[Federal Register Volume 78, Number 29 (Tuesday, February 12, 2013)]
[Proposed Rules]
[Pages 9869-9876]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Printing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2013-03203]


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DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION

34 CFR Chapter III

[CFDA Numbers: 84.133B-3, 84.133B-4, 84.133B-5, and 84.133B-6.]


Proposed Priorities--National Institute on Disability and 
Rehabilitation Research--Rehabilitation Research and Training Centers

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

ACTION: Proposed priorities.

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SUMMARY: The Assistant Secretary for Special Education and 
Rehabilitative Services proposes four priorities for the Rehabilitation 
Research and Training Center (RRTC) Program administered by the 
National Institute on Disability and Rehabilitation Research (NIDRR). 
Specifically, this notice proposes a priority for an RRTC on Community 
Living and Participation for Individuals with Physical Disabilities 
(priority 1), RRTC on Employment of Individuals with Physical 
Disabilities (priority 2), RRTC on Health and Function of Individuals 
with Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities (priority 3), and RRTC 
on Community Living and Participation for Individuals with Intellectual 
and Developmental Disabilities (priority 4). The Assistant Secretary 
may use one or more of these priorities for competitions in fiscal year 
(FY) 2013 and later years. We take this action to focus research 
attention on areas of national need. We intend the priorities to 
contribute to improved outcomes in these areas for individuals with 
disabilities.

DATES: We must receive your comments on or before March 14, 2013.

ADDRESSES: Address all comments about this notice to Marlene Spencer, 
U.S. Department of Education, 400 Maryland Avenue SW., room 5133, 
Potomac Center Plaza (PCP), Washington, DC 20202-2700.
    If you prefer to send your comments by email, use the following 
address: marlene.spencer@ed.gov. You must include the phrase ``Proposed 
Priorities for Combined RRTC Notice'' in the subject line of your 
electronic message.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Marlene Spencer. Telephone: (202) 245-

[[Page 9870]]

7532 or by email: marlene.spencer@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: This notice of proposed priorities is in 
concert with NIDRR's currently approved Long-Range Plan (Plan). The 
Plan, which was published in the Federal Register on February 15, 2006 
(71 FR 8165), can be accessed on the Internet at the following site: 
www.ed.gov/about/offices/list/osers/nidrr/policy.html.
    Through the implementation of the Plan, NIDRR seeks to: (1) Improve 
the quality and utility of disability and rehabilitation research; (2) 
foster an exchange of expertise, information, and training methods to 
facilitate the advancement of knowledge and understanding of the unique 
needs of traditionally underserved populations; (3) determine best 
strategies and programs to improve rehabilitation outcomes for 
underserved populations; (4) identify research gaps; (5) identify 
mechanisms for integrating research and practice; and (6) disseminate 
findings.
    This notice proposes four priorities each of which NIDRR intends to 
use for one or more competitions in FY 2013 and possibly later years. 
However, nothing precludes NIDRR from publishing additional priorities, 
if needed. Furthermore, NIDRR is under no obligation to make an award 
using these priorities. The decision to make an award will be based on 
the quality of applications received and available funding.
    Invitation To Comment: We invite you to submit comments regarding 
this notice. To ensure that your comments have maximum effect in 
developing the notice of final priorities, we urge you to identify 
clearly the specific topic that each comment addresses.
    We invite you to assist us in complying with the specific 
requirements of Executive Orders 12866 and 13563 and their overall 
requirement of reducing regulatory burden that might result from these 
proposed priorities. Please let us know of any further ways we could 
reduce potential costs or increase potential benefits while preserving 
the effective and efficient administration of the program.
    During and after the comment period, you may inspect all public 
comments about these proposed priorities in room 5133, 550 12th Street 
SW., PCP, Washington, DC, between the hours of 8:30 a.m. and 4:00 p.m., 
Washington, DC time, Monday through Friday of each week except Federal 
holidays.
    Assistance to Individuals with Disabilities in Reviewing the 
Rulemaking Record: On request we will provide an appropriate 
accommodation or auxiliary aid to an individual with a disability who 
needs assistance to review the comments or other documents in the 
public rulemaking record for this notice. If you want to schedule an 
appointment for this type of accommodation or auxiliary aid, please 
contact the person listed under FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT.
    Purpose of Program: The purpose of the Disability and 
Rehabilitation Research Projects and Centers Program is to plan and 
conduct research, demonstration projects, training, and related 
activities, including international activities, to develop methods, 
procedures, and rehabilitation technology that maximize the full 
inclusion and integration into society, employment, independent living, 
family support, and economic and social self-sufficiency of individuals 
with disabilities, especially individuals with the most severe 
disabilities, and to improve the effectiveness of services authorized 
under the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, as amended (Rehabilitation Act).

Rehabilitation Research and Training Centers

    The purpose of the RRTCs, which are funded through the Disability 
and Rehabilitation Research Projects and Centers Program, is to achieve 
the goals of, and improve the effectiveness of, services authorized 
under the Rehabilitation Act through advanced research, training, 
technical assistance, and dissemination activities in general problem 
areas, as specified by NIDRR. These activities are designed to benefit 
rehabilitation service providers, individuals with disabilities, and 
the family members or other authorized representatives of individuals 
with disabilities. Additional information on the RRTC program can be 
found at: www.ed.gov/rschstat/research/pubs/res-program.html#RRTC.
    Program Authority: 29 U.S.C. 762(g) and 764(b)(2).
    Applicable Program Regulations: 34 CFR part 350.
    Proposed Priorities:
    Background:
    This notice contains four proposed priorities. Each priority 
reflects a major area or domain of NIDRR's research agenda (community 
living and participation, health and function, and employment), 
combined with a specific broad disability population (physical 
disability or intellectual and developmental disability).
    Definitions:
    The research that is proposed under these priorities must be 
focused on one or more stages of research. If the RRTC is to conduct 
research that can be categorized under more than one research stage, or 
research that progresses from one stage to another, those research 
stages must be clearly specified. For purposes of these priorities, the 
stages of research, which we published for comment on January 25, 2013, 
are:
    (i) Exploration and Discovery means the stage of research that 
generates hypotheses or theories by conducting new and refined analyses 
of data, producing observational findings, and creating other sources 
of research-based information. This research stage may include 
identifying or describing the barriers to and facilitators of improved 
outcomes of individuals with disabilities, as well as identifying or 
describing existing practices, programs, or policies that are 
associated with important aspects of the lives of individuals with 
disabilities. Results achieved under this stage of research may inform 
the development of interventions or lead to evaluations of 
interventions or policies. The results of the exploration and discovery 
stage of research may also be used to inform decisions or priorities.
    (ii) Intervention Development means the stage of research that 
focuses on generating and testing interventions that have the potential 
to improve outcomes for individuals with disabilities. Intervention 
development involves determining the active components of possible 
interventions, developing measures that would be required to illustrate 
outcomes, specifying target populations, conducting field tests, and 
assessing the feasibility of conducting a well-designed intervention 
study. Results from this stage of research may be used to inform the 
design of a study to test the efficacy of an intervention.
    (iii) Intervention Efficacy means the stage of research during 
which a project evaluates and tests whether an intervention is 
feasible, practical, and has the potential to yield positive outcomes 
for individuals with disabilities. Efficacy research may assess the 
strength of the relationships between an intervention and outcomes, and 
may identify factors or individual characteristics that affect the 
relationship between the intervention and outcomes. Efficacy research 
can inform decisions about whether there is sufficient evidence to 
support ``scaling-up'' an intervention to other sites and

[[Page 9871]]

contexts. This stage of research can include assessing the training 
needed for wide-scale implementation of the intervention, and 
approaches to evaluation of the intervention in real world 
applications.
    (iv) Scale-Up Evaluation means the stage of research during which a 
project analyzes whether an intervention is effective in producing 
improved outcomes for individuals with disabilities when implemented in 
a real-world setting. During this stage of research, a project tests 
the outcomes of an evidence-based intervention in different settings. 
The project examines the challenges to successful replication of the 
intervention, and the circumstances and activities that contribute to 
successful adoption of the intervention in real-world settings. This 
stage of research may also include well-designed studies of an 
intervention that has been widely adopted in practice, but that lacks a 
sufficient evidence-base to demonstrate its effectiveness.
    Proposed Priority 1--RRTC on Community Living and Participation for 
Individuals with Physical Disabilities.
    NIDRR seeks to fund an RRTC that will generate new knowledge about 
community living and participation for individuals with physical 
disabilities and will serve as a national resource center for 
individuals with physical disabilities and their families.
    Of the 51.5 million American adults with a disability, 41.5 million 
have disabilities in the physical domain (Brault, 2012). Despite the 
U.S. Supreme Court's Olmstead decision, 527 U.S. 581 (1999), which 
required States to provide services ``in the most integrated setting 
appropriate to the needs of qualified individuals with disabilities,'' 
id. at 607, people with physical disabilities continue to encounter 
significant barriers to living in the community and participating in 
activities of their choice. These barriers contribute to economic 
disadvantage and social isolation (Reinhard et al., 2011). Barriers to 
community living and participation for people with physical 
disabilities manifest themselves at both the individual and 
environmental level. They include limited access to: Home and 
community-based long-term services and supports, such as personal 
assistance and family caregiving, assistive technologies and devices 
and environmental modifications, medication management, and information 
and referral. The barriers also include lack of access to affordable 
and accessible housing and insufficient transportation services 
(Reinhard et al., 2011).
    In 2010, 8.09 million adults (3.66 million working-age adults ages 
18 to 64 and 4.43 million adults 65 years and over) were estimated to 
need personal assistance from a family member, friend, or paid helper 
in order to live in the community due to difficulties in performing 
basic activities of daily living (ADL), such as bathing, dressing, 
toileting, and getting around in one's home (Center for Personal 
Assistance Services, 2012). By 2030, the number of adults projected to 
need personal assistance with ADLs is estimated to increase by as much 
as 50 percent (Center for Personal Assistance Services, 2012). While 
studies show that the home is the setting of choice for the vast 
majority of people with physical disabilities and older adults who need 
assistance with daily activities (Salomon, 2010), there is a growing 
disparity between the demand for and supply of caregivers who are 
available and trained to provide these services (PHI, 2008).
    References:
    Brault, M. W. (2012). Americans with Disabilities: 2010. 
Washington, DC: Department of Commerce, Economics and Statistics 
Administration, U.S. Census Bureau.
    PHI. (2008). Occupational projections for direct-care workers 2006-
2016, Facts 1. Bronx, NY: PHI (formerly the Paraprofessional Healthcare 
Institute). Available from: www.directcareclearinghouse.org/download/BLSfactSheet4-10-08.pdf.
    Reinhard, S. C., Kassner, E., Houser, A., and Mollica, R. 
(September 2011). Raising expectations: A State scorecard on long-term 
services and supports for older adults, people with physical 
disabilities, and family caregivers. The AARP Foundation: Washington, 
DC. Available from: http://assets.aarp.org/rgcenter/ppi/ltc/ltss_scorecard.pdf.
    Salomon, E. (March 2010). AARP Public Policy Institute: Housing 
policy solutions to support aging in place. Fact Sheet 172. Washington, 
DC: ARRP Center for Housing Policy. Available from: http://assets.aarp.org/rgcenter/ppi/liv-com/fs172-aging-in-place.pdf.
    Center for Personal Assistance Services (2012). Projections for the 
Population Needing Personal Assistance, 2015-2030, U.S. Available from: 
www.pascenter.org/state_based_stats/disability_stats/adl_projections.php?state=us.
    Proposed Priority:
    The Assistant Secretary for Special Education and Rehabilitative 
Services proposes a priority for an RRTC on Community Living and 
Participation for Individuals with Physical Disabilities.
    The RRTC must contribute to maximizing the community living and 
participation outcomes of individuals with physical disabilities by:
    (a) Conducting research activities in one or more of the following 
priority areas, focusing on individuals with physical disabilities as a 
group or on individuals in specific disability or demographic 
subpopulations of individuals with physical disabilities:
    (i) Technology to improve community living and participation 
outcomes for individuals with physical disabilities.
    (ii) Individual and environmental factors associated with improved 
community living and participation outcomes for individuals with 
physical disabilities.
    (iii) Interventions that contribute to improved community living 
and participation outcomes for individuals with physical disabilities. 
Interventions include any strategy, practice, program, policy, or tool 
that, when implemented as intended, contributes to improvements in 
outcomes for individuals with physical disabilities.
    (iv) Effects of government practices, policies, and programs on 
community living and participation outcomes for individuals with 
physical disabilities.
    (v) Practices and policies that contribute to improved community 
living and participation outcomes for transition-aged youth with 
physical disabilities.
    (b) Focusing its research on one or more specific stages of 
research. If the RRTC is to conduct research that can be categorized 
under more than one of the research stages, or research that progresses 
from one stage to another, those stages must be clearly specified. 
These stages and their definitions are provided at the beginning of the 
Proposed Priorities section in this notice.
    (c) Serving as a national resource center related to community 
living and participation for individuals with physical disabilities, 
their families, and other stakeholders by conducting knowledge 
translation activities that include, but are not limited to:
    (i) Providing information and technical assistance to service 
providers, individuals with physical disabilities and their 
representatives, and other key stakeholders:
    (ii) Providing training, including graduate, pre-service, and in-
service training, to rehabilitation providers and other disability 
service providers, to facilitate more effective delivery of services to 
individuals with physical disabilities. This training may be provided 
through conferences, workshops, public education programs,

[[Page 9872]]

in-service training programs, and similar activities:
    (iii) Disseminating research-based information and materials 
related to community living and participation for individuals with 
physical disabilities; and
    (iv) Involving key stakeholder groups in the activities conducted 
under paragraph (a) in order to maximize the relevance and usability of 
the new knowledge generated by the RRTC.
    Proposed Priority 2--RRTC on Employment of Individuals with 
Physical Disabilities.
    Background:
    NIDRR seeks to fund an RRTC that will generate new knowledge about 
employment outcomes for individuals with physical disabilities and will 
serve as a national resource center for individuals with physical 
disabilities and their families. Despite the enactment of legislation 
and the implementation of a variety of policy and program efforts at 
the Federal and State levels to improve employment outcomes for 
individuals with disabilities, the employment rate for individuals with 
disabilities remains substantially lower than the rate for those 
without disabilities.
    Of the 51.5 million American adults with a disability, 41.5 million 
have disabilities in the physical domain (Brault, 2012). Recent data 
from the Survey of Income and Program Participation revealed that 40.8 
percent of individuals with only physical disabilities were employed, 
compared to 79.1 percent of individuals without a disability (Brault, 
2012). Not only were people with physical disabilities much less likely 
to be employed, their median earnings were $1,998 per month as compared 
to $2,724 per month earned by people without a disability (Brault, 
2012).
    Previous research has demonstrated the importance of a variety of 
factors relevant to hiring, job retention, and advancement for 
individuals with physical disabilities. These include, but are not 
limited to, (1) individual factors such as disability characteristics, 
education, and age (Ottomanelli & Lind, 2009); (2) employer practices 
and organizational culture, including diversity management practices 
and the provision of accommodations such as assistive technology and 
personal assistance services (Chan et al., 2010; Colella & 
Bruy[egrave]re, 2011; Nafukho et al., 2010; Ottomanelli & Lind, 2009; 
Stumbo et al., 2009); (3) government policies and programs, such as 
transportation systems, benefit programs, and the Americans with 
Disabilities Act (Colella & Bruy[egrave]re, 2011; Ottomanelli & Lind, 
2009); (4) programs for individuals in transition from school to work 
(Test et al., 2009); and (5) the effectiveness of vocational 
rehabilitation and other employment support practices (Marini et al., 
2008; Ottomanelli & Lind, 2009).
    References:
    Brault, M. W. (2012). Americans with Disabilities: 2010. Household 
economic studies. U.S. Census Bureau. Available from: www.census.gov/prod/2012pubs/p70-131.pdf.
    Chan, F., Strauser, D., Maher, P., Lee, E-J., Jones, R., and 
Johnson, E. T. (2010). Demand-side factors related to employment of 
people with disabilities: A survey of employers in the Midwest region 
of the United States. Journal of Occupational Rehabilitation, 20, 412-
419.
    Colella, A., and Bruy[egrave]re, S. (2011). Disability and 
employment: New directions for industrial/organizational psychology. In 
American Psychological Association Handbook on Industrial 
Organizational Psychology, vol. 1, 473-503. Washington, DC: American 
Psychological Association.
    Marini, I., Lee, G. K., Chan, F., Chapin, M. H., and Romero, M. G. 
(2008). Vocational rehabilitation service patterns related to 
successful competitive employment outcomes of persons with spinal cord 
injury. Journal of Vocational Rehabilitation, 28, 1-13.
    Nafukho, F. M., Roessler, R. T., and Kacirek, K. (2010). Disability 
as a diversity factor: Implications for human resource practices. 
Advances in Developing Human Resources, 12, 395-406.
    Ottomanelli, L., and Lind, L. (2009). Review of critical factors 
related to employment after spinal cord injury: Implications for 
research and vocational services. Journal of Spinal Cord Medicine, 32, 
503-531.
    Stumbo, N. J., Martin, J. K., and Hedric, B. N. (2009). Assistive 
technology: Impact on education, employment and independence of 
individuals with physical disabilities. Journal of Vocational 
Rehabilitation, 30, 99-110.
    Test, D. W., Mazzotti, V. L., Mustian, A. L., Fowler, C. H., 
Kortering, L., and Kohler, P. (2009). Evidence-based secondary 
transition predictors for improving postschool outcomes for students 
with disabilities. Career Development for Exceptional Individuals, 32l, 
160-181.
    Proposed Priority:
    The Assistant Secretary for Special Education and Rehabilitative 
Services proposes a priority for an RRTC on Employment of Individuals 
with Physical Disabilities.
    The RRTC must contribute to maximizing the employment outcomes of 
individuals with physical disabilities by:
    (a) Conducting research activities in one or more of the following 
priority areas, focusing on individuals with physical disabilities as a 
group or on individuals in specific disability or demographic 
subpopulations of individuals with physical disabilities:
    (i) Technology to improve employment outcomes for individuals with 
physical disabilities.
    (ii) Individual and environmental factors associated with improved 
employment outcomes for individuals with physical disabilities.
    (iii) Interventions that contribute to improved employment outcomes 
for individuals with physical disabilities. Interventions include any 
strategy, practice, program, policy, or tool that, when implemented as 
intended, contributes to improvements in outcomes for individuals with 
physical disabilities.
    (iv) Effects of government practices, policies and programs on 
employment outcomes for individuals with physical disabilities.
    (v) Practices and policies that contribute to improved employment 
outcomes for transition-aged youth with physical disabilities.
    (vi) Vocational rehabilitation (VR) practices that contribute to 
improved employment outcomes for individuals with physical 
disabilities.
    (b) Focusing its research on one or more specific stages of 
research. If the RRTC is to conduct research that can be categorized 
under more than one of the research stages, or research that progresses 
from one stage to another, those stages must be clearly specified. 
These stages and their definitions are provided at the beginning of the 
Proposed Priorities section in this notice.
    (c) Serving as a national resource center related to employment for 
individuals with physical disabilities, their families, and other 
stakeholders by conducting knowledge translation activities that 
include, but are not limited to:
    (i) Providing information and technical assistance to service 
providers, individuals with physical disabilities and their 
representatives, and other key stakeholders.
    (ii) Providing training, including graduate, pre-service, and in-
service training, to rehabilitation providers and other disability 
service providers, to facilitate more effective delivery of employment 
services and supports to individuals with physical disabilities.

[[Page 9873]]

This training may be provided through conferences, workshops, public 
education programs, in-service training programs, and similar 
activities.
    (iii) Disseminating research-based information and materials 
related to employment for individuals with physical disabilities.
    (iv) Involving key stakeholder groups in the activities conducted 
under paragraph (a) in order to maximize the relevance and usability of 
the new knowledge generated by the RRTC.
    Proposed Priority 3--RRTC on Health and Function of Individuals 
with Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities.
    Background:
    NIDRR seeks to fund an RRTC that will generate new knowledge about 
health and function outcomes for persons with intellectual and 
developmental disabilities across the lifespan and will serve as a 
national resource center for persons with intellectual and 
developmental disabilities and their families. Intellectual and 
developmental disabilities are defined by limitations in adaptive 
functioning associated with intellectual or physical impairments first 
evident in childhood (Schalock et al., 2010; Developmental Disabilities 
Assistance and Bill of Rights Act of 2000). It has been estimated that 
about 1.6 percent of the U.S. population (about 5 million people) has 
intellectual and developmental disabilities (Larson et al., 2001).
    Findings from research on the health of persons with intellectual 
and developmental disabilities in this country indicate substantially 
higher than normal rates of (1) complex health conditions; (2) poorly 
managed chronic conditions, such as diabetes, heart disease, sensory 
impairments, or epilepsy; (3) health problems and use of psychotropic 
medications; (4) limited access to and use of quality preventive health 
care and health promotion programs; and (5) early onset of conditions 
and impairments such as Alzheimer's disease among persons with Down 
syndrome (Horwitz et al., 2000; Krahn et al., 2006; National Task Group 
on Intellectual Disabilities and Dementia Practice, 2012).
    While the health of the general population is routinely monitored 
through national surveys, the health of individuals with intellectual 
and developmental disabilities is not. As a result, significant health 
problems among the population may remain largely undetected (U.S. 
Department of Health and Human Services, 2002; Centers for Disease 
Control and Prevention, 2009). At the same time, it is clear that 
persons with intellectual and developmental disabilities have poorer 
health and function outcomes than the general population; have costs of 
health and related care that are disproportionately higher than for 
persons without intellectual and developmental disabilities; have 
insufficient access to and use of preventive health services; and have 
lifestyle and risk factors that are associated with poor health 
outcomes and premature mortality (Kaiser Commission on Medicaid and the 
Uninsured, 2006, 2011; Bershadsky et al., 2012; Krahn et al., 2006; 
Stancliffe et al., 2011; U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, 
2002).
    References:
    Bershadsky, J., Taub, S., Engler, J., Moseley, C., Lakin, K. C, 
Stancliffe, R., Larson, S., Ticha, R., Bailey, C., and Bradley, V. 
(2012). Place of residence and preventive health care for intellectual 
and developmental disabilities services recipients in 20 states. Public 
Health Reports, 127(5), 475-485.
    Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. (2009). U.S. 
Surveillance of Health of People with Intellectual Disabilities. A 
White Paper. Available from: www.cdc.gov/ncbddd/disabilityandhealth/pdf/209537-A_IDmeeting%20short%20version12-14-09.pdf.
    Developmental Disabilities Assistance and Bill of Rights Act of 
2000 (Pub. L. 106-402).
    Horwitz, S., Kerker, B., Owens, P., and Zigler, E. (2000). The 
health status and needs of individuals with mental retardation. New 
Haven: Yale University.
    Kaiser Commission on Medicaid and the Uninsured. (2006). Profiles 
of Medicaid's high cost populations. Menlo Park, CA: Kaiser Family 
Foundation. Available from: www.kff.org/medicaid/upload/7565.pdf.
    Kaiser Commission on Medicaid and the Uninsured. (2011). Medicaid 
home and community-based service programs: Data update. Menlo Park, CA: 
Kaiser Family Foundation. Available from: www.kff.org/medicaid/upload/7720-04.pdf
    Krahn, G. L., Hammond, L., and Turner, A. (2006). A cascade of 
disparities: Health and health care access for people with intellectual 
disabilities. Mental Retardation and Developmental Disabilities 
Research Reviews, 12, 22-27.
    Larson, S. A., Lakin, K. C., Anderson, L., Lee, N. K., Lee, J. K., 
and Anderson, D. (2001). Prevalence of mental retardation and 
developmental disabilities: Estimates from the 1994/1995 National 
Health Interview Survey Disability Supplements. American Journal on 
Mental Retardation, 106(3), 231-252.
    National Task Group on Intellectual Disabilities and Dementia 
Practice. (2012). ``My thinker's not working'': A national strategy for 
enabling adults with intellectual disabilities affected by dementia to 
remain in their community and receive quality supports. Available from: 
www.aadmd.org/ntg/thinker.
    Schalock, R. L., Borthwick-Duffy, S. A., Bradley, V. J., Buntinx, 
W. H. E., Coulter, D. L., Craig, E. M., Gomez, S. C., Lachapelle, Y., 
Luckasson, R., Reeve, A., Shogren, K. A., Snell, M. E., Spreat, S., 
Tasse, M. J., Thompson, J. R., Verdugo-Alonso, M. A., Wehmeyer, M. L., 
and Yeager, M. H. (2010). Intellectual disability: Definition, 
classification, and systems of supports (11th ed.). Washington, DC: 
American Association on Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities.
    Stancliffe, R., Lakin, K. C., Larson, S., Taub, S., Engler, J., 
Bershadsky, J., and Fortune, J., (2011). Overweight and obesity among 
adults with intellectual disabilities who use intellectual disability/
developmental disability services in 20 U.S. States. American Journal 
on Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities, 116(6), 401-418.
    U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. (2002). Closing the 
gap: A national blueprint to improve the health of persons with mental 
retardation. Report of the Surgeon General's Conference on Health 
Disparities and Mental Retardation. Washington, DC: U.S. Department of 
Health and Human Services, Office of the Surgeon General.

Proposed Priority

    The Assistant Secretary for Special Education and Rehabilitative 
Services proposes a priority for an RRTC on Health and Function of 
Individuals with Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities.
    The RRTC must contribute to maximizing the health and function 
outcomes of individuals with intellectual and/or developmental 
disabilities by:
    (a) Conducting research activities in one or more of the following 
priority areas, focusing on individuals with intellectual and 
developmental disabilities as a group or on individuals in specific 
disability or demographic subpopulations of individuals with 
intellectual and developmental disabilities:
    (i) Technology to improve health and function outcomes for 
individuals with

[[Page 9874]]

intellectual and developmental disabilities.
    (ii) Individual and environmental factors associated with improved 
access to rehabilitation and health care and improved health and 
function outcomes for individuals with intellectual and developmental 
disabilities.
    (iii) Interventions that contribute to improved health and function 
outcomes for individuals with intellectual and developmental 
disabilities. Interventions include any strategy, practice, program, 
policy, or tool that, when implemented as intended, contributes to 
improvements in outcomes for the specified population.
    (iv) Effects of government practices, policies and programs on 
health care access and on health and function outcomes for individuals 
with intellectual and developmental disabilities.
    (v) Practices and policies that contribute to improved health and 
function outcomes for transition-aged youth with intellectual and 
developmental disabilities.
    (b) Focusing its research on one or more specific stages of 
research. If the RRTC is to conduct research that can be categorized 
under more than one of the research stages, or research that progresses 
from one stage to another, those stages must be clearly specified. 
These stages and their definitions are provided at the beginning of the 
Proposed Priorities section in this notice.
    (c) Serving as a national resource center related to health and 
function for individuals with intellectual and developmental 
disabilities, their families, and other stakeholders by conducting 
knowledge translation activities that include, but are not limited to:
    (i) Providing information and technical assistance to service 
providers, individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities 
and their representatives, and other key stakeholders.
    (ii) Providing training, including graduate, pre-service, and in-
service training, to rehabilitation providers and other disability 
service providers, to facilitate more effective delivery of services to 
individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities. This 
training may be provided through conferences, workshops, public 
education programs, in-service training programs, and similar 
activities.
    (iii) Disseminating research-based information and materials 
related to health and function for individuals with intellectual and 
developmental disabilities.
    (iv) Involving key stakeholder groups in the activities conducted 
under paragraph (a) in order to maximize the relevance and usability of 
the new knowledge generated by the RRTC.
    Proposed Priority 4--RRTC on Community Living and Participation for 
Individuals with Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities.
    Background:
    NIDRR seeks to fund an RRTC that will generate new knowledge about 
community living and participation outcomes for individuals with 
intellectual and developmental disabilities and will serve as a 
national resource center on community living and participation for 
individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities and their 
families. Intellectual and developmental disabilities are defined by 
limitations in adaptive functioning associated with substantial 
intellectual or physical impairments first evident in childhood 
(Schalock et al., 2010; Developmental Disabilities Assistance and Bill 
of Rights Act of 2000. It has been estimated that about 1.6 percent of 
the U.S. population (about 5 million people) has intellectual and 
developmental disabilities (Larson et al., 2001).
    There have been significant changes in the nature of services 
provided to individuals with intellectual and developmental disability 
over the last four decades. Since the late 1960s, public institution 
placements of individuals with intellectual and developmental 
disabilities have decreased by more than 85 percent (Larson et al., 
2012). Individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities 
currently receive a wide range of community services. These include 
personal care and other residential support; physical, occupational, 
speech, and other therapies; vocational rehabilitation and other 
employment supports; and respite care and other assistance to family 
caregivers. These services are financed primarily through various 
Medicaid programs, including Medicaid Home and Community Based 
Services. Demand for these services outweighs supply. There are long 
waiting lists, estimated to include 120,000 to 300,000 persons 
nationally, depending on the definition of ``persons waiting'' (Larson 
et al., 2012; Kaiser Family Foundation, 2009). In the past decade, most 
of the growth in service recipients has come from persons living with 
family members (Larson et al., 2012).
    Research on outcomes for persons receiving community-based 
supports, while consistently showing better outcomes than for persons 
receiving institutional care (Stancliffe & Lakin, 2005), shows that 
persons with intellectual and developmental disabilities receiving 
community-based supports have less choice, less participation, fewer 
relationships, and more loneliness than persons who do not have 
intellectual and developmental disabilities (Stancliffe et al., 2007; 
McVilly et al., 2006). Another major challenge relates to providing 
appropriate support of all kinds, including ensuring availability of 
well-trained direct support workers, for the steadily growing number of 
individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities who 
continue to live with family members into adulthood.
    References:
    Developmental Disabilities Assistance and Bill of Rights Act of 
2000 (Pub. L. 106-402).
    Kaiser Family Foundation. (2009). Medicaid home and community-based 
services: Data update. Washington, DC: Kaiser Commission on Medicaid 
and the Uninsured.
    Larson, S.A., Lakin, K.C., Anderson, L., Lee, N.K., Lee, J.K., and 
Anderson, D. (2001). Prevalence of mental retardation and developmental 
disabilities: Estimates from the 1994/1995 National Health Interview 
Survey Disability Supplements. American Journal on Mental Retardation, 
106(3), 231-252.
    Larson, S.A., Ryan, A., Salmi, P., Smith, D., and Wuorio, A. 
(2012). Residential service for persons with developmental 
disabilities: Status and trends through 2010. Minneapolis: University 
of Minnesota, Research and Training Center on Community Living.
    McVilly, K.R., Stancliffe, R.J., Parmenter, T.R., and Burton-Smith, 
R.M. (2006). ``I get by with a little help from my friends'': Adults 
with intellectual disability discuss loneliness. Journal of Applied 
Research in Intellectual Disabilities, 19(2), 191-203.
    Schalock, R.L., Borthwick-Duffy, S.A., Bradley, V.J., Buntinx, 
W.H.E., Coulter, D.L., Craig, E.M., Gomez, S.C., Lachapelle, Y., 
Luckasson, R., Reeve, A., Shogren, K.A., Snell, M.E., Spreat, S., 
Tasse, M.J., Thompson, J.R., Verdugo-Alonso, M.A., Wehmeyer, M.L., and 
Yeager, M.H. (2010). Intellectual disability: Definition, 
classification, and systems of supports (11th ed.). Washington, DC: 
American Association on Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities.
    Stancliffe, R.J., and Lakin, C.K. (2005). Costs and outcomes of 
community services for people with intellectual disabilities. 
Baltimore, MD: Paul H. Brookes Publishing.

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    Stancliffe, R.J., Lakin, C.K., Doljanac, R., Byun, S.Y., Taub, S., 
Chiri, G., and Ferguson, P. (2007). Loneliness and living arrangements. 
Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities, 45(6), 380-390.
    Proposed Priority:
    The Assistant Secretary for Special Education and Rehabilitative 
Services proposes a priority for an RRTC on Community Living and 
Participation for Individuals with Intellectual and Developmental 
Disabilities.
    The RRTC must contribute to improving the community living and 
participation outcomes of individuals with intellectual and 
developmental disabilities by:
    (a) Conducting research activities in one or more of the following 
priority areas, focusing on individuals with intellectual and 
developmental disabilities as a group or on individuals in specific 
disability or demographic subpopulations of individuals with 
intellectual and developmental disabilities:
    (i) Technology to improve community living and participation 
outcomes for individuals with intellectual and developmental 
disabilities.
    (ii) Individual and environmental factors associated with improved 
community living and participation outcomes for individuals with 
intellectual and developmental disabilities.
    (iii) Interventions that contribute to improved community living 
and participation outcomes for individuals with intellectual and 
developmental disabilities. Interventions include any strategy, 
practice, program, policy, or tool that, when implemented as intended, 
contributes to improvements in outcomes for individuals with 
disabilities.
    (iv) Effects of government practices, policies and programs on 
community living and participation outcomes for individuals with 
intellectual and developmental disabilities.
    (v) Practices and policies that contribute to improved community 
living and participation outcomes for transition-aged youth with 
intellectual and developmental disabilities.
    (b) Focusing its research on one or more specific stages of 
research. If the RRTC is to conduct research that can be categorized 
under more than one of the research stages, or research that progresses 
from one stage to another, those stages must be clearly specified. 
These stages and their definitions are provided at the beginning of the 
Proposed Priorities section in this notice.
    (c) Serving as a national resource center related to community 
living and participation for individuals with intellectual and 
developmental disabilities, their families, and other stakeholders by 
conducting knowledge translation activities that include, but are not 
limited to:
    (i) Providing information and technical assistance to service 
providers, individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities 
and their representatives, and other key stakeholders.
    (ii) Providing training, including graduate, pre-service, and in-
service training, to rehabilitation providers and other disability 
service providers, to facilitate more effective delivery of services to 
individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities. This 
training may be provided through conferences, workshops, public 
education programs, in-service training programs, and similar 
activities.
    (iii) Disseminating research-based information and materials 
related to community living and participation for individuals with 
intellectual and developmental disabilities.
    (iv) Involving key stakeholder groups in the activities conducted 
under paragraph (a) in order to maximize the relevance and usability of 
the new knowledge generated by the RRTC.
    Types of Priorities:
    When inviting applications for a competition using one or more 
priorities, we designate the type of each priority as absolute, 
competitive preference, or invitational through a notice in the Federal 
Register. The effect of each type of priority follows:
    Absolute priority: Under an absolute priority, we consider only 
applications that meet the priority (34 CFR 75.105(c)(3)).
    Competitive preference priority: Under a competitive preference 
priority, we give competitive preference to an application by (1) 
awarding additional points, depending on the extent to which the 
application meets the priority (34 CFR 75.105(c)(2)(i)); or (2) 
selecting an application that meets the priority over an application of 
comparable merit that does not meet the priority (34 CFR 
75.105(c)(2)(ii)).
    Invitational priority: Under an invitational priority, we are 
particularly interested in applications that meet the priority. 
However, we do not give an application that meets the priority a 
preference over other applications (34 CFR 75.105(c)(1)).
    Final Priority:
    We will announce the final priority in a notice in the Federal 
Register. We will determine the final priority after considering 
responses to this notice and other information available to the 
Department. This notice does not preclude us from proposing additional 
priorities, requirements, definitions, or selection criteria, subject 
to meeting applicable rulemaking requirements.

    Note: This notice does not solicit applications. In any year in 
which we choose to use this priority, we invite applications through 
a notice in the Federal Register.

Executive 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 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;

[[Page 9876]]

    (3) In choosing among alternative regulatory approaches, select 
those approaches that 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 these proposed priorities only upon a reasoned 
determination that their benefits would justify their 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 these proposed priorities are 
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 requirements and those we have determined as 
necessary for administering the Department's programs and activities.
    The benefits of the Disability and Rehabilitation Research Projects 
and Centers Program have been well established over the years. Projects 
similar to the RRTCs have been completed successfully, and the proposed 
priorities will generate new knowledge through research. The new RRTCs 
will generate, disseminate, and promote the use of new information that 
would improve outcomes for individuals with disabilities in the areas 
of community living and participation, employment, and health and 
function.
    Intergovernmental Review: This program is not subject to Executive 
Order 12372 and the regulations in 34 CFR part 79.
    Accessible Format: Individuals with disabilities can obtain this 
document in an accessible format (e.g., braille, large print, 
audiotape, or compact disc) by contacting the Grants and Contracts 
Services Team, U.S. Department of Education, 400 Maryland Avenue SW., 
room 5075, PCP, Washington, DC 20202-2550. Telephone: (202) 245-7363. 
If you use a TDD or TTY, call the FRS, toll free, at 1-800-877-8339.
    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 Adobe 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: February 7, 2013.
Michael Yudin,
Acting Assistant Secretary for Special Education and Rehabilitative 
Services.
[FR Doc. 2013-03203 Filed 2-11-13; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 4000-01-P