[Federal Register Volume 61, Number 197 (Wednesday, October 9, 1996)]
[Notices]
[Pages 53032-53034]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 96-25944]



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Part VI





Department of Education





_______________________________________________________________________



Education of Individuals With Disabilities: Proposed Priorities; Notice

Federal Register / Vol. 61, No. 197 / Wednesday, October 9, 1996 / 
Notices

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DEPARTENT OF EDUCATION


Office of Special Education and Rehabilitative Services; Proposed 
Priorities

AGENCY: Department of Education.

ACTION: Notice of proposed priorities.

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SUMMARY: The Secretary proposes priorities for three programs 
administered by the Office of Special Education and Rehabilitative 
Services (OSERS) under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act. 
The Secretary may use these priorities in Fiscal Year 1997 and 
subsequent years. The Secretary takes this action to focus Federal 
assistance on identified needs to improve results for children with 
disabilities. These proposed priorities are intended to ensure wide and 
effective use of program funds.

DATES: Comments must be received on or before December 9, 1996 for the 
Research in Education of Individuals with Disabilities Program; for the 
Educational Media Research, Production, Distribution, and Training 
Program and the Technology, Educational Media, and Materials Program.

ADDRESSES: All comments concerning proposed priorities under the 
Research in Education of Individuals with Disabilities Program (CFDA 
84.023), and the Technology, Educational Media, and Materials for 
Individuals with Disabilities Program (CFDA 84.180) should be addressed 
to Linda Glidewell, U.S. Department of Building, Washington, D.C. 
20202-2641. All comments concerning proposed priorities under the 
Educational Media Research, Production, Distribution, and Training 
Program (CFDA 84.026) should be addressed to Joseph Clair, U.S. 
Department of Education, 600 Independence Avenue, S.W., Room 4622, 
Switzer Building, Washington D.C., 20202-2644. Internet: NPP--
Research@ed.gov

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: The name, address, and telephone 
number of the person at the Department to contact for information on 
each specific proposed priority is listed under that priority.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: This notice contains six proposed priorities 
under three programs authorized by the Individuals with Disabilities 
Education Act, as follows: Research in Education of Individuals with 
Disabilities Program (one proposed priority); Educational Media 
Research, Production, Distribution, and Training Program (four proposed 
priorities) and Technology, Education Media, and Materials for 
Individuals with Disabilities Program (one proposed priority). The 
purpose of each program is stated separately under the title of that 
program.
    These proposed priorities would support the National Education 
Goals by improving understanding of how to enable children and youth 
with disabilities to reach higher levels of academic achievement.
    The Secretary will announce the final priorities in a notice in the 
Federal Register. The final priorities will be determined by responses 
to this notice, available funds, and other considerations of the 
Department. Funding of particular projects depends on the availability 
of funds, the content of the final priorities, and the quality of the 
applications received. Further, priorities could be affected by 
enactment of legislation reauthorizing these programs. The publication 
of these proposed priorities does not preclude the Secretary from 
proposing additional priorities, nor does it limit the Secretary to 
funding only these priorities, subject to meeting applicable rulemaking 
requirements.
    These proposed priorities may also be found on the Internet by 
accessing the World Wide Web at http://www.ed.gov/news.html

    Note: This notice of proposed priorities does not solicit 
applications. Notices inviting applications under these competitions 
will be published in the Federal Register concurrent with or 
following publication of the notices of final priorities.

Research in Education of Individuals With Disabilities Program

    Purpose of Program: To advance and improve the knowledge base and 
improve the practice of professionals, parents, and others providing 
early intervention, special education, and related services--including 
professionals in regular education environments--to provide children 
with disabilities effective instruction and enable these children to 
learn successfully.
    Priority: Under 34 CFR 75.105(c)(3) the Secretary proposes to give 
an absolute preference to applications that meet the following 
priority. The Secretary proposes to fund under this competition only 
those applications that meet this absolute priority:

Proposed Absolute Priority--Initial Career Awards

    The Secretary establishes an absolute priority for the purpose of 
awarding grants to eligible applicants for the support of individuals 
in the initial phases of their careers to initiate and develop 
promising lines of research consistent with the purposes of the 
program. For purposes of this priority, the initial phase of an 
individual's career is considered to be the first four years after 
completing a doctoral program and graduating (e.g., for fiscal year 
1997 awards, projects may support individuals who completed a doctoral 
program and graduated no earlier than the 1991-92 academic year).
    Projects must--
    (a) Pursue a line of inquiry that reflects a programmatic strand of 
research emanating either from theory or a conceptual framework. The 
line of research must be evidenced by a series of related questions 
that establish directions for designing future studies extending beyond 
the support of this award. The project is not intended to represent all 
inquiry related to the particular theory or conceptual framework; 
rather, it is expected to initiate a new line or advance an existing 
one;
    (b) Include, in its design and conduct, sustained involvement with 
nationally recognized experts having substantive or methodological 
knowledge and expertise relevant to the proposed research. Experts do 
not have to be at the same institution or agency at which the project 
is located, but the interaction must be sufficient to develop the 
capacity of the researcher to pursue effectively the research into mid-
career activities. At least 50 percent of the researcher's time must be 
devoted to the project;
    (c) Prepare its procedures, findings, and conclusions in a manner 
that informs other interested researchers and is useful for advancing 
professional practice or improving programs and services to infants, 
toddlers, children, and youth with disabilities and their families; and
    (d) Disseminate project procedures, findings, and conclusions to 
appropriate research institutes and technical assistance providers.
    A project's budget must include funds to attend the two-day 
Research Project Directors' meeting to be held in Washington, D.C. each 
year of the project.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Doris Andres, U.S. Department of 
Education, 600 Independence Avenue, S.W., Room 3526, Switzer Building, 
Washington, D.C. 20202-2641. Telephone: (202) 205-8125. FAX: (202) 205-
8105. Internet: Doris--Andres@ed.gov Individuals who use a 
telecommunications device for the deaf (TDD) may call the TDD number: 
(202) 205-8953.


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    Program Authority: 20 U.S.C. 1441.

Educational Media Research, Production, Distribution, and Training 
Program

    Purpose of Program: To promote the general welfare of individuals 
who are deaf or hard of hearing and individuals with visual 
disabilities, and to promote the educational advancement of individuals 
with disabilities.
    Priorities: Under 34 CFR 75.105(c)(3) the Secretary proposes to 
give an absolute preference to applications that meet one or more of 
the following priorities. The Secretary proposes to fund under these 
competitions only applications that meet one or more of these absolute 
priorities:

Proposed Absolute Priority 1--Closed-Captioned Sports Programs:

    Background: This priority supports cooperative agreements to 
continue and to expand closed-captioning of major national sports 
programs shown on national commercial broadcast or basic cable 
television networks. Captioning provides a visual representation of the 
audio portion of the programming and enables individuals who are deaf 
or hard of hearing to participate in the shared educational, social, 
and cultural experiences of national supporting events. Funds provided 
under this priority may be used to support no more than sixty percent 
of the captioning costs for the first year of the project, fifty-five 
percent of the second year, and fifty percent for the third year.
    Priority: To be considered for funding under this competition, a 
project must--
    (1) Include criteria for selecting programs for captioning that 
take into account the preference of consumers for particular sports 
programs, the diversity of programming available, and the contribution 
of programs to the general educational, social, and cultural 
experiences of individuals who are deaf or hard of hearing;
    (2) Provide a flexible plan, including back-up systems, to ensure 
closed-captioning of sports programs without interruption, while 
accommodating last-minute program substitutions and new programs;
    (3) Identify the total number of hours and the projected cost per 
hour for each of the programs to be captioned;
    (4) Identify for each proposed program to be captioned the source 
of private or other public support and the projected dollar amount of 
that support;
    (5) Identify the methods of captioning to be used for each 
program--indicating whether captioning is provided in realtime, live 
display, offline, or reformatted--and the projected cost per hour for 
each method used;
    (6) Demonstrate the willingness of major national commercial 
broadcast or basic cable networks to permit captioning of their 
programs; and
    (7) Implement procedures for monitoring the extent to which full 
and accurate captioning is provided and use this information to make 
refinements in captioning operations.

Proposed Absolute Priority 2--Video Description

    Background: This priority supports cooperative agreements to 
provide video description in two areas: (1) broadcast and cable 
television programs; and (2) home video. The purpose of this activity 
will be to describe television programs and videos to make television 
programming and home videos more accessible to children and adults with 
visual disabilities. The intent of this priority is to provide access 
to described television programming and home videos in order to enhance 
shared educational, social, and cultural experiences for children and 
adults with visual disabilities.
    Priority: To be considered for funding under this priority, a 
project must--
    (1) Include criteria for selecting programs and videos that take 
into account the preference of consumers for particular topics of 
interest, the diversity of programs or videos available, and the 
contribution of these programs or videos to the general educational, 
social, and cultural experiences of individuals with visual 
disabilities;
    (2) Identify the total number of hours to be described and the 
projected cost per hour for each program or video to be described;
    (3) Identify the source of private or public support, if any, for 
each program or video to be described, and the projected dollar amount 
of that support;
    (4) Demonstrate the willingness of program or video producers to 
permit video description and distribution of their program or video, 
and
    (5) Evaluate the effectiveness of the methods and technologies used 
in providing this service and the impact on intended populations.

Proposed Absolute Priority 3--Educational Video Selection and 
Captioning

    Background: This priority supports one cooperative agreement that 
would screen, evaluate, obtain, caption, and make available educational 
videos, including classics and general interest titles, for use by 
students and other individuals who are deaf or hard of hearing, parents 
of individuals who are deaf or hard of hearing, and other individuals 
directly involved in activities promoting the advancement of 
individuals who are deaf or hard of hearing. This activity includes the 
preparation of captions on computer diskettes or CD-ROM, as 
appropriate, and the preparation of lesson guides for educational 
videos. This priority would ensure that students and other individuals 
who are deaf or hard of hearing may benefit from the same educational 
and general interest videos used to enrich the educational experiences 
of students and other individuals without hearing disabilities.
    Priority: To be considered for funding under this priority, the 
project must--
    (1) Develop strategies and procedures to be used in determining 
curricular needs of students who are deaf or hard of hearing in all 
types of school settings for captioned videos;
    (2) Develop and implement an on-going evaluation program for 
incorporating the reaction and suggestions of users into the selection 
and captioning process;
    (3) Develop and implement criteria and procedures for screening, 
evaluating, and captioning selected videos;
    (4) Obtain videos from film and video distributors for screening, 
evaluation, and possible captioning. Select from among video titles 
submitted by evaluators those that closely match the curricular needs 
identified under paragraph (1) of this proposed priority, taking into 
account the videos most commonly used in school districts across the 
Nation for all students;
    (5) Make arrangements with respective producers and distributors to 
have selected videos captioned and made available through general 
distribution mechanisms (such as video sales catalogues), as well as 
through the captioned film and video loan service authorized under Part 
F of IDEA and 34 CFR Part 330 (by purchasing up to 100 copies of each 
captioned title, which must be open-captioned. Closed-captioned masters 
must be made available to producers and distributors in an effort to 
promote the use of captioned videos.
    (6) For selected titles, prepare captions on computer diskettes or 
CD-ROM, as appropriate, and check for accuracy. These captions would 
take into account the age and reading levels of the likely target 
audience;
    (7) For selected educational videos, prepare lesson guides;
    (8) Identify, select, and, if necessary, provide training or 
technical assistance

[[Page 53034]]

to video evaluators, caption checkers, and captioning service 
providers; and
    (9) Develop and implement quality control guidelines and procedures 
for checking videocassettes after they are captioned.

Proposed Absolute Priority 4--Research on Educational Captioning

    Background: This priority supports research on captioning of 
educational media and materials. Research can be based on the 
instructional use of captioning or the use of captioning as a language 
development tool for enhancing the reading and literacy skills of 
individuals who are deaf or hard of hearing. Media and technologies 
explored or used by projects funded under this priority may include, 
but are not limited to (1) television--including high-definition 
television; (2) videos; and (3) other media and multi-media 
technologies such as interactive videodiscs and CD-ROMs.
    Priority: Under this competition, projects must--
    (1) Identify specific technological approaches that would be 
investigated;
    (2) Carry out the research within a conceptual framework, based on 
previous research or theory, that provides a basis for the strategies 
to be studied, the research design, and target population;
    (3) Collect, analyze and report (a) characteristics and outcome 
data (actual rather then expected results), including the settings, the 
service providers, and the individuals targeted by the project; and (b) 
multiple, functional outcome data on the individuals who are the focus 
of the technological approaches;
    (4) Conduct the research in realistic settings such as residential 
or integrated schools or colleges, or in community settings, as 
appropriate; and
    (5) Conduct the research using methodological procedures that 
would: (a) produce unambiguous findings regarding the effects of 
approaches and effects of the interaction among particular approaches 
and particular groups of individuals or particular settings; and (b) 
permit use of the findings in policy analyses.

For Further Information Contact: Ernest Hairston, U.S. Department of 
Education, 600 Independence Avenue, S.W., Room 4629, Switzer Building, 
Washington, D.C. 20202-2641. Telephone: (202) 205-9172. FAX: (202) 205-
8971. Internet: Ernest__Hairston@ed.gov
Individuals who use a telecommunications device for the deaf (TDD) may 
call the TDD number: (202) 205-8169.

    Program Authority: 20 U.S.C. 1451, 1452.

Technology, Educational Media,and Materials for Individuals With 
Disabilities Program

    Purpose of Program: To support projects and centers for advancing 
the availability, quality, use, and effectiveness of technology, 
educational media, and materials in the education of children and youth 
with disabilities and the provision of related services and early 
intervention services to infants and toddlers with disabilities.
    Priority: Under 34 CFR 75.105(c)(3) the Secretary proposes to give 
an absolute preference to applications that meet the following 
priority. The Secretary proposes to fund under this competition only 
applications that meet this absolute priority:

Proposed Absolute Priority--Technology, Educational Media, and 
Materials Projects That Create Innovative Tools for Students With 
Disabilities

    This priority provides support for development projects that design 
or adapt technology, assistive technology, educational media, or 
materials to improve the education of children and youth with 
disabilities.
    Invitational Priority: Within the absolute priority specified in 
this notice, the Secretary is particularly interested in applications 
that meet the following invitational priorities. However, under 34 CFR 
75.105(c)(1) an application that meets one or more of these 
invitational priorities does not receive competitive or absolute 
preference over other applications:
    The Secretary is particularly interested in projects that--
    (a) Create Innovative Tools--by encouraging development of varied 
and integrated technologies, media, and materials that open up and 
expand the lives of those with disabilities. This work should enable 
individuals with disabilities to achieve the outcomes expected of all 
students, such as independence, productivity and an improved quality of 
life, that promote equity in opportunity; or
    (b) Foster the Creation of State-of-the-Art Instructional 
Environments--both in and out of school. These environments should use 
technology, educational media, and materials to enable students with 
disabilities to access knowledge, develop skills and problem-solving 
strategies, and engage in educational experiences necessary for their 
success as adults who are fully included in our society.

For Further Information Contact: Jane Hauser, U.S. Department of 
Education, 600 Independence Avenue, S.W., Room 3521, Switzer Building, 
Washington, D.C. 20202-2641. Telephone: (202) 205-8126. FAX: (202) 205-
8105. Internet: Jane__Hauser@ed.gov
Individuals who use a telecommunications device for the deaf (TDD) may 
call the TDD number: (202) 205-8953.

    Program Authority: 20 U.S.C. 1461.

Intergovernmental Review

    The programs (except for Research in Education of Individuals with 
Disabilities program) included in this notice are subject to the 
requirements of Executive Order 12372 and the regulations in 34 CFR 
Part 79. The objective of the Executive order is to foster an 
intergovernmental partnership and a strengthened federalism by relying 
on processes developed by State and local governments for coordination 
and review of proposed Federal financial assistance.
    In accordance with the order, this document is intended to provide 
early notification of the Department's specific plans and actions for 
this program.

Invitation To Comment

    Interested persons are invited to submit comments and 
recommendations regarding these proposed priorities.
    All comments submitted in response to this notice will be available 
for public inspection, during and after the comment period, in Room 
3524, 300 C Street, S.W., Washington, D.C., between the hours of 8:30 
a.m. and 4:00 p.m., Monday through Friday of each week except Federal 
holidays.

(Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance Numbers: Research in 
Education of Individuals with Disabilities Program, 84.023; Media 
Research, Production, Distribution, and Training Program, 84.026; 
and Technology, Educational Media, and Materials for Individuals 
with Disabilities Program, 84.180)

    Dated: August 12, 1996.
Judith E. Heumann,
Assistant Secretary for Special Education and Rehabilitative Services.
[FR Doc. 96-25944 Filed 10-8-96; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 4000-01-M