[Federal Register: June 5, 2000 (Volume 65, Number 108)]
[Notices]               
[Page 35770-35790]
From the Federal Register Online via GPO Access [wais.access.gpo.gov]
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DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION

[CFDA No.: 84.224C]

 
Office of Special Education and Rehabilitative Services National 
Institute on Disability and Rehabilitation Research; Notice Inviting 
Applications for New Awards in Fiscal Years 2000-2001 for the 
Alternative Financing Program (AFP), and the Alternative Financing 
Technical Assistance Program (AFTAP), Both Authorized Under Title III 
of the Assistive Technology Act (ATAct)

    Note to Applicants: This notice is a complete application 
package. Together with the statute authorizing the program and the 
Education Department General Administrative Regulations (EDGAR), 
this notice contains information, application forms, and 
instructions needed to apply for a grant under these competitions.

    These programs support the National Education Goal that calls for 
all Americans to possess the knowledge and skills necessary to compete 
in a global economy and exercise the rights and responsibilities of 
citizenship.
    The estimated funding levels in this notice do not bind the 
Department of Education to make awards in any of these categories, or 
to any specific number of awards or funding levels, unless otherwise 
specified in statute.
    Applicable Regulations: The Education Department General 
Administrative Regulations (EDGAR), 34 CFR parts 74, 75, 77, 80, 81, 
82, 85, and 86 and the Notice of Final Priority published elsewhere in 
this issue of the Federal Register.
    Absolute Priorities: These competitions focus on projects designed 
to meet the absolute priorities in the notice of final priority for 
these programs, published elsewhere in this issue of the Federal 
Register. Under 34 CFR 75.105(c)(3), we consider only applications that 
meet one of the absolute priorities.
    Pre-Application Meeting: Interested parties are invited to 
participate in a pre-application meeting to discuss the funding 
priorities for the AFP and the AFTAP and to receive technical

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assistance through individual consultation and information about the 
funding priorities. The pre-application meeting will be held on June 
16, 2000 either in person or by conference call at the Department of 
Education, Office of Special Education and Rehabilitative Services, 
Switzer Building, Room 3065, 330 C St. SW, Washington, DC between 10 
a.m. and 12 a.m. NIDRR staff will also be available at this location 
from 1:30 p.m. to 5 p.m. on that same day to provide technical 
assistance through individual consultation and information about the 
funding priorities. For further information or to make arrangements to 
attend contact Carol Cohen, Switzer Building, room 3420, 400 Maryland 
Avenue, SW, Washington, DC 20202. Telephone (202) 205-5666. If you use 
a Telecommunication Device for the Deaf (TDD), you may call (202) 205-
4475.

Assistance to Individuals With Disabilities at the Public Meetings

    The meeting site is accessible to individuals with disabilities, 
and a sign language interpreter will be available. If you need an 
auxiliary aid or service other than a sign language interpreter in 
order to participate in the meeting (e.g. other interpreting service 
such as oral, cued speech, or tactile interpreter; assistive listening 
device; or materials in alternate format), notify the contact person 
listed in this Notice at least two weeks before the scheduled meeting 
date. Although we will attempt to meet a request we receive after this 
date, we may not be able to make available the requested auxiliary aid 
or service because of insufficient time to arrange it.

   Application Notice for Fiscal Year 2000, Alternative Financing Program and Alternative Financing Technical
                                      Assistance Program, CFDA No. 84.224C
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                            Deadline for        Estimated                              Project
          Funding priority                 transmittal of       number of      Award amount  (per       period
                                            applications          awards         year) \1\ \2\         (months)
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
84.224C-1, Alternative Financing      July 28, 2000..........            7  Outlying areas,                   12
 Program.                                                                    maximum: $105,000;
                                                                             State Minimum:
                                                                             $500,000; Average:
                                                                             $540,000; Range:
                                                                             $500,000 to $3,800,000
                                                                             \1\.
84.224C-2, Alternative Financing      July 28, 2000..........            1  Year 1--200,000; Year            24
 Technical Assistance Program.                                               2--300,000.
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
\1\ Note: The total amount available in FY 2000 for the AFP is $3,800,000. The Secretary is required to award a
  minimum of $500,000 to States and to distribute any remaining funds among those States based on population and
  density. After award of $500,000 to seven States, the Secretary would have an additional $250,000
  (approximately) to distribute among the seven States. If only four applications are approved for funding, the
  Secretary would distribute all available funds ($3.8 million) to those four applicants. Therefore, applicants
  are encouraged to apply for (with full matching requirements) a grant award of up to $3.8 million, which is
  the amount available if only one State applies and receives an award. The Secretary requires that the amount
  above the minimum of $500,000 shall be separable and clearly identified in the application, budget, and
  matching materials.
\2\ The Secretary will reject without consideration or evaluation any application that proposes a project
  funding level that exceeds the stated maximum award amount for fiscal year 2000 (See 34 CFR 75.104(b)).

    Program Title: Alternative Financing Program.
    CFDA Number: 84.224C-1.
    Purpose of Program: The purpose of the AFP is to award grants to 
States to pay for the Federal share of the cost of the establishment 
and administration of, or the expansion and administration of, an AFP 
featuring one or more alternative financing mechanisms to allow 
individuals with disabilities and their family members, guardians, 
advocates, and authorized representatives to purchase AT devices and AT 
services.
    Eligible Applicants: Parties eligible to apply for the AFP are 
States and outlying areas that receive or have received grants under 
the AT State Grant Program (section 101 of the ATAct).
    Matching Requirement: The Federal share of the cost of the 
Alternative Financing Program must not be more than 50 percent. 
Therefore, because the minimum Federal share is $500,000 for States, 
States are required to match at least $500,000. The match must be 
provided with cash, from State, local, or private sources. The State 
must match at the exact level requested, $500,000 or greater. The 
Federal share for an outlying area would be $105,000; requiring a 
$105,000 match.
    Program Title: Alternative Financing Technical Assistance Program.
    CFDA Number: 84.224C-2.
    Purpose of Program: The purpose of the AFTAP is to award a grant to 
a public or private agency or organization to provide information and 
TA to States participating in AFP.
    Eligible Applicants: Parties eligible to apply for grants under the 
AFTAP are public or private agencies and organizations, including 
institutions of higher education with sufficient documented experience, 
expertise and capacity to assist States in the development and 
implementation of the AFPs carried out the ATAct. A State receiving a 
grant under the ATP would not be eligible for a grant under the AFTAP.
    Matching: No match is required.
    Selection Criteria: The Secretary uses the following selection 
criteria to evaluate applications for priorities under both the 
Alternative Financing Program and the Alternative Financing Technology 
Assistance Program. (See 34 CFR 75.210). The maximum score for all the 
criteria is 100 points.
    (a) Significance (10 points total). (1) The Secretary considers the 
significance of the proposed project; and
    (2) In determining the significance of the proposed project, the 
Secretary considers the extent to which the results of the proposed 
project are to be disseminated in ways that will enable others to use 
the information or strategies.
    (b) Quality of the project design (25 points total). (1) The 
Secretary considers the quality of the design of the proposed project; 
and (2) 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 
(8 points).
    (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 (8 points).
    (iii) The extent to which the proposed project represents an 
exceptional approach to the priority or priorities

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established for the competition (6 points).
    (iv) The extent to which the proposed project will be coordinated 
with similar or related efforts, and with other appropriate community, 
State, and Federal resources (3 points).
    (c) Quality of project services (15 points total). (1) The 
Secretary considers the quality of the services to be provided by the 
proposed project;
    (2) 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 proposed project participants who are members of groups that 
have traditionally been underrepresented based on race, color, national 
origin, gender, age, or disability (5 points); and
    (3) 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 (5 points).
    (ii) The extent to which the technical assistance services to be 
provided by the proposed project involve the use of efficient 
strategies, including the use of technology, as appropriate, and the 
leveraging of non-project resources (5 points).
    (d) Quality of project personnel (15 points total). (1) The 
Secretary considers the quality of the personnel who will carry out the 
proposed project;
    (2) In determining the quality of proposed 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 (5 points); and
    (3) In addition, the Secretary considers the following factors:
    (i) The qualifications, including relevant training and experience, 
of the project director or principal investigator (5 points).
    (ii) The qualifications, including relevant training and 
experience, of key project personnel (5 points).
    (e) Adequacy of resources (15 points total). (1) The Secretary 
considers the adequacy of resources for the proposed project.
    (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 (8 points).
    (ii) The extent to which the costs are reasonable in relation to 
the objectives, design, and potential significance of the proposed 
project (7 points).
    (f) Quality of the management plan (10 points total). (1) The 
Secretary considers the quality of the management plan for the proposed 
project.
    (2) 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, timeliness, and milestones for accomplishing 
project tasks (5 points).
    (ii) 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 
(5 points).
    (g) Quality of the project evaluation (10 points total). (1) The 
Secretary considers the quality of the evaluation to be conducted by 
the proposed project.
    (2) 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 (5 points).
    (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 (5 points).
    Instructions for Application Narrative: The Assistant Secretary 
strongly recommends the following:
    (a) A one-page abstract;
    (b) An application narrative (i.e., Part III that addresses the 
selection criteria that will be used by reviewers in evaluating 
individual proposals) of no more than 75 pages double-spaced (no more 
than 3 lines per vertical inch) 8.5 x 11'' pages (on one side only) 
with one inch margins (top, bottom, and sides). The application 
narrative page limit recommendation does not apply to: Part I--the 
electronically scannable form; Part II--the budget section (including 
the narrative budget justification); and Part IV--the assurances and 
certifications; and
    (c) A font no smaller than a 12-point font and an average character 
density no greater than 14 characters per inch.
    Instructions for Transmittal of Applications:
    (a) If an applicant wants to apply for a grant, the applicant 
must--
    (1) Mail the original and two copies of the application on or 
before the deadline date to: U.S. Department of Education, Application 
Control Center, Attention: (CFDA 84.224C-1 or C-2 and the title), 
Washington, DC 20202-4725, or
    (2) Hand deliver the original and two copies of the application by 
4:30 p.m. (Washington, DC time) on or before the deadline date to: U.S. 
Department of Education, Application Control Center, Attention: (CFDA 
84.224C-1 or C-2 and the title), Room #3633, Regional Office Building 
#3, 7th and D Streets, SW, Washington, DC.
    (b) An applicant must show one of the following as proof of 
mailing:
    (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.
    (c) If an application is mailed through the U.S. Postal Service, 
the Secretary does 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.
    Notes:
    (1) The U.S. Postal Service does not uniformly provide a dated 
postmark. Before relying on this method, an applicant should check with 
its local post office.
    (2) An applicant wishing to know that the Department has received 
its application must include with the application a stamped self-
addressed postcard containing the CFDA number and title of this 
program.
    (3) The applicant must indicate on the envelope and--if not 
provided by the Department--in Item 10 of the Application for Federal 
Assistance (Standard Form 424) the CFDA number--and letter, if any--of 
the competition under which the application is being submitted.

Application Forms and Instructions

    The appendix to this application is divided into four parts. These 
parts are organized in the same manner that the submitted application 
should be organized. These parts are as follows:
    Part I: Application for Federal Assistance (Standard Form 424 (Rev. 
11/12/99)) and instructions.

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    Part II: Budget Form--Non-Construction Programs (Standard Form 
524A) and instructions.
    Part III: Application Narrative.
Additional Materials
    Estimated Public Reporting Burden.
    Assurances--Non-Construction Programs (Standard Form 424B).
    Certification Regarding Lobbying, Debarment, Suspension, and Other 
Responsibility Matters, and Drug-Free Work-Place Requirements (ED Form 
80-0013).
    Certification Regarding Debarment, Suspension, Ineligibility and 
Voluntary Exclusion: Lower Tier Covered Transactions (ED Form 80-0014) 
and instructions.

    Note: ED Form GCS-014 is intended for the use of primary 
participants and should not be transmitted to the Department.

    Certification of Eligibility for Federal Assistance in Certain 
Programs (ED Form 80-0016).
    Disclosure of Lobbying Activities (Standard Form LLL (if 
applicable) and instructions; and Disclosure Lobbying Activities 
Continuation Sheet (Standard Form LLL-A).
    An applicant may submit information on a Photostat copy of the 
application and budget forms, the assurances, and the certifications. 
However, the application form, the assurances, and the certifications 
must each have an original signature. No grant may be awarded unless a 
completed application form has been received.
    For Applications Contact: The Grants and Contracts Service Team 
(GCST), Department of Education, 400 Maryland Avenue SW., room 3317 
Switzer Building, Washington, DC 20202, or call (202) 205-8207. 
Individuals who use a Telecommunications Device for the Deaf (TDD) may 
call the TDD number at (202) 205-9860. The preferred method for 
requesting information is to FAX your request to (202) 205-8717.
    Individuals with disabilities may obtain a copy of the application 
package in an alternate format by contacting the GCST. However, the 
Department is not able to reproduce in an alternate format the standard 
forms included in the application package.
    For Further Information Contact: Donna Nangle, U.S. Department of 
Education, 400 Maryland Avenue, SW, room 3414, Switzer Building, 
Washington, DC 20202-2645. Telephone: (202) 205-5880. Individuals who 
use a Telecommunications device for the deaf (TDD) may call the TDD 
number at (202) 205-4475. Internet: Donna_Nangle@ed.gov
    Individuals with disabilities may obtain this document in an 
alternate format (e.g., Braille, large print, audiotape, or computer 
diskette) on request to the contact person listed in the preceding 
paragraph.

Electronic Access to This Document

    You may review this document, as well as all other Department of 
Education documents published in the Federal Register, in text or Adobe 
Portable Document Format (PDF) on the Internet at either of the 
following sites:
http://ocfo.ed.gov/fedreg.htm
http://www.ed.gov/news.html
To use the PDF you must have the Adobe Acrobat Reader Program with 
Search, which is available free at either of the previous sites. If you 
have questions about using the PDF, call the U.S. Government Printing 
Office (GPO), toll free, at 1-888-293-6498; or in the Washington, DC, 
area at (202) 512-1530.

    Note: 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 on GPO access at: http://
www.access.gpo.gov/nara/index.html


(Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance Number 84.224C, Assistive 
Technology Act Alternative Loan Financing Program)
Program Authority: 29 U.S.C. 3051-3058.
    Dated: May 25, 2000.
Judith E. Heumann,
Assistant Secretary for Special Education and Rehabilitative Services.

Appendix--Application Forms and Instructions

    Applicants are advised to reproduce and complete the application 
forms in this Section. Applicants are required to submit an original 
and two copies of each application as provided in this Section. 
However, applicants are encouraged to submit an original and seven 
copies of each application in order to facilitate the peer review 
process and minimize copying errors.

Frequent Questions

1. Can I Get an Extension of the Due Date?

    No. On rare occasions the Department of Education may extend a 
closing date for all applicants. If that occurs, a notice of the 
revised due date is published in the Federal Register. However, 
there are no extensions or exceptions to the due date made for 
individual applicants.

2. What Should Be Included in the Application?

    The application should include a project narrative, vitae of key 
personnel, and a budget, as well as the Assurances forms included in 
this package. Vitae of staff or consultants should include the 
individual's title and role in the proposed project, and other 
information that is specifically pertinent to this proposed project. 
The budgets for both the first year and all subsequent project years 
should be included.
    If collaboration with another organization is involved in the 
proposed activity, the application should include assurances of 
participation by the other parties, including written agreements or 
assurances of cooperation. It is not useful to include general 
letters of support or endorsement in the application.
    If the applicant proposes to use unique tests or other 
measurement instruments that are not widely known in the field, it 
would be helpful to include the instrument in the application.
    Many applications contain voluminous appendices that are not 
helpful and in many cases cannot even be mailed to the reviewers. It 
is generally not helpful to include such things as brochures, 
general capability statements of collaborating organizations, maps, 
copies of publications, or descriptions of other projects completed 
by the applicant.

3. What Format Should Be Used for the Application?

    NIDRR generally advises applicants that they may organize the 
application to follow the selection criteria that will be used. The 
specific review criteria vary according to the specific program, and 
are contained in this Consolidated Application Package.

4. May I Submit Applications to More Than One NIDRR Program Competition 
or More Than One Application to a Program?

    Yes. You may submit applications to any program for which they 
are responsive to the program requirements.

5. What Is the Allowable Indirect Cost Rate?

    The limits on indirect costs vary according to the program and 
the type of application. In this case it is limited to 10%.

6. Can Profitmaking Businesses Apply for Grants?

    Only States may apply for the AFP and there are specific 
eligibility requirements for the TA project however, profitmaking 
entities are eligible to apply for the AFTAP.

7. Can Individuals Apply for Grants?

    No. Parties eligible to apply for the AFP are States and 
outlying areas that receive or have received grants under the AT 
State Grant Program (section 101 of the ATAct).

8. How Soon After Submitting my Application Can I Find Out if It Will 
Be Funded?

    The time from closing date to grant award date varies from 
program to program. Generally speaking, NIDRR endeavors to have 
awards made within five to six months of the closing date. 
Unsuccessful applicants generally will be notified within that time 
frame as well. For the purpose of estimating a project start date, 
the applicant should estimate approximately six months from the 
closing date, but no later than the following September 30 of the 
current fiscal year.

9. Can I Contact NIDRR To Find Out if My Application Is Being Funded?

    No. When NIDRR is able to release information on the status of 
grant applications, it will notify applicants by letter. The results 
of the peer review cannot

[[Page 35774]]

be released except through this formal notification.

10. If My Application Is Successful, Can I Assume I Will Get the 
Requested Budget Amount in Subsequent Years?

    No. Funding in subsequent years is subject to availability of 
funds and project performance.

11. Will All Approved Applications Be Funded?

    No. It often happens that the peer review panels approve for 
funding more applications than NIDRR can fund within available 
resources. Applicants who are approved but not funded are encouraged 
to consider submitting similar applications in future competitions 
if such competitions are held. This would depend on subsequent 
appropriations.
    Public reporting burden for these collections of information is 
estimated to average 30 hours per response, including the time for 
reviewing instructions, searching existing data sources, gathering 
and maintaining the data needed, and completing and reviewing the 
collection of information.
    Send comments regarding this burden estimate or any other aspect 
of these collections of information, including suggestions for 
reducing this burden, to: the U.S. Department of Education, 
Information Management and Compliance Division, Washington, DC 
20202-4651; and to the Office of Management and Budget, Paperwork 
Reduction Project 1820-0027, Washington, DC 20503.

Alternative Financing Program and the Alternative Financing 
Technical Assistance Program (CFDA No. 84.224C).

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[FR Doc. 00-13946 Filed 6-2-00; 8:45 am]
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