FR Doc 05-9000
[Federal Register: May 5, 2005 (Volume 70, Number 86)]
[Page 23852-23854]
From the Federal Register Online via GPO Access []
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National Institute on Disability and Rehabilitation Research--
Disability and Rehabilitation Research Projects and Centers Program--
Disability and Rehabilitation Research Projects

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

ACTION: Notice of proposed priority for a National Center for the 
Dissemination of Disability Research (NCDDR).


SUMMARY: The Assistant Secretary for Special Education and 
Rehabilitative Services proposes one funding priority for the National 
Institute on Disability and Rehabilitation Research's (NIDRR) 
Disability and Rehabilitation Research Projects and Centers Program, 
Disability and Rehabilitation Research Projects (DRRP). The Assistant 
Secretary may use this priority for competitions in fiscal year (FY) 
2005 and later years. We take this action to focus research attention 
on areas of national need. We intend this priority to improve 
rehabilitation services and outcomes for individuals with disabilities.

DATES: We must receive your comments on or before June 6, 2005.

ADDRESSES: Address all comments about this proposed priority to Donna 
Nangle, U.S. Department of Education, 400 Maryland Avenue, SW., room 
6030, Potomac Center Plaza, Washington, DC 20204-2700. If you prefer to 
send your comments through the Internet, use the following address:

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Donna Nangle. Telephone: (202) 245-
    If you use a telecommunications device for the deaf (TDD), you may 
call the Federal Relay Service (FRS) at 1-800-877-8339.
    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 6030, 550 12th Street, 
SW., Potomac Center Plaza, Washington, DC, between the hours of 8:30 
a.m. and 4 p.m., Eastern time, Monday through Friday of each week 
except Federal holidays.

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 
    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 using 
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 competitive priority (34 CFR 
75.105(c)(2)(i)); or (2) selecting an application that meets the 
competitive 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 
invitational priority a competitive or absolute preference over other 
applications (34 CFR 75.105(c)(1)).

    Note: NIDRR supports the goals of President Bush's New Freedom 
Initiative (NFI). The NFI can be accessed on the Internet at the 
following site:

    The proposed priority is in concert with NIDRR's Long-Range Plan 
(Plan). The Plan is comprehensive and integrates many issues relating 
to disability and rehabilitation research topics. While applicants will 
find many sections throughout the Plan that support potential research 
and dissemination to be conducted under the proposed priority, a 
specific reference is included for the priority presented in this 
notice. The Plan can be accessed on the Internet at the following site:

    Through the implementation of the NFI and the Plan, NIDRR seeks to: 
(1) Improve the quality and utility of disability and rehabilitation 
research; (2) foster an exchange of expertise, information, and 
training to facilitate the advancement of knowledge and understanding 
of the unique needs of traditionally underserved populations; (3) 
determine best strategies and programs to improve rehabilitation 
outcomes for underserved populations; (4) identify research gaps; (5) 
identify mechanisms of integrating research and practice; and (6) 
disseminate findings.

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 to develop 

[[Page 23853]]

procedures, and rehabilitation technology that maximize the full 
inclusion and integration into society, employment, independent living, 
family support, and economic and social self-sufficiency of individuals 
with disabilities, especially individuals with the most severe 
disabilities and to improve the effectiveness of services authorized 
under the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, as amended (the Act). DRRPs carry 
out one or more of the following types of activities, as specified in 
34 CFR 350.13 through 350.19: research, development, demonstration, 
training, dissemination, utilization, and technical assistance.
    An applicant for assistance under this program must demonstrate in 
its application how it will address, in whole or in part, the needs of 
individuals with disabilities from minority backgrounds (34 CFR 
350.40(a)). The approaches an applicant may take to meet this 
requirement are found in 34 CFR 350.40(b).
    Under the DRRP program, we define a utilization activity as 
relating the research findings to practical applications in planning, 
policy making, program administration, and delivery of services to 
individuals with disabilities (34 CFR 350.17). We define a 
dissemination activity as the systematic distribution of information or 
knowledge through a variety of ways to potential users or beneficiaries 
(34 CFR 350.18). Additional information on the DRRP program can be 
found at:



    With this priority, NIDRR plans to fund a National Center for the 
Dissemination of Disability Research (NCDDR) to serve as the 
cornerstone for Knowledge Dissemination and Utilization (KDU) and 
Knowledge Translation (KT) efforts. KDU projects ensure widespread 
distribution, in usable formats, of practical scientific and 
technological information generated by research, development, and 
demonstration projects. KT projects encompass the exchange, synthesis, 
and ethically sound application of knowledge within a complex system of 
relationships among researchers and users. 
NIDRR expects KT concepts and activities to increasingly 
shape the effective dissemination and utilization of disability and 
rehabilitation research results critical to achieving NIDRR's mission.
    Research findings can improve the quality of life of people with 
disabilities and further their full inclusion into society. These 
benefits are feasible only if the findings and technologies are 
available to, known by, and accessible to potential users.
    NIDRR is particularly interested in ensuring that information to be 
disseminated is of high quality and is based on scientifically rigorous 
research and development. Potential users need to be able to assess the 
quality of research and development findings and products and the 
relevance of these findings and products to their particular needs. 
End-users with limited scientific training, in particular, may need 
assistance in order to understand competing research claims or to 
determine the relevance of particular findings to their individual 
situations. In addition, given the nature of scientific study, 
practical information often is based on cumulative knowledge, not upon 
the results of any one study. We encourage potential applicants, when 
identifying standards and procedures for systematic review of evidence, 
to examine the work of such organizations as the Campbell Collaboration 
(, the Cochrane Collaboration (, and the Department of Education What Works 

Clearinghouse (

    NIDRR supports a variety of projects designed to help channel the 
flow of knowledge gained from rehabilitation research to specific uses. 
The National Rehabilitation Information Center (NARIC) serves as a 
clearinghouse or gateway to disability and rehabilitation oriented 
information organized in a variety of formats for the public, 
researchers, and NIDRR. NARIC provides interactive information to users 
through online publications, searchable databases, and timely reference 
and referral data. ABLEDATA provides information on assistive 
technology products and rehabilitation equipment available from 
domestic and international sources. Other NIDRR projects, including 
Rehabilitation Research and Training Centers, Rehabilitation 
Engineering Research Centers, Model Burn Injury, Spinal Cord Injury, 
and Traumatic Brain Injury Systems, and Disability and Rehabilitation 
Research Projects provide information on a wide range of topics for 
specific target populations.
    NIDRR funds more than 300 centers and projects annually. The NCDDR 
will serve as the nexus between NIDRR and its grantees. Key activities 
will include identifying standards and criteria for conducting research 
syntheses and to guide the dissemination of research and development 
information and findings; developing partnerships and collaborating 
with key constituencies and with groups conducting similar work; 
identifying effective dissemination strategies; and serving as a 
resource for NIDRR grantees. As the lead project for NIDRR KDU and KT 
activities, the Center will provide technical assistance to grantees to 
help them plan and carry out dissemination activities that meet high 
standards and to help NIDRR move the results of research to the 
utilization stage. The center will help NIDRR projects prepare, 
maintain, and communicate evidence-based reports and syntheses in topic 
areas identified in conjunction with NIDRR.
    This project will work closely with NIDRR through a cooperative 

Proposed Priority

    The Assistant Secretary for Special Education and Rehabilitative 
Services proposes to fund a National Center for the Dissemination of 
Disability Research to serve as a lead center in the area of Knowledge 
Translation/Knowledge Dissemination and Utilization. This center will 
ensure that NIDRR constituencies have ready access to high-quality, 
research-based information that has the potential to improve the lives 
of individuals with disabilities. The reference to this priority may be 
found in the Plan, Chapter 8, Knowledge Dissemination. The center 
    (1) Identify standards, guidelines, and methods appropriate for 
developing evidence-based systematic reviews of disability and 
rehabilitation research;
    (2) Serve as a technical assistance resource to NIDRR grantees to 
ensure that research studies will meet standards for inclusion in 
evidence-based systematic reviews;
    (3) Develop partnerships with existing collaborations and 
registries to identify gaps and opportunities and to facilitate the 
systematic review of disability and rehabilitation research;
    (4) Identify and promote the use of evidence-based reviews in topic 
areas developed in collaboration with NIDRR and its grantees;
    (5) Identify, develop, and assess the effectiveness of strategies 
for dissemination of high quality information to diverse target 
populations; and
    (6) Serve as a technical assistance resource to NIDRR grantees to 
ensure the use of effective strategies for dissemination of high 

[[Page 23854]]

information to diverse target populations.

Executive Order 12866

    This NPP has been reviewed in accordance with Executive Order 
12866. Under the terms of the order, we have assessed the potential 
costs and benefits of this regulatory action.
    The potential costs associated with the NPP are those resulting 
from statutory requirements and those we have determined as necessary 
for administering this program effectively and efficiently.
    In assessing the potential costs and benefits--both quantitative 
and qualitative--of this NPP, we have determined that the benefits of 
the proposed priority justify the costs.
    Applicable Program Regulations: 34 CFR part 350.

Electronic Access to This Document

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Education documents published in the Federal Register, in text or Adobe 
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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:

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

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

    Dated: April 29, 2005.
John H. Hager,
Assistant Secretary for Special Education and Rehabilitative Services.
[FR Doc. 05-9000 Filed 5-4-05; 8:45 am]