captioning requirements of the Telecommunications Act of 1996 (Act). Consistent with the Act, the FCC requires most television programs to be captioned, but provides for certain exemptions to this requirement. The FCC also has limited requirements for video description. The FCC's video description requirements provide some access to television programs for individuals with blindness or low vision, but are not as widely applicable as the closed captioning requirements. Therefore, only a small number of television programs are actually broadcast with video description. The following Web sites provide more information on captioning and video description: www.fcc.gov/cgb/consumerfacts/closedcaption.html and www.fcc.gov/encyclopedia/video-description.
Pursuant to the authority in IDEA Section 1464(c), the Department has made awards for television access since 1995 in order to provide video description and captioning under the Educational Technology, Media, and Materials for Individuals with Disabilities program. The following Web site contains abstracts of previously funded projects: http://publicddb.tadnet.org/. (Use the keyword search function with the term “video description.”) Despite the efforts of the Department, not all television programs that are appropriate for use in the classroom setting for children with disabilities are being video described or captioned.
The purpose of this absolute priority for Television Access is to fund cooperative agreements that will improve the learning opportunities for children with disabilities by providing access to television programming through high-quality video description and captioning. This project will support access—through high-quality video description and captioning—to widely available television programs that are appropriate for use in the classroom setting and are not otherwise required to be captioned or described by the FCC.
In addition to these programmatic requirements, to be considered for funding under this priority, applicants must meet the application and administrative requirements in this priority. The Department's Office of Special Education Programs (OSEP) encourages innovative approaches to meet these requirements:
(a) Demonstrate, in the narrative section of the application under “Significance of the Project,” how the proposed project will address the need for access to educational television programming to support equitable opportunities in early learning programs, schools, and workplaces. To meet this requirement, the applicant must—
(1) Present applicable national, State, regional, or local data demonstrating the need for accessible educational television programs in schools and workplaces for children with disabilities, including children with disabilities who may be underserved; and
(2) Demonstrate knowledge of the benefits, services, or opportunities that are available through the use of educational television programming in schools and workplaces that are fully accessible to children with disabilities, including children with disabilities who may be underserved.
(b) Demonstrate, in the narrative section of the application under “Quality of Project Services,” how the project will—
(1) Take into account the preferences of educators, students with disabilities, and the parents of these students in selecting the programming to be video described, or video described and captioned;
(2) Use criteria to select television programs of high educational value that are widely available and are appropriate for use in the classroom setting for children with disabilities at the Start Printed Page 1901preschool, elementary, or secondary level;
(3) Determine the extent to which the programming selected for video description or video description and captioning is widely available;
(4) Ensure equal access and treatment for members of groups that have traditionally been underrepresented based on race, color, national origin, linguistic diversity, gender, age, or disability;
(5) Achieve its goals, objectives, and intended outcomes. To meet this requirement, the applicant must provide—
(i) Measurable intended project outcomes; and
(ii) The logic model on how the proposed project will achieve its intended outcomes;
(6) Use a conceptual framework to develop project plans and activities describing any underlying concepts, assumptions, expectations, beliefs, or theories, as well as the presumed relationships or linkages among these variables, and any empirical support for this framework; and
(7) Be based on current research and make use of evidence-based practices. To meet this requirement, the applicant must describe—
(i) The current research and evidence-based practices related to the benefits, services, or opportunities that are available through the use of educational television programming in schools and workplaces; and
(ii) The process the proposed project will use to incorporate current research and evidence-based practices to guide the development and delivery of its products and services.
(c) Demonstrate, in the narrative section of the application under “Adequacy of Project Resources,” how—
(1) The proposed key personnel, consultants, and contractors have the qualifications, experience, and commitment to carry out the proposed activities and achieve the project's intended outcomes;
(2) The proposed project will encourage applications for employment from persons who are members of groups that have traditionally been underrepresented based on race, color, national origin, linguistic diversity, gender, age, or disability, as appropriate;
(3) The applicant and key partners have adequate resources to carry out proposed project activities. To address this requirement, the applicant must describe—
(i) The willingness of the potential television program providers or program owners, as appropriate, to permit and facilitate the video description or the video description and captioning of their programs;
(ii) Requirements and assurances that the programming that is made accessible under this project will continue to contain those video descriptions and captions after the programming is aired; and
(iii) How programming video described or captioned under this project would not otherwise be video described or captioned to meet the FCC's requirements, or how this programming is specifically exempt from the FCC's requirements;
(4) The proposed costs are reasonable in relation to the anticipated results and benefits. To address this requirement, the applicant must describe—
(i) The total number of program hours proposed to be made accessible through video description, or video description and captioning, under this project;
(ii) The cost per hour for video description and, if the applicant is proposing both video description and captioning, the cost per hour for video description and for captioning;
(iii) A plan, if any, to increase the anticipated shelf-life and distribution of educational programming described, or captioned and described, under this project; and
(iv) How the project will use emerging technology to lower the cost of video description.
(d) Demonstrate, in the narrative section of the application under “Quality of the Management Plan,” how—
(1) The proposed management plan will ensure that the project's intended outcomes will be achieved on time and within budget. To address this requirement, the applicant must describe—
(i) Clearly defined responsibilities for key project personnel, consultants, and subcontractors, as applicable; and
(ii) Timelines and milestones for accomplishing the project tasks;
(2) Key personnel, consultants, and contractors will be sufficiently allocated to the project and how these allocations are appropriate and adequate to achieve the project's intended outcomes;
(3) The proposed management plan will ensure that the products and services provided are of high quality; and
(4) The proposed project will benefit from a diversity of perspectives, including, but not limited to, students and families, early intervention service providers, educators, researchers, and other OSEP-funded projects.
(e) In the narrative section of the application under “Quality of the Evaluation Plan,” include an evaluation plan, as described in the following paragraphs. The evaluation plan must describe: measures of progress in implementation, including the extent to which the project's products and services have reached its target population; and measures of intended outcomes or results of the project's activities in order to assess the effectiveness of those activities.
In designing the evaluation plan, the project must—
(1) Revise, as needed, the logic model submitted in the grant application to provide for a more comprehensive measurement of implementation and outcomes and to reflect any changes or clarifications to the model discussed at the kick-off meeting;
(2) Revise, as needed, the evaluation plan submitted in the grant application so that it clearly—
(i) Specifies the measures and associated instruments or sources for data appropriate to the evaluation questions, suggests analytic strategies for those data, provides a timeline for conducting the evaluation, and includes staff assignments for completion of the plan; and
(ii) Can be used to assist the project director and the OSEP project officer to specify the performance measures to be addressed in the project's annual performance report; and
(3) Dedicate sufficient funds in each budget year to cover the costs of carrying out the tasks described in paragraphs (e)(1) and (e)(2) of this priority and implementing the evaluation plan.
(f) In the narrative under “Required Project Assurances” or appendices as directed, the applicant must—
(1) Include, in Appendix A, a logic model that depicts, at a minimum, the goals, activities, outputs, and intended outcomes of the proposed project. A logic model communicates how a project will achieve its intended outcomes and provides a framework for both the formative and summative evaluations of the project.
The following Web sites provide more information on logic models: www.researchutilization.org/matrix/logicmodel_resource3c.html and www.tadnet.org/pages/589;
(2) Include, in Appendix A, a conceptual framework for the project;
(3) Include, in Appendix A, person-loading charts and timelines to illustrate the management plan described in the narrative;
(4) Include in the budget costs associated with attendance at the following:Start Printed Page 1902
(i) A one and one-half day kick-off meeting to be held in Washington, DC, after receipt of the award, and an annual planning meeting held in Washington, DC, with the OSEP project officer and other relevant staff during each subsequent year of the project period.
Within 30 days of receipt of the award, a post-award teleconference must be held between the OSEP project officer and the grantee's project director or other authorized representative;
(ii) A three-day project directors' conference in Washington, DC, during each year of the project period; and
(iii) One trip annually to attend Department briefings, Department-sponsored conferences, and other meetings, as requested by OSEP; and
(5) Ensure that the project maintains a Web site that meets government or industry-recognized standards for accessibility.
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.
Applicable Regulations: This application notice (also referred to as a notice inviting applications (NIA)) is being published before the Department adopts the Uniform Administrative Requirements, Cost Principles, and Audit Requirements in 2 CFR part 200. We expect to publish interim final regulations that would adopt those requirements before December 26, 2014, and make those regulations effective on that date. Because grants awarded under this NIA will likely be made after the Department adopts the requirements in 2 CFR part 200, we list as applicable regulations both those that are currently effective and those that will be effective at the time the Department makes grants.
The current regulations follow: (a) The Education Department General Administrative Regulations (EDGAR) in 34 CFR parts 74, 75, 77, 79, 80, 81, 82, 84, 86, 97, 98, and 99. (b) The OMB Guidelines to Agencies on Governmentwide Debarment and Suspension (Nonprocurement) in 2 CFR part 180, as adopted and amended as regulations of the Department in 2 CFR part 3485.
At the time we award grants under this NIA, the following regulations will apply: (a) EDGAR in 34 CFR parts 75, 77, 79, 81, 82, 84, 86, 97, 98, and 99. (b) The OMB Guidelines to Agencies on Governmentwide Debarment and Suspension (Nonprocurement) in 2 CFR part 180, as adopted and amended as regulations of the Department in 2 CFR part 3485, and the Uniform Administrative Requirements, Cost Principles, and Audit Requirements for Federal Awards in 2 CFR part 200, as adopted and amended in 2 CFR part 3474.
The regulations in 34 CFR part 79 apply to all applicants except federally recognized Indian tribes.
The regulations in 34 CFR part 86 apply to institutions of higher education (IHEs) only.
II. Award Information
Type of Award: Cooperative agreements.
Estimated Available Funds: The Administration has requested $28,047,000 for the Educational Technology, Media, and Materials for Individuals with Disabilities program for FY 2015, of which we intend to use an estimated $2,000,000 for this competition. The actual level of funding, if any, depends on final congressional action. However, we are inviting applications to allow enough time to complete the grant process if Congress appropriates funds for this program.
Contingent on the availability of funds and the quality of applications, we may make additional awards in FY 2016 from the list of unfunded applicants from this competition.
Estimated Range of Awards: $300,000-$400,000.
Estimated Average Size of Awards: $400,000.
Maximum Award: We will reject any application that proposes a budget exceeding $400,000 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: 5.
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; freely associated States and outlying areas; Indian tribes or tribal organizations; and for-profit organizations.
2. Cost Sharing or Matching: This program does not require cost sharing or matching.
3. Other General Requirements:
(a) Recipients of funding under this competition must make positive efforts to employ and advance in employment qualified individuals with disabilities (see section 606 of IDEA).
(b) Each applicant for, and recipient of, funding under this program 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 or from the Education Publications Center (ED Pubs). To obtain a copy via the Internet, use the following address: 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) or a text telephone (TTY), call, toll free: 1-877-576-7734.
You can contact ED Pubs at its Web site, also: www.EDPubs.gov or at its email address: firstname.lastname@example.org.
If you request an application from ED Pubs, be sure to identify this competition as follows: CFDA number 84.327C.
Individuals with disabilities can obtain a copy of the application package in an accessible format (e.g., braille, large print, audiotape, or compact disc) 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 no more than 50 pages, using the following standards:
- A “page” is 8.5″ x 11″, on one side only, with 1” margins at the top, bottom, and both sides.Start Printed Page 1903
- Double-space (no more than three lines per vertical inch) all text in the application narrative, including titles, headings, footnotes, quotations, reference citations, and captions, as well as all text in charts, tables, figures, graphs, and screen shots.
- Use a font that is 12 point or larger.
- 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 and double-spacing requirements do 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 abstract (follow the guidance provided in the application package for completing the abstract), the table of contents, the list of priority requirements, the resumes, the reference list, the letters of support, or the appendices. However, the page limit and double-spacing requirement does apply to all of Part III, the application narrative, including all text in charts, tables, figures, graphs, and screen shots.
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: January 14, 2015.
Deadline for Transmittal of Applications: March 16, 2015.
Applications for grants under this competition must be submitted electronically using the Grants.gov Apply site (Grants.gov). 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.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: May 14, 2015.
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 program.
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 System for Award Management: 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 System for Award Management (SAM) (formerly 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 SAM 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-to-two business days.
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 two to five weeks for your TIN to become active.
The SAM registration process can take approximately seven business days, but may take upwards of several weeks, depending on the completeness and accuracy of the data entered into the SAM database by an entity. Thus, if you think you might want to apply for Federal financial assistance under a program administered by the Department, please allow sufficient time to obtain and register your DUNS number and TIN. We strongly recommend that you register early.
Once your SAM registration is active, you will need to allow 24 to 48 hours for the information to be available in Grants.gov and before you can submit an application through Grants.gov.
If you are currently registered with SAM, 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 registration annually. This may take three or more business days.
Information about SAM is available at www.SAM.gov. To further assist you with obtaining and registering your DUNS number and TIN in SAM or updating your existing SAM account, we have prepared a SAM.gov Tip Sheet, which you can find at: http://www2.ed.gov/fund/grant/apply/sam-faqs.html.
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 at the following Grants.gov Web page: www.grants.gov/web/grants/register.html.
7. 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 Television Access competition, CFDA number 84.327C, must be submitted electronically using the Governmentwide Grants.gov Apply site at 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 email an electronic copy of a grant application to us.
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 calculation of the date that is two weeks before the application deadline date is provided later in this section under Exception to Electronic Submission Requirement.
You may access the electronic grant application for the Television Access competition at www.Grants.gov. You must search for the downloadable application package for this competition by the CFDA number. Do not include the CFDA number's alpha suffix in your Start Printed Page 1904search (e.g., search for 84.327, not 84.327C).
Please note the following:
- 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 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 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 upload any narrative sections and all other attachments to your application as files in a PDF (Portable Document) read-only, non-modifiable format. Do not upload an interactive or fillable PDF file. If you upload a file type other than a read-only, non-modifiable PDF or submit a password-protected file, we will not review that material. Additional, detailed information on how to attach files is in the application instructions.
- 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 email. 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.
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.
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 the Grants.gov system because—
- You do not have access to the Internet; or
- You do not have the capacity to upload large documents to the Grants.gov system;
- 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: Jo Ann McCann, U.S. Department of Education, 400 Maryland Avenue SW., Room 4076, Potomac Center Plaza (PCP), Washington, DC 20202-2600. FAX: (202) 245-7617.
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 Start Printed Page 1905Department at the following address: U.S. Department of Education, Application Control Center, Attention: (CFDA Number 84.327C), 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 accept 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.
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 84.327C), 550 12th Street SW., Room 7039, 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 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 competition 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 section 682(b) of 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 current 34 CFR 74.14 and 80.12 and, when grants are made under this NIA, 2 CFR 3474.10, the Secretary may impose special conditions and, in appropriate circumstances, high-risk 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 or, when grants are awarded, the standards in 2 CFR part 200, subpart D; 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); or we may send you an email containing a link to access an electronic version of your 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 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 Start Printed Page 1906information on various aspects of the effectiveness and quality of the Educational Technology, Media, and Materials for Individuals with Disabilities program. These measures are included in the application package and focus on the extent to which projects are of high quality, are relevant to improving outcomes of children with disabilities, contribute to improving outcomes for children with disabilities, and generate evidence of validity and availability to appropriate populations. Projects funded under this competition are required to submit data on these measures as directed by OSEP.
Grantees will be required to report information on their project's performance in annual performance reports and additional performance data to the Department (34 CFR 75.590 and 75.591).
5. Continuation Awards: In making a continuation award under 34 CFR 75.253, the Secretary considers, among other things: whether a grantee has made substantial progress in achieving the goals and objectives of the project; whether the grantee has expended funds in a manner that is consistent with its approved application and budget; and, if the Secretary has established performance measurement requirements, the performance targets in the grantee's approved application. 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
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FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:
Jo Ann McCann, U.S. Department of Education, 400 Maryland Avenue SW., Room 4076, PCP, Washington, DC 20202-2600. Telephone: (202) 245-7434.
If you use a TDD or a TTY, 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 compact disc) by contacting the Grants and Contracts Services Team, U.S. Department of Education, 400 Maryland Avenue SW., Room 5037, 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: January 8, 2015.
Michael K. Yudin,
Acting Assistant Secretary for Special Education and Rehabilitative Services.
[FR Doc. 2015-00406 Filed 1-13-15; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 4000-01-P