[Federal Register Volume 78, Number 90 (Thursday, May 9, 2013)]
[Rules and Regulations]
[Pages 27036-27038]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2013-11081]


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DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION

34 CFR Chapter III


Final Priority. National Institute on Disability and 
Rehabilitation Research--Traumatic Brain Injury Model Systems Centers 
Collaborative Research Project

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

ACTION: Final priority.

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[CFDA Numbers: 84.133A-7.]

SUMMARY: The Assistant Secretary for Special Education and 
Rehabilitative Services announces a priority for the Disability and 
Rehabilitation Research Projects and Centers Program administered by 
the National Institute on Disability and Rehabilitation Research 
(NIDRR). Specifically, we announce a priority for a Disability and 
Rehabilitation Research Project (DRRP) on Traumatic Brain Injury Model 
Systems Centers Collaborative Research Project. The Assistant Secretary 
may use this priority for competitions in fiscal year (FY) 2013 and 
later years. We take this action to focus research attention on areas 
of national need. We intend this priority to improve outcomes among 
individuals with traumatic brain injuries.

DATES: This priority is effective June 10, 2013.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Marlene Spencer, U.S. Department of 
Education, 400 Maryland Avenue SW., Room 5133, Potomac Center Plaza 
(PCP), Washington, DC 20202-2700. Telephone: (202) 245-7532 or by 
email: [email protected].
    If you use a telecommunications device for the deaf (TDD) or a text 
telephone (TTY), call the Federal Relay Service (FRS), toll free, at 1-
800-877-8339.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: This notice of final priority is in concert 
with NIDRR's Long-Range Plan for Fiscal Years 2013-2017 (Plan). The 
Plan, which was published in the Federal Register on April 4, 2013 (78 
FR 20299), can be accessed on the Internet at the following site: 
www.ed.gov/about/offices/list/osers/nidrr/policy.html.
    Through the implementation of the Plan, NIDRR seeks to improve the 
health and functioning, employment, and community living and 
participation of individuals with disabilities through comprehensive 
programs of research, engineering, training, technical assistance, and 
knowledge translation and dissemination. The Plan reflects NIDRR's 
commitment to quality, relevance, and balance in its programs to ensure 
appropriate attention to all aspects of well-being of individuals with 
disabilities and to all types and degrees of disability, including low-
incidence and severe disabilities.
    Purpose of Program: The purpose of the Disability and 
Rehabilitation Research Projects and Centers Program is to plan and 
conduct research, demonstration projects, training, and related 
activities, including international activities, to develop methods, 
procedures, and rehabilitation technology that maximize the full 
inclusion and integration into society, employment, independent living, 
family support, and economic and social self-sufficiency of individuals 
with disabilities, especially individuals with the most severe 
disabilities, and to improve the effectiveness of services authorized 
under the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, as amended (Rehabilitation Act).

Disability and Rehabilitation Research Projects

    The purpose of the DRRPs, which are funded through the Disability 
and Rehabilitation Research Projects and Centers Program, is to improve 
the effectiveness of services authorized under the Rehabilitation Act 
by developing methods, procedures, and rehabilitation technologies that 
advance a wide range of independent living and employment outcomes for 
individuals with disabilities, especially individuals with the most 
severe disabilities. DRRPs

[[Page 27037]]

carry out one or more of the following types of activities, as 
specified and defined in 34 CFR 350.13 through 350.19: research, 
training, demonstration, development, utilization, dissemination, and 
technical assistance.
    An applicant for assistance under this program must demonstrate in 
its application how it will address, in whole or in part, the needs of 
individuals with disabilities from minority backgrounds (34 CFR 
350.40(a)). The approaches an applicant may take to meet this 
requirement are found in 34 CFR 350.40(b).
    Additional information on the DRRP program can be found at: http://www2.ed.gov/rschstat/research/pubs/res-program.html#DRRP.

    Program Authority: 29 U.S.C. 762(g) and 764(a).

    Applicable Program Regulations: 34 CFR part 350.
    We published a notice of proposed priority in the Federal Register 
on February 28, 2013 (78 FR 13600). That notice contained background 
information and our reasons for proposing this particular priority.
    Public Comment: In response to our invitation in the NPP, we did 
not receive any comments on the proposed priority.
    However, there is one difference between the proposed priority and 
this final priority. Because a new version of NIDRR's Plan was 
published since the publication of the proposed priority, we have 
updated the reference to the Plan in paragraph (b) of the final 
priority. The new Plan modifies NIDRR's research domains to include 
only the following: health and function, community living and 
participation, and employment. Technology is no longer included in the 
Plan, or in this final priority, as a research domain in itself. 
Instead, technology is a tool, and a major area of research and 
development, for improved outcomes in health and function, community 
living and participation, and employment for individuals with 
disabilities.

Final Priority

Traumatic Brain Injury Model Systems Centers Collaborative Research 
Project

    The Assistant Secretary for Special Education and Rehabilitative 
Services establishes a priority for the funding of Disability and 
Rehabilitation Research Projects (DRRPs) to serve as Traumatic Brain 
Injury Model Systems (TBIMS) multi-site collaborative research project. 
To be eligible under this priority, an applicant must have received a 
grant under the TBIMS centers priority (see https://www.federalregister.gov/articles/2012/06/11/2012-14115/disability-and-rehabilitation-research-projects-and-centers-program-traumatic-brain-injury-model). Each TBIMS multi-site collaborative research project 
must be designed to contribute to evidence-based rehabilitation 
interventions and clinical practice guidelines that improve the lives 
of individuals with traumatic brain injuries (TBIs) through research, 
including the testing of approaches to treating TBIs or the assessment 
of the outcomes of individuals with TBIs. Each TBIMS multi-site 
collaborative research project must contribute to this outcome by--
    (a) Collaborating with three or more of the NIDRR-funded TBIMS 
centers (for a minimum of four TBIMS sites). In addition to the 
required TBIMS sites, applicants may also propose to include other TBI 
research sites that are not currently participating in the TBIMS 
program;
    (b) Conducting multi-site research on questions of significance to 
TBI rehabilitation, using clearly identified research designs. The 
research must focus on outcomes in one or more of the following domains 
identified in NIDRR's Long-Range Plan for Fiscal Years 2013-2017, 
published in the Federal Register on April 4, 2013 (78 FR 20299): 
health and function, community living and participation, and 
employment;
    (c) Demonstrating the capacity to carry out a multi-site 
collaborative research project, including administrative capabilities, 
experience with management of multi-site research protocols, and 
demonstrated ability to maintain standards for quality and 
confidentiality of data gathered from multiple sites;
    (d) Addressing the needs of people with disabilities, including 
individuals from traditionally underserved populations;
    (e) Coordinating with the NIDRR-funded Model Systems Knowledge 
Translation Center to provide scientific results and information for 
dissemination to clinical and consumer audiences; and
    (f) Ensuring participation of individuals with disabilities in 
conducting TBIMS research.

Types of Priorities

    When inviting applications for a competition using one or more 
priorities, we designate the type of each priority as absolute, 
competitive preference, or invitational through a notice in the Federal 
Register. The effect of each type of priority follows:
    Absolute priority: Under an absolute priority, we consider only 
applications that meet the priority (34 CFR 75.105(c)(3)).
    Competitive preference priority: Under a competitive preference 
priority, we give competitive preference to an application by (1) 
awarding additional points, depending on the extent to which the 
application meets the priority (34 CFR 75.105(c)(2)(i)); or (2) 
selecting an application that meets the priority over an application of 
comparable merit that does not meet the priority (34 CFR 
75.105(c)(2)(ii)).
    Invitational priority: Under an invitational priority, we are 
particularly interested in applications that meet the priority. 
However, we do not give an application that meets the priority a 
preference over other applications (34 CFR 75.105(c)(1)).
    This notice does not preclude us from proposing additional 
priorities, requirements, definitions, or selection criteria, subject 
to meeting applicable rulemaking requirements.

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

Executive Orders 12866 and 13563

Regulatory Impact Analysis

    Under Executive Order 12866, the Secretary must determine whether 
this regulatory action is ``significant'' and, therefore, subject to 
the requirements of the Executive order and subject to review by the 
Office of Management and Budget (OMB). Section 3(f) of Executive Order 
12866 defines a ``significant regulatory action'' as an action likely 
to result in a rule that may--
    (1) Have an annual effect on the economy of $100 million or more, 
or adversely affect a sector of the economy, productivity, competition, 
jobs, the environment, public health or safety, or State, local, or 
tribal governments or communities in a material way (also referred to 
as an ``economically significant'' rule);
    (2) Create serious inconsistency or otherwise interfere with an 
action taken or planned by another agency;
    (3) Materially alter the budgetary impacts of entitlement grants, 
user fees, or loan programs or the rights and obligations of recipients 
thereof; or
    (4) Raise novel legal or policy issues arising out of legal 
mandates, the President's priorities, or the principles stated in the 
Executive order.
    This final regulatory action is not a significant regulatory action 
subject to review by OMB under section 3(f) of Executive Order 12866.

[[Page 27038]]

    We have also reviewed this final regulatory action under Executive 
Order 13563, which supplements and explicitly reaffirms the principles, 
structures, and definitions governing regulatory review established in 
Executive Order 12866. To the extent permitted by law, Executive Order 
13563 requires that an agency--
    (1) Propose or adopt regulations only upon a reasoned determination 
that their benefits justify their costs (recognizing that some benefits 
and costs are difficult to quantify);
    (2) Tailor its regulations to impose the least burden on society, 
consistent with obtaining regulatory objectives and taking into 
account--among other things and to the extent practicable--the costs of 
cumulative regulations;
    (3) In choosing among alternative regulatory approaches, select 
those approaches that maximize net benefits (including potential 
economic, environmental, public health and safety, and other 
advantages; distributive impacts; and equity);
    (4) To the extent feasible, specify performance objectives, rather 
than the behavior or manner of compliance a regulated entity must 
adopt; and
    (5) Identify and assess available alternatives to direct 
regulation, including economic incentives--such as user fees or 
marketable permits--to encourage the desired behavior, or provide 
information that enables the public to make choices.
    Executive Order 13563 also requires an agency ``to use the best 
available techniques to quantify anticipated present and future 
benefits and costs as accurately as possible.'' The Office of 
Information and Regulatory Affairs of OMB has emphasized that these 
techniques may include ``identifying changing future compliance costs 
that might result from technological innovation or anticipated 
behavioral changes.''
    We are issuing this final priority only on a reasoned determination 
that its benefits justify its costs. In choosing among alternative 
regulatory approaches, we selected those approaches that maximize net 
benefits. Based on the analysis that follows, the Department believes 
that this regulatory action is consistent with the principles in 
Executive Order 13563.
    We also have determined that this regulatory action does not unduly 
interfere with State, local, and tribal governments in the exercise of 
their governmental functions.
    In accordance with both Executive orders, the Department has 
assessed the potential costs and benefits, both quantitative and 
qualitative, of this regulatory action. The potential costs are those 
resulting from statutory requirements and those we have determined as 
necessary for administering the Department's programs and activities.
    The benefits of the Disability and Rehabilitation Research Projects 
and Centers Program have been well established over the years, as 
projects similar to the DRRP envisioned by the final priority have been 
completed successfully. Establishing a DRRP based on the final priority 
will generate new knowledge through research and improve the lives of 
individuals with disabilities. The new DRRP will generate, disseminate, 
and promote the use of new information that will improve the options 
for individuals with traumatic brain injuries to fully participate in 
their communities.
    Accessible Format: Individuals with disabilities can obtain this 
document in an accessible format (e.g., braille, large print, 
audiotape, or compact disc) on request to the program contact person 
listed under FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT.
    Electronic Access to This Document: The official version of this 
document is the document published in the Federal Register. Free 
Internet access to the official edition of the Federal Register and the 
Code of Federal Regulations is available via the Federal Digital System 
at: www.gpo.gov/fdsys. At this site you can view this document, as well 
as all other documents of this Department published in the Federal 
Register, in text or 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 6, 2013.
Michael K. Yudin,
Delegated the authority to perform the functions and the duties of the 
Assistant Secretary for Special Education and Rehabilitative Services.
[FR Doc. 2013-11081 Filed 5-8-13; 8:45 am]
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