[Federal Register: November 7, 2000 (Volume 65, Number 216)]
[Page 66732-66737]
From the Federal Register Online via GPO Access [wais.access.gpo.gov]



National Institute on Disability and Rehabilitation Research

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

ACTION: Notice of Proposed Funding Priorities for Fiscal Years 2001-
2002 for a National Center on Accessible Education-Based Information
Technology, the Disability and Business Technical Assistance Centers,
and a Traumatic Brain Injury Data Collection Center.


SUMMARY: We propose funding priorities for a National Center on
Accessible Education-Based Information Technology, the Disability and
Business Technical Assistance Centers (DBTACs), and a Traumatic Brain
Injury (TBI) Data Collection Center under the National Institute on
Disability and Rehabilitation Research (NIDRR) for fiscal years (FY)
2001-2002. We take this action to focus research attention on areas of
national need. We intend these priorities to improve the rehabilitation
services and outcomes for individuals with disabilities. This notice
contains proposed priorities under the Americans with Disabilities Act
(ADA) Technical Assistance Projects and the Disability and
Rehabilitation Research Projects and Centers Program.

DATES: We must receive your comments on or before December 7, 2000.

ADDRESSES: All comments concerning these proposed priorities should be
addressed to Donna Nangle, U.S. Department of Education, 400 Maryland
Avenue, SW., room 3414, Switzer Building, Washington, DC. 20202-2645.
Comments may also be sent through the Internet: donna_nangle@ed.gov

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Donna Nangle. Telephone: (202) 205-
5880. Individuals who use a telecommunications device for the deaf
(TDD) may call the TDD number at (202) 205-4475.
    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


Invitation To Comment

    We invite you to submit comments regarding these proposed
    We invite you to assist us in complying with the specific
requirements of Executive Order 12866 and its overall requirement of
reducing regulatory burden that might result from these proposed
priorities. Please let us know of any further opportunities we should
take to reduce potential costs or increase potential benefits while
preserving the effective and efficient administration of the program.
    During and after the comment period, you may inspect all public
comments about these priorities in Room 3414, Switzer Building, 330 C
Street SW., Washington, DC, between the hours of 8 a.m. and 4 p.m.,
Eastern time, Monday through Friday of each week except Federal

Assistance To Individuals With Disabilities in Reviewing the
Rulemaking Record

    On request, we will supply an appropriate aid, such as a reader or
print magnifier, to an individual with a disability who needs
assistance to review the comments or other documents in the public
rulemaking record for these proposed priorities. If you want to
schedule an appointment for this type of aid, you may call (202) 205-
8113 or (202) 260-9895. If you use a TDD, you may call the Federal
Information Relay Service at 1-800-877-8339.

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.
    These proposed priorities would address the National Education Goal
that every adult American will be literate and will possess the
knowledge and skills necessary to compete in a global economy and
exercise the rights and responsibilities of citizenship.
    The authority for the programs to establish research priorities by
reserving funds to support particular research activities is contained
in sections 202(g) and 204 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, as
amended (29 U.S.C. 762(g) and 764). Regulations governing these
programs are found in 34 CFR part 350.
    We will announce the final priorities in a notice in the Federal
Register. We will determine the final priorities after considering
responses to this notice and other information available to the
Department. This notice does not preclude us from proposing or funding
additional priorities, subject to meeting applicable rulemaking

    Note: This notice does not solicit applications. In any year in
which we choose to use these proposed priorities, we invite
applications through a notice published in the Federal Register.
When inviting applications we designate each priority as absolute.

    The proposed priorities refer to NIDRR's Long Range Plan (the
Plan). The Plan can be accessed on the World Wide Web at: http://

Priorities on the ADA and Accessible Education-Based Information
Technology (IT)

    Public Law 101-336, the Americans with Disability Act (ADA),
enacted on July 26, 1990, prohibits discrimination against individuals
with disabilities in employment, public accommodations,

[[Page 66733]]

transportation, State and local government, and telecommunications. In
October 1991, and again in October 1996, NIDRR awarded five-year grants
to establish 10 regional Disability and Business Technical Assistance
Centers (DBTACs). These centers provide technical assistance and
training on all of the requirements of the ADA to covered entities and
individuals with responsibilities and rights under the ADA. Currently,
there is one DBTAC in each of the 10 Department of Education regions.
For FY 2001 NIDRR is proposing to fund 10 new DBTACs that will maintain
the current level of effort on providing information and technical
assistance on the ADA as well as add a special emphasis in the area of
education-based information technology (IT). The purpose of this
special emphasis is to assist covered educational entities in providing
children, youth, and adults with disabilities with access to IT.
    NIDRR is proposing two priorities toward this end. The first
establishes a national center on accessible education-based IT that
will operate in collaboration with the DBTACs and will provide support
and guidance on education-based accessible IT technical assistance
activities. The second proposed priority establishes 10 new DBTACs and
delineates the technical assistance and training activities required of
them to promote the successful implementation of the ADA, including
those activities related to the special emphasis on educational
institutions and accessible IT.
    For the purposes of these priorities, and consistent with the
Clinger-Cohen Act of 1996, information technology is defined to include
any equipment or interconnected system or subsystem of equipment that
is used in the automatic acquisition, storage, manipulation,
management, movement, control, display, switching, interchange,
transmission, or reception of data or information. It includes computer
hardware, software, networks, and peripherals as well as many
electronic and communications devices commonly used in offices.
Education-based IT refers to any IT that is used by either students or
employees of educational entities, including, but not limited to,
teachers, administrators, and administrative staff.

Proposed Priority 1: National Center on Accessible Education-based


    IT plays a critical role in all educational settings. Regardless of
their age, students who cannot access IT are operating at a significant
disadvantage to their peers who can. Recent reports suggests that,
regardless of age, educators and students with disabilities face
significant IT accessibility issues (``Computer and Internet Use Among
People with Disabilities,'' Dr. Stephen Kaye, Disability Statistics
Center, University of California-San Francisco, published by NIDRR,
U.S. Department of Education, March 2000; and ``What are the Barriers
to Use of Advanced Telecommunications for Students with Disabilities in
Public Schools,'' Issue Brief published by the National Center for
Education Statistics, U.S. Department of Education, NCES 2000-42,
January 2000). These issues can be broken down into two types: legal
and technological.
    Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, as amended,
prohibits discrimination on the basis of disability in any program or
activity of recipients of Federal financial assistance. Virtually all
school districts receive Federal funds and have been required to comply
with section 504 for many years. The ADA extends this prohibition to a
wider range of educational entities; however, with some exceptions, the
ADA does not impose any major new requirements on school districts and
other educational entities that receive Federal funds and are covered
by section 504.
    The ADA requires virtually all educational entities to ensure that
persons with disabilities are not excluded from participation in, or
denied the benefits of, its services, programs, and activities. This
includes all aspects of the instructional environment, employment
relationships, and services carried out by contractors. When IT is part
of the programs, services, or activities provided by the educational
entity, those entities have an obligation to ensure that the hardware
and software that make up those technologies are accessible to all
users. In some instances, educational entities may be unaware of their
legal obligation to provide accessible IT to persons with disabilities
who enroll or seek to enroll in their programs. Similarly, persons with
disabilities may be unaware that they are entitled under the ADA to
access the IT of the educational entity.
    It may also be the case that educational entities do not have the
information they need to either purchase accessible IT, or adapt the IT
they have so that it is accessible to students or employees with
disabilities. Both the responsible party within the educational entity
(e.g., the procurement officer, related services personnel, the
teacher, or the computer lab director) and the student, or employee
with a disability, may be unaware that accessible IT exists and can be
purchased, or that adaptations may be made to the existing IT to
provide accessibility. When a student or employee with a disability
uses assistive technology (e.g., an augmentative communication device),
the technological problem may involve identifying the proper interface
between the educational entity's IT and the student or employee's
assistive technology. In these instances, information and technical
assistance can aid the educational entity to provide accessible IT.
    Some educational entities may also be required to comply with the
standards for accessible technology to be issued by the Access Board,
as required by Section 508 of the Rehabilitation Act. Section 508
requires Federal agencies and departments to ensure equal access to
electronic and information technology for individuals with disabilities
comparable to those who do not have disabilities, unless such a
requirement would cause an undue burden. The Assistive Technology Act
(AT Act) requires that States receiving assistance, including sub-
recipients of AT Act funds, under the AT State Grants program comply
with the requirements of section 508, including the standards developed
by the Access Board. Each State must determine whether entities such as
colleges and universities or local and intermediate school districts
are considered part of the State and therefore, must comply with
Section 508 and the standards as published by the Access Board.

Proposed Priority

    We propose to establish a National Center on Accessible Education-
Based IT to assist educational entities in providing persons with
disabilities with accessible IT. The Center must:
    (1) Develop new materials and reformat or reprint existing
materials to assist educational entities to understand and fulfill
their legal obligations to provide accessible IT. These materials may
include, but are not limited to, the ADA self-evaluation guide for
schools, section 504 and ADA guidance for educational entities,
technical materials on IT access, consumers guide to accessible IT, and
technical IT standards;
    (2) Conduct a national information dissemination campaign to raise
awareness on accessible education-based IT and inform target audiences
on the availability of technical assistance from the DBTACs and others.
This campaign may include, but is not

[[Page 66734]]

limited to, print and electronic ads, newsletters, presentations at
national conferences, and regular electronic communication with
national organizations to update them on legal and technological
    (3) Promote the procurement by educational entities of accessible
information technology that meets the standards for section 508 or
universal design principles;
    (4) Coordinate with and provide training, materials, and technical
assistance to the DBTACs in support of their technical assistance
efforts to educational entities on accessible IT;
    (5) Provide training, materials, and technical assistance to the
U.S. Department of Education's various IT initiatives including, but
not limited to, the Regional Technology in Education Consortia,
Comprehensive Regional Assistance Centers, the Technology Literacy
Challenge Fund, Community Technology Centers, and the Preparing
Tomorrow's Teachers to Use Technology Programs in order to promote
accessibility by persons with disabilities; and
    In carrying out these activities, the National Center on Accessible
Education-based IT must:
     Include in its primary target audience elementary and
secondary institutions, and postsecondary educational entities
including, but not limited to, institutions of higher education,
proprietary schools (particularly those offering IT training), and
adult education programs;
     Coordinate with NIDRR's Rehabilitation Engineering
Research Centers (RERCs) on Information Technology Access and
Telecommunications Access, and also with NIDRR's Information Technology
Technical Assistance and Training Center;
     Coordinate with relevant Federal agencies responsible for
the administration of public laws that address access to and usability
of education-based IT for persons with disabilities including, but not
limited, to the General Services Administration, the Access Board, the
Federal Communications Commission, the Department of Justice, and
offices within the Department of Education including the Rehabilitation
Services Administration, the Office of Special Education Programs, and
the Office for Civil Rights;
     Develop and maintain a web site to assist educational
entities to understand and fulfill their legal obligations related to
accessible IT; and
     Provide information and technical assistance consistent
with other IT accessibility laws, including, but not limited to,
section 508 of the Rehabilitation Act.

Proposed Priority 2: Disability and Business Technical Assistance


    Covered entities and individuals with responsibilities and rights
under the ADA continue to need technical assistance on the ADA. The
demand for technical assistance services from the DBTACs has remained
high since 1992 (see Table 1), a trend that will likely continue

  Table 1.--Summary of Selected DBTAC Technical Assistance and Training Activities From FY 1992 Through FY 1999
                                                                                  Number of
                                            Number of 800       Number of         technical      Number of hard
               Fiscal year                   line calls      people trained      assistance      copy materials
                                                                                   efforts        disseminated
1992....................................            20,000            30,759            40,313           188,842
 1993...................................            61,000            63,341            79,964           539,511
 1994...................................            75,700            56,800           127,736           698,040
 1995...................................            90,400            64,870           152,395           901,878
 1996...................................            88,500            64,502           135,000         1,800,000
 1997...................................            91,534            70,000           180,909           785,695
 1998...................................            92,312            86,000           157,126         1,082,294
 1999...................................            90,839            74,500           170,865        1,014,057
Source: Annual Reports of NIDRR's ADA Technical Assistance Grantees FY 1992-FY 1999

    In many instances, the nature of the technical assistance that the
DBTACs provide today is more complex than the technical assistance they
provided in the years shortly after the passage of the ADA. This is a
result of covered entities seeking to stay current with the growing
body of legal precedents as well as standards and policy guidance
issued by responsible Federal agencies. However, there are still many
covered entities that need information on the most fundamental
requirements of the law. Subsequently, DBTACs must continue to provide
basic information about the ADA as well as respond to more complex
requests for technical assistance and training.
    In order to be effective, it is virtually imperative that the
DBTACs exploit the benefits of IT and stay current with new
developments in the field. For example, the DBTACs use web-based
programs to carry out distance learning activities in order to increase
access to and participation in their information dissemination efforts.
In FY 1999 the DBTACs and the ADA Program Assistance Coordinator's web
sites received over 870,001 visits. While there will always be a need
to distribute hard copies of materials, the DBTACs receive increasing
numbers of requests for electronic copies of these same materials. They
also respond to technical questions, provide training, and participate
in cooperative efforts related to ADA technical assistance activities
using electronic media. To carry out a wide variety of electronic and
web-based technical assistance and training activities, the DBTACs'
staffs must have a sufficiently high level of expertise on IT.
    The DBTACs provide a wide range of technical assistance services
such as referrals, consultation, and information dissemination. They
also issue newsletters and information briefs, and participate in
discussion groups on the Internet. The DBTACs address the needs of non-
English populations by distributing materials that have been translated
into other languages and employing bilingual information specialists
when appropriate. Table 2 indicates the recipient groups of the DBTACs
technical assistance, training, and materials distribution activities
in FY 1999.

[[Page 66735]]

 Table 2.--Summary of Percentage of Technical Assistance, Training, and Materials Distributed to Target Audience
                                              by DBTACs in FY 1999
                                                                     Technical                       Materials
                         Target Audience                            assistance        Training     distribution
                                                                     (percent)       (percent)       (percent)
 Disability Entities............................................              50              44              45
 Businesses.....................................................              31              24              30
 Public Entities................................................              14              23              18
 Other..........................................................               5               9              7
Source: Annual Report of NIDRR's ADA Technical Assistance Grantees FY 1999.

    In addition, the DBTACs carry out public awareness activities on
the ADA and the services provided by the DBTACs through a variety of
means including, but not limited to, radio and television appearances,
presentations at conferences, and the production of materials for
newspaper and magazine articles. When it enhances their technical
assistance activities, the DBTACs also disseminate ADA research
findings generated by NIDRR-sponsored grantees and others.
    In order to tailor their efforts to State and local needs and
maximize their resources, DBTACs also work to increase the capacity of
State and local organizations to provide technical assistance,
disseminate information, provide training, and promote awareness of the
ADA. The DBTACs have established at least one affiliate in every State.
These affiliates carry out their activities in collaboration with
coalitions of organizations interested in promoting the implementation
of the ADA. In addition, the DBTACs support and collaborate with
Centers for Independent Living (CILs) to assist them in implementing
the ADA through the provision of technical assistance and training.
    The DBTACs rely, to the maximum extent possible, on existing
Federally-approved materials and, through a systematic process of
quality control, ensure the legal sufficiency and accuracy of the
information disseminated by the Centers and their affiliates. DBTAC
services and activities are accessible to all individuals with
disabilities, and all of the materials they distribute are available in
alternate formats. The DBTACs also share a national toll-free telephone
number that automatically connects the caller with the DBTAC serving
the caller's area code. Further, the DBTACs meet semi-annually to
coordinate their activities and receive briefings from Federal agencies
with responsibilities under the ADA. They also evaluate their technical
assistance efforts using the ADA Impact Measurement System (AIMS). AIMS
uses a follow-up telephone survey and a postcard survey to measure the
impact that the DBTACs' technical assistance has had on its customers
and their level of satisfaction with the services that the DBTACs
provided. AIMS is currently maintained by one of the DBTACs. The
proposed priority includes an optional activity authorizing a DBTAC to
maintain AIMS over the proposed project period. From among those DBTAC
applicants who propose to maintain AIMS over the project period, the
application evaluation process will select one successful applicant to
carry out this activity.
    Since 1991, the DBTACs have provided technical assistance and
training to educational entities on their responsibilities under the
ADA. In 1994, NIDRR funded a training project on the ADA for schools
and supported the U.S. Department of Education Office for Civil Rights'
development and publication of an ADA self-evaluation guide for public
elementary and secondary schools. A toll-free ADA hotline specifically
for school systems, that originated with the schools training project,
is still in operation through the Region I DBTAC. The special emphasis
that is being placed on the DBTACs to provide technical assistance on
accessible IT to educational entities represents an expansion of their
technical assistance efforts. In those instances where the requisite
assistance is a matter of helping the entity to understand its legal
obligation, NIDRR expects the DBTACs to provide accurate information to
the educational entity on the requirements of the ADA. In those
instances where the requisite assistance is technical and involves
assisting the entity to procure, create, adapt, maintain or evaluate
the accessibility of their IT, NIDRR expects the DBTACs to possess the
requisite technical expertise or develop partnerships with agencies and
organizations who have the necessary technical expertise.
    The DBTACs routinely receive inquiries that involve disability-
related laws or disability rights laws other than the ADA. In some of
these instances, the inquiry concerns the interaction between the ADA
and disability-related laws such as the Family and Medical Leave Act or
the Worker's Compensation Act. In other instances, individuals with a
disability may believe that their civil rights have been violated, but
are not sure of the controlling authority. For example, individuals
with a disability may want to know about their landlord's
responsibility to make their apartment accessible. In this case, in
order to provide appropriate technical assistance, the DBTAC must be
sufficiently familiar with not only the ADA, but also the Fair Housing
Act. Thus to respond directly or to refer the inquirer to an expert
source of technical assistance, the DBTACs must be knowledgeable about
a wide array of disability-related or disability rights laws.

Proposed Priority

    We propose to establish a Regional DBTAC in each of the Department
of Education 10 regions to facilitate implementation of the ADA. Each
center must:
    (1) Provide technical assistance and training and disseminate
information to individuals and entities with responsibilities and
rights under the ADA on the ADA's requirements as well as developments
in case law, policy, and implementation;
    (2) Increase the capacity of organizations, at the State and local
level, including CILs, to provide technical assistance and training on,
disseminate information on, and promote awareness of the ADA;
    (3) Promote awareness of the ADA and the availability of services
provided by the DBTACs, other NIDRR-sponsored ADA grantees, and other
Federal information sources on the ADA;
    (4) Provide technical assistance and training and disseminate
information on legal obligations of educational entities to provide
accessible IT to students and employees;
    (5) Provide technical assistance to educational entities to enable
them to

[[Page 66736]]

conduct self-evaluations on the accessibility of their IT;
    (6) Provide technical assistance, either directly or through
referral, on how to make existing IT accessible and ensure that new IT
acquisitions are accessible;
    (7) Promote ``best practices'' by encouraging educational entities
to purchase IT consistent with the standards issued by the Access Board
under Section 508 or universal design principles, regardless of whether
they have a legal obligation to do so;
    (8) Provide information to CILs, Parent Training Information
Centers, and the Regional Resource Centers on accessible education-
based IT; and
    (9) Form regional partnerships among Assistive Technology Act
grantees, RERCs, Office of Special Education Programs' technology
grantees, and other pertinent educational organizations and agencies to
guide, coordinate, and if appropriate, carry out technical assistance
activities in each region.
    In carrying out these activities each DBTAC must:
     Involve individuals with disabilities, parents or other
family members of individuals with disabilities, in all phases of the
design and operation of the DBTAC to the maximum extent possible;
     Be knowledgeable about a wide array of disability-related
or disability rights laws including, but not limited to, sections 504
and 508 of the Rehabilitation Act, the Individuals with Disabilities
Education Act, the Air Carriers Access Act, section 255 of the
Telecommunications Act, section 188 of the Workforce Investment Act,
the Fair Housing Act, the Family and Medical Leave Act, the AT Act, and
the Worker's Compensation Act;
     Coordinate its activities with the National Center on
Accessible Education-based IT, and Federal agencies including, but not
limited to, the Department of Justice, the Equal Employment Opportunity
Commission, the Department of Transportation, the Federal
Communications Commission, the Access Board, the Department of
Education's Office for Civil Rights, the President's Committee on
Employment of Persons with Disabilities, the National Council on
Disability, and other offices within the Department of Education
including the Rehabilitation Services Administration, and the Office of
Special Education Programs;
     Provide performance accountability data on a monthly and
annual basis as requested by NIDRR;
     Distribute services and resources equitably--taking into
account population and size--among each State in its region;
     Address the needs of non-English speaking populations; and
    Include in their target audience for activities (4), (5), (6), and
(7): elementary and secondary institutions, and postsecondary
educational entities including, but not limited to, institutions of
higher learning, proprietary schools (particularly those offering IT
training), and adult education programs.
    In carrying out its evaluation activities, a DBTAC may maintain the
ADA Impact Measurement System.

Proposed Additional Selection Criterion for the DBTACs and the National
Center on Accessible Education-Based IT Priorities

    We will use the selection criteria in 34 CFR 350.54 to evaluate
applications under this program. In evaluating applications for the
DBTACs and the National Center on Accessible Education-based IT and, we
will also use the following factor under the project staff criterion.
In determining the quality of the project staff, we will consider the
extent to which key personnel have expert knowledge about state-of-the-
art IT to conduct all proposed activities.

Disability and Rehabilitation Research Project and Centers Program

    The purpose of the DRRP program is to plan and conduct research,
demonstration projects, training, and related activities to:
    (a) Develop methods, procedures, and rehabilitation technology that
maximizes the full inclusion and integration into society, employment,
independent living, family support, and economic and social self-
sufficiency of individuals with disabilities; and
    (b) Improve the effectiveness of services authorized under the Act.

Proposed Priority 3: Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) Data Center


    An estimated 5.3 million Americans currently live with disabilities
resulting from brain injury. The Centers for Disease Control (CDC)
estimates that approximately 80,000 Americans experience the onset of
disabilities resulting from TBI each year. The three leading causes of
TBI are motor vehicle crashes, violence, and falls, particularly among
the elderly. As stated in the 1998 National Institutes of Health (NIH)
Consensus Conference, ``TBI may result in lifelong impairment of an
individual's physical, cognitive, and psychosocial functioning.''
    In 1987, NIDRR established the National Traumatic Brain Injury
Model Systems (TBIMS) Program by funding four research and
demonstration projects to conduct research on comprehensive,
multidisciplinary rehabilitation services to persons who experience
TBI. This number expanded to 17 projects in 1998. The multi-project
TBIMS program is designed to study the course of recovery and outcomes
following the delivery of a coordinated system of care. (Additional
information on TBIMS can be found at http://www.tbims.org). The TBIMS
database currently contains over 2,000 cases and supports clinical
research and research on outcomes including employment, community
integration, and quality of life. Through a complex data collection and
retrieval program, the TBIMS projects are capable of analyzing
different system components to provide information on project cost
effectiveness and benefits. Data is collected throughout the
rehabilitation process and at specified follow up periods following
discharge from the rehabilitation facility.
    The parameters of the database are determined collaboratively by
TBIMS project directors, in consultation with NIDRR. A syllabus
describing the current data elements may be obtained from Donna Nangle
at the contact information previously listed. Expansion of the number
of projects has broadened the representation of subjects in terms of
geographic distribution, ethnic group membership, and socioeconomic
    In the past, data from the TBIMS database has been largely
restricted to the use of TBIMS researchers. Recent Federal regulations
(see March 16, 2000, 65 FR 14416-14418) outline conditions under which
outside parties may request access to the data under the auspices of
the Freedom of Information Act. In addition, there is increased
interest in expanding the use of this data in conjunction with
population-based data to further research on TBI by the larger research
community. Both activities require development of guidelines that
ensure subject confidentiality, protect the identity of individual
projects, and support use of the data in rigorous research efforts.
    Historically, the data center has been funded as a supplement to
one of the projects in the TBIMS. We propose to establish a separate
TBI data center to maintain this information.

Proposed Priority

    We propose to establish a data center for the purpose of managing
and facilitating the use of information

[[Page 66737]]

collected by the TBIMS projects on individuals with traumatic brain
injury. The data center must:
    (1) Establish and maintain a database repository for data from
TBIMS projects while providing for confidentiality, quality control,
and data retrieval capabilities, using cost-effective and user-friendly
    (2) Ensure data quality, reliability, and integrity by providing
training and technical assistance to TBIMS projects on data collection
procedures, data entry methods, and use of study instruments;
    (3) Provide consultation to NIDRR and directors and staff of the
TBIMS projects on utility and quality of data elements;
    (4) Support efforts to improve the research findings of the TBIMS
projects by providing statistical and other consultation regarding the
national database;
    (5) Facilitate dissemination of information generated by the TBIMS
projects, including statistical information, scientific papers, and
consumer materials;
    (6) Evaluate the feasibility of linking and comparing TBIMS data to
population-based data sets, such as the CDC State-based injury
surveillance data and provide technical assistance for such linkage, as
appropriate; and
    (7) Develop guidelines to provide access to TBIMS data by
individuals and institutions, ensuring that data are available in
accessible formats for persons with disabilities.
    In carrying out these purposes, the center must:
     Demonstrate knowledge of culturally appropriate methods of
data collection, including understanding of culturally sensitive
measurement approaches; and
     Collaborate with other NIDRR funded projects, e.g., the
Model Spinal Cord Injury and Burn Injury Model System Data Centers,
regarding issues such as database development and maintenance, center
operations, and data management.

Proposed Additional Selection Criterion

    We will use the selection criteria in 34 CFR 350.54 to evaluate
applications under these programs. The maximum score for all the
criteria is 100 points; however, we will also use the following
criterion so that up to an additional 10 points may be earned by an
applicant for a total possible score of 110 points.
    Up to 10 points based on the extent to which an application
includes effective strategies for employing and advancing in employment
qualified individuals with disabilities in projects awarded under these
absolute priorities. In determining the effectiveness of those
strategies, we will consider the applicant's prior success, as
described in the application, in employing and advancing in employment
qualified individuals with disabilities.
    Thus, for purposes of this competitive preference, applicants can
be awarded up to a total of 10 points in addition to those awarded
under the published selection criteria for these priorities. That is,
an applicant meeting this competitive preference could earn a maximum
total of 110 points.
    Applicable Program Regulations: 34 CFR part 350.
    Program Authority: 29 U.S.C. 762(g) and 764.
    Electronic Access to This Document: You may view this document, as
well as all other Department of Education documents published in the
Federal Register, in text or Adobe Portable Document Format (PDF) on
the Internet at either of the following sites:


To use PDF you must have Adobe Acrobat Reader, which is available free
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    Note: The official version of this document is published in the
Federal Register. Free Internet access to the official edition of
the Federal Register and the Code of Federal Regulations is
available on GPO Access at: http://www.access.gpo.gov/nara/

(Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance Number: 84.133D, Americans
with Disabilities Act Technical Assistance Projects and 84.133A,
Disability and Rehabilitation Research Project and Centers Program)
    Dated: November 2, 2000.
Judith E. Heumann,
Assistant Secretary for Special Education and Rehabilitative Services.
[FR Doc. 00-28528 Filed 11-06-00; 8:45 am]