National Institute on Disability and Rehabilitation Research-Disability and Rehabilitation Research Projects and Centers Program-Rehabilitation Research and Training Centers, 10378-10380 [05-4105]

Download as PDF 10378 Federal Register / Vol. 70, No. 41 / Thursday, March 3, 2005 / Notices 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.gpoaccess.gov/nara/ index.html. Dated: Feburary 14, 2005. John H. Hager, Assistant Secretary for Special Education and Rehabilitative Services. [FR Doc. 05–4104 Filed 3–2–05; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4000–01–P DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION National Institute on Disability and Rehabilitation Research—Disability and Rehabilitation Research Projects and Centers Program—Rehabilitation Research and Training Centers Office of Special Education and Rehabilitative Services, Department of Education. ACTION: Notice of proposed priority. AGENCY: SUMMARY: The Assistant Secretary for Special Education and Rehabilitative Services proposes one funding priority for the National Institute on Disability and Rehabilitation Research’s (NIDRR) Disability and Rehabilitation Research Projects and Centers Program, Rehabilitation Research and Training Centers (RRTC) program. This priority may be used for competitions in fiscal year (FY) 2005 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 April 4, 2005. ADDRESSES: Address all comments about this proposed priority to Donna Nangle, U.S. Department of Education, 400 Maryland Avenue, SW., room 6030, Potomac Center Plaza, Washington, DC 20204–2700. If you prefer to send your comments through the Internet, use the following address: donna.nangle@ed.gov. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Donna Nangle. Telephone: (202) 245– 7462. If you use a telecommunications device for the deaf (TDD), you may call the Federal Relay Service (FRS) at 1– 800–877–8339. Individuals with disabilities may obtain this document in an alternative format (e.g., Braille, large print, audiotape, or computer diskette) on VerDate jul<14>2003 16:38 Mar 02, 2005 Jkt 205001 request to the contact person listed under FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Invitation To Comment We invite you to submit comments regarding this proposed priority. 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 opportunities we should take to 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 6030, 550 12th Street, SW., Potomac Center Plaza, Washington, DC, between the hours of 8:30 a.m. and 4 p.m., Eastern time, Monday through Friday of each week except Federal holidays. Assistance to Individuals With Disabilities in Reviewing the Rulemaking Record On request, we will supply an appropriate aid, such as a reader or print magnifier, to an individual with a disability who needs assistance to review the comments or other documents in the public rulemaking record for this proposed priority. If you want to schedule an appointment for this type of aid, please contact the person listed under FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT. 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 or funding additional priorities, subject to meeting applicable rulemaking requirements. Note: This notice does not solicit applications. In any year in which we choose to use this proposed 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 PO 00000 Frm 00026 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 well or the extent to which the application meets the competitive 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 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 invitational priority a competitive or absolute preference over other applications (34 CFR 75.105(c)(1)). Note: NIDRR supports the goals of President Bush’s New Freedom Initiative (NFI). The NFI can be accessed on the Internet at the following site: http:// www.whitehouse.gov/infocus/newfreedom. The proposed priority is in concert with NIDRR’s Long-Range Plan (Plan). The Plan is comprehensive and integrates many issues relating to disability and rehabilitation research topics. While applicants will find many sections throughout the Plan that support potential research to be conducted under the proposed priority, a specific reference is included for the priority presented in this notice. The Plan can be accessed on the Internet at the following site: http://www.ed.gov/ rschstat/research/pubs/index.html. Through the implementation of the NFI and 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. Rehabilitation Research and Training Centers RRTCs conduct coordinated and integrated advanced programs of research targeted toward the production of new knowledge to improve rehabilitation methodology and service delivery systems, alleviate or stabilize disability conditions, or promote maximum social and economic independence for persons with disabilities. Additional information on the RRTC program can be found at: http://www.ed.gov/rschstat/research/ pubs/res-program.html#RRTC. E:\FR\FM\03MRN1.SGM 03MRN1 Federal Register / Vol. 70, No. 41 / Thursday, March 3, 2005 / Notices General Requirements of Rehabilitation Research and Training Centers RRTCs must— • Carry out coordinated advanced programs of rehabilitation research; • Provide training, including graduate, pre-service, and in-service training, to help rehabilitation personnel more effectively provide rehabilitation services to individuals with disabilities; • Provide technical assistance to individuals with disabilities, their representatives, providers, and other interested parties; • Identify anticipated outcomes of RRTC activities that are linked to stated RRTC objectives; • Disseminate informational materials to individuals with disabilities, their representatives, providers, and other interested parties; and • Serve as centers for national excellence in rehabilitation research for individuals with disabilities, their representatives, providers, and other interested parties. The Department is particularly interested in ensuring that the expenditure of public funds is justified by the execution of intended activities and the advancement of knowledge and, thus, has built this accountability into the selection criteria. Not later than three years after the establishment of any RRTC, NIDRR will conduct one or more reviews of the activities and achievements of the RRTC. In accordance with the provisions of 34 CFR 75.253(a), continued funding depends at all times on satisfactory performance and accomplishment of approved grant objectives. Priority Background In April 2002, President George W. Bush announced the creation of the New Freedom Commission on Mental Health. He charged the Commission with studying the mental health care system in the United States and making recommendations that would enable adults with serious mental illness and children with serious emotional disturbance to live, work, learn, and participate fully in their communities. The Commission Report, ‘‘Achieving the Promise: Transforming Mental Health Care in America’’ (July 2003), along with reports from the Surgeon General and numerous other public and private entities, offer consensus on a number of findings addressed in the proposed priority. These include the importance of enhancing self-determination; consumer-driven, community-based interventions; collaboration within the VerDate jul<14>2003 16:38 Mar 02, 2005 Jkt 205001 mental health service system; workforce development; and culturally competent care. One promising area noted in ‘‘Achieving the Promise: Transforming Mental Health Care in America’’ is consumer-operated services. Such services are common: A national survey of the mental health self-help sector conducted by the U.S. Substance Abuse Mental Health Administration’s Center for Mental Health Services shows that mental health support groups and selfhelp organizations run by and for mental health consumers and their families now outnumber traditional mental health organizations by almost two to one (Goldstrom, I., Campbell, J., Rogers, J., Lambert, D., Blacklow, B., Manderscheid, R., and Henderson, M. (Forthcoming). National estimates of mental health mutual support groups, self-help organizations, and consumeroperated services. Administration and Policy in Mental Health). The Surgeon General’s Report on Mental Health estimated that about one in five Americans experience a mental disorder in a given year (U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, 1999. Mental Health: Report of the Surgeon General. Rockville, MD: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, Center for Mental Health Services, National Institutes of Health, National Institute of Mental Health. Available on-line: http: //www.surgeongeneral.gov/library/ mentalhealth/home.html). Serious mental illness can interfere with the ability to work, attend school, or manage day-to-day activities. For example, labor force participation and employment rates are substantially lower for people with mental health disabilities than for people with other disabilities or with no disability (Jans, L., Stoddard, S. & Kraus, L., 2004. Chartbook on Mental Health and Disability in the United States. An InfoUse Report. Washington, DC: U.S. Department of Education, National Institute on Disability and Rehabilitation Research). As cited in the final report of the President’s New Freedom Commission on Mental Health, the ‘‘annual indirect cost of mental illnesses is estimated to be $79 billion.’’ (New Freedom Commission on Mental Health, 2003. Achieving the Promise: Transforming Mental Health Care in America. Final Report. DHHS Pub. No. SMA–03–3832. Rockville, MD.) NIDRR, in collaboration with the U.S. Substance Abuse Mental Health Service Administration, proposes a priority for an RRTC on promoting access to effective consumer-centered and PO 00000 Frm 00027 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 10379 community-based practices and supports for adults with serious mental illness. This priority focuses on outcomes rather than activities. The overall outcome for this proposed priority mirrors the President’s charge: To work towards enabling adults with serious mental illness to live, work, learn, and participate fully in their communities. Proposed Priority The Assistant Secretary proposes a priority for one RRTC which must focus on promoting access to effective consumer-centered and communitybased practices and supports for adults with serious mental illness. The RRTC must— (1) Identify or develop and evaluate models, methods, and measures for improving the quality of mental health outcomes through transformation of the service delivery system in a manner that reflects and embodies consumer choice. These models, methods, and measures may focus on, but are not limited to selfdetermination, consumer-centered services, consumer choice, and coordination across service systems. All of these efforts must be culturally competent and appropriate for targeted populations; (2) Identify or develop and then evaluate strategies for translating evidence-based mental health research findings and best practices into effective interventions, including the development of tools and supports for providers of mental health or other adjunctive services that reflect consumer choice; and (3) Identify or develop and evaluate interventions, such as peer support services, that help to improve workforce capacity and choice for adults with serious mental illness. In addition to the activities proposed by the applicant, the RRTC must— • Conduct a state-of-the-science conference on its respective area of research in the third year of the grant cycle and publish a comprehensive report on the final outcomes of the conference in the fourth year of the grant cycle. This conference must include materials from experts internal and external to the RRTC; • Coordinate on research projects of mutual interest with relevant NIDRRfunded projects as identified through consultation with the NIDRR project officer; • Involve individuals with disabilities in planning and implementing its research, training, and dissemination activities, and in evaluating the RRTC; and E:\FR\FM\03MRN1.SGM 03MRN1 10380 Federal Register / Vol. 70, No. 41 / Thursday, March 3, 2005 / Notices • Demonstrate in its application how it will address, in whole or in part, the needs of individuals with disabilities from minority backgrounds. Executive Order 12866 This notice of proposed 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 proposed priority 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 notice of proposed priority, we have determined that the benefits of this proposed priority justify the costs. Summary of potential costs and benefits: The potential costs associated with this proposed priority are 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 eApplication technology reduces mailing and copying costs significantly. The benefits of the RRTC Program have been well established over the years in that similar projects have been completed successfully. This proposed priority will generate new knowledge and technologies through research, development, dissemination, utilization, and technical assistance projects. Another benefit of this proposed priority also will be the establishment of a new RRTC that supports the President’s NFI and will improve the lives of persons with disabilities. This new RRTC 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. 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 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. If you have questions about using PDF, call the U.S. Government Printing Office (GPO), toll free, at 1– VerDate jul<14>2003 16:38 Mar 02, 2005 Jkt 205001 888–293–6498; or in the Washington, DC, area at (202) 512–1530. area, awards will be not less than $80,000. 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. Note: Consistent with 34 CFR 75.104(b) of the Education Department General Administrative Regulations (EDGAR), we will reject, without consideration or evaluation, any application that proposes a project funding level for any fiscal year that exceeds the stated maximum award amount for that fiscal year. (Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance Number: 84.133B, Rehabilitation Research and Training Centers Program) Program Authority: 29 U.S.C. 762(g) and 764(b)(2). Dated: February 25, 2005. John H. Hager, Assistant Secretary for Special Education and Rehabilitative Services. [FR Doc. 05–4105 Filed 3–2–05; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4000–01–P DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION Office of Special Education and Rehabilitative Services; Overview Information; State Personnel Development Grants Program; Notice Inviting Applications for New Awards for Fiscal Year (FY) 2004 (To Be Awarded in FY 2005) Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance (CFDA) Number: 84.323A. Dates: Applications Available: March 4, 2005. Deadline for Transmittal of Applications: April 15, 2005. Deadline for Intergovernmental Review: June 14, 2005. Eligible Applicants: A State educational agency (SEA) of one of the 50 States, the District of Columbia, or the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico or an outlying area (United States Virgin Islands, Guam, American Samoa, and the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands). Current State Program Improvement Grant grantees with multiyear awards who wish to apply for a grant under the State Personnel Development Program may do so, subject to section 651(e) of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA), which prohibits a State requesting to receive a continuation award under the State Improvement Grant Program, as in effect prior to December 3, 2004, from receiving any other award under this program authority for that fiscal year. Estimated Available Funds: $8,350,992. Estimated Range of Awards: In the case of the 50 States, the District of Columbia, and the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, award amounts will be not less than $500,000, nor more than $4,000,000. In the case of an outlying PO 00000 Frm 00028 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 We will set the amount of each grant after considering— (1) The amount of funds available for making the grants; (2) The relative population of the State or outlying area; (3) The types of activities proposed by the State or outlying area; (4) The alignment of proposed activities with section 612(a)(14) of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA); (5) The alignment of proposed activities with State plans and applications submitted under sections 1111 and 2112, respectively, of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965, as amended (ESEA); and (6) The use, as appropriate, of scientifically based research activities. Estimated Average Size of Awards: $927,888, excluding outlying areas. Estimated Number of Awards: 9. Note: The Department is not bound by any estimates in this notice. Project Period: Not less than one year and not more than five years. Full Text of Announcement I. Funding Opportunity Description Purpose of Program: The purpose of this program, authorized under the IDEA, is to assist SEAs in reforming and improving their systems for personnel preparation and professional development in early intervention, educational, and transition services in order to improve results for children with disabilities. Priorities: In accordance with 34 CFR 75.105(b)(2)(v) these priorities are from allowable activities specified in the statute. (See sections 651–655 of the IDEA). Absolute Priority: For FY 2005 this priority is an absolute priority. Under section 653 of the IDEA and 34 CFR 75.105(c)(3), we consider only applications that meet this priority. Background of Priority: States have been successful in improving educational and transition services and results for children with disabilities in response to growing demands imposed by factors, such as demographics, social policies, and labor and economic markets. In order for States to address E:\FR\FM\03MRN1.SGM 03MRN1

Agencies

[Federal Register Volume 70, Number 41 (Thursday, March 3, 2005)]
[Notices]
[Pages 10378-10380]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Printing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 05-4105]


-----------------------------------------------------------------------

DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION


National Institute on Disability and Rehabilitation Research--
Disability and Rehabilitation Research Projects and Centers Program--
Rehabilitation Research and Training Centers

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

ACTION: Notice of proposed priority.

-----------------------------------------------------------------------

SUMMARY: The Assistant Secretary for Special Education and 
Rehabilitative Services proposes one funding priority for the National 
Institute on Disability and Rehabilitation Research's (NIDRR) 
Disability and Rehabilitation Research Projects and Centers Program, 
Rehabilitation Research and Training Centers (RRTC) program. This 
priority may be used for competitions in fiscal year (FY) 2005 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 April 4, 2005.

ADDRESSES: Address all comments about this proposed priority to Donna 
Nangle, U.S. Department of Education, 400 Maryland Avenue, SW., room 
6030, Potomac Center Plaza, Washington, DC 20204-2700. If you prefer to 
send your comments through the Internet, use the following address: 
donna.nangle@ed.gov.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Donna Nangle. Telephone: (202) 245-
7462.
    If you use a telecommunications device for the deaf (TDD), you may 
call the Federal Relay Service (FRS) at 1-800-877-8339.
    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 
INFORMATION CONTACT.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

Invitation To Comment

    We invite you to submit comments regarding this proposed priority.
    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 opportunities we should 
take to 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 6030, 550 12th Street, 
SW., Potomac Center Plaza, Washington, DC, between the hours of 8:30 
a.m. and 4 p.m., Eastern time, Monday through Friday of each week 
except Federal holidays.

Assistance to Individuals With Disabilities in Reviewing the Rulemaking 
Record

    On request, we will supply an appropriate aid, such as a reader or 
print magnifier, to an individual with a disability who needs 
assistance to review the comments or other documents in the public 
rulemaking record for this proposed priority. If you want to schedule 
an appointment for this type of aid, please contact the person listed 
under FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT.
    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 or funding 
additional priorities, subject to meeting applicable rulemaking 
requirements.

    Note: This notice does not solicit applications. In any year in 
which we choose to use this proposed 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 competitive 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 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 
invitational priority a competitive or absolute preference over other 
applications (34 CFR 75.105(c)(1)).


    Note: NIDRR supports the goals of President Bush's New Freedom 
Initiative (NFI). The NFI can be accessed on the Internet at the 
following site: http://www.whitehouse.gov/infocus/newfreedom.

    The proposed priority is in concert with NIDRR's Long-Range Plan 
(Plan). The Plan is comprehensive and integrates many issues relating 
to disability and rehabilitation research topics. While applicants will 
find many sections throughout the Plan that support potential research 
to be conducted under the proposed priority, a specific reference is 
included for the priority presented in this notice. The Plan can be 
accessed on the Internet at the following site: http://www.ed.gov/
rschstat/research/pubs/index.html.
    Through the implementation of the NFI and 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.

Rehabilitation Research and Training Centers

    RRTCs conduct coordinated and integrated advanced programs of 
research targeted toward the production of new knowledge to improve 
rehabilitation methodology and service delivery systems, alleviate or 
stabilize disability conditions, or promote maximum social and economic 
independence for persons with disabilities. Additional information on 
the RRTC program can be found at: http://www.ed.gov/rschstat/research/
pubs/res-program.html#RRTC.

[[Page 10379]]

General Requirements of Rehabilitation Research and Training Centers

    RRTCs must--
     Carry out coordinated advanced programs of rehabilitation 
research;
     Provide training, including graduate, pre-service, and in-
service training, to help rehabilitation personnel more effectively 
provide rehabilitation services to individuals with disabilities;
     Provide technical assistance to individuals with 
disabilities, their representatives, providers, and other interested 
parties;
     Identify anticipated outcomes of RRTC activities that are 
linked to stated RRTC objectives;
     Disseminate informational materials to individuals with 
disabilities, their representatives, providers, and other interested 
parties; and
     Serve as centers for national excellence in rehabilitation 
research for individuals with disabilities, their representatives, 
providers, and other interested parties.
    The Department is particularly interested in ensuring that the 
expenditure of public funds is justified by the execution of intended 
activities and the advancement of knowledge and, thus, has built this 
accountability into the selection criteria. Not later than three years 
after the establishment of any RRTC, NIDRR will conduct one or more 
reviews of the activities and achievements of the RRTC. In accordance 
with the provisions of 34 CFR 75.253(a), continued funding depends at 
all times on satisfactory performance and accomplishment of approved 
grant objectives.

Priority

Background

    In April 2002, President George W. Bush announced the creation of 
the New Freedom Commission on Mental Health. He charged the Commission 
with studying the mental health care system in the United States and 
making recommendations that would enable adults with serious mental 
illness and children with serious emotional disturbance to live, work, 
learn, and participate fully in their communities. The Commission 
Report, ``Achieving the Promise: Transforming Mental Health Care in 
America'' (July 2003), along with reports from the Surgeon General and 
numerous other public and private entities, offer consensus on a number 
of findings addressed in the proposed priority. These include the 
importance of enhancing self-determination; consumer-driven, community-
based interventions; collaboration within the mental health service 
system; workforce development; and culturally competent care.
    One promising area noted in ``Achieving the Promise: Transforming 
Mental Health Care in America'' is consumer-operated services. Such 
services are common: A national survey of the mental health self-help 
sector conducted by the U.S. Substance Abuse Mental Health 
Administration's Center for Mental Health Services shows that mental 
health support groups and self-help organizations run by and for mental 
health consumers and their families now outnumber traditional mental 
health organizations by almost two to one (Goldstrom, I., Campbell, J., 
Rogers, J., Lambert, D., Blacklow, B., Manderscheid, R., and Henderson, 
M. (Forthcoming). National estimates of mental health mutual support 
groups, self-help organizations, and consumer-operated services. 
Administration and Policy in Mental Health).
    The Surgeon General's Report on Mental Health estimated that about 
one in five Americans experience a mental disorder in a given year 
(U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, 1999. Mental Health: 
Report of the Surgeon General. Rockville, MD: U.S. Department of Health 
and Human Services, Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services 
Administration, Center for Mental Health Services, National Institutes 
of Health, National Institute of Mental Health. Available on-line: 
http: //www.surgeongeneral.gov/library/mentalhealth/home.html). 
Serious mental illness can interfere with the ability to work, attend 
school, or manage day-to-day activities. For example, labor force 
participation and employment rates are substantially lower for people 
with mental health disabilities than for people with other disabilities 
or with no disability (Jans, L., Stoddard, S. & Kraus, L., 2004. 
Chartbook on Mental Health and Disability in the United States. An 
InfoUse Report. Washington, DC: U.S. Department of Education, National 
Institute on Disability and Rehabilitation Research). As cited in the 
final report of the President's New Freedom Commission on Mental 
Health, the ``annual indirect cost of mental illnesses is estimated to 
be $79 billion.'' (New Freedom Commission on Mental Health, 2003. 
Achieving the Promise: Transforming Mental Health Care in America. 
Final Report. DHHS Pub. No. SMA-03-3832. Rockville, MD.)
    NIDRR, in collaboration with the U.S. Substance Abuse Mental Health 
Service Administration, proposes a priority for an RRTC on promoting 
access to effective consumer-centered and community-based practices and 
supports for adults with serious mental illness. This priority focuses 
on outcomes rather than activities. The overall outcome for this 
proposed priority mirrors the President's charge: To work towards 
enabling adults with serious mental illness to live, work, learn, and 
participate fully in their communities.

Proposed Priority

    The Assistant Secretary proposes a priority for one RRTC which must 
focus on promoting access to effective consumer-centered and community-
based practices and supports for adults with serious mental illness.
    The RRTC must--
    (1) Identify or develop and evaluate models, methods, and measures 
for improving the quality of mental health outcomes through 
transformation of the service delivery system in a manner that reflects 
and embodies consumer choice. These models, methods, and measures may 
focus on, but are not limited to self-determination, consumer-centered 
services, consumer choice, and coordination across service systems. All 
of these efforts must be culturally competent and appropriate for 
targeted populations;
    (2) Identify or develop and then evaluate strategies for 
translating evidence-based mental health research findings and best 
practices into effective interventions, including the development of 
tools and supports for providers of mental health or other adjunctive 
services that reflect consumer choice; and
    (3) Identify or develop and evaluate interventions, such as peer 
support services, that help to improve workforce capacity and choice 
for adults with serious mental illness.
    In addition to the activities proposed by the applicant, the RRTC 
must--
     Conduct a state-of-the-science conference on its 
respective area of research in the third year of the grant cycle and 
publish a comprehensive report on the final outcomes of the conference 
in the fourth year of the grant cycle. This conference must include 
materials from experts internal and external to the RRTC;
     Coordinate on research projects of mutual interest with 
relevant NIDRR-funded projects as identified through consultation with 
the NIDRR project officer;
     Involve individuals with disabilities in planning and 
implementing its research, training, and dissemination activities, and 
in evaluating the RRTC; and

[[Page 10380]]

     Demonstrate in its application how it will address, in 
whole or in part, the needs of individuals with disabilities from 
minority backgrounds.

Executive Order 12866

    This notice of proposed 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 proposed priority 
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 notice of proposed priority, we have 
determined that the benefits of this proposed priority justify the 
costs.
    Summary of potential costs and benefits: The potential costs 
associated with this proposed priority are 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 RRTC Program have been well established over 
the years in that similar projects have been completed successfully. 
This proposed priority will generate new knowledge and technologies 
through research, development, dissemination, utilization, and 
technical assistance projects.
    Another benefit of this proposed priority also will be the 
establishment of a new RRTC that supports the President's NFI and will 
improve the lives of persons with disabilities. This new RRTC 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.
    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 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. 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.gpoaccess.gov/
nara/index.html.

(Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance Number: 84.133B, 
Rehabilitation Research and Training Centers Program)

    Program Authority: 29 U.S.C. 762(g) and 764(b)(2).

    Dated: February 25, 2005.
John H. Hager,
Assistant Secretary for Special Education and Rehabilitative Services.
[FR Doc. 05-4105 Filed 3-2-05; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 4000-01-P