FR Doc E9-741[Federal Register: January 15, 2009 (Volume 74, Number 10)]
[Page 2564-2569]
From the Federal Register Online via GPO Access []

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National Institute on Disability and Rehabilitation Research--
Notice of Proposed Long-Range Plan for Fiscal Years 2010-2014

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

ACTION: Notice of proposed long-range plan for fiscal years 2010-2014.


SUMMARY: The Assistant Secretary for Special Education and
Rehabilitative Services proposes the National Institute on Disability
and Rehabilitation Research's (NIDRR's) Long-Range Plan (Plan) for
fiscal years 2010 through 2014. Pursuant to section 202(h)(1) of the
Rehabilitation Act of 1973, as amended, the Department is required to
develop a plan for NIDRR that outlines NIDRR's priorities for
rehabilitation research, demonstration projects, training, and related
activities, and explains the basis for these priorities.

DATES: We must receive your comments on or before March 16, 2009.

ADDRESSES: Address all comments about the proposed Plan to Donna
Nangle, U.S. Department of Education, 400 Maryland Avenue, SW., Room
6029, Potomac Center Plaza, Washington, DC 20202-2700. If you prefer to
send your comments through the Internet, use the following address:
    You must include the term ``Long-Range Plan'' in the subject line
of your electronic message.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Donna Nangle. Telephone: (202) 245-
7462 or by e-mail:
    If you use a telecommunications device for the deaf (TDD), call the
Federal Relay Service (FRS), toll free, at 1-800-877-8339.

    Invitation to Comment: We invite you to submit comments regarding
the proposed Plan. To ensure that your comments have maximum effect in
developing the final Plan, we urge you to identify clearly the specific
area of the Plan that each comment addresses and to arrange your
comments in the same order as the proposed Plan.
    During and after the comment period, you may inspect all public
comments about the proposed Plan on our Web site, at:
    Assistance to Individuals With Disabilities in Reviewing the
Record: On request we will provide an appropriate accommodation or
auxiliary aid to an individual with a disability who needs assistance
to review the comments or other documents in the public rulemaking
record for this proposed Plan. If you want to schedule an appointment
for this type of accommodation or auxiliary aid, please contact the
    Background: In developing the research agenda in the proposed Plan,
NIDRR considered: the legislative mandate for the Plan; consumer goals
(as documented, for example, in public input on preparation of this
Plan received via e-mail, the Web, and in a national teleconference in
response to a notice published in the Federal Register and an e-mail
solicitation inviting comment on the Plan); and scientific advances
documented through state of the science conferences and literature.
    The purposes of the proposed Plan are:
    (1) To describe the broad general principles that will guide
NIDRR's policies and use of resources;
    (2) To establish objectives for research and related activities
from which annual research priorities can be formulated; and
    (3) To describe how NIDRR will operationalize the Plan, i.e., the
process by which NIDRR establishes annual priorities.
    The authority for the Secretary to establish the Plan is contained
in section 202(h) of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, as amended (29
U.S.C. 762(h)).
    The proposed Plan is published as an attachment to this notice.
    Accessible Format: Individuals with disabilities can obtain this
document in an accessible format (e.g., braille, large print,
audiotape, or computer diskette) on request to the contact person
    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:
    To use PDF you must have Adobe Acrobat Reader, which is available
free at this site. If you have questions about using 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:

    Dated: January 9, 2009.
Tracy R. Justesen,
Assistant Secretary for Special Education and Rehabilitative Services.

National Institute on Disability and Rehabilitation Research: Long-
Range Plan (Plan) for Fiscal Years (FYs) 2010-2014

I. Introduction

    NIDRR's mission is to support research and related activities to
generate new knowledge and promote its effective use in order to
improve the lives of individuals with disabilities and their
opportunities for full participation in society. The Plan presents
goals, objectives, and strategies for NIDRR research investments for
FYs 2010 through 2014 that are aligned with this mission and that may
be implemented through funding priorities.

Statutory Mandate

    NIDRR was established by the 1978 amendments to the Rehabilitation
Act of 1973, as amended (Act). As specified in section 200 of the Act
(29 U.S.C. 760), NIDRR's role is to: (a) Support research,
demonstration projects, training, and related activities to maximize
the full inclusion and integration into society, employment,
independent living, family support, and economic and social self-
sufficiency of individuals with disabilities of all ages; (b) provide
for a comprehensive and coordinated approach to the support and conduct
of research, demonstration projects, training, and related activities;
(c) promote the transfer of rehabilitation technology; (d) ensure the
widespread distribution of practical scientific and technological
information; and (e) increase opportunities for researchers who are
members of minority groups and researchers who are individuals with
    NIDRR implements its statutory mandate by supporting research and
development projects to generate new knowledge and products, along with
supporting knowledge translation and capacity building activities.
Research and development are supported through a variety of program
mechanisms described later in this document. Knowledge translation is a
process of ensuring that new knowledge and products gained through
research and development will ultimately be used to improve the lives
of individuals with disabilities and further their

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participation in society. Knowledge translation is built upon and
sustained by ongoing interactions, partnerships, and collaborations
among various stakeholders, including researchers, practitioners,
policy-makers, persons with disabilities, and others, in the production
and use of such knowledge and products. Capacity building refers to
building the infrastructure and increasing individual capability
necessary to carry out relevant research and development.
    NIDRR is administered within the Office of Special Education and
Rehabilitative Services (OSERS) at the U.S. Department of Education.
OSERS has two other components--the Rehabilitation Services
Administration (RSA) and the Office of Special Education Programs
(OSEP). RSA administers the State-Federal Vocational Rehabilitation
program, the American Indian Vocational Rehabilitation Services
program, the Assistive Technology State Grants program, Independent
Living programs, and related programs. OSEP administers the Individuals
with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA).
    NIDRR works closely with other offices at the U.S. Department of
Education, both within OSERS and throughout the agency. Furthermore,
NIDRR has developed extensive linkages to the broader disability and
rehabilitation research community through the Interagency Committee on
Disability Research (ICDR), and through the development of significant
partnerships with many Federal agencies, research institutions,
businesses, employers, and consumer organizations.

NIDRR's Unique Role

    Individuals with disabilities face daunting challenges in
employment, housing, public accommodations and services, education,
transportation, communications, recreation, health services, and civic
participation. To maximize its effectiveness in addressing these and
other challenges facing individuals with disabilities, NIDRR focuses on
the whole person, whose ability to function and whose quality of life
are dependent on the complex interaction of personal, societal, and
environmental factors.
    NIDRR's budget represents the largest single Federal investment in
disability and rehabilitation research. Unlike other Federal research
entities that support prevention, treatment, and acute rehabilitation
research, NIDRR supports rehabilitation research that is more closely
tied to longer term outcomes such as independence, community
participation, and employment.
    NIDRR's unique role in supporting rehabilitation research and
development activities that are distinct from the research supported by
other agencies also can be understood within the context of the World
Health Organization's International Classification of Functioning,
Disability, and Health (ICF) (World Health Organization, 2001). The ICF
is a framework for classifying disability and health along a continuum
from body function and structure to activities \1\ and
participation,\2\ in the context of environment and personal factors.
The ICF is useful to explain NIDRR's role in the context of the overall
field of Federal disability and rehabilitation research. Specifically,
NIDRR's role is to support activities that increase the self-
determination and participation of individuals with disabilities in the
home, community, school, and workplace. To fulfill this role, NIDRR
supports research that explores the interaction of individual
characteristics and environmental factors and their effects on the
participation of individuals with disabilities in these settings. NIDRR
also supports a wide range of rehabilitation engineering development
activities, many of which lead to the manufacture and commercialization
of products to enhance function or enable individuals to live and work
more independently.

    \1\ The World Health Organization, in the ICF, defines the term
``activities'' as ``the execution of a task or action by an
    \2\ The term ``participation'' is defined as ``involvement in a
life situation.''

NIDRR Accomplishments

    Over the span of its 30-year history, NIDRR's efforts in research
and development, capacity building, and knowledge translation have
resulted in advances in knowledge, changes in practice and policy, and
the manufacturing of products that have improved the lives of
individuals with disabilities and their families. Some of NIDRR's key
achievements include supporting efforts that led to the following:
     Developing and advancing innovative practices in the
fields of disability and rehabilitation, including universal design,
identification of new types of disabilities, measurement of
participation in valued life activities, identification of the effects
of the environment on the function of people with disabilities, and the
treatment and documentation of secondary conditions for individuals
with disabilities.
     Establishing new standards of integrated care for
individuals with spinal cord injury, traumatic brain injury, and burn
injury through the model systems programs.
     Developing environmental accommodations such as closed
captioning and accessible computer software.
     Developing assistive technology and design features to
make everyday products accessible to individuals with disabilities,
including products marketed by companies such as AOL, Microsoft,
Hewlett-Packard (HP), Black & Decker, and Whirlpool.
     Improving national disability data and statistics by
supporting analysis of major national sources of disability data and
promoting data collection methods that include respondents with
     Contributing to improved policies for individuals with
disabilities in healthcare, independent living, employment,
communications, and transportation.

II. Need for Employment Focus

    Improving employment outcomes for individuals with disabilities has
been a central research focus within NIDRR since its formation in 1978,
and remains a major challenge today. However, there is a pressing need
for additional research to improve access to appropriate employment,
retention of employment, and career advancement for individuals with
disabilities. Research is needed to help identify facilitators of
employment for individuals with disabilities as well as ways to
overcome barriers to employment.

Employment Status of and Trends for Individuals With Disabilities

    Employment is the key to economic self-sufficiency. In addition, it
facilitates social participation, provides personal identity, and
ultimately contributes to satisfaction with life (National Council on
Disability, 2007). However, the employment prospects of the 22.4
million (U.S. Census Bureau, 2006) individuals with disabilities lag
behind other individuals, regardless of disability type and how
employment status is characterized (see Table).
    The aging of the population will be accompanied by an increase in
the number of individuals with disabilities because individuals 45 and
older experience a higher rate of disabilities than do younger
individuals (Field and Jette, 2007, p. 17). Many of these individuals
will continue to work past the age of 65.

[[Page 2566]]

    The changes described in the preceding paragraph and other
demographic trends toward increases in disability may result in a
substantial increase in the number of individuals with disabilities in
the workforce. Even if the current prevalence of disability by age
group does not increase over the next several decades, the proportion
of the population with disabilities can be expected to rise from
approximately 15 percent to nearly 20 percent as the population ages
(American Community Survey, 2006).

                                                         Employment rate
                   Working age group                           \3\
Non-disabled individuals..............................              78.1
Disabled individuals:
    Hispanics.........................................              39.0
    All individuals with disabilities.................              37.8
    Pacific Islanders.................................              37.4
    American Indians and Alaska Natives...............              32.4
    African Americans.................................              29.6
\3\ These employment rates are based on U.S. Census Bureau (2006)
  calculations using the 2006 American Community Survey via the Census
  Bureau's DataFerret System.

    The characteristics of individuals with disabilities seeking
assistance to perform major life activities are changing as well. Many
veterans of on-going conflicts between the United States and other
countries are returning with disabilities. For example, from the
beginning of Operation Iraqi Freedom in March 2003 through April 2008,
29,978 personnel have been wounded, and according to the Rand
Corporation, approximately 40 percent of returning veterans sustained
mild traumatic brain injury or post-traumatic stress disorder. Enabling
these veterans to reenter the workforce has become an important issue
for them and for the United States.
    Among the working-age population with disabilities, U.S. Census
data show that a large segment of this cohort is made up of individuals
with long-term disabilities acquired at birth through early adulthood.
Evidence from empirical studies funded by NIDRR indicates that many
members of this cohort are at risk for new conditions and impairments
that undermine their participation in valued life activities, and
result in premature aging and premature retirement from the labor force
compared to their non-disabled counterparts.
    Improvements in health and function and community living are
critical antecedents to improved employment for individuals with
disabilities. New knowledge that prepares individuals with disabilities
to work, maintain employment, and progress in a career can also benefit
individuals who choose not to work or who are unable to work, to the
extent that those individuals may wish to otherwise participate in
their community. For example, a manual wheelchair user must be able to
maintain good arm function to maintain mobility that may be needed for
employment. However, improving arm function and mobility will assist
the individual in other areas as well, including independent living and
community participation.
    The data and trends discussed above suggest just a few of the areas
that need to be investigated to develop policy and practice
recommendations to improve employment and economic security for
individuals with disabilities. NIDRR has responded to this need by
making the improvement of employment outcomes the focus of its long-
range plan for FYs 2010-2014.

III. Strategic Focus

Focus of FYs 2010-2014 Long-Range Plan

    To address the well-documented disparity in rates of employment for
individuals with--as compared to individuals without--disabilities,
NIDRR intends to invest in research and development to directly study
workplace and workforce issues, other research activities that address
health and function, rehabilitation, and technology barriers, which
also affect participation and employment, and research to enhance the
transition of students to postsecondary education and employment.
    NIDRR proposes to use the goals, objectives, and strategies
described in the following section to guide the development of grant
priorities in the coming years. Focusing the Plan on employment and
employment outcomes will not prevent NIDRR from continuing the work it
is currently funding. NIDRR will maintain the broad array of mandated
programs it currently supports (e.g., the rehabilitation engineering
research centers and the spinal cord injury model systems program) and,
where possible, will establish a link between each new priority it
funds through these programs and employment outcomes. For example,
NIDRR might propose a priority for research to test interventions that
reduce secondary conditions that have an impact on work attendance. By
focusing on employment outcomes, NIDRR will address a critical area
needed to improve the lives of individuals with disabilities and
advance the work of RSA.
    As in its previous Plan, NIDRR's three goals, discussed in the
following section, focus on research and development, knowledge
translation, and capacity building. NIDRR's conceptualization of the
units of analysis for employment research has three levels--individual,
employer, and systems. ICF makes a distinction between functioning and
disability, on one hand, and environmental factors, on the other (World
Health Organization, 2001). The individual level unit of analysis falls
within the functioning and disability component. The employer and
systems levels are two major aspects of the ICF's environmental
factors. The employer level includes all environmental factors related
to the workplace. The systems level includes all other environments
outside the workplace, as well as policies influencing employment


Research and Development
    Advance knowledge related to disability and rehabilitation through
research and development, with particular emphasis on improving
employment and participation outcomes for individuals with
    Objective 1.1: Increase knowledge of the educational, training, and
socioeconomic factors that serve as facilitators of or barriers to
improved employment outcomes for individuals with disabilities by
supporting research and development on:
    Strategy 1.1.1: Improving job preparedness and skills, including

[[Page 2567]]

identification of the individual determinants of labor market success
and the training and services needed to achieve success.
    Strategy 1.1.2: Improving the hiring, retention, and promotion
practices of employers.
    Strategy 1.1.3: Identifying policy and systems changes that improve
vocational training and services, reduce work disincentives, and
increase employment opportunities and transitions across the lifecycle.
    Objective 1.2: Increase knowledge of the health and function
factors that serve as facilitators of or barriers to improved
employment and participation outcomes by supporting research and
development on:
    Strategy 1.2.1: Reducing the occurrence of secondary disabling
conditions, enhancing health and functional status, eliminating health
disparities, and promoting wellness.
    Strategy 1.2.2: Enhancing understanding of the health and wellness
needs of employees with disabilities, and improving the quality and
availability of health benefits, workplace supports, and disability
management programs.
    Strategy 1.2.3: Identifying policy and systems changes that improve
access to health insurance and appropriate healthcare services,
eliminating healthcare disparities, and increasing the availability and
quality of health and wellness programs.
    Objective 1.3: Increase understanding of environmental and
community level factors that serve as facilitators of or barriers to
improved employment and participation outcomes by supporting research
and development on:
    Strategy 1.3.1: Promoting self-determination and participation in
social roles, reducing social isolation, enhance communication skills,
and increasing independence and community living for individuals with
    Strategy 1.3.2: Identifying policy and systems changes that enhance
self-determination and choice, support family caregiving and personal
assistance services, and increase the availability of home and
community-based services and supports that promote independence, safety
and security, and community living.
    Objective 1.4: Increase understanding of the assistive technology
and environmental factors that serve as facilitators of or barriers to
improved employment and participation outcomes by supporting research
and development on:
    Strategy 1.4.1: Increasing the use of assistive technologies that
promote health and function, support self-determination and
independence, enhance communication, reduce social isolation, and
increase participation in the home, community, and workplace.
    Strategy 1.4.2: Improving the availability, reducing the costs, and
increasing the quality of workplace productivity enhancements,
accommodations, and supports.
    Strategy 1.4.3: Identifying policy and systems changes to increase
the availability and affordability of assistive technologies and
environmental adaptations that reduce barriers to employment, promote
safety and security, and improve access to information technologies and
opportunities for participation and community living.
Goal 2: Knowledge Translation
    Increase the use of knowledge derived from NIDRR-funded research
and development.
    Objective 2.1: Increase understanding of models, methods, and
strategies for knowledge translation in different settings and user
    Strategy 2.1.1: Advance understanding of barriers to and
facilitators of knowledge translation.
    Strategy 2.1.2: Investigate mechanisms for successful knowledge
    Strategy 2.1.3: Explore existing models, methods, and strategies
from other fields that can be used to promote knowledge translation.
    Objective 2.2: Optimize the scientific quality and relevance of
knowledge derived from NIDRR-funded research and development projects.
    Strategy 2.2.1: Include requirements in priorities that grantees
optimize the relevance of knowledge for the intended users.
    Strategy 2.2.2: Encourage the use of research designs and
innovative methods that contribute to both scientific quality and
    Objective 2.3: Increase the use of models, methods, and strategies
for knowledge translation.
    Strategy 2.3.1: Develop a knowledge translation model that sets
forth NIDRR's desired knowledge translation outcomes, outputs, and
measures with input and feedback from stakeholders.
    Strategy 2.3.2: Promote the dissemination of knowledge generated
through research and development by communicating in understandable
language and formats that are accessible to all stakeholders, including
policy makers.
    Strategy 2.3.3: Optimize implementation of knowledge translation
models, methods, and strategies by NIDRR grantees through effective
professional development activities.
Goal 3: Capacity Building
    Increase the capacity of institutions and individuals, particularly
individuals with disabilities, to conduct high-quality disability and
rehabilitation research and development.
    Objective 3.1: Increase the capacity of institutions to conduct
rigorous, scientifically based disability and rehabilitation research
and development.
    Strategy 3.1.1: Enhance the capacity of minority entities and
Indian tribes to train disability researchers and to conduct high-
quality disability and rehabilitation research and development.
    Strategy 3.1.2: Encourage institutions involved in employment-
related research to conduct research on employment of individuals with
    Strategy 3.1.3: Encourage institutions involved in disability
research to focus on employment outcomes.
    Strategy 3.1.4: Encourage institutions involved in disability
research to focus on policy and systems issues that affect the
participation and employment of individuals with disabilities.
    Objective 3.2: Increase the number and capacity of individuals who
conduct rigorous disability and rehabilitation research and
    Strategy 3.2.1: Increase the participation of individuals with
disabilities as researchers in NIDRR research and development.
    Strategy 3.2.2: Enhance the ability of current researchers to
conduct high-quality NIDRR research and development.

IV. Managing for Results

NIDRR Guiding Principles

    In the pursuit of new knowledge to improve the lives and employment
outcomes of individuals with disabilities, NIDRR will operate according
to the following principles. These principles are essential to good
stewardship of the public funds entrusted to NIDRR and to the provision
of the maximum benefit to its primary stakeholders, individuals with
     Relevance. NIDRR's research and development programs will
respond to the needs of individuals with disabilities from diverse
backgrounds and from underserved populations such as tribal nations,
the needs of society,

[[Page 2568]]

the state of scientific knowledge and technological development, and
the U.S. Department of Education's priorities in order to enable
individuals with disabilities and their families across the lifespan to
make informed choices.
     Quality. NIDRR will fund rigorous scientifically based
research and development that uses appropriate methods, and will
evaluate the results of these projects through an independent peer
review process.
     Multidisciplinary. NIDRR will encourage collaborative
multidisciplinary research and development, representing a broad array
of relevant fields to strengthen the capacity to solve problems in a
creative, collaborative, and rigorous manner.
     Partnership. NIDRR will accomplish its mission in
partnership with its constituents, including, but not limited to,
academics, practitioners, individuals with disabilities, families,
industry, other Federal agencies, professional communities, disability
organizations, and advocates.

Management Strategy

    Managing NIDRR research programs and projects involves many
     Provision of a results-oriented planning environment;
     Development of grant priorities;
     Selection of the most appropriate funding mechanisms from
those available to NIDRR;
     Adherence to sound management principles;
     Commitment to an independent and effective peer review
     Project monitoring and evaluation; and
     Interagency research collaboration.
    At its core, managing for results is a philosophy and practice that
depends upon the availability of accurate data. NIDRR remains committed
to improving its collection, analysis, evaluation, and presentation of
data provided by its grantees and contractors.

Program Mechanisms

    NIDRR has nine primary grant mechanisms for awarding funds:
    Rehabilitation Engineering Research Centers (RERCs) conduct
programs of advanced engineering and technical research designed to
apply technology, scientific achievement, and psychological and social
knowledge to solve rehabilitation problems and remove environmental
barriers. RERCs are affiliated with institutions of higher education or
non-profit organizations.
    Rehabilitation Research and Training Centers (RRTCs) conduct
coordinated and integrated advanced research to alleviate or stabilize
disabling conditions, promote maximum social and economic independence
of individuals with disabilities, or improve rehabilitation methodology
or service delivery systems. RRTCs operate in collaboration with
institutions of higher education and providers of rehabilitation
services and serve as national centers of excellence in rehabilitation
    Disability and Rehabilitation Research Projects (DRRPs) emphasize
research and development projects, training, and knowledge translation
on rehabilitation topics. DRRPs also provide funding for the model
system programs for spinal cord injury, traumatic brain injury, and
burn injury. The model systems provide innovative systems of
comprehensive rehabilitation to, and collect longitudinal data from,
individuals with these injuries.
    Disability Business Technical Assistance Centers (DBTACs) are
funded as DRRPs to provide information, technical assistance, and
training in areas related to disability policy through a national
network of regionally-based centers that provides assistance to
disability organizations, individuals with disabilities, businesses,
public agencies, and the general public, and that will contribute to
research on topics covered under the Americans with Disabilities Act of
    Spinal Cord Injury Model Systems (SCIMS) are statutorily
established to support a network of Centers with model care of
individuals after spinal cord injury, carrying out research and
dissemination activities. NIDRR also supports traumatic brain injury
and burn model systems, but these are funded through the DRRP
    Field Initiated Projects provide funding to address rehabilitation
issues in promising and innovative ways. As the name implies, topics
for these projects are chosen by the applicants. Awards are based upon
merit and potential impact on the field of rehabilitation.
    Advanced Rehabilitation Research Training Projects provide funding
to institutions of higher education to recruit qualified post-doctoral
individuals with clinical, management, or basic research experience and
prepare them to conduct research on disability and rehabilitation
    Research Fellowships (known as Switzer Fellowships) give individual
researchers an opportunity to develop new ideas and gain research
experience. Fellows design and work for one year on an independent
research project.
    Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) grants, as administered
by NIDRR as a part of the larger mandatory SBIR program, help support
the production of new assistive and rehabilitation technology. This
two-phase program takes a rehabilitation-related product from
development to market readiness.

Peer Review Process

    NIDRR funds are awarded competitively through a rigorous peer
review process to ensure the integrity of the NIDRR research portfolio.
Researchers, methodologists, rehabilitation engineers, and other
experts, including individuals with disabilities, serve on three-to
seven-member panels. These experts review the proposals against the
selection criteria in the application package for the competition;
these selection criteria include, for example, methodological rigor,
responsiveness to needs, cost effectiveness, plan of evaluation, and
staff quality. Over the years, improvements in this peer review process
have worked to increase the scientific rigor of NIDRR's research
portfolio and its responsiveness to the needs of the disability and
rehabilitation community.

Monitoring and Evaluation

    NIDRR has adopted a project monitoring process that involves
regular contact between project officers and principal investigators to
ensure that activities and staffing are carried out as proposed,
problems are promptly addressed and resolved, and the projects remain
on track to produce the intended outcomes and outputs.
    NIDRR evaluates the outcomes of grantee research to judge project
productivity, economic value, and end-user satisfaction. Measures of
success vary by goal and topic. However, NIDRR continues to enhance its
system for tracking interventions and measurement instruments developed
by grantees. These tracking data, along with patent counts, verify
outcomes of research conducted by NIDRR grantees. For example,
systematic reviews or meta-analyses are used to evaluate aggregated
research outcomes. Bibliographic analysis also is used to determine
NIDRR's contribution to the knowledge base by measuring the extent to
which NIDRR-supported research articles are cited in the peer-reviewed
research literature.
    These data-driven activities result in new NIDRR-sponsored
deliverables including: an independent and external agency evaluation;
profiles of different funding mechanisms; and products displayed in a
variety of formats such as written materials, exhibits, or electronic
media (e.g., videoconferences, Webinars, or Podcasts). Equipped with

[[Page 2569]]

these products, stakeholders have a better understanding of what NIDRR
does and what new information and products are available.

V. References

Carlson, D., & Ehrlich, N. (2005). Assistive technology and
information technology use and need by persons with disabilities in
the United States, 2001. Washington, DC: National Institute on
Disability and Rehabilitation Research, U.S. Department of Education
[On-line]. Available:
Erickson, Tammy. (2008). The Project-Based Workforce. BusinessWeek.
January 31, 2008.
Field, M., & Jette, A.M. (Eds.). (2007). The future of disability in
America. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press.
National Council on Disability. (2007). Empowerment for Americans
with disabilities: Breaking barriers to careers and full employment.
Washington, DC: Author.
National Institute on Disability and Rehabilitation Research.
(2006). Long-range plan for fiscal years 2005 through 2009 [On-
line]. Available:
Ross, C.E, & Mirowsky, J. (1995). Does employment affect health?
Journal of Health and Social Behavior, 36(3), 230-243.
United States Census Bureau. (2006). Calculations using the 2006
American Community Survey via the Census Bureau's DataFerret System.
American Community Survey. Available:
World Health Organization. (2001). ICF: International classification
of functioning, disability and health. Geneva: Author.

[FR Doc. E9-741 Filed 1-14-09; 8:45 am]