Daily Rules, Proposed Rules, and Notices of the Federal Government
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We published a notice of proposed priority for this program in the
There are differences between the notice of proposed priority and this notice of final priority as discussed in the
Generally, we do not address technical and other minor changes. In addition, we do not address general comments that raise concerns not directly related to the proposed priority.
However, as a result of our further review of the proposed priority since publication of the notice of proposed priority, we have made minor changes for purposes of clarification.
As stated in the June 20, 2011, notice of proposed priority, the activities conducted under this priority would supplement the TA provided by the TACE centers by supporting cost-effective and efficient mechanisms for delivering TA at the national level. For example, prior to developing its annual work plan for the provision of TA and continuing education (CE), each regional TACE center conducts an annual needs assessment of State VR agencies and agency partners in its region to identify TA topics. The grantee under this priority would work with the TACE centers to identify topics that would be most appropriately addressed nationally.
The role of the NCRTM is to identify and gather rehabilitation information and training materials for use in conducting pre-service and in-service education and training for rehabilitation personnel and to disseminate rehabilitation information and state-of-the-art training materials and methods. The grantee funded under this priority would be responsible for organizing and making readily available TA materials used and developed under this priority and would not duplicate the work of the NCRTM. We do believe, however, that the expertise of the NCRTM would be of value in assisting the grantee to carry out the activities under this priority.
Finally, while we would expect the successful applicant selected to carry out this priority to have sufficient expertise to appropriately tailor the TA and materials to the unique needs of its audience, we agree that clarifying language would be beneficial.
This commenter also expressed the value of having a mechanism for housing and making available TA products. Finally, the commenter emphasized the need to ensure that sufficient funds are available under this grant to support accommodations that may be necessary for VR professionals to fully participate and to support stipends for professionals who otherwise would not be able to attend presentations and national conferences because of State travel and funding restrictions.
The Assistant Secretary for Special Education and Rehabilitative Services establishes a priority to support a grant under the Special Demonstration Programs to fund a project to provide national technical assistance (TA) to State vocational rehabilitation (VR) agencies and other entities that carry out VR-related programs administered by the Rehabilitation Services Administration (RSA) to increase the transfer, utilization, and dissemination of current promising practices and knowledge in VR and the employment of individuals with disabilities. The Department intends to award this grant as a cooperative agreement to ensure that there is substantial involvement, communication, and collaboration between RSA and the grantee in carrying out the activities of the grant. (34 CFR 75.200(b)(4)).
In coordination with the Department, the grantee must—
(a) Consult with RSA staff and staff from the Technical Assistance and Continuing Education (TACE) centers to identify issues that may affect State VR agency service delivery, as well as TA needs that are most appropriately addressed on a national basis;
(b) Develop a proposed two-year plan for delivering national TA to VR professionals through conferences, webinars, or other mechanisms, based on the activities conducted under paragraph (a) of this priority. The proposed two-year plan must be developed and approved by RSA within the first three months of the project period and include a schedule for delivering high priority TA activities, recommended methods of delivery, and the estimated costs of providing such TA;
(c) Organize and provide national TA in accordance with the two-year plan approved by RSA, including overseeing all activities related to preparing for and conducting national TA. These activities include, but are not limited to, the following: Determining the target audience for the TA; organizing conferences, webinars, and other national TA; identifying presenters; providing TA and preparing materials in formats that best meet the needs of the target audience; arranging for reasonable accommodations for individuals with disabilities; making logistical arrangements for the national TA; providing travel reimbursement and stipends, where appropriate, to State VR personnel; and providing for continuing education credits;
(d) Organize and archive all TA products and materials developed or used in providing TA conducted under this priority for use by RSA, the TACE centers, and other TA providers, as needed;
(e) Develop and maintain a Web site to make available the products and materials that are developed and/or used in providing TA conducted under this priority so that they can be easily accessed and used by RSA, the TACE centers, and other RSA grantees. The Web site must be capable of supporting other features including, but not limited to, conference and webinar registration, a calendar of events, and links to other related Web sites and resources;
(f) Conduct an evaluation of the national TA provided under this priority, including, at a minimum, the following: The number of TA activities conducted, the identified needs to which these activities responded, and
(g) Collaborate with other RSA-funded TA providers, including, but not limited to, the TACE centers, the National Clearinghouse of Rehabilitation Training Materials, the American Indian Vocational Rehabilitation Technical Assistance Center, and the Independent Living Training and Technical Assistance Center, in the provision and support of TA activities.
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
This notice does not preclude us from proposing additional priorities, requirements, definitions, or selection criteria, subject to meeting applicable rulemaking requirements.
This notice does
The potential costs associated with this regulatory action are those resulting from statutory requirements and those we have determined as necessary for administering this program effectively and efficiently.
In assessing the potential costs and benefits—both quantitative and qualitative—of this regulatory action, we have determined that the benefits of the priority justify the costs.
We have determined, also, that this final regulatory action does not unduly interfere with State, local, and tribal governments in the exercise of their governmental functions.
TA targeted to the specific needs of grantees helps them to improve their performance and to achieve their objectives. Specifically, the provision of cost effective TA to State VR agencies in areas of national need should result in higher quality employment outcomes for the individuals with disabilities whom these agencies serve.
This document provides early notification of our specific plans and actions for this program.
You may also access documents of the Department published in the