[Federal Register Volume 78, Number 10 (Tuesday, January 15, 2013)]
[Proposed Rules]
[Pages 2923-2925]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2013-00580]


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DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION

34 CFR Chapter III


Proposed Priority--National Institute on Disability and 
Rehabilitation Research--Disability and Rehabilitation Research 
Project--Center on Knowledge Translation for Technology Transfer

    CFDA Number: 84.133A-08.

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

ACTION: Proposed priority.

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SUMMARY: The Assistant Secretary for Special Education and 
Rehabilitative Services proposes a priority under the Disability and 
Rehabilitation Research Projects (DRRP) and Centers Program 
administered by the National Institute on Disability and Rehabilitation 
Research (NIDRR). Specifically, this notice proposes a priority for a 
DRRP to serve as the Center on Knowledge Translation for Technology 
Transfer (Center). 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 contribute to improved outcomes for individuals with a 
disability.

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

ADDRESSES: Address all comments about this notice to Marlene Spencer, 
U.S. Department of Education, 400 Maryland Avenue SW., room 5133, 
Potomac Center Plaza (PCP), Washington, DC 20202-2700.
    If you prefer to send your comments by email, use the following 
address: [email protected]. You must include the phrase ``Proposed 
Priority for DRRP to serve as the Center'' in the subject line of your 
electronic message.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Marlene Spencer. 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 proposed priority is in 
concert with NIDRR's currently approved Long-Range Plan (Plan). The 
currently approved Plan, which was published in the Federal Register on 
February 15, 2006 (71 FR 8166), can be accessed on the Internet at the 
following site: http://www2.ed.gov/legislation/FedRegister/other/2006-1/021506d.pdf.
    Through the implementation of the currently approved Plan, NIDRR 
seeks to: (1) Improve the quality and utility of disability and 
rehabilitation research; (2) foster an exchange of expertise, 
information, and training to facilitate the advancement of knowledge 
and understanding of the unique needs of traditionally underserved 
populations; (3) determine best strategies and programs to improve 
rehabilitation outcomes for underserved populations; (4) identify 
research gaps; (5) identify mechanisms of integrating research and 
practice; and (6) disseminate findings.
    This notice proposes a priority that NIDRR intends to use for a 
DRRP competition in FY 2013 and possibly later years. However, nothing 
precludes NIDRR from publishing additional priorities, if needed. 
Furthermore, NIDRR is under no obligation to make an award using this 
priority. The decision to make an award will be based on the quality of 
applications received and available funding.
    Invitation to Comment: We invite you to submit comments regarding 
this notice. To ensure that your comments have maximum effect in 
developing the notice of final priority, we urge you to identify 
clearly the specific topic that each comment addresses.
    We invite you to assist us in complying with the specific 
requirements of Executive Orders 12866 and 13563 and their overall 
requirement of reducing regulatory burden that might result from this 
proposed priority. Please let us know of any further ways we could 
reduce potential costs or increase potential benefits while preserving 
the effective and efficient administration of the program.
    During and after the comment period, you may inspect all public 
comments about this notice in room 5133, 550 12th Street, SW., PCP, 
Washington, DC, between the hours of 8:30 a.m. and 4:00 p.m., 
Washington, DC time, Monday through Friday of each week except Federal 
holidays.
    Assistance to Individuals with Disabilities in Reviewing the 
Rulemaking Record: On request we will provide an appropriate 
accommodation or auxiliary aid to an individual with a disability who 
needs assistance to review the comments or other documents in the 
public rulemaking record for this notice. If you want to schedule an 
appointment for this type of accommodation or auxiliary aid, please 
contact the person listed under FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT.
    Purpose of Program: The purpose of the Disability and 
Rehabilitation Research Projects and Centers Program is to plan and 
conduct research, demonstration projects, training, and related 
activities, including international activities, and 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 NIDRR's DRRPs, which are funded through the 
Disability and Rehabilitation Research Projects and Centers Program, 
are 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 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, dissemination, utilization, and technical 
assistance.
    Additional information on the DRRP program can be found at: 
www.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.
    Proposed Priority:
    This notice contains one proposed priority.
    DRRP to Serve as the Center on Knowledge Translation for Technology 
Transfer (Center).
    Background:
    Knowledge translation (KT) is a process to ensure that new 
knowledge and products gained through research and development will 
ultimately be used to improve the lives of individuals with 
disabilities and further their participation in society. Technology 
transfer is a subset of knowledge translation that focuses on ensuring 
that

[[Page 2924]]

technology-based knowledge and products will be transferred into 
tangible benefits for individuals with disabilities through 
commercialization, engineering standards, freeware, and other tangible 
applications.
    Under section 200(3) of the Rehabilitation Act, NIDRR is charged 
with promoting the transfer of rehabilitation technology to individuals 
with disabilities. NIDRR carries out this responsibility through the 
Rehabilitation Engineering Research Centers (RERC) and Small Business 
Innovation Research (SBIR) programs. NIDRR has long required RERCs to 
develop technology transfer plans. In analyzing grantee performance 
information, NIDRR determined that it would be useful to provide 
technical assistance to grantees to improve the rates of technology 
transfer. NIDRR's concerns were supported by findings from a recent 
retrospective case study analysis indicating that, while a majority of 
development projects supported by RERC grants result in prototypes, 
only a quarter of those projects have evidence of transfer into broader 
uses (Lane, 2008). More information on technology research funded by 
NIDRR can be found at: www.naric.com/research/pd/results.cfm?type=priority&display=detailed&criteria=Technology for 
Access and Function.
    Transfer of rehabilitation technology products is often difficult 
because of the small market for each product. Often, the broader 
technology transfer field does not provide guidance that is directly 
applicable to technology transfer in the rehabilitation technology 
area. Thus, there is a need to continue to build a body of knowledge 
that will advance understanding and practices of technology transfer 
for rehabilitation technology products.
    To support, promote, and improve the technology transfer of its 
RERC, SBIR, and other technology grantees, NIDRR will fund a Disability 
and Rehabilitation Research Project (DRRP) on Knowledge Translation for 
Technology Transfer.
    References:

Lane, J. (2008). Delivering on the `D' in R&D: Recommendations for 
Increasing Transfer Outcomes From Development Projects. Assistive 
Technology Outcomes and Benefits, Fall 2008 Special Issue. Retrieved 
10/15/2012 from www.atia.org/files/public/ATOBSIF2008.pdf.

    Proposed Priority:
    The Assistant Secretary for Special Education and Rehabilitative 
Services establishes a priority for a Disability and Rehabilitation 
Research Project to serve as the Center on Knowledge Translation for 
Technology Transfer (Center). The Center must conduct rigorous 
research, development, technical assistance, dissemination, and 
utilization activities to increase successful technology transfer of 
rehabilitation technology products and devices developed by NIDRR-
funded technology grantees.
    In planning and conducting all activities, the Center must partner 
with relevant stakeholders such as NIDRR's technology grantees, trade 
and professional associations, industry representatives, individuals 
with disabilities, and others.
    Under this priority, the Center must be designed to contribute to 
the following outcomes:
    (a) Increased rate of successful technology transfer of 
rehabilitation technology products developed by NIDRR-funded technology 
grantees to the marketplace, into engineering standards, or into other 
intended applications;
    (b) Increased understanding among rehabilitation engineers and 
others engaged in disability research and development of technology 
transfer processes and practices that lead to successful transfer of 
rehabilitation technology products to the marketplace, into engineering 
standards, or into other intended applications;
    (c) Increased capacity of NIDRR's technology grantees to plan and 
to engage in technology transfer activities.
    Types of Priorities:
    When inviting applications for a competition using one or more 
priorities, we designate the type of each priority as absolute, 
competitive preference, or invitational through a notice in the Federal 
Register. The effect of each type of priority follows:
    Absolute priority: Under an absolute priority, we consider only 
applications that meet the priority (34 CFR 75.105(c)(3)).
    Competitive preference priority: Under a competitive preference 
priority, we give competitive preference to an application by (1) 
awarding additional points, depending on the extent to which the 
application meets the priority (34 CFR 75.105(c)(2)(i)); or (2) 
selecting an application that meets the priority over an application of 
comparable merit that does not meet the priority (34 CFR 
75.105(c)(2)(ii)).
    Invitational priority: Under an invitational priority, we are 
particularly interested in applications that meet the priority. 
However, we do not give an application that meets the priority a 
preference over other applications (34 CFR 75.105(c)(1)).
    Final Priority:
    We will announce the final priority in a notice in the Federal 
Register. We will determine the final priority after considering 
responses to this notice and other information available to the 
Department. This notice does not preclude us from proposing additional 
priorities, requirements, definitions, or selection criteria, subject 
to meeting applicable rulemaking requirements.

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

    Executive Orders 12866 and 13563:

Regulatory Impact Analysis

    Under Executive Order 12866, the Secretary must determine whether 
this regulatory action is ``significant'' and, therefore, subject to 
the requirements of the Executive order and subject to review by the 
Office of Management and Budget (OMB). Section 3(f) of Executive Order 
12866 defines a ``significant regulatory action'' as an action likely 
to result in a rule that may--
    (1) Have an annual effect on the economy of $100 million or more, 
or adversely affect a sector of the economy, productivity, competition, 
jobs, the environment, public health or safety, or State, local or 
Tribal governments or communities in a material way (also referred to 
as an ``economically significant'' rule);
    (2) Create serious inconsistency or otherwise interfere with an 
action taken or planned by another agency;
    (3) Materially alter the budgetary impacts of entitlement grants, 
user fees, or loan programs or the rights and obligations of recipients 
thereof; or
    (4) Raise novel legal or policy issues arising out of legal 
mandates, the President's priorities, or the principles stated in the 
Executive order.
    This proposed regulatory action is not a significant regulatory 
action subject to review by OMB under section 3(f) of Executive Order 
12866.
    We have also reviewed this regulatory action under Executive Order 
13563, which supplements and explicitly reaffirms the principles, 
structures, and definitions governing regulatory review established in 
Executive Order 12866. To the extent permitted by law, Executive Order 
13563 requires that an agency--
    (1) Propose or adopt regulations only upon a reasoned determination 
that their benefits justify their costs (recognizing that some benefits 
and costs are difficult to quantify);
    (2) Tailor its regulations to impose the least burden on society, 
consistent with obtaining regulatory objectives and

[[Page 2925]]

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 proposed priority only upon a reasoned 
determination that its benefits justify its costs. In choosing among 
alternative regulatory approaches, we selected those approaches that 
would maximize net benefits. Based on the analysis that follows, the 
Department believes that this proposed priority is consistent with the 
principles in Executive Order 13563.
    We also have determined that this regulatory action would not 
unduly interfere with State, local, and tribal governments in the 
exercise of their governmental functions.
    In accordance with both Executive orders, the Department has 
assessed the potential costs and benefits 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 Programs have been well established over the years in that 
similar projects have been completed successfully. This proposed 
priority would generate new knowledge through research and development. 
Another benefit of this proposed priority is that the establishment of 
new DRRPs would improve the lives of individuals with disabilities. The 
new DRRP would generate, disseminate, and promote the use of new 
information that would improve employment opportunities for individuals 
with disabilities.
    Intergovernmental Review: This program is not subject to Executive 
Order 12372 and the regulations in 34 CFR part 79.
    Accessible Format: Individuals with disabilities can obtain this 
document in an accessible format (e.g., braille, large print, 
audiotape, or computer diskette) 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: January 9, 2013.
Michael Yudin,
Acting Assistant Secretary for Special Education and Rehabilitative 
Services.
[FR Doc. 2013-00580 Filed 1-14-13; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 4000-01-P