[Federal Register: December 27, 2000 (Volume 65, Number 249)]
[Page 82217-82219]
>From the Federal Register Online via GPO Access [wais.access.gpo.gov]


Part VI

Department of Education


National Institute on Disability and Rehabilitation Research; Final 
Funding Priority for Fiscal Years 2001-2002 for Traumatic Brain Injury 
Data Collection Center and I

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nviting Applications for a New Disability and Rehabilitation Research 
Project for Fiscal Year 2001-2002; Notices



National Institute on Disability and Rehabilitation Research; 
Notice of a Final Funding Priority for Fiscal Years 2001-2002 for a 
Traumatic Brain Injury Data Collection Center

AGENCY: Office of Special Education and Rehabilitative Services, 
Department of Education.
SUMMARY: The Assistant Secretary for the Office of Special Education 
and Rehabilitative Services announces a final funding priority for a 
Traumatic Brain Injury Data Collection Center under the National 
Institute on Disability and Rehabilitation Research (NIDRR) for fiscal 
years 2001-2002. The Assistant Secretary takes this action to focus 
research attention on areas of national need. We intend this priority 
to improve the rehabilitation services and outcomes for individuals 
with disabilities.

DATES: This priority is effective on January 26, 2001.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Donna Nangle, U.S. Department of 
Education, 400 Maryland Avenue, SW., room 3414, Switzer Building, 
Washington, DC 20202-2645. Telephone: (202) 205-5880. Individuals who 
use a telecommunications device for the deaf (TDD) may call the TDD 
number at (202) 205-4475. Internet: donna_nangle@ed.gov 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 in the preceding paragraph.

    The final priority refers to NIDRR's Long-Range Plan (the Plan). 
The Plan can be accessed on the World Wide Web at: http://www.ed.gov/

National Education Goals

    This final priority will address the National Education Goal that 
every adult American will be literate and will possess the knowledge 
and skills necessary to compete in a global economy and exercise the 
rights and responsibilities of citizenship.

    Note: This notice does not solicit applications. A notice 
inviting applications is published in this issue of the Federal 

Analysis of Comments and Changes

    On November 7, 2000, the Assistant Secretary published a notice of 
proposed priorities in the Federal Register (65 FR 66732). The 
Department of Education received no comments on the notice of proposed 
priorities by the deadline date.

Disability and Rehabilitation Research Projects and Centers Program

    The authority for Disability and Rehabilitation Research Projects 
(DRRP) is contained in sections 202(g) and 204 of the Rehabilitation 
Act of 1973, as amended (29 U.S.C. 762(g) and 764(b)(4)). The purpose 
of the DRRP program is to plan and conduct research, demonstration 
projects, training and related activities to--
    (a) Develop methods, procedures, and rehabilitation technology that 
maximizes the full inclusion and integration into society, employment, 
independent living, family support, and economic and social self-
sufficiency of individuals with disabilities; and
    (b) Improve the effectiveness of services authorized under the Act.

Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) Data Center


    An estimated 5.3 million Americans currently live with disabilities 
resulting from brain injury. The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) 
estimates that approximately 80,000 Americans experience the onset of 
disabilities resulting from TBI each year. The three leading causes of 
TBI are motor vehicle crashes, violence, and falls, particularly among 
the elderly. As stated in the 1998 National Institutes of Health (NIH) 
Consensus Conference, ``TBI may result in lifelong impairment of an 
individual's physical, cognitive, and psychosocial functioning.''
    In 1987, NIDRR established the National Traumatic Brain Injury 
Model Systems (TBIMS) Program by funding four research and 
demonstration projects to conduct research on comprehensive, 
multidisciplinary rehabilitation services to persons who experience 
TBI. This number expanded to 17 projects in 1998. The multi-project 
TBIMS program is designed to study the course of recovery and outcomes 
following the delivery of a coordinated system of care. (Additional 
information on TBIMS can be found at http:\\www.tbims.org). The TBIMS 
database currently contains over 2,000 cases and supports clinical 
research and research on outcomes including employment, community 
integration, and quality of life. Through a complex data collection and 
retrieval program, the TBIMS projects are capable of analyzing 
different system components to provide information on project cost 
effectiveness and benefits. Data are collected throughout the 
rehabilitation process and at specified follow-up periods following 
discharge from the rehabilitation facility.
    The parameters of the database are determined collaboratively by 
TBIMS project directors, in consultation with NIDRR. A syllabus 
describing the current data elements may be obtained from Donna Nangle 
listed under FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT. Expansion of the number 
of projects has broadened the representation of subjects in terms of 
geographic distribution, ethnic group membership, and socioeconomic 
    In the past, data from the TBIMS database have been largely 
restricted to the use of TBIMS researchers. Recent Federal regulations 
(see March 16, 2000, 65 FR 14416-14418) outline conditions under which 
outside parties may request access to the data under the auspices of 
the Freedom of Information Act. In addition, there is increased 
interest in expanding the use of these data in conjunction with 
population-based data to further research on TBI by the larger research 
community. Both activities require development of guidelines that 
ensure subject confidentiality, protect the identity of individual 
projects, and support use of the data in rigorous research efforts.
    Historically, the data center has been funded as a supplement to 
one of the projects in the TBIMS. We propose to establish a separate 
TBI data center to maintain this information.

Absolute Priority

    We will establish a data center for the purpose of managing and 
facilitating the use of information collected by the TBIMS projects on 
individuals with traumatic brain injury. The data center must:
    (1) Establish and maintain a database repository for data from 
TBIMS projects while providing for confidentiality, quality control, 
and data retrieval capabilities, using cost-effective and user-friendly 
    (2) Ensure data quality, reliability, and integrity by providing 
training and technical assistance to TBIMS projects on data collection 
procedures, data entry methods, and use of study instruments;
    (3) Provide consultation to NIDRR and directors and staff of the 
TBIMS projects on utility and quality of data elements;
    (4) Support efforts to improve the research findings of the TBIMS 
projects by providing statistical and other consultation regarding the 
national database;
    (5) Facilitate dissemination of information generated by the TBIMS 
projects, including statistical

[[Page 82219]]

information, scientific papers, and consumer materials;
    (6) Evaluate the feasibility of linking and comparing TBIMS data to 
population-based data sets, such as the CDC State-based injury 
surveillance data and provide technical assistance for such linkage, as 
appropriate; and
    (7) Develop guidelines to provide access to TBIMS data by 
individuals and institutions, ensuring that data are available in 
accessible formats for persons with disabilities.
    In carrying out these purposes, the center must:
     Demonstrate knowledge of culturally appropriate methods of 
data collection, including understanding of culturally sensitive 
measurement approaches; and
     Collaborate with other NIDRR funded projects, e.g., the 
Model Spinal Cord Injury and Burn Injury Model System Data Centers, 
regarding issues such as database development and maintenance, center 
operations, and data management.

Additional Selection Criterion

    We will use the selection criteria in 34 CFR 350.54 to evaluate 
applications under this program. The maximum score for all the criteria 
is 100 points; however, we will also use the following criterion so 
that up to an additional ten points may be earned by an applicant for a 
total possible score of 110 points.
    Up to ten (10) points based on the extent to which an application 
includes effective strategies for employing and advancing in employment 
qualified individuals with disabilities in projects awarded under this 
absolute priority. In determining the effectiveness of those 
strategies, we will consider the applicant's prior success, as 
described in the application, in employing and advancing in employment 
qualified individuals with disabilities.
    Thus, for purposes of this competitive preference, applicants can 
be awarded up to a total of 10 points in addition to those awarded 
under the published selection criteria for these priorities. That is, 
an applicant meeting this competitive preference could earn a maximum 
total of 110 points.
    Applicable Program Regulations: 34 CFR part 350.

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 either of the 
following sites:


To use PDF you must have Adobe Acrobat Reader, which is available free 
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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 the document is 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.gov/nara/

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

    Program Authority: 29 U.S.C. 762(g) and 764(b)(4)).

    Dated: December 20, 2000.
Curtis L. Richards,
Acting Assistant Secretary for Special Education and Rehabilitative 
[FR Doc. 00-32887 Filed 12-26-00; 8:45 am]