New Federal Interpreter Education Grant Updates

The Department for Special Education and Rehabilitative Services has begun the process of seeking comment on the the next grant cycle for interpreter education.  If you or your organization is interested in this process, we will continue to put updates on this page.
Thanks to Betsy Winston and Trudy Schafer for providing information to be shared.  If you have other information that you think would be good to add, feel free to send it to webmaster@cit-asl.org.
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[av_toggle title=’Request for Comments on Grant : A Notice from Betsy Winston’ tags=” av_uid=’av-7lawjd’]

Comments Requested on New Federal Grant

by Dr. Betsy Winston, Director
TIEM Center
I’m excited to share newly released information about a potential grant opportunity for interpreter education! The Dept. for Special Education and Rehabilitative Services is requesting public comment on a priority “to better prepare novice interpreters to become highly qualified nationally certified sign language interpreters.” This opportunity presents the deaf community and interpreting field with a unique opportunity to make a significant impact on the quality of sign language interpreting services in the US.
More information about the proposed priority and a description of the commenting process can be found at:
https://www.regulations.gov/#!documentDetail;D=ED-2016-OSERS-0005-0001
Comments are due on or before May 9, 2016.
This new direction for the granting of federal funds for interpreter education is both exciting and long overdue-it focuses on mentoring and supervision to help close the gap between graduation from interpreter education programs and becoming a highly qualified interpreter-the need for this has long been obvious, and this proposed priority can help change the field.
Please take this opportunity to review the information and pose comments before May 9, 2016. If you believe you and your institution(s) are a viable home for this grant funding, please consider submitting a proposal when and if the actual funding is announced after the comment period.
The contact person for more information about this is Kristen Rhinehart-Fernandez. Telephone: (202) 245-6103 or by email: Kristen.Rhinehart@ed.gov.
If you use a telecommunications device for the deaf (TDD) or a text telephone (TTY), call the Federal Relay Service (FRS), toll free, at 1-800-877-8339.
Please take this opportunity to participate in improving the quality of sign language interpreting nationwide, and pass this information along to anyone else who might be interested or impacted by it.
Thanks!
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[av_toggle title=’FAQs regarding Grant Notice’ tags=” av_uid=’av-6dx9eh’]

FAQs regarding Grant Notice

Thanks to Trudy Schafer, Project Director for the National Interpreter Education Center, for sharing this update that was sent out after the initial notice.
Dear Colleagues:
On Thursday, April 7, 2016 the Assistant Secretary for Special Education and Rehabilitative Services announced a priority under the Training of Interpreters for Individuals Who Are Deaf or Hard of Hearing and Individuals Who Are Deaf-Blind program (CFDA 84.160C).  The published priority can be found in the Federal Register (Volume 81, Number 67 (Thursday, April 7, 2016), Pages 20268-20274).  We must receive your comments on or before May 9, 2016.  The notice includes detailed instructions to submit comments.
The purpose of this communication is to respond to three “frequently asked questions” about the notice.  First, in the Federal Register on page 20270 (first column, third paragraph) the following is stated:  “Training, even for experienced interpreters, in specialized settings is needed, and for this reason, we are publishing a notice of proposed priority focusing on interpreter training in specialized areas elsewhere in this issue of the Federal Register”.  The second proposed priority, to which this quoted text refers,  has not yet published in the Federal Register.  We anticipate publication on or before the end of the month.
Second, the Department’s Grant Forecast for the Interpreter Training program is now up to date.  Please go to:  http://www2.ed.gov/fund/grant/find/edlite-forecast.html#rsa. The projected award amount for CFDA 84.160C is included in the Forecast.  The final amount will be published in a Notice Inviting Applications.
Third, on page 20270 (first sentence under the heading titled “proposed priority”), the Department refers to the term “cooperative agreement”.   There are differences between grants and cooperative agreements.  Please refer to the Department’s grantmaking process:  http://www2.ed.gov/fund/grant/about/grantmaking/index.html  (there is an online handbook available for download on this page).  You can search for the term cooperative agreement in the document (a description is provided on page 9).
Finally, here are some additional important resources about the grantmaking process:
1)      If you are not familiar with the Uniform Administrative Guidance (2 CFR 200) (Code of Federal Regulations), the Department established a resource page for all prospective applicants, grantees, and contractors:  http://www2.ed.gov/policy/fund/guid/uniform-guidance/index.html  (as you scroll down the page, you should be able to access FAQs, training materials, and the actual guidance).
2)      If you are not already registered with Grants.gov,you may want to set up an account to receive alerts at http://www.grants.gov/web/grants/applicants.html. (there are a number of useful FAQs, tips, and resources to support you in preparing to apply for a grant or cooperative agreement).  If you are already registered on Grants.gov you may want to ensure your registration is active.
3)      Confirm that your organization has an active D-U-N-S (Data Universal Numbering System) Number and whether or not there is an active registration with the System for Award Management (SAM) site https://www.sam.gov/portal/SAM/#1  (there are a number of FAQs and resources on the SAM site, including assistance with establishing a D-U-N-S number).  The process for establishing these items may take up to 30 days.
For further information about CFDA 84.160C, please contact Kristen Rhinehart-Fernandez. Telephone: (202) 245-6103 or by email: Kristen.Rhinehart@ed.gov.
If you use a telecommunications device for the deaf (TDD) or a text telephone (TTY), call the Federal Relay Service (FRS), toll free, at 1-800-877-8339.
Please note:  The Department will review and address public comments after the comment period closes.  The Department is not permitted to comment on ideas or proposed designs for  responding to a notice of final priority for this program.
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[av_toggle title=’Comment on 4 New Federal Grants – May 8 Announcement’ tags=” av_uid=’av-4lmns9′]
Comments Requested on 4 NEW Federal Grants   
by Dr. Betsy Winston, Director
TIEM Center
I recently shared information about an invitation to comment on a new federal grant opportunity in interpreter education. As of Friday, May 6, there are now 4 additional opportunities, with a shared invitation to comment on them. The Dept. for Special Education and Rehabilitative Services is requesting public comment on a priority to train interpreters to effectively interpret and transliterate using spoken, visual, and tactile modes of communication; ensure the maintenance of the interpreting skills of qualified interpreters; and provide opportunities for interpreters to raise their skill level competence in order to meet the highest standards approved by certifying associations and to effectively meet the communication needs of individuals who are deaf or hard of hearing and individuals who are deaf-blind.”
This invitation to comment offers the deaf community and interpreting field with a unique opportunity to make a significant impact on the quality of sign language interpreting services in the US.
More information about the proposed priority and a description of the commenting process can be found at:
https://www.regulations.gov/#!documentDetail;D=ED-2016-OSERS-0018-0001
Comments are due on or before June 6, 2016.
Please take this opportunity to review the information and pose comments on or before June 6, 2016. If you believe you and your institution(s) are a viable home for this grant funding, please consider submitting a proposal when the actual funding is announced after the comment period.
The contact person for more information about this is Kristen Rhinehart-Fernandez. Telephone: (202) 245-6103 or by email: Kristen.Rhinehart@ed.gov.
If you use a telecommunications device for the deaf (TDD) or a text telephone (TTY), call the Federal Relay Service (FRS), toll free, at 1-800-877-8339.
Please take this opportunity to participate in improving the quality of sign language interpreting nationwide, and pass this information along to anyone else who might be interested or impacted by it.
Thanks!
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[av_toggle title=’Peer Reviewers Needed for Federal Grants – May 10′ tags=” av_uid=’av-2587vt’]

ANNOUNCEMENT: Call for Peer Reviewers
CALL FOR PEER REVIEWERS
May 2016
The U.S. Department of Education, Office of Special Education and Rehabilitative Services (OSERS), Rehabilitation Services Administration (RSA) is seeking experienced peer reviewers for two upcoming grant competitions projected to occur in mid-August and early September 2016.
Under the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 (Rehabilitation Act), as amended by the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA), the Rehabilitation Services Administration (RSA) makes grants to public and private nonprofit agencies and organizations, including institutions of higher education, to establish interpreter training programs or to provide financial assistance for ongoing interpreter training programs to train a sufficient number of qualified interpreters throughout the country.  The grants are designed to train interpreters to effectively interpret and transliterate using spoken, visual, and tactile modes of communication; ensure the maintenance of the interpreting skills of qualified interpreters; and provide opportunities for interpreters to improve their skills in order to meet both the highest standards approved by certifying associations and the communication needs of individuals who are deaf or hard of hearing and individuals who are deaf-blind.
To qualify as a peer reviewer for these competitions, you must:

  1. Demonstrate related subject matter experience;
  2. Possess an active DUNS number from Dun and Bradstreet (http://www.dnb.com);
  3. Register your DUNS number with the System for Award Management (SAM) at https://www.sam.gov/portal/SAM/#1; and
  4. Send your resume directly to Kristen Rhinehart-Fernandez, competition manager at Kristen.Rhinehart@ed.govIn the subject line of the email, please enter “Interpreter Training Peer Review”.  In the body of the email, please include the title and CFDA of each competition that you would like to serve as a peer reviewer (this information is provided below). 

Please note that selected peer reviewers must be available for the peer reviewer orientation and for all days of the panel review.  We estimate the review will take three business days for each competition.  This timeframe does not include one reading day or any additional time it may take to review the proposals or complete the required peer review documentation.
RSA is recruiting for the following grant competitions:

  • Experiential Learning Model Demonstration Center for Novice Interpreters and Baccalaureate Degree ASL-English Interpretation Programs (CFDA 84.160C). This competition is projected to occur at the end of August or early September.
  • Interpreter Training in Specialized Areas (CFDA 84.160D). This competition is projected to occur at the end of August or early September. 

An ideal reviewer for the 84.160C and 84.160D competitions is a qualified ASL-English Interpreter (e.g., a certified interpreter with at least five or more years of experience).  A peer reviewer may also possess knowledge and experience in the field of interpreter education and interpreting in specialized areas, as well as working with individuals who are deaf, hard of hearing, and Deaf-Blind.   We also encourage reviewers who are deaf, hard of hearing, or Deaf-Blind and work  as interpreters. 
In addition, peer reviewers may also possess one or more of the following secondary skill sets: 

  • Knowledge and experience in developing and providing training and technical assistance.
  • Program and financial grants management expertise at the Federal level.
  • Knowledge and experience in the field of Vocational Rehabilitation (VR).
  • Knowledge and experience in conducting a program evaluation.

If you are interested in the 84.160C or 84.160D grant competitions as a reviewer and you meet the peer reviewer qualifications outlined above, please send your resume along with a brief description of how your expertise and experience directly relates to each respective grant competition to Kristen Rhinehart-Fernandez, competition manager at:  Kristen.Rhinehart@ed.govPlease do not submit your resume if you intend to apply for one or both of these competitions.
Thank you for your interest in potentially serving as a peer reviewer for RSA.

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