[Federal Register Volume 78, Number 126 (Monday, July 1, 2013)]
[Notices]
[Pages 39260-39271]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Printing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2013-15715]



[[Page 39260]]

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DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION


Applications for New Awards; Technical Assistance and 
Dissemination To Improve Services and Results for Children With 
Disabilities--State Technical Assistance Projects To Improve Services 
and Results for Children Who Are Deaf-Blind and National Technical 
Assistance and Dissemination Center for Children Who Are Deaf-Blind

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

ACTION: Notice.

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    Overview Information:
    Technical Assistance and Dissemination to Improve Services and 
Results for Children with Disabilities--State Technical Assistance 
Projects to Improve Services and Results for Children Who Are Deaf-
Blind and National Technical Assistance and Dissemination Center for 
Children Who Are Deaf-Blind Notice inviting applications for new awards 
for fiscal year (FY) 2013.
Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance (CFDA) Number: 84.326T.

DATES: 
    Applications Available: July 1, 2013.
    Deadline for Transmittal of Applications: August 15, 2013.

Full Text of Announcement

I. Funding Opportunity Description

    Purpose of Program: The purpose of the Technical Assistance and 
Dissemination to Improve Services and Results for Children with 
Disabilities program is to promote academic achievement and to improve 
results for children with disabilities by providing technical 
assistance (TA), supporting model demonstration projects, disseminating 
useful information, and implementing activities that are supported by 
scientifically based research.
    Priority: In accordance with 34 CFR 75.105(b)(2)(v), this priority 
is from allowable activities specified or otherwise authorized in the 
statute (see sections 663 and 681(d) of the Individuals with 
Disabilities Education Act (IDEA), 20 U.S.C. 1463 and 1481(d)).
    Absolute Priority: For FY 2013 and any subsequent year in which we 
make awards from the list of unfunded applicants from this competition, 
this priority is an absolute priority. Under 34 CFR 75.105(c)(3) we 
consider only applications that meet this priority.
    This priority is:
    State Technical Assistance Projects to Improve Services and Results 
for Children Who Are Deaf-Blind and National Technical Assistance and 
Dissemination Center for Children Who Are Deaf-Blind.
    Background:
    The purpose of this priority is to support State Technical 
Assistance Projects to Improve Services and Results for Children Who 
Are Deaf-Blind and to support a National Technical Assistance and 
Dissemination Center for Children Who Are Deaf-Blind. The State 
Technical Assistance Projects will help State educational agencies 
(SEAs), Part C lead agencies (LAs), local educational agencies (LEAs), 
early intervention services (EIS) providers, teachers, service 
providers, and families to address the educational, related services, 
transitional, and early intervention needs of children who are deaf-
blind to ensure that these children will graduate from high school 
ready for college and a career.
    The National Technical Assistance Center will provide technical 
assistance and support to the State Technical Assistance Projects in 
addressing these needs, including by working in concert with States' 
Deaf-Blind Technical Assistance Projects, as appropriate, to provide 
specialized TA, training, dissemination, and informational services to 
agencies and organizations, professionals, families, and others 
involved in providing services to children who are deaf-blind.
    The Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) requires 
that the Secretary reserve a portion of IDEA Part D funds each year to 
address the needs of children with deaf-blindness (see section 
682(d)(1)(A) of IDEA, 20 U.S.C. 1482(d)). Authorized activities include 
providing TA to professionals and others involved in providing services 
that promote academic achievement and improved results for children who 
are deaf-blind. The services to be provided include TA on implementing 
evidence-based practices to schools and agencies serving children who 
are deaf-blind and their families to improve educational results and 
functional outcomes. For purposes of this notice, the term ``children 
who are deaf-blind'' refers to infants, toddlers, children, youth, and 
young adults (birth-21) who are deaf-blind.
    Children who are deaf-blind are among the most vulnerable, at-risk 
students because they have varying degrees of hearing and vision loss 
that is often complicated by other disabilities or health issues. In 
the early 1970s, children who were deaf-blind were primarily served in 
segregated programs in residential schools and State institutions.
    Today, more than 60 percent of children who are deaf-blind attend 
local schools rather than separate schools or facilities. Sixty-five 
percent of elementary school-age children who are deaf-blind spend at 
least a portion of their day in a regular classroom in their local 
school (National Consortium on Deaf-Blindness, 2012). As a result, 
direct, targeted, and intensive TA to staff in LEAs, schools, EIS 
providers, and classrooms is needed to ensure a free appropriate public 
education (FAPE) for children who are deaf-blind (Kamenopoulou, 2012).
    Through the projects that the Office of Special Education Programs 
(OSEP) has supported and other research, we know that direct and 
intensive supports and services are critical in order for children who 
are deaf-blind to succeed in a general education environment. Although 
improvements have been made in recent years, many of the approximately 
10,000 children who are deaf-blind remain isolated and disconnected 
from people and activities in their homes, schools, and communities 
because they are not provided the individualized supports necessary to 
access visual and auditory information and overcome other barriers to 
social inclusion and participation (Kamenopoulou, 2012). Without these 
individualized supports to access visual and auditory information 
(i.e., environmental information, such as who is present, what is being 
said, and what activities are occurring), children who are deaf-blind 
are at greater risk for not attaining age-appropriate milestones in 
communication and language, social skills, and activities of daily 
living, which in turn affects their educational outcomes (Emerson & 
Bishop, 2012). Consequently, children who are deaf-blind often exit 
school at age 22 without viable postsecondary educational 
opportunities, employment, or independent living options (Smale, 2010).
    Further, because deaf-blindness is a very low-incidence disability, 
most SEAs, LEAs, LAs, and EIS providers lack the necessary program 
supports and services, and sufficient personnel with the specialized 
training, experience, and skills, needed to provide appropriate early 
intervention, special education, and related services to children who 
are deaf-blind (Bruce, 2007; National Center on Severe and Sensory 
Disabilities, 2009; National Center on Low-Incidence Disabilities, 
2005). In addition, because children who are deaf-blind are living at 
home instead of in residential settings, their

[[Page 39261]]

families, schools, and EIS providers require extensive support to 
ensure that these children remain in community-based educational and 
living environments (Kamenopoulou, 2012).

State Deaf-Blind Technical Assistance Projects

    Following the enactment of IDEA in 1975, OSEP developed a national 
TA system comprised of State Deaf-Blind Technical Assistance Projects 
that was designed to ensure that support was available for children who 
are deaf-blind and who attended their local schools.
    In 2008, the Department funded 51 five-year State Deaf-Blind 
Technical Assistance Projects to facilitate collaborative partnerships 
among family members of children who are deaf-blind; early 
intervention, special and regular education, and related services 
personnel; and SEAs, LEAs, LAs, and EIS providers to develop and 
implement individualized supports designed to improve children's 
educational results and functional outcomes.
    In concert with the National Technical Assistance and Dissemination 
Center for Children Who Are Deaf-Blind (National Center), this direct, 
targeted, and intensive TA provided by State Deaf-Blind Technical 
Assistance Projects to EIS providers, LEAs, schools, and classrooms has 
helped to ensure that family members, EIS providers, special and 
regular education teachers, and related services personnel have access 
to the specialized training and tools needed to address the early 
intervention, educational, related services, and secondary transition 
needs of children who are deaf-blind.

National Technical Assistance and Dissemination Center

    In 2006, the Department funded the National Center to provide 
specialized TA, training, dissemination, and informational services to 
State Deaf-Blind Technical Assistance Projects. In 2011, the Secretary 
extended the grant to the National Center for an additional two years. 
Working in concert with State Deaf-Blind Technical Assistance Projects, 
the National Center provides specialized training and other supports 
for SEAs, LAs, families of children who are deaf-blind, and other 
agencies and organizations that are responsible for providing early 
intervention, special education, related services, and secondary 
transition services for children through age 26 who are deaf-blind 
(Notice Inviting Applications for New Awards for FY 2006; 70 FR 76040).
    The National Center's activities have led to improvements in 
direct, targeted, and intensive TA services. In cooperation with the 
Department, the National Center developed training for State Deaf-Blind 
Technical Assistance Project staff in order to increase their 
participation in a collaborative network of State deaf-blind TA 
projects. Using advances in communication and social media, the 
National Center further facilitated, in collaboration with the State 
Deaf-Blind Technical Assistance Projects, the delivery of TA and 
training by providing critical tools for teachers and service providers 
to use at the classroom level. For further information on the current 
National Center, go to www.nationaldb.org/.
    This priority seeks to build upon the work of the State Deaf-Blind 
Technical Assistance Projects and the National Center to further 
improve services and results for children who are deaf-blind. 
Specifically, through this priority, our goal is to: Ensure the 
delivery of high-quality TA and training to personnel in schools, 
classrooms, and EIS providers where children who are deaf-blind are 
served to improve their academic and social outcomes; empower children 
who are deaf-blind to engage in self-advocacy so that they are better 
positioned for independent living; increase the ability of SEAs, LEAs, 
LAs, EIS providers, and other agencies to use evidence-based practices 
to improve outcomes for children who are deaf-blind; increase the 
ability of SEAs, LEAs, LAs, EIS providers, and other agencies to 
identify and adopt effective policies and practices to appropriately 
identify and serve children who are deaf-blind; and ensure that data 
are gathered and reported to the National Center for the annual 
National Child Count of children who are deaf-blind.
    For the first time, we will also be allowing eligible entities to 
compete to serve multi-State regions. We hope to improve both the 
quality of the TA and other services provided through these projects 
and the efficiency with which the services are provided by giving 
States the flexibility to apply directly for funding, as they have in 
the past, to participate as a member of a multi-State consortium, or to 
participate in a regional TA project.
    Priority:
    For the purpose of this competition, we have separated the absolute 
priority into two focus areas--State and Multi-State Technical 
Assistance Projects (Focus Area A) and a National Technical Assistance 
and Dissemination Center (Focus Area B). Applicants must identify 
whether they are applying under Focus Area A, Focus Area B, or both. As 
the program and application requirements for the two focus areas are 
different, applicants must ensure that they have met all applicable 
requirements.
    Focus Area A: State and Multi-State Technical Assistance Projects 
to Improve Services and Results for Children Who Are Deaf-Blind.
    Under Focus Area A, the Department will fund grants to establish 
and operate State or multi-State Deaf-Blind Technical Assistance 
Projects (projects) to improve services and results for children who 
are deaf-blind. Grants are available to support projects in all States. 
The District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, the United States Virgin 
Islands, and the outlying areas and freely associated States are States 
for purposes of this priority. Because the Bureau of Indian Affairs is 
not a State, it will not be eligible for a State grant under this 
priority. Funds awarded under this priority may not be used to provide 
direct early intervention services under Part C of IDEA, or direct 
special education and related services under Part B of IDEA.
    Projects funded under this priority must, at a minimum: (1) Deliver 
TA and training necessary to improve outcomes for children who are 
deaf-blind to personnel in the schools, classrooms, or EIS providers, 
where a child who is deaf-blind is served; (2) through collaboration 
with the federally funded Parent Centers (National and Regional Parent 
Technical Assistance Centers, Parent Training and Information Centers 
and Community Parent Resource Centers), provide training and supports 
to families of children who are deaf-blind so that they can 
successfully advocate on behalf of their children and help ensure that 
their children are better positioned for independent living; (3) 
increase the ability of SEAs, LEAs, LAs, EIS providers, and other 
agencies to use evidence-based practices to improve outcomes for 
children who are deaf-blind, including ensuring that these children 
will graduate from high school ready for college and a career; (4) 
increase the ability of SEAs, LEAs, LAs, EIS providers, and other 
agencies to develop policies and practices to improve outcomes for 
children who are deaf-blind; and (5) provide data to the National 
Center for the annual National Child Count of children who are deaf-
blind.
    In addition to these programmatic requirements, to be considered 
for funding under Focus A of this absolute priority, applicants must 
meet the following application and administrative requirements. We 
encourage innovative approaches to meet them:

[[Page 39262]]

    Application Requirements. An applicant must--
    (a) Demonstrate, in the narrative section of the application under 
``Significance of the Project,'' how the proposed project will--
    (1) Provide EIS providers; special education teachers; regular 
education teachers; related services personnel; and SEA, LEA, LA, and 
EIS provider administrators with the training and information needed to 
develop and implement individualized supports to ensure that children 
who are deaf-blind have access to the general education curriculum and 
will graduate from high school ready for college and a career;
    (2) Ensure that family members of children who are deaf-blind have 
the training and information needed to maintain and improve productive 
partnerships with service providers.
    To address the requirements of paragraphs (1) and (2), the 
applicant must--
    (i) Describe applicable State, regional, or local data (and, in the 
case of an application for a consortium or region, data for each State 
that the consortium or region proposes to serve) demonstrating the 
applicant's knowledge of the training and information needs of EIS 
providers, special and regular education teachers, related services 
personnel, and family members identified in paragraphs (1) and (2), 
taking into account the critical needs of the diverse deaf-blind 
population and the geographical distribution of children who are deaf-
blind;
    (ii) Demonstrate knowledge of current educational issues and policy 
initiatives in educating children who are deaf-blind, including any 
State-specific policy initiatives and how the applicant will support 
their implementation; and
    (iii) Describe the current state of practice in implementing 
effective TA for SEAs, LEAs, LAs, and EIS providers and others who 
provide services that promote academic achievement and improved results 
for children who are deaf-blind.
    (3) Improve educational outcomes for children who are deaf-blind, 
and the likely magnitude or importance of the outcomes.
    (b) Demonstrate, in the narrative section of the application under 
``Quality of the Project Services,'' how the proposed project will--
    (1) Identify the TA and training needs of the intended recipients;
    (2) Ensure that services meet the needs of the intended recipients 
and that any products are first approved by the OSEP project officer 
and then developed in coordination with the National Center;
    (3) Achieve its goals, objectives, and intended outcomes. To meet 
this requirement, the applicant must provide--
    (i) Measureable intended project outcomes; and
    (ii) The theory of action (i.e., logic model) on how the proposed 
project will achieve its intended outcomes.
    (4) Use a conceptual framework to guide the development of project 
plans and activities, describing any underlying concepts, assumptions, 
expectations, beliefs, or theories, as well as the presumed 
relationship or linkages among these variables, and any empirical 
support for this framework;
    (5) Be based on current research and evidence-based practices. To 
meet this requirement, the applicant must describe--
    (i) The current research and evidence-based practices on ensuring 
access to the general education curriculum and improving educational 
results and functional outcomes for children who are deaf-blind, 
including graduating from high school ready for college and a career;
    (ii) How the project will incorporate current research and 
evidence-based practices on effective training and professional 
development, and how the project will incorporate the training and TA 
to the family members and practitioners identified in paragraph (a); 
and
    (iii) The process the proposed project will use to incorporate 
current research and evidence-based practices in the development and 
delivery of its products and services.
    (6) Develop and provide services that are of sufficient quality, 
intensity, and duration to achieve the intended outcomes of the 
proposed project. To address this requirement, the applicant must 
describe--
    (i) Its proposed activities to identify or develop a knowledge base 
of evidence-based practices addressing the early intervention, related 
services, educational, transitional, and functional needs of children 
who are deaf-blind;
    (ii) Its proposed approach to universal, general TA,\1\ including 
the intended recipients of products and services;
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    \1\ Within the context of State or multi-State Deaf-Blind 
Projects, ``universal, general TA'' means TA and information 
provided to independent users through their own initiative resulting 
in minimal interaction with project staff and including one-time, 
invited or offered conference presentations by project staff. This 
category of TA also includes information or products, such as 
newsletters, guidebooks, or research syntheses, downloaded from the 
project's Web site by independent users. Brief communications by 
project staff with recipients, either by telephone or email, are 
also considered universal, general TA.
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    (iii) Its proposed approach to targeted, specialized TA,\2\ 
including the intended recipients of products and services; and
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    \2\ Within the context of State or multi-State Deaf-Blind 
Projects, ``targeted, specialized TA'' means TA service based on 
needs common to multiple recipients and not extensively 
individualized. A relationship is established between the TA 
recipient and one or more project staff. This category of TA 
includes one-time, labor-intensive events, such as facilitating 
strategic planning or hosting regional or national conferences. It 
can also include episodic, less labor-intensive events that extend 
over a period of time, such as facilitating a series of conference 
calls on single or multiple topics that are designed around the 
needs of the recipients. Facilitating communities of practice can 
also be considered targeted, specialized TA.
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    (iv) Its proposed approach to intensive, sustained TA,\3\ including 
the intended recipients of products and services. To address this 
requirement, the applicant must describe--
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    \3\ Within the context of State or multi-State Deaf-Blind 
Projects, ``intensive, sustained TA'' means TA services often 
provided on-site and requiring a stable, ongoing relationship 
between the project staff and the TA recipient. ``TA services'' are 
defined as a negotiated series of activities designed to reach a 
valued outcome. This category of TA should result in changes to 
policy, program, practice, or operations that support increased 
recipient capacity and improved outcomes at one or more systems 
levels.
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    (A) Its proposed approach to measure the readiness of the SEAs, 
LEAs, LAs, EIS providers, and Parent Centers to work with the proposed 
project, including their commitment to the project initiatives, current 
infrastructure, available resources, ability to build supports for 
families, and ability to enable SEAs, LEAs, LAs, and EIS providers to 
provide TA and training to teachers, EIS providers, and other service 
providers;
    (B) Its proposed plan for assisting LEAs and EIS providers to build 
professional development systems based on the current research and 
evidence-based practices on effective training and professional 
development; and
    (C) Its proposed plan for working with individuals and entities at 
each level of the education system (e.g., SEAs, LEAs, LAs, EIS 
providers, schools, and families) to ensure communication among the 
different groups and that there are systems in place to support the use 
of best practices for educating children who are deaf-blind.
    (7) Implement services in collaboration with the National Center to 
maximize effectiveness of the TA within the State(s) served. To address 
this requirement, the applicant must describe--
    (i) How the proposed project will use technology to achieve the 
proposed project outcomes;

[[Page 39263]]

    (ii) With whom the proposed project will collaborate and the 
intended outcomes of this collaboration;
    (iii) How the proposed project will use non-project resources to 
achieve the proposed project outcomes; and
    (iv) How the applicant will facilitate States' ability to use and 
benefit from the National Center's initiatives, products, and TA, 
including those initiatives that cross regional and consortium 
boundaries.
    (c) Demonstrate, in the narrative section of the application under 
``Quality of the Evaluation Plan,'' how--
    (1) The proposed project will collect and analyze data on specific 
and measurable goals, objectives, and outcomes of the project. To 
address this requirement, the applicant must describe--
    (i) The proposed evaluation methodologies, including instruments, 
data collection methods, and possible analyses;
    (ii) The proposed standards or targets for determining 
effectiveness; and
    (iii) The proposed methods for collecting data on implementation 
supports and fidelity of implementation.
    (2) The proposed project will use the evaluation results to examine 
the effectiveness of the project's implementation strategies and the 
progress toward achieving intended outcomes; and
    (3) The methods of evaluation will produce quantitative and 
qualitative data that demonstrate whether the project achieved the 
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 traditionally been 
underrepresented based on race, color, national origin, linguistic 
diversity, gender, age, or disability, as appropriate;
    (2) The proposed key project personnel, consultants, and 
subcontractors have the qualifications and experience to carry out the 
proposed activities and 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 appropriate; and
    (ii) Timelines and milestones for accomplishing the project tasks.
    (2) Key project personnel, and any consultants and subcontractors, 
will be allocated to the project and the appropriateness and adequacy 
of these time allocations to achieve the project's intended outcomes;
    (3) The proposed management plan will ensure that the products and 
services provided are of high quality;
    (4) The proposed project will benefit from a diversity of 
perspectives, including families, educators, TA providers, researchers, 
and policy makers, among others, in its development and operation;
    (5) If applicable, the members of a consortium or region will 
receive appropriate services; and
    (6) If applicable, the proposed project will ensure that the 
distribution of resources is equitable within a consortium or region.
    (f) In the narrative under ``Required Project Assurances'' or 
appendices as directed, meet the following application requirements--
    (1) Include in Appendix A a logic model that depicts, at a minimum, 
the goals, activities, outputs, and intended outcomes of the proposed 
project. A logic model communicates how a project will achieve its 
intended outcomes and provides a framework for both the formative and 
summative evaluations of the project.

    Note:  The following Web sites provide more information on logic 
models: www.researchutilization.org/matrix/logicmodel_resource3c.html and http://www.tadnet.org/pages/589;

    (2) Include in Appendix A a visual representation of the conceptual 
framework, if a visual representation is developed;
    (3) Include in Appendix A charts and timelines, as appropriate, to 
illustrate the management plan described in the narrative;
    (4) Include in the budget attendance at the following:
    (i) A one-day planning meeting preceding the project directors' 
conference held in Washington, DC, in coordination with the National 
Center and an annual planning meeting with the OSEP project officer and 
other relevant staff during each subsequent year of the project period;
    (ii) A two and one-half day project directors' conference in 
Washington, DC, during each year of the project period.
    (5) Maintain a Web site that meets government or industry-
recognized standards for accessibility.

    Note:  Any entity applying to provide services for a region is 
required to propose to serve all of the States in the region. This 
regional applicant must notify the SEAs in each of the States in the 
region of its intention to apply for funding, but is not required to 
obtain approval from all of the SEAs in the region in order to be 
eligible to apply for funding. A State may choose to be served by 
the regional applicant in order to participate in the program, or 
may apply for funding as part of a multi-State consortium or by 
itself, as discussed in more detail below. Individual States would 
not have to submit applications if they opted to be served by the 
regional applicant.

    States are also invited to form consortia to apply for funding 
under Focus Area A of this priority in accordance with EDGAR in 34 CFR 
75.127 to 75.129. A consortium may be comprised of any group of States 
and would not be bound by the previously described predefined regions.
    Focus Area B: National Technical Assistance and Dissemination 
Center for Children Who Are Deaf-Blind.
    Under Focus Area B, the Department will fund a cooperative 
agreement to establish and operate a National Center on Deaf-Blindness 
that must, at a minimum: (1) Increase the ability of State and multi-
State deaf-blind projects to assist personnel in SEAs, LEAs, LAs, and 
EIS providers to use evidence-based practices and products to improve 
outcomes for children who are deaf-blind; (2) develop evidence-based 
tools and broadly disseminate evidence-based tools to State or multi-
State deaf-blind projects and individuals and entities at each level of 
the education system to improve outcomes for children who are deaf-
blind; (3) in collaboration with the Parent Centers, increase the 
ability of State or multi-State deaf-blind projects to provide training 
and supports to families of children who are deaf-blind so that they 
can successfully advocate on behalf of their children and help ensure 
that their children are better positioned for independent living; (4) 
enable State or multi-State deaf-blind projects to develop policies and 
practices to improve outcomes for children who are deaf-blind; and (5) 
conduct an annual National Child Count of children who are deaf-blind, 
ensuring that accurate data to inform practice is presented in a way 
that is useful to States.
    To be considered for funding under Focus B of this absolute 
priority, applicants must meet the application

[[Page 39264]]

and administrative requirements contained in this priority. We 
encourage innovative approaches to meet these requirements, which are 
as follows:
    Application Requirements. An applicant must--
    (a) Demonstrate, in the narrative section of the application under 
``Significance of the Project,'' how the proposed project will work 
collaboratively with the State Technical Assistance Projects to--
    (1) Ensure that State and multi-state deaf-blind projects, SEAs, 
LEAs, LAs, EIS providers, and organizations serving family members of 
children who are deaf-blind have the training and information needed to 
enable them to maintain and improve productive partnerships with EIS 
providers, special education teachers, regular education teachers, and 
related services personnel; and
    (2) Provide State and multi-State deaf-blind projects, SEAs, LEAs, 
LAs, EIS providers, and organizations serving family members of 
children who are deaf-blind with the training and information needed to 
ensure that EIS providers; special education teachers; general 
education teachers; related services personnel; and SEA, LEA, LA, and 
EIS provider personnel have the skills to develop and implement 
individualized supports to ensure children who are deaf-blind have 
access to the general education curriculum and graduate from high 
school ready for college and a career.
    To address the requirements of paragraphs (1) and (2) the applicant 
must--
    (i) Describe applicable national, State, regional, or local data 
demonstrating knowledge of the training and information needs of family 
members and EIS providers, special education teachers, regular 
education teachers, and related services personnel, taking into account 
the critical needs of the diverse deaf-blind population, the 
geographical distribution of children who are deaf-blind, and the 
placement opportunities for these children in inclusive settings;
    (ii) Demonstrate knowledge of current educational issues and policy 
initiatives in educating children who are deaf-blind; and
    (iii) Present information about the state of implementation of 
effective TA systems in SEAs, LEAs, LAs, and EIS providers serving 
professionals and others involved in providing services that promote 
academic achievement and improved results for children who are deaf-
blind; and
    (3) Result in improved educational outcomes for children who are 
deaf-blind, and the likely magnitude or importance of the outcomes.
    (b) Demonstrate, in the narrative section of the application under 
``Quality of the Project Services,'' how the proposed project will--
    (1) Identify the needs of the intended recipients of TA and 
training;
    (2) Ensure that services and products meet the needs of the 
intended recipients;
    (3) Achieve its goals, objectives, and intended outcomes. To meet 
this requirement, the applicant must provide--
    (i) Measureable intended project outcomes; and
    (ii) The theory of action (i.e., logic model) on how the proposed 
project will achieve its intended outcomes.
    (4) Use a conceptual framework to guide the development of project 
plans and activities, describing any underlying concepts, assumptions, 
expectations, beliefs, or theories; the presumed relationship or 
linkages among these variables; and any empirical support for this 
framework;
    (5) Be based on current research and evidence-based practices. To 
meet this requirement, the applicant must describe--
    (i) The current research and evidence-based practices on ensuring 
access to the general education curriculum and improving educational 
results and functional outcomes for children who are deaf-blind, 
including graduating from high school ready for college and a career;
    (ii) How the proposed project will incorporate the current research 
and evidence-based practices on effective training and professional 
development to support training and TA to the family members and 
practitioners identified in paragraph (a); and
    (iii) The process the proposed project will use to incorporate 
current research and evidence-based practices in the development and 
delivery of its products and services;
    (6) Develop products and provide services that are of sufficient 
quality, intensity, and duration to achieve the intended outcomes of 
the proposed project. To address this requirement, the applicant must 
describe--
    (i) Its proposed activities to identify or develop a knowledge base 
of evidence-based practices addressing the early intervention, related 
services, educational, transitional, and functional needs of children 
who are deaf-blind;
    (ii) Its proposed approach to universal, general TA,\4\ including 
the intended recipients of products and services;
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \4\ Within the context of the National Center on Deaf-Blindness, 
``universal, general TA'' means TA and information provided to 
independent users through their own initiative resulting in minimal 
interaction with TA center staff and including one-time, invited or 
offered conference presentations by TA center staff. This category 
of TA also includes information or products, such as newsletters, 
guidebooks, or research syntheses, downloaded from the TA center's 
Web site by independent users. Brief communications by TA center 
staff with recipients, either by telephone or email, are also 
considered universal, general TA.
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    (iii) Its proposed approach to targeted, specialized TA,\5\ 
including the intended recipients of products and services; and
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \5\ Within the context of the National Center on Deaf-Blindness, 
``targeted, specialized TA'' means TA service based on needs common 
to multiple recipients and not extensively individualized. A 
relationship is established between the TA recipient and one or more 
TA center staff. This category of TA includes one-time, labor-
intensive events, such as facilitating strategic planning or hosting 
regional or national conferences. It can also include episodic, less 
labor-intensive events that extend over a period of time, such as 
facilitating a series of conference calls on single or multiple 
topics that are designed around the needs of the recipients. 
Facilitating communities of practice can also be considered 
targeted, specialized TA.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    (iv) Its proposed approach to intensive, sustained TA,\6\ including 
the intended recipients of products and services. To address this 
requirement, the applicant must describe--
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \6\ Within the context of the National Center on Deaf-Blindness, 
``intensive, sustained TA'' means services often provided on-site 
and requiring a stable, ongoing relationship between the TA center 
staff and the TA recipient. ``TA services'' are defined as 
negotiated series of activities designed to reach a valued outcome. 
This category of TA should result in changes to policy, program, 
practice, or operations that support increased recipient capacity or 
improved outcomes at one or more systems levels.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    (A) Its proposed approach to measure the readiness of State or 
multi-State deaf-blind projects to work with the proposed project, 
including their commitment to the project initiatives, current 
infrastructure, available resources, ability to build supports for 
families, and build skills of the LEAs and EIS providers to provide TA 
and training to teachers, EIS providers, and other service providers;
    (B) Its proposed plan for assisting State or multi-State deaf-blind 
projects to build professional development systems for SEAs, LEAs, LAs, 
and EIS providers based on the current research and evidence-based 
practices on effective training and professional development; and
    (C) Its proposed plan for working with individuals and entities at 
each level of the education system (e.g., SEAs, LAs, Regional Resource 
Centers, Regional Comprehensive Centers, LEAs, EIS providers, schools, 
and families) to ensure communication among the different groups and 
that there are systems in place to support the use of

[[Page 39265]]

best practices for educating children who are deaf-blind.
    (7) Develop products and implement services to maximize the 
effectiveness of the TA. To address this requirement, the applicant 
must describe--
    (i) How the proposed project will use technology to achieve the 
proposed project outcomes;
    (ii) With whom the proposed project will collaborate and the 
intended outcomes of this collaboration; and
    (iii) How the proposed project will use non-project resources to 
achieve the proposed project outcomes.
    (c) Demonstrate, in the narrative section of the application under 
``Quality of the Evaluation Plan,'' how--
    (1) The proposed project will collect and analyze data on specific 
and measurable goals, objectives, and outcomes of the project in 
addressing the educational, related services, transitional, and early 
intervention needs of children who are deaf-blind to ensure that these 
children will graduate from high school ready for college and a career. 
To address this requirement, the applicant must describe--
    (i) The proposed evaluation methodologies, including instruments, 
data collection methods, and possible analyses;
    (ii) The proposed standards or targets for determining 
effectiveness; and
    (iii) The proposed methods for collecting data on implementation 
supports and fidelity of implementation.
    (2) The proposed project will use the evaluation results to examine 
the effectiveness of the project's implementation strategies and the 
progress toward achieving intended outcomes; and
    (3) The methods of evaluation will produce quantitative and 
qualitative data that demonstrate whether the project achieved the 
intended outcomes.
    (d) Demonstrate, in the narrative section of the application under 
``Adequacy of Project Resources,'' how--
    (1) The proposed project will ensure equal access and treatment in 
employment of persons who are members of groups that have traditionally 
been underrepresented based on race, color, national origin, linguistic 
diversity, gender, age, or disability, as appropriate;
    (2) The proposed key project personnel, consultants, and 
subcontractors have the qualifications and experience to carry out the 
proposed activities and achieve the project's intended outcomes;
    (3) The applicant and any key partners have adequate resources to 
carry out 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 appropriate; and
    (ii) Timelines and milestones for accomplishing the project tasks;
    (2) Key project personnel, and any consultants and subcontractors, 
will be allocated to the project and the appropriateness and adequacy 
of these time allocations to achieve the project's intended outcomes;
    (3) The proposed management plan will ensure that the products and 
services provided are of high quality;
    (4) The proposed project will dedicate at least one full-time staff 
member to evaluating the ongoing efforts of State and multi-State 
projects to ensure children who are deaf-blind have access to the 
general education curriculum and will graduate from high school ready 
for college and a career; and
    (5) The proposed project will benefit from a diversity of 
perspectives, including families, educators, TA providers, researchers, 
and policy makers, among others, in its development and operation.
    (f) In the narrative under ``Required Project Assurances'' or 
appendices as directed, meet the following application requirements--
    (1) Include in Appendix A a logic model that depicts, at a minimum, 
the goals, activities, outputs, and intended outcomes of the proposed 
project. A logic model communicates how a project will achieve its 
intended outcomes and provides a framework for both the formative and 
summative evaluations of the project.

    Note:  The following Web sites provide more information on logic 
models: www.researchutilization.org/matrix/logicmodel_resource3c.html and http://www.tadnet.org/pages/589;
    (2) Include in Appendix A a visual representation of the 
conceptual framework, if a visual representation is developed;
    (3) Include in Appendix A charts and timelines, as appropriate, 
to illustrate the management plan described in the narrative;
    (4) Include in the budget attendance at the following:
    (i) A one and one-half day kick-off meeting to be held in 
Washington, DC, after receipt of the award, and an annual planning 
meeting in Washington, DC, with the OSEP project officer and other 
relevant staff, during each subsequent year of the project period.


    Note:  Within 30 days of receipt of the award, a post-award 
teleconference must be held between the OSEP project officer and the 
grantee's project director or other authorized representative;
    (ii) A two and one-half day project directors' conference in 
Washington, DC, during each year of the project period;
    (iii) One trip annually to attend Department briefings, 
Department-sponsored conferences, and other meetings, as requested 
by OSEP; and
    (iv) A one-day intensive review meeting that will be held during 
the last half of the second year of the project period.
    (5) Include in the budget a line item for an annual set-aside of 
five percent of the grant amount to support emerging needs that are 
consistent with the proposed project's intended outcomes, as those 
needs are identified in consultation with OSEP.


    Note:  With approval from the OSEP project officer, the project 
must reallocate any remaining funds from this annual set-aside no 
later than the end of the third quarter of each budget period; and
    (6) Maintain a Web site that meets government or industry-
recognized standards for accessibility.

    Fourth and Fifth Years of the Project for Focus Area B:
    In deciding whether to continue funding the project for Focus 
Area B for the fourth and fifth years, the Secretary will consider 
the requirements of 34 CFR 75.253(a), as well as--
    (a) The recommendation of a review team consisting of experts 
selected by the Secretary. This review will be conducted during a 
one-day intensive meeting in Washington, DC, that will be held 
during the last half of the second year of the project period;
    (b) The timeliness and effectiveness with which all requirements 
of the negotiated cooperative agreement have been or are being met 
by the project; and
    (c) The quality, relevance, and usefulness of the project's 
activities and products and the degree to which the project's 
activities and products are aligned with the project's objectives 
and likely to result in the project achieving its proposed outcomes.
    References:

Bruce, S. M. (2007). Teacher preparation for the education of 
students who are deaf-blind: A retrospective and prospective view. 
Deaf-Blind Perspectives, 14(2).
Emerson, J., & Bishop, J. (2012). Videophone technology and students 
with deaf-blindness: A method for increasing access and 
communication. Journal of Visual Impairment & Blindness, 106(10), 
622-633.
Kamenopoulou, L. (2012). A study on the inclusion of deaf-blind 
young people in mainstream schools: Key findings and implications 
for research and practice.

[[Page 39266]]

British Journal of Special Education, 39(3), 137-145.
National Center on Low-Incidence Disabilities. (2005, April 24). New 
personnel produced by programs, 2003-2004. Retrieved from 
www.nationaldb.org/dbp/apr2007.htm.
National Center on Severe and Sensory Disabilities. (2009). 1995-
2006 graduate and enrollment survey data for personnel preparation 
in visual disabilities. Retrieved from www.unco.edu/ncssd/research/gradsurvey/2006-2007/GES_Data_Reports.shtml.
National Consortium on Deaf-Blindness. (2012). The 2011 national 
child count of children and youth who are deaf-blind. Retrieved from 
www.nationaldb.org/TAChildCount.php.
Smale, K. (2010). Helping students toward independence: The Steps 
Program at Utah State School for Deaf-Blind. Odyssey: New Directions 
in Deaf Education, 11(1), 47-49.

    Waiver of Proposed Rulemaking: Under the Administrative Procedure 
Act (APA) (5 U.S.C. 553) the Department generally offers interested 
parties the opportunity to comment on proposed priorities and 
requirements. Section 681(d) of IDEA, however, makes the public comment 
requirements of the APA inapplicable to the priorities and requirements 
in this notice.
    Program Authority: 20 U.S.C. 1463 and 1481.
    Applicable Regulations: (a) The Education Department General 
Administrative Regulations (EDGAR) in 34 CFR parts 74, 75, 77, 79, 80, 
81, 82, 84, 86, 97, 98, and 99. (b) The Education Department debarment 
and suspension regulations in 2 CFR part 3485.

    Note:  The regulations in 34 CFR part 79 apply to all applicants 
except federally recognized Indian tribes.


    Note:  The regulations in 34 CFR part 86 apply to institutions 
of higher education (IHEs) only.

II. Award Information

    Type of Award: Cooperative agreements.
    Estimated Available Funds: $11,600,000.
    Contingent upon the availability of funds and the quality of 
applications, we may make additional awards in FY 2014 from the list of 
unfunded applicants from this competition.
    Estimated Range of Awards: Focus Area A: See chart. Focus Area B: 
$2,100,000.
    Estimated Average Size of Awards: Focus Area A: $176,000. Focus 
Area B: $2,100,000.
    Maximum Award: Focus Area A: The following chart lists the maximum 
amount of funds for individual States and regions for a single budget 
period of 12 months. A State may be served by only one supported 
project. In determining the maximum funding levels for each State the 
Secretary considered, among other things, the following factors:
    (1) The total number of children from birth through age 21 in the 
State.
    (2) The number of people in poverty in the State.
    (3) The previous funding levels.
    (4) The maximum and minimum funding amounts.

            FY 2013 Funding Levels by Region for Focus Area A
------------------------------------------------------------------------
 
------------------------------------------------------------------------
Region 1.................................  Total: $1,770,926
CT.......................................  104,751
MA.......................................  126,661
ME.......................................  65,000
NH.......................................  65,807
NJ.......................................  268,086
NY.......................................  575,000
PA.......................................  371,952
RI.......................................  79,368
VT.......................................  114,301
Region 2.................................  Total: 1,543,279
DC.......................................  65,000
DE.......................................  83,362
KY.......................................  165,145
MD.......................................  164,366
NC.......................................  313,649
SC.......................................  154,204
TN.......................................  238,451
VA.......................................  234,082
WV.......................................  125,020
Region 3.................................  Total: 2,052,453
AL.......................................  185,095
AR.......................................  118,534
FL.......................................  362,027
GA.......................................  305,978
LA.......................................  145,840
MS.......................................  133,605
OK.......................................  131,374
PR.......................................  65,000
TX.......................................  575,000
VI.......................................  30,000
Region 4.................................  Total: 1,700,148
IA.......................................  97,054
IL.......................................  335,444
IN.......................................  210,093
MI.......................................  256,289
MN.......................................  171,335
MO.......................................  197,129
OH.......................................  259,320
WI.......................................  173,484
Region 5.................................  Total: 1,066,830
AZ.......................................  175,338
CO.......................................  154,079
KS.......................................  128,122
MT.......................................  106,123
ND.......................................  65,000
NE.......................................  78,471
NM.......................................  100,912
SD.......................................  101,746
UT.......................................  92,039
WY.......................................  65,000
Region 6.................................  Total: 1,366,364
AK.......................................  106,971
CA.......................................  575,000
HI.......................................  77,491
ID.......................................  85,303
NV.......................................  112,563
OR.......................................  121,286
WA.......................................  195,750
Pacific**................................  92,000
------------------------------------------------------------------------
**The areas to be served by this award are the outlying areas of
  American Samoa, Guam, and the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana
  Islands as well as the freely associated States of the Republic of the
  Marshall Islands, the Federated States of Micronesia, and the Republic
  of Palau. An applicant for this award must propose to serve all of
  these areas.

    We will reject an application under Focus Area A of the priority 
under any of the following circumstances:
    (a) A State project that proposes a budget exceeding the funding 
level listed in this notice for that State for any single budget period 
of 12 months.
    (b) An application for a region that does not include every State 
specified for that region as described under the Focus Area A priority 
in this notice.
    (c) An application for a region that includes States outside of the 
predetermined regions as described under the Focus Area A priority in 
this notice.
    (d) An application for a region or consortium that proposes a 
budget exceeding the funding level for any single budget period of 12 
months of the combined funding for each State member of the region or 
consortium as specified in the FY 2013 Funding Levels by Region for 
Focus Area A chart.
    We will reject an application under Focus Area B of the priority 
under any project that proposes a budget exceeding the funding level 
listed in this notice for any single budget period of 12 months.

    Note: The Assistant Secretary for Special Education and 
Rehabilitative Services may change the maximum amount through a 
notice published in the Federal Register.

    Estimated Number of Awards: Focus Area A: 54.
    Focus Area B: 1.

    Note:  The Department is not bound by any estimates in this 
notice.

    Project Period: Up to 36 months with an optional additional 24 
months based on performance. Applications must include plans for both 
the 36-month award and the 24-month extension.

III. Eligibility Information

    1. Eligible Applicants: SEAs; LEAs, including public charter 
schools that are considered LEAs under State law; IHEs; other public 
agencies; private nonprofit organizations; freely associated States and 
outlying areas; Indian tribes or tribal organizations; and for-profit 
organizations.
    With respect to Focus Area A of the priority, in order to provide 
SEAs with greater flexibility in how TA is

[[Page 39267]]

delivered and ensure high-quality TA, individual States have the 
following options: (1) Participating in a regional project; (2) 
participating as a member of a multi-State consortium; or (3) applying 
directly for funds as a single State. Therefore, eligible applicants 
for funds awarded under Focus Area A of this absolute priority may be 
an entity serving a predetermined region of States, a multi-State 
consortium, or a single State. The predetermined regions are the six 
OSEP Regional Resource Center regions--
    Region 1: Connecticut, Massachusetts, Maine, New Hampshire, New 
Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, and Vermont;
    Region 2: District of Columbia, Delaware, Kentucky, Maryland, North 
Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, Virginia, and West Virginia;
    Region 3: Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Louisiana, 
Mississippi, Oklahoma, Puerto Rico, Texas, and the Virgin Islands;
    Region 4: Iowa, Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, 
Ohio, and Wisconsin;
    Region 5: Arizona, Colorado, Kansas, Montana, North Dakota, 
Nebraska, New Mexico, South Dakota, Utah, and Wyoming;
    Region 6: Alaska, California, Hawaii, Idaho, Nevada, Oregon, 
Washington, American Samoa, Guam, the Commonwealth of the Northern 
Marianas, States of the Republic of the Marshall Islands, the Federated 
States of Micronesia, and the Republic of Palau.
    Eligible applicants under Focus Area A of this priority are invited 
to submit single-State applications to provide deaf-blind TA services 
to individual States, as they have done in the past. If a State is 
included in more than one application as a member of a consortium or 
predefined region or submits an individual State application, and more 
than one application is determined to be fundable for the State, the 
State will be given the option under which award (individual State, 
consortium, or region) it will receive funding. It may not be funded 
under multiple awards. If a State(s) chooses not to participate in a 
predetermined region, the predetermined region's funding would be 
reduced by the amount of the award(s) that would be made for the 
individual State(s) application. The maximum level of funding for a 
consortium or region will reflect the combined total that the eligible 
entities comprising the consortium or region would have received if 
they had applied separately. For States within consortia or regions, no 
State will be permitted to receive less services or supports than it 
would have received under a previously held Deaf-Blind State grant.
    2. Cost Sharing or Matching: This program does not require cost 
sharing or matching.
    3. Other General Requirements: (a) Recipients of funding under this 
program must make positive efforts to employ and advance in employment 
qualified individuals with disabilities (see section 606 of IDEA).
    (b) Each applicant for, and recipient of, funding under this 
program must involve individuals with disabilities, or parents of 
individuals with disabilities ages birth through 26, in planning, 
implementing, and evaluating the project (see section 682(a)(1)(A) of 
IDEA).

IV. Application and Submission Information

    1. Address to Request Application Package: You can obtain an 
application package via the Internet or from the Education Publications 
Center (ED Pubs). To obtain a copy via the Internet, use the following 
address: www.ed.gov/fund/grant/apply/grantapps/index.html. To obtain a 
copy from ED Pubs, write, fax, or call the following: ED Pubs, U.S. 
Department of Education, P.O. Box 22207, Alexandria, VA 22304. 
Telephone, toll free: 1-877-433-7827. FAX: (703) 605-6794. If you use a 
telecommunications device for the deaf (TDD) or a text telephone (TTY), 
call, toll free: 1-877-576-7734.
    You can contact ED Pubs at its Web site, also: www.EDPubs.gov or at 
its email address: edpubs@inet.ed.gov.
    If you request an application from ED Pubs, be sure to identify 
this competition as follows: CFDA number 84.326T.
    Individuals with disabilities can obtain a copy of the application 
package in an accessible format (e.g., braille, large print, audiotape, 
or compact disc) by contacting the person or team listed under 
Accessible Format in section VIII of this notice.
    2. Content and Form of Application Submission: Requirements 
concerning the content of an application, together with the forms you 
must submit, are in the application package for this competition.
    Page Limit: The application narrative (Part III of the application) 
is where you, the applicant, address the selection criteria that 
reviewers use to evaluate your application. You must limit Part III to 
the equivalent of no more than 70 pages using the following standards:
     A ``page'' is 8.5'' x 11'', on one side only, with 1'' 
margins at the top, bottom, and both sides.
     Double space (no more than three lines per vertical inch) 
all text in the application narrative, including titles, headings, 
footnotes, quotations, references, and captions, as well as all text in 
charts, tables, figures, and graphs.
     Use a font that is either 12 point or larger or no smaller 
than 10 pitch (characters per inch).
     Use one of the following fonts: Times New Roman, Courier, 
Courier New, or Arial. An application submitted in any other font 
(including Times Roman or Arial Narrow) will not be accepted.
    The page limit does not apply to Part I, the cover sheet; Part II, 
the budget section, including the narrative budget justification; Part 
IV, the assurances and certifications; or the one-page abstract, the 
resumes, the bibliography, or the letters of support. However, the page 
limit does apply to all of Part III.
    We will reject your application if you exceed the page limit; or if 
you apply other standards and exceed the equivalent of the page limit.
    3. Submission Dates and Times: Applications Available: July 1, 
2013.
    Deadline for Transmittal of Applications: August 15, 2013.
    Applications for grants under this competition must be submitted 
electronically using the Grants.gov Apply site (Grants.gov). For 
information (including dates and times) about how to submit your 
application electronically, or in paper format by mail or hand delivery 
if you qualify for an exception to the electronic submission 
requirement, please refer to section IV.
    7. Other Submission Requirements of this notice.
    We do not consider an application that does not comply with the 
deadline requirements.
    Individuals with disabilities who need an accommodation or 
auxiliary aid in connection with the application process should contact 
the person listed under FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT in section VII 
of this notice. If the Department provides an accommodation or 
auxiliary aid to an individual with a disability in connection with the 
application process, the individual's application remains subject to 
all other requirements and limitations in this notice.
    4. Intergovernmental Review: This program is subject to Executive 
Order 12372 and the regulations in 34 CFR part 79. However, under 34 
CFR 79.8(a), we waive intergovernmental review in order to make awards 
by the end of FY 2013.

[[Page 39268]]

    5. Funding Restrictions: We reference regulations outlining funding 
restrictions in the Applicable Regulations section of this notice.
    6. Data Universal Numbering System Number, Taxpayer Identification 
Number, and System for Award Management: To do business with the 
Department of Education, you must--
    a. Have a Data Universal Numbering System (DUNS) number and a 
Taxpayer Identification Number (TIN);
    b. Register both your DUNS number and TIN with the System for Award 
Management (SAM) (formerly the Central Contractor Registry (CCR)), the 
Government's primary registrant database;
    c. Provide your DUNS number and TIN on your application; and
    d. Maintain an active SAM registration with current information 
while your application is under review by the Department and, if you 
are awarded a grant, during the project period.
    You can obtain a DUNS number from Dun and Bradstreet. A DUNS number 
can be created within one business day.
    If you are a corporate entity, agency, institution, or 
organization, you can obtain a TIN from the Internal Revenue Service. 
If you are an individual, you can obtain a TIN from the Internal 
Revenue Service or the Social Security Administration. If you need a 
new TIN, please allow 2-5 weeks for your TIN to become active.
    The SAM registration process may take seven or more business days 
to complete. If you are currently registered with the SAM, you may not 
need to make any changes. However, please make certain that the TIN 
associated with your DUNS number is correct. Also note that you will 
need to update your registration annually. This may take three or more 
business days to complete. Information about SAM is available at 
SAM.gov.
    In addition, if you are submitting your application via Grants.gov, 
you must (1) be designated by your organization as an Authorized 
Organization Representative (AOR); and (2) register yourself with 
Grants.gov as an AOR. Details on these steps are outlined at the 
following Grants.gov Web page: www.grants.gov/applicants/get_registered.jsp.
    7. Other Submission Requirements: Applications for grants under 
this competition must be submitted electronically unless you qualify 
for an exception to this requirement in accordance with the 
instructions in this section.
    a. Electronic Submission of Applications.
    Applications for grants under the State Technical Assistance 
Projects to Improve Services and Results for Children Who Are Deaf-
Blind and National Technical Assistance and Dissemination Center for 
Children Who Are Deaf-Blind competition, CFDA number 84.326T, must be 
submitted electronically using the Governmentwide Grants.gov Apply site 
at www.Grants.gov. Through this site, you will be able to download a 
copy of the application package, complete it offline, and then upload 
and submit your application. You may not email an electronic copy of a 
grant application to us.
    We will reject your application if you submit it in paper format 
unless, as described elsewhere in this section, you qualify for one of 
the exceptions to the electronic submission requirement and submit, no 
later than two weeks before the application deadline date, a written 
statement to the Department that you qualify for one of these 
exceptions. Further information regarding calculation of the date that 
is two weeks before the application deadline date is provided later in 
this section under Exception to Electronic Submission Requirement.
    You may access the electronic grant application for the State 
Technical Assistance Projects to Improve Services and Results for 
Children Who Are Deaf-Blind and National Technical Assistance and 
Dissemination Center for Children Who Are Deaf-Blind competition at 
www.Grants.gov. You must search for the downloadable application 
package for this competition by the CFDA number. Do not include the 
CFDA number's alpha suffix in your search (e.g., search for 84.326, not 
84.326T).
    Please note the following:
     When you enter the Grants.gov site, you will find 
information about submitting an application electronically through the 
site, as well as the hours of operation.
     Applications received by Grants.gov are date and time 
stamped. Your application must be fully uploaded and submitted and must 
be date and time stamped by the Grants.gov system no later than 4:30:00 
p.m., Washington, DC time, on the application deadline date. Except as 
otherwise noted in this section, we will not accept your application if 
it is received--that is, date and time stamped by the Grants.gov 
system--after 4:30:00 p.m., Washington, DC time, on the application 
deadline date. We do not consider an application that does not comply 
with the deadline requirements. When we retrieve your application from 
Grants.gov, we will notify you if we are rejecting your application 
because it was date and time stamped by the Grants.gov system after 
4:30:00 p.m., Washington, DC time, on the application deadline date.
     The amount of time it can take to upload an application 
will vary depending on a variety of factors, including the size of the 
application and the speed of your Internet connection. Therefore, we 
strongly recommend that you do not wait until the application deadline 
date to begin the submission process through Grants.gov.
     You should review and follow the Education Submission 
Procedures for submitting an application through Grants.gov that are 
included in the application package for this competition to ensure that 
you submit your application in a timely manner to the Grants.gov 
system. You can also find the Education Submission Procedures 
pertaining to Grants.gov under News and Events on the Department's G5 
system home page at www.G5.gov.
     You will not receive additional point value because you 
submit your application in electronic format, nor will we penalize you 
if you qualify for an exception to the electronic submission 
requirement, as described elsewhere in this section, and submit your 
application in paper format.
     You must submit all documents electronically, including 
all information you typically provide on the following forms: The 
Application for Federal Assistance (SF 424), the Department of 
Education Supplemental Information for SF 424, Budget Information--Non-
Construction Programs (ED 524), and all necessary assurances and 
certifications.
     You must upload any narrative sections and all other 
attachments to your application as files in a PDF (Portable Document) 
read-only, non-modifiable format. Do not upload an interactive or 
fillable PDF file. If you upload a file type other than a read-only, 
non-modifiable PDF or submit a password-protected file, we will not 
review that material. Additional, detailed information on how to attach 
files is in the application instructions.
     Your electronic application must comply with any page-
limit requirements described in this notice.
     After you electronically submit your application, you will 
receive from Grants.gov an automatic notification of receipt that 
contains a Grants.gov tracking number. (This notification indicates 
receipt by Grants.gov only, not receipt by the Department.) The 
Department then will retrieve your application from Grants.gov and send 
a second notification to you by email. This second notification 
indicates that

[[Page 39269]]

the Department has received your application and has assigned your 
application a PR/Award number (a Department-specified identifying 
number unique to your application).
     We may request that you provide us original signatures on 
forms at a later date.
    Application Deadline Date Extension in Case of Technical Issues 
with the Grants.gov System: If you are experiencing problems submitting 
your application through Grants.gov, please contact the Grants.gov 
Support Desk, toll free, at 1-800-518-4726. You must obtain a 
Grants.gov Support Desk Case Number and must keep a record of it.
    If you are prevented from electronically submitting your 
application on the application deadline date because of technical 
problems with the Grants.gov system, we will grant you an extension 
until 4:30:00 p.m., Washington, DC time, the following business day to 
enable you to transmit your application electronically or by hand 
delivery. You also may mail your application by following the mailing 
instructions described elsewhere in this notice.
    If you submit an application after 4:30:00 p.m., Washington, DC 
time, on the application deadline date, please contact the person 
listed under FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT in section VII of this 
notice and provide an explanation of the technical problem you 
experienced with Grants.gov, along with the Grants.gov Support Desk 
Case Number. We will accept your application if we can confirm that a 
technical problem occurred with the Grants.gov system and that that 
problem affected your ability to submit your application by 4:30:00 
p.m., Washington, DC time, on the application deadline date. The 
Department will contact you after a determination is made on whether 
your application will be accepted.

    Note:  The extensions to which we refer in this section apply 
only to the unavailability of, or technical problems with, the 
Grants.gov system. We will not grant you an extension if you failed 
to fully register to submit your application to Grants.gov before 
the application deadline date and time or if the technical problem 
you experienced is unrelated to the Grants.gov system.

    Exception to Electronic Submission Requirement: You qualify for an 
exception to the electronic submission requirement, and may submit your 
application in paper format, if you are unable to submit an application 
through the Grants.gov system because--
     You do not have access to the Internet; or
     You do not have the capacity to upload large documents to 
the Grants.gov system; and
     No later than two weeks before the application deadline 
date (14 calendar days or, if the fourteenth calendar day before the 
application deadline date falls on a Federal holiday, the next business 
day following the Federal holiday), you mail or fax a written statement 
to the Department, explaining which of the two grounds for an exception 
prevents you from using the Internet to submit your application.
    If you mail your written statement to the Department, it must be 
postmarked no later than two weeks before the application deadline 
date. If you fax your written statement to the Department, we must 
receive the faxed statement no later than two weeks before the 
application deadline date.
    Address and mail or fax your statement to: Jo Ann McCann, U.S. 
Department of Education, 400 Maryland Avenue SW., Room 4076, Potomac 
Center Plaza (PCP), Washington, DC 20202-2600. FAX: (202) 245-7617.
    Your paper application must be submitted in accordance with the 
mail or hand delivery instructions described in this notice.
    b. Submission of Paper Applications by Mail.
    If you qualify for an exception to the electronic submission 
requirement, you may mail (through the U.S. Postal Service or a 
commercial carrier) your application to the Department. You must mail 
the original and two copies of your application, on or before the 
application deadline date, to the Department at the following address: 
U.S. Department of Education, Application Control Center, Attention: 
(CFDA Number 84.326T) LBJ Basement Level 1, 400 Maryland Avenue SW., 
Washington, DC 20202-4260.
    You must show proof of mailing consisting of one of the following:
    (1) A legibly dated U.S. Postal Service postmark.
    (2) A legible mail receipt with the date of mailing stamped by the 
U.S. Postal Service.
    (3) A dated shipping label, invoice, or receipt from a commercial 
carrier.
    (4) Any other proof of mailing acceptable to the Secretary of the 
U.S. Department of Education.
    If you mail your application through the U.S. Postal Service, we do 
not accept either of the following as proof of mailing:
    (1) A private metered postmark.
    (2) A mail receipt that is not dated by the U.S. Postal Service.
    If your application is postmarked after the application deadline 
date, we will not consider your application.

    Note:  The U.S. Postal Service does not uniformly provide a 
dated postmark. Before relying on this method, you should check with 
your local post office.

    c. Submission of Paper Applications by Hand Delivery.
    If you qualify for an exception to the electronic submission 
requirement, you (or a courier service) may deliver your paper 
application to the Department by hand. You must deliver the original 
and two copies of your application by hand, on or before the 
application deadline date, to the Department at the following address: 
U.S. Department of Education, Application Control Center, Attention: 
(CFDA Number 84.326T), 550 12th Street, SW., Room 7041, Potomac Center 
Plaza, Washington, DC 20202-4260.
    The Application Control Center accepts hand deliveries daily 
between 8:00 a.m. and 4:30:00 p.m., Washington, DC time, except 
Saturdays, Sundays, and Federal holidays.
    Note for Mail or Hand Delivery of Paper Applications: If you mail 
or hand deliver your application to the Department--
    (1) You must indicate on the envelope and--if not provided by the 
Department--in Item 11 of the SF 424 the CFDA number, including suffix 
letter, if any, of the competition under which you are submitting your 
application; and
    (2) The Application Control Center will mail to you a notification 
of receipt of your grant application. If you do not receive this 
notification within 15 business days from the application deadline 
date, you should call the U.S. Department of Education Application 
Control Center at (202) 245-6288.

V. Application Review Information

    1. Selection Criteria: The selection criteria for this program are 
from 34 CFR 75.210 and are listed in the application package.
    2. Review and Selection Process: We remind potential applicants 
that in reviewing applications in any discretionary grant competition, 
the Secretary may consider, under 34 CFR 75.217(d)(3), the past 
performance of the applicant in carrying out a previous award, such as 
the applicant's use of funds, achievement of project objectives, and 
compliance with grant conditions. The Secretary may also consider 
whether the applicant failed to submit a timely performance report or 
submitted a report of unacceptable quality.
    In addition, in making a competitive grant award, the Secretary 
also requires

[[Page 39270]]

various assurances including those applicable to Federal civil rights 
laws that prohibit discrimination in programs or activities receiving 
Federal financial assistance from the Department of Education (34 CFR 
100.4, 104.5, 106.4, 108.8, and 110.23).
    3. Additional Review and Selection Process Factors: In the past, 
the Department has had difficulty finding peer reviewers for certain 
competitions because so many individuals who are eligible to serve as 
peer reviewers have conflicts of interest. The standing panel 
requirements under section 682(b) of IDEA also have placed additional 
constraints on the availability of reviewers. Therefore, the Department 
has determined that, for some discretionary grant competitions, 
applications may be separated into two or more groups and ranked and 
selected for funding within specific groups. This procedure will make 
it easier for the Department to find peer reviewers by ensuring that 
greater numbers of individuals who are eligible to serve as reviewers 
for any particular group of applicants will not have conflicts of 
interest. It also will increase the quality, independence, and fairness 
of the review process, while permitting panel members to review 
applications under discretionary grant competitions for which they also 
have submitted applications. However, if the Department decides to 
select an equal number of applications in each group for funding, this 
may result in different cut-off points for fundable applications in 
each group.
    4. Special Conditions: Under 34 CFR 74.14 and 80.12, the Secretary 
may impose special conditions on a grant if the applicant or grantee is 
not financially stable; has a history of unsatisfactory performance; 
has a financial or other management system that does not meet the 
standards in 34 CFR parts 74 or 80, as applicable; has not fulfilled 
the conditions of a prior grant; or is otherwise not responsible.

VI. Award Administration Information

    1. Award Notices: If your application is successful, we notify your 
U.S. Representative and U.S. Senators and send you a Grant Award 
Notification (GAN); or we may send you an email containing a link to 
access an electronic version of your GAN. We may notify you informally, 
also.
    If your application is not evaluated or not selected for funding, 
we notify you.
    2. Administrative and National Policy Requirements: We identify 
administrative and national policy requirements in the application 
package and reference these and other requirements in the Applicable 
Regulations section of this notice.
    We reference the regulations outlining the terms and conditions of 
an award in the Applicable Regulations section of this notice and 
include these and other specific conditions in the GAN. The GAN also 
incorporates your approved application as part of your binding 
commitments under the grant.
    3. Reporting: (a) If you apply for a grant under this competition, 
you must ensure that you have in place the necessary processes and 
systems to comply with the reporting requirements in 2 CFR part 170 
should you receive funding under the competition. This does not apply 
if you have an exception under 2 CFR 170.110(b).
    (b) At the end of your project period, you must submit a final 
performance report, including financial information, as directed by the 
Secretary. If you receive a multi-year award, you must submit an annual 
performance report that provides the most current performance and 
financial expenditure information as directed by the Secretary under 34 
CFR 75.118. The Secretary may also require more frequent performance 
reports under 34 CFR 75.720(c). For specific requirements on reporting, 
please go to www.ed.gov/fund/grant/apply/appforms/appforms.html.
    4. Performance Measures: Under the Government Performance and 
Results Act of 1993, the Department has established a set of 
performance measures, including long-term measures, which are designed 
to yield information on various aspects of the effectiveness and 
quality of the Technical Assistance and Dissemination to Improve 
Services and Results for Children with Disabilities program. These 
measures focus on the extent to which projects provide high-quality 
products and services, the relevance of project products and services 
to educational and early intervention policy and practice, and the use 
of products and services to improve educational and early intervention 
policy and practice.
    Grantees will be required to report information on their project's 
performance in annual reports to the Department (34 CFR 75.590).
    5. Continuation Awards: In making a continuation award, the 
Secretary may consider, under 34 CFR 75.253, the extent to which a 
grantee has made ``substantial progress toward meeting the objectives 
in its approved application.'' This consideration includes the review 
of a grantee's progress in meeting the targets and projected outcomes 
in its approved application, and whether the grantee has expended funds 
in a manner that is consistent with its approved application and 
budget. In making a continuation grant, the Secretary also considers 
whether the grantee is operating in compliance with the assurances in 
its approved application, including those applicable to Federal civil 
rights laws that prohibit discrimination in programs or activities 
receiving Federal financial assistance from the Department (34 CFR 
100.4, 104.5, 106.4, 108.8, and 110.23).

VII. Agency Contact

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Jo Ann McCann, U.S. Department of 
Education, 400 Maryland Avenue SW., room 4076, PCP, Washington, DC 
20202-2600. Telephone: (202) 245-7434.
    If you use a TDD or a TTY, call the Federal Relay Service (FRS), 
toll free, at 1-800-877-8339.

VIII. Other Information

    Accessible Format: Individuals with disabilities can obtain this 
document and a copy of the application package 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 a 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.


[[Page 39271]]


    Dated: June 26, 2013.
Michael K. Yudin,
Delegated the authority to perform the functions and duties of the 
Assistant Secretary for Special Education and Rehabilitative Services.
[FR Doc. 2013-15715 Filed 6-28-13; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 4000-01-P