FR Doc 03-24703
[Federal Register: September 30, 2003 (Volume 68, Number 189)]
[Page 56272-56274]
From the Federal Register Online via GPO Access []

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RIN 1820 ZA31

National Institute on Disability and Rehabilitation Research 

AGENCY: 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 establishes a final priority for one new award 
under the Assistive Technology Act (AT Act) Technical Assistance 
Program (TA) for NIDRR. The Assistant Secretary may use this priority 
for competitions in fiscal year (FY) 2003 and later years. We take this 
action to focus attention on an area of national need. We intend this 
priority to measure and improve the outcomes of the Assistive 
Technology (AT) State

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grant program that serves individuals with disabilities.

Waiver of Delayed Effective Date

    The Administrative Procedure Act requires that a proposed rule be 
published at least 30 days before its effective date, except as 
otherwise provided for good cause (20 U.S.C. 553(d)(3)). During the 30-
day public comment period on this notice, no comments were received. 
For this reason, and in order to make timely grant awards, the 
Secretary has determined that a delayed effective date is unnecessary 
and impracticable.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Donna Nangle, U.S. Department of 
Education, 400 Maryland Avenue, SW., room 3412, Switzer Building, 
Washington, DC 20202-2645. Telephone: (202) 205-5880 or via the Internet:
    If you use a telecommunications device for the deaf (TDD), you may 
call the TDD 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 

    We published a notice of proposed priority in the Federal Register 
on August 14, 2003 (68 FR 48739). There are no differences between the 
notice of proposed priority and this notice of final priority.

    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. A notice inviting applications for 
FY 2003 awards was published in the Federal Register on August 14, 
2003 (68 FR 48741). This notice does not preclude us from proposing 
or funding additional priorities, subject to meeting applicable 
rulemaking requirements.

    When inviting applications we designate each 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 competitive priority over 
an application of comparable merit that does not meet the competitive 
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 
priority a competitive or absolute preference over other applications 
(34 CFR 75.105(c)(1)).


    The background statement for this priority was published in the 
notice of proposed priority on August 14, 2003 (68 FR 48739).


    The Assistant Secretary proposes a Data Collection Technical 
Assistance Project. The purpose of the project is to maintain and 
support the existing Web-based data collection instrument for the AT 
Act State grantees and to develop, implement, test, support and 
maintain a Web-based data collection instrument for the AT Act 
Protection and Advocacy (P&A) grantees. The Data Collection Technical 
Assistance Project must:
    (a) Maintain and support the existing Web-based data collection 
instrument for the AT Act State grantees and develop, implement, test, 
support and maintain a Web-based data collection and analysis system, 
including a data collection instrument for the AT Act P&A grantees to 
assess performance outcomes;
    (b) Train entities funded under the AT Act in the use of the data 
collection systems including specific training on the data collection 
    (c) Generate analytical reports based on the data collected from 
the grantees and prepare an annual report on grantees' performance and 
outcomes, including interpretations of findings;
    (d) Identify and evaluate successful strategies that can be linked 
to increased access to and provision of AT based on the data collected 
from the grantees, including analyses of use of AT by individuals with 
disabilities and national trends related to AT use by individuals with 
    (e) Coordinate information dissemination activities and distribute 
information about access to and provision of AT for individuals with 
disabilities of all ages to the AT Act State grantees, AT Act P&A 
grantees, grantees providing TA to the AT Act State grantees and P&A 
grantees, and the National AT Internet Site; and
    (f) Prepare and submit an annual report of findings about program 
outcomes, and separately prepare a report on assessment of the 
reliability of the data collection measures and validity of data 
collected from the AT Act grantees and P&A grantees, and the extent to 
which the data addresses the intended purposes of the data collection 

Executive Order 12866

    This notice of final priority 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 notice of final priority 
are those resulting from statutory requirements and those we have 
determined as necessary for administering this program effectively and 
    In assessing the potential costs and benefits--both quantitative 
and qualitative--of this notice of final priority, we have determined 
that the benefits of the final priority justify the costs.

Summary of Potential Costs and Benefits

    The potential cost associated with this final priority is minimal 
while the benefits are significant. Grantees may anticipate costs 
associated with completing the application process in terms of staff 
time, copying, and mailing or delivery. The use of e-Application 
technology reduces mailing and copying costs significantly.
    The benefits of the Data Collection Project have been well 
established over the years in that similar projects have been 
completed. This final priority will generate new knowledge through a 
dissemination, utilization, training, and technical assistance project.
    The benefit of this final priority and proposed applications and 
project requirements will be the establishment of a new Data Collection 
Project that generates, disseminates, and promotes the use of new 
information that will improve access to AT and expand opportunities for 
employment, education and community life.

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. 

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Printing Office (GPO), toll free, at 1-888-293-6498; or in the 
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    Note: The official version of this document is published in the 
Federal Register. Free Internet access to the official edition of 
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available on GPO Access at:

(Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance Number 84.224B, Assistive 
Technology Act Technical Assistance Program)

    Program Authority: 29 U.S.C. 3014.

    Dated: September 25, 2003.
Robert H. Pasternack,
Assistant Secretary for Special Education and Rehabilitative Services.
[FR Doc. 03-24703 Filed 9-29-03; 8:45 am]