Proposed Priority-Training of Interpreters for Individuals Who Are Deaf or Hard of Hearing and Individuals Who Are Deaf-Blind program, 20268-20274 [2016-07933]

Download as PDF Lhorne on DSK5TPTVN1PROD with PROPOSALS 20268 Federal Register / Vol. 81, No. 67 / Thursday, April 7, 2016 / Proposed Rules Advisory Committee, nominators should submit the following information: (1) Name, title, and relevant contact information (including phone and email address) and a description of the issues addressed in this rulemaking that such individual is qualified to address, and the interests such a person shall represent; (2) A letter of support from a company, union, trade association, or non-profit organization on letterhead containing a brief description why the nominee is qualified and should be considered for membership to the extent the nominee proposes to represent parties with interest in this proceeding; (3) A written commitment that the applicant or nominee shall actively participate in good faith in the development of the rule under consideration; (4) Short biography of nominee including professional and academic credentials; (5) An affirmative statement that the nominee meets all Committee eligibility requirements; and (6) If applicable, the reason(s) that the parties identified in this notice of intent as affected interests and stakeholders do not adequately represent the interest of the person submitting the application or nomination. All individuals representing a stakeholder interest who wish to serve on the Reg-Neg Committee should apply for membership by supplying the information listed above. Please do not send company, trade association, or organization brochures or any other information. Materials submitted should total two single-spaced pages or less. Should more information be needed, DOT staff will contact the nominee, obtain information from the nominee’s past affiliations, or obtain information from publicly available sources, such as the Internet. Nominations may be emailed to accesscommittee@dot.gov. Nominations must be received by April 21, 2016. Nominees selected for appointment to the Committee will be notified of appointment by email. Nominations are open to all individuals without regard to race, color, religion, sex, national origin, age, mental or physical handicap, marital status, or sexual orientation. To ensure that recommendations to the Secretary take into account the needs of the diverse groups served by DOT, membership shall include, to the extent practicable, individuals with demonstrated ability to represent persons with disabilities, minorities, and women. The Department will file any comments it receives on this notice VerDate Sep<11>2014 15:16 Apr 06, 2016 Jkt 238001 of intent in docket DOT–OST–2015– 0246. Notice to the public will be published in the Federal Register at least 15 days prior to each plenary meeting of the ACCESS Advisory Committee and members of the public will be invited to attend. Issued under the authority of delegation in 49 CFR 1.27. Dated: April 4, 2016. Kathryn B. Thomson, General Counsel. [FR Doc. 2016–08062 Filed 4–6–16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4910–9X–P DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION 34 CFR Chapter III [Docket ID ED–2016–OSERS–0005; CFDA Number: 84.160C.] Proposed Priority—Training of Interpreters for Individuals Who Are Deaf or Hard of Hearing and Individuals Who Are Deaf-Blind program Office of Special Education and Rehabilitative Services, Department of Education. ACTION: Proposed priority. AGENCY: The Assistant Secretary for Special Education and Rehabilitative Services announces a priority under the Training of Interpreters for Individuals Who Are Deaf or Hard of Hearing and Individuals Who Are Deaf-Blind program. The Assistant Secretary may use this priority for competitions in fiscal year 2016 and later years. We take this action to provide training and technical assistance to better prepare novice interpreters to become highly qualified nationally certified sign language interpreters. DATES: We must receive your comments on or before May 9, 2016. ADDRESSES: Submit your comments through the Federal eRulemaking Portal or via postal mail, commercial delivery, or hand delivery. We will not accept comments submitted by fax or by email or those submitted after the comment period. To ensure that we do not receive duplicate copies, please submit your comments only once. In addition, please include the Docket ID at the top of your comments. • Federal eRulemaking Portal: Go to www.regulations.gov to submit your comments electronically. Information on using Regulations.gov, including instructions for accessing agency documents, submitting comments, and viewing the docket, is available on the site under the ‘‘help’’ tab. SUMMARY: PO 00000 Frm 00008 Fmt 4702 Sfmt 4702 • Postal Mail, Commercial Delivery, or Hand Delivery: If you mail or deliver your comments about these proposed regulations, address them to Kristen Rhinehart-Fernandez, U.S. Department of Education, 400 Maryland Avenue SW., Room 5062, Potomac Center Plaza (PCP), Washington, DC 20202–5076. Privacy Note: The Department’s policy is to make all comments received from members of the public available for public viewing in their entirety on the Federal eRulemaking Portal at www.regulations.gov. Therefore, commenters should be careful to include in their comments only information that they wish to make publicly available. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Kristen Rhinehart-Fernandez. Telephone: (202) 245–6103 or by email: Kristen.Rhinehart@ed.gov. If you use a telecommunications device for the deaf (TDD) or a text telephone (TTY), call the Federal Relay Service (FRS), toll free, at 1–800–877– 8339. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Invitation to Comment: We invite you to submit comments regarding this notice. To ensure that your comments have maximum effect in developing the notice of final priority, we urge you to identify clearly the specific section of the proposed priority that each comment addresses. We invite you to assist us in complying with the specific requirements of Executive Orders 12866 and 13563 and their 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. Specific Issues Open for Comment: In addition to your general comments and recommended clarifications, we seek input on the proposed design of the Experiential Learning Model Demonstration Center for Novice Interpreters and Baccalaureate Degree ASL-English Interpretation Programs (Center) and expectations for implementation. We are particularly interested in your feedback on the following questions: • Are the proposed required project activities appropriate? Are there any additional project activities beyond those included in the proposed priority that should be considered? For example, are there any specific activities that may be strongly associated with long-term success for ASL-English interpreters that we have not included? If so, please specify what additional activities should be required and why. E:\FR\FM\07APP1.SGM 07APP1 Lhorne on DSK5TPTVN1PROD with PROPOSALS Federal Register / Vol. 81, No. 67 / Thursday, April 7, 2016 / Proposed Rules • Under the Training Activities section of the proposed priority, we proposed a team of individuals to work with novice interpreters. Are the proposed roles for interpreter advisors and trained mentors clear and appropriate? Should the roles and responsibilities of the interpreter advisor and mentor be changed or combined? In your experience, how might qualified interpreters work with novice interpreters differently than trained mentors? Should these roles be more or less prescriptive than what we have outlined in the proposed priority? • In the proposed priority, the Center is expected to plan and design the curriculum, develop training modules, and implement a pilot experiential learning program within the first two years of the grant period. Is this timeline reasonable? If not, what timeline should be required for these expected project deliverables? • In addition to national certification, such as, for example, the Registry of Interpreters for the Deaf (RID) National Interpreter Certification (NIC) tests, what measures for assessing the improvement in a novice interpreter’s skills should be required? • How many cohorts should be required to complete the experiential learning program within the five-year project period? Should the Department require a certain number of novice interpreters per cohort, and, if so, how many? • Beyond requiring a logic model and a project evaluation, are there any unique or additional strategies to ensure that the program evaluation framework is infused throughout the planning, designing, and implementation of the experiential learning curriculum that the Department should include? If so, please specify. During and after the comment period, you may inspect all public comments about this proposed priority by accessing Regulations.gov. You may also inspect the comments in room 5062, 550 12th Street SW., PCP, Washington, DC 20202–5076, 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. Please contact the person listed under FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT. 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 VerDate Sep<11>2014 15:16 Apr 06, 2016 Jkt 238001 accommodation or auxiliary aid, please contact the person listed under FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT. Purpose of Program: Under the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 (Rehabilitation Act), as amended by the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA), the Rehabilitation Services Administration (RSA) makes grants to public and private nonprofit agencies and organizations, including institutions of higher education, to establish interpreter training programs or to provide financial assistance for ongoing interpreter training programs to train a sufficient number of qualified interpreters throughout the country. The grants are designed to train interpreters to effectively interpret and transliterate using spoken, visual, and tactile modes of communication; ensure the maintenance of the interpreting skills of qualified interpreters; and provide opportunities for interpreters to improve their skills in order to meet both the highest standards approved by certifying associations and the communication needs of individuals who are deaf or hard of hearing and individuals who are deaf-blind. Program Authority: 29 U.S.C. 772(a) and (f). Applicable Program Regulations: 34 CFR part 396. Proposed Priority: This notice contains one proposed priority. Experiential Learning Model Demonstration Center for Novice Interpreters and Baccalaureate Degree ASL-English Interpretation Programs. Background: Over the last 20 years, the fields of interpreting and interpreter training have changed significantly in response to the evolving needs of deaf 1 children and adults in the United States, which include deaf consumers of the Vocational Rehabilitation (VR) system. The need for interpreting services continues to exceed the available supply of qualified interpreters. Interpreters must be qualified to work with both individuals with a range of linguistic competencies from a variety of cultural backgrounds and individuals with disabilities. For example, the first language of many deaf individuals is either spoken English or a foreign spoken language, and their second language is ASL. This is, in part, a result of advances in medical treatments, such as an increase in the early detection and 1 As used in this notice, the word ‘‘deaf’’ refers to (1) ‘deaf’ and ‘Deaf’ people, i.e. to the condition of deafness; (2) to ‘deaf, hard of hearing, and DeafBlind’; and (3) to individuals who are culturally Deaf and who use American Sign Language (ASL). ‘‘Deaf’’ refers only to the third group. PO 00000 Frm 00009 Fmt 4702 Sfmt 4702 20269 intervention of hearing loss in newborns and an increase in the use of cochlear implants. In addition, deaf individuals who have co-occurring disabilities (including co-occurring disabilities that affect speech and language skills, upper extremity motor coordination, and cognition) likely require specialized supports to experience linguistic and communication access to the general environment. Further still, there are an increasing number of deaf individuals from minority and immigrant communities who have unique characteristics related to culture, language, family structure, income and socioeconomic background, and refugee experience, as well as complex and diverse communication needs (Cogen and Cokely). These shifts in how deaf individuals acquire and use language make the task of interpreting more difficult. In addition, expanding requirements in video relay interpreting and video remote interpreting, the establishment of new ‘‘national’’ standards and credentials for interpreters to work in specific settings (e.g., interpreting in mental health and legal settings), and the development of State-specific licensure, certification, registration, or other requirements (e.g., background and criminal checks to work in certain facilities) all have put a strain on the availability of qualified interpreters. Finally, interpreters need additional education, training, and experience in order to meet certification standards. For example, in July 2012, a precondition was added for candidates sitting for RID National Interpreter Certification Test requiring them to have, at a minimum, a baccalaureate degree in any field or major, or a demonstrated educational equivalency, before being permitted to take the examination. In 2014, RID awarded 280 new credentials, and of those, 186 represented the NIC. RID reported an 87 percent pass rate for the knowledge exam but only a 26 percent pass rate for the performance exam. This problem is exacerbated by the length of time between graduating from an ASLEnglish Interpretation program and achieving national certification. On average, the length of time is 19–24 months (Cogen and Cokely, 2015). This could be longer if a candidate does not initially pass the NIC exam, due to a mandatory six-month waiting period before a candidate is eligible to retest. Many graduates find work within six months to one year of graduation, but in most cases, these interpreting assignments are too complex and are therefore inappropriate for their skill E:\FR\FM\07APP1.SGM 07APP1 20270 Federal Register / Vol. 81, No. 67 / Thursday, April 7, 2016 / Proposed Rules levels. These situations provide little or no opportunities for support and professional growth. Additional education, training, and experience are needed for novice interpreters to bridge this graduation-to-credential gap and to gain sufficient skills to interpret effectively. In sum, the pool of qualified interpreters is insufficient to meet the needs of deaf consumers in the United States. To address this problem, the Assistant Secretary proposes a priority to establish a model demonstration center to better prepare novice interpreters to become nationally certified sign language interpreters. Interpreters must also be able to understand and communicate proficiently using technical vocabulary and highly specialized discourse in a variety of complex subject matters in both English and ASL. Training, even for experienced interpreters, in specialized settings is needed, and for this reason, we are publishing a notice of proposed priority focusing on interpreter training in specialized areas elsewhere in this issue of the Federal Register. References: Lhorne on DSK5TPTVN1PROD with PROPOSALS Cogen, Cathy, M.Ed., and Cokely, Dennis, Ph.D., ‘‘Preparing Interpreters for Tomorrow: Report on a Study of Emerging Trends in Interpreting and Implications for Interpreter Education’’ (National Interpreter Education Center at Northeastern University, January 2015). Registry of Interpreters for the Deaf ‘‘Fiscal Year 2014 Annual Report’’ available at www.rid.org/2014-annualreport/#certification Proposed Priority: The purpose of this priority is to fund a cooperative agreement for the establishment of a model demonstration center (Center) to: (1) Develop an experiential learning program that could be implemented through baccalaureate degree ASL-English programs or through partner organizations, such as community-based organizations, advocacy organizations, or commissions for the Deaf or deaf-blind that work with baccalaureate degree ASL-English programs to provide work experiences and mentoring; (2) pilot the experiential learning program in three baccalaureate degree ASL-English programs or partner organizations and evaluate the results; and (3) disseminate practices that are promising or supported by evidence, examples, and lessons learned. The Center must be designed to achieve, at a minimum, the following outcomes: (a) Increase the number of certified interpreters. VerDate Sep<11>2014 15:16 Apr 06, 2016 Jkt 238001 (b) Reduce the average length of time it takes for novice interpreters to become nationally certified after graduating from baccalaureate degree ASL-English interpretation programs; and (c) Increase the average number of hours that novice interpreters, through the experiential learning program, interact with and learn from the local deaf community. Project Activities To meet the requirements of this priority, the Center must, at a minimum, conduct the following activities: Establish a consortium (a) The applicant must establish a consortium of training and technical assistance (TA) providers or use an existing network of providers to design and implement a model experiential learning program. An eligible consortium must be comprised of a designated lead entity that operates a baccalaureate degree ASL-English interpretation program that is recognized and accredited by CCIE; and (b) Members of the consortium must be staffed by or have access to experienced and certified interpreters, interpreter educators, and trained mentors with capability in providing feedback and guidance to novice interpreters, and in serving as language models; and who are geographically dispersed across the country, including the territories, or are able to provide training, TA, and mentoring remotely to broad sections of the country. Training Activities (a) In years one and two, design and implement an experiential learning program that is based upon promising and best practices or modules in the preparation of novice interpreters to become certified interpreters. The program design must, at a minimum: (1) Ensure that all activities are offered at no-cost to participants during the program. (2) Include a team comprised of native language users, qualified interpreters, and trained mentors to partner with novice interpreters during and after successful completion of the experiential learning program. Roles for team members must include but are not limited to: (i) Native language users who will serve as language models; (ii) Qualified interpreters who will act in an advisory role by observing, providing feedback, and discussing the novice interpreter’s ability to accurately interpret spoken English into ASL and PO 00000 Frm 00010 Fmt 4702 Sfmt 4702 ASL into spoken English in a variety of situations for a range of consumers; and (iii) Provide mentoring to novice interpreters, as needed. This may include one-on-one instruction to address specific areas identified by the advisor as needing further practice, as well as offering tools, resources, and guidance to novice interpreters to prepare them for potential challenges they may encounter as they grow and advance in the profession. One-on-one instruction may address, but is not limited to, meaning transfer (e.g., accurately providing an equivalent message and/or appropriately handling register), ethical behavior, meeting the consumer’s linguistic preference, managing the flow of information (e.g., pace, density, turn-taking), and other related aspects of the interpreting task. (3) Provide multiple learning opportunities, such as an internship with a community program, mentoring, and intensive site-specific work. Intensive site-specific work may task a novice interpreter, under close direction from the advisor interpreter, with providing interpreting services to deaf individuals employed at a work site, or to deaf students taking courses at college or enrolled in an apprenticeship program. Other learning modalities may be proposed and must include adequate justification. (4) Emphasize innovative instructional delivery methods, such as distance learning or block scheduling (i.e., a type of academic scheduling that offers students fewer classes per day for longer periods of time) that would allow novice interpreters to more easily participate in the program (i.e., participants who need to work while in the program, have child care or elder care considerations, or live in geographically isolated areas); (5) Provide experiential learning that engages novice interpreters with different learning styles; (6) Provide interpreting experiences with a variety of deaf consumers who have different linguistic and communication needs and preferences, and are located in different settings, including VR settings (e.g., VR counseling, assessments, job-related services, training, pre-employment transition services, transition services, post-employment services, etc.), American Job Centers, and other relevant workforce partner locations; (7) Require novice interpreters to observe, discuss, and reflect on the work of the advisor interpreter; (8) Require novice interpreters to interpret in increasingly more complex and demanding situations. The advisor interpreter must provide written and E:\FR\FM\07APP1.SGM 07APP1 Lhorne on DSK5TPTVN1PROD with PROPOSALS Federal Register / Vol. 81, No. 67 / Thursday, April 7, 2016 / Proposed Rules oral feedback that includes strengths and areas of improvement, as well as a discussion with the novice interpreter about interpretation options, ethical behavior, and how best to meet the communication needs of a particular consumer; and (b) Pilot the experiential learning program in a single site by year two and expand to additional sites beginning in year three. Applicants must: (1) Identify at least three existing baccalaureate degree ASL-English interpretation programs to serve as the pilot sites. The baccalaureate programs must use a curriculum design that is based upon current best practices in the ASL-English Interpreter Education profession; (2) Identify cohorts for each pilot site and provide a plan to ensure that at least one cohort is completed in each pilot site prior to the end of the project period. The cohorts must comprise graduates from baccalaureate degree ASL-English interpretation programs who are preparing for, or have not passed, the NIC knowledge and performance exams and who intend to work as interpreters. Applicants may determine the number of cohorts for each pilot site as well as the number of participants in each cohort; (3) Establish additional criteria for selection in the program. This may include, but is not limited to, submission of an application, relevant assessments, interviews with prospective participants, and recommendations from faculty at baccalaureate degree ASL-English interpretation programs; (c) Conduct a formative and summative evaluation. At a minimum, this must include: (1) An assessment of participant outcomes from each cohort that includes, at a minimum, level of knowledge and practical skill levels using pre- and post-assessments; feedback from novice interpreters, from interpreter advisors, including written feedback from observed interpreting situations, from deaf consumers, from trained mentors, including written feedback from mentoring sessions, and from others, as appropriate; (2) Clear and specific measureable outcomes that include, but are not limited to: (i) Improvement in specific linguistic competencies, as identified by the applicant, in English and ASL; (ii) Improvement in specific competencies, as identified by the applicant, in ASL-English interpretation; (iii) Outcomes in achieving national certification; and VerDate Sep<11>2014 15:16 Apr 06, 2016 Jkt 238001 (iv) The length of time for novice interpreters to become nationally certified sign language interpreters after participating in this project compared to the national average of 19–24 months. Technical Assistance and Dissemination Activities Conduct TA and dissemination activities that must include: (a) Preparing and broadly disseminating TA materials related to practices that are promising or supported by evidence and successful strategies for working with novice interpreters; (b) Establishing and maintaining a state-of-the-art information technology (IT) platform sufficient to support Webinars, teleconferences, video conferences, and other virtual methods of dissemination of information and TA. Note: All products produced by the Center must meet government- and industryrecognized standards for accessibility, including section 508 of the Rehabilitation Act. (c) Developing and maintaining a state-of-the-art archiving and dissemination system that— (1) Provides a central location for later use of TA products, including curricula, audiovisual materials, Webinars, examples of practices that are promising or supported by evidence, and any other relevant TA products; and (2) Is open and available to the public. (d) Provides a minimum of two Webinars or video conferences over the course of the project to describe and disseminate information to the field about results, challenges, solutions, and practices that are promising or supported by evidence. Note: In meeting the requirements for paragraphs (a), (b), and (c) of this section, the Center either may develop new platforms or systems or may modify existing platforms or systems, so long as the requirements of this priority are met. Coordination Activities (a) Establish an advisory committee. To effectively implement the Training Activities section of this priority, the applicant must establish an advisory committee that meets at least semiannually. The advisory committee must include representation from all affected stakeholder groups (i.e., interpreters, interpreter training programs, deaf individuals, and VR agencies) and may include other relevant groups. The advisory committee will advise on the strategies for establishing sites to pilot the experiential learning program, the approaches to the experiential learning program, modifications to experiential PO 00000 Frm 00011 Fmt 4702 Sfmt 4702 20271 learning activities, TA, sustainability planning, evaluating the effectiveness of the program, as well as other relevant areas as determined by the consortium. (b) Establish one or more communities of practice 2 that focus on project activities in this priority and that act as vehicles for communication and exchange of information among participants in the experiential learning program, as well as other relevant stakeholders; (c) Communicate, collaborate, and coordinate, on an ongoing basis, with other relevant Department-funded projects, as applicable; and (d) Maintain ongoing communication with the RSA project officer and other RSA staff as required. Application Requirements To be funded under this priority, applicants must meet the application requirements in this priority. RSA encourages innovative approaches to meet the following requirements: (a) Demonstrate, in the narrative section of the application under ‘‘Significance of the Project,’’ how the proposed project will address the need for nationally certified sign language interpreters. To meet this requirement, the applicant must: (1) Demonstrate knowledge of English/ASL competencies that novice interpreters must possess in order to enter and to complete an experiential learning program and, at the end of the program, to successfully obtain national certification; (2) Demonstrate knowledge of practices that are promising or supported by evidence in training novice interpreters; and (3) Demonstrate knowledge of practices that are promising or supported by evidence in providing experiential learning. (b) Demonstrate, in the narrative section of the application under ‘‘Quality of Project Services,’’ how the proposed project will— (1) Ensure equal access and treatment for members of groups that have historically been underrepresented based on race, color, national origin, gender, age, or disability in accessing postsecondary education and training. (2) Identify the needs of intended recipients of training; and 2 A community of practice (CoP) is a group of people who work together to solve a persistent problem or to improve practice in an area that is important to them and who deepen their knowledge and expertise by interacting on an ongoing basis. CoPs exist in many forms, some large in scale that deal with complex problems, others small in scale that focus on a problem at a very specific level. For more information on communities of practice, see: www.tadnet.org/pages/510. E:\FR\FM\07APP1.SGM 07APP1 Lhorne on DSK5TPTVN1PROD with PROPOSALS 20272 Federal Register / Vol. 81, No. 67 / Thursday, April 7, 2016 / Proposed Rules (3) Ensure that project activities and products meet the needs of the intended recipients by creating materials in formats and languages that are accessible; (4) Achieve its goals, objectives, and intended outcomes. To meet this requirement, the applicant must identify and provide— (i) Measurable intended project outcomes; (ii) Evidence of an existing Memorandum of Understanding or a Letter of Intent between the Center and proposed training and TA providers to establish a consortium that includes a description of each proposed partner’s anticipated commitment of financial or in-kind resources (if any), how each proposed provider’s current and proposed activities align with those of the proposed project, how each proposed provider will be held accountable under the proposed structure, and evidence to demonstrate a working relationship between the applicant and its proposed partners and key stakeholders and other relevant groups; and (iii) A plan for communicating, collaborating, and coordinating with an advisory committee; key staff in State VR agencies, such as State Coordinators for the Deaf; State and local partner programs; Registry of Interpreters for the Deaf, Inc.; RSA partners, such as the Council of State Administrators of Vocational Rehabilitation, the National Council of State Agencies for the Blind; and relevant programs within the Office of Special Education and Rehabilitative Services (OSERS). (3) Use a conceptual framework to design experiential learning activities, describing any underlying concepts, assumptions, expectations, beliefs, or theories, as well as the presumed relationships or linkages among these variables and any empirical support for this framework. (4) Be based on current research and make use of practices that are promising or supported by evidence. To meet this requirement, the applicant must describe— (i) How the current research about adult learning principles and implementation science will inform the proposed TA; and (ii) How the proposed project will incorporate current research and practices that are promising or supported by evidence in the development and delivery of its products and services. (5) Develop products and provide services that are of high quality and sufficient intensity and duration to achieve the intended outcomes of the VerDate Sep<11>2014 15:16 Apr 06, 2016 Jkt 238001 proposed project. To address this requirement, the applicant must describe its proposed activities to identify or develop the knowledge base for practices that are promising or supported by evidence in experiential learning for novice interpreters; (6) Develop products and implement services to maximize the project’s efficiency. To address this requirement, the applicant must describe— (i) How the proposed project will use technology to achieve the intended project outcomes; and (ii) With whom the proposed project will collaborate and the intended outcomes of this collaboration. (c) In the narrative section of the application under ‘‘Quality of the Evaluation Plan,’’ include an evaluation plan for the project. To address this requirement, the applicant must describe— (1) Evaluation methodologies, including instruments, data collection methods, and analyses that will be used to evaluate the project; (2) Measures of progress in implementation, including the extent to which the project’s activities and products have reached their target populations; intended outcomes or results of the project’s activities in order to evaluate those activities; and how well the goals and objectives of the proposed project, as described in its logic model,3 have been met; (3) How the evaluation plan will be implemented and revised, as needed, during the project. The applicant must designate at least one individual with sufficient dedicated time, experience in evaluation, and knowledge of the project to support the design and implementation of the evaluation. Tasks may include, but are not limited to, coordinating with the advisory committee and RSA to revise the logic model to provide for a more comprehensive measurement of implementation and outcomes, to reflect any changes or clarifications to the logic model discussed at the kick-off meeting, and to revise the evaluation design and instrumentation proposed in the grant application consistent with the logic model (e.g., developing quantitative or qualitative data collections that permit both the collection of progress data and the assessment of project outcomes); (4) The standards and targets for determining effectiveness; (5) How evaluation results will be used to examine the effectiveness of 3 A logic model communicates how the project will achieve its intended outcomes and provides a framework for both the formative and summative evaluations of the project. PO 00000 Frm 00012 Fmt 4702 Sfmt 4702 implementation and progress toward achieving the intended outcomes; and (6) How the methods of evaluation will produce quantitative and qualitative data that demonstrate whether the project activities achieved their intended outcomes. (d) Demonstrate, in the narrative section of the application under ‘‘Adequacy of Project Resources,’’ how— (1) The proposed project will encourage applications for employment from persons who are members of groups that have historically been underrepresented based on race, color, national origin, gender, age, or disability, as appropriate; (2) The proposed key project personnel, consultants, and subcontractors have the qualifications and experience to provide experiential learning to novice interpreters and to achieve the project’s intended outcomes; (3) The applicant and any key partners have adequate resources to carry out the proposed activities; and (4) The proposed costs are reasonable in relation to the anticipated results and benefits; (e) Demonstrate, in the narrative section of the application under ‘‘Quality of the Management Plan,’’ how— (1) The proposed management plan will ensure that the project’s intended outcomes will be achieved on time and within budget. To address this requirement, the applicant must describe— (i) Clearly defined responsibilities for key project personnel, consultants, and subcontractors, as applicable; and (ii) Timelines and milestones for accomplishing the project tasks. (2) Key project personnel and any consultants and subcontractors allocated to the project and how these allocations are appropriate and adequate to achieve the project’s intended outcomes, including an assurance that such personnel will have adequate availability to ensure timely communications with stakeholders and RSA; (3) The proposed management plan will ensure that the products and services provided are of high quality; and (4) The proposed project will benefit from a diversity of perspectives, including the advisory committee, as well as other relevant groups in its development and operation. (f) Address the following application requirements. The applicant must— (1) Include, in Appendix A, a logic model that depicts, at a minimum, the E:\FR\FM\07APP1.SGM 07APP1 Lhorne on DSK5TPTVN1PROD with PROPOSALS Federal Register / Vol. 81, No. 67 / Thursday, April 7, 2016 / Proposed Rules goals, activities, outputs, and intended outcomes of the proposed project; (2) Include, in Appendix A, a Memorandum of Understanding or a Letter of Intent between the Center and the proposed training and TA providers; (3) Include, in Appendix A, a conceptual framework for the project; (4) Include, in Appendix A, personloading charts and timelines as applicable, to illustrate the management plan described in the narrative; (5) Include, in the budget, attendance at the following: (i) A one and one-half day kick-off meeting in Washington, DC, after receipt of the award; (ii) An annual planning meeting in Washington, DC, with the RSA project officer and other relevant RSA staff during each subsequent year of the project period; and (iii) A one-day intensive review meeting in Washington, DC, during the third quarter of the third year of the project period. 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 VerDate Sep<11>2014 15:16 Apr 06, 2016 Jkt 238001 to use this priority, we invite applications through a notice in the Federal Register. Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 As part of its continuing effort to reduce paperwork and respondent burden, the Department provides the general public and Federal agencies with an opportunity to comment on proposed and continuing collections of information in accordance with the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 (PRA) (44 U.S.C. 3506(c)(2)(A)). This helps ensure that: the public understands the Department’s collection instructions, respondents can provide the requested data in the desired format, reporting burden (time and financial resources) is minimized, collection instruments are clearly understood, and the Department can properly assess the impact of collection requirements on respondents. These proposed priorities contain information collection requirements that are approved by OMB under the National Interpreter Education program 1820–0018; this proposed regulation does not affect the currently approved data collection. Executive Orders 12866 and 13563 Regulatory Impact Analysis Under Executive Order 12866, the Secretary must determine whether this regulatory action is ‘‘significant’’ and, therefore, subject to the requirements of the Executive order and subject to review by the Office of Management and Budget (OMB). Section 3(f) of Executive Order 12866 defines a ‘‘significant regulatory action’’ as an action likely to result in a rule that may— (1) Have an annual effect on the economy of $100 million or more, or adversely affect a sector of the economy, productivity, competition, jobs, the environment, public health or safety, or State, local, or tribal governments or communities in a material way (also referred to as an ‘‘economically significant’’ rule); (2) Create serious inconsistency or otherwise interfere with an action taken or planned by another agency; (3) Materially alter the budgetary impacts of entitlement grants, user fees, or loan programs or the rights and obligations of recipients thereof; or (4) Raise novel legal or policy issues arising out of legal mandates, the President’s priorities, or the principles stated in the Executive order. This proposed regulatory action is not a significant regulatory action subject to review by OMB under section 3(f) of Executive Order 12866. We have also reviewed this proposed regulatory action under Executive Order PO 00000 Frm 00013 Fmt 4702 Sfmt 4702 20273 13563, which supplements and explicitly reaffirms the principles, structures, and definitions governing regulatory review established in Executive Order 12866. To the extent permitted by law, Executive Order 13563 requires that an agency— (1) Propose or adopt regulations only upon a reasoned determination that their benefits justify their costs (recognizing that some benefits and costs are difficult to quantify); (2) Tailor its regulations to impose the least burden on society, consistent with obtaining regulatory objectives and taking into account—among other things and to the extent practicable—the costs of cumulative regulations; (3) In choosing among alternative regulatory approaches, select those approaches that would maximize net benefits (including potential economic, environmental, public health and safety, and other advantages; distributive impacts; and equity); (4) To the extent feasible, specify performance objectives, rather than the behavior or manner of compliance a regulated entity must adopt; and (5) Identify and assess available alternatives to direct regulation, including economic incentives—such as user fees or marketable permits—to encourage the desired behavior, or provide information that enables the public to make choices. Executive Order 13563 also requires an agency ‘‘to use the best available techniques to quantify anticipated present and future benefits and costs as accurately as possible.’’ The Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs of OMB has emphasized that these techniques may include ‘‘identifying changing future compliance costs that might result from technological innovation or anticipated behavioral changes.’’ We are issuing this proposed priority only on a reasoned determination that its benefits justify its costs. In choosing among alternative regulatory approaches, we selected those approaches that would maximize net benefits. Based on the analysis that follows, the Department believes that this regulatory action is consistent with the principles in Executive Order 13563. We also have determined that this regulatory action would not unduly interfere with State, local, and tribal governments in the exercise of their governmental functions. In accordance with both Executive orders, the Department has assessed the potential costs and benefits, both quantitative and qualitative, of this regulatory action. The potential costs are those resulting from statutory E:\FR\FM\07APP1.SGM 07APP1 Lhorne on DSK5TPTVN1PROD with PROPOSALS 20274 Federal Register / Vol. 81, No. 67 / Thursday, April 7, 2016 / Proposed Rules requirements and those we have determined as necessary for administering the Department’s programs and activities. Through this priority, experiential learning and TA will be provided to novice interpreters in order for them to achieve national certification. These activities will help interpreters to more effectively meet the communication needs of individuals who are deaf or hard of hearing and individuals who are Deaf-Blind. The training ultimately will improve the quality of VR services and the competitive integrated employment outcomes achieved by individuals with disabilities. This priority would promote the efficient and effective use of Federal funds. Intergovernmental Review: This program is subject to Executive Order 12372 and the regulations in 34 CFR part 79. One of the objectives of the Executive order is to foster an intergovernmental partnership and a strengthened federalism. The Executive order relies on processes developed by State and local governments for coordination and review of proposed Federal financial assistance. This document provides early notification of our specific plans and actions for this program. Accessible Format: Individuals with disabilities can obtain this document in an accessible format (e.g., braille, large print, audiotape, or compact disc) on request to the program contact person listed under FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT. Electronic Access to This Document: 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 via the Federal Digital System at: www.gpo.gov/fdsys. At this site, you can view this document, as well as all other documents of this Department published in the Federal Register, in text or Portable Document Format (PDF). To use PDF you must have Adobe Acrobat Reader, which is available free at the site. You may also access documents of the Department published in the Federal Register by using the article search feature at: www.federalregister.gov. Specifically, through the advanced search feature at this site, you can limit your search to documents published by the Department. VerDate Sep<11>2014 15:16 Apr 06, 2016 Jkt 238001 Dated: April 1, 2016. Michael K. Yudin, Assistant Secretary for Special Education and Rehabilitative Services. [FR Doc. 2016–07933 Filed 4–6–16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4000–01–P ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY 40 CFR Part 258 [FRL–9944–66–Region 9] Tentative Determination To Approve Site Specific Flexibility for Closure and Monitoring of the Picacho Landfill Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). ACTION: Notice of proposed rulemaking. AGENCY: The Environmental Protection Agency, Region IX, is making a tentative determination to approve two Site Specific Flexibility Requests (SSFRs) from Imperial County (County or Imperial County) to close and monitor the Picacho Solid Waste Landfill (Picacho Landfill or Landfill). The Picacho Landfill is a commercial municipal solid waste landfill (MSWLF) operated by Imperial County from 1977 to the present on the Quechan Indian Tribe of the Fort Yuma Indian Reservation in California. Imperial County is seeking approval from EPA to use an alternative final cover and to modify the prescribed list of detection-monitoring parameters for ongoing monitoring. The Quechan Indian Tribe (Tribe) reviewed the proposed SSFRs and determined that they met tribal requirements. EPA is now seeking public comment on EPA’s tentative determination to approve the SSFRs. SUMMARY: Comments must be received on or before May 9, 2016. If sufficient public interest is expressed by April 22, 2016, EPA will hold a public hearing at the Quechan Community Center, located at 604 Picacho Rd., in Winterhaven, CA on May 9, 2016 from 6:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. If by April 22, 2016 EPA does not receive information indicating sufficient public interest for a public hearing, EPA may cancel the public hearing with no further notice. If you are interested in attending the public hearing, contact Steve Wall at (415) 972–3381 to verify that a hearing will be held. ADDRESSES: Submit your comments, identified by Docket ID No. EPA–R09– RCRA–2015–0445, by one of the following methods: DATES: PO 00000 Frm 00014 Fmt 4702 Sfmt 4702 • http://www.regulations.gov: Follow the on-line instructions for submitting comments. • Email: wall.steve@epa.gov. • Fax: (415) 947–3564. • Mail: Steve Wall, Environmental Protection Agency Region IX, Mail code: LND 2–3, 75 Hawthorne Street, San Francisco, CA 94105–3901. Instructions: EPA’s policy is that all comments received will be included in the public docket without change and may be made available online at http://www.regulations.gov, including any personal information provided, unless the comment includes information claimed to be Confidential Business Information (CBI) or other information whose disclosure is restricted by statute. If you submit an electronic comment, EPA recommends that you include your name and other contact information in the body of your comment and with any email, Web site submittal, disk or CD– ROM you submit. If EPA cannot read your comment due to technical difficulties and cannot contact you for clarification, EPA may not be able to consider your comment. Do not submit information that you consider to be CBI or otherwise protected through http:// www.regulations.gov or email. See below for instructions regarding submitting CBI. The http://www.regulations.gov Web site is an ‘‘anonymous access’’ system, which means EPA will not know your identity or contact information unless you provide it in the body of your comment. If you send an email comment directly to EPA without going through http://www.regulations.gov, your email address will be automatically captured and included as part of the comment that is placed in the public docket and made available on the Internet. Electronic files should avoid the use of special characters, any form of encryption, and be free of any defects or viruses. Tips for Submitting Comments to EPA 1. Preparing Your Comments When submitting comments, remember to: • Identify the rulemaking by Docket ID No. EPA–R09–RCRA–2015–0445 and other identifying information (subject heading, Federal Register date and page number). • Explain why you agree or disagree, suggest alternatives, and provide suggestions for substitute language for your requested changes. E:\FR\FM\07APP1.SGM 07APP1

Agencies

[Federal Register Volume 81, Number 67 (Thursday, April 7, 2016)]
[Proposed Rules]
[Pages 20268-20274]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2016-07933]


=======================================================================
-----------------------------------------------------------------------

DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION

34 CFR Chapter III

[Docket ID ED-2016-OSERS-0005; CFDA Number: 84.160C.]


Proposed Priority--Training of Interpreters for Individuals Who 
Are Deaf or Hard of Hearing and Individuals Who Are Deaf-Blind program

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

ACTION: Proposed priority.

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

SUMMARY: The Assistant Secretary for Special Education and 
Rehabilitative Services announces a priority under the Training of 
Interpreters for Individuals Who Are Deaf or Hard of Hearing and 
Individuals Who Are Deaf-Blind program. The Assistant Secretary may use 
this priority for competitions in fiscal year 2016 and later years. We 
take this action to provide training and technical assistance to better 
prepare novice interpreters to become highly qualified nationally 
certified sign language interpreters.

DATES: We must receive your comments on or before May 9, 2016.

ADDRESSES: Submit your comments through the Federal eRulemaking Portal 
or via postal mail, commercial delivery, or hand delivery. We will not 
accept comments submitted by fax or by email or those submitted after 
the comment period. To ensure that we do not receive duplicate copies, 
please submit your comments only once. In addition, please include the 
Docket ID at the top of your comments.
     Federal eRulemaking Portal: Go to www.regulations.gov to 
submit your comments electronically. Information on using 
Regulations.gov, including instructions for accessing agency documents, 
submitting comments, and viewing the docket, is available on the site 
under the ``help'' tab.
     Postal Mail, Commercial Delivery, or Hand Delivery: If you 
mail or deliver your comments about these proposed regulations, address 
them to Kristen Rhinehart-Fernandez, U.S. Department of Education, 400 
Maryland Avenue SW., Room 5062, Potomac Center Plaza (PCP), Washington, 
DC 20202-5076.

    Privacy Note:  The Department's policy is to make all comments 
received from members of the public available for public viewing in 
their entirety on the Federal eRulemaking Portal at 
www.regulations.gov. Therefore, commenters should be careful to 
include in their comments only information that they wish to make 
publicly available.


FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Kristen Rhinehart-Fernandez. 
Telephone: (202) 245-6103 or by email: Kristen.Rhinehart@ed.gov.
    If you use a telecommunications device for the deaf (TDD) or a text 
telephone (TTY), call the Federal Relay Service (FRS), toll free, at 1-
800-877-8339.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: 
    Invitation to Comment: We invite you to submit comments regarding 
this notice. To ensure that your comments have maximum effect in 
developing the notice of final priority, we urge you to identify 
clearly the specific section of the proposed priority that each comment 
addresses.
    We invite you to assist us in complying with the specific 
requirements of Executive Orders 12866 and 13563 and their 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.
    Specific Issues Open for Comment:
    In addition to your general comments and recommended 
clarifications, we seek input on the proposed design of the 
Experiential Learning Model Demonstration Center for Novice 
Interpreters and Baccalaureate Degree ASL-English Interpretation 
Programs (Center) and expectations for implementation. We are 
particularly interested in your feedback on the following questions:
     Are the proposed required project activities appropriate? 
Are there any additional project activities beyond those included in 
the proposed priority that should be considered? For example, are there 
any specific activities that may be strongly associated with long-term 
success for ASL-English interpreters that we have not included? If so, 
please specify what additional activities should be required and why.

[[Page 20269]]

     Under the Training Activities section of the proposed 
priority, we proposed a team of individuals to work with novice 
interpreters. Are the proposed roles for interpreter advisors and 
trained mentors clear and appropriate? Should the roles and 
responsibilities of the interpreter advisor and mentor be changed or 
combined? In your experience, how might qualified interpreters work 
with novice interpreters differently than trained mentors? Should these 
roles be more or less prescriptive than what we have outlined in the 
proposed priority?
     In the proposed priority, the Center is expected to plan 
and design the curriculum, develop training modules, and implement a 
pilot experiential learning program within the first two years of the 
grant period. Is this timeline reasonable? If not, what timeline should 
be required for these expected project deliverables?
     In addition to national certification, such as, for 
example, the Registry of Interpreters for the Deaf (RID) National 
Interpreter Certification (NIC) tests, what measures for assessing the 
improvement in a novice interpreter's skills should be required?
     How many cohorts should be required to complete the 
experiential learning program within the five-year project period? 
Should the Department require a certain number of novice interpreters 
per cohort, and, if so, how many?
     Beyond requiring a logic model and a project evaluation, 
are there any unique or additional strategies to ensure that the 
program evaluation framework is infused throughout the planning, 
designing, and implementation of the experiential learning curriculum 
that the Department should include? If so, please specify.
    During and after the comment period, you may inspect all public 
comments about this proposed priority by accessing Regulations.gov. You 
may also inspect the comments in room 5062, 550 12th Street SW., PCP, 
Washington, DC 20202-5076, 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. Please contact the person listed under FOR FURTHER 
INFORMATION CONTACT.
    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.
    Purpose of Program: Under the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 
(Rehabilitation Act), as amended by the Workforce Innovation and 
Opportunity Act (WIOA), the Rehabilitation Services Administration 
(RSA) makes grants to public and private nonprofit agencies and 
organizations, including institutions of higher education, to establish 
interpreter training programs or to provide financial assistance for 
ongoing interpreter training programs to train a sufficient number of 
qualified interpreters throughout the country. The grants are designed 
to train interpreters to effectively interpret and transliterate using 
spoken, visual, and tactile modes of communication; ensure the 
maintenance of the interpreting skills of qualified interpreters; and 
provide opportunities for interpreters to improve their skills in order 
to meet both the highest standards approved by certifying associations 
and the communication needs of individuals who are deaf or hard of 
hearing and individuals who are deaf-blind.
    Program Authority: 29 U.S.C. 772(a) and (f).
    Applicable Program Regulations: 34 CFR part 396.
    Proposed Priority:
    This notice contains one proposed priority.
    Experiential Learning Model Demonstration Center for Novice 
Interpreters and Baccalaureate Degree ASL-English Interpretation 
Programs.
    Background:
    Over the last 20 years, the fields of interpreting and interpreter 
training have changed significantly in response to the evolving needs 
of deaf \1\ children and adults in the United States, which include 
deaf consumers of the Vocational Rehabilitation (VR) system. The need 
for interpreting services continues to exceed the available supply of 
qualified interpreters.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \1\ As used in this notice, the word ``deaf'' refers to (1) 
`deaf' and `Deaf' people, i.e. to the condition of deafness; (2) to 
`deaf, hard of hearing, and Deaf-Blind'; and (3) to individuals who 
are culturally Deaf and who use American Sign Language (ASL). 
``Deaf'' refers only to the third group.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Interpreters must be qualified to work with both individuals with a 
range of linguistic competencies from a variety of cultural backgrounds 
and individuals with disabilities. For example, the first language of 
many deaf individuals is either spoken English or a foreign spoken 
language, and their second language is ASL. This is, in part, a result 
of advances in medical treatments, such as an increase in the early 
detection and intervention of hearing loss in newborns and an increase 
in the use of cochlear implants. In addition, deaf individuals who have 
co-occurring disabilities (including co-occurring disabilities that 
affect speech and language skills, upper extremity motor coordination, 
and cognition) likely require specialized supports to experience 
linguistic and communication access to the general environment. Further 
still, there are an increasing number of deaf individuals from minority 
and immigrant communities who have unique characteristics related to 
culture, language, family structure, income and socioeconomic 
background, and refugee experience, as well as complex and diverse 
communication needs (Cogen and Cokely). These shifts in how deaf 
individuals acquire and use language make the task of interpreting more 
difficult.
    In addition, expanding requirements in video relay interpreting and 
video remote interpreting, the establishment of new ``national'' 
standards and credentials for interpreters to work in specific settings 
(e.g., interpreting in mental health and legal settings), and the 
development of State-specific licensure, certification, registration, 
or other requirements (e.g., background and criminal checks to work in 
certain facilities) all have put a strain on the availability of 
qualified interpreters.
    Finally, interpreters need additional education, training, and 
experience in order to meet certification standards. For example, in 
July 2012, a precondition was added for candidates sitting for RID 
National Interpreter Certification Test requiring them to have, at a 
minimum, a baccalaureate degree in any field or major, or a 
demonstrated educational equivalency, before being permitted to take 
the examination.
    In 2014, RID awarded 280 new credentials, and of those, 186 
represented the NIC. RID reported an 87 percent pass rate for the 
knowledge exam but only a 26 percent pass rate for the performance 
exam. This problem is exacerbated by the length of time between 
graduating from an ASL-English Interpretation program and achieving 
national certification. On average, the length of time is 19-24 months 
(Cogen and Cokely, 2015). This could be longer if a candidate does not 
initially pass the NIC exam, due to a mandatory six-month waiting 
period before a candidate is eligible to retest.
    Many graduates find work within six months to one year of 
graduation, but in most cases, these interpreting assignments are too 
complex and are therefore inappropriate for their skill

[[Page 20270]]

levels. These situations provide little or no opportunities for support 
and professional growth. Additional education, training, and experience 
are needed for novice interpreters to bridge this graduation-to-
credential gap and to gain sufficient skills to interpret effectively.
    In sum, the pool of qualified interpreters is insufficient to meet 
the needs of deaf consumers in the United States. To address this 
problem, the Assistant Secretary proposes a priority to establish a 
model demonstration center to better prepare novice interpreters to 
become nationally certified sign language interpreters.
    Interpreters must also be able to understand and communicate 
proficiently using technical vocabulary and highly specialized 
discourse in a variety of complex subject matters in both English and 
ASL. Training, even for experienced interpreters, in specialized 
settings is needed, and for this reason, we are publishing a notice of 
proposed priority focusing on interpreter training in specialized areas 
elsewhere in this issue of the Federal Register.
    References:

Cogen, Cathy, M.Ed., and Cokely, Dennis, Ph.D., ``Preparing 
Interpreters for Tomorrow: Report on a Study of Emerging Trends in 
Interpreting and Implications for Interpreter Education'' (National 
Interpreter Education Center at Northeastern University, January 
2015). Registry of Interpreters for the Deaf ``Fiscal Year 2014 
Annual Report'' available at www.rid.org/2014-annual-report/#certification

    Proposed Priority:
    The purpose of this priority is to fund a cooperative agreement for 
the establishment of a model demonstration center (Center) to: (1) 
Develop an experiential learning program that could be implemented 
through baccalaureate degree ASL-English programs or through partner 
organizations, such as community-based organizations, advocacy 
organizations, or commissions for the Deaf or deaf-blind that work with 
baccalaureate degree ASL-English programs to provide work experiences 
and mentoring; (2) pilot the experiential learning program in three 
baccalaureate degree ASL-English programs or partner organizations and 
evaluate the results; and (3) disseminate practices that are promising 
or supported by evidence, examples, and lessons learned.
    The Center must be designed to achieve, at a minimum, the following 
outcomes:
    (a) Increase the number of certified interpreters.
    (b) Reduce the average length of time it takes for novice 
interpreters to become nationally certified after graduating from 
baccalaureate degree ASL-English interpretation programs; and
    (c) Increase the average number of hours that novice interpreters, 
through the experiential learning program, interact with and learn from 
the local deaf community.

Project Activities

    To meet the requirements of this priority, the Center must, at a 
minimum, conduct the following activities:

Establish a consortium

    (a) The applicant must establish a consortium of training and 
technical assistance (TA) providers or use an existing network of 
providers to design and implement a model experiential learning 
program. An eligible consortium must be comprised of a designated lead 
entity that operates a baccalaureate degree ASL-English interpretation 
program that is recognized and accredited by CCIE; and
    (b) Members of the consortium must be staffed by or have access to 
experienced and certified interpreters, interpreter educators, and 
trained mentors with capability in providing feedback and guidance to 
novice interpreters, and in serving as language models; and who are 
geographically dispersed across the country, including the territories, 
or are able to provide training, TA, and mentoring remotely to broad 
sections of the country.

Training Activities

    (a) In years one and two, design and implement an experiential 
learning program that is based upon promising and best practices or 
modules in the preparation of novice interpreters to become certified 
interpreters. The program design must, at a minimum:
    (1) Ensure that all activities are offered at no-cost to 
participants during the program.
    (2) Include a team comprised of native language users, qualified 
interpreters, and trained mentors to partner with novice interpreters 
during and after successful completion of the experiential learning 
program. Roles for team members must include but are not limited to:
    (i) Native language users who will serve as language models;
    (ii) Qualified interpreters who will act in an advisory role by 
observing, providing feedback, and discussing the novice interpreter's 
ability to accurately interpret spoken English into ASL and ASL into 
spoken English in a variety of situations for a range of consumers; and
    (iii) Provide mentoring to novice interpreters, as needed. This may 
include one-on-one instruction to address specific areas identified by 
the advisor as needing further practice, as well as offering tools, 
resources, and guidance to novice interpreters to prepare them for 
potential challenges they may encounter as they grow and advance in the 
profession. One-on-one instruction may address, but is not limited to, 
meaning transfer (e.g., accurately providing an equivalent message and/
or appropriately handling register), ethical behavior, meeting the 
consumer's linguistic preference, managing the flow of information 
(e.g., pace, density, turn-taking), and other related aspects of the 
interpreting task.
    (3) Provide multiple learning opportunities, such as an internship 
with a community program, mentoring, and intensive site-specific work. 
Intensive site-specific work may task a novice interpreter, under close 
direction from the advisor interpreter, with providing interpreting 
services to deaf individuals employed at a work site, or to deaf 
students taking courses at college or enrolled in an apprenticeship 
program. Other learning modalities may be proposed and must include 
adequate justification.
    (4) Emphasize innovative instructional delivery methods, such as 
distance learning or block scheduling (i.e., a type of academic 
scheduling that offers students fewer classes per day for longer 
periods of time) that would allow novice interpreters to more easily 
participate in the program (i.e., participants who need to work while 
in the program, have child care or elder care considerations, or live 
in geographically isolated areas);
    (5) Provide experiential learning that engages novice interpreters 
with different learning styles;
    (6) Provide interpreting experiences with a variety of deaf 
consumers who have different linguistic and communication needs and 
preferences, and are located in different settings, including VR 
settings (e.g., VR counseling, assessments, job-related services, 
training, pre-employment transition services, transition services, 
post-employment services, etc.), American Job Centers, and other 
relevant workforce partner locations;
    (7) Require novice interpreters to observe, discuss, and reflect on 
the work of the advisor interpreter;
    (8) Require novice interpreters to interpret in increasingly more 
complex and demanding situations. The advisor interpreter must provide 
written and

[[Page 20271]]

oral feedback that includes strengths and areas of improvement, as well 
as a discussion with the novice interpreter about interpretation 
options, ethical behavior, and how best to meet the communication needs 
of a particular consumer; and
    (b) Pilot the experiential learning program in a single site by 
year two and expand to additional sites beginning in year three. 
Applicants must:
    (1) Identify at least three existing baccalaureate degree ASL-
English interpretation programs to serve as the pilot sites. The 
baccalaureate programs must use a curriculum design that is based upon 
current best practices in the ASL-English Interpreter Education 
profession;
    (2) Identify cohorts for each pilot site and provide a plan to 
ensure that at least one cohort is completed in each pilot site prior 
to the end of the project period. The cohorts must comprise graduates 
from baccalaureate degree ASL-English interpretation programs who are 
preparing for, or have not passed, the NIC knowledge and performance 
exams and who intend to work as interpreters. Applicants may determine 
the number of cohorts for each pilot site as well as the number of 
participants in each cohort;
    (3) Establish additional criteria for selection in the program. 
This may include, but is not limited to, submission of an application, 
relevant assessments, interviews with prospective participants, and 
recommendations from faculty at baccalaureate degree ASL-English 
interpretation programs;
    (c) Conduct a formative and summative evaluation. At a minimum, 
this must include:
    (1) An assessment of participant outcomes from each cohort that 
includes, at a minimum, level of knowledge and practical skill levels 
using pre- and post-assessments; feedback from novice interpreters, 
from interpreter advisors, including written feedback from observed 
interpreting situations, from deaf consumers, from trained mentors, 
including written feedback from mentoring sessions, and from others, as 
appropriate;
    (2) Clear and specific measureable outcomes that include, but are 
not limited to:
    (i) Improvement in specific linguistic competencies, as identified 
by the applicant, in English and ASL;
    (ii) Improvement in specific competencies, as identified by the 
applicant, in ASL-English interpretation;
    (iii) Outcomes in achieving national certification; and
    (iv) The length of time for novice interpreters to become 
nationally certified sign language interpreters after participating in 
this project compared to the national average of 19-24 months.

Technical Assistance and Dissemination Activities

    Conduct TA and dissemination activities that must include:
    (a) Preparing and broadly disseminating TA materials related to 
practices that are promising or supported by evidence and successful 
strategies for working with novice interpreters;
    (b) Establishing and maintaining a state-of-the-art information 
technology (IT) platform sufficient to support Webinars, 
teleconferences, video conferences, and other virtual methods of 
dissemination of information and TA.

    Note:  All products produced by the Center must meet government- 
and industry-recognized standards for accessibility, including 
section 508 of the Rehabilitation Act.

    (c) Developing and maintaining a state-of-the-art archiving and 
dissemination system that--
    (1) Provides a central location for later use of TA products, 
including curricula, audiovisual materials, Webinars, examples of 
practices that are promising or supported by evidence, and any other 
relevant TA products; and
    (2) Is open and available to the public.
    (d) Provides a minimum of two Webinars or video conferences over 
the course of the project to describe and disseminate information to 
the field about results, challenges, solutions, and practices that are 
promising or supported by evidence.

    Note:  In meeting the requirements for paragraphs (a), (b), and 
(c) of this section, the Center either may develop new platforms or 
systems or may modify existing platforms or systems, so long as the 
requirements of this priority are met.

Coordination Activities

    (a) Establish an advisory committee. To effectively implement the 
Training Activities section of this priority, the applicant must 
establish an advisory committee that meets at least semi-annually. The 
advisory committee must include representation from all affected 
stakeholder groups (i.e., interpreters, interpreter training programs, 
deaf individuals, and VR agencies) and may include other relevant 
groups. The advisory committee will advise on the strategies for 
establishing sites to pilot the experiential learning program, the 
approaches to the experiential learning program, modifications to 
experiential learning activities, TA, sustainability planning, 
evaluating the effectiveness of the program, as well as other relevant 
areas as determined by the consortium.
    (b) Establish one or more communities of practice \2\ that focus on 
project activities in this priority and that act as vehicles for 
communication and exchange of information among participants in the 
experiential learning program, as well as other relevant stakeholders;
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \2\ A community of practice (CoP) is a group of people who work 
together to solve a persistent problem or to improve practice in an 
area that is important to them and who deepen their knowledge and 
expertise by interacting on an ongoing basis. CoPs exist in many 
forms, some large in scale that deal with complex problems, others 
small in scale that focus on a problem at a very specific level. For 
more information on communities of practice, see: www.tadnet.org/pages/510.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    (c) Communicate, collaborate, and coordinate, on an ongoing basis, 
with other relevant Department-funded projects, as applicable; and
    (d) Maintain ongoing communication with the RSA project officer and 
other RSA staff as required.

Application Requirements

    To be funded under this priority, applicants must meet the 
application requirements in this priority. RSA encourages innovative 
approaches to meet the following requirements:
    (a) Demonstrate, in the narrative section of the application under 
``Significance of the Project,'' how the proposed project will address 
the need for nationally certified sign language interpreters. To meet 
this requirement, the applicant must:
    (1) Demonstrate knowledge of English/ASL competencies that novice 
interpreters must possess in order to enter and to complete an 
experiential learning program and, at the end of the program, to 
successfully obtain national certification;
    (2) Demonstrate knowledge of practices that are promising or 
supported by evidence in training novice interpreters; and
    (3) Demonstrate knowledge of practices that are promising or 
supported by evidence in providing experiential learning.
    (b) Demonstrate, in the narrative section of the application under 
``Quality of Project Services,'' how the proposed project will--
    (1) Ensure equal access and treatment for members of groups that 
have historically been underrepresented based on race, color, national 
origin, gender, age, or disability in accessing postsecondary education 
and training.
    (2) Identify the needs of intended recipients of training; and

[[Page 20272]]

    (3) Ensure that project activities and products meet the needs of 
the intended recipients by creating materials in formats and languages 
that are accessible;
    (4) Achieve its goals, objectives, and intended outcomes. To meet 
this requirement, the applicant must identify and provide--
    (i) Measurable intended project outcomes;
    (ii) Evidence of an existing Memorandum of Understanding or a 
Letter of Intent between the Center and proposed training and TA 
providers to establish a consortium that includes a description of each 
proposed partner's anticipated commitment of financial or in-kind 
resources (if any), how each proposed provider's current and proposed 
activities align with those of the proposed project, how each proposed 
provider will be held accountable under the proposed structure, and 
evidence to demonstrate a working relationship between the applicant 
and its proposed partners and key stakeholders and other relevant 
groups; and
    (iii) A plan for communicating, collaborating, and coordinating 
with an advisory committee; key staff in State VR agencies, such as 
State Coordinators for the Deaf; State and local partner programs; 
Registry of Interpreters for the Deaf, Inc.; RSA partners, such as the 
Council of State Administrators of Vocational Rehabilitation, the 
National Council of State Agencies for the Blind; and relevant programs 
within the Office of Special Education and Rehabilitative Services 
(OSERS).
    (3) Use a conceptual framework to design experiential learning 
activities, describing any underlying concepts, assumptions, 
expectations, beliefs, or theories, as well as the presumed 
relationships or linkages among these variables and any empirical 
support for this framework.
    (4) Be based on current research and make use of practices that are 
promising or supported by evidence. To meet this requirement, the 
applicant must describe--
    (i) How the current research about adult learning principles and 
implementation science will inform the proposed TA; and
    (ii) How the proposed project will incorporate current research and 
practices that are promising or supported by evidence in the 
development and delivery of its products and services.
    (5) Develop products and provide services that are of high quality 
and sufficient intensity and duration to achieve the intended outcomes 
of the proposed project. To address this requirement, the applicant 
must describe its proposed activities to identify or develop the 
knowledge base for practices that are promising or supported by 
evidence in experiential learning for novice interpreters;
    (6) Develop products and implement services to maximize the 
project's efficiency. To address this requirement, the applicant must 
describe--
    (i) How the proposed project will use technology to achieve the 
intended project outcomes; and
    (ii) With whom the proposed project will collaborate and the 
intended outcomes of this collaboration.
    (c) In the narrative section of the application under ``Quality of 
the Evaluation Plan,'' include an evaluation plan for the project. To 
address this requirement, the applicant must describe--
    (1) Evaluation methodologies, including instruments, data 
collection methods, and analyses that will be used to evaluate the 
project;
    (2) Measures of progress in implementation, including the extent to 
which the project's activities and products have reached their target 
populations; intended outcomes or results of the project's activities 
in order to evaluate those activities; and how well the goals and 
objectives of the proposed project, as described in its logic model,\3\ 
have been met;
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \3\ A logic model communicates how the project will achieve its 
intended outcomes and provides a framework for both the formative 
and summative evaluations of the project.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    (3) How the evaluation plan will be implemented and revised, as 
needed, during the project. The applicant must designate at least one 
individual with sufficient dedicated time, experience in evaluation, 
and knowledge of the project to support the design and implementation 
of the evaluation. Tasks may include, but are not limited to, 
coordinating with the advisory committee and RSA to revise the logic 
model to provide for a more comprehensive measurement of implementation 
and outcomes, to reflect any changes or clarifications to the logic 
model discussed at the kick-off meeting, and to revise the evaluation 
design and instrumentation proposed in the grant application consistent 
with the logic model (e.g., developing quantitative or qualitative data 
collections that permit both the collection of progress data and the 
assessment of project outcomes);
    (4) The standards and targets for determining effectiveness;
    (5) How evaluation results will be used to examine the 
effectiveness of implementation and progress toward achieving the 
intended outcomes; and
    (6) How the methods of evaluation will produce quantitative and 
qualitative data that demonstrate whether the project activities 
achieved their intended outcomes.
    (d) Demonstrate, in the narrative section of the application under 
``Adequacy of Project Resources,'' how--
    (1) The proposed project will encourage applications for employment 
from persons who are members of groups that have historically been 
underrepresented based on race, color, national origin, gender, age, or 
disability, as appropriate;
    (2) The proposed key project personnel, consultants, and 
subcontractors have the qualifications and experience to provide 
experiential learning to novice interpreters and to achieve the 
project's intended outcomes;
    (3) The applicant and any key partners have adequate resources to 
carry out the proposed activities; and
    (4) The proposed costs are reasonable in relation to the 
anticipated results and benefits;
    (e) Demonstrate, in the narrative section of the application under 
``Quality of the Management Plan,'' how--
    (1) The proposed management plan will ensure that the project's 
intended outcomes will be achieved on time and within budget. To 
address this requirement, the applicant must describe--
    (i) Clearly defined responsibilities for key project personnel, 
consultants, and subcontractors, as applicable; and
    (ii) Timelines and milestones for accomplishing the project tasks.
    (2) Key project personnel and any consultants and subcontractors 
allocated to the project and how these allocations are appropriate and 
adequate to achieve the project's intended outcomes, including an 
assurance that such personnel will have adequate availability to ensure 
timely communications with stakeholders and RSA;
    (3) The proposed management plan will ensure that the products and 
services provided are of high quality; and
    (4) The proposed project will benefit from a diversity of 
perspectives, including the advisory committee, as well as other 
relevant groups in its development and operation.
    (f) Address the following application requirements. The applicant 
must--
    (1) Include, in Appendix A, a logic model that depicts, at a 
minimum, the

[[Page 20273]]

goals, activities, outputs, and intended outcomes of the proposed 
project;
    (2) Include, in Appendix A, a Memorandum of Understanding or a 
Letter of Intent between the Center and the proposed training and TA 
providers;
    (3) Include, in Appendix A, a conceptual framework for the project;
    (4) Include, in Appendix A, person-loading charts and timelines as 
applicable, to illustrate the management plan described in the 
narrative;
    (5) Include, in the budget, attendance at the following:
    (i) A one and one-half day kick-off meeting in Washington, DC, 
after receipt of the award;
    (ii) An annual planning meeting in Washington, DC, with the RSA 
project officer and other relevant RSA staff during each subsequent 
year of the project period; and
    (iii) A one-day intensive review meeting in Washington, DC, during 
the third quarter of the third year of the project period.
    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.

Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995

    As part of its continuing effort to reduce paperwork and respondent 
burden, the Department provides the general public and Federal agencies 
with an opportunity to comment on proposed and continuing collections 
of information in accordance with the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 
(PRA) (44 U.S.C. 3506(c)(2)(A)). This helps ensure that: the public 
understands the Department's collection instructions, respondents can 
provide the requested data in the desired format, reporting burden 
(time and financial resources) is minimized, collection instruments are 
clearly understood, and the Department can properly assess the impact 
of collection requirements on respondents.
    These proposed priorities contain information collection 
requirements that are approved by OMB under the National Interpreter 
Education program 1820-0018; this proposed regulation does not affect 
the currently approved data collection.

Executive Orders 12866 and 13563

Regulatory Impact Analysis

    Under Executive Order 12866, the Secretary must determine whether 
this regulatory action is ``significant'' and, therefore, subject to 
the requirements of the Executive order and subject to review by the 
Office of Management and Budget (OMB). Section 3(f) of Executive Order 
12866 defines a ``significant regulatory action'' as an action likely 
to result in a rule that may--
    (1) Have an annual effect on the economy of $100 million or more, 
or adversely affect a sector of the economy, productivity, competition, 
jobs, the environment, public health or safety, or State, local, or 
tribal governments or communities in a material way (also referred to 
as an ``economically significant'' rule);
    (2) Create serious inconsistency or otherwise interfere with an 
action taken or planned by another agency;
    (3) Materially alter the budgetary impacts of entitlement grants, 
user fees, or loan programs or the rights and obligations of recipients 
thereof; or
    (4) Raise novel legal or policy issues arising out of legal 
mandates, the President's priorities, or the principles stated in the 
Executive order.
    This proposed regulatory action is not a significant regulatory 
action subject to review by OMB under section 3(f) of Executive Order 
12866.
    We have also reviewed this proposed regulatory action under 
Executive Order 13563, which supplements and explicitly reaffirms the 
principles, structures, and definitions governing regulatory review 
established in Executive Order 12866. To the extent permitted by law, 
Executive Order 13563 requires that an agency--
    (1) Propose or adopt regulations only upon a reasoned determination 
that their benefits justify their costs (recognizing that some benefits 
and costs are difficult to quantify);
    (2) Tailor its regulations to impose the least burden on society, 
consistent with obtaining regulatory objectives and taking into 
account--among other things and to the extent practicable--the costs of 
cumulative regulations;
    (3) In choosing among alternative regulatory approaches, select 
those approaches that would maximize net benefits (including potential 
economic, environmental, public health and safety, and other 
advantages; distributive impacts; and equity);
    (4) To the extent feasible, specify performance objectives, rather 
than the behavior or manner of compliance a regulated entity must 
adopt; and
    (5) Identify and assess available alternatives to direct 
regulation, including economic incentives--such as user fees or 
marketable permits--to encourage the desired behavior, or provide 
information that enables the public to make choices.
    Executive Order 13563 also requires an agency ``to use the best 
available techniques to quantify anticipated present and future 
benefits and costs as accurately as possible.'' The Office of 
Information and Regulatory Affairs of OMB has emphasized that these 
techniques may include ``identifying changing future compliance costs 
that might result from technological innovation or anticipated 
behavioral changes.''
    We are issuing this proposed priority only on a reasoned 
determination that its benefits justify its costs. In choosing among 
alternative regulatory approaches, we selected those approaches that 
would maximize net benefits. Based on the analysis that follows, the 
Department believes that this regulatory action is consistent with the 
principles in Executive Order 13563.
    We also have determined that this regulatory action would not 
unduly interfere with State, local, and tribal governments in the 
exercise of their governmental functions.
    In accordance with both Executive orders, the Department has 
assessed the potential costs and benefits, both quantitative and 
qualitative, of this regulatory action. The potential costs are those 
resulting from statutory

[[Page 20274]]

requirements and those we have determined as necessary for 
administering the Department's programs and activities.
    Through this priority, experiential learning and TA will be 
provided to novice interpreters in order for them to achieve national 
certification. These activities will help interpreters to more 
effectively meet the communication needs of individuals who are deaf or 
hard of hearing and individuals who are Deaf-Blind. The training 
ultimately will improve the quality of VR services and the competitive 
integrated employment outcomes achieved by individuals with 
disabilities. This priority would promote the efficient and effective 
use of Federal funds.
    Intergovernmental Review: This program is subject to Executive 
Order 12372 and the regulations in 34 CFR part 79. One of the 
objectives of the Executive order is to foster an intergovernmental 
partnership and a strengthened federalism. The Executive order relies 
on processes developed by State and local governments for coordination 
and review of proposed Federal financial assistance.
    This document provides early notification of our specific plans and 
actions for this program.
    Accessible Format: Individuals with disabilities can obtain this 
document in an accessible format (e.g., braille, large print, 
audiotape, or compact disc) on request to the program contact person 
listed under FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT.
    Electronic Access to This Document: 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 via the Federal Digital System 
at: www.gpo.gov/fdsys. At this site, you can view this document, as 
well as all other documents of this Department published in the Federal 
Register, in text or Portable Document Format (PDF). To use PDF you 
must have Adobe Acrobat Reader, which is available free at the site.
    You may also access documents of the Department published in the 
Federal Register by using the article search feature at: 
www.federalregister.gov. Specifically, through the advanced search 
feature at this site, you can limit your search to documents published 
by the Department.

    Dated: April 1, 2016.
Michael K. Yudin,
Assistant Secretary for Special Education and Rehabilitative Services.
[FR Doc. 2016-07933 Filed 4-6-16; 8:45 am]
 BILLING CODE 4000-01-P