[Federal Register: January 31, 1997 (Volume 62, Number 21)]
[Page 4745-4747]
From the Federal Register Online via GPO Access [wais.access.gpo.gov]


[CFDA No.: 84.128U]

Special Projects and Demonstrations for Providing Supported 
Employment Services to Individuals With the Most Severe Disabilities 
and Technical Assistance Projects--National Scope Project; Notice 
Inviting Applications for a Cooperative Agreement or Grant for New 
Awards for Fiscal Year (FY) 1997

    PURPOSE OF PROGRAM: This program is designed to provide grants for 
special projects and demonstrations to expand or otherwise improve the 
provision of supported employment services to individuals with the most 
severe disabilities, including projects that demonstrate the 
effectiveness of natural supports or other alternative approaches for 
supporting and maintaining individuals in supported employment, and 
grants for technical assistance projects.
    ELIGIBLE APPLICANTS: Public and nonprofit community rehabilitation 
programs, designated State units, and other public and private agencies 
and organizations.
    APPLICATIONS AVAILABLE: February 3, 1997.
    AVAILABLE FUNDS: $950,000.
    ESTIMATED RANGE OF AWARDS: $850,000--$950,000.

    Note: The Department is not bound by any estimates in this 

    PROJECT PERIOD: Up to 60 months. The Secretary believes that at 
least 36 months is necessary to accomplish the project objectives. The 
Secretary will

[[Page 4746]]

assess, during the third year of the project period, whether there is a 
continuing need for the project and whether to provide funding beyond 
36 months.
    APPLICABLE REGULATIONS: (a) The Education Department General 
Administrative Regulations (EDGAR) in 34 CFR parts 74, 75, 77, 79, 80, 
81, 82, 85, and 86; and (b) The following sections of the program 
regulations in 34 CFR part 380: Sec. 380.9 and Sec. 380.15.
    PRIORITIES: Absolute Priority: Under 34 CFR 75.105(c)(3) and 
section 311(c)(1)(B) of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, as amended (the 
Act), the Secretary gives an absolute preference to applications that 
meet the following priority. Section 311(c)(1)(B) of the Act requires 
that at least one grant under this program be nationwide in scope and 
meet the following requirements. The Secretary funds under this 
competition only an application that meets this absolute priority.
    A project that proposes to--
    (1) Identify community-based models that can be replicated;
    (2) Identify impediments to the development of supported employment 
programs (including funding and cost considerations); and
    (3) Develop a mechanism to explore the use of existing community 
rehabilitation programs as well as other community-based programs.
    In fiscal years 1987 through 1989, the Department funded two 
nationwide grants to identify community-based models appropriate for 
replication, review impediments to the implementation of supported 
employment, and provide technical assistance to developing programs. 
Since 1989, the Department has awarded almost 70 community-based 
supported employment projects designed to stimulate the development of 
innovative approaches for improving and expanding the provision of 
supported employment services to individuals with the most severe 
disabilities. Similarly, since 1985, the Department has awarded 55 
statewide systems change projects to 48 States, the District of 
Columbia, and Trust Territories designed to stimulate the development 
and provision of statewide innovative supported employment programs. 
The focus of statewide projects is to assist States and other provider 
agencies in addressing the most difficult developmental issues related 
to supported employment, such as establishing or improving each State's 
supported employment infrastructure, addressing the personnel and 
training needs of supported employment programs, expanding services to 
underserved or unserved populations and securing long-term funding for 
extended services.
    In recent years, there have been significant changes in the area of 
supported employment, including the expansion of services to new 
populations and the development of new models of supported employment 
(e.g., increasing use of natural supports). The Secretary is interested 
in funding another nationwide grant to determine what has been learned 
from community-based and statewide systems change projects supported by 
the Rehabilitation Services Administration and other agencies and 
organizations in recent years, to identify and assess new exemplary 
supported employment models and practices that have emerged from these 
projects, and to provide technical assistance based on these new 
findings to States and other provider agencies.
    Invitational Priority: Under 34 CFR 75.105(c)(1) the Secretary is 
particularly interested in applications for either a grant or 
cooperative agreement that meet the following invitational priority. 
However, an application that meets this invitational priority does not 
receive competitive or absolute preference over other applications:
    A project that proposes to--
    (a) Profile programs throughout the Nation that have demonstrated 
success in securing and maintaining extended services funding for 
supported employment, identify successful methods of leveraging 
extended services funds in supported employment through State and local 
resources, and provide technical assistance to States and other 
provider agencies regarding these methods;
    (b) Identify exemplary statewide systems change programs, study 
their implications for program impact and improvements for providing 
supported employment services to individuals with the most severe 
disabilities, and provide technical assistance to the States and other 
provider agencies regarding these exemplary systems change projects;
    (c) Study exemplary models and strategies for establishing 
interagency coordination and cooperative agreements for delivery of 
supported employment services from State providers, such as vocational 
rehabilitation, developmental disabilities, mental health, education, 
and Social Security agencies, and provide technical assistance to 
appropriate State systems to further systems coordination;
    (d) Identify programs that have been successful in serving unserved 
or underserved populations in urban and rural environments and provide 
technical assistance to States and other provider agencies;
    (e) Provide cost-benefit analyses for supported employment programs 
that serve various disability populations and identify key performance 
indicators for those programs; and
    (f) Coordinate efforts and findings with the Department's currently 
funded longitudinal study on vocational rehabilitation that includes a 
sub-study on supported employment extended services. Under this 
invitational priority, the recipient of this award is encouraged to 
establish relationships with the contractor of the longitudinal study 
and be prepared to provide technical assistance to States and other 
entities based upon the results and findings of the study.
    Selection Criteria: Since the program regulations in 34 CFR part 
380 do not contain selection criteria for evaluating applications for a 
project that is national in scope, the Secretary uses the selection 
criteria in 34 CFR 75.210 in evaluating applications for grants or 
cooperative agreements under this competition.
    For Applications Contact: Joyce R. Jones, U.S. Department of 
Education, 600 Independence Avenue, Room 3038, Switzer Building, 
Washington, D.C. 20202-2740; or call the following telephone number: 
(202) 205-8351.
    For Further Information Contact: Mary Jane Kane, U.S. Department of 
Education, 600 Independence Avenue, SW., Room 3329, Switzer Building, 
Washington, DC 20202-2740. Telephone: (202) 205-8206. Individuals who 
use a telecommunications device for the deaf (TDD) may call the Federal 
Information Relay Service (FIRS) at 1-800-877-8339 between 8 a.m. and 8 
p.m., Eastern time, Monday through Friday.
    Information about the Department's funding opportunities, including 
copies of application notices for discretionary grant competitions, can 
be viewed on the Department's electronic bulletin board (ED Board), 
telephone (202) 260-9950; on the Internet Gopher Server (at gopher://
gcs.ed.gov); or on the World Wide Web (at http://gcs.ed.gov). However, 
the official application notice for a discretionary grant competition 
is the notice published in the Federal Register.

    Program Authority: 29 U.S.C. 777a(c).

[[Page 4747]]

    Dated: January 27, 1997.
Judith E. Heumann,
Assistant Secretary for Special Education and Rehabilitative Services.
[FR Doc. 97-2372 Filed 1-30-97; 8:45 am]