FR Doc 2010-11618
[Federal Register: May 14, 2010 (Volume 75, Number 93)]
[Notices]
[Page 27324-27327]
From the Federal Register Online via GPO Access [wais.access.gpo.gov]
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DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION


National Institute on Disability and Rehabilitation Research
(NIDRR)--Disability and Rehabilitation Research Projects and Centers
Program--Disability Rehabilitation Research Project (DRRP)--
International Exchange of Knowledge and Experts in Disability and
Rehabilitation Research

    Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance (CFDA) Number: 84.133A-6.

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

ACTION: Notice of proposed priority for a DRRP.

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SUMMARY: The Assistant Secretary for Special Education and
Rehabilitative Services proposes a priority for the Disability and
Rehabilitation Research Projects and Centers Program administered by
NIDRR. Specifically, this notice proposes a priority for a DRRP. The
Assistant Secretary may use this priority for a competition in fiscal
year (FY) 2010 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 14, 2010.

ADDRESSES: Address all comments about this notice to Marlene Spencer,
U.S. Department of Education, 400 Maryland Avenue, SW., Room 5133,
Potomac Center Plaza, Washington, DC 20202-2700.
    If you prefer to send your comments by e-mail, use the following
address: marlene.spencer@ed.gov. You must include ``Proposed Priority
for a DRRP on International Exchange of Knowledge and Experts'' in the
subject line of your electronic message.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Marlene Spencer. Telephone: (202) 245-
7532 or by e-mail: marlene.spencer@ed.gov.
    If you use a telecommunications device for the deaf (TDD), call the
Federal Relay Service (FRS), toll free, at 1-800-877-8339.

[[Page 27325]]


SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: This notice of proposed priority is in
concert with NIDRR's Final Long-Range Plan for FY 2005-2009 (Plan). The
Plan, which was published in the Federal Register on February 15, 2006
(71 FR 8165), can be accessed on the Internet at the following site:
http://www.ed.gov/about/offices/list/osers/nidrr/policy.html.
    Through the implementation of 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.
    This notice proposes a priority that NIDRR intends to use for DRRP
competitions in FY 2010 and possibly later years. However, nothing
precludes NIDRR from publishing additional priorities, if needed.
Furthermore, NIDRR is under no obligation to make an award for this
priority. The decision to make an award will be based on the quality of
applications received and available funding.
    Invitation to Comment: We invite you to submit comments regarding
this notice. To ensure that your comments have maximum effect in
developing the notice of final priority, we urge you to identify
clearly the specific topic that each comment addresses.
    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 ways we could 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 5133, 550 12th Street,
SW., Potomac Center Plaza, Washington, DC, between the hours of 8:30
a.m. and 4 p.m., Washington, DC time, Monday through Friday of each
week except Federal holidays.
    Assistance to Individuals with Disabilities in Reviewing the
Rulemaking 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 notice. If you want to schedule an
appointment for this type of accommodation or auxiliary aid, please
contact the person listed under FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT.
    Purpose of Program: The purpose of the Disability and
Rehabilitation Research Projects and Centers Program is to plan and
conduct research, demonstration projects, training, and related
activities, including international activities, to develop methods,
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 (Rehabilitation Act).
    Program Authority: 29 U.S.C. 762(g) and 764(b)(6).
    Applicable Program Regulations: 34 CFR part 350.
    Proposed Priority:
    This notice contains one proposed priority. International Exchange
of Knowledge and Experts in Disability and Rehabilitation Research.

Background

    The Rehabilitation Act provides that NIDRR may award grants to
conduct a program for international rehabilitation research,
demonstration, and training (29 U.S.C. 764(b)(6)). The purposes of
NIDRR's international disability and rehabilitation research program
are to--
    1. Develop new knowledge and methods in the rehabilitation of
individuals with disabilities in the United States;
    2. Cooperate with and assist in developing and sharing information
found useful in other nations in the rehabilitation of individuals with
disabilities; and
    3. Initiate a program to exchange experts and technical assistance
in the field of rehabilitation of individuals with disabilities with
other nations as a means of increasing the levels of skill of
rehabilitation personnel.
    The international program is a component of NIDRR's overall
knowledge translation (KT) effort. NIDRR adopted the conceptual
framework of KT to help guide its efforts to promote the effective use
of high-quality findings from disability and rehabilitation research
and development (R&D). In this regard, KT refers to a multidimensional,
active process of ensuring that new knowledge and products gained via
R&D will be used to improve the lives of individuals with disabilities
and to promote their full participation in society. KT includes the
assessment of research findings to ensure that information to be
disseminated is based on scientifically rigorous research and is
relevant to key stakeholders (e.g., rehabilitation service providers,
educators, clinicians, and individuals with disabilities and their
families). We have incorporated these core elements into this proposed
priority.
    For more than two decades, NIDRR has promoted the sharing of
information and products generated by disability and rehabilitation R&D
in the United States (U.S.) and other countries. For example, NIDRR has
sponsored the development of the Database of International
Rehabilitation Research at the Center for International Rehabilitation
Research Information and Exchange (CIRRIE, 2009). This database
includes almost 90,000 citations from international rehabilitation
research projects conducted outside of the U.S. (CIRRIE, 2009). It has
been used as a source of data for systematic reviews on diverse
disability and rehabilitation topics, such as virtual reality training
applications (Erren-Wolters, van Dijk, de Kort, Ijzerman, & Jannink,
2007) and best practices for treating individuals with hip fracture
(Beaupre, Jones, Saunders, Johnston, Buckingham, & Majumdar, 2005).
    NIDRR funding of international R&D activities also has led to new
methods for providing access to prosthetics (Wu, Casanova, & Smith,
2004) and wheelchairs (Armstrong, Reisinger, & Smith, 2007) for
individuals with disabilities in developing countries. Additionally,
NIDRR has sponsored the exchange of researchers between the U.S. and
other countries to share international perspectives on the experience
of individuals with disabilities and on the research approaches for
creating knowledge to promote the independence and well being of
individuals with disabilities (see CIRRIE, 2009).
    The knowledge base generated by disability and rehabilitation
researchers is growing in the U.S. and in other countries. New and
improved methods for the efficient international exchange of this
information and expertise will help shape future disability and
rehabilitation R&D and will facilitate research-based rehabilitation
practice in the U.S. and in other countries.

References

Armstrong, W., Reisinger, K., & Smith, W.

[[Page 27326]]

(2007). Evaluation of CIR-whirlwind wheelchair and service provision
in Afghanistan. Disability and Rehabilitation, 29(11-12), 935-948.
Beaupre, L., Jones, C., Saunders, L., Johnston, D., Buckingham, J.,
& Majumdar, S. (2005). Best practices for elderly hip fracture
patients: A systematic overview of the evidence. Journal of General
Internal Medicine, 20(11), 1019-1025.
CIRRIE. (2009). Center for International Rehabilitation Research
Information and Exchange. See http://cirrie.buffalo.edu/index.php.
Erron-Wolters, C., Van Dijk, H., de Kort, A., Ijzerman, M., &
Jannink, M. (2007). Virtual reality for mobility devices: Training
applications and clinical results: A review. International Journal
of Rehabilitation Research, 30, 91-96.
Wu, Y., Casanova, H., Smith, W. (2004). CIR casting system: A new
approach for making transtibial sockets. Technical Brief, from
REHABDATA database. See 
http://www.naric.com/research/record.cfm?search=2&rec=103139.
    Proposed Priority: The Assistant Secretary for Special Education
and Rehabilitative Services proposes a priority for a Disability and
Rehabilitation Research Project (DRRP) to serve as a Center for
International Exchange of Knowledge and Experts in Disability and
Rehabilitation Research (Center). This Center must promote improved
education, employment, health, and community living outcomes for
individuals with disabilities by developing and implementing methods
for the international exchange of knowledge generated by disability and
rehabilitation research and development (R&D). Under this priority, the
Center must contribute to the following outcomes:
    (a) A well-maintained, publicly accessible, and searchable database
containing citations of publications from disability and rehabilitation
R&D that was conducted in other countries. The Center must contribute
to this outcome by assuming the operation of an existing database
presently operated by the Center for International Rehabilitation
Research Exchange (CIRRIE). The Center must establish sound strategies
and approaches to ensure that the database is comprehensive, easy to
use, and up-to-date at all times.
    (b) Improved methods for the identification and domestic
dissemination of findings from R&D generated by disability and
rehabilitation R&D personnel in other countries. The Center must
contribute to this outcome by developing or identifying, evaluating,
and applying methods for the identification of research findings to be
disseminated in the U.S. The application of these methods must lead to
information on the methodological rigor with which the R&D was
conducted, as well as the relevance of findings to U.S. stakeholders
(e.g., researchers, rehabilitation service providers, educators,
clinicians, and individuals with disabilities and their families). The
Center also must identify or develop, and then evaluate and implement,
sustainable methods for domestic dissemination of relevant findings
produced by disability and rehabilitation R&D personnel from other
countries. Given the breadth of disability and rehabilitation R&D
conducted in countries outside of the U.S. and the large number of
countries or global regions that produce disability and rehabilitation
R&D, applicants must propose and justify the specific substantive area
of disability and rehabilitation research upon which they will focus.
Applicants must also propose and justify the countries or global
regions they will target as the sources of disability and
rehabilitation R&D.
    (c) Improved cross-cultural and cross-national awareness and
expertise among personnel from NIDRR-funded grants. The Center must
contribute to this outcome by administering an international exchange
of R&D personnel from NIDRR-funded projects and disability and
rehabilitation R&D personnel from other countries. The Center must
establish criteria for reviewing and selecting personnel to participate
in the exchange. These criteria must emphasize the extent to which
proposed exchanges will promote cross-cultural and cross-national
awareness and expertise among NIDRR grantees and contribute to the
quality and relevance of disability and rehabilitation research
conducted in the U.S.

Types of Priorities

    When inviting applications for a competition using one or more
priorities, we designate the type of each priority as absolute,
competitive preference, or invitational through a notice in the Federal
Register. 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 (1)
awarding additional points, depending on 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 priority.
However, we do not give an application that meets the priority a
preference over other applications (34 CFR 75.105(c)(1)).
    Final Priority: 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
additional priorities, requirements, definitions, or selection
criteria, subject to meeting applicable rulemaking requirements.

    Note: This notice does not solicit applications. In any year in
which we choose to use this priority, we invite applications through
a notice in the Federal Register.

    Executive Order 12866: This notice 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 proposed regulatory
action.
    The potential costs associated with this proposed regulatory action
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 proposed regulatory action, we have determined
that the benefits of the proposed priority justify the costs.
    Discussion of Costs and Benefits: The benefits of the Disability
and Rehabilitation Research Projects and Centers Programs have been
well established over the years in that similar projects have been
completed successfully. This proposed priority will generate new
knowledge through research and development. Another benefit of this
proposed priority is that the establishment of a new DRRP will improve
the lives of individuals with disabilities. The new DRRP will generate,
disseminate, and promote the use of new information that will improve
the options for individuals with disabilities to perform regular
activities in the community.
    Intergovernmental Review: This program is not subject to Executive
Order 12372 and the regulations in 34 CFR part 79.
    Accessible Format: Individuals with disabilities can obtain this
document in

[[Page 27327]]

an accessible format (e.g., braille, large print, audiotape, or
computer diskette) by contacting the Grants and Contracts Services
Team, U.S. Department of Education, 400 Maryland Avenue, SW., room
5075, PCP, Washington, DC 20202-2550. Telephone: (202) 245-7363. If you
use a TDD, call the FRS, toll free, at 1-800-877-8339.
    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: http://www.ed.gov/news/fedregister. To
use PDF you must have Adobe Acrobat Reader, which is available free at
this site.

    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://www.gpoaccess.gov/nara/index.html.


    Dated: May 11, 2010.
Alexa Posny,
Assistant Secretary for Special Education and Rehabilitative Services.
[FR Doc. 2010-11618 Filed 5-13-10; 8:45 am]
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