[Notices]               
[Page 37015-37020]
From the Federal Register Online via GPO Access [wais.access.gpo.gov]
[DOCID:fr08jy98-168]


[[Page 37015]]

_______________________________________________________________________

Part III





Department of Education





_______________________________________________________________________



Systems-Change Projects To Expand Employment Opportunities for 
Individuals With Mental or Physical Disabilities, or Both, Who Receive 
Public Support; Notices


[[Page 37016]]



DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION

RIN 1820-ZA11

 
Systems-Change Projects To Expand Employment Opportunities for 
Individuals With Mental or Physical Disabilities, or Both, Who Receive 
Public Support

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

ACTION: Notice of a final priority and definitions for fiscal year (FY) 
1998 and subsequent years.

-----------------------------------------------------------------------

SUMMARY: The Secretary announces a final priority and definitions for 
Systems-Change Projects To Expand Employment Opportunities for 
Individuals With Mental or Physical Disabilities, or Both, Who Receive 
Public Support. The Secretary may use this priority and these 
definitions for competitions in FY 1998 and subsequent fiscal years. 
The Secretary takes this action to focus attention on an area of 
national need. The priority is intended to enhance collaboration in 
existing systems to increase competitive employment opportunities for 
individuals with disabilities who are participants in public support 
programs funded by Federal, State, and local agencies.

EFFECTIVE DATE: This priority and definitions take effect August 7, 
1998.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Pedro Romero, U.S. Department of 
Education, 600 Independence Avenue, S.W., Room 3316, MES Building, 
Washington, D.C. 20202-2650. Telephone: (202) 205-9797. 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.
    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.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: This notice contains a final priority and 
definitions for Systems-Change Projects To Expand Employment 
Opportunities for Individuals With Mental or Physical Disabilities, or 
Both, Who Receive Public Support. The authority for these projects is 
contained in section 12(a)(3) of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, as 
amended (the Act) (29 U.S.C. 762(b)(3)). Under this competition the 
Secretary makes awards to consortiums consisting of, at a minimum, the 
State vocational rehabilitation agency, the State welfare agency, the 
State educational agency, the State agency responsible for 
administering the Medicaid program, and an agency administering an 
employment or employment training program supported by the U.S. 
Department of Labor.
    On May 20, 1998, the Secretary published a notice of a proposed 
priority and definitions for this program in the Federal Register (63 
FR 27806).

Analysis of Comments and Changes

    In response to the Secretary's invitation in the notice of proposed 
priority and definitions, 14 parties submitted comments. An analysis of 
the comments and of the changes in the priority since publication of 
the notice of proposed priority and definitions follows. Technical and 
other minor changes--and suggested changes the Secretary is not legally 
authorized to make under the applicable statutory authority--are not 
addressed.
    Comment: Two commenters stated that the priority should target 
specific sub-groups of individuals with disabilities. One commenter 
suggested that the priority specifically target adults with 
disabilities who are on public assistance but not eligible for 
assistance under Temporary Assistance to Needy Families (TANF). The 
other commenter recommended that the priority target hard-to-employ 
recipients of TANF.
    Discussion: The Secretary believes that applicants should have the 
flexibility to identify the specific groups they wish to target under 
their proposed project as long as the targeted populations are 
comprised of individuals with disabilities who participate in public 
support programs funded by Federal, State, and local agencies.
    Changes: None.

    Comment: Two commenters stated that coordination between the 
Department of Education and both the Social Security Administration and 
the Department of Labor would enhance the priority. One of the 
commenters stated that there is a need for coordination between these 
projects and similar systems-change projects that will be funded by the 
Social Security Administration.
    Discussion: The Office of Special Education and Rehabilitative 
Services, Department of Education (ED/OSERS), the Social Security 
Administration, Office of Disability (SSA/OD), the Department of Labor, 
and other Federal agencies are members of the Systems-Change 
Interagency Workgroup, which was established by ED/OSERS in accordance 
with Executive Order 13078, to develop barrier removal strategies and 
assist in the preparation of this priority. Additionally, SSA/OD is 
using this same priority language in a SSA/OD priority to support 
similar systems-change projects. ED/OSERS, SSA/OD, Labor, and the other 
Interagency Workgroup members will provide both the ED/OSERS and SSA/OD 
projects with ongoing technical assistance to ensure their success. 
Finally, projects supported by either agency will be required to 
develop partnership agreements with the local district offices of SSA 
and must participate in meetings of the Federal Interagency Workgroup--
activities that will foster further coordination and collaboration 
between the projects and the Federal agencies.
    Changes: None.

    Comment: Two commenters suggested that educational institutions be 
involved in project activities.
    Discussion: The Secretary agrees that input provided by the 
educational community is essential to any systems-change effort.
    For that reason the priority as written requires that consortiums 
include a State's educational agency. In addition, consortiums have the 
discretion to include educational institutions as consortium members or 
partners, if those institutions would be able to effectively assist in 
removing barriers to employment for individuals with disabilities.
    Changes: None.

    Comment: One commenter stated that a consortium of non-profit 
organizations representing all individuals with disabilities should be 
empowered to lead projects funded under this priority.
    Discussion: The Secretary believes that the State agencies 
administering public support programs and identified in this priority 
as required consortium members are most able to effectuate systems-
change across State programs. Still, the Secretary encourages project 
participation by non-profit organizations that represent individuals 
with disabilities. Such organizations may assist consortiums, either as 
members or partners, in identifying systemic barriers and in developing 
and implementing strategies to remove those barriers.
    Changes: None.

    Comment: One commenter suggested that the Secretary clarify the 
reference to ``employment and training organizations funded by the U.S. 
Department of Labor'' under paragraph C(1) by requiring projects to 
develop partnership agreements specifically with community-based and 
other non-

[[Page 37017]]

profit employment and training organizations supported by the U.S. 
Department of Labor.
    Discussion: The Secretary agrees that the suggested change is 
warranted.
    Changes: The Secretary has revised paragraph C(1) by clarifying 
that projects may develop partnership agreements with community-based 
and other non-profit employment and training organizations funded by 
the U.S. Department of Labor.

    Comment: Two commenters indicated that consumer involvement must be 
required in order to achieve meaningful and lasting results.
    Discussion: The Secretary agrees that consumer involvement is 
essential to the success of projects funded under this priority and 
that the priority should better reflect the need for individuals with 
disabilities to participate in the development of project activities.
    Changes: The Secretary has amended paragraph A to require that 
consortiums establish a Consumer Advisory Board consisting of 
individuals with disabilities and their representatives. This Board 
shall assist the consortiums in developing, implementing, and 
evaluating appropriate barrier-removal strategies.

    Comment: One commenter expressed skepticism that the limited length 
of time that will likely be available for preparing project 
applications would allow for meaningful participation in the 
development of applications by Advisory Councils to consortium members.
    Discussion: The Secretary agrees that meaningful participation in 
the development of the application by the Consortium members' Advisory 
Councils may be hindered by limited preparation time.
    Nevertheless, the Secretary expects Advisory Councils to 
participate in developing applications to the extent possible and 
intends to facilitate their involvement by directly mailing 
applications to State agencies that have been identified as required 
consortium members once the final priority is published and by 
providing approximately two months for the development and submission 
of the application. Moreover, the final priority will require that 
Consumer Advisory Councils assist in developing barrier-removal 
strategies and in implementing and evaluating those strategies 
throughout the project period.
    Changes: The Secretary has revised paragraph A(3) to require 
consortiums to seek consumer input during development of the 
application to the extent possible. In addition, paragraph A(5) 
requires consortiums to establish a Consumer Advisory Board that will 
assist in the development, implementation, and evaluation of barrier-
removal strategies.

    Comment: Two commenters believed that projects should be required 
to identify Federal-level barriers to employment and that the Federal 
Government should address these barriers to facilitate the projects' 
systems-change activities.
    Discussion: Projects are not limited to identifying only State or 
local agency policies, practices, procedures, or rules that inhibit 
individuals with disabilities from becoming competitively employed. 
Pursuant to Executive Order 13078, members of the Systems-Change 
Interagency Workgroup will be working together to address Federal-level 
barriers, including those identified by funded projects. Thus, the 
Secretary encourages projects to identify Federal-level barriers to 
employment for people with disabilities and present relevant 
information to the Systems-Change Interagency Workgroup. Nevertheless, 
the priority requires that projects focus on those policies and 
practices with which the project can readily effectuate systems-change, 
i.e., State or local policies within the control of consortium members.
    Changes: None.

    Comment: One commenter indicated that, although multiple State 
involvement may be feasible in some regions, submissions should not be 
given preference based on the number of States included in a given 
proposal.
    Discussion: The Secretary does not propose to give preference to 
applications that serve multiple States.
    Changes: None.

    Comment: One commenter stated that the projects' focus on 
``employment'' should include self-employment and small business 
ownership for adults and youths.
    Discussion: The Secretary emphasizes that projects are expected to 
focus on increasing ``competitive employment'' opportunities for 
individuals with disabilities. Accordingly, projects may assist 
individuals with disabilities to achieve self-employment and small 
business employment outcomes, as long as those outcomes would be 
considered competitive, i.e., the individual earns at least minimum 
wage and works in an integrated setting. The Secretary also believes 
that the priority should be amended to better reflect the required 
emphasis on competitive employment.
    Changes: The Secretary has clarified the priority to require that 
projects focus on increasing competitive employment opportunities for 
individuals with disabilities. In addition the Secretary has added the 
term competitive employment, as defined in 34 CFR 361.5(b)(10), to the 
definition section of the priority.

    Comment: One commenter stated that the external evaluation of 
funded projects needs to focus intently on improvements in practices by 
State agency staff.
    Discussion: Projects funded under this priority must participate in 
an external evaluation at the Federal level that, among other things, 
will examine the effect of specific innovative systems-change 
approaches and strategies on State or local agency policies, practices, 
including staff practices across involved programs, and rules affecting 
the employment of individuals with disabilities.
    Changes: None.

    Note: This notice of final priority does not solicit 
applications. In any year in which the Secretary chooses to use this 
priority, the Secretary invites applications through a notice in the 
Federal Register. A notice inviting applications under this 
competition is published elsewhere in this issue of the Federal 
Register.

Priority

Background

    According to the 1994 Harris Survey of Americans with Disabilities, 
two-thirds of individuals with disabilities between the ages of 16 and 
64 are not working. Many of these individuals receive financial support 
or services through programs funded by Federal, State, and local 
agencies. Examples of these programs include Temporary Aid to Needy 
Families (TANF), Supplemental Security Income (SSI), Social Security 
Disability Income (SSDI), Medicaid (including Medicaid waiver 
programs), Medicare, subsidized housing, and food stamps.
    Statistical data reveal that of the 32 percent of adult recipients 
of Aid to Families with Dependent Children (AFDC) who had a work or 
functional disability, 15 percent were able to work despite their 
functional limitations (National Health Interview Survey on Disability, 
U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, 1994). Studies conducted 
in Kansas and Washington indicate that up to 60 percent of the current 
TANF recipients in those States have some type of disability. At the 
same time, the TANF program requires recipients to work and also limits 
the length of TANF assistance--recent developments that further 
underscore the need to reduce barriers to employment confronted by 
individuals with disabilities on public support.

[[Page 37018]]

    In addition, the proportion of individuals with disabilities 
receiving public support through SSI or SSDI continues to increase. 
Over the past decade, the total number of SSI and SSDI beneficiaries 
has doubled, and cash payments for these individuals increased to over 
$55 billion (World Institute on Disability, 1996). Social Security 
recipients often do not work since they would lose their Social 
Security and Medicaid benefits if their earnings increased beyond a 
threshold level. Thus, few individuals leave the Social Security 
system. New adult SSI recipients receive benefits for an average of 10 
years, whereas individuals who receive SSI benefits as children remain 
on the rolls for an average of approximately 27 years (Rupp and Scott, 
1995).
    Many individuals participating in public support programs, 
including the programs discussed previously, are unable to obtain the 
services or supports they need to become competitively employed and 
achieve economic independence. Employment training programs that serve 
the general population, as well as employers themselves, are often 
unable to meet the specialized needs of these individuals. In addition, 
individuals with disabilities who are not eligible for State vocational 
rehabilitation services, or who do not believe that they need a 
comprehensive rehabilitation program, are still unlikely to receive 
work-related services from employment training programs that serve the 
general population. Consequently, many individuals with disabilities 
who are capable of working essentially ``fall between the cracks.'' The 
Secretary expects that the models developed under the priority will 
demonstrate how employment training and other related programs can more 
effectively coordinate services so that individuals with disabilities 
can obtain competitive employment.
    Seventy-nine percent of unemployed individuals with disabilities 
have indicated that they would prefer to be working (Harris Survey, 
1994). The combination of the high costs associated with living with a 
disability, work-related expenses, and the reduction in public supports 
available to persons once they become employed often dissuade 
individuals with disabilities from pursuing competitive work. Some of 
the specific barriers to the employment that individuals with 
disabilities commonly confront include--

    * Lack of adequate health insurance (e.g., individuals' fear
of losing public health care coverage, inability to obtain private 
medical insurance, or limited access to treatment and prescription 
services)
    * Underutilization of existing work incentives from Social
Security and other State and local agencies (e.g., Plan for Achieving 
Self Support (PASS), and Impairment Related Work Expenses, section 1619 
a and b of the Social Security Act)
    * Lack of affordable, accessible housing and transportation
    * Insufficient education and training services
    * Lack of child care;
    * Inadequate supports for employees with disabilities (e.g.,
onsite and offsite job accommodations and long-term follow-along 
services)
    * Inadequate supports for employers (e.g., incentives for
hiring, retaining, and promoting individuals with disabilities and 
technical assistance and follow-along consultation to assist employers 
in addressing the ongoing needs of employees with disabilities and to 
clarify employer misperceptions and misinformation).

    Lack of information and coordination of public support programs can 
cause program-related barriers that inhibit individuals with 
disabilities from effectively using available services. In many 
instances, individuals with disabilities are simply unaware of existing 
employment-related programs, work incentives, or available services. 
Another common barrier is the lack of coordination between separate 
programs with separate eligibility criteria even though the same 
individuals often require services from each program. The Secretary 
expects projects to address these types of program-related barriers, as 
well as any other type of barrier that impedes individuals with 
disabilities from becoming employed and self-sufficient.
    There is a critical need for greater coordination between multiple 
public programs that support individuals with disabilities that would 
foster increased economic self-sufficiency and a more efficient use of 
public resources. In an effort to address this need, the Secretary 
announces the following priority in order to provide a framework for 
assisting individuals with disabilities to reduce their reliance on 
various public support programs and obtain and maintain employment in 
the competitive labor market.
    The requirements in the priority are designed to facilitate 
systems-change projects that eliminate barriers to employment for 
individuals with disabilities and are based on existing studies and 
reports, the experiences of State vocational rehabilitation agencies in 
working with individuals participating in other public support 
programs, and on information provided by other Federal agencies that 
administer disability-related programs. These Federal agencies were 
particularly helpful in assisting the Secretary to identify the 
employment-related barriers confronted by individuals with disabilities 
that the Secretary is targeting through this priority and to identify 
the types of State agencies whose participation in the project would be 
most critical to eliminating those barriers. The identified State 
agencies serve as members of a consortium that the systems-change 
project establishes under paragraph (A) of the priority.
    The Secretary emphasizes that the model systems-change projects 
supported under this priority are part of a larger effort on the part 
of the Federal Government to create a coordinated and aggressive 
national policy to reduce the unemployment rate of individuals with 
disabilities and to assist those individuals in obtaining competitive 
jobs. This effort is directly reflected in Executive Order 13078, 
signed on March 13, 1998, entitled ``Increasing Employment of Adults 
With Disabilities'' (63 FR 13111, March 18, 1998). For example, 
Executive Order 13078, in part, calls for an analysis of existing 
programs and policies to determine what modifications and innovations 
may be necessary to remove work-related barriers experienced by 
individuals with disabilities; the development and recommendation of 
options for eliminating barriers to health insurance coverage for those 
with disabilities; and an analysis of work-related youth programs and 
the outcomes of these programs for young people with disabilities. The 
Secretary announces the following priority as one means of addressing 
the purposes of Executive Order 13078. As other Federal agencies design 
and carry out activities in response to the Executive order, it is 
expected that many of those activities will complement the systems-
change projects funded under this priority.
    The Secretary also emphasizes the need for projects supported under 
this priority to begin implementing strategies for removing barriers 
early in the project period in order for the project to have a 
measurable effect on the rate by which individuals with disabilities 
become competitively employed. For that reason, the Secretary expects 
project recipients to work with Rehabilitation Services Administration 
staff to ensure that planning steps, including development of 
partnership

[[Page 37019]]

agreements and, if appropriate, submission of Medicaid waiver requests 
under paragraph (C) of the priority, are promptly completed and that 
projects begin implementing their barrier-removal strategies as soon as 
possible.
    The purpose of the absolute priority is to establish five-year 
model demonstration projects that stimulate and advance systems change 
in order to expand competitive employment outcomes for individuals with 
mental or physical disabilities, or both, who are participants in 
Federal, State, and local public support programs (e.g., TANF, SSI, 
SSDI, Medicaid, Medicare, subsidized housing, and food stamps, etc.)

Absolute Priority

    Under 34 CFR 75.105(c)(3) and section 12(a)(3) of the Act, the 
Secretary gives an absolute preference to applications that meet the 
following priority. The Secretary funds under this competition only 
applications that meet this absolute priority:
A. General Requirements for Applicants
    Applicants under this priority shall satisfy the following 
requirements:
    (1) Applicants shall form a consortium of, at a minimum, the State 
vocational rehabilitation agency, the State welfare agency, the State 
educational agency, the State agency responsible for administering the 
Medicaid program, and an agency administering an employment or 
employment training program supported by the U.S. Department of Labor. 
Additional entities (e.g., public and private non-profit organizations) 
that could effectively assist in removing barriers to employment for 
individuals with disabilities also may be included as part of the 
consortium.
    (2) The members of the consortium shall either designate one of 
their members to apply for the grant or establish a separate, eligible 
legal entity to apply for the grant. The designated applicant shall 
serve as the grantee and be legally responsible for the use of all 
grant funds, overall fiscal and programmatic oversight of the project, 
and for ensuring that the project is carried out by consortium members 
in accordance with Federal requirements.
    (3) Consortium members shall be substantially involved in the 
development of the application. To the extent possible, consortiums 
also shall involve consumers in the development of the application.
    (4) The members of the consortium shall enter into an agreement 
that details the activities that each member plans to perform and that 
binds each member to the statements and assurances included in the 
application. Each member is legally responsible for carrying out the 
activities it agrees to perform and for using the funds that it 
receives under the agreement in accordance with Federal requirements 
that apply to the grant. The agreement must be submitted as part of the 
application.
    (5) Consortiums shall establish a Consumer Advisory Board 
consisting of individuals with disabilities and, as appropriate, their 
representatives that will assist in the development, implementation, 
and evaluation of barrier-removal strategies.
    (6) The application submitted under this priority also must 
identify the specific locality or region that would be served by the 
project.
B. Project Objectives
    Projects supported under this priority must--
    (1) Identify systemic barriers, including State or local agency 
policies, practices, procedures, or rules that inhibit individuals with 
disabilities who are participants in public support programs from 
becoming competitively employed.
    (2) Develop and implement replicable strategies to remove 
identified barriers, including, at a minimum, strategies for--
    (a) Establishing effective collaborative working relationships 
among project consortium members and their partners as described in 
paragraph (C)(1) of this priority (e.g., providing interagency staff 
training and technical assistance on program requirements and services 
or collaboratively using labor market and job vacancy information);
    (b) Establishing coordinated service delivery systems (e.g., common 
intake and referral procedures, customer databases, and resource 
information) and developing innovative services and service approaches 
that address service gaps (e.g., developing employee and employer 
support networks);
    (c) Improving access to health insurance for individuals with 
disabilities who become employed;
    (d) Increasing the use of existing resources by State and local 
agencies (e.g., Medicaid waivers, Home Community Based Services 
waivers, Job Training Partnership Act income exemptions, and work 
incentive provisions such as Plan for Achieving Self Support);
    (3) Design and implement an internal evaluation plan for which--
    (a) The methods of evaluation are thorough, feasible, and 
appropriate to the goals, objectives, and outcomes of the project;
    (b) The methods of evaluation provide for examining the 
effectiveness of project implementation strategies;
    (c) 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;
    (d) The methods of evaluation will provide performance feedback and 
permit periodic assessment of progress toward achieving intended 
outcomes; and
    (e) The evaluation will provide guidance about effective strategies 
suitable for replication or testing in other settings; and
    (4) Disseminate information on effective systems-change approaches 
developed under these projects to Federal, State, and local 
stakeholders and facilitate the use of systems-change models in other 
geographic areas. As examples, consortiums may make presentations 
before national, State, or local conferences, consult with and provide 
technical assistance to other States or localities, develop Internet 
web sites, and distribute project publications.
C. Project Requirements
    In carrying out the priority, the projects must--
    (1) Develop partnership agreements, as described under DEFINITIONS, 
with the local district offices of the Social Security Administration; 
the State agency or agencies responsible for mental retardation, 
developmental disabilities, and mental health services; existing 
transportation or paratransit service providers; and appropriate public 
and private sector employers. Partnerships also may be formed with 
other appropriate entities identified by the consortium, including but 
not limited to, Centers for Independent Living, consumer advocacy 
organizations, economic development councils, Private Industry 
Councils, Governor's committees on the employment of persons with 
disabilities, developmental disabilities councils, mental health 
centers, community rehabilitation programs, Indian Tribes, labor 
unions, and community-based and other non-profit employment and 
training organizations funded by the U.S. Department of Labor;
    (2) Make timely, formal requests for Medicaid waivers if necessary 
for projects to be able to implement developed strategies;
    (3) Implement, in a timely manner, the strategies developed by the 
project

[[Page 37020]]

to expand employment outcomes for individuals with mental or physical 
disabilities, or both;
    (4) Participate, as appropriate, in meetings of a Federal 
Interagency Employment Initiative Workgroup and inform workgroup 
members of project activities; and
    (5) Participate in, and provide data for, an external evaluation of 
the systems-change projects as directed by the Commissioner of the 
Rehabilitation Services Administration. The evaluation would examine--
    (a) The effect of specific innovative systems-change approaches and 
strategies on State or local agency policies, practices, or rules 
affecting the employment of individuals with disabilities;
    (b) The effect of specific innovative systems-change approaches and 
strategies on increasing the number of individuals with disabilities 
who obtain competitive employment, including job retention, promotion, 
and satisfaction, and wage growth; and
    (c) The cost effectiveness of employment supports and services 
implemented by the project.

Definitions

    Competitive employment, as defined in 34 CFR 361.5(b)(10), means 
work in the competitive labor market that is performed on a full-time 
or part-time basis in an integrated setting, and for which an 
individual is compensated at or above the minimum wage, but not less 
than the customary wage and level of benefits paid by the employer for 
the same or similar work performed by individuals who are not disabled.
    Consortium means a group of eligible parties formed by the 
applicant seeking a Federal award under this priority. Members of the 
consortium shall enter into an agreement and carry out their 
responsibilities consistent with the requirements in paragraph (A) of 
the priority. Members of the consortium shall also ensure that project 
partners carry out their agreed-upon activities.
    Disability with respect to an individual means a physical or mental 
impairment that substantially limits one or more of the major life 
activities of that individual, having a record of such an impairment, 
or being regarded as having such an impairment.
    Locality means specific geographical areas within a State or 
States.
    Partner means an entity with which the consortium has entered into 
an agreement to carry out specific activities, goals, and objectives of 
the project.
    Partnership agreement means a written arrangement between a 
consortium and its partners to carry out specific activities related to 
the project.
    Public support means Federal, State, and local public programs that 
provide resources or services to individuals with disabilities. These 
programs include, but are not limited to, Temporary Aid to Needy 
Families (TANF), Supplemental Security Income (SSI), Social Security 
Disability Income (SSDI), Medicaid (including Medicaid waiver 
programs), Medicare, subsidized housing, and food stamps.
    Region means two or more States participating in the project.

Selection Criteria

    In evaluating an application for a new grant under this 
competition, the Secretary uses selection criteria chosen from the 
general selection criteria in Sec. 75.210 of the Education Department 
General Administrative Regulations. The selection criteria to be used 
for this competition will be provided in the application package for 
this competition.

Electronic Access to This Document

    Anyone may view this document, as well as all other Department of 
Education documents published in the Federal Register, in text or 
portable document format (pdf) on the World Wide Web 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 toll free at 1-888-293-6498.
    Anyone may also view these documents in text copy only on an 
electronic bulletin board of the Department. Telephone: (202) 219-1511 
or, toll free, 1-800-222-4922. The documents are located under option 
G--Files/Announcements, Bulletins and Press Releases.

    Note: The official version of this document is the document 
published in the Federal Register.

Goals 2000: Educate America Act

    The Goals 2000: Educate America Act (Goals 2000) focuses the 
Nation's education reform efforts on the eight National Education Goals 
and provides a framework for meeting them. Goals 2000 promotes new 
partnerships to strengthen schools and expands the Department's 
capacities for helping communities to exchange ideas and obtain 
information needed to achieve the goals.
    This final priority addresses the National Education Goal that 
every adult American, including individuals with disabilities, will 
possess the knowledge and skills necessary to compete in a global 
economy and exercise the rights and responsibilities of citizenship.

Executive Order 12866

    This final priority has been reviewed in accordance with Executive 
Order 12866. Under the terms of the order the Secretary has assessed 
the potential costs and benefits of this regulatory action.
    The Secretary has determined that there are no costs associated 
with this priority. Announcement of this priority will not result in 
costs to State and local governments, recipients of grant funds, or to 
individuals with disabilities and their families. The benefit from this 
priority will be to focus activities and Federal assistance on 
increasing competitive employment outcomes for individuals with 
disabilities who are participants in public support programs through 
enhanced collaboration and coordination.
    The Secretary has also determined that this regulatory action does 
not unduly interfere with State, local, and tribal governments in the 
exercise of their governmental functions.

Intergovernmental Review

    This program is subject to the requirements of Executive Order 
12372 and the regulations in 34 CFR Part 79. The objective of the 
Executive order is to foster an intergovernmental partnership and a 
strengthened federalism by relying on processes developed by State and 
local governments for coordination and review of proposed Federal 
financial assistance.
    In accordance with the order, this document is intended to provide 
early notification of the Department's specific plans and actions for 
this program.

    Program Authority: 29 U.S.C. 762(b)(3).

(Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance Number 84.811A, Systems-
Change Projects to Expand Employment Opportunities for Individuals 
With Mental or Physical Disabilities, or Both, Who Receive Public 
Support)

    Dated: July 1, 1998.
Judith E. Heumann,
Assistant Secretary for Special Education and Rehabilitative Services.
[FR Doc. 98-18057 Filed 7-7-98; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 4000-01-P