National Institute on Disability and Rehabilitation Research: Notice of proposed priority [OSERS]
[Federal Register: May 29, 2002 (Volume 67, Number 103)]
[Page 37655-37657]
From the Federal Register Online via GPO Access []

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Part IX

Department of Education


National Institute on Disability and Rehabilitation Research; Notice

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National Institute on Disability and Rehabilitation Research

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

ACTION: Notice of proposed priority.


SUMMARY: The Assistant Secretary for Special Education and 
Rehabilitative Services proposes a priority for Health Services 
Research projects under the Disability and Rehabilitation Research 
Projects (DRRP) Program of the National Institute on Disability and 
Rehabilitation Research (NIDRR). The Assistant Secretary may use this 
priority for competitions in fiscal year (FY) 2002. We take this action 
to focus research attention on an identified national need. We intend 
this priority to improve rehabilitation services and outcomes for 
individuals with disabilities.

DATES: We must receive your comments on or before June 28, 2002.

ADDRESSES: Address all comments about this proposed priority to Donna 
Nangle, U.S. Department of Education, 400 Maryland Avenue, SW., room 
3412, Switzer Building, Washington, DC 20202-2645. If you prefer to 
send your comments through the Internet, use the following address:

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Donna Nangle. Telephone: (202) 205-
5880 or via the Internet:
    If you use a telecommunications device for the deaf (TDD), you may 
call the TDD number at (202) 205-4475.
    Individuals with disabilities may obtain this document in an 
alternative format (e.g., Braille, large print, audiotape, or computer 
diskette) on request to the contact person listed under FOR FURTHER 


Invitation to Comment

    We invite you to submit comments regarding this proposed priority.
    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 this proposed 
priority. 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 this priority in room 3412, Switzer Building, 330 C 
Street, SW., Washington, DC, between the hours of 8:30 a.m. and 4:00 
p.m., Eastern time, Monday through Friday of each week except Federal 

Assistance to Individuals With Disabilities in Reviewing the Rulemaking 

    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 this proposed priority. If you want to schedule 
an appointment for this type of aid, please contact the person listed 

Disability and Rehabilitation Research Projects (DRRP) Program

    The purpose of the DRRP Program is to plan and conduct research, 
demonstration projects, training, and related activities that help (1) 
to maximize the full inclusion and integration of individuals with 
disabilities into society, and (2) to improve the effectiveness of 
services authorized under the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, as amended 
(the Act).
    This priority reflects issues discussed in the New Freedom 
Initiative (NFI) and NIDRR's Long-Range Plan (the Plan). The NFI can be 
accessed on the Internet at:
    The Plan can be accessed on the Internet at:
    We will announce the final priority in a notice in the Federal 
Register. We will determine the final priority 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. If we choose to 
use this proposed priority, we invite applications through a notice 
in the Federal Register. When inviting applications we designate the 
priority as absolute, competitive preference, or invitational. 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 either (1) awarding additional points, 
depending on how well or 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 invitational priority. However, we do not 
give an application that meets the priority a competitive or absolute 
preference over other applications (34 CFR 75.105(c)(1)).



    Access to high quality health care, including preventive, acute, 
and long-term care, is critical to the quality of life and independent 
living of individuals with disabilities. Research on the organization, 
delivery, and financing of health services has not traditionally 
focused on the needs of individuals with disabilities. With this 
proposed priority, NIDRR intends to examine emerging issues that have 
an impact on access to health services by individuals with 
disabilities. We have identified the following issues as the focus of 
needed research: access to community-based health services; the impact 
of prospective payment on access to medical rehabilitation services; 
and ways in which using quality indicators in assessments of services 
may affect delivery of health services to individuals with 
    You may obtain additional information about the background of this 
priority by contacting the person listed under FOR FURTHER INFORMATION 

Proposed Priority--Health Services Research Projects

    This proposed priority is intended to improve delivery of health 
services to individuals with disabilities. We encourage applicants to 
propose research projects under one of the following specific topic 
    (1) Availability and Access to Community-Based Health Services. To 
be funded under the priority, a project would be required to:
    (a) Investigate the availability and accessibility of community-
based health services for individuals with disabilities who move from 
institutional care to

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community living or who are at risk for institutional care;
    (b) Document the extent to which access to appropriate health 
services, including home-health, is a component of State task force 
recommendations regarding transitioning of individuals from 
institutional to community settings; and
    (c) Evaluate the role of accessible community-based mental health 
services in the successful integration of individuals with long-term 
mental illness into community settings.
    (2) Impact of the Prospective Payment System for Medical 
Rehabilitation. To be funded under the priority, a project would be 
required to:
    (a) Evaluate the impact of the prospective payment system for 
medical rehabilitation on access to medical rehabilitation services by 
individuals with disabilities, examining the impact on settings, 
services, and length of stay; and
    (b) Identify the impact of multiple, health-related conditions, 
commonly called co-morbidities, on classification and reimbursement in 
the medical rehabilitation prospective payment system.
    (3) Analysis of Quality Indicators for Assessing Health Services 
Provided to Individuals with Disabilities. To be funded under the 
priority, a project would be required to:
    (a) Conduct an assessment of the use of quality indicators in both 
the private and public sectors to determine the extent to which the 
needs of individuals with disabilities are reflected in these 
    (b) Examine the relationship of function and disability in defining 
the population of individuals with disabilities to whom the indicators 
are applied; and
    (c) Determine how individuals with disabilities, payers, and 
providers use information from quality assessment of medical 
rehabilitation services.
    In addition, each project would be required to:
    [sbull] Consult with the NIDRR-funded National Center for the 
Dissemination of Disability Research (NCDDR) to develop and implement, 
in the first year of the grant, a plan to disseminate the DRRP's 
research results to: disability organizations, individuals with 
disabilities or their family members or both, researchers, providers, 
and policymakers; and
    [sbull] Ensure the participation of individuals with disabilities 
in all phases of the research and dissemination activities.

Applicable Program Regulations

    34 CFR part 350.

Electronic Access to This Document

    You may review 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 the following site:
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Government Printing Office (GPO), toll free, at 1-888-293-6498; or in 
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    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://

(Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance Number 84.133A, Disability 
Rehabilitation Research Project)

    Program Authority: 29 U.S.C. 762(g) and 764(b).

    Dated: May 15, 2002.
Loretta L. Petty,
Acting Assistant Secretary for Special Education and Rehabilitative 
[FR Doc. 02-13402 Filed 5-28-02; 8:45 am]