[Federal Register Volume 77, Number 98 (Monday, May 21, 2012)]
[Notices]
[Pages 29989-29995]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2012-12278]


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DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION


Applications for New Awards; Technology and Media Services for 
Individuals With Disabilities--Stepping-Up Technology Implementation

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

ACTION: Notice.

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Overview Information; Technology and Media Services for Individuals 
With Disabilities--Stepping-Up Technology Implementation; Notice 
Inviting Applications for New Awards for Fiscal Year (FY) 2012.

    Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance (CFDA) Number: 84.327S.

DATES: Applications Available: May 21, 2012.
    Deadline for Transmittal of Applications: July 5, 2012.
    Deadline for Intergovernmental Review: September 3, 2012.

Full Text of Announcement

I. Funding Opportunity Description

    Purpose of Program: The purposes of the Technology and Media 
Services for Individuals with Disabilities program are to: (1) Improve 
results for students with disabilities by promoting the development, 
demonstration, and use of technology; (2) support educational media 
services activities designed to be of educational value in the 
classroom for students with disabilities; and (3) provide support for 
captioning and video description that is appropriate for use in the 
classroom.
    Priority: In accordance with 34 CFR 75.105(b)(2)(v), this priority 
is from allowable activities specified in the statute (see sections 674 
and 681(d) of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) 
(20 U.S.C. 1400 et seq.)).
    Absolute Priority: For FY 2012, this priority is an absolute 
priority. Under 34 CFR 75.105(c)(3), we consider only applications that 
meet this priority.
    This priority is: Technology and Media Services for Individuals 
with Disabilities--Stepping-Up Technology Implementation.
    Background: The purpose of this priority is to fund cooperative 
agreements to: (a) Identify resources \1\ needed to effectively 
implement evidence-based \2\ technology tools \3\ that benefit students 
with disabilities, and (b) develop and disseminate products \4\ that 
will help a broad range of schools to effectively implement these 
technology tools.
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    \1\ For the purposes of this priority, ``resources'' include, 
but are not limited to, school leadership support, professional 
development support to school staff, and a plan for integrating 
technology into the classroom curriculum.
    \2\ For the purposes of this priority, ``evidence-based'' means 
practices for which there is ``strong evidence'' or ``moderate 
evidence'' of effectiveness as defined in the Department's notice of 
final supplemental priorities for discretionary grant programs 
published in the Federal Register on December 15, 2010 (75 FR 
78486), and corrected on May 12, 2011 (76 FR 27637).
    \3\ For the purposes of this priority, ``technology tools'' may 
include, but are not limited to, digital math text readers for 
students with visual impairment, reading software to improve 
literacy and communication development, and text-to-speech software 
to improve reading performance. These tools must assist or otherwise 
benefit students with disabilities.
    \4\ For the purposes of this priority, ``products'' may include, 
but are not limited to, instruction manuals, lesson plans, 
demonstration videos, ancillary instructional materials, and 
professional development modules such as collaborative groups, 
coaching, mentoring, or online supports.
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    As Congress recognized in IDEA, ``almost 30 years of research and 
experience has demonstrated that the education of children with 
disabilities can be made more effective by * * * supporting the 
development and use of technology, including assistive technology 
devices and assistive technology services, to maximize accessibility 
for children with disabilities'' (section 601(c)(5)(H) of the IDEA). 
The use of technology, including assistive technology devices and 
assistive technology services, enhances instruction and access to the 
general education curriculum. Since 1998, the Office of Special 
Education Programs (OSEP) has supported technology and media service 
projects through the Steppingstones of Technology Innovation for 
Children with Disabilities (Steppingstones) program. The projects 
funded under the Steppingstones program developed and evaluated 
numerous innovative technology tools designed to improve results for 
children with disabilities. Examples of such tools include: Web-based 
learning and assessment materials, instructional software, assistive 
technology devices, methods for using off-the-shelf hardware and 
software to improve learning, and methods for integrating technology 
into instruction. In addition, the Department's Institute of Education 
Sciences (IES) now supports projects to develop and evaluate innovative 
technology tools. The Stepping-up Technology Implementation program 
will build on these technology development efforts by identifying, 
developing, and disseminating products and resources that promote the 
effective implementation \5\ of evidence-based instructional and 
assistive technology tools in kindergarten through grade 12 (K-12) 
settings.\6\
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    \5\ In this context, ``implementation'' refers to processes and 
activities that are purposeful and are described in sufficient 
detail such that independent observers can detect the presence and 
strength of these specific set of processes and activities (Fixsen, 
Naoom, Blase, Friedman & Wallace, 2005).
    \6\ For the purposes of this priority, ``settings'' include 
general education classrooms, special education classrooms or any 
place where school-based instruction occurs.
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    The employment of products and resources designed to assist with 
the

[[Page 29990]]

implementation of evidence-based technology tools is critical to 
ensuring that these tools will be effectively used to improve the 
academic achievement of children with disabilities. Data from a survey 
of more than 1,000 K-12 teachers, principals, and assistant principals 
indicated that simply providing teachers with technology does not 
ensure that it will be used. The survey also indicated that while newer 
teachers may use technology in their personal lives more often than 
veteran teachers, they do not use it more frequently in their 
classrooms than veteran teachers do. In addition, the survey indicated 
that the more often teachers use technology to improve students' daily 
classroom engagement, the more likely teachers are to recognize the 
benefits to understanding different student learning styles (Grunwald, 
2010). Additionally, Perlman and Redding (2011) found that in order to 
be used most effectively, technology must be implemented in ways that 
align with curricular and teacher goals and must offer students 
opportunities to use these tools in their learning. These findings 
demonstrate a need for products and resources that can ensure 
technology tools for students with disabilities are implemented 
effectively.
    Priority: The purpose of this priority is to fund cooperative 
agreements to: (a) Identify resources needed to effectively implement 
evidence-based technology tools that benefit students with 
disabilities; and (b) develop and disseminate products (e.g., 
instruction manuals, lesson plans, demonstration videos, ancillary 
instructional materials) that will help K-12 schools to effectively 
implement these technology tools.
    To be considered for funding under this absolute priority, 
applicants must meet the application requirements. Any project funded 
under this absolute priority must also meet the programmatic and 
administrative requirements specified in the priority.
    Application Requirements: An applicant must include in its 
application--
    (a) A logic model or conceptual framework that depicts at a 
minimum, the goals, activities, outputs and outcomes of the proposed 
project. A logic model communicates how a project will achieve its 
outcomes and provides a framework for both 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 www.tadnet.org/model_and_performance.

    (b) A plan to implement the activities described in the Project 
Activities section of this priority;
    (c) A plan, linked to the proposed project's logic model, for a 
formative evaluation of the proposed project's activities. The plan 
must describe how the formative evaluation will use clear performance 
objectives to ensure continuous improvement in the operation of the 
proposed project, including objective measures of progress in 
implementing the project and ensuring the quality of products and 
services;
    (d) A plan for recruiting and selecting the following:
    (1) Three development schools. Development schools are the sites in 
which iterative development\7\ of the implementation of technology 
tools and products will occur. The project must start implementing the 
technology tool with one development school in year one of the project 
period and two additional development schools in year two.
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    \7\ For the purposes of this priority, ``iterative development'' 
refers to a process of testing, systematically securing feedback, 
and then revising the educational intervention that leads to 
revisions in the intervention to increase the likelihood that it 
will be implemented with fidelity (Diamond & Powell, 2011).
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    (2) Four pilot schools. Pilot schools are the sites in which try-
out, formative evaluation, and refinement of technology tools and 
products will occur. The project must work with the four pilot schools 
during years three and four of the project period.
    (3) Ten dissemination schools. Dissemination schools will be 
selected if the project is extended for a fifth year. Dissemination 
schools will be used to conduct the final test of the effectiveness of 
the products and the final opportunity for the project to refine the 
products for use by teachers, but will receive less technical 
assistance (TA) from the project than the development or pilot schools. 
Also, at this stage, dissemination schools will extend the benefits of 
the technology tool to additional students. To be selected as a 
dissemination school, eligible schools and local educational agencies 
(LEAs) must commit to working with the project to implement the 
evidence-based technology tool. A school may not serve in more than one 
category (i.e., development, pilot, dissemination).
    (e) Information (e.g., elementary, middle, or high school; 
persistently lowest-achieving school;\8\ priority school \9\) about the 
development, pilot, and dissemination schools; their demographics 
(e.g., student race or ethnicity, percentage of students eligible for 
free or reduced-price lunch); and other pertinent data.
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    \8\ The term ``persistently lowest-achieving schools'' means, as 
determined by the State--
    (a)(1) Any Title I school in improvement, corrective action, or 
restructuring that--
    (i) Is among the lowest-achieving five percent of Title I 
schools in improvement, corrective action, or restructuring or the 
lowest- achieving five Title I schools in improvement, corrective 
action, or restructuring in the State, whichever number of schools 
is greater; or
    (ii) Is a high school that has had a graduation rate as defined 
in 34 CFR 200.19(b) that is less than 60 percent over a number of 
years; and
    (2) Any secondary school that is eligible for, but does not 
receive, Title I funds that--
    (i) Is among the lowest-achieving five percent of secondary 
schools or the lowest-achieving five secondary schools in the State 
that are eligible for, but do not receive, Title I funds, whichever 
number of schools is greater; or
    (ii) Is a high school that has had a graduation rate as defined 
in 34 CFR 200.19(b) that is less than 60 percent over a number of 
years.
    (b) To identify the persistently lowest-achieving schools, a 
State must take into account both--
    (i) The academic achievement of the ``all students'' group in a 
school in terms of proficiency on the State's assessments under 
section 1111(b)(3) of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 
1965, as amended (ESEA) in reading/language arts and mathematics 
combined; and
    (ii) The school's lack of progress on those assessments over a 
number of years in the ``all students'' group.
    For the purposes of this priority, the Department considers 
schools that are identified as Tier I or Tier II schools under the 
School Improvement Grants Program (see 75 FR 66363) as part of a 
State's approved FY 2009 or FY 2010 applications to be persistently 
lowest-achieving schools. A list of these Tier I and Tier II schools 
can be found on the Department's Wyeb site at www2.ed.gov/programs/sif/index.html.
    \9\ The term ``priority school'' means a school that has been 
identified by the State as a priority school pursuant to the State's 
approved request for ESEA flexibility.
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    (f) Documentation of the evidence of the validity, usability, 
feasibility, and reliability of the technology tool to be implemented 
to improve academic achievement.
    (g) A budget for attendance at the following:
    (1) 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 held 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 the award, a post-award teleconference 
must be held between the OSEP Project Officer and the grantee's 
project director or other authorized representative.

    (2) A three-day Project Directors' Conference in Washington, DC, 
during each year of the project period.
    (3) Two two-day trips annually to attend Department briefings, 
Department-sponsored conferences, and other meetings, as requested by 
OSEP.

[[Page 29991]]

    Project Activities. To meet the requirements of this priority, the 
project, at a minimum, must conduct the following activities:
    (a) Recruit a minimum of three development schools in one LEA and 
four pilot schools across at least two LEAs in accordance with the plan 
proposed under paragraph (d) of the Application Requirements section of 
this notice.

    Note: Final site selection will be determined in consultation 
with the OSEP Project Officer following the kick-off meeting.

    (b) Identify resources and develop products to support sustained 
implemention of the selected technology tool. Development of the 
products must be an interactive process beginning in a single 
development school and continuing through iterative cycles of 
development and refinement in the other development schools, followed 
by a formative evaluation and refinement in the pilot schools. The 
products must include, at a minimum, the following components to 
support implementation of the technology tool:
    (1) An instrument or method for assessing (i) the need for the 
technology tool, and (ii) readiness to implement it. Instruments and 
methods may include resource inventory checklists, school self-study 
guides, surveys of teacher interest, detailed descriptions of the 
technology tool for review by school staff, and similar approaches used 
singly or in combination.
    (2) Methods and manuals to support the implementation of the 
technology tool.
    (3) Professional development activities necessary for teachers to 
implement the technology tool with fidelity and integrate it into the 
curriculum.
    (c) Collect and analyze data on the effect of the technology tool 
on academic achievement.
    (d) Collect formative and summative evaluation data from the 
development schools and pilot schools to refine and evaluate the 
products.
    (e) If the project is extended to a fifth year, provide the 
products and the technology tool to no fewer than 10 dissemination 
schools that are not the same schools used as development and pilot 
schools.
    (f) Collect summative data about the success of the products in 
supporting implementation of the technology tool in the dissemination 
schools; and
    (g) By the end of the project period, projects must provide 
information on:
    (1) The products and resources that will enable other schools to 
implement and sustain implementation of the technology tool.
    (2) How the technology tool has improved academic achievement for 
children with disabilities.
    (3) A strategy for disseminating the technology tool and 
accompanying products beyond the schools directly involved in the 
project.

Collaboration With the Model Demonstration Coordination Center (MDCC)

    Although these projects are not model demonstration projects, the 
MDCC, an OSEP-funded project, will provide coordination support among 
the projects. Each project funded under this priority must--
    (a) Coordinate with the MDCC and the other projects to determine 
times for cross-project collaboration conference calls. Individual 
project timelines may need to be adjusted once the cross-project 
collaboration calls are established;
    (b) Provide MDCC with a description of the schools as described in 
paragraph (e) of the Application Requirements section of this notice; 
and
    (c) Participate in conference call discussions, organized and 
facilitated by the MDCC, concerning topics such as site selection, 
evaluation design issues, implementation strategies, sustainability, 
documentation, and dissemination.

    Note: The following Web site provides more information on the 
MDCC: http://mdcc.sri.com.

    Fifth Year of the Project: The Secretary may extend a project one 
year beyond 48 months to work with dissemination schools if the grantee 
is achieving the intended outcomes and making a positive contribution 
to the implementation of an evidence-based technology tool in the 
development and pilot schools. Each applicant must include in its 
application a plan for the full 60-month award. In deciding whether to 
continue funding the project for the fifth year, the Secretary will 
consider the requirements of 34 CFR 75.253(a), and in addition--
    (a) The recommendation of a review team consisting of the OSEP 
Project Officer and other experts selected by the Secretary. This 
review will be held during the last half of the third 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) Evidence of the degree to which the project's activities have 
contributed to changed practices and improved academic achievement for 
students with disabilities.
References
Diamond, K.E. & Powell, D.R. (2011). An iterative approach to the 
development of a professional development intervention for head 
start teachers. Journal of Early Intervention, 33(1), 75-93.
Fixsen, D.L., Naoom, S.F., Blase, K.A., Friedman, R.M., & Wallace, 
F. (2005). Implementation Research: A Synthesis of the Literature. 
Tampa, FL: University of South Florida, Louis de la Parte Florida 
Mental Health Institute, The National Implementation Research 
Network.
Grunwald and Associates. (2010). Educators, Technology and 21st 
Century Skills: Dispelling Five Myths. Minneapolis, MN: Walden 
University, Richard W. Riley College of Education. Retrieved from 
www.WaldenU.edu/fivemyths.
Perlman, C.L. & Redding, S. (Eds). (2011). Choosing and Implementing 
Technology Wisely. Handbook on Effective Implementation of School 
Improvement Grants. Lincoln, IL: Academic Development Institute. 
Retrieved from www.centerii.org/handbook.
    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 priority in this notice.
    Program Authority: 20 U.S.C. 1474 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 only.

II. Award Information

    Type of Award: Cooperative agreement.
    Estimated Available Funds: $3,500,000.
    Contingent upon the availability of funds and the quality of 
applications, we may make additional awards in FY 2013 from the list of 
unfunded applicants from this competition.
    Estimated Range of Awards: $475,000 to $500,000.
    Estimated Average Size of Award: $500,000.
    Maximum Award: We will reject any application that proposes a 
budget exceeding $500,000 for a single budget period of 12 months. The 
Assistant

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Secretary for Special Education and Rehabilitative Services may change 
the maximum amount through a notice published in the Federal Register.
    Estimated Number of Awards: 7.

    Note: The Department is not bound by any estimates in this 
notice.
    Project Period: Up to 48 months with an optional additional 12 
months based on performance. Applications must include plans for both 
the 48 month award and the 12 month extension.

III. Eligibility Information

    Eligible Applicants: State educational agencies (SEAs); LEAs, 
including public charter schools that are considered LEAs under State 
law; IHEs; other public agencies; private nonprofit organizations; 
outlying areas; freely associated States; Indian tribes or tribal 
organizations; and for-profit organizations.
    2. Cost Sharing or Matching: This competition does not require cost 
sharing or matching.
    3. Other: General Requirements:
    (a) The projects funded under this competition must make positive 
efforts to employ, and advance in employment, qualified individuals 
with disabilities (see section 606 of IDEA).
    (b) The applicant and grant recipient funded under this competition 
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: Education Publications 
Center (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 package from ED Pubs, be sure to 
identify this competition as follows: CFDA number 84.327S.
    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 50 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.
     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, the references, or the letters of support. 
However, the page limit does apply to all of the application narrative 
section (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: May 21, 
2012.
    Deadline for Transmittal of Applications: July 5, 2012.
    Applications for grants under this competition may be submitted 
electronically using the Grants.gov Apply site (Grants.gov), or in 
paper format by mail or hand delivery. For information (including dates 
and times) about how to submit your application electronically, or in 
paper format by mail or hand delivery, 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.
    Deadline for Intergovernmental Review: September 3, 2012.
    4. Intergovernmental Review: This competition is subject to 
Executive Order 12372 and the regulations in 34 CFR part 79. 
Information about Intergovernmental Review of Federal Programs under 
Executive Order 12372 is in the application package for this 
competition.
    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 Central Contractor Registry: 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 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 CCR 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 CCR registration process may take five or more business days to 
complete. If you are currently registered with the CCR, 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 CCR registration on an annual basis. This may take 
three or more business days to complete.
    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.

[[Page 29993]]

    7. Other Submission Requirements: Applications for grants under 
this competition may be submitted electronically or in paper format by 
mail or hand delivery.

a. Electronic Submission of Applications

    We are participating as a partner in the Governmentwide Grants.gov 
Apply site. The Stepping-up Technology Implementation competition, CFDA 
number 84.327S, is included in this project. We request your 
participation in Grants.gov.
    If you choose to submit your application electronically, you must 
use 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.
    You may access the electronic grant application for the Stepping-Up 
Technology Implementation competition at www.Grants.gov. You must 
search for the downloadable application package for this program by the 
CFDA number. Do not include the CFDA number's alpha suffix in your 
search (e.g., search for 84.327, not 84.327S).
    Please note the following:
     Your participation in Grants.gov is voluntary.
     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 submit your application in paper format.
     If you submit your application electronically, you must 
upload 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.
     If you submit your application electronically, 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.
     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 the Department has received your application and has 
assigned your application a PR/Award number (an ED-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.

b. Submission of Paper Applications by Mail

    If you submit your application in paper format by mail (through the 
U.S. Postal Service or a commercial carrier), 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 84.327S) 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.

[[Page 29994]]

    (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 submit your application in paper format by hand delivery, 
you (or a courier service) 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 84.327S) 
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 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). 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 (GPRA), the Department has established a set of 
performance measures, including long-term measures, that are designed 
to yield information on various aspects of the effectiveness and 
quality of the Technology and Media Services for Individuals with 
Disabilities program. These measures are included in the application 
package and focus on the extent to which projects are of high quality, 
are relevant to improving outcomes of children with disabilities, and 
contribute to improving outcomes for children with disabilities. We 
will collect data on these measures from the project funded under this 
competition. The grantee will be required to report information on its 
project's performance in its final performance report to the Department 
(34 CFR 75.590).

[[Page 29995]]

    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: Terry Jackson, U.S. Department of 
Education, 400 Maryland Avenue SW., room 4081, Potomac Center Plaza 
(PCP), Washington, DC 20202-2600. Telephone: (202) 245-6039.
    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.

    Dated: May 15, 2012.
Sue Swenson,
Deputy Assistant Secretary for Special Education and Rehabilitative 
Services. Delegated the Authority to Perform the Functions and Duties 
of Assistant Secretary for Special Education and Rehabilitative 
Services.
[FR Doc. 2012-12278 Filed 5-18-12; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 4000-01-P