National Institute on Disability and Rehabilitation Research (NIDRR)-Disability and Rehabilitation Research Projects and Centers Program-Disability Rehabilitation Research Project (DRRP)-Transition to Employment, 68808-68811 [E9-30670]

Download as PDF 68808 Federal Register / Vol. 74, No. 248 / Tuesday, December 29, 2009 / Notices Appendix to 18–11–01 pwalker on DSK8KYBLC1PROD with NOTICES ADDITIONAL INFORMATION ABOUT CATEGORIES OF RECORDS IN THE SYSTEM AND RECORD SOURCE CATEGORIES: Data provided to the Department as a result of computer matching with other Federal agencies is added during CPS processing. These computer matches are with the SSA to verify the SSNs, U.S. citizenship status and date of death (if applicable) of applicants, and dependent applicants’ parents, pursuant to sections 428B(f)(2), 483(a)(12), and 484(g) and (p) of the HEA (20 U.S.C. 1078–2(f)(2), 1090(a)(12), and 1091(g) and (p)); the VA to verify the status of applicants who claim to be veterans, pursuant to section 480(c) and (d)(1)(D) of the HEA (20 U.S.C. 1087vv(c) and (d)(1)(D)); the SSS to confirm the registration status of male applicants, pursuant to section 484(n) of the HEA (20 U.S.C. 1091(n)); the DHS to confirm the immigration status of applicants for assistance as authorized by section 484(g) of the HEA (20 U.S.C. 1091(g)); the DOJ to enforce any requirement imposed at the discretion of a court, pursuant to section 5301 of the AntiDrug Abuse Act of 1988, Public Law 100–690, as amended by section 1002(d) of the Crime Control Act of 1990, Public Law 101–647 (21 U.S.C. 862), denying Federal benefits under the programs established by Title IV of the HEA to any individual convicted of a State or Federal offense for the distribution or possession of a controlled substance; and the DOD to identify dependents of U.S. military personnel who died in service in Iraq and Afghanistan after September 11, 2001 to determine if they are eligible for increased amounts of Title IV, HEA program assistance, pursuant to sections 420R and 473(b) of the HEA (20 U.S.C. 1070h and 1087mm(b)). During CPS processing, the Department’s COD system sends information to this system for students who have received a Federal Pell Grant. The CPS uses this information for verification analysis and for end-of-year reporting. This data includes, but is not limited to: Verification Selection and Status, Potential Over-award Project (POP) indicator, School Cost of Attendance, Reporting and Attended Campus Pell ID and Enrollment Date, and Federal Pell Grant Program information (Scheduled Federal Pell Grant Award, Origination Award Amount, Total Accepted Disbursement Amount, Number of Disbursements Accepted, Percentage of Eligibility Used At This Attended Campus Institution, and Date of Last Activity from the Origination or Disbursement table). VerDate Nov<24>2008 19:02 Dec 28, 2009 Jkt 220001 CPS also receives applicant data from the Department’s NSLDS System each time an application is processed or corrected. This process assesses student aid eligibility, updates financial aid history, and ensures compliance with Title IV, HEA regulations. Some of this data appears on the applicant’s SAR and ISIR. Title IV, HEA award information is provided to NSLDS from several different sources. Federal Perkins Loan data and Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant (FSEOG) overpayment data is sent from postsecondary institutions or their third-party servicers; the Department’s COD system provides Federal Pell Grant and Direct Loan data; State and Guaranty Agencies provide data on FFEL loans received from lending institutions participating in the FFEL programs. Financial aid transcript data reported by NSLDS provides applicants, postsecondary institutions and thirdparty servicers with information about the type(s), amount(s), dates and overpayment status of prior and current Title IV, HEA funds the applicant received. FFEL and William D. Ford Federal Direct Student Loan (DL) data reported by NSLDS includes, but is not limited to: (1) Aggregate Loan Data, such as: Subsidized, Unsubsidized and Combined Outstanding Principal Balances, Unallocated Consolidated Outstanding Principal Balances, Subsidized, Unsubsidized and Combined Pending Disbursements, Subsidized, Unsubsidized and Combined Totals, and Unallocated Consolidated Total; (2) Detail Loan Data, such as: Loan Sequence Number, Loan Type Code, Loan Change Flag, Loan Program Code, Current Status Code and Date, Outstanding Principal Balance and Date, Net Loan Amount, Loan Begin and End Dates, Amount and Date of Last Disbursement, Guaranty Agency Code, School Code, Contact Code and Type, Grade Level; (3) system flags for: Additional Unsubsidized Loan, Capitalized Interest, Defaulted Loan Change, Discharged Loan Change, Loan Satisfactory Repayment Change, Active Bankruptcy Change, Overpayments Change, Aggregate Loan Change, Defaulted Loan, Discharged Loan, Loan Satisfactory Repayment, Active Bankruptcy, Additional Loans, DL Master Promissory Note, DL PLUS Loan Master Promissory Note, Subsidized Loan Limit, and the Combined Loan Limit. Federal Perkins Loan data reported by NSLDS includes, but is not limited to: Cumulative and Current Year Disbursement Amounts; flags for Perkins Loan Change, Defaulted Loan, PO 00000 Frm 00033 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 Discharged Loan, Loan Satisfactory Repayment, Active Bankruptcy, Additional Loans, and Perkins Overpayment Flag and Contact (School or Region). Federal Pell Grant payment data reported includes, but is not limited to: Pell Sequence Number, Pell Attended School Code, Pell Transaction Number, Last Update Date, Scheduled Amount, Award Amount, Amount Paid to Date, Percent Scheduled Award Used, Pell Payment EFC, Flags for Pell Verification, Pell Payment Change. Federal Teacher Education Assistance for College and Higher Education (TEACH) Grant Program data includes, but is not limited to: TEACH Grant Overpayment Contact, TEACH Grant Overpayment Flag, and TEACH Grant Loan Principal Balance, TEACH Grant Total, Teach Grant change Flag. The National Science and Mathematics Access to Retain Talent Grant (SMART Grant) data includes, but is not limited to: SMART Grant Overpayment Flag, SMART Grant Overpayment Contact, and SMART Grant Change Flag. Iraq and Afghanistan Service Grants (IASG) data includes, but is not limited to: Total Award Amount. Academic Competitiveness Grant (ACG) data includes, but is not limited to: ACG Award Amount, ACG Overpayment Flag, and ACG Payment Change Flag. FSEOG data includes, but is not limited to: Overpayment Flag and contact information. The Department obtains and exchanges information that is included in this system of records from postsecondary institutions, third-party servicers, State agencies and lending institutions that participate in the FFEL programs. The eligible entities (above) register with the SAIG to participate in the information exchanges specified for their business processes. [FR Doc. E9–30691 Filed 12–28–09; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4000–01–P DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION National Institute on Disability and Rehabilitation Research (NIDRR)— Disability and Rehabilitation Research Projects and Centers Program— Disability Rehabilitation Research Project (DRRP)—Transition to Employment Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance (CFDA) Number: 84.133A–1. AGENCY: Office of Special Education and Rehabilitative Services, Department of Education. ACTION: Notice of proposed priority for a DRRP. E:\FR\FM\29DEN1.SGM 29DEN1 pwalker on DSK8KYBLC1PROD with NOTICES Federal Register / Vol. 74, No. 248 / Tuesday, December 29, 2009 / Notices SUMMARY: The Assistant Secretary for Special Education and Rehabilitative Services proposes a priority for the Disability and Rehabilitation Research Projects and Centers Program administered by NIDRR. Specifically, this notice proposes a priority for a DRRP. The Assistant Secretary may use this priority for a competition in fiscal year (FY) 2010 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 January 28, 2010. ADDRESSES: Address all comments about this proposed priority to Donna Nangle, U.S. Department of Education, 400 Maryland Avenue, SW., room 6029, Potomac Center Plaza (PCP), Washington, DC 20202–2700. If you prefer to send your comments by e-mail, use the following address: donna.nangle@ed.gov. You must include the term ‘‘Proposed Priority for a DRRP on Transition to Employment’’ in the subject line of your electronic message. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Donna Nangle. Telephone: (202) 245– 7462 or by e-mail: donna.nangle@ed.gov. If you use a telecommunications device for the deaf (TDD), call the Federal Relay Service (FRS), toll free, at 1–800–877–8339. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: This notice of proposed priority is in concert with NIDRR’s Final Long-Range Plan for FY 2005–2009 (Plan). The Plan, which was published in the Federal Register on February 15, 2006 (71 FR 8165), can be accessed on the Internet at the following site: www.ed.gov/about/ offices/list/osers/nidrr/policy.html. Through the implementation of 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. This notice proposes a priority that NIDRR intends to use for DRRP competitions in FY 2010 and possibly later years. However, nothing precludes NIDRR from publishing additional priorities, if needed. Furthermore, VerDate Nov<24>2008 19:02 Dec 28, 2009 Jkt 220001 NIDRR is under no obligation to make an award for this priority. The decision to make an award will be based on the quality of applications received and available funding. Invitation to Comment: We invite you to submit comments regarding this proposed priority. To ensure that your comments have maximum effect in developing the notice of final priority, we urge you to identify clearly the specific topic that each comment addresses. 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 ways we could 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 6029, 550 12th Street, SW., Potomac Center Plaza, Washington, DC, between the hours of 8:30 a.m. and 4:00 p.m., Washington, DC, time, Monday through Friday of each week except Federal holidays. Assistance to Individuals with Disabilities in Reviewing the Rulemaking Record: On request we will provide an appropriate accommodation or auxiliary aid to an individual with a disability who needs assistance to review the comments or other documents in the public rulemaking record for this notice. If you want to schedule an appointment for this type of accommodation or auxiliary aid, please contact the person listed under FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT. DRRP Program Purpose of Program: The purpose of the DRRP program is to improve the effectiveness of services authorized under the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, as amended, by developing methods, procedures, and rehabilitation technologies that advance a wide range of independent living and employment outcomes for individuals with disabilities, especially individuals with the most severe disabilities. DRRPs carry out one or more of the following types of activities, as specified and defined in 34 CFR 350.13 through 350.19: research, training, demonstration, development, dissemination, utilization, and technical assistance. An applicant for assistance under this program must demonstrate in its application how it will address, in whole or in part, the needs of PO 00000 Frm 00034 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 68809 individuals with disabilities from minority backgrounds (34 CFR 350.40(a)). The approaches an applicant may take to meet this requirement are found in 34 CFR 350.40(b). In addition, NIDRR intends to require all DRRP applicants to meet the requirements of the General Disability and Rehabilitation Research Projects (DRRP) Requirements priority that it published in a notice of final priorities in the Federal Register on April 28, 2006 (71 FR 25472). Additional information on the DRRP program can be found at: http:// www.ed.gov/rschstat/research/pubs/resprogram.html#DRRP. Program Authority: 29 U.S.C. 762(g) and 764(a). Applicable Program Regulations: 34 CFR part 350. Proposed Priority: This notice contains one proposed priority. Transition to Employment. Background: Only 43 percent of youth with disabilities are employed during the period immediately after high school compared to 63 percent of their peers without disabilities (Wagner et al., 2005). In addition, certain populations of youth with disabilities are at an even greater risk of experiencing poor employment outcomes, such as populations who are African-American, younger, or female (Coutinho et al., 2006; Cameto et al., 2003; Fabian, 2007; Wagner et al., 2005, 2006; Wells et al., 2003). The type of disability is also related to the employment outcomes for youth with disabilities (Cameto et al., 2003; Wagner et al., 2005, 2006; Wells et al., 2003). Relative to the general population of youth with disabilities, youth with disabilities from disadvantaged backgrounds (e.g., poverty, foster care, involvement in the juvenile justice system) are at even greater risk of poor employment outcomes (Cameto et al., 2003; National Council on Disability, 2008; Wagner et al., 2005, 2006; Wells et al., 2003). Studies of promising practices for transition-age youth with disabilities suggest that facilitators of successful employment outcomes include, but are not limited to: increasing collaboration and coordination among providers serving these youth (Flannery et al., 2007; Oertle & Trach, 2007; Wittenburg et al., 2002), encouraging youth participation in the workforce during the high school years (Fabian, 2007; Wittenburg & Maag, 2002), encouraging participation in postsecondary education (Flannery et al., 2007; Weathers et al., 2007), providing workspecific and community participation support (Garcia-Iriarte et al., 2007), and E:\FR\FM\29DEN1.SGM 29DEN1 pwalker on DSK8KYBLC1PROD with NOTICES 68810 Federal Register / Vol. 74, No. 248 / Tuesday, December 29, 2009 / Notices involving employers in transition programs (Fabian, 2007; Garcia-Iriarte et al., 2007; Rutkowski et al., 2006). Some of these practices, such as youth participation in the workplace during high school and employer participation in transition programs, have been developed primarily for particular highrisk groups such as minority youth from urban areas (e.g., Fabian, 2007; GarciaIriarte et al., 2007). Many of the promising practices suggested by this research have been incorporated into projects supported by the U.S. Department of Education. Some projects involving promising practices, such as inter-agency collaboration, exposure to work experience, and community-based training, have been implemented by State vocational rehabilitation agencies (U.S. Department of Education, 2009). Promising practices like these and others (e.g., studentfocused planning, family involvement, youth development activities) are also the focus of several current demonstration projects funded by the Rehabilitation Services Administration of the U.S. Department of Education (2007). Despite these efforts, there is still little scientifically based research demonstrating the efficacy of many of these practices and interventions in improving employment outcomes for transition-age youth with disabilities, particularly for those transition-age youth with disabilities who are at increased risk for poor employment outcomes. The knowledge gained from the identification and evaluation of effective interventions will provide policymakers and practitioners with the evidence they need to justify a broad application of promising practices in vocational rehabilitation and educational settings. References: Cameto, R., Marder, C., Wagner, M., & Cardoso, D. (2003). Youth employment. NLTS2 Data Brief: A report from the National Longitudinal Transition Study2, 2, pp. 1–5. Coutinho, M.J., Owald, D.P., & Best, A.M. (2006). Differences in outcomes for female and male students in special education. Career Development for Exceptional Individuals, 29, 48–59. Fabian, E.S. (2007). Urban youth with disabilities: Factors affecting transition employment. Rehabilitation Counseling Bulletin, 50, pp. 130–138. Flannery, K.B., Slovic, R., Benz, M.R., & Levine, E. (2007). Priorities and changing practices: Vocational rehabilitation and community colleges improving workforce development programs for people with disabilities. VerDate Nov<24>2008 19:02 Dec 28, 2009 Jkt 220001 Journal of Vocational Rehabilitation, 27, 141–151. Garcia-Iriarte, E., Balcazar, F., & Taylor-Ritzler, T. (2007). Analysis of case managers’ support of youth with disabilities transitioning from school to work. Journal of Vocational Rehabilitation, 26, 129–140. National Council on Disability. (2008). The Rehabilitation Act: Outcomes for transition-age youth. See www.ncd.gov/newsroom/publications/ 2008/publications.htm. Oertle, K.M., & Trach, J.S. (2007). Interagency collaboration: The importance of rehabilitation professionals’ involvement in transition. Journal of Rehabilitation, 73, 36–44. Rutkowski, S., Daston, M., Van Kuiken, D., & Richle, E. (2006). Project SEARCH: A demand-side model of high school transition. Journal of Vocational Rehabilitation, 25, 85–96. U.S. Department of Education (2007). Notice inviting applications. Federal Register, 72 FR 36682–36685. U.S. Department of Education (2009). RSA: Promising practices for basic VR agencies helping transition age youth. Washington, DC: Department of Education. See http://www.ed.gov/ rschstat/eval/rehab/promisingpractices/transition-age/index.html. Wagner, M., Newman, L., Cameto, R., Garza, N., & Levine, P. (2005). After high school: A first look at the postschool experiences of youth with disabilities. A report from the National Longitudinal Transition Study-2 (NLTS2). Menlo Park, CA: SRI International. Available at http://www.nlts2.org/reports/2005_04/ nlts2_report_2005_04_complete.pdf. Wagner, M., Newman, L., Cameto, R., Levine, P., & Garza, N. (2006). An overview of findings from Wave 2 of the National Longitudinal Transition Study2 (NLTS2). Menlo Park, CA: SRI International. See http://www.nlts2.org/ reports/2006_08/ nlts2_report_2006_08_complete.pdf. Weathers, R.R., Walter, G., Schley, S., Hennessey, J., Hemmeter, J., & Burkhauser, R.V. (2007). How postsecondary education improves adult outcomes for Supplemental Security Income children with severe hearing impairments. Social Security Bulletin, 67, 101–131. Wells, T., Sandefur, G.D., & Hogan, D.P. (2003). What happens after the high school years among younger persons with disabilities? Social Forces, 82, 803–832. Wittenburg, D.C., Golden, T., & Fishman, M. (2002). Transition options for youth with disabilities: An overview of the programs and policies that affect transition from school. Journal of Vocational Rehabilitation, 17, 195–206. PO 00000 Frm 00035 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 Wittenburg, D.C., & Maag, E. (2002). School to where? A literature review on economic outcomes of youth with disabilities. Journal of Vocational Rehabilitation, 17, 265–280. Proposed Priority: The Assistant Secretary for Special Education and Rehabilitative Services proposes a priority for a Disability and Rehabilitation Research Project (DRRP) on Transition to Employment. The purpose of this priority is to identify and evaluate promising practices that will facilitate job entry and career development for transition-age youth with disabilities who are at risk for poor employment outcomes. A number of factors can affect employment outcomes for this population, including demographic characteristics (e.g., race/ethnicity, age), disability characteristics (e.g., disability type) and disadvantaged background (e.g., poverty, foster care, involvement in the juvenile justice system). The DRRP must build upon the current research literature and ongoing implementation and demonstration of promising practices in the field of transition to employment. Under this priority, the DRRP must be designed to contribute to the following outcomes: (a) New knowledge of promising employment-focused transition practices for transition-age youth with disabilities who are at risk for poor employment outcomes. The DRRP must contribute to this outcome by conducting research to identify such practices. These practices may include, but are not limited to: work experience during the secondary school years; involvement of employers in the design and implementation of the transition program; supported employment; and increased coordination among schools, State vocational rehabilitation programs, or other programs serving transition-age youth with disabilities. (b) New knowledge regarding the effectiveness of employment-focused transition practices for transition-age youth with disabilities at risk for poor employment outcomes. The DRRP must contribute to this outcome by implementing and evaluating at least one promising practice identified under paragraph (a) for a particular at-risk group of transition-age youth with disabilities. In evaluating the promising practice or practices, the DRRP must use scientifically based research, as defined in section 9101(37) of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965, as amended (20 U.S.C. 7801(37)). Applicants must identify the specific atrisk group or groups of transition-age youth with disabilities they propose to E:\FR\FM\29DEN1.SGM 29DEN1 pwalker on DSK8KYBLC1PROD with NOTICES Federal Register / Vol. 74, No. 248 / Tuesday, December 29, 2009 / Notices study, provide evidence that the selected population or populations are, in fact, at risk for poor employment outcomes, and explain how the proposed practices are expected to address the needs of the population or populations. (c) Enhancement of the knowledge base of policy makers, State VR personnel, and personnel of other programs serving transition-age youth with disabilities. The DRRP must contribute to this outcome by conducting targeted dissemination of results from research conducted under paragraphs (a), and (b). • In addition, through coordination with the NIDRR Project Officer, the DRRP should contribute to this outcome by: (1) Collaborating with relevant technical assistance grantees from the Rehabilitation Services Administration, such as the Technical Assistance and Continuing Education (TACE) Centers; and (2) Collaborating with relevant technical assistance Grantees from the Office of Special Education Programs, such as the National Secondary Transition Technical Assistance Center. Types of Priorities: When inviting applications for a competition using one or more priorities, we designate the type of each priority as absolute, competitive preference, or invitational through a notice in the Federal Register. 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 (1) awarding additional points, depending on 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 75.105(c)(2)(ii)). Invitational priority: Under an invitational priority, we are particularly interested in applications that meet the priority. However, we do not give an application that meets the priority a preference over other applications (34 CFR 75.105(c)(1)). Final Priority: 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 additional priorities, requirements, VerDate Nov<24>2008 19:02 Dec 28, 2009 Jkt 220001 definitions, or selection criteria, subject to meeting applicable rulemaking requirements. 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. Executive Order 12866: This notice 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 this proposed regulatory action 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 proposed regulatory action, we have determined that the benefits of the proposed priority justify the costs. Discussion of costs and benefits: The benefits of the Disability and Rehabilitation Research Projects and Centers Programs have been well established over the years in that similar projects have been completed successfully. This proposed priority will generate new knowledge about transition to employment for youth with disabilities, through research, development, dissemination, utilization, or technical assistance projects. Another benefit of this proposed priority is that the establishment of a new DRRP will improve the lives of individuals with disabilities. The new DRRP will generate, disseminate, and promote the use of new information about transition to employment for youth with disabilities. This information will improve the options for youth with disabilities as they transition into adulthood and employment activities. Intergovernmental Review This program is not subject to Executive Order 12372 and the regulations in 34 CFR part 79. Accessible Format: Individuals with disabilities can obtain this document in an accessible format (e.g., braille, large print, audiotape, or computer diskette) by contacting the Grants and Contracts Services Team, U.S. Department of Education, 400 Maryland Avenue, SW., room 5075, PCP, Washington, DC 20202–2550. Telephone: (202) 245– 7363. If you use a TDD, call the FRS, toll- free, at 1–800–877–8339. Electronic Access to This Document: You can view this document, as well as PO 00000 Frm 00036 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 68811 all other documents of this Department published in the Federal Register, in text or Adobe Portable Document Format (PDF) on the Internet at the following site: www.ed.gov/news/ fedregister. To use PDF you must have Adobe Acrobat Reader, which is available free at this site. 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: December 21, 2009. Alexa Posny, Assistant Secretary for Special Education and Rehabilitative Services. [FR Doc. E9–30670 Filed 12–28–09; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4000–01–P DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY Agency Information Collection Activities: Submission for OMB Review; Comment Request AGENCY: Energy Information Administration (EIA), Department of Energy (DOE). ACTION: Agency Information Collection Activities: Submission for OMB Review; Comment Request. SUMMARY: The EIA has submitted the Oil and Gas Reserves System Surveys package to the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) for review and a three-year extension under section 3507(h)(1) of the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 (Pub. L. 104–13) (44 U.S.C. 3501 et seq). DATES: Comments must be filed by January 28, 2010. If you anticipate that you will be submitting comments but find it difficult to do so within that period, you should contact the OMB Desk Officer for DOE listed below as soon as possible. ADDRESSES: Send comments to OMB Desk Officer for DOE, Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs, Office of Management and Budget. To ensure receipt of the comments by the due date, submission by FAX (202–395– 7285) or e-mail to Christine_J._Kymn@omb.eop.gov is recommended. The mailing address is 726 Jackson Place, NW., Washington, DC 20503. The OMB DOE Desk Officer may be telephoned at (202) 395–4638. (A copy of your comments should also be provided to EIA’s Statistics and Methods Group at the address below.) E:\FR\FM\29DEN1.SGM 29DEN1

Agencies

[Federal Register Volume 74, Number 248 (Tuesday, December 29, 2009)]
[Notices]
[Pages 68808-68811]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Printing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: E9-30670]


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DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION


National Institute on Disability and Rehabilitation Research 
(NIDRR)--Disability and Rehabilitation Research Projects and Centers 
Program--Disability Rehabilitation Research Project (DRRP)--Transition 
to Employment

Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance (CFDA) Number: 84.133A-1.

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

ACTION: Notice of proposed priority for a DRRP.

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

[[Page 68809]]

SUMMARY: The Assistant Secretary for Special Education and 
Rehabilitative Services proposes a priority for the Disability and 
Rehabilitation Research Projects and Centers Program administered by 
NIDRR. Specifically, this notice proposes a priority for a DRRP. The 
Assistant Secretary may use this priority for a competition in fiscal 
year (FY) 2010 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 January 28, 2010.

ADDRESSES: Address all comments about this proposed priority to Donna 
Nangle, U.S. Department of Education, 400 Maryland Avenue, SW., room 
6029, Potomac Center Plaza (PCP), Washington, DC 20202-2700.
    If you prefer to send your comments by e-mail, use the following 
address: donna.nangle@ed.gov. You must include the term ``Proposed 
Priority for a DRRP on Transition to Employment'' in the subject line 
of your electronic message.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Donna Nangle. Telephone: (202) 245-
7462 or by e-mail: donna.nangle@ed.gov.
    If you use a telecommunications device for the deaf (TDD), call the 
Federal Relay Service (FRS), toll free, at 1-800-877-8339.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: This notice of proposed priority is in 
concert with NIDRR's Final Long-Range Plan for FY 2005-2009 (Plan). The 
Plan, which was published in the Federal Register on February 15, 2006 
(71 FR 8165), can be accessed on the Internet at the following site: 
www.ed.gov/about/offices/list/osers/nidrr/policy.html.
    Through the implementation of 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.
    This notice proposes a priority that NIDRR intends to use for DRRP 
competitions in FY 2010 and possibly later years. However, nothing 
precludes NIDRR from publishing additional priorities, if needed. 
Furthermore, NIDRR is under no obligation to make an award for this 
priority. The decision to make an award will be based on the quality of 
applications received and available funding.
    Invitation to Comment:
    We invite you to submit comments regarding this proposed priority. 
To ensure that your comments have maximum effect in developing the 
notice of final priority, we urge you to identify clearly the specific 
topic that each comment addresses.
    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 ways we could 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 6029, 550 12th Street, 
SW., Potomac Center Plaza, Washington, DC, between the hours of 8:30 
a.m. and 4:00 p.m., Washington, DC, time, Monday through Friday of each 
week except Federal holidays.
    Assistance to Individuals with Disabilities in Reviewing the 
Rulemaking Record: On request we will provide an appropriate 
accommodation or auxiliary aid to an individual with a disability who 
needs assistance to review the comments or other documents in the 
public rulemaking record for this notice. If you want to schedule an 
appointment for this type of accommodation or auxiliary aid, please 
contact the person listed under FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT.

DRRP Program

    Purpose of Program: The purpose of the DRRP program is to improve 
the effectiveness of services authorized under the Rehabilitation Act 
of 1973, as amended, by developing methods, procedures, and 
rehabilitation technologies that advance a wide range of independent 
living and employment outcomes for individuals with disabilities, 
especially individuals with the most severe disabilities. DRRPs carry 
out one or more of the following types of activities, as specified and 
defined in 34 CFR 350.13 through 350.19: research, training, 
demonstration, development, dissemination, utilization, and technical 
assistance. An applicant for assistance under this program must 
demonstrate in its application how it will address, in whole or in 
part, the needs of individuals with disabilities from minority 
backgrounds (34 CFR 350.40(a)). The approaches an applicant may take to 
meet this requirement are found in 34 CFR 350.40(b). In addition, NIDRR 
intends to require all DRRP applicants to meet the requirements of the 
General Disability and Rehabilitation Research Projects (DRRP) 
Requirements priority that it published in a notice of final priorities 
in the Federal Register on April 28, 2006 (71 FR 25472).
    Additional information on the DRRP program can be found at: http://www.ed.gov/rschstat/research/pubs/res-program.html#DRRP.
    Program Authority: 29 U.S.C. 762(g) and 764(a).
    Applicable Program Regulations: 34 CFR part 350.
    Proposed Priority: This notice contains one proposed priority.
    Transition to Employment.
    Background:
    Only 43 percent of youth with disabilities are employed during the 
period immediately after high school compared to 63 percent of their 
peers without disabilities (Wagner et al., 2005). In addition, certain 
populations of youth with disabilities are at an even greater risk of 
experiencing poor employment outcomes, such as populations who are 
African-American, younger, or female (Coutinho et al., 2006; Cameto et 
al., 2003; Fabian, 2007; Wagner et al., 2005, 2006; Wells et al., 
2003). The type of disability is also related to the employment 
outcomes for youth with disabilities (Cameto et al., 2003; Wagner et 
al., 2005, 2006; Wells et al., 2003). Relative to the general 
population of youth with disabilities, youth with disabilities from 
disadvantaged backgrounds (e.g., poverty, foster care, involvement in 
the juvenile justice system) are at even greater risk of poor 
employment outcomes (Cameto et al., 2003; National Council on 
Disability, 2008; Wagner et al., 2005, 2006; Wells et al., 2003).
    Studies of promising practices for transition-age youth with 
disabilities suggest that facilitators of successful employment 
outcomes include, but are not limited to: increasing collaboration and 
coordination among providers serving these youth (Flannery et al., 
2007; Oertle & Trach, 2007; Wittenburg et al., 2002), encouraging youth 
participation in the workforce during the high school years (Fabian, 
2007; Wittenburg & Maag, 2002), encouraging participation in 
postsecondary education (Flannery et al., 2007; Weathers et al., 2007), 
providing work-specific and community participation support (Garcia-
Iriarte et al., 2007), and

[[Page 68810]]

involving employers in transition programs (Fabian, 2007; Garcia-
Iriarte et al., 2007; Rutkowski et al., 2006). Some of these practices, 
such as youth participation in the workplace during high school and 
employer participation in transition programs, have been developed 
primarily for particular high-risk groups such as minority youth from 
urban areas (e.g., Fabian, 2007; Garcia-Iriarte et al., 2007).
    Many of the promising practices suggested by this research have 
been incorporated into projects supported by the U.S. Department of 
Education. Some projects involving promising practices, such as inter-
agency collaboration, exposure to work experience, and community-based 
training, have been implemented by State vocational rehabilitation 
agencies (U.S. Department of Education, 2009). Promising practices like 
these and others (e.g., student-focused planning, family involvement, 
youth development activities) are also the focus of several current 
demonstration projects funded by the Rehabilitation Services 
Administration of the U.S. Department of Education (2007).
    Despite these efforts, there is still little scientifically based 
research demonstrating the efficacy of many of these practices and 
interventions in improving employment outcomes for transition-age youth 
with disabilities, particularly for those transition-age youth with 
disabilities who are at increased risk for poor employment outcomes. 
The knowledge gained from the identification and evaluation of 
effective interventions will provide policymakers and practitioners 
with the evidence they need to justify a broad application of promising 
practices in vocational rehabilitation and educational settings.
    References:
    Cameto, R., Marder, C., Wagner, M., & Cardoso, D. (2003). Youth 
employment. NLTS2 Data Brief: A report from the National Longitudinal 
Transition Study-2, 2, pp. 1-5.
    Coutinho, M.J., Owald, D.P., & Best, A.M. (2006). Differences in 
outcomes for female and male students in special education. Career 
Development for Exceptional Individuals, 29, 48-59.
    Fabian, E.S. (2007). Urban youth with disabilities: Factors 
affecting transition employment. Rehabilitation Counseling Bulletin, 
50, pp. 130-138.
    Flannery, K.B., Slovic, R., Benz, M.R., & Levine, E. (2007). 
Priorities and changing practices: Vocational rehabilitation and 
community colleges improving workforce development programs for people 
with disabilities. Journal of Vocational Rehabilitation, 27, 141-151.
    Garcia-Iriarte, E., Balcazar, F., & Taylor-Ritzler, T. (2007). 
Analysis of case managers' support of youth with disabilities 
transitioning from school to work. Journal of Vocational 
Rehabilitation, 26, 129-140.
    National Council on Disability. (2008). The Rehabilitation Act: 
Outcomes for transition-age youth. See www.ncd.gov/newsroom/publications/2008/publications.htm.
    Oertle, K.M., & Trach, J.S. (2007). Interagency collaboration: The 
importance of rehabilitation professionals' involvement in transition. 
Journal of Rehabilitation, 73, 36-44.
    Rutkowski, S., Daston, M., Van Kuiken, D., & Richle, E. (2006). 
Project SEARCH: A demand-side model of high school transition. Journal 
of Vocational Rehabilitation, 25, 85-96.
    U.S. Department of Education (2007). Notice inviting applications. 
Federal Register, 72 FR 36682-36685.
    U.S. Department of Education (2009). RSA: Promising practices for 
basic VR agencies helping transition age youth. Washington, DC: 
Department of Education. See http://www.ed.gov/rschstat/eval/rehab/promising-practices/transition-age/index.html.
    Wagner, M., Newman, L., Cameto, R., Garza, N., & Levine, P. (2005). 
After high school: A first look at the postschool experiences of youth 
with disabilities. A report from the National Longitudinal Transition 
Study-2 (NLTS2). Menlo Park, CA: SRI International. Available at http://www.nlts2.org/reports/2005_04/nlts2_report_2005_04_complete.pdf.
    Wagner, M., Newman, L., Cameto, R., Levine, P., & Garza, N. (2006). 
An overview of findings from Wave 2 of the National Longitudinal 
Transition Study-2 (NLTS2). Menlo Park, CA: SRI International. See 
http://www.nlts2.org/reports/2006_08/nlts2_report_2006_08_complete.pdf.
    Weathers, R.R., Walter, G., Schley, S., Hennessey, J., Hemmeter, 
J., & Burkhauser, R.V. (2007). How postsecondary education improves 
adult outcomes for Supplemental Security Income children with severe 
hearing impairments. Social Security Bulletin, 67, 101-131.
    Wells, T., Sandefur, G.D., & Hogan, D.P. (2003). What happens after 
the high school years among younger persons with disabilities? Social 
Forces, 82, 803-832.
    Wittenburg, D.C., Golden, T., & Fishman, M. (2002). Transition 
options for youth with disabilities: An overview of the programs and 
policies that affect transition from school. Journal of Vocational 
Rehabilitation, 17, 195-206.
    Wittenburg, D.C., & Maag, E. (2002). School to where? A literature 
review on economic outcomes of youth with disabilities. Journal of 
Vocational Rehabilitation, 17, 265-280.
    Proposed Priority:
    The Assistant Secretary for Special Education and Rehabilitative 
Services proposes a priority for a Disability and Rehabilitation 
Research Project (DRRP) on Transition to Employment. The purpose of 
this priority is to identify and evaluate promising practices that will 
facilitate job entry and career development for transition-age youth 
with disabilities who are at risk for poor employment outcomes.
    A number of factors can affect employment outcomes for this 
population, including demographic characteristics (e.g., race/
ethnicity, age), disability characteristics (e.g., disability type) and 
disadvantaged background (e.g., poverty, foster care, involvement in 
the juvenile justice system). The DRRP must build upon the current 
research literature and ongoing implementation and demonstration of 
promising practices in the field of transition to employment.
    Under this priority, the DRRP must be designed to contribute to the 
following outcomes:
    (a) New knowledge of promising employment-focused transition 
practices for transition-age youth with disabilities who are at risk 
for poor employment outcomes. The DRRP must contribute to this outcome 
by conducting research to identify such practices. These practices may 
include, but are not limited to: work experience during the secondary 
school years; involvement of employers in the design and implementation 
of the transition program; supported employment; and increased 
coordination among schools, State vocational rehabilitation programs, 
or other programs serving transition-age youth with disabilities.
    (b) New knowledge regarding the effectiveness of employment-focused 
transition practices for transition-age youth with disabilities at risk 
for poor employment outcomes. The DRRP must contribute to this outcome 
by implementing and evaluating at least one promising practice 
identified under paragraph (a) for a particular at-risk group of 
transition-age youth with disabilities. In evaluating the promising 
practice or practices, the DRRP must use scientifically based research, 
as defined in section 9101(37) of the Elementary and Secondary 
Education Act of 1965, as amended (20 U.S.C. 7801(37)). Applicants must 
identify the specific at-risk group or groups of transition-age youth 
with disabilities they propose to

[[Page 68811]]

study, provide evidence that the selected population or populations 
are, in fact, at risk for poor employment outcomes, and explain how the 
proposed practices are expected to address the needs of the population 
or populations.
    (c) Enhancement of the knowledge base of policy makers, State VR 
personnel, and personnel of other programs serving transition-age youth 
with disabilities. The DRRP must contribute to this outcome by 
conducting targeted dissemination of results from research conducted 
under paragraphs (a), and (b).
     In addition, through coordination with the NIDRR Project 
Officer, the DRRP should contribute to this outcome by:
    (1) Collaborating with relevant technical assistance grantees from 
the Rehabilitation Services Administration, such as the Technical 
Assistance and Continuing Education (TACE) Centers; and
    (2) Collaborating with relevant technical assistance Grantees from 
the Office of Special Education Programs, such as the National 
Secondary Transition Technical Assistance Center.
    Types of Priorities:
    When inviting applications for a competition using one or more 
priorities, we designate the type of each priority as absolute, 
competitive preference, or invitational through a notice in the Federal 
Register. 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 (1) 
awarding additional points, depending on 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 
75.105(c)(2)(ii)).
    Invitational priority: Under an invitational priority, we are 
particularly interested in applications that meet the priority. 
However, we do not give an application that meets the priority a 
preference over other applications (34 CFR 75.105(c)(1)).
    Final Priority: 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 
additional priorities, requirements, definitions, or selection 
criteria, subject to meeting applicable rulemaking requirements.

    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.

    Executive Order 12866: This notice 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 this proposed regulatory action 
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 proposed regulatory action, we have determined 
that the benefits of the proposed priority justify the costs.
    Discussion of costs and benefits:
    The benefits of the Disability and Rehabilitation Research Projects 
and Centers Programs have been well established over the years in that 
similar projects have been completed successfully. This proposed 
priority will generate new knowledge about transition to employment for 
youth with disabilities, through research, development, dissemination, 
utilization, or technical assistance projects.
    Another benefit of this proposed priority is that the establishment 
of a new DRRP will improve the lives of individuals with disabilities. 
The new DRRP will generate, disseminate, and promote the use of new 
information about transition to employment for youth with disabilities. 
This information will improve the options for youth with disabilities 
as they transition into adulthood and employment activities.

Intergovernmental Review

    This program is not subject to Executive Order 12372 and the 
regulations in 34 CFR part 79.
    Accessible Format: Individuals with disabilities can obtain this 
document in an accessible format (e.g., braille, large print, 
audiotape, or computer diskette) by contacting the Grants and Contracts 
Services Team, U.S. Department of Education, 400 Maryland Avenue, SW., 
room 5075, PCP, Washington, DC 20202-2550. Telephone: (202) 245-7363. 
If you use a TDD, call the FRS, toll- free, at 1-800-877-8339.
    Electronic Access to This Document: You can view this document, as 
well as all other documents of this Department published in the Federal 
Register, in text or Adobe Portable Document Format (PDF) on the 
Internet at the following site: www.ed.gov/news/fedregister.
    To use PDF you must have Adobe Acrobat Reader, which is available 
free at this site.

    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: December 21, 2009.
Alexa Posny,
Assistant Secretary for Special Education and Rehabilitative Services.
[FR Doc. E9-30670 Filed 12-28-09; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 4000-01-P