[Federal Register: October 4, 2002 (Volume 67, Number 193)]
[Page 62307-62309]
From the Federal Register Online via GPO Access [wais.access.gpo.gov]

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Part III

Department of Education


Experimental and Innovative Training; Notice

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Experimental and Innovative Training

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

ACTION: Notice of proposed priority.


SUMMARY: The Assistant Secretary for the Office of Special Education 
and Rehabilitative Services proposes a priority under the Experimental 
and Innovative Training program. The Assistant Secretary may use this 
priority for competitions in fiscal year (FY) 2003 and later years. We 
take this action to focus on training in an identified area of national 
need. We intend the priority to develop and disseminate rehabilitation 
training curriculum modules designed to increase student contact with 
individuals with disabilities that may be incorporated into 
rehabilitation training programs. The purpose of the curriculum modules 
is to enhance students' understanding of disability culture and 
counselor skills that support the empowerment of vocational 
rehabilitation (VR) customers with disabilities.

DATES: We must receive your comments on or before November 4, 2002.

ADDRESSES: Address all comments about this proposed priority to Edward 
Smith, U.S. Department of Education, 400 Maryland Ave, SW., Switzer 
Building, room 3325, Washington, DC 20202-2649. If you prefer to send 
your comments through the Internet, use the following address: 
    You must include the term ``Experimental and Innovative Training'' 
in the subject line of your electronic message.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Edward Smith. Telephone: (202) 205-
8926 or via Internet: Edward.Smith@ed.gov.
    If you use a telecommunications device for the deaf (TDD), you may 
call the TDD number at (202) 205-8133.
    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 proposed priority in room 3414, Switzer Building, 
330 C Street, SW., Washington, DC, between the hours of 8:30 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 

    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 
    The Experimental and Innovative Training program provides financial 
    (1) To develop new types of training programs for rehabilitation 
personnel and to demonstrate the effectiveness of those new types of 
training programs for rehabilitation personnel in providing 
rehabilitation services to individuals with disabilities; and
    (2) To develop new and improved methods of training rehabilitation 
personnel so that there may be a more effective delivery of 
rehabilitation services by State and other rehabilitation agencies.
    We propose this priority to increase the knowledge and skills of 
rehabilitation personnel in disability culture and customer 
empowerment. This proposed priority would support the development of 
rehabilitation training curriculum modules that provide students with 
the opportunity to interact with individuals with disabilities in a 
non-hierarchical (student counselor to consumer) relationship. This 
will help to foster an increase in the students' knowledge of and 
skills regarding the unique social and cultural experiences of 
individuals with disabilities and of the behaviors that enhance 
empowerment from the perspective of individuals with disabilities.
    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. In any year in 
which 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 

    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 
    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)).

Priority: Proposed Priority: Curriculum Modules: Experiential 
Activities to Enhance Rehabilitation Empowerment

    Background: Over the history of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, as 
amended, groups of individuals with disabilities have expressed concern 
through public hearings regarding the expertise of counselors of the 
public VR system to understand the experience of individuals with 
disabilities and to provide assistance to those individuals to develop 
the skills of empowerment. The concept of empowerment is defined in a 
number of ways in the professional literature. For the purposes of this 
priority, empowerment is defined as individuals having the information, 
education, training, confidence, and high expectations needed to make 
effective employment and life-related decisions.
    One method of increasing the VR counselor's understanding of 
individuals with disabilities is to provide opportunities for 
individuals preparing for careers in rehabilitation to interact with 
people with disabilities in a variety of settings. A review of 
rehabilitation counseling training

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programs funded by the Rehabilitation Services Administration (RSA) 
indicates that few programs provide curriculum modules that enable 
students to interact with individuals with disabilities in settings 
that do not involve a counseling relationship.
    Priority: This priority supports projects that provide experiential 
activities that increase the amount of personal contact and experience 
of VR students with individuals with disabilities in non-counseling 
settings. This priority is intended to support the design, piloting, 
evaluation, and dissemination of course modules to be incorporated into 
rehabilitation training program curricula that enhance student 
understanding of the culture of individuals with disabilities and of 
the behaviors that enhance empowerment from the perspective of 
individuals with disabilities.
    Projects funded under this priority must incorporate experiential 
activities in which students interact directly with persons with 
disabilities in situations other than traditional and hierarchical 
student counselor to consumer relationships.
    Projects must include an evaluation of the impact of the course 
module or modules and a dissemination plan to be carried out in the 
last year of the project period.

Intergovernmental Review

    This program is subject to Executive Order 12372 and the 
regulations in 34 CFR part 79. One of the objectives of the Executive 
order is to foster an intergovernmental partnership and a strengthened 
federalism. The Executive order relies on processes developed by State 
and local governments for coordination and review of proposed Federal 
financial assistance.
    This document provides early notification of our specific plans and 
actions for this program.
    Applicable Program Regulations: 34 CFR parts 385 and 387.

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 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: http://

(Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance Number 84.263 Experimental and 
Innovative Training)

    Program Authority: 29 U.S.C. 772.

    Dated: October 1, 2002.
Robert H. Pasternack,
Assistant Secretary for Special Education and Rehabilitative Services.
[FR Doc. 02-25326 Filed 10-3-02; 8:45 am]