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Notice

Applications for New Awards; Educational Technology, Media, and Materials for Individuals With Disabilities-Stepping-Up Technology Implementation

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Start Preamble

AGENCY:

Office of Special Education and Rehabilitative Services, Department of Education.

ACTION:

Notice.

SUMMARY:

The Department of Education is issuing a notice inviting applications for new awards for fiscal year (FY) 2017 for Educational Technology, Media, and Materials for Individuals with Disabilities—Stepping-up Technology Implementation, Catalog of Federal Start Printed Page 18748Domestic Assistance (CFDA) Number 84.327S.

DATES:

Applications Available: April 21, 2017.

Deadline for Transmittal of Applications: June 5, 2017.

Deadline for Intergovernmental Review: August 4, 2017.

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FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

Terry Jackson, U.S. Department of Education, 400 Maryland Avenue SW., Room 5158, Potomac Center Plaza, Washington, DC 20202-5076. Telephone: (202) 245-6039.

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.

End Further Info End Preamble Start Supplemental Information

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

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: (1) Improve results for students with disabilities by promoting the development, demonstration, and use of technology; (2) support educational activities designed to be of educational value in the classroom for students with disabilities; (3) provide support for captioning and video description that is appropriate for use in the classroom; and (4) provide accessible educational materials to students with disabilities in a timely manner.[1]

Priority: In accordance with 34 CFR 75.105(b)(2)(v), this priority and the competitive preference priorities within this priority are from allowable activities specified in the statute (see sections 674(c)(1)(D) and 681(d) of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) (20 U.S.C. 1474(c)(1)(D) and 1481(d))).

Absolute Priority: For FY 2017 and any subsequent year in which we make awards from the list of unfunded applications 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:

Stepping-up Technology Implementation.

Background

The purpose of this priority is to fund cooperative agreements to: identify strategies needed to effectively implement research-based technology tools [2] that benefit students with disabilities, and develop and disseminate products [3] that will help a broad range of schools to effectively implement these technology tools.

Congress recognized in IDEA that “almost 30 years of research and experience has demonstrated that the education of children with disabilities can be made more effective by . . . supporting the development and use of technology, including assistive technology devices and assistive technology services, to maximize accessibility for children with disabilities” (section 601(c)(5)(H) of IDEA).

Technology can be the great equalizer in a classroom for students with disabilities. The use of technology, including assistive technology devices and assistive technology services, enhances instruction and access to the general education curriculum. Innovative technology tools, programs, and software can be used to promote engagement and enhance the learning experience (Brunvand & Byrd, 2011). Innovative technology tools and programs are especially helpful as educators work to engage and motivate students who struggle with the general education curriculum. Additionally, the development of newer technologies for, and their presence in, early childhood education is rapidly increasing. When media-rich content is integrated into the curriculum and supported with adult guidance, technology experiences for young children are associated with better language, literacy, and mathematics outcomes. Additionally, technology integration in early childhood settings has been linked to increased social awareness and collaborative behaviors, improved abstract reasoning and problem solving abilities, and enhanced visual-motor coordination (McManis & Gunnewig, 2012).

Technologies can support State educational agencies (SEAs) and local educational agencies (LEAs) by: (a) Improving student learning and engagement; (b) accommodating the special needs of students; (c) facilitating student and teacher access to digital content and resources; and (d) improving the quality of instruction through personalized learning and data (Duffey & Fox, 2012; Fletcher, Schaffhauser, & Levi, 2012; U.S. Department of Education, 2010). As stipulated in section 4109 of the Every Student Succeeds Act, technologies can be used to support LEAs and SEAs to increase student access to personalized, rigorous learning experiences.

Notwithstanding the potential benefits of using technology to improve learning outcomes, research suggests that implementation can be a significant challenge. For example, data from a survey of more than 1,000 kindergarten through grade 12 (K-12) teachers, principals, and assistant principals indicated that simply providing teachers with technology does not ensure that it will be used (Grunwald & Associates, 2010). Additionally, Perlman and Redding (2011) found that in order to be used most effectively, technology must be implemented in ways that align with curricular and teacher goals and offer students opportunities to use these tools in their learning. Even as schools have started to deliver coursework online, and the number of students involved in online learning has grown, many of these online learning technologies have not been designed to be accessible to students with disabilities (Center on Online Learning and Students with Disabilities, 2012). These findings demonstrate a need for products and resources that can assist educators to readily implement technology tools for students with disabilities.

In response to this need, Stepping-up Technology Implementation projects have built on technology development efforts by identifying, developing, and disseminating products and resources that promote the effective implementation [4] of instructional and Start Printed Page 18749assistive technology tools in early childhood or K-12 settings.[5]

Priority

The purpose of this priority is to fund five cooperative agreements to: (a) Identify strategies needed to readily implement existing technology tools based on evidence that benefit students with disabilities; and (b) develop and disseminate products (See footnote 3; e.g., instruction manuals, lesson plans, demonstration videos, ancillary instructional materials) that will assist personnel in early childhood or K-12 settings to readily use, understand, and implement these technology tools.

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

Application Requirements

An applicant must include in its application—

(a) A project design supported by strong theory (as defined in this notice);

(b) A logic model (as defined in this notice) or conceptual framework that depicts at a minimum, the goals, activities, project evaluation, methods, performance measures, outputs, and outcomes of the proposed project.

Note:

The following Web sites provide more information on logic models: www.osepideasthatwork.org/​logicModel and www.osepideasthatwork.org/​resources-grantees/​program-areas/​ta-ta/​tad-project-logic-model-and-conceptual-framework;

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

(d) 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;

(e) Documentation that the technology tool is fully developed, is based on evidence, and addresses, at a minimum, the following principles of universal design:

(1) Multiple means of presentation so that students can approach information in more than one way (e.g., specialized software and Web sites, screen readers that include features such as text-to-speech, changeable color contrast, alterable text size, or selection of different reading levels);

(2) Multiple means of expression so that all students can demonstrate knowledge through options such as writing, online concept mapping, or speech-to-text programs, where appropriate; and

(3) Multiple means of engagement to stimulate interest in and motivation for learning (e.g., options among several different learning activities or content for a particular competency or skill and providing opportunities for increased collaboration or scaffolding); [6]

(f) A plan for how the project will sustain the proposed technology tool or strategy, supported by evidence, after funding ends;

(g) A plan for recruiting and selecting [7] the following:

(1) Three development schools. Development schools are the sites in which iterative development [8] of the products and resources intended to support the implementation of technology tools will occur. The project must start implementing the technology tool with one development school in year one of the project period and two additional development schools in year two;

(2) Four pilot schools. Pilot schools are the sites in which try-out, formative evaluation, and refinement of the products and resources will occur. The project must work with the four pilot schools during years three and four of the project period; and

(3) Ten dissemination schools. Dissemination schools will be selected if the project is extended for a fifth year. Dissemination schools will be used to (a) refine the products for use by teachers and (b) evaluate the performance of the tool. Dissemination schools will receive less technical assistance (TA) from the project than development or pilot schools. Also, at this stage (i.e., the fifth year), dissemination schools will extend the benefits of the technology tool to additional students. To be selected as a dissemination school, eligible schools and LEAs must commit to working with the project to implement the research-based technology tool. A school may not serve in more than one category (i.e., development, pilot, dissemination);

(h) School site information (e.g., elementary, middle, high school or early childhood setting; persistently lowest-achieving school or high-needs school (as defined in this notice)) about the development, pilot, and dissemination schools; student demographics (e.g., race or ethnicity, percentage of students eligible for free or reduced-price lunch); and other pertinent data; and

(i) A budget for attendance at the following:

(1) 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.

Note:

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.

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

(3) Two two-day trips annually to attend Department briefings, Department-sponsored conferences, and other meetings, as requested by OSEP.

Project Activities

To meet the requirements of this priority, the project, at a minimum, must conduct the following activities:

(a) Recruit a minimum of three development schools in one LEA and four pilot schools across at least two LEAs in accordance with the plan proposed under paragraph (g) of the Application Requirements section of this notice.

Note:

Final site selection will be determined in consultation with the OSEP project officer following the kick-off meeting.

(b) Identify and develop resources and products that, when used to support technology tool implementation, create accessible learning opportunities for all children, including children with disabilities, and will support the sustained implementation of the selected technology tool. Development of the products must be an iterative process beginning in a single development school and continuing through repeated cycles of development and refinement in the other development schools, followed by a Start Printed Page 18750formative evaluation and refinement in the pilot schools. To support implementation of the technology tool the products and resources must, at a minimum, include:

(1) An instrument or method for assessing—

(i) Whether the technology tool has achieved its intended outcomes;

(ii) The school staff's current technology uses and needs, current technology investments, firewall issues, and the knowledge and availability of dedicated on-site technology personnel; and

(iii) The readiness of development and pilot sites to implement the technology tool. Any instruments and methods for assessing readiness may include resource inventory checklists, school self-study guides, and survey of teachers' interests.

(c) Provide ongoing professional development activities necessary for teachers to implement the technology tool with fidelity and to integrate it into the curriculum.

(d) Collect and analyze data on whether the technology tool has achieved its intended outcomes for early childhood development, academic achievement, or college- and career-readiness.

(e) Collect formative and summative data from the development and pilot schools to refine and evaluate the products.

(f) If the project is extended to a fifth year, provide the products and the technology tool to no fewer than 10 dissemination schools that are not the same schools used as development or pilot schools.

(g) Collect summative data about the success of the products in supporting implementation of the technology tool in the dissemination schools; and

(h) By the end of the project period, provide—

(1) Information on the products and resources, as supported by the project evaluation, including any accessibility features, that will enable other schools to implement and sustain implementation of the technology tool;

(2) A plan for implementing the technology that includes relevant information (e.g., data on how teachers used the technology, data on how technology impacted student outcomes, how technology was implemented with fidelity, features of universal design);

(3) Information on how the technology tool achieved its intended outcomes related to early childhood (e.g., data to assess how well the project addressed the goals of the project as described in the logic model), academic achievement, or college- and career-readiness for children with disabilities; and

(4) A plan for disseminating the technology tool and accompanying products beyond the schools directly involved in the project.

Cohort Collaboration and Support

OSEP project officer(s) will provide coordination support among the projects. Each project funded under this priority must:

(a) Participate in monthly conference-call discussions to share and collaborate around implementation and specific project issues; and

(b) Provide information annually using a template that captures descriptive data on project site selection, processes for installation of technology, and the use of technology and sustainability (i.e., the process of technology implementation).

Note:

The following Web site provides more information about implementation research: http://nirn.fpg.unc.edu/​learn-implementation.

Fifth Year of Project

The Secretary may extend a project one year beyond 48 months to work with dissemination schools if the grantee is achieving the intended outcomes (e.g., provides data that demonstrate the project addressed the goals of the project as described in the logic model) and making a positive contribution to the implementation of a research-based technology tool in the development and pilot schools. Each applicant must include in its application a plan for the full 60-month award. In deciding whether to continue funding the project for the fifth year, the Secretary will consider the requirements of 34 CFR 75.253(a), and will consider:

(a) The recommendation of a review team consisting of the OSEP project officer and other experts selected by the Secretary. This review will be held during the last half of the third year of the project period;

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

(c) Evidence of the degree to which the project's activities have contributed to changed practices and improved early childhood outcomes, academic achievement, or college- and career-readiness for students with disabilities.

Competitive Preference Priorities: Within this absolute priority, we give competitive preference to applications that address the following priorities. Under 34 CFR 75.105(c)(2)(i), we award an additional two points to an application that meets one of the competitive preference priorities. Applicants may address only one competitive preference priority. Applications will only be awarded two or zero points and must identify which competitive preference priority they are addressing.

Note:

Under each competitive preference priority, no more than one application will be funded based solely on competitive preference points (i.e., exceeded the funding cut-off score as a result of receiving the two points).

The priorities are:

Competitive Preference Priority 1—Students with the Most Significant Cognitive Disabilities. (Two Points).

To meet this competitive preference priority, projects must be designed to support teachers in providing access through technology to the general education curriculum aligned with State grade-level content standards or alternate academic achievement standards in mathematics and English language arts (K-12) for students with the most significant cognitive disabilities. Teachers of students with the most significant cognitive disabilities will be able to use the technology to differentiate grade-level instruction effectively and will be able to better track student progress toward grade-level proficiency. Applicants responding to the competitive preference priority must—

(a) Identify technology tools based on evidence needed to implement an English language arts or mathematics curriculum aligned with State grade-level content standards or alternate academic achievement standards for students with the most significant cognitive disabilities;

(b) Identify a curriculum and performance tracking tool for use by teachers for the purpose of assessing the outcomes of the technology's intended use on individualized instruction aligned to K-12 grade—level content standards, or alternate academic achievement standards, in English language arts and mathematics appropriate to students with the most significant cognitive disabilities; and

(c) Develop and disseminate accessible products and resources (e.g., instruction manuals, lesson plans, demonstration videos, ancillary instructional materials) that will assist teachers in K-12 settings to implement the technology.

Competitive Preference Priority 2—Projects Supported by Evidence of Promise (Two Points).

To meet this competitive preference priority, applicants must include in the Start Printed Page 18751literature review required under the absolute priority (paragraph (a) under the heading Application Requirements) research that meets at least the evidence of promise standard and that supports the promise (i.e., evidence base) of the proposed model under the absolute priority and its components and processes.

Note:

An applicant addressing this competitive preference priority must identify no more than two study citations that meet this standard.

Competitive Preference Priority 3—Technology to Support Instructors and Students in Juvenile Correctional Facilities (Two Points).

To meet this competitive preference priority, projects must provide technology to support instructors and students in juvenile correctional facilities that—

(a) Allows instructors to immediately assess a student's current grade-level ability when the student moves into a juvenile correctional facility without having the appropriate educational information (e.g., individualized education program, section 504 plans, behavior intervention plans). Technology can also allow instructors to develop education plans in addition to individualized education programs required for students with disabilities under IDEA and plans that describe services required for students with disabilities under section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973;

(b) Equips instructors with tools and resources to enhance the classroom experience, such as flipped classrooms, blended learning, and other models and methods that would allow students to make educational gains in and outside of the classroom; and

(c) Expands the reach of correctional education services to provide more incarcerated individuals with the knowledge and skills needed to graduate.

References

Brunvand, S., & Byrd, S. (2011). Using VoiceThread to promote learning engagement and success for all students. Teaching Exceptional Children, 43 (4), 28-37.

Center on Online Learning and Students with Disabilities (COLSD). (2012). The foundation of online learning for students with disabilities (COLSD White Paper). Lawrence, KS: Author. Retrieved from http://centerononlinelearning.org/​wp-content/​uploads/​Foundation_​7_​2012.pdf.

Diamond, K.E., & Powell, D.R. (2011). An iterative approach to the development of a professional development intervention for Head Start teachers. Journal of Early Intervention, 33 (1), 75-93.

Duffey, D., & Fox, C. (2012). National Educational Technology Trends 2012: State Leadership Empowers Educators, Transforms Teaching and Learning. Washington, DC: State Educational Technology Directors Association. Retrieved from https://eric.ed.gov/​PDFS/​ED536746.pdf.

Fixsen, D.L., Naoom, S.F., Blase, K.A., Friedman, R.M., & Wallace, F. (2005). Implementation research: A synthesis of the literature. Tampa, FL: University of South Florida, Louis de la Parte Florida Mental Health Institute, The National Implementation Research Network.

Fletcher, G., Schaffhauser, D. & Levi, D. (2012). Out of print: Reimagining the K-12 textbook in a digital age. Washington, DC: State Educational Technology Directors Association. Retrieved from www.setda.org/​c/​document_​library/​get_​file?​folderId=​321&​name=​DLFE-1587.pdf.

Grunwald & Associates. (2010). Educators, technology, and 21st century skills: Dispelling five myths. Retrieved from Walden University, Richard W. Riley College of Education Web site: www.WaldenU.edu/​fivemyths.

McManis, L.D., & Gunnewig, S.B. (2012). Finding the education in educational technology with early learners. Young Children, 67 (3), 14-24.

Perlman, C.L., & Redding, S. (Eds.). (2011). Choosing and implementing technology wisely. Handbook on Effective Implementation of School Improvement Grants. Lincoln, IL: Academic Development Institute. Retrieved from www.centerii.org/​handbook.

U.S. Department of Education, Office of Educational Technology. (2010). Transforming American Education: Learning Powered by Technology. Washington, DC: Author. Retrieved from www.ed.gov/​sites/​default/​files/​netp2010.pdf.

Definitions

These definitions are from 34 CFR 77.1 and the Department's notice of final supplemental priorities and definitions for discretionary grant programs (Supplemental Priorities), published in the Federal Register on December 10, 2014 (79 FR 73425), as marked.

The following definitions are from 34 CFR 77.1:

Evidence of promise means there is empirical evidence to support the theoretical linkage(s) between at least one critical component and at least one relevant outcome presented in the logic model for the proposed process, product, strategy, or practice. Specifically, evidence of promise means the conditions in both paragraphs (i) and (ii) of this definition are met:

(i) There is at least one study that is a—

(A) Correlational study with statistical controls for selection bias;

(B) Quasi-experimental design study that meets the What Works Clearinghouse Evidence Standards with reservations; or

(C) Randomized controlled trial that meets the What Works Clearinghouse Evidence Standards with or without reservations.

(ii) The study referenced in paragraph (i) of this definition found a statistically significant or substantively important (defined as a difference of 0.25 standard deviations or larger) favorable association between at least one critical component and one relevant outcome presented in the logic model for the proposed process, product, strategy, or practice.

Logic model (also referred to as theory of action) means a well-specified conceptual framework that identifies key components of the proposed process, product, strategy, or practice (i.e., the active “ingredients” that are hypothesized to be critical to achieving the relevant outcomes) and describes the relationships among the key components and outcomes, theoretically and operationally.

Quasi-experimental design study means a study using a design that attempts to approximate an experimental design by identifying a comparison group that is similar to the treatment group in important respects. These studies, depending on design and implementation, can meet What Works Clearinghouse Evidence Standards with reservations (but not What Works Clearinghouse Evidence Standards without reservations).

Randomized controlled trial means a study that employs random assignment of, for example, students, teachers, classrooms, schools, or districts to receive the intervention being evaluated (the treatment group) or not to receive the intervention (the control group). The estimated effectiveness of the intervention is the difference between the average outcomes for the treatment group and for the control group. These studies, depending on design and implementation, can meet What Works Clearinghouse Evidence Standards without reservations.

Relevant outcome means the student outcome(s) (or the ultimate outcome if not related to students) the proposed process, product, strategy, or practice is designed to improve; consistent with the specific goals of a program.

Strong theory means a rationale for the proposed process, product, strategy, or practice that includes a logic model.

What Works Clearinghouse Evidence Standards means the standards set forth in the What Works Clearinghouse Procedures and Standards Handbook (Version 3.0, March 2014), which can be found at the following link: http://Start Printed Page 18752ies.ed.gov/​ncee/​wwc/​DocumentSum.aspx?​sid=​19.

The following definitions are from the Supplemental Priorities:

Persistently lowest-achieving school means, as determined by the State—

(a)(1) Any Title I school that has been identified for improvement, corrective action, or restructuring under section 1116 of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965, as amended (ESEA) and that—

(i) Is among the lowest-achieving five percent of Title I schools in improvement, corrective action, or restructuring or the lowest-achieving five Title I schools in improvement, corrective action, or restructuring in the State, whichever number of schools is greater; or

(ii) Is a high school that has had a graduation rate, as defined in 34 CFR 200.19(b), that is less than 60 percent over a number of years; and

(2) Any secondary school that is eligible for, but does not receive, Title I funds that—

(i) Is among the lowest-achieving five percent of secondary schools or the lowest-achieving five secondary schools in the State that are eligible for, but do not receive, Title I funds, whichever number of schools is greater; or

(ii) Is a high school that has had a graduation rate, as defined in 34 CFR 200.19(b), that is less than 60 percent over a number of years.

(b) To identify the lowest-achieving schools, a State must take into account both—

(i) The academic achievement of the “all students” group in a school in terms of proficiency on the State's assessments under section 1111(b)(3) of the ESEA, in reading/language arts and mathematics combined; and

(ii) The school's lack of progress on those assessments over a number of years in the “all students” group.

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. 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. Applicable Regulations: (a) The Education Department General Administrative Regulations in 34 CFR parts 75, 77, 79, 81, 82, 84, 86, 97, 98, and 99. (b) The Office of Management and Budget 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. (c) The Uniform Administrative Requirements, Cost Principles, and Audit Requirements for Federal Awards in 2 CFR part 200, as adopted and amended as regulations of the Department in 2 CFR part 3474. (d) The Supplemental Priorities.

End Authority

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: The Administration has requested $30,047,000 for the Educational Technology, Media, and Materials for Individuals with Disabilities program for FY 2017, of which we intend to use an estimated $2,500,000 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 upon the availability of funds and the quality of applications, we may make additional awards in FY 2018 from the list of unfunded applications from this competition.

Estimated Range of Awards: $450,000 to $500,000 per year.

Estimated Average Size of Awards: $471,352 per year.

Maximum Award: We will reject any application that proposes a budget exceeding $500,000 for a single budget period of 12 months.

Estimated Number of Awards: 5.

Note:

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

Project Period: Up to 48 months.

III. Eligibility Information

1. Eligible Applicants: SEAs; 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. Eligible Subgrantees: (a) Under 34 CFR 75.708(b) and (c) a grantee may award subgrants—to directly carry out project activities described in its application—to the following types of entities: SEAs; 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.

(b) The grantee may award subgrants to entities it has identified in an approved application.

4. 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 must, with respect to the aspects of the proposed project relating to the absolute priority, 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: 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 TDD or a 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: edpubs@inet.ed.gov.

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

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 VII of this notice.

2. Content and Form of Application Submission: Requirements concerning the content and form 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 Start Printed Page 18753your 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.
  • 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 requirements do 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 in the application narrative section, or if you apply standards other than those specified in this notice and the application package.

3. Submission Dates and Times:

Applications Available: April 21, 2017.

Deadline for Transmittal of Applications: June 5, 2017.

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 Other Submission Requirements in section IV 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. 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 4, 2017.

4. Intergovernmental Review: This competition is subject to Executive Order 12372 and the regulations in 34 CFR part 79. Information about Intergovernmental Review of Federal Programs under Executive Order 12372 is in the application package for this competition.

5. Funding Restrictions: We reference regulations outlining funding restrictions in the Applicable Regulations section of this notice.

6. 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), 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 at the following Web site: http://fedgov.dnb.com/​webform. 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 you enter into the SAM database. 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.

Note:

Once your SAM registration is active, it may be 24 to 48 hours before you can access the information in, and 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: 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 Educational Technology, Media, and Materials for Individuals with Disabilities—Stepping-up Technology Implementation competition, CFDA number 84.327S, 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 Educational Start Printed Page 18754Technology, Media, and Materials for Individuals with Disabilities—Stepping-up Technology Implementation 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 search (e.g., search for 84.327, not 84.327S).

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. In addition, for specific guidance and procedures for submitting an application through Grants.gov, please refer to the Grants.gov Web site at: www.grants.gov/​web/​grants/​applicants/​apply-for-grants.html.
  • 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 read-only Portable Document Format (PDF). Do not upload an interactive or fillable PDF file. If you upload a file type other than a read-only PDF (e.g., Word, Excel, WordPerfect, etc.) or submit a password-protected file, we will not review that material. Please note that this could result in your application not being considered for funding because the material in question—for example, the application narrative—is critical to a meaningful review of your proposal. For that reason it is important to allow yourself adequate time to upload all material as PDF files. The Department will not convert material from other formats to PDF. 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. Grants.gov will also notify you automatically by email if your application met all the Grants.gov validation requirements or if there were any errors (such as submission of your application by someone other than a registered Authorized Organization Representative, or inclusion of an attachment with a file name that contains special characters). You will be given an opportunity to correct any errors and resubmit, but you must still meet the deadline for submission of applications.

Once your application is successfully validated by Grants.gov, the Department will retrieve your application from Grants.gov and send you an email with a unique PR/Award number for your application.

These emails do not mean that your application is without any disqualifying errors. While your application may have been successfully validated by Grants.gov, it must also meet the Department's application requirements as specified in this notice and in the application instructions. Disqualifying errors could include, for instance, failure to upload attachments in a read-only PDF; failure to submit a required part of the application; or failure to meet applicant eligibility requirements. It is your responsibility to ensure that your submitted application has met all of the Department's requirements.

  • 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 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 the problem affected your ability to submit your application by 4:30:00 p.m., Washington, DC time, on the application deadline date. We will contact you after we determine 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.

Exception to Electronic Submission Requirement: You qualify for an exception to the electronic submission requirement, and may submit your Start Printed Page 18755application 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;

and

  • No later than two weeks before the application deadline date (14 calendar days or, if the fourteenth calendar day before the application deadline date falls on a Federal holiday, the next business day following the Federal holiday), you mail or fax a written statement to the Department, explaining which of the two grounds for an exception prevents you from using the internet to submit your application.

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

Address and mail or fax your statement to: Terry Jackson, U.S. Department of Education, 400 Maryland Avenue SW., Room 5158, Potomac Center Plaza, Washington, DC 20202-5076. FAX: (202) 245-7590.

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

b. Submission of Paper Applications by Mail.

If you qualify for an exception to the electronic submission requirement, you may mail (through the U.S. Postal Service or a commercial carrier) your application to the Department. You must mail the original and two copies of your application, on or before the application deadline date, to the Department at the following address: U.S. Department of Education, Application Control Center, Attention: (CFDA Number 84.327S), 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.

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.

We will not consider applications postmarked after the application deadline date.

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 84.327S), 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 maximum score for all of the selection criteria is 100 points. The application narrative should include the following sections in this order:

(a) Significance (10 points).

The Secretary considers the significance of the proposed project.

(1) In determining the significance of the proposed project, the Secretary considers the following factors:

(i) The significance of the problem or issue to be addressed, and the magnitude of the need for the services to be provided or carried out by the proposed project;

(ii) The extent to which specific gaps or weaknesses in services, infrastructure, or opportunities have been identified and how the specific gaps or weaknesses will be addressed by the proposed project;

(iii) The potential contribution of the proposed project to increase knowledge or understanding of educational problems, issues, or effective strategies and the development and advancement of theory, knowledge, and practices in the field of study; and

(iv) The extent to which the proposed project will focus on serving or otherwise addressing the needs of children with disabilities.

(b) Quality of project services (20 points).

The Secretary considers the quality of the products and/or services to be provided by the proposed project.

(1) In determining the quality of the products and/or services to be provided by the proposed project, the Secretary considers the quality and sufficiency of strategies for ensuring equal access and treatment for eligible project participants who are members of groups that have traditionally been underrepresented based on race, color, national origin, gender, age or disability.

(2) In addition, the Secretary considers the following factors:

(i) The extent to which the products and/or services to be provided by the proposed project reflect current knowledge from research and effective practice;

(ii) The extent to which the products and/or services are of sufficient quality, intensity, and duration to lead to outcomes as intended by the proposed project;

(iii) The extent to which the products and/or services to be provided by the proposed, project, involve the collaboration of appropriate partners for maximizing the effectiveness of project services;

(iv) The likely utility of the products and/or services that will result from the proposed project, including the potential for their being used effectively in a variety of other settings; and

(v) The extent to which the products and resources developed by the proposed project include accessible accessibility features, supporting the sustained implementation of the technology tool or strategy.

(c) Quality of the project design (20 points).

The Secretary considers the quality of the design of the proposed project.

(1) In determining the quality of the design of the proposed project, the Secretary considers the following factors:Start Printed Page 18756

(i) The extent to which the goals, objectives, and outcomes to be achieved by the proposed project are clearly specified and measurable;

(ii) The extent to which the proposed logic model or conceptual framework depicts at a minimum, the goals, activities, outputs, and outcomes of the proposed project.

(iii) The extent to which the design of the proposed project includes a thorough, high-quality review of the relevant literature, reflects current knowledge from research and effective practice; supported by strong theory; a high-quality plan for project implementation, and the use of appropriate methodological tools to ensure successful achievement of project objectives.

(iv) The extent to which the proposed technology tool or strategy is fully-developed, evidence-based (as defined in this notice) and that can be implemented to improve early childhood outcomes, academic achievement, or college and career readiness; and

(v) The extent to which the proposed technology tool or strategy addresses the following principles of universal design: (a) Multiple means of representation so students can approach information in more than one way; (b) multiple means of expression so that all students can demonstrate and express what they know; and (c) multiple means of engagement to stimulate interest in and motivation for learning.

(d) Quality of the management plan (25 points).

The Secretary considers the quality of the management plan for the proposed project.

(1) In determining the quality of the management plan for the proposed project, the Secretary considers the following factors:

(i) The adequacy of the management plan to implement the activities described in the Project Activities section and to achieve the objectives of the proposed project on time and within budget, including clearly defined responsibilities, timelines, and milestones for accomplishing project tasks;

(ii) The extent to which the time commitments and qualifications of the project director and principal investigator, including relevant training and experience of key project personnel, project consultants or subcontractors are appropriate and adequate to meet the objectives of the proposed project.

(iii) The adequacy of the plan for recruiting and selecting:

(a) The three development schools (the sites in which iterative development of the implementation of technology tools and products will occur. The project must start implementing the technology tool with at least one development school in year one of the project period and two additional development schools in year two;

(b) Four pilot schools (the sites in which try-out, formative evaluation, and refinement of technology tools and products will occur. The project must work with the four pilot schools during years three and four of the project period; and

(c) Ten dissemination schools. The dissemination schools will be selected if the project is extended for a fifth year. Dissemination schools will be used to conduct the final test of the effectiveness of the products and the final opportunity for the project to refine the products for use by teachers, but will receive less technical assistance (TA) from the project than the development and pilot schools;

(iv) The adequacy of the information (e.g., early childhood setting; elementary, middle, or high school; persistently lowest-achieving school; priority school) about the development, pilot, and students eligible for free or reduced-price lunch); and other pertinent data;

(v) The adequacy of the plan to which the results and accompanying products of the proposed project will be disseminated in ways that will enable others to use the information or strategies; and

(vi) The adequacy of the plan to sustain the technology after funding ends.

(e) Adequacy of resources (10 points).

The Secretary considers the adequacy of resources for the proposed project.

(1) In determining the quality of project personnel, the Secretary considers the extent to which the applicant encourages applications for employment from persons who are members of groups that have traditionally been underrepresented based on race, color, national origin, gender, age, or disability.

(2) In determining the adequacy of resources for the proposed project, the Secretary considers the following factors:

(i) The adequacy of support, including facilities, equipment, supplies, and other resources, from the applicant organization or the lead applicant organization;

(ii) The relevance and demonstrated commitment of each partner in the proposed project to the implementation and success of the project; and

(iii) The extent to which the budget is adequate to support the proposed project; and the costs are reasonable in relation to the objectives, design, and potential significance of the proposed project.

(f) Quality of the project evaluation (15 points).

The Secretary considers the quality of the evaluation to be conducted of the proposed project.

(1) In determining the quality of the evaluation, the Secretary considers the following factors:

(i) The extent to which the methods of evaluation are thorough, feasible, and appropriate to the context within which the project operates, and include the use of objective performance measures that are clearly related to the intended outcomes of the project and will produce quantitative and qualitative data;

(ii) The extent to which the methods of evaluation provide for the examination of the effectiveness of project implementation strategies;

(iii) The extent to which the methods of evaluation is linked to the proposed project's logic model is appropriate for the formative evaluation, describing how performance objectives in plan will ensure continuous performance feedback and improvement and assessment of progress toward achieving intended outcomes in the operation of the proposed project's activities.

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 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 Start Printed Page 18757IDEA 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.

4. Risk Assessment and Special Conditions: Consistent with 2 CFR 200.205, before awarding grants under this competition the Department conducts a review of the risks posed by applicants. Under 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 2 CFR part 200, subpart D; has not fulfilled the conditions of a prior grant; or is otherwise not responsible.

5. Integrity and Performance System: If you are selected under this competition to receive an award that over the course of the project period may exceed the simplified acquisition threshold (currently $150,000), under 2 CFR 200.205(a)(2), we must make a judgment about your integrity, business ethics, and record of performance under Federal awards—that is, the risk posed by you as an applicant—before we make an award. In doing so, we must consider any information about you that is in the integrity and performance system (currently referred to as the Federal Awardee Performance and Integrity Information System (FAPIIS)), accessible through SAM. You may review and comment on any information about yourself that a Federal agency previously entered and that is currently in FAPIIS.

Please note that, if the total value of your currently active grants, cooperative agreements, and procurement contracts from the Federal Government exceeds $10,000,000, the reporting requirements in 2 CFR part 200, Appendix XII, require you to report certain integrity information to FAPIIS semiannually. Please review the requirements in 2 CFR part 200, Appendix XII, if this grant plus all the other Federal funds you receive exceed $10,000,000.

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 multiyear 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.

(c) Under 34 CFR 75.250(b), the Secretary may provide a grantee with additional funding for data collection analysis and reporting. In this case the Secretary establishes a data collection period.

4. Performance Measures: Under the Government Performance and Results Act of 1993, 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 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 award, 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. 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 Management Support Services Team, U.S. Department of Education, 400 Maryland Avenue SW., Room 5113, Potomac Center Plaza, Washington, DC 20202-2500. 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 Start Printed Page 18758text or 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.

Start Signature

Dated: April 18, 2017.

Ruth E. Ryder,

Deputy Director, Office of Special Education Programs, delegated the duties of the Assistant Secretary for Special Education and Rehabilitative Services.

End Signature End Supplemental Information

Footnotes

1.  Applicants should note that other laws, including the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 (42 U.S.C. 12101 et seq.; 28 CFR part 35) and Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 (29 U.S.C. 794; 34 CFR part 104), may require that State educational agencies (SEAs) and local educational agencies (LEAs) provide captioning, video description, and other accessible educational materials to students with disabilities when such materials are necessary to provide students with disabilities with equally integrated and equally effective access to the benefits of the educational program or activity, or as part of a “free appropriate public education” as defined in the Department of Education's Section 504 regulation.

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2.  For the purposes of this priority, “technology tools” may include, but are not limited to, digital math text readers for students with visual impairments, reading software to improve literacy and communication development, and text-to-speech software to improve reading performance. These tools must assist or otherwise benefit students with disabilities.

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3.  For the purposes of this priority, “products” may include, but are not limited to, instruction manuals, lesson plans, demonstration videos, ancillary instructional materials, and professional development modules such as collaborative groups, coaching, mentoring, or online supports.

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4.  In this context, “effective implementation” means “making better use of research findings in typical service settings through the use of processes and activities (such as accountable implementation teams) that are purposeful and described in sufficient detail such that independent observers can detect the presence and strength of these processes and activities” (Fixsen, Naoom, Blase, Friedman, & Wallace, 2005).

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5.  For the purposes of this priority, “settings” include general education classrooms, special education classrooms, high-quality early childhood programs, or any place where school-based instruction occurs.

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6.  For more information on the principles of universal design, see www.udlcenter.org/​aboutudl/​whatisudl/​3principles.

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7.  For more information on recruiting and selecting sites, refer to Assessing Sites for Model Demonstration: Lessons Learned from OSEP Grantees at http://mdcc.sri.com/​documents/​reports/​MDCC_​Site_​Assessment_​Brief_​09-30-11.pdf.

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8.  For the purposes of this priority, “iterative development” refers to a process of testing, systematically securing feedback, and then revising the educational intervention that leads to revisions in the intervention to increase the likelihood that it will be implemented with fidelity (Diamond & Powell, 2011).

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[FR Doc. 2017-08119 Filed 4-20-17; 8:45 am]

BILLING CODE 4000-01-P