[Federal Register: March 18, 1999 (Volume 64, Number 52)]
[Page 13489-13491]
From the Federal Register Online via GPO Access [wais.access.gpo.gov]


[[Page 13489]]


Part IV

Department of Education

Demonstration Projects To Ensure Students With Disabilities Receive a
Quality Higher Education; Final Priorities and Invitations for 
Applications for New Awards for Fiscal Year 1999; Notice

[[Page 13490]]


[CFDA No. 84.333]

Demonstration Projects To Ensure Students With Disabilities 
Receive a Quality Higher Education; Notice of Final Priorities and 
Invitation for Applications for New Awards for Fiscal Year (FY) 1999

    Purpose of Program: The Demonstration Projects to Ensure Students 
with Disabilities Receive a Quality Higher Education program provides 
grants to institutions of higher education (IHEs) to develop innovative 
demonstration projects. The purpose of the demonstration program is to 
provide technical assistance and professional development for faculty 
and administrators in IHEs in order to provide them with the skills and 
supports that they need to teach students with disabilities. The 
program will also be used to widely disseminate research and training 
to enable faculty and administrators in other IHEs to meet the 
educational needs of students with disabilities.
    Effective Date: March 18, 1999.
    Eligible Applicants: Institutions of higher education.
    Deadline for Transmittal of Applications: May 5, 1999.
    Deadline for Intergovernmental Review: July 4, 1999.
    Applications Available: March 18, 1999.
    Available Funds: $5,000,000.
    Estimated Range of Awards: $100,000-$350,000.
    Estimated Average Size of Awards: $100,000-$290,000.
    Estimated Number of Awards: 17.

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

    Project Period: 36 months.
    Applicable Regulations: The Education Department General 
Administrative Regulations (EDGAR) in 34 CFR parts 74, 75, 77, 79, 82, 
85, and 86.
    Because there are no program specific regulations for the 
Demonstration Projects to Ensure Students with Disabilities Receive a 
Quality Higher Education program, applicants should refer to the 
authorizing statute in Part D, Title VII of the Higher Education Act of 
1965, as amended (HEA). In preparing applications, IHEs should pay 
particular attention to the requirements in section 427 of the General 
Education Provisions Act (GEPA), as detailed later in this notice. 
Applicants must address the requirements in section 427 in order to 
receive funding under this competition. Section 427 requires each 
applicant to describe the steps it proposes to take to address one or 
more barriers (i.e., gender, race, national origin, color, disability, 
or age) that can impede equitable access to, or participation in, the 
program. A restatement of compliance with civil rights requirements is 
not sufficient to meet the requirements in section 427 of GEPA.

Waiver of Rulemaking

    It is generally the practice of the Secretary to offer interested 
parties the opportunity to comment on proposed priorities. However, in 
order to make awards on a timely basis, the Secretary has decided to 
publish this absolute priority in final under the authority of section 
437(d) of GEPA (20 U.S.C. 1232(d).

General Statutory Requirements

    (a) Projects funded under this notice must make positive efforts to 
employ and advance in employment qualified individuals with 
disabilities in project activities; and
    (b) Applicants and grant recipients funded under this notice must 
involve qualified individuals with disabilities, such as students with 
disabilities with experience in higher education, in planning, 
implementing, and evaluating the projects.


Absolute Priority--Demonstration Projects To Ensure Students With 
Disabilities Receive a Quality Higher Education.

    The Federal Government has previously funded a number of research, 
model demonstration, and training projects related to students with 
disabilities in postsecondary education. To promote the greater use of 
the findings generated by these projects and to further promote access 
to a wide range of higher education opportunities for individuals with 
disabilities, the Secretary establishes the following priority.


    Under 34 CFR 75.105(c)(3), 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 project funded under this priority--
    (a) Must coordinate activities with other federally funded 
projects, such as the Rehabilitation and Research Training Center on 
Educational Supports and the National Clearinghouse on Postsecondary 
Education for Individuals with Disabilities.
    (b) May not duplicate existing federally supported projects if the 
primary purpose of the proposed project is to conduct activities to 
synthesize research and information, as authorized by section 
762(b)(2)(B) of the HEA.
    (c) Must include letters of support from institutions of higher 
education that will be the recipients of the training if applicants 
apply for a grant to provide professional development and training 
under section 762(b)(2)(C) of the HEA.

Invitational Priority

    Research indicates that students with disabilities are less likely 
to enroll in postsecondary education than their nondisabled peers. 
Moreover, when students with disabilities attend postsecondary 
education, they are more likely than their nondisabled peers to attend 
two-year or vocational programs, rather than four-year, degree-granting 
institutions. Many of these students who attend two-year programs do 
not go on to four-year institutions. Furthermore, when students with 
disabilities do attend four-year, degree-granting institutions, they 
are less likely than their nondisabled peers to persist in these 
programs and, therefore, do not earn baccalaureate degrees. One way to 
create lasting change in an IHE's capacity to enable students with 
disabilities to persist in attaining a four-year degree is through 
widespread appropriate professional development for faculty and 
administrators. Focused efforts in this area will support systemic 
change in that institution and result in an environment that can 
effectively support the educational needs of students with disabilities 
in higher education.


    Within the absolute priority specified in this notice, the 
Secretary is particularly interested in applications that meet the 
following invitational priority. However, under 34 CFR 75.105(c)(1) an 
application that meets this invitational priority does not receive 
competitive or absolute preference over other applications.
    Applications that propose to develop and implement innovative 
demonstration projects that will be incorporated into the university's 
overall plan to improve supports and services for postsecondary 
students with disabilities, including departments that previously 
enrolled few, if any, students with disabilities. This requirement is

[[Page 13491]]

essential to ensure that funded projects contribute to lasting and 
systemic change within departments, colleges, or university-wide. 
Applicants should include sufficient information, including letters of 
support from institutions that will be the recipients of the training, 
to demonstrate their ability to successfully carry out the proposed 

Selection Criteria

    In evaluating an application for a new grant under this 
competition, the Secretary uses selection criteria under 34 CFR 75.209 
and 75.210 of EDGAR. The selection criteria to be used for this 
competition will be provided in the application package for this 

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.

Education, 400 Maryland Avenue, SW, Portals Building-6222, Washington, 
DC 20202-5247. E-mail: Amie__Amiot@ed.gov Telephone: (202) 260-0415. 
Please fax your requests for an application package to (202) 260-9271. 
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 
    Individuals with disabilities may obtain a copy of the application 
package in an alternate format, also, by contacting that person. 
However, the Department is not able to reproduce in an alternate format 
the standard forms included in the application package.

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:


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 at (202) 512-1530 or, 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 a document is the document 
published in the Federal Register.

    Program Authority: Title VII, Part D of the Higher Education Act 
of 1965, as amended.

    Dated: March 15, 1999.
David A. Longanecker,
Assistant Secretary for Postsecondary Education.
[FR Doc. 99-6642 Filed 3-17-99; 8:45 am]