FR Doc 2010-15344
[Federal Register: June 24, 2010 (Volume 75, Number 121)]
[Notices]               
[Page 36237-36239]
From the Federal Register Online via GPO Access [wais.access.gpo.gov]
[DOCID:fr24jn10-105]                              

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Part IV





Department of Education





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National Institute on Disability and Rehabilitation Research (NIDRR)--
Disability and Rehabilitation Research Projects and Centers Program--
Rehabilitation Research and Training Centers (RRTCs)--Improved Outcomes 
for Individuals With Serious Mental Illness and Co-Occurring 
Conditions; Office of Special Education and Rehabilitative Services; 
Notices


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DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION

 
National Institute on Disability and Rehabilitation Research 
(NIDRR)--Disability and Rehabilitation Research Projects and Centers 
Program--Rehabilitation Research and Training Centers (RRTCs)--Improved 
Outcomes for Individuals With Serious Mental Illness and Co-Occurring 
Conditions

Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance (CFDA) Number: 84.133B-5.

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

ACTION: Notice of final priority.

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SUMMARY: The Assistant Secretary for Special Education and 
Rehabilitative Services announces a priority for the Disability and 
Rehabilitation Research Projects and Centers Program administered by 
NIDRR. Specifically, this notice announces a priority for an RRTC on 
Improved Outcomes for Individuals With Serious Mental Illness and Co-
Occurring Conditions. The Assistant Secretary may use this priority for 
competitions in fiscal year (FY) 2010 and later years. We take this 
action to focus research attention on areas of national need. We intend 
this priority to improve rehabilitation services and outcomes for 
individuals with disabilities.

DATES: Effective Date: This priority is effective July 26, 2010.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Lynn Medley, U.S. Department of 
Education, 400 Maryland Avenue, SW., Room 5140, Potomac Center Plaza 
(PCP), Washington, DC 20202. Telephone: (202) 245-7338 or by e-mail: 
Lynn.Medley@ed.gov.
    If you use a telecommunications device for the deaf (TDD), call the 
Federal Relay Service (FRS), toll free, at 1-800-877-8339.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: This notice of final priority is in concert 
with NIDRR's Final Long-Range Plan for FY 2005-2009 (Plan). The Plan, 
which was published in the Federal Register on February 15, 2006 (71 FR 
8165), can be accessed on the Internet at the following site: 
http://www.ed.gov/about/offices/list/osers/nidrr/policy.html.
    Through the implementation of the Plan, NIDRR seeks to: (1) Improve 
the quality and utility of disability and rehabilitation research; (2) 
foster an exchange of expertise, information, and training to 
facilitate the advancement of knowledge and understanding of the unique 
needs of traditionally underserved populations; (3) determine best 
strategies and programs to improve rehabilitation outcomes for 
underserved populations; (4) identify research gaps; (5) identify 
mechanisms of integrating research and practice; and (6) disseminate 
findings.
    Purpose of Program: The purpose of the Disability and 
Rehabilitation Research Projects and Centers Program is to plan and 
conduct research, demonstration projects, training, and related 
activities, including international activities, to develop methods, 
procedures, and rehabilitation technology, that maximize the full 
inclusion and integration into society, employment, independent living, 
family support, and economic and social self-sufficiency of individuals 
with disabilities, especially individuals with the most severe 
disabilities, and to improve the effectiveness of services authorized 
under the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, as amended.

RRTC Program

    The purpose of the RRTC program is to improve the effectiveness of 
services authorized under the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, as amended, 
through advanced research, training, technical assistance, and 
dissemination activities in general problem areas, as specified by 
NIDRR. Such activities are designed to benefit rehabilitation service 
providers, individuals with disabilities, and the family members or 
other authorized representatives of individuals with disabilities. In 
addition, NIDRR intends to require all RRTC applicants to meet the 
requirements of the General Rehabilitation Research and Training 
Centers (RRTC) Requirements priority that it published in a notice of 
final priorities in the Federal Register on February 1, 2008 (73 FR 
6132). Additional information on the RRTC program can be found at: 
http://www.ed.gov/rschstat/research/pubs/res-program.html#RRTC.

Statutory and Regulatory Requirements of RRTCs

    RRTCs must--
     Carry out coordinated advanced programs of rehabilitation 
research;
     Provide training, including graduate, pre-service, and in-
service training, to help rehabilitation personnel more effectively 
provide rehabilitation services to individuals with disabilities;
     Provide technical assistance to individuals with 
disabilities, their representatives, providers, and other interested 
parties;
     Disseminate informational materials to individuals with 
disabilities, their representatives, providers, and other interested 
parties; and
     Serve as centers of national excellence in rehabilitation 
research for individuals with disabilities, their representatives, 
providers, and other interested parties.
    Applicants for RRTC grants must also demonstrate in their 
applications how they will address, in whole or in part, the needs of 
individuals with disabilities from minority backgrounds.
    Program Authority: 29 U.S.C. 762(g) and 764(b)(2).
    Applicable Program Regulations: 34 CFR part 350.
    We published a notice of proposed priority (NPP) for NIDRR's 
Disability and Rehabilitation Research Projects and Centers Program in 
the Federal Register on April 23, 2010 (75 FR 21282). The NPP included 
a background statement that described our rationale for the priority 
proposed in that notice.
    There are no differences between the proposed priority and this 
final priority.
    Public Comment: In response to our invitation in the NPP, we did 
not receive any substantive comments on the proposed priority.

Final Priority

    The Assistant Secretary for Special Education and Rehabilitative 
Services announces a priority for a Rehabilitation Research and 
Training Center (RRTC) on Improved Outcomes for Individuals with 
Serious Mental Illness and Co-Occurring Conditions. The RRTC must 
conduct research to adapt, modify, and enhance health and mental health 
models to improve health and employment outcomes for individuals with 
serious mental illness (SMI) and co-occurring conditions. The RRTC must 
conduct research, knowledge translation, training, dissemination, and 
technical assistance within a framework of self-management and 
consumer-directed services. Under this priority, the RRTC must 
contribute to the following outcomes:
    (a) Increased knowledge that can be used to enhance the health and 
well-being of individuals with SMI and co-occurring conditions. The 
RRTC must contribute to this outcome by:
    (1) Conducting research to develop a better understanding of the 
health, and health care needs of individuals with SMI and co-occurring 
conditions.
    (2) Conducting research to identify or develop and then test 
interventions that aim to improve health outcomes and promote recovery 
among individuals living with SMI and co-occurring conditions. These 
interventions must include individual-level health promotion 
strategies, such as peer supports and consumer control, as well as 
system-level strategies for the

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delivery of physical and mental health services. These interventions 
must be based on the findings of research conducted under paragraph 
(a)(1) of this priority. In carrying out this activity, the grantee 
must investigate the applicability of strategies that have proven 
successful with the general population or other subpopulations to 
determine if they are effective with individuals with SMI and co-
occurring conditions.
    (b) Improved employment outcomes among individuals with SMI and co-
occurring conditions. The RRTC must contribute to this outcome by 
conducting research that demonstrates how improvements in health 
service delivery mechanisms, self-management, peer support, and 
consumer control affect employment outcomes in individuals with SMI and 
co-occurring conditions. In carrying out this activity the grantee must 
utilize one or more of the interventions developed under paragraph 
(a)(2) of this priority.
    (c) Increased incorporation of research findings related to SMI, 
co-occurring conditions, health management, and employment into 
practice or policy. The RRTC must contribute to this outcome by 
coordinating with appropriate NIDRR-funded knowledge translation 
grantees to advance their work in the following areas:
    (1) Developing, evaluating, or implementing strategies to increase 
utilization of research findings related to SMI, co-occurring 
conditions, health management, and employment.
    (2) Conducting training, technical assistance, and dissemination 
activities to increase utilization of research findings related to SMI, 
co-occurring conditions, health management, and employment.

Types of Priorities

    When inviting applications for a competition using one or more 
priorities, we designate the type of each priority as absolute, 
competitive preference, or invitational through a notice in the Federal 
Register. The effect of each type of priority follows:
    Absolute priority: Under an absolute priority, we consider only 
applications that meet the priority (34 CFR 75.105(c)(3)).
    Competitive preference priority: Under a competitive preference 
priority, we give competitive preference to an application by (1) 
Awarding additional points, depending on the extent to which the 
application meets the priority (34 CFR 75.105(c)(2)(i)); or (2) 
selecting an application that meets the priority over an application of 
comparable merit that does not meet the priority (34 CFR 
75.105(c)(2)(ii)).
    Invitational priority: Under an invitational priority, we are 
particularly interested in applications that meet the priority. 
However, we do not give an application that meets the priority a 
preference over other applications (34 CFR 75.105(c)(1)).
    This notice does not preclude us from proposing additional 
priorities, requirements, definitions, or selection criteria, subject 
to meeting applicable rulemaking requirements.


    Note:  This notice does not solicit applications. In any year in 
which we choose to use this priority, we invite applications through 
a notice in the Federal Register.


    Executive Order 12866: This notice has been reviewed in accordance 
with Executive Order 12866. Under the terms of the order, we have 
assessed the potential costs and benefits of this final regulatory 
action.
    The potential costs associated with this final regulatory action 
are those resulting from statutory requirements and those we have 
determined as necessary for administering this program effectively and 
efficiently.
    In assessing the potential costs and benefits--both quantitative 
and qualitative--of this final regulatory action, we have determined 
that the benefits of the final priority justify the costs.

Discussion of Costs and Benefits

    The benefits of the Disability and Rehabilitation Research Projects 
and Centers Program have been well established over the years in that 
similar projects have been completed successfully. This final priority 
will generate new knowledge through research and development.
    Another benefit of this final priority is that the establishment of 
a new RRTC will advance research to improve the lives of individuals 
with disabilities. The new RRTC will disseminate and promote the use of 
new information that will improve the options for individuals with 
disabilities to obtain, retain, and advance in employment.
    Accessible Format: Individuals with disabilities can obtain this 
document in an accessible format (e.g., braille, large print, 
audiotape, or computer diskette) by contacting the Grants and Contracts 
Services Team, U.S. Department of Education, 400 Maryland Avenue, SW., 
room 5075, PCP, Washington, DC 20202-2550. Telephone: (202) 245-7363. 
If you use a TDD, call the FRS, toll free, at 1-800-877-8339.
    Electronic Access to This Document: You can view this document, as 
well as all other documents of this Department published in the Federal 
Register, in text or Adobe Portable Document Format (PDF) on the 
Internet at the following site: http://www.ed.gov/news/fedregister. To 
use PDF you must have Adobe Acrobat Reader, which is available free at 
this site.


    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.gpoaccess.gov/nara/index.html.


    Dated: June 21, 2010.
Alexa Posny,
Assistant Secretary for Special Education and Rehabilitative Services.
[FR Doc. 2010-15344 Filed 6-23-10; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 4000-01-P