[Federal Register: December 26, 2002 (Volume 67, Number 248)]
[Page 78913-78915]
From the Federal Register Online via GPO Access [wais.access.gpo.gov]

[[Page 78913]]


Part IV

Department of Education


Office of Special Education and Rehabilitative Services; National 
Institute on Disability and Rehabilitation Research; Final Priority on 
Alternative Financing Program Technical Assistance (AFPTA) and Notice 
Inviting Applications for Fiscal Year 2003; Notices

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Final Priority on Alternative Financing Program Technical 
Assistance (AFPTA) under Title III of the Assistive Technology Act of 

AGENCY: National Institute on Disability and Rehabilitation Research 
(NIDRR), Office of Special Education and Rehabilitative Services, 
Department of Education.

ACTION: Notice of final priority.


SUMMARY: The Assistant Secretary for Special Education and 
Rehabilitative Services announces a final priority on Alternative 
Financing Program Technical Assistance (AFPTA) under title III of the 
Assistive Technology Act (AT Act) of 1998 that is administered by the 
National Institute on Disability and Rehabilitation Research (NIDRR). 
The Assistant Secretary may use this priority for competitions in FY 
2003 and in later years. We take this action to focus research 
attention on an identified national need. We intend this priority to 
provide information and technical assistance to States and outlying 
areas participating in or interested in participating in the AFP.

EFFECTIVE DATE: This priority is effective January 27, 2003.

Education, 400 Maryland Avenue, SW., Room 3420, Switzer Building, 
Washington, DC 20202-2645. Telephone: (202) 205-5666 or via the 
Internet: carol.cohen@ed.gov.
    If you use a telecommunications device for the deaf (TTY), you may 
call the TTY number at (202) 205-4475.
    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 


Description of the Alternative Financing Program Technical Assistance 
Program (AFPTA)

    Title III of the AT Act established an Alternative Financing 
Program (AFP), which pays part of the cost for the States and outlying 
areas to establish or maintain alternative financing projects to 
increase access to assistive technology (AT) for individuals with 
disabilities. The purpose of the AFPTA is to provide information and 
technical assistance to States and outlying areas participating in the 
AFP. Public or private agencies and organizations, including 
institutions of higher education, are the entities eligible for an 
AFPTA grant award.
    This priority reflects issues discussed in the New Freedom 
Initiative (NFI) and NIDRR's Long-Range Plan (the Plan). The NFI can be 
accessed on the Internet at: http://frwebgate.access.gpo.gov/cgi-bin/leaving.cgi?from=leavingFR.html&log=linklog&to=http://www.whitehouse.gov/news/freedominitiative/freedominiative.html
    The Plan can be accessed on the Internet at: http://frwebgate.access.gpo.gov/cgi-bin/leaving.cgi?from=leavingFR.html&log=linklog&to=http://www.ed.gov/offices/OSERS/NIDRR/Products
    We published a notice of proposed priority (NPP) for the 
Alternative Financing Mechanisms Program (AFP) in the Federal Register 
on August 8, 2002 (67 FR 51744). Except for minor revisions there are 
no differences between the notice of proposed priority (NFP) and this 
notice of final priority (NFP).

Analysis of Comments and Changes

    In response to our invitation in the NPP, no parties submitted 
comments on the proposed priority.
    The background for the priority was published in the NPP.

    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.

When inviting applications we designate the priority as absolute, 
competitive preference, or invitational. 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 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)).

Statutory Priority

    As required by section 306(a) of the AT Act, the AFPTA project 
    (a) Provide assistance to States preparing applications for the 
    (b) Assist States to develop and implement the AFP; and
    (c) Provide any other information and technical assistance (TA) the 
Assistant Secretary determines to be appropriate to assist States to 
achieve the objectives of AFP.


    In addition to the statutory priority, NIDRR is particularly 
interested in having the AFPTA collect, analyze, compile, and report 
data provided by the AFP projects. AFP projects currently report data 
using an instrument that was developed and implemented to assist the 
State grantees with their data collection obligations. NIDRR will 
provide this instrument to the grantee upon receipt of award. The AFPTA 
    (1) Collect data from the AFP projects and assist the projects in 
this effort;
    (2) Propose strategies for reviewing the AFP data collection 
instrument to determine what modifications should be made to improve 
its usability, reliability and validity and suggest strategies to 
facilitate and expedite the collection of uniform annual data from the 
AFP projects;
    (3) Provide technical assistance to the State grantees on the data 
collection instrument that will support and improve the data collection 
efforts of the States;
    (4) Provide technical assistance and training to State grantees on 
data collection strategies that will improve the quality of the data 
collected; and
    (5) Through the technical assistance activities conducted under 
this priority, the project shall prepare a report on the activities 
funded under this Title. The report shall include the following: (a) 
The type of alternative financing mechanisms used by each State and the 
community-based organization with which each State entered into a 
contract, under the program; and (b) the amount of assistance given to 
consumers through the program. Additionally, the consumers should be 
classified by age, gender, type of disability, type of assistive 
technology device or assistive technology service financed through the 
program, geographic distribution within the State, and whether the 
consumers are part of an underrepresented population or rural 
population. An executive summary should be prepared which includes a 
description of data collection procedures utilized, an analysis of the 
aggregated States' data and a discussion of trends.

Intergovernmental Review

    This program is not subject to Executive Order 12372 and the 
regulations in 34 CFR part 79.

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    Applicable Program Regulations: 34 CFR part 350.

Electronic Access to This Document

    You may review 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: 
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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.gov/nara/index.html

    Program Authority: 29 U.S.C. 3056.

(Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance Number 84.224C, Alternative 
Financing Program.)

    Dated: December 19, 2002.
Robert H. Pasternack,
Assistant Secretary for Special Education and Rehabilitative Services.
[FR Doc. 02-32575 Filed 12-24-02; 8:45 am]