[Federal Register: July 30, 2003 (Volume 68, Number 146)]
[Page 44753-44756]
From the Federal Register Online via GPO Access [wais.access.gpo.gov]

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Office of Special Education and Rehabilitative Services

[CFDA No.: 84.326N]

Special Education--Technical Assistance and Dissemination To 
Improve Services and Results for Children With Disabilities--National 
Dissemination Center for Individuals With Disabilities (84.326N)

ACTION: Notice inviting applications for new awards for fiscal year 
(FY) 2003.


SUMMARY: The Assistant Secretary for Special Education and 
Rehabilitative Services invites applications for FY 2003 under the 
Special Education--Technical Assistance and Dissemination to Improve 
Services and Results for Children with Disabilities Program. This 
program is authorized under the Individuals with Disabilities Education 
Act (IDEA), as amended. This notice provides closing dates, priorities, 
and other information regarding the transmittal of applications.
    Purpose of Program: This program provides technical assistance and 
information that (1) support States and local entities in building 
capacity to improve early intervention, educational, and transitional 
services and results for children with disabilities and their families; 
and (2) address goals and priorities for changing State systems that 
provide early intervention, educational, and transitional services for 
children with disabilities and their families.
    Eligible Applicants: State educational agencies, local educational 
agencies, institutions of higher education, other public agencies, 
nonprofit private organizations, for-profit organizations, outlying 
areas, freely associated States, and Indian tribes or Tribal 
    Applications Available: July 30, 2003.
    Deadline for Transmittal of Applications: August 29, 2003.
    Deadline for Intergovernmental Review: September 29, 2003.
    Estimated Available Funds: $1.6 million.
    Maximum Awards: $1.6 million.

    Note: in years 2-5 of the project period for the National 
Dissemination Center for Individuals with Disabilities grant, the 
maximum award amount is $1,900,000.

    Note: The Department is not bound by any estimates in this 

    Project Period: Up to 60 months.
    Page Limit: (Part III of the application) is where you, the 
applicant, address the selection criteria that reviewers use to 
evaluate your application. You must limit Part III to the equivalent of 
no more than 70 pages, using the following standards:
    [sbull] A ``page'' is 8.5'' x 11'', on one side only with 1'' 
margins at the top, bottom, and both sides.
    [sbull] Double space (no more than three lines per vertical inch) 
all text in the application narrative, including titles, headings, 
footnotes, quotations, and captions, as well as all text in charts, 
tables, figures, and graphs.
    [sbull] Use a font that is either 12-point or larger or no smaller 
than 10 pitch (characters per inch).
    The page limit does not apply to Part I, the cover sheet; Part II, 
the budget section, including the narrative budget justification; Part 
IV, the assurances and certifications; or the one-page abstract, the 
resumes, the bibliography, references, or the letters of support. 
However, you must include all of the application narrative in Part III. 
We will reject your application if--
    [sbull] You apply these standards and exceed the page limit; or
    [sbull] You apply other standards and exceed the equivalent of the 
page limit.
    Applicable Regulations: The Education Department General 
Administrative Regulations (EDGAR) in 34 CFR parts 74, 75, 77, 79, 80, 
81, 82, 85, 86, 97, 98, and 99.

    Note: The regulations in 34 CFR part 79 apply to all applicants 
except federally recognized Indian tribes.

    Note: The regulations in 34 CFR part 86 apply to institutions of 
higher education only.

    Selection Criteria: In evaluating an application for a new grant 
under this competition, we will use selection criteria chosen from the 
general selection criteria in 34 CFR 75.210 of EDGAR. The specific 
selection criteria to be used for this competition will be provided in 
the application package for this competition.

[[Page 44754]]

General Requirements

    (a) The projects funded under this competition must make positive 
efforts to employ and advance in employment qualified individuals with 
disabilities (see section 606 of IDEA).
    (b) Applicants and grant recipients under this competition must 
involve qualified individuals with disabilities or parents of 
individuals with disabilities in planning, implementing, and evaluating 
the projects (see section 661(f)(1)(A) of IDEA).
    (c) If a project maintains a Web site, it must include relevant 
information and documents in an accessible form on the Web site.


    Under 34 CFR 75.105(c)(3), we consider only applications that meet 
the following absolute priority:


    Since the early 1980s, the Office of Special Education Programs 
(OSEP) has funded a national clearinghouse to provide individuals and 
organizations throughout the Nation with information, referral, and 
technical assistance regarding children with disabilities and 
disability-related issues. Disseminating information is intended to 
support States and local entities in building capacity to improve early 
intervention, educational, and transitional services, and results for 
children with disabilities and their families, and to address systemic-
change goals and priorities. As additional parents and professionals 
address issues related to the Individuals with Disabilities Education 
Act, as amended (IDEA), and the No Child Left Behind Act of 2001 
(NCLB), the need for information will intensify and existing materials 
will have to be updated, revised, and improved upon.
    Given the prominence and complexity of technology within our 
current information age and the increased demand for timely and 
accurate information, a central repository of information is critical 
to the success of a national dissemination effort. This priority will 
support a national center to serve as a central repository of products 
developed by OSEP-funded technical assistance and dissemination (TA & 
D) projects. The chief aim of the center, however, would be to 
disseminate information about IDEA and NCLB to all interested parties.


    This priority will support a cooperative agreement for a national 
dissemination center that will (1) serve as a repository for products 
developed by OSEP's TA & D network, (2) maintain a database of products 
developed by OSEP's TA & D network, as well as scientifically-based 
products not developed by the TA & D network, and 3) disseminate 
products. This Center must be named the National Dissemination Center 
for Children with Disabilities.
    The Center must--
    (a) Conduct a semi-annual survey of all OSEP-funded TA & D centers 
to determine the current status of products developed and in 
development. The Center must report its findings to the Federal project 
    (b) Collect and disseminate information on the programs and 
services affecting infants, toddlers, and children with disabilities 
under IDEA, NCLB, and other Federal education laws.
    (c) Collect information related to research on the provision of 
special education and early intervention services and disseminate that 
information to teachers and related services professionals, early 
intervention personnel, teacher trainers, administrators, policy 
makers, and researchers through a variety of publications and 
    (d) Participate in programs and activities to collect and 
disseminate information on issues related to children with disabilities 
and promote networking among appropriate national, State, and local 
agencies and organizations that deal with issues under IDEA. The Center 
must coordinate its activities with Parent Training and Information 
Centers, Community Parent Resource Centers, the National and Regional 
Parent Technical Assistance Centers projects, Regional Resource 
Centers, and other centers supported under Part D, including research 
institutes and training centers, age-specific technical assistance 
centers, and content-specific technical assistance centers. Evidence of 
collaboration and proposed outcomes of the collaboration must be 
reported to the Federal project officer.
    (e) Develop informational exchanges among the Center and other OSEP 
TA & D centers, and other federally-supported TA & D centers as 
    (f) In addition to the above networking activities, collaborate and 
communicate with other OSEP-funded projects such as the State 
Improvement grantees, General Supervision Enhancement grantees, and the 
National Center for Special Education Accountability Monitoring. 
Evidence of collaboration and proposed outcomes of the collaboration 
must be reported to the Federal project officer.
    (g) Establish a coordinated network and conduct outreach activities 
with relevant Federal, State, and local organizations aimed at 
disseminating relevant information on research, programs, and services.
    (h) Maintain a database of all products developed by OSEP's TA & D 
network and other related products as appropriate. This database must 
include information on practices, including interventions, techniques, 
programs, and models. This information must be in a standard format 
that includes, at a minimum, the following:
    (1) The specific practice and the intended audience.
    (2) The extent to which clear guidelines for successful 
implementation of the practice are available.
    (3) The extent to which the practice includes:
    (i) Appropriate training for all implementers;
    (ii) Systemic implementation utilizing appropriate organizational 
structures and processes; and
    (iii) High expectations and effective assessment of student 
    (4) Where interested individuals can see the practice in operation, 
producing the intended level of results.
    (5) The cost to implement the practice.
    (i) Develop and implement strategies to disseminate information to 
underrepresented groups such as those with limited English proficiency.
    (j) Create and maintain a Web site that (1) links electronically to 
all OSEP-funded TA & D project Web sites, (2) contains a database of 
all OSEP-funded TA & D products, (3) contains a searchable database 
that includes all active OSEP discretionary projects, (4) keeps 
information and documents in an accessible form, and (5) is available 
in both English and Spanish.
    The Center's product development activities must include but are 
not limited to the following:
    (a) Developing products on IDEA legislation and NCLB as it relates 
to students with disabilities, as requested and approved by OSEP.
    (b) Establishing a mechanism for synthesizing and disseminating 
research information to all interested parties. For topics that the 
What Works Clearinghouse does not plan to address the Center will use 
the What Works Clearinghouse protocols to carry out synthesis work. 
This process must include the involvement of researchers who will 
assist the Center in the synthesis of research. Topics must be approved 
by OSEP prior to synthesis. This activity must include but is not

[[Page 44755]]

limited to publishing semi-annually the Research Connections in Special 
Education, an 8-page brief that synthesizes research results into user-
friendly information for practitioners.
    (c) Preparing the OSEP Digest and issuing briefs and other products 
designed to summarize recent research on critical issues for 
practitioners and other interested parties. These briefs and other 
reports, to the extent possible, must (1) build on an existing database 
of analyses of research studies (that over time will be submitted in a 
standard format for group designs) so that new reports will build on 
previous reports and (2) be available on the Web.
    (e) Preparing the annual directories of OSEP-funded projects by 
compiling information about all OSEP-funded discretionary grants. This 
information must include an abstract of each grant, administrative 
information about the grant such as the grantee, name of project, name 
of project director, beginning and ending dates of grant, name of OSEP 
project officer, and other information as requested by OSEP. An 
electronic database that contains all of the information found in the 
directories must be maintained.
    The Center must also:
    (a) Maintain communication with the Federal project officer through 
monthly phone conversations and e-mail communication as needed. The 
Center must submit annual performance reports and provide additional 
written materials as needed for the Federal project officer to monitor 
the Center's work.
    (b) Establish a document review board whose membership must be 
approved by OSEP. All OSEP TA & D projects will be required to submit 
proposals for new paper or electronic products to the review board 
prior to their development. The board must review these proposals in a 
timely fashion and approve for development all proposed products that 
are deemed necessary to meet existing information needs. The board must 
also identify information needs for which no product is available, and 
solicit proposals from OSEP's TA & D network for new products to meet 
these needs.
    (c) Establish, maintain, and meet at least annually with an 
advisory committee consisting of persons with expertise in information 
dissemination, individuals with disabilities, parents, educators, 
service providers, researchers, and others as appropriate to review and 
provide advice on the Center's activities and plans. The members of 
this committee must be approved by OSEP.
    (d) Evaluate the impact of the Center's activities relative to its 
users, the dissemination needs of its users, and the proposed outcomes 
of the dissemination. The Center must report its evaluation findings 
annually to the Federal project officer.
    (e) In addition to the 2-day Project Directors' meeting listed in 
the General Requirements section of this notice, budget for an 
additional 2-day project meeting annually to attend the Research 
Project Directors' meeting and for at least eight 2-day trips annually 
as requested by OSEP to attend events such as Department briefings, 
Department-sponsored conferences, and other events needed to fulfill 
public awareness objectives.

Fourth and Fifth Years of Project

    In deciding whether to continue this project for the fourth and 
fifth years, the Secretary will consider the requirements of 34 CFR 
75.253(a), and in addition--
    (a) The recommendation of a review team consisting of experts 
selected by the Secretary which review will be conducted in Washington, 
DC, during the last half of the project's second year. Projects must 
budget for the travel associated with this one-day intensive review;
    (b) The timeliness and effectiveness with which all requirements of 
the negotiated cooperative agreement have been or are being met by the 
Center; and
    (c) Evidence of the degree to which the Center's activities have 
contributed to changed practices and improved student outcomes.

Waiver of Proposed Rulemaking

    It is generally our practice to offer interested parties the 
opportunity to comment on proposed priorities. However, section 
661(e)(2) of IDEA makes the public comment requirements in the 
Administrative Procedure Act (5 U.S.C. 553) inapplicable to the 
priority in this notice.

Application Procedures

    Note: Some of the procedures in these instructions for 
transmitting applications differ from those in the Education 
Department General Administrative Regulations (EDGAR) (34 CFR 
75.102). Under the Administrative Procedure Act (5 U.S.C. 553) the 
Department generally offers interested parties the opportunity to 
comment on proposed regulations. However, these amendments make 
procedural changes only and do not establish new substantive policy. 
Therefore, under 5 U.S.C. 553(b)(A), the Secretary has determined 
that proposed rulemaking is not required.

Pilot Project for Electronic Submission of Applications

    In Fiscal Year 2003, the U.S. Department of Education is continuing 
to expand its pilot project for electronic submission of applications 
to include additional formula grant programs and additional 
discretionary grant competitions. Special Education--Technical 
Assistance and Dissemination to Improve Services and Results for 
Children with Disabilities Program--CFDA 84.326N is one of the 
programs included in the pilot project. If you are an applicant under 
the Special Education--Technical Assistance and Dissemination to 
Improve Services and Results for Children with Disabilities Program, 
you may submit your application to us in either electronic or paper 
    The pilot project involves the use of the Electronic Grant 
Application System (e-Application). Users of e-Application will be 
entering data on-line while completing their applications. You may not 
e-mail a soft copy of a grant application to us. If you participate in 
this voluntary pilot project by submitting an application 
electronically, the data you enter on-line will be saved into a 
database. We request your participation in e-Application. We shall 
continue to evaluate its success and solicit suggestions for 
    If you participate in e-Application, please note the following:
    [sbull] Your participation is voluntary.
    [sbull] You will not receive any additional point value because you 
submit a grant application in electronic format, nor will we penalize 
you if you submit an application in paper format. When you enter the e-
Application system, you will find information about its hours of 
    [sbull] You may submit all documents electronically, including the 
Application for Federal Education Assistance (ED 424), Budget 
Information--Non-Construction Programs (ED 524), and all necessary 
assurances and certifications.
    [sbull] After you electronically submit your application, you will 
receive an automatic acknowledgement, which will include a PR/Award 
number (an identifying number unique to your application).
    [sbull] Within three working days after submitting your electronic 
application, fax a signed copy of the Application for Federal Education 
Assistance (ED 424) to the Application Control Center after following 
these steps:
    1. Print ED 424 from e-Application.
    2. The institution's Authorizing Representative must sign this 

[[Page 44756]]

    3. Place the PR/Award number in the upper right hand corner of the 
hard copy signature page of the ED 424.
    4. Fax the signed ED 424 to the Application Control Center at (202) 
    [sbull] We may request that you give us original signatures on all 
other forms at a later date.
    [sbull] Closing Date Extension in Case of System Unavailability: If 
you elect to participate in the e-Application pilot for the Special 
Education'Technical Assistance and Dissemination to Improve Services 
and Results for Children with Disabilities Program and you are 
prevented from submitting your application on the closing date because 
the e-Application system is unavailable, we will grant you an extension 
of one business day in order to transmit your application 
electronically, by mail, or by hand delivery. For us to grant this 
    1. You must be a registered user of e-Application, and have 
initiated an e-Application for this competition; and
    2. (a) The e-Application system must be unavailable for 60 minutes 
or more between the hours of 8:30 a.m. and 3:30 p.m., Washington, DC, 
time, on the deadline date; or
    (b) The e-Application system must be unavailable for any period of 
time during the last hour of operation (that is, for any period of time 
between 3:30 p.m. and 4:30 p.m., Washington, DC, time) on the deadline 
    The Department must acknowledge and confirm these periods of 
unavailability before granting you an extension. To request this 
extension you must contact either (1) the person listed elsewhere in 
this notice under FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT or (2) the e-GRANTS 
help desk at 1-888-336-8930.
    You may access the electronic grant application for the Special 
Education--Technical Assistance and Dissemination to Improve Services 
and Results for Children with Disabilities Program at http://e-grants.ed.gov.
    We have included additional information about the e-Application 
pilot project (see Parity Guidelines between Paper and Electronic 
Applications) in the application package.
    For Applications Contact: Education Publications Center (ED Pubs), 
P.O. Box 1398, Jessup, Maryland 20794-1398. Telephone (toll free): 1-
877-433-7827. FAX: 301-470-1244. If you use a telecommunications device 
for the deaf (TDD), you may call (toll free): 1-877-576-7734.
    You may also contact ED Pubs at its Web site: http://www.ed.gov/pubs/edpubs.html.
    Or you may contact ED Pubs at its e-mail address: 
edpubs@inet.ed.gov.    If you request an application from ED Pubs, be sure to identify 
this competition as follows: CFDA 84.326N.

    The Grants and Contracts Services Team, U.S. Department of 
Education, 400 Maryland Avenue, SW., room 3317, Switzer Building, 
Washington, DC 20202-2550. Telephone: 1-202-205-8207.
    If you use a telecommunications device for the deaf (TDD), you may 
call the Federal Information Relay Service (FIRS) at 1-800-877-8339.
    Individuals with disabilities may obtain this document or a copy of 
the application package in an alternative format (e.g., Braille, large 
print, audiotape, or computer diskette) on request to the Grants and 
Contracts Services Team listed in this section. However, the Department 
is not able to reproduce in an alternative format the standard forms 
included in the application package.

Intergovernmental Review

    The program in this notice is subject to the requirements of 
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.

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://www.access.gpo/nara/index.html.

    Program Authority: 20 U.S.C. 1485.

    Dated: July 25, 2003.
Robert H. Pasternack,
Assistant Secretary for Special Education and Rehabilitative Services.
[FR Doc. 03-19337 Filed 7-29-03; 8:45 am]