B Summary of Information Sources on Disability and Rehabilitation Research

Christine Domzal

Conwal Incorporated, McLean, Virginia

Introduction

The purpose of this summary is to present a brief description of federal agencies primarily involved in disability and rehabilitation research. It also provides brief descriptions of agencies that provide services and benefits, advise on policy, enforce compliance with federal statutes and regulations, and collect data on disability.

In February 1995, the 27 members of the Interagency Committee on Disability Research (ICDR) were invited to describe the information systems their agencies use to announce funding priorities, track the progress of funded research, and catalog and disseminate final reports of funded research. Not all members of the ICDR are funding agencies. Some agencies fund services, others are primarily responsible for enforcement of compliance with federal statutes and regulations, and some serve an advisory function. The 10 agencies that submitted information on their research programs represent the broad range of federal research activity in disability and rehabilitation.

This summary is organized by federal department. For each agency within the department, there is a brief description of its mission and the type of disability research it funds. Next, there is a description of the methods used to announce the availability of research funding, track in-progress research, and disseminate research reports.



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--> B Summary of Information Sources on Disability and Rehabilitation Research Christine Domzal Conwal Incorporated, McLean, Virginia Introduction The purpose of this summary is to present a brief description of federal agencies primarily involved in disability and rehabilitation research. It also provides brief descriptions of agencies that provide services and benefits, advise on policy, enforce compliance with federal statutes and regulations, and collect data on disability. In February 1995, the 27 members of the Interagency Committee on Disability Research (ICDR) were invited to describe the information systems their agencies use to announce funding priorities, track the progress of funded research, and catalog and disseminate final reports of funded research. Not all members of the ICDR are funding agencies. Some agencies fund services, others are primarily responsible for enforcement of compliance with federal statutes and regulations, and some serve an advisory function. The 10 agencies that submitted information on their research programs represent the broad range of federal research activity in disability and rehabilitation. This summary is organized by federal department. For each agency within the department, there is a brief description of its mission and the type of disability research it funds. Next, there is a description of the methods used to announce the availability of research funding, track in-progress research, and disseminate research reports.

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--> Architectural and Transportation Barriers Compliance Board (Access Board) The Architectural and Transportation Barriers Compliance Board, also known as the Access Board, is an independent federal agency responsible for developing accessibility guidelines for buildings, facilities, and transit vehicles. Consequently, the Board's research program is focused on accessibility research pertaining to architecture and design, communication, and transportation. The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) of 1990 significantly broadened the Board's responsibility for developing design guidelines. Since passage of the ADA, the Board has given priority to research that supports the development of ADA design guidelines and of technical assistance materials. Funding: $280,000 in fiscal year 1995. Disability Research: Research projects are currently selected in the following order of priority: research pertaining to issues or areas not currently covered by the Board's guidelines or scheduled for future rulemaking; research addressing issues of compliance or clarity concerning specific provisions of the guidelines; and research that reevaluates existing specifications that are long-standing and possibly dated. The Board plans to continue to focus on design issues related to its ADA guidelines in fiscal years 1995 and 1996. Recent research projects undertaken by the Board include: Technical requirements for ramps. A study on existing specifications for ramps, including those for slope, landing, and length. Detectable warnings. A project to study the need for detectable warnings for persons with visual impairments at intersections and at hazardous vehicular areas. Design requirements for persons using powered mobility aids. Some of the provisions in ADA Accessibility Guidelines (ADAAG), such as those for clear floor space, maneuvering clearances, and reach ranges, are based on anthropometric data derived from studies involving persons using manual wheelchairs. This project investigated design specifications appropriate for persons using powered wheelchairs, scooters, and other motorized mobility aids.

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--> ADAAG manual. Development of a comprehensive manual on the ADAAG and recommendations on a distribution system for revisions and updates to the manual. Recreation guidelines: regulatory impact analysis. Impact assessment of proposed recreation guidelines. Access to water transportation. Additional funding for a project the Department of Transportation is undertaking to assess the feasibility and impact of making an established inventory of passenger vessels and related facilities accessible. Swimming pool accessibility. A project to develop guidance materials on the design options and products available for providing wheelchair access into swimming pools. Announcing Funding Priorities: Announcements seeking public comment on priorities for the next two fiscal years are published in the Federal Register. Typically, a subsequent notice is published listing priorities as finalized by the Board. Priorities are also announced in the agency quarterly newsletter Access America and through direct mailing using an in-house mailing list. Progress Reports on Funded Research: Under its current budget, the Board funds only one to three major research projects per year. Status reports on the progress of projects are prepared primarily for in-house use and briefing Board members. This information is available to the public upon request. The quarterly newsletter, Access America, also reports the status of projects and completion of tasks. Final Reports on Funded Research: Final reports of funded research are available through Access America, and BBS. The Board also disseminates its research reports through the National Technical Information Service (NTIS). The Board may consider making research reports available through its electronic bulletin board enabling the public to download the information. Currently, only the notice of the availability of such reports is provided in BBS. Department of Education National Institute on Disability and Rehabilitation Research The National Institute on Disability and Rehabilitation Research (NIDRR) is part of the Office of Special Education and Rehabilitative Services (OSERS) in the U.S. Department of Education (ED). NIDRR's mission is to contribute to the independence of people with disabilities.

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--> NIDRR accomplishes this mission by funding research, demonstration projects, training, and other related activities to maximize the full inclusion and integration of this population into society. Through grants, contracts, and cooperative agreements, NIDRR funds research designed to improve systems, products, and practices in the rehabilitation field. NIDRR is also charged with ensuring the widespread distribution of practical scientific and technological information in usable formats. This dissemination takes such forms as conferences, seminars, workshops, and publications. The research funded by NIDRR covers every aspect of disability including brain injury, spinal cord injury, multiple sclerosis, back pain, and broader areas such as technology, accessibility, aging, service delivery, policy, ethics, recreation, and community integration. Funding: $70 million in fiscal year 1995. Disability Research: Research and demonstration projects. Rehabilitation priorities are identified by NIDRR and published in the Federal Register. Rehabilitation research and training centers. These centers: conduct research targeted toward the production of new knowledge which will improve rehabilitation methodology and service delivery systems, alleviate or stabilize disabling conditions, and promote maximum social and economic independence. institute related teaching and training programs to disseminate and promote the utilization of research findings thereby reducing the usual long intervening delay between the discovery of new knowledge and its wide application in practice. Rehabilitation engineering research centers. Provide support for advanced research of an engineering or technical nature. Field-initiated research. Designed to encourage eligible applicants to originate ideas for research and demonstrations. Innovative Research. Provides financial support to projects that test new concepts and innovative ideas; demonstrate research results of high potential benefits; purchase and evaluate prototype aids and devices; or conduct feasibility, planning, and evaluation studies and conferences, and other activities to disseminate specific research findings. Small business innovative research. To encourage new ideas and products useful to people with disabilities and the rehabilitation field. State technology assistance. This program, funded under the Tech-

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--> nology-Related assistance for Individuals with Disabilities Act, supports consumer-driven plans for the delivery of assistive technology. Technology-related projects of national significance. Title II, Part C of the Technology-Related Assistance for Individuals with Disabilities Act funds training projects that: (a) educate people with disabilities and other relevant groups, in developing, demonstrating, disseminating and evaluating curricula, materials, and methods used to train people to provide technology-related assistance; and (b) prepare personnel to provide technical assistance and administer programs or to support the development and implementation of statewide programs in technology-related assistance. Utilization projects. This program supports activities that will ensure that rehabilitation knowledge generated from projects and centers funded by NIDRR and other sources is fully utilized. ADA technical assistance programs. NIDRR has funded 10 Regional Disability and Business Technical Assistance Centers which provide technical assistance training and resource referral on the ADA. Model spinal cord injury systems. Provides assistance to establish innovative projects for the delivery, demonstration, and evaluation of comprehensive medical, vocational, and other rehabilitation services to meet the needs of individuals with spinal cord injuries. Research Training Grants. Supports projects that provide advanced training in rehabilitation research. Fellowships. International projects. Announcing Funding Priorities: NIDRR announces its funding priorities in the Federal Register and through electronic bulletin boards. Progress Reports on Funded Research: Progress on projects is tracked by Project Officers. Final Reports on Funded Research: Funded by NIDRR, the National Rehabilitation Information Center (NARIC) is a national disability and rehabilitation library and information center that collects and disseminates the results of NIDRR-funded research projects. Each NIDRR-funded project is required to provide NARIC with at least one copy of each of its publications—reports, monographs, journal articles, book chapters, training materials, and directories. The collection, which also includes commercially published books, journal articles, and audiovisuals, grows at a rate of 300 documents per month. NARIC currently has more than 44,000 documents on all aspects of disability and rehabilitation.

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--> U.S. DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES Agency for Health Care Policy and Research The Agency for Health Care Policy and Research (AHCPR) was established in December 1989 under Public Law 101-239 (Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act of 1989). AHCPR, a part of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, is the lead agency charged with supporting research designed to improve the quality of health care, reduce its cost, and broaden access to essential services. AHCPR's broad programs of research bring practical, science-based information to medical practitioners and to consumers and other health care purchasers. The Agency is comprised of 14 major functional components, with the Office of the Administrator directing the activities of the Agency to ensure that strategic objectives are achieved. Funding: No special dollars are allocated to specific topics. Interest in vulnerable populations which includes disability. Disability Research: The AHCPR research agenda includes eight topic areas: Patient outcomes research evaluates the effectiveness of health care interventions to show how they affect results important to patients, including quality of life and functional status. Quality measurement and improvement develops measurements and strategies to facilitate improved quality of care. Clinical practice guidelines. AHCPR facilitates the development of clinical practice guidelines which are based on comprehensive reviews of the scientific literature. The guidelines help practitioners and consumers determine the best ways to prevent and treat diseases and other health conditions. Consumer choice provides useful information on quality and value of health care. Cost and access research is designed to understand trends occurring in health care and their implications for quality and consumer choice. Health care delivery assesses and evaluates the health care marketplace. Technology assessments provide information on the risks, benefits, and clinical effectiveness of new medical technologies. Data standards and health information systems development contributes to the simplification of health care information systems.

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--> Priorities include quality, effectiveness, and outcomes research; investigator initiated research; managed care and its effect on health care systems; and consumer decision making. Announcing Funding Priorities: The NIH Guide to Grants and Contracts, Commerce Business Daily, and the AHCPR Web site at: http://www.ahcpr.gov. Progress Reports on Funded Research: Grantees are required to prepare annual progress reports. Final Reports on Funded Research Research Activities is a digest of research findings that have been produced with support from AHCPR and is published by AHCPR's Center for Health Information Dissemination. Information on funded research is also available on the AHCPR Web site. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention: The Disabilities Prevention Program The mission of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is to promote health and quality of life by preventing and controlling disease, disability, and injury. To accomplish this mission, CDC works with partners throughout the United States and internationally to monitor health, detect and investigate health problems, conduct research to enhance prevention, develop and advocate sound public health policies, implement prevention strategies, promote healthy behaviors, foster safe and healthful environments, and provide leadership and training. Funding: $9 million for disability prevention research in fiscal year 1995. Disability Research: The Disabilities Prevention Program (DPP), located within the National Center for Environmental Health, has two major goals: (1) to reduce the incidence and severity of primary and secondary disabilities; and (2) to promote the independence and productivity of people with disabilities and to further their integration into the community. The DPP: provides states with technical and financial assistance to build disabilities prevention capacity, establishes surveillance systems for disabilities, identifies risk factors for disabilities, and identifies and develops appropriate interventions to prevent secondary disabilities. Targeted disabilities. During FY 1992, the DPP funded 28 capacity-building cooperative agreements with state agencies to help recipients develop their own state-level program for studying, preventing, or mini-

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--> mizing the effects of disabilities. The projects receiving awards focused on the following disabilities: Fetal alcohol syndrome. Mild mental retardation. Secondary conditions among children with cerebral palsy, spina bifida, or sickle cell disease. Traumatic head and spinal cord injuries. Secondary conditions among people with head and spinal cord injuries. State disabilities prevention projects. The Disabilities Prevention Program funds 28 capacity-building projects. Each project supports a state office of disability prevention, an advisory council, a disabilities surveillance system, and activities to develop, implement, and evaluate community intervention programs. The following intervention programs, funded in part through DPP, show exceptional promise and could serve as models for other states and communities attempting to establish similar programs. A program that uses dramatizations to educate teenage students about ways of preventing disabilities. Dramatizations focus on (a) alcohol and other drug use during pregnancy, (b) drinking and driving, and (c) head and spinal cord injuries caused by improper seat belt use. A program that uses story, song, art, and dramatic play to encourage proper safety belt use among preschool and elementary school children. A program to promote health among persons with disabilities by awarding competitive minigrants to independent living centers. A comprehensive plan to develop a population-based fetal alcohol syndrome surveillance system. A statewide training program for professionals in a position to intervene with women at risk of having children with fetal alcohol syndrome or fetal alcohol effects. An intervention program to help parents at high risk for abusing or neglecting their children to recognize and address behaviors that may be precursors of child abuse and neglect. A comprehensive early-notification reporting system for spinal cord injuries. This system will allow public health officials to develop strategies for preventing secondary conditions. A model community program for promoting bicycle helmet use. A program of collaboration among the Governor's office, volunteers, and corporate sponsors to address childhood injury through peer education.

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--> Announcing Funding Priorities: Program announcements are published in the Federal Register. Progress Reports on Funded Research: Grantees are required to write semiannual progress reports. These reports are collected for internal use only. Final Reports on Funded Research: Final reports are required of grantees upon completion of the project period. The grantee is responsible for the preparation and content of the final report. Grantees are also required to provide copies of any journal publications resulting from the research. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention: National Center for Injury Prevention and Control The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) began studying home and recreational injuries in the early 1970s and violence prevention in 1983. From these early activities grew a national program to reduce injury, disability, death, and costs associated with injuries outside the workplace. In June 1992, CDC established the National Center for Injury Prevention and Control (NCIPC). As the lead federal agency for injury prevention, NCIPC works closely with other federal agencies; national, state, and local organizations; state and local health departments; and research institutions. Funding: $16.2 million for injury prevention research grants in fiscal year 1996. Disability Research: The National Center for Injury Prevention and Control conducts and monitors research on the causes, risks, and preventive measures for injuries outside the workplace including prevention of secondary conditions among people with disabilities. unintentional injuries related to falls, fires and burns, drowning, poisonings, motor vehicle crashes (including those with pedestrians), recreational activities, and playgrounds and daycare settings. intentional injuries related to suicide, youth violence, family violence, and firearms. NCIPC also funds research by universities and other public and private groups studying the three phases of injury control (prevention, acute care, and rehabilitation) and the two major disciplines of injury control (epidemiology and biomechanics).

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--> The Division of Acute Care, Rehabilitation Research, and Disability coordinates a national public health approach to reducing the impact of injuries by improving trauma care and rehabilitation systems. The program includes the prevention of injury-related disabilities and their secondary conditions. Current activities include: Development of guidelines for surveillance of injuries to the central nervous system (primarily traumatic brain and spinal cord injuries) Research on prevention of secondary conditions such as pressure sores Multistate surveillance system for traumatic brain and spinal cord injury. The Division of Unintentional Injury Prevention monitors trends in unintentional injuries, conducts research to better understand risk factors, and evaluates interventions to prevent injuries due to motor vehicle crashes, fires, burns, falls, drowning, and poisonings. The Division of Violence Prevention supports both intramural and extramural projects and activities to prevent violence. Extramural research includes studies on the relationship between exposure to violence, risk behavior, and psychological stress among children; risk and protective factors associated with interpersonal violence among adolescents and violence against women; the effects of psychological abuse, violence, and aggression on women's physical and mental health; the epidemiology of injuries to victims of domestic assault; intervention and evaluation research on suicide, intimate violence, and interpersonal violence among youth. Fourteen evaluation projects on preventing youth violence are currently under way in 11 cities. The Division also provides financial and technical support to state and local health departments in their efforts to prevent violence. These programs define and track injuries, develop interventions, mobilize coalitions for intervention and public education, and evaluate prevention effectiveness. Announcing Funding Priorities: Program announcements are published in the Federal Register and also an the NCIPC Web site. The Guide to Applying for Injury Research Grants, available from the Office of Research Grants, provides members of the scientific community with guidance for applying to NCIPC for research grants. Progress Reports on Funded Research: Grantees are required to write semiannual progress reports. These reports are collected for internal use only. Final Reports on Funded Research: Final reports are required of grantees

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--> upon completion of the project period. The grantee is responsible for the preparation and content of the final report. NIH/National Center for Medical Rehabilitation Research The National Center for Medical Rehabilitation Research (NCMRR) was established within the National Institutes of Health (NIH) by legislation passed in 1990 (Public Law 101-613). The Center is a component of the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD). The mission of NCMRR is to foster development of the scientific knowledge needed to enhance the health, productivity, independence and quality of life of persons with disabilities. This is accomplished by supporting research on enhancing the rehabilitation and healthcare of people with disabilities and on assisting them to achieve their functional capabilities of relevance in their daily lives. A primary goal of the Center is to bring the health related problems of people with disabilities to the attention of America's best scientists in order to capitalize upon the advances occurring in the biological, behavioral, and engineering sciences. The Director of NIH was directed by P.L. 101-613 to establish the National Advisory Board on Medical Rehabilitation Research. The Advisory Board advises the directors of NIH, NICHD, and NCMRR on matters and policies relating to the Center's programs. The Advisory Board is comprised of 12 members representing health and scientific disciplines related to medical rehabilitation and 6 members representing people with disabilities. Funding: $15 million in fiscal year 1995. Disability Research: The Research Plan for the National Center for Medical Rehabilitation Research was based on a review of medical rehabilitation research being supported by various agencies, advice solicited from the scientific and consumer communities, and three field hearings at which public comment was obtained. The plan describes a framework for research to be supported by NCMRR and by other agencies that fund medical rehabilitation research. It focuses on the person with a disability and on how that person's functional limitations are affected by interacting biological, personal, and societal forces. Emphasis is placed on obtaining better information about the health-related factors that influence how persons with disabilities interrelate with their families, coworkers, and communities. Major issues in medical rehabilitation research are reviewed, including early and late onset of disability, traumatic injury, chronic and recurring disorders, and effects of aging. The research initiatives and opportunities recommended in the Re-

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--> The HUD USER Database is a bibliographic resource that contains over 5,000 reports, articles, case studies, and other research literature on topics related to housing and urban development. Resource guides Directory of Information Resources in Housing and Urban Development, Third Edition. Microfiche copies of noncopyrighted documents on the HUD USER database. Computer packages to address specialized needs for information on particular subject areas, including the Housing Discrimination Study Data Tape. Department of Transportation Transit Cooperative Research Project Among its activities, the Department of Transportation (DOT) provides formula grants for state and local governments to buy new transit vehicles accessible to persons with disabilities; build accessible rail systems; modernize older rail car and stations, provide demand-response paratransit (van) service for those with disabilities unable to use the accessible fixed route services and fund eligible operating costs. It is also charged with ensuring accessibility of all modes of transportation under the ADA and the Air Carrier Access Act of 1986. The Transit Cooperative Research Program (TCRP) was established in 1992 to provide a continuing program of applied research on transit issues. The program is sponsored by the Federal Transit Administration (FTA) and carried out under a three-way agreement among the National Academy of Sciences, acting through its Transportation Research Board (TRB); the Transit Development Corporation, an education and research arm of the American Public Transit Association (APTA); and the FTA. The TCRP focuses on issues significant to the transit industry, with emphasis on developing near-term research solutions to a variety of transit problems involving facilities, service concepts, operations, policy, planning, human resources, maintenance, and administrative practices. Funding: $1.7 million for disability-related projects from August 1992 through December 31, 1994. Disability Research: In progress or recently completed disability-related projects include Computerized Paratransit Dispatching;

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--> Signs and Symbols in Transit Facilities; Transit Operations for Individuals with Disabilities; Attracting Paratransit Patrons to Fixed-Route Services Personal Mobility Aid Securement and Passenger Restraint on Transit Vehicles; Applicability of Low-Floor Light Rail Vehicles in North America; Measuring and Valuing Transit Benefits and Disbenefits; Quick Response for Special Needs; Wheelchair Restraint System; New Transit Bus; Customer Information at Bus Stops; and Low-Floor Transit Buses. Announcing Funding Priorities: TCRP is intended to concentrate on low-risk, applied research projects with relatively quick turn-around. The program is directed at problems of an immediate, near-term nature that can be undertaken with moderate research funds. TCRP project-funding levels are typically less than $400,000. Research Project Statements (Requests for Proposals) are sent to the approximately 4,000 persons on the TCRP mailing list. TCRP program solicitations are also available through the Department of Transportation Information Center. In addition, the FTA will establish an FTA Home Page on the Internet to announce TCRP and other research project priorities and requests for proposals. Progress Reports on Funded Research: Progress reports of funded research are available in Transit Research Abstracts and on UMTRIS, which provides on-line retrieval of abstracts and summaries of TCRP research projects in progress. Transit Research Abstracts is an annual DOT publication of abstracts of completed and ongoing research projects on all public transit modes, including specialized ADA transit systems for access by persons with disabilities. Final Reports on Funded Research: TRB provides a series of research reports, research results digests, legal research digests, syntheses of transit practice, and other supporting material developed by TCRP research. After publication, products are distributed widely through the TRB distribution system. Copies are sent directly to at least 2,000 TRB members who request transit publications as well as to about 100 libraries, 50 TRB transit representatives, and more than 150 university-liaison representatives. As a further means of disseminating the research reports, announcements of their availability are sent to the trade press. FTA personnel automatically receive a copy of each published report providing an additional conduit

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--> through which direct contact with possible users can be initiated. TRB also lists products annually in the TRB catalog. The FTA also publishes TCRP final report summaries in Transit Research Abstracts. In 1994, the TRB published a Research Results Digest entitled Transit Operations for Individuals with Disabilities, which briefly summarizes the Phase I findings of the TCRP project of the same title. Project ACTION Project ACTION (Accessible Community Transportation in Our Nation) is a national research and demonstration project administered by the National Easter Seal Society under a cooperative agreement with the Federal Transit Administration of the U.S. Department of Transportation. Project ACTION is designed to facilitate cooperation between the transit industry and disability community in order to improve access to transportation for individuals with disabilities and assist transportation providers in implementing the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 (ADA). The Project ACTION Local Demonstration Program serves as a vehicle for developing and testing tools, techniques, and strategies to improve accessible transportation. Through annual solicitations since 1991, Project ACTION has funded 60 local demonstration projects. Funding: $1 million in project year 1994. Disability Research: Project ACTION funds transit accessibility demonstration projects that: identify persons with disabilities and their transportation needs; develop outreach and marketing activities to encourage public transportation use of persons with disabilities; provide training for transportation providers to increase their sensitivity to the needs of persons with disabilities; provide training for persons with disabilities regarding the use of public transportation; and encourage elimination of barriers to accessible services and facilities. Complementing Project ACTION local demonstration efforts is the National Institute for Accessible Transportation (NIAT). The Institute disseminates information and resources developed under the Local Demonstration Program. NIAT conducts other activities which involve research, training, and technical assistance in the area of accessible transportation. In project year 1994, Project ACTION funded $1 million in local demonstration programs in four categories:

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--> Develop and tests model procedures for determining ADA paratransit eligibility: $400,000. Develop and implement innovative methods of dissemination and replication: $400,000. Develop and apply technology to eliminate transportation barriers: $100,000. Develop model projects to address other accessibility issues: $100,000. Announcing Funding Priorities: Project ACTION conducts its annual solicitation process through Requests for Proposals. Announcements are posted and advertised the Federal Register, the Commerce Business Daily, the Project ACTION Update (the quarterly newsletter), and Project ACTION Request for Proposals. Also used are trade publications, National Easter Seal Societies publications, and federal publications. Progress Reports on Funded Research: Project ACTION tracks its local demonstration projects through quarterly reports submitted by contractors. Contractors produce articles detailing the progress of their projects in Project ACTION Update and other disability and transit trade magazines. Project ACTION also has an on-line bulletin board system and e-mail which is used to maintain contact and sharing information with contractors and other agencies who are conducting research. The on-line system houses a copy of each Project ACTION Update. Abstracts are available via Project ACTION Update on the electronic bulletin board. Final Reports on Funded Research: Project ACTION publishes its final reports through the National Institute for Accessible Transportation (NIAT). The Institute, the dissemination arm of Project ACTION, distributes all publications and deliverables developed through Project ACTION's local demonstration program. No changes are scheduled by Project ACTION for reports distribution, but the Federal Transit Administration plans to provide all ADA transit research reports on the Internet Website beginning in FY 1996. Department of Veterans Affairs Research and Development (R&D) in the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) advances the diagnosis and treatment of health problems prevalent among veteran patients by applying findings of VA medical research studies throughout the hospital system. VA is not a granting agency, but rather funds an intramural program for investigators at VA

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--> Medical Centers. The VA program encompasses three areas of research and development: Biomedical, Health Services, and Rehabilitation. Funding: $25 million for Rehabilitation R&D in fiscal year 1995. Disability Research: The VA Rehabilitation R&D program integrates the multiple disciplines of science, engineering, and medicine to investigate and develop concepts, processes, and products that directly meet the special needs of impaired and disabled veterans. Scientific investigation is carried out in areas of physical orientation, mobility, and manual skills enhancement, prosthetics/amputation/orthotics, spinal cord injury, communication, cognition, auditory/visual sensory aids, vocational placement, and recreational opportunity. Priority emphasis is given to those investigator-initiated studies whose results benefit veterans with war-related injuries. Current special emphasis areas are Orthopedics: prosthetics, orthotics, amputation management; Neurology: spinal cord injury, traumatic brain injury, nerve injury; Communications, cognition and sensory aids: vision, audition, speech, deglutition; and Disabling conditions and associated aging: cardiorespiratory, metabolic, muscular, skeletal, stability. VA investigators are further guided by letters of information stating current foci within these priority areas. Internal Letters of Information are developed through strategic planning workshops with the participation of rehabilitation clinicians and researchers, as well as users of rehabilitation technology. Announcing Funding Priorities: Internal Letter of Information. Progress Reports on Funded Research: Program monitors in each Rehab R&D special emphasis area track and monitor the orderly progress, resource use, and timely reporting of merit approved and funded projects. Funded investigators are required to submit annual Progress Reports for publication in Rehabilitation R&D Progress Reports. An internally developed database, Research and Development Information Service (RDIS), is primarily used to track funding. Final Reports on Funded Research: Final reports on VA Rehab R&D are published annually in Rehabilitation R&D Progress Reports and quarterly in the Journal of Rehabilitation Research and Development. Abstracts from the

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--> Journal and the Progress Reports are on an electronic bulletin board and VA Online. National Science Foundation The National Science Foundation is an independent federal agency created to promote and advance scientific progress in the United States. NSF is responsible for the overall health of science and engineering across all disciplines. In contrast, other federal agencies support research focused on specific missions, such as health or defense. NSF is also committed to ensuring the Nation's supply of scientists, engineers, and science educators. The Foundation is led by a presidentially appointed director and a National Science Board composed of 24 scientists, engineers, and educators from universities, colleges, industry, and other organizations involved in research and education. Funding: $7 million for disability-related projects in fiscal year 1994. Disability Research: All seven Directorates in NSF support individual projects related to disabilities. These are typically investigator-initiated projects that are recommended for funding during regular competitive review cycles. NSF operates two programs dedicated specifically to research for people with disabilities. The Biomedical Engineering and Research Aiding Persons with Disabilities Program, Division of Bioengineering and Environmental Systems, located in the Engineering Directorate, supports investigator-initiated research projects recommended for funding by expert panels. The projects relate to the application of biomedical engineering techniques to needs of people with disabilities. The Program also supports Student Engineering Design Projects to stimulate interest among engineering students in the needs of people with disabilities that may be addressed through the application of modern principles of engineering. The Program for Persons with Disabilities in the Directorate for Education and Human Resources is dedicated to achieving full inclusion and participation of students with disabilities in science and math studies and in career development opportunities in science, engineering, mathematics, and technology. Many of the projects focus on developing instructional materials, media, and educational technologies that are usable by all students: Experimental Projects for Persons with Disabilities. Provides support for the development and demonstration of exemplary strategies

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--> for the recruitment, education, and retention of students with disabilities in science, engineering, and mathematics. Model Projects for Persons with Disabilities. Designed to promote the development and dissemination of innovative intervention strategies that reduce the barriers that inhibit the interest, retention, and advancement of students with disabilities in science, engineering, and mathematics education and career tracks. Information Dissemination Projects. Funds proposals for the support of symposia, workshops, and the development of information on techniques, instructional materials, technologies, and adaptations that promote full inclusion and participation of students with disabilities in science, engineering, and mathematics curricula. Facilitation Awards for Scientists and Engineers with Disabilities. This Foundation-wide program provides funding for students and faculty with disabilities to obtain special equipment and services needed to reduce or remove barriers so they can participate in research and training activities supported by NSF. Announcing Funding Priorities: Programs of funded research are publicized through program announcements and program guides. Progress Reports on Funded Research: Periodic progress reports are required of researchers. These reports are collected for internal use only and are not available to the public. Final Reports on Funded Research: Final reports are required of researchers upon completion of the grant period. The awardee is responsible for the preparation of the results for publication. The Foundation does not assume responsibility for the research findings or their interpretation. Other Research Program Activities Department of Education Office of Special Education Programs OSEP currently supports research programs in all aspects of the education of individuals with disabilities. The research areas supported include early intervention, instructional methods, curriculum development, assessment, and teacher training. OSEP is in the process of consolidating its 14 program authorities into 5 authorities. Field-initiated research accounts for 60% of the research budget.

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--> Department of Energy DOE has a research budget of $6.5 billion and some of its research in hearing, visual modalities, and computer technology has applications for persons with disabilities. Department of Health and Human Services Administration on Developmental Disabilities The ADD is responsible for planning and implementing programs that promote self-sufficiency and protect the rights of persons with developmental disabilities. The ADD accomplishes this primarily though the University Affiliated Program (UAP), a discretionary grant program. UAPs provide technical assistance, community service, dissemination, and interdisciplinary training to professionals. UAP research activities include empirical research on existing practices and developing models of practice and service delivery. The ADD funding provides operational and administrative support to UAPs so that they can attract research funding from various sources. UAP research topics include infancy, early intervention, educational inclusion, school-to-work transition, employment, and aging. National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders NIDCD conducts research in the normal and disordered processes of hearing, balance, smell, taste, voice, speech, and language. Its $22 million research budget supports research in disability-related areas such as hearing aids, cochlear implants, telecommunications relay services, and vestibular issues. National Aeronautics and Space Administration NASA funds no disability research. However, its work in engineering and space technology has had spinoffs in technology transfer to products for persons with disabilities.

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--> Services and Benefits Department of Education Rehabilitation Services Administration RSA has no research focus, but funds $300 million a year on demonstration projects and evaluation of service approaches. Department of Health and Human Services Indian Health Service IHS provides health care to American Indian and Alaska Native people. Its past research budget has been $2 million, with expected reductions to less than $1 million in the next fiscal year. The research funded by IHS is oriented toward improving basic health care services. It does not fund disability research. However, some of its research activities concern prevention of disability in four areas: (1) fetal alcohol syndrome, (2) hearing loss due to childhood infections (3) amputation due to diabetes, and (4) motor vehicle accidents. Department of the Interior Bureau of Indian Affairs The Branch of Exceptional Education within BIA funds no research. It provides direct educational services. Social Security Administration SSA administers the Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) and Supplemental Security Income (SSI) programs. It conducts studies of its disability programs and supports intervention and service delivery models such as returning beneficiaries to work. SSA is in the process of redesigning its programs to include a functional assessment instrument and to identify rehabilitation needs. This redesign will probably result in a change in the definition of disability which SSA uses to determine eligibility for benefits. Advisory Panels General Services Administration The Center for IT Accommodation at GSA applies research findings in emerging technology to ensure that information technologies (e-mail,

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--> electronic documents, postal kiosks) are accessible to persons with disabilities. President's Committee on Mental Retardation The Committee funds no grants or research. It is responsible for reviewing federal policy in relation to research. Its 21 members review federal and state programs that have an impact on mental retardation. The Committee sponsors conferences and provides an annual report to the President. President's Committee on Employment of Persons With Disabilities The Committee works to advance the employment needs of persons with disabilities. It funds no direct research, but funds a grant to the Job Accommodation Network (JAN) which provides technical assistance on job accommodations from 60,000 contacts annually. It has developed a profile of savings in workers compensation and disability payments. It has a Disability Communication Network with 6,000 Advocates and a Business Leadership Network where employers speak to other employers about hiring and retaining workers with disabilities. It also has organized a minority initiative. Compliance Department of Justice, Office of Civil Rights The Office of Civil Rights enforces civil rights laws, provides technical assistance, and comments on legislation. It provides grants to disseminate information on how to comply with disability rights laws. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission The EEOC funds no direct research, but it uses research. It interprets and enforces the employment provisions of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and the Rehabilitation Act of 1973. Because of the backlog of cases, the EEOC is actively developing alternative dispute resolution techniques. As a user of disability research, the EEOC is especially interested in research in the areas of reasonable accommodation, assistive technology, cost of accommodation, and the role of education, training, and rehabilitation in the employment for persons with disabilities.

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--> United States Information Agency USIA deals with all aspects of disability in student and scholar exchange programs. Congress has mandated a report on outreach and work with persons with disabilities. STATISTICS AND DATA COLLECTION Department of Commerce Bureau of the Census The Bureau of the Census does not fund disability research. However, it conducts three surveys which are a primary source of disability data: Current Population Survey (CPS), Survey of Income and Program Participation (SIPP), the Decennial Census. Department of Health and Human Services National Center for Health Statistics NCHS conducts the National Health Interview Survey (NHIS) which is a source of disability data. In 1994 continuing through 1996, NCHS is sponsoring a Disability Supplement to the NHIS which will be a major source of data on all aspects of disability. Department of Labor Bureau of Labor Statistics BLS funds no disability research. However, it has some limited data regarding disability through three programs: Current Population Survey (CPS), the National Longitudinal Survey of Youth (NLSY), and the Occupational Safety and Health Statistics Program.