Office of Special Education and Rehabilitative Services, Department of Education.
The mission of the Office of Special Education and Rehabilitative Services (OSERS) is to improve early childhood, educational, and employment outcomes and raise expectations for all people with disabilities, their families, their communities, and the Nation. As such, the Department of Education (Department) is issuing a notice inviting applications for fiscal year (FY) 2019 for American Indian Vocational Rehabilitation Services—Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance (CFDA) Number 84.250M—to partner with Indian Tribes in providing eligible American Indians with disabilities with vocational rehabilitation services. This notice relates to the approved information collection under OMB control number 1820-0018.
Applications Available: June 13, 2019.
Deadline for Transmittal of Applications: July 29, 2019.
Pre-Application Webinar Information: No later than June 18, 2019, OSERS will post pre-recorded informational webinars designed to provide technical assistance to interested applicants. The webinars will be available at www2.ed.gov/fund/grant/apply/rsa/new-rsa-grants.html.
Pre-Application Q & A Blog: No later than June 18, 2019, OSERS will open a blog where interested applicants may post questions about the application requirements for this competition and where OSERS will post answers to the questions received. OSERS will not respond to questions unrelated to the application requirements for this competition. The blog will be available at www2.ed.gov/fund/grant/apply/rsa/new-rsa-grants.html and will remain open until July 2, 2019. After the blog closes, applicants should direct questions to the person listed under FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT.
For the addresses for obtaining and submitting an application, please refer to our Common Instructions for Applicants to Department of Education Discretionary Grant Programs, published in the Federal Register on February 13, 2019 (84 FR 3768), and available at www.govinfo.gov/content/pkg/FR-2019-02-13/pdf/2019-02206.pdf.
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FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:
August Martin, U.S. Department of Education, 400 Maryland Avenue SW, Room 5064A, Potomac Center Plaza, Washington, DC 20202-2800. Telephone: (202) 245-7410. Email: August.Martin@ed.gov.
If you use a telecommunications device for the deaf (TDD) or a text telephone (TTY), call the Federal Relay Service (FRS), toll free, at 1-800-877-8339.
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Full Text of Announcement
I. Funding Opportunity Description
Purpose of Program: The purpose of this program is to provide vocational rehabilitation (VR) services, including culturally appropriate services, to American Indians with disabilities who reside on or near Federal or State reservations, consistent with such eligible individual's strengths, resources, priorities, concerns, abilities, capabilities, interests, and informed choice, so that such individual may prepare for, and engage in, high-quality employment that will increase opportunities for economic self-sufficiency.
Priority: In accordance with 34 CFR 75.105(b)(2)(iv), this priority is from section 121(b)(4) of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, as amended (29 U.S.C. 741(b)(4)).
Competitive Preference Priority: For FY 2019, and any subsequent year in which we make awards from the list of unfunded applications from this competition, this priority is a competitive preference priority. Under 34 CFR 75.105(c)(2)(i), we award an additional five points to an application that meets this priority.
This priority is: Continuation of Previously Funded Tribal Programs.
In making new awards under this program, we give priority to applications for the continuation of programs that have been funded under the AIVRS program.
II. Award Information
Type of Award: Discretionary grants.
Estimated Available Funds: $21,265,000.
Contingent upon the availability of funds and the quality of applications, we may make additional awards in FY 2020 from the list of unfunded applications from this competition.
Estimated Range of Awards: $365,000-$650,000.
Estimated Average Size of Awards: $510,000.
Estimated Number of Awards: 42.Start Printed Page 27624
Note: The Department is not bound by any estimates in this notice.
Project Period: Up to 60 months.
III. Eligibility Information
1. Eligible Applicants: Applications may be made only by Indian Tribes (and consortia of those Indian Tribes) located on Federal and State reservations. The definition of “Indian Tribe” in section 7(19)(B) of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, as amended, is “any Federal or State Indian tribe, band, rancheria, pueblo, colony, or community, including any Alaskan native village or regional village corporation (as defined in or established pursuant to the Alaska Native Claims Settlement Act) and a tribal organization (as defined in section 4(1) of the Indian Self-Determination and Education Assistance Act (25 U.S.C. 450b(1)).”
“Reservation” is defined in 34 CFR 371.6 as “a Federal or State Indian reservation, public domain Indian allotment, former Indian reservation in Oklahoma, land held by incorporated Native groups, regional corporations and village corporations under the provisions of the Alaska Native Claims Settlement Act; or a defined area of land recognized by a State or the Federal Government where there is a concentration of tribal members and on which the tribal government is providing structured activities and services.”
The applicant for an AIVRS grant must be—
(1) The governing body of an Indian Tribe, either on behalf of the Indian Tribe or on behalf of a consortium of Indian Tribes; or
(2) A Tribal organization that is a separate legal organization from an Indian Tribe.
In order to receive an AIVRS grant, a Tribal organization that is not a governing body of an Indian Tribe must—
(1) Have as one of its functions the vocational rehabilitation of American Indians with disabilities; and
(2) Have the approval of the Tribe to be served by such organization.
If a grant is made to the governing body of an Indian Tribe, either on its own behalf or on behalf of a consortium, or to a Tribal organization to perform services benefiting more than one Indian Tribe, the approval of each such Indian Tribe shall be a prerequisite to the making of such a grant.
2. Cost Sharing or Matching: Cost sharing is required by section 121(a) of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, as amended, and 34 CFR 371.40 at 10 percent of the total cost of the project.
3. Subgrantees: A grantee under this competition may not award subgrants to entities to directly carry out project activities described in its application. While subgrants are not permitted, under 34 CFR 371.42(a), grantees are permitted to provide the vocational rehabilitation services by contract or otherwise enter into an agreement with a designated State unit (DSU), a community rehabilitation program, or another agency to assist in the implementation of the Tribal vocational rehabilitation program, as long as such arrangement is identified in the application.
IV. Application and Submission Information
1. Application Submission Instructions: Applicants are required to follow the Common Instructions for Applicants to Department of Education Discretionary Grant Programs, published in the Federal Register on February 13, 2019 (84 FR 3768), and available at www.govinfo.gov/content/pkg/FR-2019-02-13/pdf/2019-02206.pdf, which contain requirements and information on how to submit an application.
2. Intergovernmental Review: This competition is not subject to Executive Order 12372 and the regulations in 34 CFR part 79.
3. Funding Restrictions: We reference regulations outlining funding restrictions in the Applicable Regulations section of this notice.
V. Application Review Information
1. Selection Criteria: The selection criteria for this competition are from 34 CFR 75.210, have a maximum score of 100 points, and are as follows:
(a) Need for Project and Significance (10 Points):
The Secretary considers the need for and significance of the proposed project. In determining the need for and significance of the proposed project, the Secretary considers the following factors:
(i) The magnitude of the need for the services to be provided or the activities to be carried out by the proposed project.
(ii) The extent to which specific gaps or weaknesses in services, infrastructure, or opportunities have been identified and will be addressed by the proposed project, including the nature and magnitude of those gaps or weaknesses.
(iii) The potential contribution of the proposed project to increased knowledge or understanding of rehabilitation problems, issues, or effective strategies.
(iv) The extent to which the proposed project is likely to build local capacity to provide, improve, or expand services that address the needs of the target population.
(b) Quality of the Project Design (20 Points):
The Secretary considers the quality of the design of the proposed project. In determining the quality of the design of the proposed project, the Secretary considers the following factors:
(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 design of the proposed project is appropriate to, and will successfully address, the needs of the target population or other identified needs.
(iii) The extent to which the proposed project will establish linkages with other appropriate agencies and organizations providing services to the target population.
(c) Quality of Project Services (20 Points):
The Secretary considers the quality of the services to be provided by the proposed project. In determining the quality of the 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.
In addition, the Secretary considers the following factors:
(i) The extent to which the services to be provided by the proposed project are appropriate to the needs of the intended recipients or beneficiaries of those services.
(ii) The likely impact of the services to be provided by the proposed project on the intended recipients of those services.
(iii) The extent to which the services to be provided by the proposed project involve the collaboration of appropriate partners for maximizing the effectiveness of project services.
(d) Quality of Project Personnel (15 Points):
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.Start Printed Page 27625
In addition, the Secretary considers the qualifications, including relevant training and experience, of key project personnel.
(e) Adequacy of Resources (10 Points):
The Secretary considers the adequacy of resources for the proposed project. 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 extent to which the costs are reasonable in relation to the objectives, design, and potential significance of the proposed project.
(iii) The extent to which the costs are reasonable in relation to the number of persons to be served and to the anticipated results and benefits.
(f) Quality of the Management Plan (15 Points): The Secretary considers the quality of the management plan for the proposed project. 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 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 adequacy of procedures for ensuring feedback and continuous improvement in the operation of the proposed project.
(iii) The extent to which the time commitments of the project director and principal investigator and other key project personnel are appropriate and adequate to meet the objectives of the proposed project.
(g) Quality of the Project Evaluation (10 Points): The Secretary considers the quality of the evaluation to be conducted of the proposed project. 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 goals, objectives, and outcomes of the proposed project.
(ii) The extent to which the methods of evaluation 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 to the extent possible.
(iii) The extent to which the methods of evaluation will provide performance feedback and permit periodic assessment of progress toward achieving intended outcomes.
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 (34 CFR 100.4, 104.5, 106.4, 108.8, and 110.23).
The services and activities funded by grants under the AIVRS program must be operated in a manner consistent with nondiscrimination requirements contained in the U.S. Constitution and Federal civil rights laws.
Special application requirements related to the AIVRS program require each applicant to provide evidence separately for each of the following items in 34 CFR 371.21(a)-(k):
(a) Effort will be made to provide a broad scope of vocational rehabilitation services in a manner and at a level of quality at least comparable to those services provided by the designated State unit.
(b) All decisions affecting eligibility for vocational rehabilitation services, the nature and scope of available vocational rehabilitation services and the provision of such services will be made by a representative of the Tribal vocational rehabilitation program funded through this grant and such decisions will not be delegated to another agency or individual.
(c) Priority in the delivery of vocational rehabilitation services will be given to those American Indians with disabilities who are the most significantly disabled.
(d) An order of selection of individuals with disabilities to be served under the program will be specified if services cannot be provided to all eligible American Indians with disabilities who apply.
(e) All vocational rehabilitation services will be provided according to an individualized plan for employment which has been developed jointly by the representative of the Tribal vocational rehabilitation program and each American Indian with disabilities being served.
(f) American Indians with disabilities living on or near Federal or State reservations where Tribal vocational rehabilitation service programs are being carried out under this part will have an opportunity to participate in matters of general policy development and implementation affecting vocational rehabilitation service delivery by the Tribal vocational rehabilitation program.
(g) Cooperative working arrangements will be developed with the DSU, or DSUs, as appropriate, which are providing vocational rehabilitation services to other individuals with disabilities who reside in the State or States being served.
(h) Any comparable services and benefits available to American Indians with disabilities under any other program, which might meet in whole or in part the cost of any vocational rehabilitation service, will be fully considered in the provision of vocational rehabilitation services.
(i) Any American Indian with disabilities who is an applicant or recipient of services, and who is dissatisfied with a determination made by a representative of the Tribal vocational rehabilitation program and files a request for a review, will be afforded a review under procedures developed by the grantee comparable to those under the provisions of section 102(c)(1)-(5) and (7) of the Act.
(j) The Tribal vocational rehabilitation program funded under this part must assure that any facility used in connection with the delivery of vocational rehabilitation services meets facility and program accessibility requirements consistent with the requirements, as applicable, of the Architectural Barriers Act of 1968, the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990, section 504 of the Act, and the regulations implementing these laws.
(k) The Tribal vocational rehabilitation program funded under this part must ensure that providers of vocational rehabilitation services are able to communicate in the native language of, or by using an appropriate mode of communication with, applicants and eligible individuals who have limited English proficiency, unless it is clearly not feasible to do so.
3. Risk Assessment and Specific 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 specific conditions and, in appropriate Start Printed Page 27626circumstances, 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.
4. 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 $250,000), 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 the System for Award Management. 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 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.
4. Performance Measures: Under the Government Performance and Results Act of 1993 (GPRA), the Department has established four performance measures for the AIVRS program. The measures are:
(1) The percentage of individuals who leave the program with an employment outcome after receiving services under an individualized plan for employment;
(2) The percentage of individuals the project proposed to serve under an Individualized Plan for Employment (IPE) during this reporting period who actually received VR services.
(3) The percentage of projects that demonstrate an average annual cost per employment outcome of no more than $35,000; and
(4) The percentage of projects that demonstrate an average annual cost of services per participant of no more than $10,000.
Each grantee must annually report the data needed to measure its performance on the GPRA measures through the Annual Performance Reporting Form (APR Form) for the American Indian Vocational Rehabilitation Services program.
Note: For purposes of this section, the term “employment outcome” means, with respect to an individual, (A) entering or retaining full-time or, if appropriate, part-time competitive employment in the integrated labor market; (B) satisfying the vocational outcome of supported employment; or (C) satisfying any other vocational outcome the Secretary of Education may determine to be appropriate (including satisfying the vocational outcome of customized employment, self-employment, telecommuting, or business ownership). (Section 7(11) of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, as amended (29 U.S.C. 705(11)).
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) on request to the program contact person listed under FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT. 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. You may access the official edition of the Federal Register and the Code of Federal Regulations at www.govinfo.gov. 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 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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Johnny W. Collett,
Assistant Secretary for Special Education and Rehabilitative Services.
[FR Doc. 2019-12471 Filed 6-12-19; 8:45 am]
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