[Federal Register Volume 80, Number 141 (Thursday, July 23, 2015)]
[Notices]
[Pages 43763-43770]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2015-18085]


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DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION


Applications for New Awards; Rehabilitation Services 
Administration, Disability Innovation Fund--Automated Personalization 
Computing Project

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

ACTION: Notice.

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Overview Information

Rehabilitation Services Administration (RSA), Disability Innovation 
Fund--Automated Personalization Computing Project

    Notice inviting applications for new awards for fiscal year (FY) 
2015.

Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance (CFDA) Number: 84.421A.


DATES: 
    Applications Available: July 23, 2015.
    Date of Pre-Application Webinar: August 5, 2015.
    Deadline for Transmittal of Applications: September 8, 2015.

Full Text of Announcement

I. Funding Opportunity Description

    Purpose of Program: The purpose of the Disability Innovation Fund, 
as provided by the Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2014 (Pub. L. 113-
76), is to support innovative activities aimed at improving the 
outcomes of ``individuals with disabilities,'' as defined in section 
7(20)(B) of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, as amended.
    Priority: We are establishing this priority for the FY 2015 grant 
competition and any subsequent year in which we make awards from the 
list of unfunded applications from this competition, in accordance with 
section 437(d)(1) of the General Education Provisions Act (GEPA), 20 
U.S.C. 1232(d)(1).
    Absolute Priority: For FY 2015 and any subsequent year in which we 
make awards from the list of unfunded applications from this 
competition, this priority is an absolute priority. Under 34 CFR 
75.105(c)(3) we consider only applications that meet this priority.
    This priority is:

Disability Innovation Fund--Automated Personalization Computing Project

Background
    In today's world, individuals with disabilities experience many 
barriers to accessing information and communication technologies (ICT) 
needed for education, training, and workforce participation, as well as 
for participation in the activities of daily living. For example, in 
order to meet the needs of a student with a disability, a school will 
often provide only a single computer, as customizing its software 
requires expert intervention and staff time. In this case, students 
cannot use any other information technology (IT) within the learning 
environment, nor can they use these accommodations on a home or public 
library computer. Similarly, software licenses for computers within an 
educational or employment setting cannot follow individual users from 
school to college or from school to work, or to other environments.
    Therefore, as a student, jobseeker, employee, or other user of ICT, 
an individual with a disability may be very limited in his or her 
ability to access and use critical information.
    For some individuals with or without a disability, the interaction 
with complex sites and computers (e.g., email, social networking, and 
electronic voting) can be a source of anxiety and alienation, which may 
be compounded if there are also barriers to accessing computers and Web 
sites. Further, as more everyday services migrate online, from Web-
enabled ticket kiosks to government services, college and job 
applications, and student loan services, individuals who need 
accommodations to use the Web are often left with few or no 
alternatives.
    The Web itself also has barriers to access. Many Web sites and 
pages may be too complicated or visually busy for users to find the 
information they need; they may use complex language rather than 
language that is accessible to individuals with intellectual 
disabilities or low literacy skills; and they may not include text-to-
speech functionality or video description options for people who are 
blind or visually impaired.
    It is essential to develop mechanisms to reduce barriers to 
accessing technology in order to ensure that everyone who faces these 
barriers, regardless of economic resources, can use ICT to access 
information, communities, and services for education, employment, and 
daily living.
    The Department of Education (Department) believes that developing 
an IT infrastructure that allows individuals with disabilities easier 
access to ICT will ultimately provide better educational opportunities, 
ease transitions between school and the workforce, and improve 
productivity in the workplace.
    The Department is therefore seeking to implement a pilot 
demonstration of automated personalization computing for individuals 
with disabilities. The demonstration must help users identify the 
assistive technology (AT) solutions and settings that work best for 
them (their ``personalization'') without the intervention of an AT 
specialist. Personalization could include, but is not limited to, font 
size or color, text-to-speech functionality, site simplification or 
simple language, translation from one language to another language, and 
audio volume. After identification of the

[[Page 43764]]

optimal personalized features, the ``personalization''--the 
accommodations or accessibility features--would be available reliably 
to the user via the Web. Individuals with disabilities would then be 
able to access, on a secure basis, this computer information no matter 
where they are (at school, work, home, or in the community), and no 
matter the type of computer (e.g., desktop, laptop, tablet, smartphone, 
kiosk) or software platform (e.g., PC, Mac) they are using, as long as 
it is an APCP-enabled computer with Web access.
    This project will require coordination among several different 
sectors: Cloud or other technology platform providers, AT researchers 
and manufacturers, mainstream technology manufacturers, Federal 
agencies, individuals with disabilities, educators, employers, and 
disability advocacy organizations. Therefore, the Department will 
require applicants to establish a partnership or use an existing 
partnership. The applicant may include entities in the partnership that 
are not otherwise eligible (e.g., for profit entities)to apply, and we 
encourage cross-sector partnership with the potential to maximize the 
benefits both to individuals with disabilities and the participating 
partners.
    The project has enormous potential to benefit all of these sectors, 
but care must be taken to ensure that the project benefits the intended 
market of individuals with disabilities. Federal involvement in 
developing this infrastructure will encourage continued innovation and 
investment by private sector entities, help ensure that all individuals 
with disabilities reap the benefits of this technology, and ensure that 
data and personally identifiable information (PII) are protected.
    This priority is:

Disability Innovation Fund--Automated Personalization Computing Project

    The purpose of this priority is to enter into a cooperative 
agreement to implement a pilot project that would improve outcomes for 
individuals with disabilities by increasing access to information and 
communication technologies (ICT) through automatic personalization of 
needed assistive technology (AT). Under the Automated Personalization 
Computing Project (APCP), an information technology (IT) infrastructure 
would be created to allow users of ICT to store preferences in the 
cloud or other technology, which then would allow supported Internet-
capable devices they are using to automatically run their preferred AT 
solutions.
    Using these stored preferences, along with information about the 
computer (e.g., type, operating system) and available AT solutions, the 
APCP would identify AT to meet the user's preferences and then 
configure the computer accordingly. This may require automatically 
configuring AT built into the mainstream technology computer itself or 
configuring external AT solutions to operate on the computer.
    The Department is seeking to implement a pilot demonstration of 
this concept which demonstrates how the automated personalization could 
follow a person across multiple sites and multiple devices. The project 
must also demonstrate the scalability and sustainability of the 
implemented model(s).

Outcomes

    The project is designed to achieve the following outcomes:
    (a) An APCP demonstration that is usable, complies with 
accessibility requirements (i.e., WCAG \1\ 2.0 Level AA), and 
effectively automates personalization;
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    \1\ See www.w3.org/TR/WCAG20/ for WCAG 2.0 accessibility 
requirements.
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    (b) A reliable infrastructure that could be scaled well beyond the 
demonstration implemented under this project;
    (c) Evidence that the personalization is transferrable in such a 
way that it can follow a person from one device to another and from one 
site to another (e.g., from college to career);
    (d) A set of metrics, along with the strategies and the computer 
programs needed to collect and analyze data, that can be used to 
improve, scale up, and sustain the APCP; and
    (e) A detailed plan for sustainability of the implemented model(s).

Project Requirements

    (a) Target populations. The pilot project must be designed to 
address the ICT and automated personalization needs of either or both 
of the following target populations: (1) Youth with disabilities 
transitioning from secondary to postsecondary education or employment, 
or (2) individuals with disabilities who are clients of American Job 
Centers or State vocational rehabilitation (VR) agencies.
    (b) Demonstration sites. The personalization system must have 
access to the preferences of the user and to the computing environment 
of each specific device to be personalized so that it can determine how 
best to adapt that device to meet a user's preferences. The 
demonstration must include sites that show how the APCP could work in a 
variety of computing environments--from those that freely release 
information about the computing environment to those that keep such 
information secure. Sites across multiple organizations and settings 
must be involved in this project.
    (c) Computers to be personalized. Personalization must be 
accomplished on mainstream hardware and operating systems that are 
currently in use at the selected sites. Multiple hardware platforms 
with multiple operating systems must be used in this demonstration.
    (d) AT included. The personalization must use a variety of AT 
solutions, including those from traditional AT manufacturers, as well 
as free open-source solutions and solutions built into the operating 
systems of the computers involved.
    (e) Privacy and security of users and computers to be personalized. 
Privacy must be guaranteed for the users of the personalization system 
(e.g., the system must be compliant with the Health Insurance 
Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) \2\ and Family Educational 
Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) \3\), especially their stored 
preferences. Additionally, the security of the computers to be 
personalized must be maintained.
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    \2\ See www.hhs.gov/ocr/privacy/hipaa/administrative/statute/ 
for more information on HIPAA requirements.
    \3\ See www2.ed.gov/policy/gen/guid/fpco/ferpa/index.html for 
more information on FERPA requirements.
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    (f) Appropriate security controls applied. The implementation must 
ensure that the system: (1) Follows the risk assessment framework from 
the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) described in 
NIST SP 800-37 to determine the risk posture; (2) applies the controls 
in NIST SP 800-53a (revision 4) correlated with the risk level; and (3) 
assures the application of other security controls, standards, and 
requirements appropriate for the security of information managed by the 
system.
    (g) Reliability. The demonstration must be designed so that users 
will be assured of access at any time.
    (h) Involvement of stakeholders. The applicant must involve all 
affected stakeholder groups (e.g., cloud or other technology platform 
providers, AT researchers and manufacturers, mainstream technology 
manufacturers, Federal agencies, individuals with disabilities, and 
disability advocacy organizations) in all aspects of the project 
including, but not limited to, project development, design,

[[Page 43765]]

implementation, and development of sustainability plans.
    (i) Advisory committee. The grantee must establish an advisory 
committee that meets at least semi-annually. The committee must 
include, but is not limited to, individuals with disabilities, local 
educational agencies or State educational agencies, and institutions of 
higher education (IHEs), State VR and workforce development agencies, 
businesses, and AT manufacturers. The committee will work on the 
project development, methods for engagement with international 
standards organizations and the Web and ICT community, and performance 
review.
    (j) Federal steering committee. The grantee must work with a 
Federal steering committee, consisting of federal employees only, (to 
be constituted by RSA) that provides support, guidance, and oversight 
of the project to ensure delivery of project outputs and achievement of 
project outcomes. At a minimum, the committee will:
    (1) Provide input to the development of the project, including 
input on refining the evaluation plan;
    (2) Identify and monitor risks;
    (3) Monitor timelines and the quality of the project;
    (4) Provide technical assistance; and
    (5) Leverage resources to support the project moving forward.

Application Requirements

    In order to be considered under this priority, an applicant must 
meet the following requirements:
    (a) Address the technical requirements for the deployment of the 
system in a large-scale demonstration of users and how the users will 
retrieve their stored preferences. To meet this requirement, the 
applicant must describe--
    (1) The system architecture indicating necessary components and how 
they interact with the computing environment to be personalized;
    (2) The technical requirements in terms of processing power, data 
storage and retrieval, networking and bandwidth capacity, and methods 
to procure the necessary services;
    (3) The methods by which users will access their stored preferences 
and personalize the computer being used and the related security 
measures; and
    (4) The methods to ensure data deletion after users permanently 
withdraw from the system.
    (b) Describe how it will incorporate all of the project components.
    (c) Describe how it will assure reliability, security, usability, 
and ethical administration in a large-scale demonstration. To meet this 
requirement the applicant must describe its plan for--
    (1) Privacy and security measures to safeguard user data;
    (2) Security measures to safeguard the computers to be 
personalized;
    (3) The development of a board of ethics to determine privacy 
considerations related to the project for individuals with specialized 
needs and their caregivers (e.g., access to the location data of 
cognitively disabled individuals);
    (4) A policy regarding the appropriate use of metadata and derived 
data from the user's activity; and
    (5) Metric-based solutions for reliability of the user data, 
including a description of how the user's data will be stored and 
copied to ensure a current and up-to-date profile.
    (d) Describe how it will build business systems (e.g., work with 
stakeholders to define requirements). To meet this requirement the 
applicant must describe how and when user and stakeholder requirements 
will be considered in the project plan and major milestones identified.
    (e) Describe how it will build systems to align existing AT 
products and mainstream access features. To meet this requirement the 
applicant must describe--
    (1) A project plan that identifies possible current products that 
can be used in a test bed environment to construct these systems;
    (2) A plan that describes how to work with AT manufacturers to 
develop licensing models consistent with this project;
    (3) A process for identification and incorporation of new products 
or innovative use of existing products; and
    (4) A plan for involving all stakeholders in addressing issues that 
arise when multiple AT personalization solutions exist (e.g., when a 
user prefers a particular screen reader but multiple screen readers 
with different features and price points are available).
    (f) Describe methods for defining applicable metrics and reliable 
measurement techniques and tools that can be implemented by multiple 
stakeholders and independent assessment organizations.
    (g) Describe an evaluation plan that addresses the methods for 
evaluating this project, including the metrics and instruments to be 
used in the evaluation and data to be collected.
    (h) Describe a plan for addressing sustainability of the 
implemented model(s).
    (i) Identify how it will establish a partnership or utilize an 
existing partnership. Documentation must include, at a minimum: (1) 
Evidence of an existing Memorandum of Understanding or a Letter of 
Intent to establish a partnership; (2) a description of each proposed 
partner's anticipated commitment of financial or in-kind resources (if 
any); (3) how each proposed partner's current and proposed activities 
align with those of the proposed project; (4) how each proposed partner 
will be held accountable under the proposed governance structure; and 
(5) how the applicant together with its proposed partners has a 
demonstrable record of working together with key stakeholders such as 
major ICT providers, agencies that serve people with disabilities, and 
organizations of people with disabilities.
    Waiver of Proposed Rulemaking: Under the Administrative Procedure 
Act (5 U.S.C. 553) the Department generally offers interested parties 
the opportunity to comment on proposed priorities. Section 437(d)(1) of 
GEPA, however, allows the Secretary to exempt from rulemaking 
requirements, regulations governing the first grant competition under 
new or substantially revised program authority. This is the first grant 
competition for this program under the Consolidated Appropriations Act, 
2014, and therefore qualifies for this exemption. In order to ensure 
timely grant awards, the Secretary has decided to forego public comment 
on the priority under section 437(d)(1) of GEPA. This priority will 
apply to the FY 2015 grant competition and any subsequent year in which 
we make awards from the list of unfunded applicants from this 
competition.

    Program Authority: Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2014 (Pub. 
L. 113-76).
    Applicable Regulations: (a) The Education Department General 
Administrative Regulations in 34 CFR parts 75, 77, 79, 81, 82, 84, 86, 
and 99. (b) The OMB Guidelines to Agencies on Governmentwide Debarment 
and Suspension (Nonprocurement) in 2 CFR part 180, as adopted and 
amended as regulations of the Department in 2 CFR part 3485. (c) The 
Uniform Administrative Requirements, Cost Principles, and Audit 
Requirements for Federal Awards in 2 CFR part 200, as adopted and 
amended in 2 CFR part 3474.

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


    Note: The regulations in 34 CFR part 86 apply only to IHEs.


[[Page 43766]]



II. Award Information

    Type of Award: Discretionary grant.
    Estimated Available Funds: $20,000,000.
    Estimated Number of Awards: 1.

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

    Project Period: Up to 60 months. Applicants under this competition 
are required to provide detailed budget information for each of the 
five years of this project and for the total grant.

III. Eligibility Information

    1. Eligible Applicants: An application must be submitted by an 
eligible applicant serving as the lead entity on behalf of a proposed 
partnership that would involve public and private partners 
participating in project implementation and governance. The applicant 
must be a State or public or nonprofit agency or organization, 
including Indian tribes and IHEs. The applicant, together with its 
proposed partners, must also have a demonstrable record of working 
together with key stakeholders such as major ICT providers, agencies 
that serve people with disabilities, and organizations of people with 
disabilities.
    2. Cost Sharing or Matching: This program does not require cost 
sharing or matching.

IV. Application and Submission Information

    1. Address to Request Application Package: You can obtain an 
application package via the Internet, from the Education Publications 
Center (ED Pubs), or from the program office.
    To obtain a copy via the Internet, use the following address: 
www.ed.gov/fund/grant/apply/grantapps/index.html.
    To obtain a copy from ED Pubs, write, fax, or call the following: 
ED Pubs, U.S. Department of Education, P.O. Box 22207, Alexandria, VA 
22304. Telephone, toll free: 1-877-433-7827. FAX: (703) 605-6794. If 
you use a telecommunications device for the deaf (TDD) or a text 
telephone (TTY), call, toll free: 1-877-576-7734.
    You can contact ED Pubs at its Web site, also: www.EDPubs.gov or at 
its email address: [email protected].
    If you request an application from ED Pubs, be sure to identify 
this competition as follows: CFDA number 84.421A.
    To obtain a copy from the program office, contact Douglas Zhu, U.S. 
Department of Education, Rehabilitation Services Administration, 550 
12th Street SW., Room 5051, Potomac Center Plaza (PCP), Washington, DC 
20202-2800. Telephone: (202) 245-6037 or by email: [email protected].
    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.a. 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 
program.
    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. Because of the limited time 
available to review applications and make a recommendation for funding, 
we strongly encourage applicants to limit the application narrative to 
no more than 75 pages, using the following standards:
     A ``page'' is 8.5'' x 11'', on one side only, with 1'' 
margins at the top, bottom, and both sides.
     Double space (no more than three lines per vertical inch) 
all text in the application narrative, including titles, headings, 
footnotes, quotations, references, and captions, as well as all text in 
charts, tables, figures, and graphs.
     Use a font that is either 12 point or larger or no smaller 
than 10 pitch (characters per inch).
     Use one of the following fonts: Times New Roman, Courier, 
Courier New, or Arial. An application submitted in any other font 
(including Times Roman or Arial Narrow) will not be accepted.
    In addition to the page-limit guidance on the application narrative 
section, we recommend that you adhere to the following page limits, 
using the standards listed above: (1) The abstract should be no more 
than one page, (2) the resumes of key personnel should be no more than 
two pages per person, and (3) the bibliography should be no more than 
three pages. The only optional materials that will be accepted are 
letters of support. Please note that our reviewers are not required to 
read optional materials.
    Please note that any funded applicant's application abstract will 
be made available to the public.
    b. Submission of Proprietary Information:
    Given the types of projects that may be proposed in applications 
for the Disability Innovation Fund--Automated Personalization Computing 
Project, an application may include business information that the 
applicant considers proprietary. The Department's regulations define 
``business information'' in 34 CFR 5.11.
    Because we plan to make the abstract of the successful application 
available to the public, you may wish to request confidentiality of 
business information.
    Consistent with Executive Order 12600, please designate in your 
application any information that you feel is exempt from disclosure 
under Exemption 4 of the Freedom of Information Act. In the appropriate 
Appendix section of your application, under ``Other Attachments Form,'' 
please list the page number or numbers on which we can find this 
information. For additional information please see 34 CFR 5.11(c).
    3. Submission Dates and Times:
    Applications Available: July 23, 2015.
    Date of Pre-Application Webinar: Interested parties are invited to 
participate in a pre-application Webinar. The pre-application Webinar 
with staff from the Department will be held on August 5, 2015. The 
Webinar will be recorded. For further information about the pre-
application Webinar, contact the person listed under FOR FURTHER 
INFORMATION CONTACT in section VII of this notice. Deadline for 
Transmittal of Applications: September 8, 2015.
    Applications for grants under this competition must be submitted 
electronically using the Grants.gov Apply site (Grants.gov). For 
information (including dates and times) about how to submit your 
application electronically, or in paper format by mail or hand delivery 
if you qualify for an exception to the electronic submission 
requirement, please refer to section IV.7. Other Submission 
Requirements of this notice.
    We do not consider an application that does not comply with the 
deadline requirements.
    Individuals with disabilities who need an accommodation or 
auxiliary aid in connection with the application process should contact 
the person listed under FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT in section VII 
of this notice. If the Department provides an accommodation or 
auxiliary aid to an individual with a disability in connection with the 
application process, the individual's application remains subject to 
all other requirements and limitations in this notice.
    4. Intergovernmental Review: This competition is subject to 
Executive Order 12372 and the regulations in 34 CFR part 79. However, 
under 34 CFR 79.8(a), we waive intergovernmental

[[Page 43767]]

review in order to make an award by the end of FY 2015.
    5. Funding Restrictions: We reference regulations outlining funding 
restrictions in the Applicable Regulations section of this notice.
    6. Data Universal Numbering System Number, Taxpayer Identification 
Number, and System for Award Management: To do business with the 
Department of Education, you must--
    a. Have a Data Universal Numbering System (DUNS) number and a 
Taxpayer Identification Number (TIN);
    b. Register both your DUNS number and TIN with the System for Award 
Management (SAM) (formerly the Central Contractor Registry (CCR)), the 
Government's primary registrant database;
    c. Provide your DUNS number and TIN on your application; and
    d. Maintain an active SAM registration with current information 
while your application is under review by the Department and, if you 
are awarded a grant, during the project period.
    You can obtain a DUNS number from Dun and Bradstreet. A DUNS number 
can be created within one to two business days.
    If you are a corporate entity, agency, institution, or 
organization, you can obtain a TIN from the Internal Revenue Service. 
If you are an individual, you can obtain a TIN from the Internal 
Revenue Service or the Social Security Administration. If you need a 
new TIN, please allow 2-5 weeks for your TIN to become active.
    The SAM registration process can take approximately seven business 
days, but may take upwards of several weeks, depending on the 
completeness and accuracy of the data entered into the SAM database by 
an entity. Thus, if you think you might want to apply for Federal 
financial assistance under a program administered by the Department, 
please allow sufficient time to obtain and register your DUNS number 
and TIN. We strongly recommend that you register early.

    Note: Once your SAM registration is active, you will need to 
allow 24 to 48 hours for the information to be available in 
Grants.gov and before you can submit an application through 
Grants.gov.

    If you are currently registered with SAM, you may not need to make 
any changes. However, please make certain that the TIN associated with 
your DUNS number is correct. Also note that you will need to update 
your registration annually. This may take three or more business days 
to complete.
    Information about SAM is available at www.SAM.gov. To further 
assist you with obtaining and registering your DUNS number and TIN in 
SAM or updating your existing SAM account, we have prepared a SAM.gov 
Tip Sheet, which you can find at: http://www2.ed.gov/fund/grant/apply/sam-faqs.html.
    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/web/grants/register.html.
    7. Other Submission Requirements: Applications for grants under 
this competition must be submitted electronically unless you qualify 
for an exception to this requirement in accordance with the 
instructions in this section.

a. Electronic Submission of Applications

    Applications for grants under the Automated Personalization 
Computing Project, CFDA number 84.421A, must be submitted 
electronically using the Governmentwide Grants.gov Apply site at 
www.Grants.gov. Through this site, you will be able to download a copy 
of the application package, complete it offline, and then upload and 
submit your application. You may not email an electronic copy of a 
grant application to us.
    We will reject your application if you submit it in paper format 
unless, as described elsewhere in this section, you qualify for one of 
the exceptions to the electronic submission requirement and submit, no 
later than two weeks before the application deadline date, a written 
statement to the Department that you qualify for one of these 
exceptions. Further information regarding calculation of the date that 
is two weeks before the application deadline date is provided later in 
this section under Exception to Electronic Submission Requirement.
    You may access the electronic grant application for the Automated 
Personalization Computing Project competition at www.Grants.gov. You 
must search for the downloadable application package for this 
competition by the CFDA number. Do not include the CFDA number's alpha 
suffix in your search (e.g., search for 84.421, not 84.421A).
    Please note the following:
     When you enter the Grants.gov site, you will find 
information about submitting an application electronically through the 
site, as well as the hours of operation.
     Applications received by Grants.gov are date and time 
stamped. Your application must be fully uploaded and submitted and must 
be date and time stamped by the Grants.gov system no later than 4:30:00 
p.m., Washington, DC time, on the application deadline date. Except as 
otherwise noted in this section, we will not accept your application if 
it is received--that is, date and time stamped by the Grants.gov 
system--after 4:30:00 p.m., Washington, DC time, on the application 
deadline date. We do not consider an application that does not comply 
with the deadline requirements. When we retrieve your application from 
Grants.gov, we will notify you if we are rejecting your application 
because it was date and time stamped by the Grants.gov system after 
4:30:00 p.m., Washington, DC time, on the application deadline date.
     The amount of time it can take to upload an application 
will vary depending on a variety of factors, including the size of the 
application and the speed of your Internet connection. Therefore, we 
strongly recommend that you do not wait until the application deadline 
date to begin the submission process through Grants.gov.
     You should review and follow the Education Submission 
Procedures for submitting an application through Grants.gov that are 
included in the application package for this competition to ensure that 
you submit your application in a timely manner to the Grants.gov 
system. You can also find the Education Submission Procedures 
pertaining to Grants.gov under News and Events on the Department's G5 
system home page at www.G5.gov.
     You will not receive additional point value because you 
submit your application in electronic format, nor will we penalize you 
if you qualify for an exception to the electronic submission 
requirement, as described elsewhere in this section, and submit your 
application in paper format.
     You must submit all documents electronically, including 
all information you typically provide on the following forms: the 
Application for Federal Assistance (SF 424), the Department of 
Education Supplemental Information for SF 424, Budget Information--Non-
Construction Programs (ED 524), and all necessary assurances and 
certifications.
     You must upload any narrative sections and all other 
attachments to your application as files in a PDF (Portable Document) 
read-only, non-modifiable format. Do not upload an interactive or 
fillable PDF file. If you upload a file type other than a read-only, 
non-modifiable PDF or submit a

[[Page 43768]]

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.

    Exception to Electronic Submission Requirement: You qualify for an 
exception to the electronic submission requirement, and may submit your 
application in paper format, if you are unable to submit an application 
through the Grants.gov system because--
     You do not have access to the Internet; or
     You do not have the capacity to upload large documents to 
the Grants.gov system;
    and
     No later than two weeks before the application deadline 
date (14 calendar days or, if the fourteenth calendar day before the 
application deadline date falls on a Federal holiday, the next business 
day following the Federal holiday), you mail or fax a written statement 
to the Department, explaining which of the two grounds for an exception 
prevents you from using the Internet to submit your application.
    If you mail your written statement to the Department, it must be 
postmarked no later than two weeks before the application deadline 
date. If you fax your written statement to the Department, we must 
receive the faxed statement no later than two weeks before the 
application deadline date.
    Address and mail or fax your statement to: Douglas Zhu, U.S. 
Department of Education, 550 12th Street SW., Room 5051, PCP, 
Washington, DC 20202-2800. FAX: (202) 245-7591.
    Your paper application must be submitted in accordance with the 
mail or hand delivery instructions described in this notice.

b. Submission of Paper Applications by Mail

    If you qualify for an exception to the electronic submission 
requirement, you may mail (through the U.S. Postal Service or a 
commercial carrier) your application to the Department. You must mail 
the original and two copies of your application, on or before the 
application deadline date, to the Department at the following address: 
U.S. Department of Education, Application Control Center, Attention: 
(CFDA Number 84.421A), LBJ Basement Level 1, 400 Maryland Avenue SW., 
Washington, DC 20202-4260.
    You must show proof of mailing consisting of one of the following:
    (1) A legibly dated U.S. Postal Service postmark.
    (2) A legible mail receipt with the date of mailing stamped by the 
U.S. Postal Service.
    (3) A dated shipping label, invoice, or receipt from a commercial 
carrier.
    (4) Any other proof of mailing acceptable to the Secretary of the 
U.S. Department of Education.
    If you mail your application through the U.S. Postal Service, we do 
not accept either of the following as proof of mailing:
    (1) A private metered postmark.
    (2) A mail receipt that is not dated by the U.S. Postal Service.
    If your application is postmarked after the application deadline 
date, we will not consider your application.

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

c. Submission of Paper Applications by Hand Delivery

    If you qualify for an exception to the electronic submission 
requirement, you (or a courier service) may deliver your paper 
application to the Department by hand. You must deliver the original 
and two copies of your application by hand, on or before the 
application deadline date, to the Department at the following address: 
U.S. Department of Education, Application Control Center, Attention: 
(CFDA Number 84.421A), 550 12th Street SW., Room 7039, 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 competition 
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

[[Page 43769]]

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. Special Conditions: Under 2 CFR 3474.10, the Secretary may 
impose special conditions and, in appropriate circumstances, high-risk 
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 2 CFR part 
200, subpart D; has not fulfilled the conditions of a prior grant; or 
is otherwise not responsible.

VI. Award Administration Information

    1. Award Notices: If your application is successful, we notify your 
U.S. Representative and U.S. Senators and send you a Grant Award 
Notification (GAN); or we may send you an email containing a link to 
access an electronic version of your GAN. We may notify you informally, 
also. If your application is not evaluated or not selected for funding, 
we notify you.
    2. Administrative and National Policy Requirements: We identify 
administrative and national policy requirements in the application 
package and reference these and other requirements in the Applicable 
Regulations section of this notice.
    We reference the regulations outlining the terms and conditions of 
an award in the Applicable Regulations section of this notice and 
include these and other specific conditions in the GAN. The GAN also 
incorporates your approved application as part of your binding 
commitments under the grant.
    3. Reporting: (a) If you apply for a grant under this competition, 
you must ensure that you have in place the necessary processes and 
systems to comply with the reporting requirements in 2 CFR part 170 
should you receive funding under the competition. This does not apply 
if you have an exception under 2 CFR 170.110(b).
    (b) At the end of your project period, you must submit a final 
performance report, including financial information, as directed by the 
Secretary. 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: The Government Performance and Results Act 
of 1993 (GPRA) directs Federal departments and agencies to improve the 
effectiveness of programs by engaging in strategic planning, setting 
outcome-related goals for programs, and measuring program results 
against those goals.
    The goal of the APCP is to develop an IT infrastructure on which 
Internet-capable computers automatically run AT solutions customized 
for individual users with disabilities according to their preferences. 
These preferences must be established with minimal effort on the part 
of the user. The result is a personalized interface automatically and 
transparently running on any APCP-enabled computer after log-in, 
wherever located.
    Pursuant to GPRA, the Department is in the process of developing 
performance measures for this program to assess the success of the 
grantee in meeting the goals of this project. In general, these 
measures will assess the quality, relevance, and usefulness of the 
pilot implemented by this project, as well as the performance of this 
project in meeting the project requirements and achieving outcomes 
established in this notice and specified annually in the cooperative 
agreement. Those project requirements and outcomes will include, but 
not be limited to:
    (a) Developing an APCP demonstration that is usable (e.g., such 
that the percentage of individuals with disabilities who have access to 
the APCP who use the system and the percentage of such individuals who 
continue to use the system increase over a specific period of time), 
complies with accessibility requirements (i.e., WCAG 2.0 Level AA), and 
effectively automates personalization;
    (b) Establishing a reliable infrastructure that could be scaled 
well beyond the pilot implemented under this project;
    (c) Collecting evidence that the personalization is transferrable 
in such a way that it can follow a person from one device to another 
and from one site to another (e.g., by tracking the percentage of users 
who utilize the APCP on multiple devices or at multiple sites);
    (d) Developing and implementing a set of metrics, along with the 
strategies and the computer programs needed to collect and analyze 
data, that can be used to improve, scale up, and sustain the APCP; and
    (e) Developing a plan for sustainability of the implemented 
model(s).
    Measures developed by the Federal steering committee (in 
consultation with the grantee) will also be included in the cooperative 
agreement to ensure the grantee's progress in deploying concepts that 
show promise of sustaining the deployment beyond this grant and scaling 
beyond this pilot project in the future.
    The grantee will be required to collect and annually report data 
related to its performance on these measures in the project's annual 
and final performance reports to the Department. The Department may 
require more frequent reporting. The annual performance reports must 
include both quantitative and qualitative information sufficient to 
assess the quality, relevance, and usefulness of the implementation of 
the pilot project and the objectives and outcomes for that year. The 
data used must be valid and verifiable.
    5. Continuation Awards: In making a continuation award under 34 CFR 
75.253, the Secretary considers, among other things: Whether a grantee 
has made substantial progress in achieving the goals and objectives of 
the project; whether the grantee has expended funds in a manner that is 
consistent with its approved application and budget; and, if the 
Secretary has established performance measure requirements, the 
performance targets in the grantee's approved application. 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: Douglas Zhu, U.S. Department of 
Education, Rehabilitation Services Administration, 550 12th Street SW., 
Room 5051, PCP, 20202-2800. Telephone: 202-245-6037 or by email: 
[email protected]

[[Page 43770]]

    If you use a TDD or a TYY, call the 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) on request to 
the program contact person listed under FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT 
in section VII of this notice.
    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: July 20, 2015.
Michael K. Yudin,
Assistant Secretary for Special Education and Rehabilitative Services.
[FR Doc. 2015-18085 Filed 7-22-15; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 4000-01-P