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                                                       Calendar No. 577
105th Congress                                                   Report
                                 SENATE

 2d Session                                                     105-334
_______________________________________________________________________


 
                    ASSISTIVE TECHNOLOGY ACT OF 1998

                                _______
                                

               September 15, 1998.--Ordered to be printed

_______________________________________________________________________


    Mr. Jeffords, from the Committee on Labor and Human Resources, 
                        submitted the following

                              R E P O R T

                         [To accompany S. 2432]

    The Committee on Labor and Human Resources, to which was 
referred the bill (S. 2432) to support programs of grants to 
States to address the assistive technology needs of individuals 
with disabilities and for other purposes, having considered the 
same, reports favorably thereon and recommends the bill do 
pass.

                                CONTENTS

                                                                   Page
  I. Introduction and Purpose.........................................1
 II. Background and Need for the Legislation..........................5
III. Legislative History and Committee Action.........................9
 IV. Explanation of the Bill and Committee Views.....................11
  V. Cost Estimate...................................................38
 VI. Application of Law to the Legislative Branch....................41
VII. Regulatory Impact Statement.....................................41
VIII.Section-by-Section Analysis.....................................41

 IX. Changes in Existing Law.........................................57

                      I. Introduction and Purpose

    S. 2432 was the result of discussions among Senators and 
officials of the U.S. Department of Education, as well as 
discussions with and recommendations from individuals with 
diverse disabilities and organizations that represent them, and 
individuals, in both the public and private sectors, with 
experience and expertise with regard to technology generally 
and, assistive technology devices and assistive technology 
services and how to provide them, especially State project 
directors who operate State assistive technology programs, and 
representatives of protection and advocacy systems, centers for 
independent living, as well as rehabilitation engineers, 
representatives of national networks of community-based 
programs for individuals with disabilities, and commercial 
manufacturers. The legislation was developed through a 
bipartisan, consensus-based process that preceded committee 
action.
    The purposes of S. 2432, the Assistive Technology Act of 
1998 (ATA) are to: (1) support States in sustaining and 
strengthening their capacity to address the assistive 
technology needs of individuals with disabilities; (2) focus, 
across Federal agencies and departments, the investment in 
technology that could benefit individuals with disabilities; 
and (3) support micro-loan programs to provide assistance to 
individuals who desire to purchase assistive technology devices 
or assistive technology services.
    Title I authorizes funding for multiple grant programs from 
fiscal years 1999 through 2004: continuity grants, challenge 
grants, millennium grants, and grants to protection and 
advocacy systems, as well as for a technical assistance 
program.
    The predecessor to the ATA, the Technology-Related 
Assistance for Individuals with Disabilities Act (the Tech Act) 
sunsets September 30, 1998. Through the ATA the committee 
reaffirms the Federal role of promoting access to assistive 
technology devices and assistive technology services for 
individuals with disabilities. The committee recognizes that by 
allowing States flexibility in responding to the assistive 
technology needs of their citizens with disabilities, the 
committee is building on and not disrupting the accomplishments 
of States over the last decade through the State assistive 
technology programs funded under the Tech Act.
    In the ATA the committee streamlines and clarifies the 
expectations, including expectations related to accountability, 
associated with continuing Federal support for State assistive 
technology programs. The committee bill targets specific, 
proven activities, as priorities, referred to as ``mandatory 
activities'' in the ATA. All State grantees must set measurable 
goals in connection to their use of ATA funds, and both the 
goals and the approach to measuring the goals must be based on 
input from a State's citizens with disabilities.
    If a State has received less than 10 years of Federal 
funding under the Tech Act for its assistive technology 
program, title I of the committee bill allows a State, which 
submits a supplement (a continuity grant) to its current Tech 
Act grant for Federal funds, to use ATA funds for mandatory 
activities: a public awareness program, interagency 
coordination, technical assistance and training, and outreach. 
Such a State also may use ATA funds for discretionary 
activities: alternative State-financed systems for assistive 
technology devices and assistive technology services, 
technology demonstrations, distribution of information about 
how to finance assistive technology devices and assistive 
technology services, and operation of a technology-related 
information system, or participation in interstate activities 
or public-private partnerships pertaining to assistive 
technology.
    If a State has had 10 years of funding for its assistive 
technology program through the Tech Act, the State may submit 
an application for a noncompetitive challenge grant under the 
ATA. Grant funds must be spent on specific activities--
interagency coordination, an assistive technology information 
system, a public awareness program, technical assistance and 
training,and outreach activities. States also may spend grant 
funds on various discretionary activities.
    In fiscal years 2000 through 2004, if funding for title I 
exceeds $40 million, States operating under challenge grants 
may apply for additional ATA funding, provided through 
competitive millennium grants. These grants are to focus on 
specific State or local level capacity building in an area 
related to access to technology for individuals with 
disabilities.
    Title I of the committee bill also authorizes funding for 
protection and advocacy systems in each State to assist 
individuals with disabilities to access assistive technology 
devices and assistive technology services, and funding for a 
technical assistance program, and specifies administrative 
procedures with regard to monitoring of entities funded under 
title I of the committee bill.
    Because the committee views fiscal year 1999 as a 
transition year for current grantees of Federal funds for 
assistive technology, the committee bill provides the Secretary 
of Education with discretion on how to treat grantees who have 
completed 10 years of Federal funding under the Tech Act in 
fiscal year 1998. The Secretary may elect to treat such States 
as States that will be in their tenth year of Federal funding 
in fiscal year 1999, even though the States, which have 
completed 10 years of Federal funding in fiscal year 1998, 
would in reality be in their eleventh year of funding in fiscal 
year 1999.
    In addition, grantees who have received less than 10 years 
of funding under the Tech Act for assistive technology programs 
may elect once, in 2000, to transition from continuity grant 
status to challenge grant status by submitting a grant 
application for a challenge grant. A State, however, cannot 
operate under a continuity grant and a challenge grant 
simultaneously. A State must elect to operate under one or the 
other. In addition, fiscal year 2000 is the only year in which 
a State, that has had less than 10 years of Federal funding, 
may discontinue operating under a continuity grant, and apply 
for Federal funding through a challenge grant.
    Title II increases coordination among Federal agencies and 
departments with responsibility for disability, assistive 
technology, and universal design research. The purposes of 
increasing such coordination are to enable Federal agencies and 
departments to take advantage of each other's information and 
abilities, to expend Federal resources more efficiently, and to 
improve research outcomes.
    Title II also requires the National Council on Disability 
to report to Congress on the barriers in Federal assistive 
technology policy to increasing the availability of and access 
to assistive technology devices and assistive technology 
services for individuals with disabilities, and the 
Architectural and Transportation Barriers Compliance Board to 
provide such training as it deems appropriate to Federal and 
State employees concerning section 508 of the Rehabilitation 
Act of 1973.
    Title II provides for grants to small businesses to assist 
them with the design, development, and marketing of assistive 
technology devices and assistive technology services. Title II 
also provides for grants to small businesses to work with 
Federally funded entities to evaluate and disseminate 
information on the effects of technology transfer on the lives 
of individuals with disabilities.
    Title II provides for the National Institute on Disability 
and Rehabilitation Research, and commercial and other 
organizations, to work with the Federal Laboratory Consortium 
to promote technology transfer that would further development 
of assistive technology and products that incorporate the 
principles of universal design, and provides for grants for 
commercial and other organizations to develop products that 
incorporate the principles of universal design.
    Title II authorizes grants, cooperative agreements, or 
other mechanisms, for projects designed to increase the 
availability of assistive technology for rural and impoverished 
urban populations, and for projects designed to increase the 
availability of assistive technology for children and older 
individuals.
    Title II authorizes grants and contracts to help prepare 
students for careers in rehabilitation engineering, and to help 
rehabilitation engineering faculty teach such students and 
enhance their (the faculty's) own capabilities.
    Title II also requires the Secretary of Education to report 
to Congress on the benefits and obstacles to implementing a 
single assistive technology taxonomy developed by the Secretary 
(to improve the reliability of information concerning assistive 
technology).
    Finally, Title II authorizes the President's Committee on 
Employment of People with Disabilities to work with the private 
sector to increase the private sector's voluntary participation 
in making information technology accessible to individuals with 
disabilities.
    Title III authorizes a program of grants to States and 
outlying areas to establish (or expand) a program of 
alternative financing for individuals with disabilities and 
their authorized representatives to access and to purchase 
assistive technology devices and assistive technology services.
    Title III sets forth various types of loan and similar 
programs that may receive funding, states that no State or 
outlying area may receive more than one grant under title III, 
and that the Federal share of the cost of any program under 
title III may not exceed 50 percent.
    Title III sets forth the assurances a State and outlying 
area must make to receive funds under title III, including that 
they will provide the non-Federal share of the cost of the 
program, will continue the program on a permanent basis, will 
emphasize consumer choice and control in the program, and that 
funds provided for the program will not supplant funds already 
available for a similar purpose, and that various accounting 
and investment requirements will be followed in administering 
the program.
    Title III requires a State or outlying area that receives a 
grant under title III to enter into a contract with a 
community-based organization with individuals with disabilities 
involved in organizational decision making, to administer the 
alternative financing program, to include in the contract any 
oversight and evaluation provision the Secretary of Education 
deems necessary to protect Federal financial interests, and to 
require the community-based organization to enter into a 
contract with commercial lending institutions or a State 
financing agency, in administering the program.
    A State or outlying area receiving title III funds must 
submit to the Secretary its policies and procedures concerning 
the timely review and processing of requests for financial 
assistance (including methods to minimize paperwork) for 
assistive technology, the provision of access to the 
alternative financing program to consumers regardless of type 
of disability, age, income level, location of residence in the 
State, or type of assistive technology requested, and 
concerning consumer-controlled oversight of the alternative 
financing program.
    Title III requires the Secretary of Education to submit an 
annual report to Congressdescribing the progress of each 
alternative financing program funded under title III toward achieving 
title III's objectives.

              II. Background and Need for the Legislation

                               BACKGROUND

    The Congress initially addressed the need to assist States 
to identify and respond to the assistive technology needs of 
individuals with disabilities in 1988, through the Technology-
Related Assistance for Individuals with Disabilities Act, P.L. 
100-407, commonly called the Tech Act. That legislation was 
reauthorized in 1994, resulting in P.L. 103-218. The initial 
legislation and its reauthorization were premised on the 
assumption that individuals with disabilities needed access to 
assistive technology devices and assistive technology services, 
and that Federal funds could function both as a catalyst and as 
leverage to create permanent systemic change within State 
infrastructures that did, could, or should make assistive 
technology devices and assistive technology services more 
readily available to individuals with disabilities. With this 
assumption came the belief that the need for Federal support 
was time-limited. That is, after a State received 10 years of 
funding through the Tech Act, Federal support would no longer 
be necessary. In fiscal year 1989, nine State grants were 
awarded on a competitive basis. It took seven years for Tech 
Act appropriations to reach a point where each State and 
outlying area received a grant. Thus, in fiscal year 1998 only 
nine States will have completed a 10 year cycle of Federal 
funding under the Tech Act.
    The Tech Act was ambitious in scope. In addition to the 
State grant program in title I, in title II the act authorized 
funding for national studies on the financing of assistive 
technology, on Federal laws and practices that might impede 
State assistive technology programs, and on the utility of a 
national information program and referral network. In addition, 
title II of the Tech Act authorized funding for training, 
awareness, and demonstration projects. In 1994, amendments to 
the Tech Act added a third title that authorized grants for 
alternative financing mechanisms to expand the means by which 
individuals with disabilities could purchase assistive 
technology devices and assistive technology services. During 
the 10 year life-span of the Tech Act, Congress primarily 
appropriated funds for only the State grant program.
    Since it was difficult to predetermine what would 
constitute an effective State program under the Tech Act in 
1988, States were given maximum latitude to use funds for 
exploration and planning and to pursue very diverse paths. The 
range of allowable grant activities was very broad and had a 
process rather than an outcome focus. Accountability was more 
administrative than substantive, thus the effect or impact of 
Federal funds on a State's approach to addressing the assistive 
technology needs of individuals with disabilities was difficult 
to track or to compare with other States.
    The amendments to the act in 1994 added funding for 
protection and advocacy systems to assist individuals with 
disabilities access assistive technology devices and assistive 
technology services and redesigned the approach to 
accountability. Yet, given the continuing requirement to expend 
Tech Act funds on systemic change, it remained a challenge to 
systematically and thoroughly track the impact of Federal funds 
on State approaches, on individuals with disabilities, or to 
make comparisons across States.

                          NEED FOR LEGISLATION

    The committee recognizes that technology--having it and 
being able to use it--has become a reality of daily life. This 
reality applies to all Americans and affects the quality of 
American life. Technology has become one of the primary engines 
for economic activity, education and innovation in this Nation, 
and throughout the world. The commitment of the United States 
to the development and utilization of technology is one of the 
main factors underlying the strength and vibrancy of the U.S. 
economy. As technology has come to play an increasingly 
important role in the lives of all Americans, in the conduct of 
business, in the functioning of government, in the fostering of 
communication, in the conduct of commerce, and in the provision 
of education, its impact upon the lives of America's more than 
50 million persons with disabilities has been comparable to its 
impact upon the remainder of our citizens. No development in 
mainstream technology can be imagined that would not have 
profound implications for Americans with disabilities.
    The initial conception of assistive technology by Congress 
in 1988, and the Federal role in making it available to 
individuals with disabilities, was simplistic. We have learned 
that technology is not just a device or a service. It is 
systems working together. Moreover, the committee now knows 
that access to technology for individuals with disabilities 
does not just mean access to special devices or services, but 
access to any device or service that can be used by anyone. 
Finally, although substantial progress has been made in the 
development of assistive technology devices, including 
adaptations to existing products and devices that are part of 
daily living, the line of demarcation between ``assistive'' and 
mainstream technology is becoming ever more difficult to draw. 
Clearly, much more needs to be done. The Federal Government 
must remain a partner with State assistive technology programs 
and others in the public and private sector in addressing the 
unmet needs and emerging needs of individuals with disabilities 
related to access and use of technology.
    The committee recognizes that the technology challenges 
related to individuals with disabilities are pervasive and 
varied. State assistive technology programs have met some of 
these challenges head-on and should be assisted to continue 
doing so for several reasons. There is still a lack of 
resources to pay for assistive technology devices and assistive 
technology services; a lack of trained personnel to assist 
individuals with disabilities to use such devices and services; 
and a lack of information about the availability and potential 
benefit of technology for individuals with disabilities. 
Furthermore, there is still a lack of outreach to 
underrepresented populations, including the aging population 
and populations in rural areas; still a lack of systems that 
ensure timely acquisition and delivery of assistive technology 
devices and assistive technology services; still a lack of pre-
service and in-service training for students and professionals 
in the use of assistive technology; and still a lack of 
coordination among State human services programs, and between 
such programs and private service providers. Continuing Federal 
support to a State will permit the State to address these 
challenges in ways most appropriate for that State, given its 
resources, expertise, experience, and approaches to assisting 
individuals with disabilities to access assistive technology.
    Some challenges reach beyond assistance offered by agencies 
or governments and require proactive changes in how decisions 
are made with regard to telecommunication systems and 
information technology, as well as technology generally. Many 
individuals with disabilities cannot access existing 
telecommunication systems and information technology. Such 
individuals are at risk of not being able to access emerging 
technology. If Federal and State governments, hardware 
manufacturers, software designers, information systems 
managers, and telecommunication service providers do not 
account for the specific needs of individuals with disabilities 
in the design, manufacture, and procurement of 
telecommunication systems and information technology, this 
failure will result in the exclusion of such individuals from 
the use of telecommunication systems and information 
technology, triggering unnecessary costs associated with the 
retrofitting of devices and systems so that individuals with 
disabilities can use them.
    Other challenges that reach beyond agencies or governments 
are tied to a lack of incentives. Currently there are 
insufficient incentives for commercial manufacturers to 
incorporate universal design features into the design and 
manufacturing of technology products and devices. The 
application of universal design principles--by building in 
accommodation before rather than after production--in the 
development of technology and the built environment reduces the 
need for many specific kinds of assistive technology devices 
and assistive technology services. The application of universal 
design principles also increases the likelihood that products 
and services will be compatible with existing assistive 
technologies of daily living. This compatibility could expand 
their immediate use by individuals with disabilities.
    At the Federal level, recent amendments to section 508 of 
the Rehabilitation Act will reshape Federal procurement 
policies with regard to the selection and purchase of 
electronic and information technology, and should foster 
greater attention by the developers of technology and software 
to the use of the principles of universal design. However, at 
the Federal level more is required. There needs to be more 
effective coordination among Federal agencies that provide or 
pay for the provision of assistive technology devices and 
services. Federal departments and agencies must provide more 
assistance and information with respect to the quality and use 
of assistive technology devices and services. The Federal 
Laboratories, NASA, and other similar entities must commit 
resources on an ongoing basis to technology transfer 
initiatives that would benefit, and especially increase the 
independence of, individuals with disabilities.
    Finally, the committee recognizes that there has been 
insufficient assistance for individuals with disabilities who 
must or choose to personally finance needed technology. More 
options must be available to individuals with the need to 
finance technology.
    The ATA was shaped by recommendations from numerous 
individuals, organizations, corporations, and the executive 
branch. These recommendations, while recognizing the challenges 
identified above, unanimously endorsed a continuing Federal 
role in promoting access for individuals with disabilities to 
assistive technology devices and services, as well as promoting 
access to technology generally. There was broad, strong support 
for providing each State with a full 10 years of funding based 
on the parameters in the Tech Act. Recommendations especially 
emphasized continuing Federal support for particular activities 
that have proven to have a substantial impact on the lives of 
individuals with disabilities--policy development and 
interagency coordination with regard to access to assistive 
technology, public awareness programs and information about the 
assistive technology needs of individuals with disabilities, 
technical assistance and training, and outreach to underserved 
populations, especially the aging population and rurally based 
populations. Several individuals recommended that Federal funds 
target activities that promote increased investment in the 
principles of universal design, particularly through changes in 
procurement policies and greater involvement of individuals 
with disabilities in the design and testing of prototype 
technology and aspects of the built environment.
    Some recommendations highlighted the beneficial effect of 
and the pressing need for more technical expertise to assist 
individuals with disabilities recognize and identify their 
needs for assistive technology devices and services and to 
assist these individuals to select the most appropriate device 
or service. These recommendations indicate that, with access to 
appropriate technical expertise, both individuals with 
disabilities and agencies and organizations that finance 
assistive technology can avoid costly mistakes.
    Several organizations urged the committee to allow Federal 
support for demonstrations and tryouts of assistive technology, 
since such activities directly and indirectly increase the 
awareness of the benefits derived from assistive technology. 
Some recommenders urged Federal support for opportunities--for 
individuals or entities that control funding for or develop 
technology in the Federal and private sectors, including small 
businesses who could develop technology that could be used by 
individuals with disabilities, and individuals with 
disabilities--to communicate about new, emerging, or potential 
technology and unmet technology needs of individuals with 
disabilities.
    Some individuals reaffirmed the special importance of State 
protection and advocacy systems in securing access to assistive 
technology devices and services for individuals with 
disabilities in diverse settings and the impact of such 
technology on the lives of those individuals. They also 
stressed the critical role that protection and advocacy systems 
play, including in collaboration with State technology 
programs, in promoting a State's capacity to make assistive 
technology devices and services available to individuals with 
disabilities.
    Most recommendations included a reference to the need for 
making technology more affordable to individuals with 
disabilities. Securing timely financing of assistive technology 
devices or services is the biggest barrier individuals with 
disabilities face as they attempt to maintain or expand their 
independence and participation in the activities of daily 
living, in school, on the job, at home, and during recreation.
    Selected individuals addressed the governance of State 
technology programs and consumer-responsive ways to influence 
the use of Federal dollars. These individuals emphasized the 
need for a State's Assistive Technology Office to have the 
unfettered authority to promote access to assistive technology 
for individuals with disabilities in various setting and 
forums, and by diverse means. These individuals also emphasized 
the value of input from individuals with disabilities in 
setting a State's assistive technology goals, and the power of 
effective interagency coordination in leveraging non-ATA funds 
for assistive technology purposes.
    Individuals encouraged the committee to recognize the need 
for a technical assistance program that facilitated the timely 
sharing of best practice and state of the art information to 
State assistive technology programs and other entities seeking 
to improve and expand access toassistive technology and 
technology generally to individuals with disabilities.
    The committee knows much more about the impact of 
technology on the lives of individuals with disabilities now 
than it did 10 years ago. The committee also knows that rapid 
advances in technology will challenge and stretch the capacity 
of the Federal and State governments and other entities. 
Everyone must work together to keep the needs of individuals 
with disabilities for access to technology as a central 
component of decision making related to the development, use, 
and availability of technology in both the public and private 
sectors. The ATA provides the tools that will equip 
governments, organizations, and individuals to meet challenges 
and leverage resources to make such access to technology more 
readily available well into the next century.

             III. Legislative History and Committee Action

    On April 29, 1998 the Senate Committee on Labor and Human 
Resources held a hearing on assistive technology. The following 
individuals testified:
    Judith E. Heumann, Assistant Secretary, Office of Special 
Education and Rehabilitative Services, U.S. Department of 
Education, Washington, D.C., accompanied by Katherine D. 
Seelman, Director of the National Institute on Disability and 
Rehabilitation Research, Office of Special Education and 
Rehabilitative Services, U.S. Department of Education, 
Washington, D.C., and Carol Cichowski, Director, Division of 
Special Education, Rehabilitation and Research Analysis, Office 
of the Undersecretary, U.S. Department of Education, 
Washington, D.C.;
    Sam Jadallah, Vice President, Organization Customer Unit, 
Microsoft Corporation, Redmond, Washington; accompanied by Greg 
Lowney, Microsoft Corporation's Director of Accessibility and 
David Bolnick an Accessibility Program Manager at Microsoft 
Corporation;
    Carol Smith, student and user of assistive technology, 
Knoxville, Tennessee;
    Corey Rowley, Chairperson, National Council on Independent 
Living Assistive Technology Task Force, Logan, Utah;
    James Gashell, Director of Government Affairs, National 
Federation of the Blind, Baltimore, Maryland;
    Lynne Cleveland, Project Director, Vermont Assistive 
Technology Project, Waterbury, Vermont;
    Cris Fulford, TECH ACT Project Manager, ATTAIN Project, 
Indianapolis, Indiana;
    Craig Fulford, student and user of assistive technology, 
Indianapolis, Indiana; and
    Marion Pawlek, Coordinator, New Hampshire Assistive 
Technology Project, Concord, New Hampshire.
    Additional statements with regard to assistive technology 
were received and entered into the record, including one from 
Senator Bond of Missouri concerning the importance of Federal 
support for micro-loan programs to assist individuals with 
disabilities purchase assistive technology devices and 
services.
    On April 29, 1998 Chairman Jeffords, in conjunction with 
the hearing on assistive technology, hosted an assistive 
technology exposition, ``Assistive Technology Across the Life 
Span: Picture the Possibilities'', coordinated by the RESNA 
(Rehabilitation Engineering and Assistive Technology Society of 
North America) Technical Assistance Project. Over 20 exhibits 
were included in the expo, representing diverse assistive 
technology initiatives: assistive technology and young 
children, assistive technology in the classroom, assistive 
technology at work, assistive technology solutions for senior 
citizens, assistive technology in agriculture, assistive 
technology for learning and literacy, built-in accessibility in 
every day products, assistive technology use in the Pacific 
Basin, reaching underserved populations with assistive 
technology, assistive technology for recreation, assistive 
technology for the blind and visually impaired, assistive 
technology for the deaf and hard-of-hearing, a regional 
equipment recycling program, and accessible housing. In 
addition, the 50 State assistive technology projects and the 
projects from the outlying areas, and several national 
organizations and national information systems participated in 
the expo by providing information. The organizations and 
information systems included: RESNA (Arlington, VA), ABLEDATA 
(Macro International, Inc., Silver Spring, MD), Job 
Accommodation Network (Morgantown, WV), National Council on 
Independent Living (Arlington, VA), United Cerebral Palsy 
Associations, Inc. (Washington, D.C.), and a number of State 
assistive technology projects.
    Senators Jeffords, Harkin and Bond, with co-sponsors 
Senators Kerry, McConnell, Collins, Kennedy, Reed, and Frist 
introduced S. 2432, the Assistive Technology Act of 1998 on 
September 2, 1998. Additional co-sponsors prior to the mark up 
by the Committee on Labor and Human Resources included Senators 
DeWine, Bingaman, Wellstone, Warner, and Dodd.
    On September 9, 1998, the Labor and Human Resources 
Committee reported the bill out favorably on a unanimous vote, 
with conforming amendments updating references to assistive 
technology in the Rehabilitation Act.

               IV. Explanation of Bill and Committee View

    The committee believes that the present and future Federal 
role in promoting access to technology for individuals with 
disabilities through legislation must allow support for current 
initiatives and incentives to undertake new initiatives, and 
for tools that equip governments, organizations, and 
individuals to respond to emerging and unanticipated technology 
needs of individuals with disabilities. The ATA increases the 
availability of, funding for, access to, and provision of, 
assistive technology devices and assistive technology services 
by promoting:
          Increased involvement of individuals with 
        disabilities and their family members, guardians, 
        advocates, and authorized representatives, in the 
        maintenance, improvement, and evaluation of State 
        assistive technology programs;
          Increased involvement of individuals with 
        disabilities and, if appropriate, their family members, 
        guardians, advocates, or authorized representatives, in 
        decisions related to the provision of assistive 
        technology devices and assistive technology services;
          Increased outreach to underrepresented populations, 
        including aging and rural populations, to enable the 
        populations to enjoy the benefits of activities carried 
        out under this act to the same extent as other 
        populations of individuals with disabilities;
          Increased coordination among State agencies, between 
        State and local public agencies, among local public 
        agencies, and among State and local public agencies and 
        privateentities (e.g., managed care providers), that 
are or could be involved in carrying out activities under this act;
          Increased awareness of laws, regulations, policies, 
        practices, procedures, and organizational structures, 
        that facilitate the availability or provision of 
        assistive technology devices and assistive technology 
        services; and facilitate the change of laws, 
        regulations, policies, practices, procedures, and 
        organizational structures, that result in the increased 
        availability or provision of assistive technology 
        devices and assistive technology services;
          Enhanced skills and competencies of individuals 
        involved in providing assistive technology devices and 
        assistive technology services;
          Increased awareness and knowledge of the benefits of 
        assistive technology devices and assistive technology 
        services; and
          Increased capacity of public agencies and private 
        entities to provide and pay for assistive technology 
        devices and assistive technology services on a 
        statewide basis for individuals with disabilities of 
        all ages.
    In addition, the ATA promotes greater interagency 
coordination at the Federal level to facilitate a more dynamic 
and focused Federal investment in actions that will result in 
increased access to technology by individuals with disabilities 
and increased involvement of the private sector, including 
small businesses, to enhance such access. And finally, the ATA 
authorizes support for micro-loan programs that will assist 
individuals with disabilities finance assistive technology.

                              DEFINITIONS

    The committee bill retains key definitions, some with 
clarifications, from the Tech Act. In addition, it adds new 
definitions that clarify responsibilities and opportunities 
under the act.
    The definitions of the terms ``advocacy services'', 
``assistive technology device'', ``assistive technology 
service'', ``comprehensive, statewide program of technology-
related assistance'', ``disability'', ``individual with a 
disability; individuals with disabilities'', ``institution of 
higher education'', ``protection and advocacy services'', and 
``Secretary'' are taken in whole or in part from the Tech Act.
    The term ``assistive technology'' in the committee bill 
means technology designed to be utilized in an assistive 
technology device or an assistive technology service.
    The term ``capacity building and advocacy activities'' in 
the committee bill means efforts that result in laws, 
regulations, policies, practices, or organizational structures 
that promote consumer-responsive programs or entities and that 
facilitate and increase access to, provision of, and funding 
for, assistive technology devices and assistive technology 
services, in order to empower individuals with disabilities to 
achieve greater independence, productivity, integration, and 
inclusion within the community and the work force.
    The committee bill distinguishes between the use of the 
term ``consumer-responsive'' in two contexts. The term 
``consumer-responsive'', with regard to policies, means that 
the policies are consistent with the principles of respect for 
individual dignity, personal responsibility, self-
determination, and pursuit of meaningful careers, based on 
informed choice, of individuals with disabilities; respect for 
the privacy, rights, and equal access (including the use of 
accessible formats), of such individuals; inclusion, 
integration, and full participation of such individuals; 
support for the involvement of a family member, a guardian, an 
advocate, or an authorized representative, if an individual 
with a disability requests, desires, or needs such support; and 
support for individual and systems advocacy and community 
involvement.
    With respect to an entity, program, or activity, the term 
``consumer-responsive'' means that the entity, program, or 
activity is easily accessible to, and usable by, individuals 
with disabilities and, when appropriate, their family members, 
guardians, advocates, or authorized representatives; responds 
to the needs of individuals with disabilities in a timely and 
appropriate manner; and facilitates the full and meaningful 
participation of individuals with disabilities (including 
individuals from underrepresented populations, including aging 
and rural populations) and their family members, guardians, 
advocates, and authorized representatives, in decisions 
relating to the provision of assistive technology devices and 
assistive technology services to such individuals; and 
decisions related to the maintenance, improvement, and 
evaluation of the comprehensive statewide program of 
technology-related assistance, including decisions that affect 
and activities related to advocacy and capacity building.
    In recognition of the fact that many individuals can 
benefit from information and activities supported by ATA funds, 
the committee bill includes a definition of these individuals, 
referred to as ``targeted individuals'' in the act. The term 
``targeted individuals'' means: individuals with disabilities 
of all ages and their family members, guardians, advocates, or 
authorized representatives; individuals who work for public or 
private entities (including insurers or managed care 
providers), who have contact with individuals with 
disabilities; educators and related services personnel; 
technology experts (including rehabilitation engineers and 
technicians); health and allied health professionals; 
employers; and other appropriate individuals and entities.
    The term ``technology-related assistance'' means assistance 
provided through capacity-building and advocacy activities that 
accomplish the purposes described in any of subparagraphs (A) 
through (K) of section 2(b)(1) of the committee bill.
    The term ``underrepresented population'', when used in the 
committee bill, means a population that is typically 
underrepresented in service provision, and includes populations 
such as persons who have low-incidence disabilities, persons 
who are minorities, poor persons, persons with limited-English 
proficiency, older individuals, or persons from rural areas.
    In the committee bill the term ``universal design'' means a 
concept or philosophy for designing and delivering products and 
services that are usable by people with the widest possible 
range of functional capabilities. This includes products and 
services that are directly usable (without requiring assistive 
technologies) and those that are made compatible with assistive 
technologies.

                     Title I--State Grant Programs

    In order to provide State assistive technology programs 
with options for a smooth transition to new funding 
opportunities and to assist the Secretary in managing the 
transition and conversion to the new grant options, three State 
grant programs are authorized in thecommittee bill: (1) funding 
for States that have had less than 10 years of funding under the Tech 
Act (continuity grants); (2) funding for States that have completed 10 
years of funding (challenge grants) under the Tech Act; and (3) funding 
for States that seek to undertake additional statewide initiatives or 
assist local communities (millennium grants). Continuity grant 
requirements are broader in scope, yet are more specific than 
requirements related to challenge grants. Millennium grants are very 
targeted.

                           Continuity Grants

Mandatory activities

    States with less than 10 years of funding under the Tech 
Act must submit to the Secretary a grant supplement that 
outlines mandatory activities the State will undertake under 
the ATA.
    Public awareness activities. Such activities must include a 
public awareness program designed to provide information 
relating to the availability and benefits of assistive 
technology devices and assistive technology services to 
targeted individuals. Such a public awareness program must 
include linking to the National Public Internet Site authorized 
under section 106(c)(1), and may also include: the development 
and dissemination of information relating to the nature of 
assistive technology devices and assistive technology services; 
the appropriateness of, cost of, availability of, evaluation 
of, and access to, assistive technology devices and services; 
and the benefits of assistive technology devices and assistive 
technology services with respect to enhancing the capacity of 
individuals with disabilities of all ages to perform activities 
of daily living in school, on the job, at home, and during 
recreation; the development of procedures for providing direct 
communication among providers of assistive technology and 
targeted individuals; and the development and dissemination of 
information about State efforts related to assistive technology 
to targeted individuals.
    Policy development and interagency coordination activities. 
Mandatory activities must also include interagency coordination 
that relates to the State developing and promoting the adoption 
of policies that improve access to assistive technology devices 
and assistive technology services to individuals with 
disabilities and result in better coordination among public and 
private entities that are or could be responsible for policies, 
procedures, funding, or the provision of assistive technology 
devices and assistive technology services to individuals with 
disabilities of all ages. As part of this effort, the director 
of the lead agency under section 101(d) of the committee bill 
or the director's designee, must be appointed to any committee, 
council, or like organization created by the State to assist 
the State in the development of its information technology 
policy.
    Interagency coordination activities may include support for 
policies that result in: improved coordination, including 
coordination between public and private entities, in the 
application of Federal and State policies, and in the use of 
resources and services relating to the provision of assistive 
technology devices and assistive technology services, including 
the use of interagency agreements, and improving access to 
assistive technology devices and services for individuals of 
with disabilities of all ages; convening of interagency work 
groups, involving public and private entities, to identify, 
create, or expand current funding options and coordinate access 
to funding for assistive technology devices and assistive 
technology services for individuals with disabilities of all 
ages (with special attention to issues of transition--such as 
from school to work, or programs under part C of the 
Individuals with Disabilities Education Act to programs under 
part B of such Act--home use, and individual involvement in the 
identification, planning, use, delivery, and evaluation of 
assistive technology devices and services); or documenting and 
disseminating information about interagency activities that 
promote coordination, including coordination between public and 
private entities, including evidence of increased participation 
of State and local educational agencies, State vocational 
rehabilitation programs, and State medical assistance agencies 
and departments, with respect to assistive technology devices 
and assistive technology services.
    Technical assistance and training activities. Mandatory 
activities must also include technical assistance and training, 
through which the State is to carry out directly, or provide 
support to public or private entities to carry out, such 
activities for targeted individuals. Such technical assistance 
and training activities are to include the development and 
implementation of statutes, regulations, policies and 
procedures that promote access to assistive technology devices 
and services to individuals with disabilities through 
education, health care, employment, and community living, and 
in other contexts such as leisure activities and the use of 
telecommunications. In addition, such activities are to 
encompass the development of training materials and the conduct 
of training in the use of assistive technology devices and 
assistive technology services; technical assistance, including 
how to consider the needs of an individual with a disability 
for assistive technology devices and assistive technology 
services in developing any individualized plans or programs 
authorized under Federal or State law, such as under the 
Individuals with Disabilities Education Act; and how the rights 
of the persons to assistive technology devices and assistive 
technology services are addressed under any law other than this 
act. Furthermore, these activities must promote fuller 
independence, productivity, and inclusion in and integration 
into society of such persons; or increase consumer 
participation in the identification, planning, use, delivery, 
and evaluation of assistive technology devices and assistive 
technology services. Finally, these activities are expected to 
enhance the assistive technology skills and competencies of 
individuals who work for public or private entities (including 
insurers and managed care providers), who have contact with 
individuals with disabilities; educators and related services 
personnel; technology experts (including engineers); health and 
allied health professionals; employers; and other appropriate 
personnel; and facilitate the development of standards, or, 
when appropriate, the application of such standards, to ensure 
the availability of qualified personnel.
    Outreach activities. Finally continuity grants must provide 
support to statewide and community-based organizations that 
provide assistive technology devices and assistive technology 
services to individuals with disabilities or that assist 
individuals with disabilities in using assistive technology 
devices and assistive technology services, including 
organizations that focus on underrepresented populations, 
especially aging or rural populations with disabilities. Such 
support may include outreach to consumer organizations and 
groups in the State to coordinate efforts (including self-help, 
support groups, and peer mentoring) to assist individuals with 
disabilities of all ages and their family members, guardians, 
advocates, or authorized representatives, to obtain funding 
for, access to, and information on evaluation of assistive 
technology devices and assistive technology services.
    The committee recognizes the experience and expertise of 
the USDA AgrAbility program in providing information and for 
people with disabilities in agriculture, including assistive 
technology, and encourages that outreach activities utilize 
this experience and expertise.

Discretionary activities

    Since the committee recognizes that States with less than 
10 years of funding under the Tech Act are in the process of 
exploring how to provide greater access to assistive technology 
devices and assistive technology services to individuals with 
disabilities, the committee bill gives continuity grantees the 
discretion to undertake a range of ``discretionary 
activities''.
    Access and funding activities. Grantees may support 
activities to increase access to and funding for assistive 
technology. Grantees may support the development of systems 
that provide assistive technology devices and assistive 
technology services to individuals with disabilities of all 
ages, or that pay for such devices and services. Such systems 
could be for the purchase, lease, other acquisition, or payment 
for the provision, of assistive technology devices and 
assistive technology services. Grantees may support the 
establishment of alternative State or privately financed 
systems of subsidies for the provision of assistive technology 
devices and assistive technology services, such as: a loan 
system for assistive technology devices; an income-contingent 
loan fund; an interest buy-down loan program; a low-interest 
loan fund; a revolving loan fund; a loan guarantee program; or 
a partnership with private entities for the purchase, lease, or 
other acquisition of assistive technology devices and the 
provision of assistive technology services. Grantees may also 
provide the short-term loan of assistive technology devices to 
individuals, employers, public agencies, or public 
accommodations seeking to comply with the Americans with 
Disabilities Act of 1990 (42 U.S.C. 12101 et seq.) and section 
504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 (29 U.S.C. 794). Such a 
grantee also may maintain information about, and operate 
recycling centers for, the redistribution of assistive 
technology devices and equipment that may include device and 
equipment loans, rentals, or gifts.
    Grantees, through public agencies or non-profit 
organizations, may support assistance to individuals with 
disabilities and their family members, guardians, advocates, 
and authorized representatives about options for securing 
assistive technology devices and assistive technology services 
that would meet individual needs for such assistive technology 
devices and assistive technology services.
    Demonstration activities. Grantees, in collaboration with 
other entities in established, recognized community settings 
(e.g., nonprofit organizations, libraries, schools, community-
based employer organizations, churches, senior citizen centers, 
shopping malls, health clinics) may demonstrate assistive 
technology devices where targeted individuals can see and try 
out assistive technology devices, and learn more about the 
devices from personnel who are familiar with such devices and 
their applications or can be referred to others who have such 
information.
    Information system. Continuity grants may support a system 
for public access to information concerning an activity carried 
out under another part of the grant, including information 
about assistive technology devices and assistive technology 
services, funding sources and costs of such assistance, and 
individuals, organizations, and agencies capable of carrying 
out such an activity for individuals with disabilities that is 
part of and complements what is available through the grant's 
link to the National Public Internet Site. Access to such a 
system may be provided through community-based entities, 
including public libraries, centers for independent living, 
community rehabilitation programs, schools, senior citizen 
centers, State vocational rehabilitation offices, other State 
workforce offices, and other locations frequented or used by 
the public.
    If a grantee elects to operate or expand a technology-
related information system, the grantee may develop, compile, 
and categorize print, large print, braille, audio, and video 
materials, computer disks, compact discs (including compact 
discs formatted with read-only memory), and through other 
alternative formats, information that can be used in telephone-
based information systems, and such other media as 
technological innovation may make appropriate. The grantee may 
also identify and classify existing funding sources, and the 
conditions of and criteria for access to such sources, 
including any funding mechanisms or strategies developed by the 
State. Grantees may identify existing support groups and 
systems designed to help individuals with disabilities make 
effective use of an activity carried out under another part of 
the grant, including groups that provide evaluations of 
assistive technology devices and assistive technology services. 
And finally, the grantee may maintain a record of the extent to 
which citizens of the State use or make inquiries of the 
system, and of the nature of such inquiries.
    Inter-State activities and public-private partnerships. 
Grantees also have discretion to enter into cooperative 
agreements with other States to expand the capacity of the 
States involved to assist individuals with disabilities of all 
ages to learn about, acquire, use, maintain, adapt, and upgrade 
assistive technology devices and assistive technology services 
that such individuals need at home, at school, at work, or in 
other environments that are part of daily living. The grantee 
may operate or participate in an electronic information 
exchange through which the State may communicate with other 
States to gain technical assistance in a timely fashion and to 
avoid the duplication of efforts already undertaken in other 
States. Finally, the grantee may support partnerships and 
cooperative initiatives between the public sector and the 
private sector to promote greater participation by business and 
industry in the development, demonstration, and dissemination 
of assistive technology devices; and the ongoing provision of 
information about new products to assist individuals with 
disabilities.
    The committee anticipates that when continuity grantees 
transition to challenge grants that support for optional 
activities and some discretionary activities will be 
institutionalized and supported by funds in addition to or in 
lieu of ATA funds. In addition, the committee anticipates that, 
even though State protection and advocacy systems will now have 
separate, direct funding from the U.S. Department of Education 
under section 104 of the committee bill, States may elect to 
continue to provide financial assistance to such protection and 
advocacy systems to engage in a wide range of advocacy 
activities. The committee endorses the continuation of such 
assistance through continuity grants and challenge grants as 
well.

Funding

    Funding for continuity grants will be calculated on the 
same basis as that that would have applied under the Tech Act. 
That is, continuity grantees may anticipate reductions in 
Federal funding in the ninth and tenth year of continuous 
Federal support encompassing support under the ATA.

Application supplement

    To receive funding under the committee bill, a State 
seeking to operate under a continuity grant must submit an 
application supplement to the grant it initiallysubmitted under 
the Tech Act, at a time and for a period specified by the Secretary.
    Accountability. The supplement must contain a description 
of the goals the State has set, including any related to health 
care, education, employment, telecommunication and information 
technology, or community living, including recreation; and the 
activities the State will undertake to achieve such goals in 
addressing the assistive technology needs of individuals with 
disabilities in the State that are consistent with the 
requirements in section 2(b)(1) of the committee bill. In the 
supplement the State must also include a description of how the 
State will measure whether the goals set by the State have been 
achieved. Furthermore the supplement must include a description 
of how individuals with disabilities of all ages and their 
families were involved in selecting the State's goals; the 
activities to be undertaken in achieving the goals; and the 
measures to be used in judging if the State's goals have been 
achieved; and how such individuals will be involved in 
assessing if the State's goals have been achieved.
    Governance under continuity grants should continue as under 
the Tech Act, unless the Governor, with good cause, 
redesignates the lead agency. If the Governor elects to 
designate a new lead agency the Governor must submit with the 
application supplement, the following information with regard 
to the original lead agency: evidence of lack of progress with 
employment of qualified staff; lack of consumer-responsive 
activities; lack of resource allocation to systems change and 
advocacy activities; lack of progress with meeting the 
assurances in section 102(e) of the Tech Act or inadequate 
fiscal management.
    In addition, with regard to the new lead agency, in the 
application supplement the Governor must include a description 
of the new lead agency's capacity to administer and conduct 
grant activities, and the procedures that will be put in place 
to avoid the recurrence of grant deficiencies associated with 
the original lead agency; and which agency prepared the 
application supplement.
    States are not required under this act, as they were under 
the Technology-Related Assistance for Individuals with 
Disabilities Act, to direct a percentage of their funds to 
entities that provide protection and advocacy services. 
However, nothing in this act should be construed to prevent 
States from contracting with such entities to conduct 
activities authorized under this act.
    Administrative provisions. The committee bill gives the 
Secretary administrative flexibility. Until the Secretary 
approves a State's application supplement to the grant it 
initially submitted under the Tech Act, a State shall operate 
under the conditions of the Tech Act grant. When the Secretary 
notifies the State to submit the application supplement to the 
initial grant submitted under the Tech Act, the Secretary shall 
specify in the notification the time period to be covered. The 
Secretary shall determine and specify to the State the time 
period for which the application supplement is to apply. Such 
time period for any State shall not extend beyond what would 
have been the tenth year of funding for that State under the 
Tech Act, with one exception. For a State that completes 10 
years of funding under the Tech Act in fiscal year 1998, the 
Secretary has the discretion to award a one-year extension for 
fiscal year 1999 to such a State if the State submits an 
application supplement and meets other related requirements of 
a State seeking financial assistance under a continuity grant. 
A State to which a one-year extension is granted, shall receive 
in fiscal year 1999 an amount equivalent that which it received 
in fiscal year 1998 under the Tech Act.
    One time only, in fiscal year 2000, the committee bill 
allows any State eligible to receive funds under a continuity 
grant to opt instead to meet the conditions of and receive 
funding through a challenge grant. No State shall receive funds 
under a continuity grant and a challenge grant simultaneously.
    Grants to States and outlying areas under title I of the 
Tech Act were made for a variety of 12-month periods that do 
not necessarily coincide with the Federal fiscal year. The 
committee recognizes that the Secretary has the discretion to 
set each grant period, and to continue the policy of staggering 
grant awards from funds appropriated for any Federal fiscal 
year, including for States that elect in fiscal year 2000 to 
convert from a continuity grant to a challenge grant.

                     Section 102--Challenge Grants

    The committee bill requires the Secretary to provide 
financial assistance to States for 5 years to maintain and 
improve consumer-responsive comprehensive statewide programs of 
technology-related assistance for individuals with 
disabilities. Any State that receives a challenge grant must 
have undertaken an assessment of the needs for assistive 
technology devices and assistive technology services of 
individuals with disabilities, as reported by such individuals 
and through other means, and where appropriate, promote, 
consider, take into account, and incorporate the principles of 
universal design. Grant funds shall be used to accomplish the 
purposes of section 2(b)(1) of the committee bill by carrying 
out mandatory activities: interagency coordination, maintenance 
of an assistive technology information system, maintenance of a 
public awareness program, technical assistance and training, 
and outreach. It is the committee's view that these mandatory 
activities are inter-related, and when undertaken bring about 
the most visible, permanent improvements in access to assistive 
technology devices and services for individuals with 
disabilities.
    Policy development and interagency coordination activities. 
Challenge grantees must develop and promote the adoption of 
policies that improve access to assistive technology devices 
and assistive technology services to individuals with 
disabilities and result in improved coordination among public 
and private entities that affect the provision of assistive 
technology devices and assistive technology services to 
individuals with disabilities of all ages in the State. As part 
of this effort, the director of the State Assistive Technology 
Office under section 102(d)(1) of the committee bill or the 
director's designee, must be appointed to any committee, 
council, or like organization created by the State to assist 
the State in the development of its information technology 
policy.
    Statewide information and referral system. In addition, a 
challenge grantee must provide for the continuation and 
enhancement of a statewide information and referral system, 
including an accessible website with linkages to other 
appropriate sites, such as the National Public Internet Site, 
for individuals with disabilities and other targeted 
individuals. The system shall provide for public access to 
information about assistive technology devices and assistive 
technology services, including information on the evaluation of 
such devices and services and entities that provide such 
evaluations, and funding sources and costs of such assistance.
    Public awareness activities. The challenge grantee must 
support, in collaboration withtargeted individuals, targeted 
public awareness campaigns designed to provide information about the 
availability, through public and private sources, and benefits of 
assistive technology devices and assistive technology services for 
targeted individuals.
    Capacity building and advocacy activities; technical 
assistance and training activities. The challenge grantee must 
support capacity building activities that include: the 
development and implementation of statutes, regulations, 
policies and procedures that promote access to assistive 
technology devices and assistive technology services to 
individuals with disabilities through education, health care, 
employment, and community living, and in other contexts such as 
leisure activities and the use of telecommunications; and the 
training and preparation of personnel to design, build, provide 
instruction on the use of, repair and recycle assistive 
technology devices and also to provide assistive technology 
services. The grantee must also support public or private 
entities to carry out targeted training and technical 
assistance activities.
    Outreach activities. And finally, the challenge grantee 
must provide support to statewide and community-based 
organizations that provide assistive technology devices and 
assistive technology services to individuals with disabilities 
or that assist individuals with disabilities in using assistive 
technology devices and assistive technology services, including 
organizations that focus on underrepresented populations, 
especially elderly and rural populations. Such support may 
include outreach to consumer organizations and groups in the 
State to coordinate efforts (including self-help, support 
groups, and peer mentoring) to assist individuals with 
disabilities of all ages and their family members, guardians, 
advocates, or authorized representatives, to obtain funding 
for, and access to, assistive technology devices and assistive 
technology services.
    The committee recognizes the experience and expertise of 
the USDA AgrAbility program in providing information to and 
assistance for people with disabilities in agriculture, 
including assistive technology, and encourages that outreach 
activities utilize this experience and expertise.
    Other activities. A State funded under a challenge grant 
may carry out additional activities authorized under the Tech 
Act, or other activities identified by the State or the 
Secretary, to which the Secretary gives approval.

Funding

    The committee bill requires that the Secretary shall 
calculate challenge grant payments on the basis of a minimum of 
$500,000 for each State, the remainder to be distributed to 
States on the basis of State population and population density.

Administrative requirements

    Any State that desires to receive a challenge grant shall 
submit a State Technology Plan that contains certain 
information and assurances.
    Organization-related provisions. The plan shall include a 
designation by the Governor and a description of the public 
agency responsible for controlling the funds for carrying out 
activities funded under this section and a designation of the 
entity that is to be the State Assistive Technology Office (or 
Program), if such entity is different than the public agency. 
In designating the entity to be the State Assistive Technology 
Office, the Governor may designate a commission, council, or 
other official body appointed by the Governor; a public-private 
partnership or consortium; a public agency, including the 
immediate office of the Governor of the State, a State 
oversight office, a State agency, an institution of higher 
education, university affiliated program, or other public 
entity; a council established under other Federal law or State 
law; or another appropriate office, agency, entity, or 
individual.
    The plan must describe how the entity designated as the 
State Assistive Technology Office has the expertise, 
experience, and ability to provide leadership in developing 
State policy related to assistive technology, including policy 
relating to the procurement of accessible electronic and 
information technology by State agencies and the incorporation 
of principles of universal design in the State infrastructure; 
respond to assistive technology needs across all disabilities 
and ages; promote availability throughout the State of 
assistive technology devices and assistive technology services; 
promote and implement system improvement and policy advocacy 
activities pertaining to assistive technology devices and 
assistive technology services; work proactively and 
collaboratively with State agencies and private entities 
involved in funding and delivering assistive technology devices 
and assistive technology services; provide technical assistance 
for capacity building, training, and enhancement of access to 
funding for assistive technology across all State agencies; 
promote and develop public-private partnerships related to 
assistive technology devices and assistive technology services; 
exercise leadership in identifying and responding to the 
technology needs of individuals with disabilities and their 
family members, guardians, advocates, and authorized 
representatives; and promote consumer confidence, 
responsiveness and advocacy related to assistive technology 
devices and assistive technology services.
    Public involvement in plan. The plan must describe the 
involvement of entities in the development and implementation 
of the grant, including: a description of the nature and extent 
of involvement of various public and private entities in the 
preparation and the planned implementation of the grant; a 
description of how targeted individuals, especially individuals 
who use assistive technology, were involved in the development 
and planned implementation of the grant. Moreover, the plan is 
to include a description of an advisory group of targeted 
individuals, a majority of whom are individuals with 
disabilities and parents of such individuals, who will assist 
the State Assistive Technology Office, to identify the unmet 
assistive technology needs of individuals with disabilities, 
and assist the Office to decide how the assistive technology 
needs of such individual will be addressed by the State.
    Accountability. The plan is to include a description and 
results of a needs assessment from which the State's goals were 
derived; and a description of State resources and other 
resources that are available to commit to the maintenance of a 
consumer-responsive comprehensive statewide program of 
technology-related assistance.
    The plan must include a description of the goals the State 
has set, including any related to health care, education, 
employment, including goals involving the State vocational 
rehabilitation program, telecommunication and information 
technology; or community living, including recreation, and the 
activities the State will undertake to achieve such goals in 
addressing the assistive technology needs of individuals with 
disabilities in the State that are consistent with the 
requirements in section 2(b)(1); and a description of how the 
State will measure whether the goals set by the State have been 
achieved. In addition, the plan must contain a description of 
how individuals with disabilities of all ages and their 
families were involved in selecting the State's goals; the 
activities to be undertaken in achieving the goals; and the 
measures to be used in judging if the State's goals have been 
achieved; and how these individuals will be involved in 
determining if the State's goals were met.
    With regard to data collection, the plan must contain a 
description of the data collection system used for compiling 
information on the program that is consistent with any 
standardized data collection requirements specified by the 
Secretary.
    Assurances. The plan must include numerous assurances: an 
assurance that the State, and any recipient of funds made 
available to the State under this section, no later than fiscal 
year 2001, shall have procurement policies and procedures in 
place that are consistent with the intent, complaint 
procedures, and standards under section 508 of the 
Rehabilitation Act; an assurance that the State will conduct an 
annual assessment of the consumer-responsive comprehensive 
statewide program of technology-related assistance, in order to 
determine the extent to which the State's goals, have been 
achieved; and the areas of need that require attention in the 
next year; an assurance that amounts received under the grant 
will be expended in accordance with the provisions of the 
committee bill that relate to challenge grants; an assurance 
that amounts received under the grant will be used to 
supplement, and not supplant, amounts available from other 
sources that are expended for technology-related assistance, 
including the provision of assistive technology devices and 
assistive technology services; and not be used to pay a 
financial obligation for technology-related assistance 
(including the provision of assistive technology devices or 
assistive technology services) that would have been paid with 
amounts available from other sources if amounts under the grant 
had not been available; an assurance that public agency shall 
control and administer amounts received under the grant; and a 
public agency shall hold title to and either the agency or an 
individual with a disability control property purchased with 
such amounts; an assurance that the State will prepare reports 
to the Secretary in such form and containing such information 
as the Secretary may require to carry out the Secretary's 
functions under this section, and keep such records and allow 
access to such records as the Secretary may require to ensure 
the correctness and verification of information provided to the 
Secretary; and an assurance that amounts received under the 
grant will not be commingled with State or other funds. The 
committee bill specifies that the term ``commingling'' shall 
not be construed to prevent, subject to documentation 
satisfactory to the Secretary, pooling of amounts received 
under the grant with other public or private funds to achieve a 
goal specified in the grant. Additional assurances that must be 
included in the plan are: an assurance that the State will 
adopt such fiscal control and accounting procedures as may be 
necessary to ensure proper disbursement of and accounting for 
amounts received under the grant; an assurance that the State 
will make available to individuals with disabilities and their 
family members, guardians, advocates, or authorized 
representatives information concerning technology-related 
assistance in a form that will allow such individuals to 
effectively use such information; an assurance that the State 
Assistive Technology Office will have the authority to use 
funds made available through a grant made under this section; 
an assurance that the State will develop and implement 
strategies for including personnel training regarding assistive 
technology within other Federally funded and State-funded 
training initiatives to enhance assistive technology skills and 
competencies of such personnel; an assurance that the 
percentage of the funds received under the grant that is used 
for indirect costs shall not exceed 10 percent; an assurance 
that the State Assistive Technology Office will coordinate the 
activities funded through a grant made under this section with 
the activities carried out by other councils within the State; 
and an assurance that the State will provide such other 
information and assurances as the Secretary may reasonably 
require.
    Reports. Each State that receives a challenge grant must 
submit annually to the Secretary a report that documents 
progress in meeting its goals and maintaining a consumer-
responsive comprehensive statewide program of technology-
related assistance, including (1) the results of the annual 
assessment; (2) to the extent not addressed through the State's 
goals or needs assessment, the capacity building activities 
carried out by the State, including a description of any 
written policies and procedures that the State has developed 
and implemented regarding access to, provision of, and funding 
for, assistive technology devices and assistive technology 
services, particularly policies and procedures regarding access 
to, provision of, and funding for, such devices and services 
under education (including special education), vocational 
rehabilitation, and medical assistance programs; and (3) if not 
addressed through the State's goals, needs assessment, or 
capacity building activities, the degree of involvement of 
various State agencies and private entities, especially those 
involved with health insurance and education, in the 
development, implementation, and evaluation of the program, 
including any interagency agreements that the State has 
developed and implemented regarding access to, provision of, 
and funding for, assistive technology devices and assistive 
technology services such as agreements that identify available 
resources for assistive technology devices and assistive 
technology services and the responsibility of each agency for 
paying for such devices and services.

                     Section 103--Millennium Grants

    The committee bill requires that on a competitive basis, 
subject to the conditions in section 107(b)(2) of the bill, the 
Secretary to award supplementary grants for not more than 5 
years to States to engage in statewide capacity building 
activities in collaboration with other public or private 
partners, to expand the capacity of the State to address the 
unmet assistive technology needs of individuals with 
disabilities through one or more of several specific targeted 
activities; or to conduct through a subgrant process or other 
mechanism, competitions for local entities for funding to 
undertake targeted activities to address unmet needs for 
assistive technology and assistive technology services, 
especially to underrepresented populations.

Statewide capacity building activities.

    The committee bill specifies that the Secretary may provide 
funds to a State that submits a successful supplement to a 
grant awarded under section 102, and elects to carry out one or 
more of the following activities: (1) obtain through State law 
or other equivalent means compliance among all public agencies 
with section 508 of the Rehabilitation Act, which shall include 
a mechanism for informing individuals with disabilities of 
their rights with regard to section 508, addressing their 
complaints, and establishing of a lead agency to monitor and 
enforce compliance with section 508 of the Rehabilitation Act; 
(2) review, document, develop and implement a plan for 
enhancing the participation of all individuals with 
disabilities of the State, in education, employment, 
transportation, communication, and general access in ways that 
complement and exceed what is required by public and private 
entities under the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990, 
through the incorporation of concepts of universal design in 
physical structures, products, and services, or fiscal-related 
incentives to public and private telecommunication ventures; 
(3) develop and implement activities for incorporating the 
principles of universal design in theconstruction and 
renovation of facilities and information technology and 
telecommunications and other products and services such as 
transportation; (4) plan and adopt State personnel standards or 
professional certification procedures that apply to individuals who or 
entities that provide assistive technology services; (5) conduct 
evaluations of assistive technology devices and assistive technology 
services, including computer software, for the purpose of evaluating 
and documenting the effectiveness, benefits, and compatibility with 
other technologies, for people with disabilities, of such devices and 
services; or (6) engage in another activity, pursuant to a priority 
announced by the Secretary, that will have a statewide impact and 
address the unmet assistive technology needs of individuals with 
disabilities.

Local capacity building activities

    If a State elects not to submit a supplement to its 
challenge grant for a statewide capacity building activity, it 
may elect to submit a supplement to support local capacity 
building activities. A State that pursues this option and 
receives a millennium grant may provide subgrants to local 
entities that submit successful plans to carry out one of any 
of the following activities: (1) creation and operation of 
micro-loans and an alternative financing program; (2) creation 
and operation of equipment demonstrations in community settings 
frequented by the public; (3) creation and operation of an 
equipment loan (both long and short term) program; creation and 
operation of an equipment recycling program; (4) development 
and implementation of outreach and training, especially 
empowerment training, of individuals with disabilities, 
teachers and parents of individuals with disabilities, and 
underserved populations; or (5) other initiatives, including 
model innovations, that meet an unmet local need related to 
assistive technology.

Funding

     Subject to the conditions in section 107(b)(2) of the 
committee bill, the Secretary shall make payments to States, 
which successfully compete for supplementary grants according 
to several requirements. The amount awarded to a successful 
State applicant for a millennium grant may be expended over the 
grant period. Any millennium grantee that requests funds that 
exceed $250,000 must provide a $1 match for every $2 of the 
grant amount above $250,000.

Other grant requirements

    Any State that desires to receive a millennium grant must 
submit an application that contains certain information and 
assurances.
    Partners. With regard to partners in the millennium grant, 
the grant must contain an assurance that the State Assistive 
Technology Office participated in the development of the grant 
and will participate in the implementation of the grant even if 
the State Assistive Technology Office is not the actual grant 
applicant. It must also contain a description of the partners 
in the grant, including: the identity of each partner; the role 
of each partner in preparing the grant; the capacity of each 
partner to contribute to grant activities; and the contribution 
of each partner to grant activities.
    Targeted individuals involvement. The grant must include a 
description of how targeted individuals, especially individuals 
with disabilities who use assistive technology, were involved 
in developing the grant and will be involved in grant 
activities; data that affected the selection of the focus of 
the grant; and a description of State resources and other 
resources that are committed to carry out the grant.
    Accountability. The grant is to contain a description of 
the goals of the supplementary grant; the activities the State 
will undertake to achieve such goals; a description of how the 
State will measure whether the goals set by the State have been 
achieved; a description of how individuals with disabilities of 
all ages and their families were involved in selecting the 
State's goals; the activities to be undertaken in achieving the 
goals; and the measures to be used in judging if the State's 
goals have been achieved; and how these individuals will be 
involved in determining if the State's goals have been 
achieved.
    The grant must include an assurance that the State will 
conduct an annual assessment of the extent to which the State's 
goals have been achieved; and the areas of need that require 
attention in the next year; an assurance that amounts received 
under the grant will be expended (by the State or subgrantees 
if applicable) in accordance with the grant application; an 
assurance that amounts received under the grant shall be used 
(by the State or subgrantees if applicable) to supplement and 
not supplant funds committed to any activity carried out under 
this grant; an assurance that the grantee (the State or 
subgrantees if applicable) will prepare reports to the 
Secretary in such form and containing such information as the 
Secretary may require to carry out the Secretary's functions 
under this section; and keep such records and allow access to 
such records as the Secretary may require to ensure the 
correctness and verification of information provided to the 
Secretary.
    Assurances. In addition, the millennium grant must include 
assurances that amounts received under the grant will not be 
commingled with State or other funds. The term ``commingling'' 
shall not be construed to prevent, subject to documentation 
satisfactory to the Secretary, pooling of amounts received 
under the grant with other public or private funds to achieve a 
goal specified in the grant. The grantee will adopt such fiscal 
control and accounting procedures as may be necessary to ensure 
proper disbursement of and accounting for amounts received 
under the grant; as specified in millennium grant, grant 
partners will have the authority to use funds made available 
through the grant; the percentage of the funds received under 
the grant that is used for indirect costs shall not exceed 10 
percent. Finally, grantees are expected to ensure the provision 
of other information and assurances as the Secretary may 
reasonably require.
    Joint submissions. A State may submit an application for 
funding under a millennium grant when the State submits its 
State technology plan under section 102 of the committee bill. 
Such a joint submission must distinguish between challenge 
grant and millennium grant activities and include a budget that 
separately reflects proposed expenditures for challenge and 
millennium grant activities for each fiscal year involved.
    Each State that receives a millennium grant and any other 
entity that receives a subgrant or other mechanism of 
assistance through a millennium grant shall submit annually to 
the Secretary a report that documents progress in meeting its 
goals, and any other information the Secretary may reasonably 
require.

 section 104--state grants for protection and advocacy related to the 
                   provision of assistive technology

    Upon the appropriation of funds under section 107, the 
committee bill requires the Secretary to provide financial 
assistance for 6 years to an entity in each State to support 
protection and advocacy services through the systems 
established to provide protection and advocacy under the 
Developmental Disabilities Assistance and Bill of Rights Act 
(42 U.S.C. 6000 et seq.) for the purposes of assisting in the 
acquisition, utilization, or maintenance of assistive 
technology devices or assistive technology services for 
individuals with disabilities (except that for a State 
currently covered by 29 U.S.C. 2212(f)(1) of the Technology-
Related Assistance for Individuals with Disabilities Act, the 
lead agency or State Assistive Technology Office in that State, 
depending on whether the State is receiving funds under section 
101 or 102, shall determine how the funds authorized by this 
section shall be divided among the entities currently providing 
protection and advocacy services). The committee further 
expects the agency or office to determine the appropriate 
division and to make whatever funds it determines to allocate 
to an entity described in section 104(a)(1) available, as soon 
as possible after the agency or office receives the funds. Such 
funds shall be made available without condition to such an 
entity (except that such entity must agree to be subject to the 
same requirements as an entity under section 104(a)(1) that 
receives funds directly from the Secretary under this act).
    An entity that receives a grant under section 104 of the 
committee bill shall prepare an annual report that contains 
such information as the Secretary may require, including 
documentation of progress in conducting consumer-responsive 
activities, including those that will lead to increased access 
to funding for assistive technology devices and assistive 
technology services; engaging in informal advocacy to assist in 
securing assistive technology and assistive technology services 
for individuals with disabilities; engaging in formal 
representation for individuals with disabilities to secure 
systems change and advocacy activities to secure assistive 
technology devices and assistive technology services for 
individuals with disabilities; developing and implementing 
strategies to enhance the long-term abilities of individuals 
with disabilities and their family members, guardians, 
advocates, and authorized representatives to advocate for 
assistive technology devices and assistive technology services 
to which the individuals with disabilities are entitled under 
law other than this act; and coordinating activities with 
protection and advocacy services funded through sources other 
than this title, and coordinating activities with the capacity 
and advocacy activities carried out by the State lead agency.
    Upon making a grant under this section, the Secretary shall 
solicit and consider the opinions of the lead agency of the 
State, or the State Assistive Technology Office, as 
appropriate, with respect to efforts at coordination, 
collaboration, and outcomes between the lead agency or the 
State Assistive Technology Office, as appropriate, and the 
entity funded under section 104 of the committee bill.
    A State protection and advocacy entity funded under section 
107(d) of the committee bill shall submit to the State lead 
agency or State Assistive Technology Office the report 
submitted to the Secretary and quarterly updates concerning its 
activities undertaken under this grant.

                 section 105--administrative provisions

    The committee bill requires that the Secretary assess the 
extent to which grantees funded under this act are complying 
with the applicable requirements of this act and achieving the 
goals that are consistent with the requirements of the grant 
program under which they applied for Federal financial 
assistance. The committee bill requires the Secretary to 
conduct an onsite visit for each State participating in a grant 
under section 101 of the committee bill, which during the year 
would have been a State's third or fourth year of a second 
extension grant under the Technology-Related Assistance for 
Individuals with Disabilities Act of 1988, if that act had been 
reauthorized; and each State participating through a grant 
under section 102, prior to the end of the third or fourth year 
of that grant. The Secretary shall not be required to conduct 
the visits if the Secretary determines that the visit is not 
necessary to assess whether the State is making significant 
progress toward development and implementation of a consumer-
responsive comprehensive statewide program of technology-
related assistance.
    The Secretary must provide advance public notice of the 
onsite visit and solicit public comment through such notice 
from targeted individuals, regarding State goals and related 
activities to achieve such goals funded through a grant made 
under section 102. At a minimum the visits shall allow the 
Secretary to determine the extent to which the State is making 
progress in meeting its identified goals and maintaining a 
consumer-responsive comprehensive statewide program of 
technology-related assistance consistent with the purposes 
described in section 2(b)(1) of the committee bill.
    To assist the Secretary in carrying out the 
responsibilities of the Secretary under this section, the 
Secretary may require States to provide relevant information.
    When the Secretary determines that an entity fails to 
substantially comply with the requirements of this act, 
whichever is applicable, the Secretary shall assist the entity 
through a technical assistance entity funded under section 106 
or some other means, within 90 days of such determination, to 
develop a correction action plan. An entity that fails to 
develop a corrective action plan shall be subject to one of the 
following corrective actions selected by the Secretary: partial 
or complete fund termination; ineligibility to participate in 
the grant program in the following year; reduction in funding 
for the following year; or required redesignation of the lead 
agency or entity. The committee bill requires the Secretary to 
establish appeals procedures for entities that are found in 
noncompliance with the requirements of this act.
    Not later than December 31 of each year, the Secretary must 
prepare and submit to the President and to the Congress a 
report on the program activities funded under this act, to 
improve the access of individuals with disabilities to 
assistive technology devices and assistive technology services. 
This report shall include information on: (1) the demonstrated 
successes of the program activities in improving interagency 
coordination, streamlining access to funding for assistive 
technology, and producing beneficial outcomes for users of 
assistive technology; (2) the demonstration activities carried 
out through the program activities to promote access to such 
funding in public programs that were in existence on the date 
of the initiation of the demonstration activities; and 
establish additional options for obtaining such funding; (3) 
the education and training activities carried out through the 
program activities to train targeted individuals about 
assistive technology, including the awareness of funding 
through public programs for assistive technology; (4) the 
research activities carried out through the program initiatives 
to improve understanding of the costs and benefits of access to 
assistive technology for individuals with disabilities who 
represent a variety of ages and types of disabilities; (5) 
theprogram outreach activities to rural and inner-city areas that are 
carried out through the program activities; (6) the activities carried 
out through the program initiatives that are targeted to reach 
underrepresented populations and rural populations; and (7) the 
consumer involvement activities in the programs carried out under this 
act.
    As soon as practicable, the Secretary shall include in the 
annual report information on the availability of assistive 
technology devices and assistive technology services. If the 
Secretary determines that a national classification system for 
assistive technology devices and assistive technology services 
has been developed as authorized in section 216 of the 
committee bill, the Secretary shall present such information in 
the report in a manner consistent with such a national 
classification system.
    The committee bill specifies that this title may not be 
construed as authorizing a Federal or a State agency to reduce 
medical or other assistance available or to alter eligibility 
under any other Federal law.

               Section 106--Technical Assistance Program

    The committee bill authorizes the Secretary, through 
grants, contracts, or cooperative agreements awarded 
competitively, to establish a technical assistance program to 
assist and enhance the efforts of entities, principally 
entities funded under sections 101 through 104 of title I of 
the committee bill, to promote access to assistive technology 
devices and services to individuals with disabilities. The 
purpose of the technical assistance program is to address 
issues raised by States, individuals, protection and advocacy 
providers, and other organizations described in the committee 
bill. Technical assistance should be made available through a 
variety of mechanisms, as appropriate to meet the diverse needs 
of technical assistance recipients.

Public input

    In designing the technical assistance program and in 
acknowledging the differences in functions between national and 
regionally based technical assistance efforts, the committee 
bill requires that the Secretary consider the input of the 
directors of State Assistive Technology Offices and other 
individuals the Secretary deems appropriate, especially 
individuals with disabilities who use assistive technology and 
understand the current barriers to the acquisition of such 
technology and assistive technology services; family members, 
guardians, and representatives of such individuals; and 
individuals employed by protection and advocacy systems funded 
under section 104 of the committee bill. This requirement may 
be met by receipt of comments solicited through the Federal 
Register.

Functions

    Through this input the Secretary must provide for entities 
to: (1) address State-specific information requests concerning 
assistive technology from other entities funded under this 
title and public entities not funded under this title, 
including requests for state of the art, or model Federal, 
State, and local laws, regulations, policies, practices, 
procedures, and organizational structures, that facilitate, and 
overcome barriers to, funding for, and access to, assistive 
technology devices and assistive technology services; examples 
of policies, practices, procedures, regulations, administrative 
hearing decisions, or legal actions, that have or could enhance 
access to funding for assistive technology devices and 
assistive technology services for individuals with 
disabilities; effective approaches to Federal-State 
coordination of programs for individuals with disabilities, 
related to improving funding for or access to assistive 
technology devices and assistive technology services for 
individuals with disabilities of all ages; effective approaches 
to the development of consumer-controlled systems that increase 
access to, funding for, and awareness of, assistive technology 
devices and assistive technology services, including the 
identification and description of mechanisms and means that 
successfully support self-help and peer mentoring groups for 
individuals with disabilities; other requests for technical 
assistance from other entities funded under this title and 
public entities not funded under this title; and other 
assignments specified by the Secretary, including assisting 
entities described under section 105(b) of the committee bill 
to develop corrective action plans; (2) assisting targeted 
individuals by disseminate information about Federal, State, 
and local laws, regulations, policies, practices, procedures, 
and organizational structures, that facilitate, and overcome 
barriers to, funding for, and access to, assistive technology 
devices and assistive technology services, to promote fuller 
independence, productivity, and inclusion for individuals with 
disabilities of all ages; and technical assistance activities 
undertaken under this technical assistance program.

National Public Internet Site

    Section 106(c) of the committee bill requires the Secretary 
to fund the establishment and maintenance of a National Public 
Internet Site for the purposes of providing to individuals with 
disabilities and the general public technical assistance and 
information on increased access to assistive technology 
devices, assistive technology services, and other disability-
related resources.
    To be eligible to receive a grant or enter into a contract 
or cooperative agreement to establish and maintain the National 
Public Internet Site, an entity must be an institution of 
higher education that emphasizes research and engineering and 
has a multidisciplinary research center and has demonstrated 
expertise in: (1) working with assistive technology and 
intelligent agent interactive information dissemination 
systems; (2) managing libraries of assistive technology and 
disability-related resources; (3) delivering education, 
information, and referral services to individuals with 
disabilities, including technology-based curriculum services 
for adults with low-level reading skills; (4) developing 
cooperative partnerships with the private sector, particularly 
with private sector computer software, hardware, and Internet 
services entities; and (5) developing and designing advanced 
Internet sites.
    The Secretary shall require collaboration and coordination 
among technical assistance providers. In maintaining and 
updating information on the National Public Internet Site, the 
Site's operator shall gather information from the other 
entities providing technical assistance.
    The National Public Internet Site must contain the 
following features: (1) The site must be designed so that any 
member of the public may obtain information posted on the site 
at any time. (2) The site must be constructed with an 
innovative automated intelligent agent that is a diagnostic 
tool for assisting users in problem definition and the 
selection of appropriate assistive technology devices and 
assistive technology resources. (3) The site must include 
access to a comprehensive working library on assistive 
technology for all environments, including home, workplace, 
transportation, education, and other environments; and with 
resources related to the largest possible number of 
disabilities, including resources related to low-level reading 
skills. (4) To the extent feasible, the site shall be linked to 
relevant private sector resources andinformation, under 
agreements developed between the institution of higher education and 
cooperating private sector entities.
    At a minimum the National Public Internet Site shall 
maintain updated information on: (1) how to plan, develop, 
implement, and evaluate activities to further extend 
comprehensive statewide programs of technology-related 
assistance, including the development and replication of 
effective approaches to information and referral, interagency 
coordination, training and service delivery among both public 
and private entities, how to reach to underrepresented 
populations, including elderly and rural populations; and how 
to mount successful public awareness activities; and how to 
develop and replicate effective approaches to capacity building 
in service delivery, training of personnel from a variety of 
disciplines, and improve evaluation strategies, research, and 
data collection; (2) effective approaches to the development of 
consumer-controlled systems that increase access to, funding 
for, and awareness of, assistive technology devices and 
assistive technology services; (3) successful approaches to 
increasing the availability of public and private funding for 
and access to the provision of assistive technology devices and 
assistive technology services by appropriate State agencies; 
and (4) demonstration sites where individuals may try out 
assistive technology.

Other Provisions

    The committee bill specifies that entities with documented 
experience with and expertise in assistive technology service 
delivery or systems, interagency coordination, capacity 
building and advocacy activities, and developing and 
disseminating relevant information concerning assistive 
technology in accessible formats, are eligible to compete for 
funds under the technical assistance program. It is not the 
committee's intent that an entity must meet each one of the 
preceding criteria in order to receive funds under the 
technical assistance program. To be eligible to receive funds 
under the technical assistance program an entity shall submit 
an application to the Secretary at such time, in such manner, 
and containing such information, as the Secretary may require.

              SECTION 107--AUTHORIZATION OF APPROPRIATIONS

    Section 107 of the committee bill authorizes to be 
appropriated to carry out title I $36 million in fiscal year 
1999 and such sums as may be necessary for fiscal year 2000 
through 2004. Section 107 includes three reservations of funds. 
(1) Beginning in fiscal year 2000 and every year thereafter, if 
the appropriation for title I exceeds $40 million, the 
Secretary may reserve up to 5 percent of the funds for title I 
to funds grants under section 103. (2) In fiscal year 1999, the 
Secretary may use funds appropriated for title I to continue 
funding technical assistance initiatives funded in fiscal year 
1998 under the Tech Act, if such initiatives would not have 
otherwise terminated in fiscal year 1999. (3) The Secretary may 
reserve, from amounts appropriated for any fiscal year under 
this title, such sums as the Secretary considers to be 
necessary for the purposes of conducting onsite visits as 
required by section 105(a)(2). Otherwise, depending on the 
level of appropriations, certain percentages apply with regard 
to funds available under the various grant programs.
    If the amount appropriated for a fiscal year is less than 
$33 million, 87.5 percent of the amount shall be reserved to 
fund grants under sections 101 and 102; 7.9 percent shall be 
reserved to fund grants under section 104; and 4.6 percent 
shall be reserved for activities funded under section 106. If 
the amount appropriated for a fiscal year is not less than $33 
million and is less than $36 million, 85 percent of the amount 
shall be reserved to fund grants under sections 101 and 102; 11 
percent shall be reserved to fund grants under section 104; and 
4 percent shall be reserved for activities funded under section 
106. If the amount appropriated for a fiscal year is not less 
than $36 million, 80 percent of the amount shall be reserved to 
fund grants under sections 101, 102 and (to the extent 
described in the preceding paragraph) 103; 15 percent shall be 
reserved to fund grants under section 104; and 5 percent shall 
be reserved for activities funded under section 106.
    Outlying areas may receive grants under any grant program. 
The amount of any such grant shall not exceed $105,000.

                     Title II--National Activities

         Section 201--Coordination of Federal Research Efforts

    This section mandates increased coordination among Federal 
agencies and offices that are members of the Interagency 
Committee on Disability Research (ICDR), on disability, 
assistive technology, and universal design research. The 
committee recognizes that to truly increase access to assistive 
technology for people with disabilities, the Federal Government 
must make the most efficient use of its resources. This section 
also authorizes funding for research projects that are jointly 
undertaken or administered by such agencies and offices. The 
committee expects ICDR members to use this section to enable 
members to take advantage of each other's information and 
abilities, to expend Federal resources more efficiently, and to 
improve research outcomes.

              Section 202--National Council on Disability

    The committee believes that to establish the most effective 
Federal policies to increase access to assistive technology for 
people with disabilities, it is necessary to understand what 
are the current barriers to such policies. Therefore, the 
committee includes this section, which requires the National 
Council on Disability (``NCD'') to report to Congress by 
December 31, 1999, on the barriers in Federal assistive 
technology policy to increasing the availability of and access 
to assistive technology devices and assistive technology 
services for individuals with disabilities.
    The committee recognized in section 2(a)(7) of the 
committee bill that ``[i]n the current technological 
environment, the line of demarcation between assistive 
technology and mainstream technology is becoming ever more 
difficult to draw.'' Therefore, the committee intends that NCD 
also address in its report and recommendations, barriers in 
Federal technology policy generally that affect the 
availability and access to technology generally for individuals 
with disabilities, including barriers related to the non-use of 
principles of universal design.

Section 203--Architectural and Transportation Barriers Compliance Board

    This section requires the Architectural and Transportation 
Barriers Compliance Board (``the Access Board''), beginning in 
fiscal year 2000, to provide such training as it deems 
appropriate, by whatever means it deems appropriate, to Federal 
and State employees concerning section 508 of the 
Rehabilitation Act of 1973. The committee believes that this 
section is essential to making Federal and State employees 
aware of their responsibilities tomake their electronic and 
information technology accessible.

                 Section 211--Small Business Incentives

    The committee believes that in addition to increasing 
coordination at the Federal level, it is essential to improving 
access to assistive technology for the Federal Government to 
work with the private sector. This section authorizes the 
Secretary of Education to enter into contracts with small 
businesses to assist them with the design, development, and 
marketing of assistive technology devices and assistive 
technology services.
    These contracts are to be administered according to the 
requirements of the existing Small Business Innovative Research 
(``SBIR'') program, but neither are to be added to the overall 
amount of research and development that determines the 
Secretary's obligations under that program, nor counted as part 
of the Secretary's satisfaction of those obligations.
    This section also authorizes the Secretary to make grants 
to small businesses to work with entities that are funded by 
the Secretary to evaluate and disseminate information on the 
effects of technology transfer on the lives of individuals with 
disabilities, to utilize such services to bring new assistive 
technology devices and assistive technology services to market.

         Section 212--Technology Transfer and Universal Design

    This section also furthers the committee's goal to increase 
coordination of Federal research efforts. It enhances the 
ability of the National Institute on Disability and 
Rehabilitation Research (``NIDRR'') and the Federal Laboratory 
Consortium (``FLC'') to work together to promote technology 
transfer that would further development of assistive technology 
and products that incorporate the principles of universal 
design.
    This section also authorizes the Secretary of Education to 
make grants or enter into contracts with commercial or other 
organizations, including institutions of higher education, to 
enable such organizations to work with the FLC to increase 
technology transfer related to assistive technology and 
universal design.
    With reference to section 212(b)(5), the committee 
recognizes the need for involvement of people with disabilities 
and assistive technology service providers in technology 
transfer, and encourages the Secretary to include demonstration 
projects and evaluations undertaken in unique educational and 
recreational settings with opportunities for intensive 
personalized training in and review of new products and 
services.

  Section 213--Universal Design in Products and the Built Environment

    The committee believes that an important part of assistive 
technology policy for the 21st century must be to encourage the 
development of products and aspects of the built environment 
that incorporate the principles of universal design. This 
section authorizes the Secretary of Education to make grants to 
commercial or other organizations, including institutions of 
higher education, for the research and development of universal 
design concepts for products and the built environment.

                         Section 214--Outreach

    The committee believes that special efforts should be made 
to determine and address the assistive technology needs of 
populations which without such efforts would be less likely 
than others to receive the benefits of the committee bill, and 
the assistive technology needs of populations whose needs are 
likely to be unique. Therefore, this section authorizes the 
Secretary of Education to make grants, enter into cooperative 
agreements, or use other mechanisms, for projects designed to 
increase the availability of assistive technology for rural and 
impoverished urban populations, and for projects designed to 
increase the availability of assistive technology for children 
and older individuals.
    The committee encourages the Secretary, in funding rural 
projects under this section, to include a focus on developing 
assistive technology solutions to overcome barriers to 
employment unique to rural work environments, such as 
agricultural production and processing.
    To meet the needs of this country's growing elderly 
population, the committee encourages the Secretary, in funding 
projects for the elderly under this section, to include a focus 
on decreasing the impact and occurrence of disabilities, 
including age-related impairments, by increasing access to 
appropriate assistive technologies in the home.
    The committee encourages the Secretary, in funding projects 
for children under this section, to address the integration of 
assistive technology into existing early intervention programs 
such as Head Start and early identification of children's 
assistive technology needs.

   Section 215--Training Pertaining to Rehabilitation Engineers and 
                              Technicians

    The committee believes that an essential aspect of making 
assistive technology more accessible to people with 
disabilities is that there be enough individuals able to 
design, develop, and maintain assistive technology in 
consultation with people with disabilities and providers of 
assistive technology devices and services, including training 
individuals with disabilities to use and maintain their own 
equipment, so that use of such technology by individuals with 
disabilities in all areas of life is maximized. This section 
promotes that goal by authorizing the Secretary of Education to 
make grants, or enter into contracts with, public and private 
organizations, including institutions of higher education, to 
help prepare students for careers in assistive technology, and 
to help rehabilitation engineering faculty teach such students 
and other professionals and enhance their (the faculty's) own 
capabilities, including through in-service and pre-service 
training.

               Section 216--Assistive Technology Taxonomy

    The committee believes that it is important to improve the 
reliability of information concerning assistive technology, and 
so this section requires the Secretary to report to Congress by 
December 31, 1999 on the benefits and obstacles to implementing 
a single assistive technology taxonomy already developed by the 
Secretary.

    Section 217--President's Committee on Employment of People with 
                              Disabilities

    As indicated, the committee believes that it is essential 
to involve the private sector in the effort of making assistive 
technology, and technology generally, more accessible to people 
with disabilities. This section authorizes the President's 
Committee on Employment of People with Disabilities to work 
with the private sector to increase the private sector's 
voluntary participation in making information technology 
accessible to individuals with disabilities.

              Section 218--Authorization of Appropriations

    The committee bill authorizes $15 million to carry out 
title II for fiscal year 1999, and such sums as are necessary 
for fiscal years 2000 through 2004. Subsection (b) requires the 
Secretary of Education to reserve not less than--33 percent of 
appropriations to carry out section 201 (``Coordination of 
Federal Research Efforts''); 16 percent to carry out section 
211 (``Small Business Incentives''); 4 percent to carry out 
section 212 (``Technology Transfer and Universal Design''); 8 
percent to carry out section 215 (``Training Pertaining to 
Rehabilitation Engineers and Technicians''); and 10 percent to 
carry out section 217 (``President's Committee on Employment of 
People with Disabilities''). The remainder of appropriations 
are to be divided among activities authorized under title II as 
determined appropriate by the Secretary.

              Title III--Alternative Financing Mechanisms

                     Section 301--General Authority

    The committee believes that an important way of making 
assistive technology more accessible to people with 
disabilities is to help States and outlying areas to work with 
people to help them purchase assistive technology to meet their 
needs. This section furthers that goal by requiring the 
Secretary of Education to award grants to States to pay for the 
Federal share (not to exceed 50 percent) of the cost of 
establishing and administering a program of alternative 
financing for individuals with disabilities and their 
authorized representatives to purchase assistive technology 
devices and assistive technology services.

                     Section 302--Amount of Grants

    This section establishes the amount of the grant that each 
State and outlying area may receive. It requires the Secretary 
of Education to make a grant to each outlying area of up to 
$105,000, and to each State a grant of $500,000, with 80 
percent of excess funds to be divided among States according to 
population, and 20 percent of excess funds to be divided 
equally among States with a population density not more than 10 
percent greater than the population density of the United 
States. This formula addresses the committee's belief that 
after each State has received the minimum amount, excess funds 
should be distributed primarily according to population, but 
also in a way that recognizes the difficulties inherent in 
delivering services to more dispersed populations.

                Section 303--Applications and Procedures

    In order to ensure that grants will be administered in 
keeping with the findings and purposes of the committee bill, 
this section sets forth the assurances a State must make to 
receive funds under title III, including that the State will 
provide the non-Federal share of the cost of the program, will 
continue the program on a permanent basis, will emphasize 
consumer choice and control in the program, that funds provided 
for the program will not supplant funds already available for a 
similar purpose, and that various accounting and investment 
requirements will be followed in administering the program.

       Section 304--Contracts with Community-Based Organizations

    In order to implement the committee's desire that these 
grants be administered with significant input from people with 
disabilities and organizations that represent them, this 
section requires a State that receives a grant under title III 
to enter into a contract with a community-based organization 
with individuals with disabilities involved in organizational 
decision making, to administer the alternative financing 
program. This section also requires the State to include in the 
contract any oversight and evaluation provision the Secretary 
of Education deems necessary to protect Federal financial 
interests, and that the contract require the community-based 
organization to enter into a contract with commercial lending 
institutions or a State financing agency, in administering the 
program.

             Section 305--Grant Administration Requirements

    In order to ensure that grants will be administered in 
keeping with the findings and purposes of the committee bill, 
this section requires a State, and any community-based 
organization that enters into a contract with a State under 
title III, to submit to the Secretary its policies and 
procedures concerning the timely review and processing of 
requests for financial assistance (including methods to 
minimize paperwork) for assistive technology, the provision of 
access to the alternative financing program to consumers 
regardless of type of disability, age, income level, location 
of residence in the State, or type of assistive technology 
requested, and consumer-controlled oversight of the alternative 
financing program.

           Section 306--Information and Technical Assistance

    This section requires the Secretary of Education, directly 
or through grants, to provide information and technical 
assistance to States under title III.

                       Section 307--Annual Report

    To enable Congress to exercise its oversight 
responsibilities, this section requires the Secretary of 
Education to submit an annual report to Congress describing the 
progress of each alternative financing program funded under 
title III toward achieving title III's objectives. This section 
requires the report to include information on the number of 
grant applications received and approved, the amount of each 
grant, the amount of matching funds provided by each State, the 
type of alternative financing mechanisms used by each State and 
the community-based organizations contracted with by each 
State, and the amount of assistance given to consumers through 
each program (broken down by various categories, including type 
of disability and type of assistance provided).

              Section 308--Authorization of Appropriations

    This section authorizes $25 million to carry out title III 
for fiscal year 1999, and such sums as are necessary to carry 
out the title for fiscal years 2000 through 2004. This section 
requires the Secretary to reserve 2 percent of any 
appropriations to provide technical assistance to States under 
this title.

               Title IV Repeal and Conforming Amendments

                          Section 401--Repeal

    This section repeals the Technology-Related Assistance for 
Individuals with Disabilities Act of 1988.

                   Section 402--Conforming Amendments

    This section contains various conforming amendments.

                            V. Cost Estimate

                                     U.S. Congress,
                               Congressional Budget Office,
                                Washington, DC, September 15, 1998.
Hon. James M. Jeffords,
Chairman, Committee on Labor and Human Resources,
U.S. Senate, Washington, DC.
    Dear Mr. Chairman: The Congressional Budget Office has 
prepared the enclosed cost estimate for S. 2432, the Assistive 
Technology Act of 1998.
    If you wish further details on this estimate, we will be 
pleased to provide them. The CBO staff contact is Christina 
Hawley Sadoti.
            Sincerely,
                                         June E. O'Neill, Director.
    Enclosure.

               congressional budget office cost estimate

S. 2432--Assistive Technology Act of 1998

    Summary: S. 2432 would repeal the Technology-Related 
Assistance for Individuals with Disabilities Act of 1988 
(TRAIDA) and replace it with a similar program of grants aimed 
at increasing the availability of technology-related assistance 
for individuals with disabilities. In addition, S. 2432 would 
fund certain national activities in the assistive technology 
field and would make available funding for micro-loan programs 
that would help individuals finance assistive technology. These 
programs also are similar to those authorized under the TRAIDA. 
Enactment of S. 2432 would increase authorizations by $40 
million for 1999 and by $344 million over the 1999-2003 period, 
not including adjustments for inflation. The bill would not 
affect direct spending or receipts and therefore would not be 
subject to pay-as-you-go procedures.
    S. 2432 contains no intergovernmental or private-sector 
mandates as defined in the Unfunded Mandates Reform Act of 1995 
(UMRA). Any costs to states resulting from enactment of the 
bill would be incurred voluntarily. The bill would not have any 
significant effects on the budgets of local or tribal 
governments.
    Estimated Cost to the Federal Government: The estimated 
budgetary impact of S. 2432 is shown in the tables below.
    The costs of this legislation fall within budget function 
500 (education, training, employment, and social services).

               TABLE 1.--ESTIMATED BUDGETARY EFFECTS OF S. 2432, WITHOUT ADJUSTMENTS FOR INFLATION              
                                    [By fiscal year, in millions of dollars]                                    
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                        1998      1999      2000      2001      2002      2003  
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                        SPENDING SUBJECT TO APPROPRIATION                                       
                                                                                                                
Authorizations Under Current Law:                                                                               
    Estimated authorizations........................        36        36         0         0         0         0
    Estimated outlays...............................        36        36        11         1         0         0
Proposed Changes:                                                                                               
    Title I--State Grants:                                                                                      
        Estimated authorizations....................  ........        36        36        36        36        36
    Estimated outlays...............................  ........        25        35        36        36        36
    Title II--National Activities:                                                                              
        Estimated authorizations....................  ........        15        15        15        15        15
        Estimated outlays...........................  ........        11        15        15        15        15
    Title III--Alternative Financing Mechanisms:                                                                
        Estimated authorizations....................  ........        25        25        25        25        25
        Estimated outlays...........................  ........        18        24        25        25        25
    Title IV--Repeal of TRAIDA:                                                                                 
        Estimated authorizations....................  ........       -36         0         0         0         0
        Estimated outlays...........................  ........       -25       -10        -1         0         0
    Total Changes:                                                                                              
        Estimated authorizations....................  ........        40        76        76        76        76
        Estimated outlays...........................  ........        28        64        75        76        76
Authorizations Under S. 2432:                                                                                   
    Estimated authorizations........................        36        76        76        76        76        76
        Estimated outlays...........................        36        64        75        75        76        76
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Components may not sum to totals due to rounding.                                                               


              TABLE 2.--ESTIMATED BUDGETARY EFFECTS OF S. 2432, INCLUDING ADJUSTMENTS FOR INFLATION             
                                    [By fiscal year, in millions of dollars]                                    
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                        1998      1999      2000      2001      2002      2003  
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                        SPENDING SUBJECT TO APPROPRIATION                                       
                                                                                                                
Authorizations Under Current Law:                                                                               
    Estimated authorizations........................        36        37         0         0         0         0
    Estimated outlays...............................        36        37        11         1         0         0
Proposed Changes:                                                                                               
    Title I--State Grants:                                                                                      
        Estimated authorizations....................  ........        36        37        38        39        40
        Estimated outlays...........................  ........        25        36        38        39        40
    Title II--National Activities:                                                                              
        Estimated authorizations....................  ........        15        15        16        16        17
        Estimated outlays...........................  ........        11        15        16        16        16
    Title III--Alternative Financing Mechanisms:                                                                
        Estimated authorizations....................  ........        25        26        26        27        28
        Estimated outlays...........................  ........        18        25        26        27        27
    Title IV--Repeal of TRAIDA:                                                                                 
        Estimated authorizations....................  ........       -37         0         0         0         0
        Estimated outlays...........................  ........       -26       -10        -1         0         0
    Total Changes:                                                                                              
        Estimated authorizations....................  ........        39        78        80        82        84
        Estimated outlays...........................  ........        27        65        78        81        84
Authorizations Under S. 2432:                                                                                   
    Estimated authorizations........................        36        76        78        80        82        84
    Estimated outlays...............................        36        64        76        79        81        84
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Components may not sum to totals due to rounding.                                                               

    Basis of estimate: For each title, the bill would authorize 
specific amounts for fiscal year 1999 and ``such sums as may be 
necessary'' for fiscal years 2000-2004. Under the General 
Education Provisions Act (GEPA), these authorizations would 
automatically be extended for one year, through fiscal year 
2005. The amounts authorized for fiscal year 1999 are used as 
the basis for estimating the amounts for subsequent years. 
Historical spending patterns of programs authorized under 
TRAIDA were used to estimate outlays for programs authorized by 
this bill.
    Title I of S. 2432 would authorize $36 million for 1999 and 
such sums as may be necessary for fiscal years 2000-2004 to 
continue state grant programs. Under this title, states that 
received funding under TRAIDA would be eligible to continue to 
receive funding for public awareness programs, interagency 
coordination, technical assistance, and training and outreach 
activities aimed at helping individuals with disabilities use 
assistive technology devices and services. In addition, this 
title would authorize grants for capacity building and advocacy 
related to assistive technology. Title I also would require the 
Secretary of Education to establish and maintain an Internet 
site that would provide information about assistive technology.
    Title II would authorize national activities, including 
enhanced coordination responsibilities by the Interagency 
Committee on Disability Research. This title also would require 
the National Council on Disability to report to Congress on how 
federal policies create barriers to increasing the availability 
and access of technology to individuals with disabilities. In 
addition, title II would authorize the Secretary of Education 
to make grants to small businesses to assist them with the 
design, development, and marketing of assistive technology 
devices. Furthermore, the Secretary could make grants designed 
to increase technology transfers from the Federal Laboratory 
Consortium, to increase outreach, and to increase training of 
engineers and technicians involved in rehabilitative 
engineering. For these activities, the bill would authorize $15 
million for fiscal year 1999 and such sums as may be necessary 
for fiscal years 2000-2004.
    Title III would authorize $25 million for grants to provide 
alternative financing mechanisms for individuals with 
disabilities to purchase assistive technology devices and 
services. Uses for the grants may include programs to help with 
the purchase or lease of devices or services, as well as loan 
assistance.
    Title IV would repeal the current program dealing with 
assistive technology. TRAIDA is authorized through fiscal year 
1998, but under GEPA it is automatically extended for one 
fiscal year, through 1999. In fiscal year 1998, the programs 
authorized by TRAIDA received appropriations of $36 million. 
This appropriation is the basis for estimating the amount 
authorized for fiscal year 1999. Therefore, repealing this act 
would reduce authorizations by $36 million for fiscal year 
1999, assuming no adjustments for inflation.
    Pay-as-you-go considerations: S. 2432 would not affect 
direct spending or receipts. Therefore, pay-as-you-go 
procedures would not apply.
    Intergovernmental and private-sector impact: S. 2432 
contains no intergovernmental or private-sector mandates as 
defined in UMRA. The bill would repeal the Technology-Related 
Assistance for Individuals with Disabilities Act and would 
replace it with a similar program of grants to states. The new 
program would target assistance more than current law does by 
establishing four separate grant programs. (Current law 
consists of a single grant program.) The bill would also 
require states to place more emphasis on public awareness and 
outreach, interagency coordination, and technical assistance 
and training activities. CBO estimates that any costs to states 
from these changes would not be significant and would be the 
result of their voluntary participation in the program. The 
bill would not have any significant effects on the budgets of 
local or tribal governments.
    Estimate prepared by: Federal cost: Christina Hawley 
Sadoti; impact on State, local, and tribal governments: Marc 
Nicole; impact on the private sector: Theresa Devine.
    Estimate approved by: Paul N. Van de Water, Assistant 
Director for Budget Analysis.

            VI. Application of Law to the Legislative Branch

    Section 102(b)(3) of Public Law 104-1, the Congressional 
Accountability Act, requires a description of the application 
of this bill to the legislative branch. S. 2432 provides 
assistance to States, other public and private entities, and 
the executive branch to create and expand access to assistive 
technology devices and services to individuals with 
disabilities. S. 2432 has no application to the legislative 
branch.

                    VII. Regulatory Impact Statement

    The committee has determined that there will be no increase 
in the regulatory burden imposed by this bill.

                   VIII. Section-by-Section Analysis

                         SECTION 1. SHORT TITLE

    This section of the bill cites the title of this Act, ``the 
Assistive Technology Act of 1998''.

                    section 2. findings and purposes

2(a). Findings

    In subsection (a) Congress expresses that disability is a 
natural part of the human experience and in no way diminishes 
the right of individuals to live independently; enjoy self-
determination and make choices; benefit from an education; 
pursue meaningful careers; and enjoy full inclusion and 
integration in the economic, political, social, cultural, and 
educational mainstream of American society. Access by 
individuals with disabilities to assistive technology devices 
and services and technology based on the principles of 
universal design, and their participation in the design and 
evaluation of technology will facilitate the realization of 
such goals.

2(b). Purposes

    Subsection (b) describes the purposes of this Act: to 
assist States to maintain and improve their current statewide 
programs of technology-related assistance; to identify and 
eliminate Federal barriers to the provision of assistive 
technology devices and assistive technology services to 
individuals with disabilities; and to provide entities with 
funding for micro-loan programs to assist individuals finance 
assistive technology.

                         section 3. definitions

    This section provides the meanings of key terms in the Act. 
With the exception of a few additions, and selected 
clarifications and deletions, most definitions are taken from 
the Technology-Related Assistance for Individuals with 
Disabilities Act of 1988.

                     Title I. State Grant Programs

 section 101. continuity grants for states that received funding for a 
            limited period for technology-related assistance

101(a). Grants to States

    This subsection (a) directs the Secretary of Education to 
provide financial assistance to States that have received less 
than 10 years of funding under the Technology-Related 
Assistance for Individuals with Disabilities Act of 1988.

101(b). Use of funds

    Subsection (b) describes the mandatory and discretionary 
activities that a State that receives financial assistance 
through this section is to undertake.
    Mandatory activities. Paragraph (2) describes the mandatory 
activities that a State, which receives funding under this 
section, must carry out: (1) a public awareness program, 
designed to provide information relating to the availability 
and benefits of assistive technology devices and assistive 
technology services; (2) interagency coordination that, through 
appropriate policies, improves access to assistive technology 
devices and assistive technology services to individuals with 
disabilities and results in improved coordination among public 
and private entities that are or could be responsible for 
policies, procedures, funding, or the provision of assistive 
technology devices and assistive technology services to these 
individuals; (3) technical assistance and training that promote 
access to assistive technology devices and assistive technology 
services to individuals with disabilities; and (4) outreach 
activities that support statewide and community-based 
organizations to assist individuals with disabilities, 
especially the elderly and rural populations, use assistive 
technology devices and assistive technology services.
    Discretionary activities. Paragraph (3) describes 
discretionary activities that a State, which receives funding 
under this section, may undertake: (1) alternative State-
financed systems that increase access to, and funding for, 
assistive technology; (2) demonstrations of assistive 
technology devices; (3) assistance to individuals with 
disabilities related to securing assistive technology devices 
and assistive technology services; (4) a system for public 
access to information concerning an activity carried out under 
another paragraph of this subsection; (5) cooperative 
agreements with other States to expand the capacity of the 
States involved to assist individuals with disabilities of all 
ages to learn about, acquire, use, maintain, adapt, and upgrade 
assistive technology devices and assistive technology services 
or to operate or participate in a computer system through which 
the State may electronically communicate with other States to 
gain technical assistance in a timely fashion and to avoid the 
duplication of efforts already undertaken in other States; (6) 
partnerships and cooperative initiatives between the public 
sector and the private sector to promote greater participation 
by business and industry in the development, demonstration, and 
dissemination of assistive technology devices and the ongoing 
provision of information about new products to assist 
individuals with disabilities; and (7) paying for expenses, 
including travel expenses, and services, including services of 
qualified interpreters, readers, and personal care assistants, 
that may be necessary to ensure access to the comprehensive 
statewide program of technology-related assistance by 
individuals with disabilities who are determined by the State 
to be in financial need and not eligible for such services 
through another public agency or private entity.

101(c). Amount of financial assistance

    Subsection (c) describes payments to States and outlying 
areas. States are to receive funding on the same basis as if 
funded under the Technology-Related Assistance for Individuals 
with Disabilities Act. A grant to any outlying areas is not to 
exceed $105,000 in a fiscal year.

101(d). The lead agency

    Subsection (d) describes the criteria and conditions that 
apply to the appointment and termination of a lead agency and 
the functions of the lead agency.

101(e). Application supplement

    Subsection (e) specifies that any State seeking financial 
assistance under this section shall submit an application 
supplement to the grant it initially submitted under the 
Technology-Related Assistance for Individuals with Disabilities 
Act of 1988, at a time and for a period specified by the 
Secretary, containing certain information.
    Submissions. Paragraph (1) requires the State to describe 
the goals the State has set; how the State will measure whether 
the goals set by the State have been achieved; how individuals 
with disabilities of all ages and their families were involved 
in--selecting the State's goals, the activities to be 
undertaken in achieving the goals, and the measures to be used 
in judging if the State's goals have been achieved; and how 
these individuals will be involved in assessing if the State's 
goals have been achieved. Paragraph (1) also addresses how the 
Governor may redesignate the lead agency.
    Interim status of State obligations. Paragraph (2) 
addresses the time period to be covered by the supplement.
    Continuing obligations. Paragraph (3) requires that each 
State awarded funds under this section shall continue to abide 
by the assurances it gave in its initial application submitted 
under the Technology-Related Assistance for Individuals with 
Disabilities Act of 1988 and continue to comply with reporting 
requirements under that Act.
    Duration of application supplement. Paragraph (4) describes 
the Secretary's responsibilities with regard and limitations 
that apply to the duration of application supplements.

101(f). Options related to funding for fiscal years 1999 through 2004

    Extensions. Paragraph (1) specifies that, for a State that 
completes 10 years of funding under the Technology-Related 
Assistance for Individuals with Disabilities Act of 1988 in 
fiscal year 1998, the Secretary has the discretion to award a 
one-year extension for fiscal year 1999 to such a State if the 
State submits an application supplement and meets other related 
requirements of a State seeking financial assistance under this 
section. A State to which a one-year extension is granted, 
shall receive in fiscal year 1999 an amount equivalent that 
which it received in fiscal year 1998 under the Technology-
Related Assistance for Individuals with Disabilities Act of 
1988.
    Challenge grants. Paragraph (2) states that, one time only, 
in fiscal year 2000, any State eligible to receive funds under 
this section may opt to meet the conditions of and receive 
funding under section 102 in lieu of continuing to receive 
funding and meeting conditions under section 101. No State may 
receive funds under this section and section 102 for a fiscal 
year.

               section 102. state challenge grant program

102(a) Grants to States

    Subsection (a) specifies that the Secretary shall provide 
assistance to States for a period of five years to maintain and 
improve consumer-responsive comprehensive statewide programs of 
technology-related assistance for individuals with disabilities 
in accordance with the provisions of this section.

102(b) Use of funds

    Subsection (b) describes the mandatory activities that 
State that receives a grant under this section must undertake.
    Mandatory activities. Paragraph (2) describes that such 
activities must include: (1) interagency coordination that, 
through appropriate policies, improves access to assistive 
technology devices and assistive technology services to 
individuals with disabilities and results in improved 
coordination among public and private entities that are or 
could be responsible for policies, procedures, funding, or the 
provision of assistive technology devices and assistive 
technology services to these individuals; (2) the continuation 
and enhancement of a statewide information and referral system, 
including an accessible Website with linkages to other 
appropriate sites, such as the National Public Internet Site, 
for individuals with disabilities and service providers; (3) a 
public awareness program, designed to provide information 
relating to the availability and benefits of assistive 
technology devices and assistive technology services; (4) 
capacity building and advocacy activities and technical 
assistance and training that promote access to assistive 
technology devices and assistive technology services to 
individuals with disabilities; and (5) outreach activities that 
support statewide and community-based organizations to assist 
individuals with disabilities use assistive technology devices 
and assistive technology services.
    Discretionary activities. Paragraph (3) allows a State 
funded under this section to carry out additional activities 
authorized under the Technology-Related Assistance for 
Individuals with Disabilities Act, or other activities 
identified by the State or the Secretary, to which the 
Secretary gives approval.

102(c). Amount of financial assistance

    Subsection (c) describes payments to States and outlying 
areas. Each State shall receive at least $500,000 in a fiscal 
year. Remaining funds are to be distributed as follows: 80 
percent allotted to a State based on its population in 
relationship to other State populations and 20 percent in equal 
shares to States with a population density that is not more 
than 10 percent greater than the national population density 
according to the most recent census. A grant to any outlying 
area is not to exceed $105,000 in a fiscal year.

102(d). State technology plan

    Subsection (d) requires that any State that desires to 
receive a grant under this section shall submit a plan that 
contains certain information and assurances.
    Designation of a public agency and State Assistive 
Technology Office. Paragraph (1)requires a designation by the 
Governor and description of the public agency responsible for 
controlling the funds for carrying out activities funded under this 
section; requires a designation of the entity that is to be the State 
Assistive Technology Office (or Program) for carrying out activities 
under this section, if such entity is different than the public agency; 
and also specifies that the office perform certain functions.
    Involvement of entities and targeted individuals in the 
development and implementation of the grant. Paragraph (2) 
requires a description of the nature and extent of involvement 
of various public and private entities in the preparation and 
the planned implementation of the grant and description of how 
targeted individuals, especially individuals who use assistive 
technology, were involved in the development and planned 
implementation of the grant.
    Advisory group. Paragraph (3) requires a description of an 
advisory group of targeted individuals, a majority of whom are 
individuals with disabilities and parents of such individuals, 
who assist the State Assistive Technology Office, to identify 
the unmet assistive technology needs of individuals with 
disabilities, and assist the Office to decide how the assistive 
technology needs of such individuals will be addressed by the 
State.
    Needs assessment. Paragraph (4) requires a description and 
the results of a needs assessment from which the goals 
described in paragraph (7) were derived.
    State resources. Paragraph (5) requires a description of 
State resources and other resources that are available to 
commit to the maintenance of a consumer-responsive 
comprehensive statewide program of technology-related 
assistance.
    Electronic and information technology. Paragraph (6) 
requires an assurance that the State, and any recipient of 
funds made available to the State under this section, no later 
than fiscal year 2001, shall have procurement policies and 
procedures in place that are consistent with the intent, 
complaint procedures, and standards under section 508 of the 
Rehabilitation Act.
    Goals and activities. Paragraph (7) requires a description 
of the goals the State has set, how the State will measure 
whether the goals set by the State have been achieved, how 
individuals with disabilities of all ages and their families--
were involved in selecting the State's goals, the activities to 
be undertaken in achieving the goals, and the measures to be 
used in judging if the State's goals have been achieved; and 
how these individuals will be involved in determining if the 
State's goals were met.
    Annual assessment. Paragraph (8) requires an assurance that 
the State will conduct an annual assessment of the consumer-
responsive comprehensive statewide program of technology-
related assistance, in order to determine the extent to which 
the State's goals under paragraph (7), have been achieved; and 
the areas of need that require attention in the next year.
    Data collection. Paragraph (9) requires a description of 
the data collection system used for compiling information on 
the program that is consistent with any standardized data 
collection requirements specified by the Secretary.
    Use of grant funds. Paragraph (10) requires an assurance 
that amounts received under the grant will be expended in 
accordance with the provisions of this section.
    Supplement other funds. An assurance that amounts received 
under the grant will be used to supplement, and not supplant, 
amounts available from other sources that are expended for 
technology-related assistance, including the provision of 
assistive technology devices and assistive technology services; 
and will not be used to pay a financial obligation for 
technology-related assistance (including the provision of 
assistive technology devices or assistive technology services) 
that would have been paid with amounts available from other 
sources if amounts under the grant had not been available.
    Control of funds and property. Paragraph (12) requires an 
assurance that a public agency shall control and administer 
funds made available through the grant, and that a public 
agency shall hold title to and either the agency or an 
individual with a disability control property purchased with 
grant funds.
    Reports. Paragraph (13) requires an assurance that the 
State will prepare reports to the Secretary in such form and 
containing such information as the Secretary may require to 
carry out the Secretary's functions under this section; and 
keep such records and allow access to such records as the 
Secretary may require to ensure the correctness and 
verification of information provided to the Secretary under 
this paragraph.
    Commingling of funds. Paragraph (14) requires an assurance 
that amounts received under the grant will not be commingled 
with State or other funds. The term ``commingling'' shall not 
be construed to prevent, subject to documentation satisfactory 
to the Secretary, pooling of amounts received under the grant 
with other public or private funds to achieve a goal specified 
in the grant.
    Fiscal control and accounting procedures. Paragraph (15) 
requires an assurance that the State will adopt such fiscal 
control and accounting procedures as may be necessary to ensure 
proper disbursement of and accounting for amounts received 
under the grant.
    Availability of information. Paragraph (16) requires an 
assurance that the State will make available to individuals 
with disabilities and their family members, guardians, 
advocates, or authorized representatives information concerning 
technology-related assistance in a form that will allow such 
individuals to effectively use such information.
    Authority to use funds. Paragraph (17) requires an 
assurance that the State Assistive Technology Office will have 
the authority to use funds made available through a grant made 
under this section.
    Training activities. Paragraph (18) requires an assurance 
that the State will develop and implement strategies for 
including personnel training regarding assistive technology 
within other Federally-funded and State-funded training 
initiatives to enhance assistive technology skills and 
competencies of such personnel.
    Limit on indirect costs. Paragraph (19) requires an 
assurance that the percentage of the funds received under the 
grant that is used for indirect costs shall not exceed 10 
percent.
    Coordination with State councils. Paragraph (20) requires 
an assurance that the State Assistive Technology Office will 
coordinate the activities funded through a grant made under 
this section with the activities carried out by other councils 
within the State.
    Other information and assurances. Paragraph (21) requires 
an assurance that the State will provide such other information 
and assurances as the Secretary may reasonably require.

102(e). Progress reports

    Subsection (e) requires each State that receives a grant 
under this section to submit annually to the Secretary a report 
that documents progress in meeting its goals described 
inparagraph (7) and maintaining a consumer-responsive comprehensive 
statewide program of technology-related assistance.

 SECTION 103. SUPPLEMENTARY MILLENNIUM GRANTS TO STATES FOR STATE AND 
                        LOCAL CAPACITY BUILDING

103(a). Grants to States

    Subsection (a) describes a competitive grant program 
through which the Secretary shall make awards, for up to 5 
years, to successful States to: (1) undertake Statewide 
capacity building activities, in collaboration with other 
public or private partners, to expand the capacity of the State 
to address the unmet assistive technology needs of individuals 
with disabilities; or (2) undertake local capacity building, 
through a competitive subgrant process or other mechanism, so 
that local entities may address unmet needs for assistive 
technology and assistive technology services.

103(b). Statewide capacity building activities

    Subsection (b) specifies that the Secretary may provide 
funds to a State that submits a successful supplement to a 
grant awarded under section 102, that elects to carry out one 
or more of the following activities: (1) obtain through State 
law or other equivalent means compliance among all public 
agencies with section 508 of the Rehabilitation Act; (2) 
review, document, develop and implement a plan for enhancing 
the participation of all individuals with disabilities of the 
State, in education, employment, transportation, communication, 
and general access in ways that complement and exceed what is 
required by public and private entities under the Americans 
with Disabilities Act of 1990; (3) develop and implement 
activities for incorporating the principles of universal design 
in the construction and renovation of facilities and 
information technology and telecommunications and other 
products and services such as transportation; (4) plan and 
adopt State personnel standards or professional certification 
procedures that apply to individuals who or entities that 
provide assistive technology services; (5) conduct evaluations 
of assistive technology devices and assistive technology; or 
(6) engage in another activity, pursuant to a priority 
announced by the Secretary.

103(c). Local capacity building activities

    Subsection (c) describes the activities that a State may 
support through competitive subgrants to local entities: (1) 
creation and operation of a micro-loans and alternative 
financing programs; (2) creation and operation of equipment 
demonstrations; (3) creation and operation of equipment loan 
(both long and short term) programs; (4) creation and operation 
of an equipment recycling programs; (5) development and 
implementation of outreach and training, especially empowerment 
training; or (6) other initiatives, including model 
innovations, that meet an unmet local need related to assistive 
technology.

103(d). Amounts of supplementary grants

    Subsection (d) describes the funding conditions that apply 
to supplemental grants. Subsection (d) specifies that any State 
that successfully competes and receives a grant that exceeds 
$250,000 must make available non-Federal contributions in an 
amount not less than $1 for every $2 of the amount of grant 
funds that exceed $250,000.

103(e). Applications

    Subsection (e) describes the information and assurances 
associated with supplemental grants.
    Partners. Paragraph (1) describes the information and 
assurances required with regard to grant partners.
    Targeted individuals. Paragraph (2) describes how targeted 
individuals, especially individuals with disabilities who use 
assistive technology, were involved in developing the grant and 
will be involved in grant activities.
    Data. Paragraph (3) specifies that data that affected the 
selection of the focus of the grant must be included in the 
application.
    Resources. Paragraph (4) requires a description of State 
resources and other resources that are committed to carry out 
the grant.
    Goals and activities. Paragraph (5) requires a description 
of the goals of the supplementary grant the State has set, how 
the State will measure whether the goals set by the State have 
been achieved, how individuals with disabilities of all ages 
and their families--were involved in selecting the State's 
goals, the activities to be undertaken in achieving the goals, 
and the measures to be used in judging if the State's goals 
have been achieved; and how these individuals will be involved 
in determining if the State's goals were met.
    Annual assessment. Paragraph (6) requires an assurance that 
the State will conduct an annual assessment of progress the 
extent to which the State's goals under paragraph (5), have 
been achieved; and the areas of need that require attention in 
the next year.
    Use of funds. Paragraph (7) requires an assurance that 
amounts received under the grant will be expended in accordance 
with the grant application.
    Supplement other funds. Paragraph (8) requires an assurance 
that amounts received under the grant shall be used to 
supplement and not supplant funds committed to any activity 
carried out under this grant.
    Reports. Paragraph (9) requires an assurance that the 
grantee will prepare reports to the Secretary in such form and 
containing such information as the Secretary may require to 
carry out the Secretary's functions under this section; and 
keep such records and allow access to such records as the 
Secretary may require to ensure the correctness and 
verification of information provided to the Secretary under 
this paragraph.
    Commingling of funds. Paragraph (10) requires an assurance 
that amounts received under the grant will not be commingled 
with State or other funds. The term ``commingling'' shall not 
be construed to prevent, subject to documentation satisfactory 
to the Secretary, pooling of amounts received under the grant 
with other public or private funds to achieve a goal specified 
in the grant.
    Fiscal control and accounting procedures. Paragraph (11) 
requires an assurance that the grantee will adopt such fiscal 
control and accounting procedures as may be necessary to ensure 
proper disbursement of and accounting for amounts received 
under the grant.
    Authority to use funds. Paragraph (12) requires an 
assurance that, as specified in the supplementary grant, grant 
partners will have the authority to use funds made available 
through a grant made under this section.
    Limit on indirect costs. Paragraph (13) requires an 
assurance that the percentage of the funds received under the 
grant that is used for indirect costs shall not exceed 10 
percent.
    Other information and assurances. Paragraph (14) specifies 
that the Secretary may reasonably require other information and 
assurances.

103(f). Submissions

    Joint submissions. Paragraph (1) specifies that State may 
submit an application for funding of activities under this 
section when the State submits its State technology plan under 
section 102.
    Separate information. Paragraph (2) requires that such a 
joint submission must distinguish between challenge grant and 
millennium grant activities and include a budget that 
separately reflects proposed expenditures for challenge and 
millennium grant activities for each fiscal year involved.

103(g). Progress reports

    Subsection (g) specifies that a State that receives a 
supplementary grant and any other State or entity that receives 
a grant under this section shall submit annually to the 
Secretary a report that documents progress in meeting its goals 
described in subsection (e)(5), and any other information the 
Secretary may reasonably require.

   SECTION 104. STATE GRANTS FOR PROTECTION AND ADVOCACY RELATED TO 
                          ASSISTIVE TECHNOLOGY

104(a). Grants to States

    Subsection (a) requires the Secretary to provide financial 
assistance for a period of 6 years to an entity in each State 
to support protection and advocacy services to assist 
individuals with disabilities in the acquisition, utilization, 
or maintenance of assistive technology or assistive technology 
services.

104(b). Amount of financial assistance

    Subsection (b) describes how grant funds shall be 
determined. Subsection (b) specifies that the minimum grant 
amount shall be $50,000 for States and $30,000 for outlying 
areas.

104(c). Report to Secretary

    Subsection (c) requires an entity that receives a grant 
under this section to prepare an annual report and submit it to 
the Secretary.

104(d). Reports and updates to State agencies

    Subsection (d) requires an entity that receives a grant 
under this section to submit, to the lead agency if the State 
is operating a grant under section 101 or to the State 
Assistive Technology Office if the State is operating a grant 
under section 102, the report it submits to the Secretary in 
subsection (c) of this section and quarterly updates of the 
activities described in subsection (c) of this section.

104(e). Coordination

    Subsection (e) requires that the Secretary, upon making a 
grant under this section, to solicit and consider the opinions 
of the lead agency of the State, or the State Assistive 
Technology Office, as appropriate, with respect to efforts at 
coordination, collaboration, and outcomes between the lead 
agency or the State Assistive Technology Office, if they are 
separate entities, and the entity funded under this section.

                 SECTION 105. ADMINISTRATIVE PROVISIONS

105(a). Review of participating entities

    In general. Paragraph (1) specifies that the Secretary 
shall assess the extent to which entities that receive grants 
pursuant to this Act are complying with the applicable 
requirements of this Act and achieving the goals that are 
consistent with the requirements of the grant program under 
which the entities applied for Federal financial assistance.
    Onsite visits of States receiving certain grants. Paragraph 
(2) specifies that the Secretary shall conduct, upon the 
Secretary's determination, an onsite visit of certain grantees 
and the timing of such visits.
    Advance public notice. Paragraph (3) specifies that the 
Secretary shall provide advance public notice of the onsite 
visit and solicit public comment through such notice from 
targeted individuals, regarding State goals and related 
activities to achieve such goals funded through a grant made 
under section 102.
    Minimum requirements. Paragraph (4) specifies that at a 
minimum the visits shall allow the Secretary to determine the 
extent to which the State is making progress in meeting its 
identified goals and maintaining a consumer-responsive 
comprehensive statewide program of technology-related 
assistance consistent with the purposes described in section 
2(b)(1).
    Provision of information. Paragraph (5) specifies that to 
assist the Secretary in carrying out the responsibilities of 
the Secretary under this section, the Secretary may require 
States toprovide relevant information.

105(b). Corrective action and sanctions

    Corrective action. Paragraph (1) specifies that if the 
Secretary determines that an entity fails to substantially 
comply with the requirements of this Act, the Secretary shall 
assist the entity through a technical assistance entity funded 
under section 106 or some other means, within 90 days of such 
determination, to develop a corrective action plan.
    Sanctions. Paragraph (2) specifies that an entity that 
fails to develop a corrective action plan as described in 
paragraph (1) shall be subject to one of several corrective 
actions selected by the Secretary.
    Appeals procedures. Paragraph (3) requires the Secretary to 
establish appeals procedures for entities that are found in 
noncompliance with the requirements of this Act.

105(c). Annual report

    In general. Paragraph (1) requires that, not later than 
December 31 of each year, the Secretary shall prepare, and 
submit to the President and to the Congress, a report on the 
program activities funded under this Act, to improve the access 
of individuals with disabilities to assistive technology 
devices and assistive technology services.
    Contents. Paragraph (2) describes the contents of the 
report.
    Availability of assistive technology devices and assistive 
technology services. Paragraph (3) requires as soon as 
practicable, the Secretary shall include in the annual report 
required by this subsection information on the availability of 
assistive technology devices and assistive technology services. 
If the Secretary determines that a national classification 
system for assistive technology devices and assistive 
technology services has been developed as authorized in section 
216, the Secretary shall present such information in the report 
in a manner consistent with such a national classification 
system.

105(d). Effect on other assistance

    Subsection (d) specifies that this title may not be 
construed as authorizing a Federal or a State agency to reduce 
medical or other assistance available or to alter eligibility 
under any other Federal law.

               SECTION 106. TECHNICAL ASSISTANCE PROGRAM

106(a). In general

    Subsection (a) specifies that, through grants, contracts, 
or cooperative agreements, awarded on a competitive basis, the 
Secretary is authorized to fund a technical assistance program 
to assist entities, principally entities funded under sections 
101 through 104 of this title.

106(b). Input

    In designing the program to be funded under this section, 
and in deciding the division of labor between national and 
regionally-based technical assistance efforts, the Secretary 
shall consider the input from individuals with disabilities and 
specific entities funded under this title.

106(c). Scope of technical assistance

    National Public Internet Site. Paragraph (1) requires the 
Secretary to fund the establishment and maintenance of a 
National Public Internet Site that provides information about 
assistive technology. The entity selected to operate this site 
must meet specific criteria.
    Technical assistance efforts. Paragraph (2) specifies that, 
through the input required in subsection (b) the Secretary 
shall provide for entities to address State-specific 
information requests concerning assistive technology from other 
entities funded under this title and public entities not funded 
under this title.

106(d). Eligible entities

    Subsection (d) describes eligible entities for grants under 
this section as those with documented experience with and 
expertise in assistive technology service delivery or systems, 
interagency coordination, capacity building and advocacy 
activities.

106(e). Application

    Subsection (e) requires that to be eligible to receive 
funds under this section an entity shall submit an application 
to the Secretary at such time, in such manner, and containing 
such information, as the Secretary may require.

              SECTION 107. AUTHORIZATION OF APPROPRIATIONS

107(a). In general

    Subsection (a) authorizes to be appropriated to carry out 
title I, $36 million in fiscal year 1999 and such sums as may 
be necessary for fiscal years 2000 through 2004.

107(b). Reservation of funds

    In general. Paragraph (1), except as provided in paragraphs 
(2) through (4), specifies that if the amount appropriated for 
a fiscal year is less than $33 million, 87.5 percent of the 
amount shall be reserved to fund grants under sections 101 and 
102; 7.9 percent shall be reserved to fund grants under section 
104; and 4.6 percent shall be reserved for activities funded 
under section 106. If the amount appropriated for a fiscal year 
is not less than $33 million and is less than $36 million, 85 
percent of the amount shall be reserved to fund grants under 
sections 101 and102; 11 percent shall be reserved to fund 
grants under section 104; and 4 percent shall be reserved for 
activities funded under section 106. If the amount appropriated for a 
fiscal year is not less than $36,000,000, 80 percent of the amount 
shall be reserved to fund grants under sections 101, 102 and (to the 
extent described in the preceding paragraph) 103; 15 percent shall be 
reserved to fund grants under section 104; and 5 percent shall be 
reserved for activities funded under section 106.
    Conditions applicable to supplementary grants. Paragraph 
(2) specifies that, beginning in fiscal year 2000 and every 
year thereafter, if the appropriation for title I exceeds 
$40,000,000, the Secretary may reserve up to 5 percent of the 
funds for title I to funds grants under section 103.
    Reservation for continuation of technical assistance 
initiatives. Paragraph (3) specifies that, in fiscal year 1999, 
the Secretary may use funds appropriated for title I to 
continue funding technical assistance initiatives funded in 
fiscal year 1998 under the Tech Act, if such initiatives would 
not have otherwise terminated in fiscal year 1999.
    Reservation for onsite visits. Paragraph (4) specifies that 
the Secretary may reserve, from amounts appropriated for any 
fiscal year under this title, such sums as the Secretary 
considers to be necessary for the purposes of conducting onsite 
visits as required by section 106(a)(2).

                     Title II--National Activities

                 Subtitle A--Rehabilitation Act of 1973

         SECTION 201. COORDINATION OF FEDERAL RESEARCH EFFORTS

    The Interagency Committee on Disability Research (``ICDR'') 
is an existing committee of Federal agencies and offices that 
conduct research related to disability, the purpose of which is 
to coordinate such efforts to increase their effectiveness. 
This section strengthens that mandate and clarifies that the 
mandate includes research related to assistive technology and 
universal design. This section also authorizes funding for 
research projects that are jointly undertaken or administered 
by ICDR members.

              SECTION 202. NATIONAL COUNCIL ON DISABILITY

    This section requires the National Council on Disability 
(``NCD'') to report to Congress by December 31, 1999, on the 
barriers in Federal assistive technology policy to increasing 
the availability of and access to assistive technology devices 
and assistive technology services for individuals with 
disabilities.

SECTION 203. ARCHITECTURAL AND TRANSPORTATION BARRIERS COMPLIANCE BOARD

    This section requires the Architectural and Transportation 
Barriers Compliance Board (``the Access Board''), beginning in 
fiscal year 2000, to provide training to Federal and State 
employees concerning section 508 of the Rehabilitation Act of 
1973 (concerning procurement of accessible electronic and 
information technology).

                 Subtitle B--Other National Activities

                 SECTION 211. SMALL BUSINESS INCENTIVES

    Subsection (b) authorizes the Secretary of Education to 
make grants to small businesses to assist them with the design, 
development, and marketing of assistive technology devices and 
assistive technology services. This subsection states that the 
grants shall be awarded and administered pursuant to the 
requirements of the existing Small Business Innovative Research 
(``SBIR'') program, but that such grants neither are to be 
added to the overall amount of research and development that 
determines the Secretary's obligations under that program, nor 
counted as part of the Secretary's satisfaction of those 
obligations.
    Subsection (c) authorizes the Secretary to make grants to 
small businesses to work with entities that are funded by the 
Secretary to evaluate and disseminate information on the 
effects of technology transfer on the lives of individuals with 
disabilities, to utilize such services to bring new assistive 
technology devices and assistive technology services to market.

         SECTION 212. TECHNOLOGY TRANSFER AND UNIVERSAL DESIGN

    Subsections (b) and (d) enhance the ability of the National 
Institute on Disability and Rehabilitation Research (``NIDRR'') 
and the Federal Laboratory Consortium (``FLC'') to work 
together to promote technology transfer that would further 
development of assistive technology and products that 
incorporate the principles of universal design.
    Subsection (c) authorizes the Secretary of Education to 
make grants or enter into contracts with commercial or other 
organizations, including institutions of higher education, to 
enable such organizations to work with the FLC to increase 
technology transfer related to assistive technology and 
universal design.

  SECTION 213. UNIVERSAL DESIGN IN PRODUCTS AND THE BUILT ENVIRONMENT

    This section authorizes the Secretary of Education to make 
grants to commercial or other organizations, including 
institutions of higher education, for the research and 
development of universal design concepts for products and the 
built environment.

                         SECTION 214. OUTREACH

    Subsection (a) authorizes the Secretary of Education to 
make grants, enter into cooperative agreements, or use other 
mechanisms, for projects designed to increase the availability 
of assistive technology for rural and impoverished urban 
populations. Subsection (b) authorizes the Secretary of 
Education to make grants, enter into cooperative agreements, or 
use other mechanisms, for projects designed to increase the 
availability of assistive technology for children and older 
individuals.

     SECTION 215. TRAINING PERTAINING TO ENGINEERS AND TECHNICIANS

    This section authorizes the Secretary of Education to make 
grants, or enter into contracts with, public and private 
organizations, including institutions of higher education, to 
help prepare students for careers in assistive technology, and 
to help rehabilitation engineering faculty. Subsection (b) 
states that the activities authorized to be funded are training 
programs for individuals employed or seeking employment in 
rehabilitation engineering, rehabilitation engineering 
conferences, and the design and development of curricular 
materials for such training and conferences.

               SECTION 216. ASSISTIVE TECHNOLOGY TAXONOMY

    This section requires the Secretary to report to Congress 
by December 31, 1999 on the benefits and obstacles to 
implementing a single assistive technology taxonomy already 
developed by the Secretary (to improve the reliability of 
information concerning assistive technology), and authorizes 
the Secretary to enter into contracts or cooperative agreements 
in studying this issue.

 SECTION 217. PRESIDENT'S COMMITTEE ON EMPLOYMENT OF INDIVIDUALS WITH 
                              DISABILITIES

    This section authorizes the President's Committee on 
Employment of People with Disabilities to work with the private 
sector to increase the private sector's voluntary participation 
in making information technology accessible to individuals with 
disabilities.

              SECTION 218. AUTHORIZATION OF APPROPRIATIONS

    This section authorizes $15 million to carry out title II 
for fiscal year 1999, and such sums as are necessary for fiscal 
years 2000 through 2004. Subsection (b) requires the Secretary 
of Education to reserve not less than--33 percent of 
appropriations to carry out section 201 (``Coordination of 
Federal Research Efforts''); 16 percent to carry out section 
211 (``Small Business Incentives''); 4 percent to carry out 
section 212 (``Technology Transfer and Universal Design''); 8 
percent to carry out section 215 (``Training Pertaining to 
Rehabilitation Engineers and Technicians''); and 10 percent to 
carry out section 217 (``President's Committee on Employment of 
People with Disabilities''). The remainder of appropriations 
are to be divided among activities authorized under title II as 
determined appropriate by the Secretary.

              Title III--Alternative Financing Mechanisms

                     SECTION 301. GENERAL AUTHORITY

    Subsection (a) requires the Secretary of Education to award 
grants to States to pay for the Federal share of the cost of 
establishing and administering a program of alternative 
financing for individuals with disabilities and their 
authorized representatives to purchase assistive technology 
devices and assistive technology services.
    Subsection (b) sets forth various types of loan and similar 
programs that may be established with funds under this section. 
Subsection (c) states that no State may receive more than one 
grant under title III. Subsection (d) states that the Federal 
share of the cost of any program under this section may not 
exceed 50 percent of the total cost.

                     SECTION 302. AMOUNT OF GRANTS

    Paragraph (a)(1) requires the Secretary of Education to 
make a grant to each outlying area of up to $105,000. Paragraph 
(a)(3) requires the Secretary to make a grant to each State of 
$500,000, with 80 percent of excess funds to be divided among 
States according to population, and 20 percent of excess funds 
to be divided equally among States with a population density 
not more than 10 percent greater than the population density of 
the United States.

                SECTION 303. APPLICATIONS AND PROCEDURES

    Subsection (b) sets forth the assurances a State must make 
to receive funds under title III, including that the State will 
provide the non-Federal share of the cost of the program, will 
continue the program on a permanent basis, will emphasize 
consumer choice and control in the program, that funds provided 
for the program will not supplant funds already available for a 
similar purpose, that various accounting and investment 
requirements will be followed in administering the program, and 
that the percentage of grant funds used for indirect costs will 
not exceed 10 percent.

       SECTION 304. CONTRACTS WITH COMMUNITY-BASED ORGANIZATIONS

    This section requires a State that receives a grant under 
title III to enter into a contract with a community-based 
organization with individuals with disabilities involved in 
organizational decision making, to administer the alternative 
financing program. This section requires the State to include 
in the contract any oversight and evaluation provisions the 
Secretary of Education deems necessary to protect Federal 
financial interests. This section requires the contract to 
require the community-based organization to enter into a 
contract with commercial lending institutions or a State 
financing agency, in administering the program.

             SECTION 305. GRANTS ADMINISTRATION PROCEDURES

    This section requires a State, and any community-based 
organization that enters into a contract with a State under 
title III, to submit to the Secretary its policies and 
procedures concerning the timely review and processing of 
requests for financial assistance (including methods to 
minimize paperwork) for assistive technology, the provision of 
access to the alternative financing program to consumers 
regardless of type of disability, age, income level, location 
of residence in the State, or type of assistive technology 
requested, and consumer-controlled oversight of the alternative 
financing program.

           SECTION 306. INFORMATION AND TECHNICAL ASSISTANCE

    This section requires the Secretary of Education, directly 
or through grants, to provide information and technical 
assistance to States under title III.

                       SECTION 307. ANNUAL REPORT

    This section requires the Secretary of Education to submit 
an annual report to Congress describing the progress of each 
alternative financing program funded under title III toward 
achieving title III's objectives. This section requires the 
report to include information on the number of grant 
applications received and approved, the amount of each grant, 
the amount of matching funds provided by each State, the type 
of alternative financing mechanisms used by each State and the 
community-based organizations contracted with by each State, 
and the amount of assistance given to consumers through each 
program (broken down by various categories, including type of 
disability and type of assistance provided).

              SECTION 308. AUTHORIZATION OF APPROPRIATIONS

    This section authorizes $25 million to carry out title III 
for fiscal year 1999, and such sums as are necessary to carry 
out the title for fiscal years 2000 through 2004. This section 
requires the Secretary to reserve 2 percent of any 
appropriations to provide technical assistance to States under 
this title.

               Title IV--Repeal and Conforming Amendments

                          SECTION 401. REPEAL

    This section repeals the Technology-Related Assistance for 
Individuals with Disabilities Act of 1988.
    The remainder of this title contains various conforming 
amendments.

                      IX. Changes in Existing Law

    In compliance with rule XXVI, paragraph, 12 of the Standing 
Rules of the Senate, the following provides a print of the 
statute or the part or section thereof to be amended or 
replaced (existing law proposed to be omitted is enclosed in 
black brackets, new matter is printed in italic, existing law 
in which no change is proposed is shown in roman):

Rehabilitation Act of 1973

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *


                              definitions

    Sec. 6. For the purposes of this Act:
          (1) * * *

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *

          (3) Assistive technology device.--The term 
        ``assistive technology device'' has the meaning given 
        such term in [section 3(2) of the Technology-Related 
        Assistance for Individuals With Disabilities Act of 
        1988 (29 U.S.C. 2202(2))], section 6 of the Assistive 
        Technology Act of 1998, except that the reference in 
        such section to the term ``individuals with 
        disabilities'' shall be deemed to mean more than one 
        individual with a disability as defined in paragraph 
        (20)(A).
          (4) Assistive technology service.--The term 
        ``assistive technology service'' has the meaning given 
        such term in [section 3(3) of the Technology-Related 
        Assistance for Individuals With Disabilities Act of 
        1988 (29 U.S.C. 2202(3))] section 6 of the Assistive 
        Technology Act of 1998; except that the reference in 
        such section--

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *


                         interagency committee

    Sec. 203. (a)(1) In order to promote coordination and 
cooperation among Federal departments and agencies conducting 
rehabilitation research programs, including programs relating 
to assistive technology research and research that incorporates 
the principles of universal design, there is established within 
the Federal Government an Interagency Committee on Disability 
Research (hereinafter in this section referred to as the 
``Committee''), chaired by the Director and comprised of such 
members as the President may designate, including the following 
(or their designees): the Director, the Commissioner of the 
Rehabilitation Services Administration, the Assistant Secretary 
for Special Education and Rehabilitative Services, the 
Secretary of Education, the Secretary of Veterans Affairs, the 
Director of the National Institutes of Health, the Director of 
the National Institute of Mental Health, the Administrator of 
the National Aeronautics and Space Administration, the 
Secretary of Transportation, the Assistant Secretary of the 
Interior for Indian Affairs, the Director of the Indian Health 
Service, and the Director of the National Science Foundation.

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *

    (b)(1) After receiving input [from individuals with 
disabilities and the individuals' representatives] from 
targeted individuals, the Committee shall identify, assess, and 
seek to coordinate all Federal programs, activities, and 
projects, and plans for such programs, activities, and projects 
with respect to the conduct of research (including assistive 
technology research and research that incorporates the 
principles of universal design) related to rehabilitation of 
individuals with disabilities.
    (2) In carrying out its duties with respect to the conduct 
of Federal research (including assistive technology research 
and research that incorporates the principles of universal 
design) related to rehabilitation of individuals with 
disabilities, the Committee shall--
          (A) share information regarding the range of 
        assistive technology research, and research that 
        incorporates the principles of universal design, that 
        is being carried out by members of the Committee and 
        other Federal departments and organizations;
          (B) identify, and make efforts to address, gaps in 
        assistive technology research and research that 
        incorporates the principles of universal design that 
        are not being adequately addressed;
          (C) identify, and establish, clear research 
        priorities related to assistive technology research and 
        research that incorporates the principles of universal 
        design for the Federal Government;
          (D) promote interagency collaboration and joint 
        research activities relating to assistive technology 
        research and research that incorporates the principles 
        of universal design at the Federal level, and reduce 
        unnecessary duplication of effort regarding these types 
        of research within the Federal Government; and
          (E) optimize the productivity of Committee members 
        through resource sharing and other cost-saving 
        activities, related to assistive technology research 
        and research that incorporates the principles of 
        universal design.
    [(c) The Committee shall annually submit to the President 
and to the appropriate committees of the Congress a report 
making such recommendations as the Committee deems appropriate 
with respect to coordination of policy and development of 
objectives and priorities for all Federal programs relating to 
the conduct of research related to rehabilitation of 
individuals with disabilities.]
    (c) Not later than December 31 of each year, the Committee 
shall prepare and submit, to the President and to the Committee 
on Education and the Workforce of the House of Representatives 
and the Committee on Labor and Human Resources of the Senate, a 
report that--
          (1) describes the progress of the Committee in 
        fulfilling the duties described in subsection (b);
          (2) makes such recommendations as the Committee 
        determines to be appropriate with respect to 
        coordination of policy and development of objectives 
        and priorities for all Federal programs relating to the 
        conduct of research (including assistive technology 
        research and research that incorporates the principles 
        of universal design) related to rehabilitation of 
        individuals with disabilities; and
          (3) describes the activities that the Committee 
        recommended to be funded through grants, contracts, 
        cooperative agreements, and other mechanisms, for 
        assistive technology research and developmentand 
research and development that incorporates the principles of universal 
design.
    (d)(1) In order to promote coordination and cooperation 
among Federal departments and agencies conducting assistive 
technology research programs, to reduce duplication of effort 
among the programs, and to increase the availability of 
assistive technology for individuals with disabilities, the 
Committee may recommend activities to be funded through grants, 
contracts or cooperative agreements, or other mechanisms--
          (A) in joint research projects for assistive 
        technology research and research that incorporates the 
        principles of universal design; and
          (B) in other programs designed to promote a cohesive, 
        strategic Federal program of research described in 
        subparagraph (A).
    (2) The projects and programs described in paragraph (1) 
shall be jointly administered by at least 2 agencies or 
departments with representatives on the Committee.
    (3) In recommending activities to be funded in the projects 
and programs, the Committee shall obtain input from targeted 
individuals, and other organizations and individuals the 
Committee determines to be appropriate, concerning the 
availability and potential of technology for individuals with 
disabilities.
    (e) In this section, the terms ``assistive technology'', 
``targeted individuals'', and ``universal design'' have the 
meanings given the terms in section 3 of the Assistive 
Technology Act of 1998.

                 research and other covered activities

    Sec. 204. (a)(1) * * *

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *

                  (i) cooperate with programs established under 
                [the Technology-Related Assistance for 
                Individuals With Disabilities Act of 1988 (29 
                U.S.C. 2201 et seq.] the Assistive Technology 
                Act of 1998 and other regional and local 
                programs to provide information to individuals 
                with disabilities and the individuals' 
                representative to--

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *

                  (i) cooperate with State agencies and other 
                local, State, regional, and national programs 
                and organizations developing or delivering 
                rehabilitation technology, including State 
                programs funded under [the Technology-Related 
                Assistance for Individuals With Disabilities 
                Act of 1988 (29 U.S.C 2201 et seq.] the 
                Assistive Technology Act of 1998); and

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *


                       duties of national council

    Sec. 401. (a) The National Council shall--

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *

    (c)(1) Not later than December 31, 1999, the Council shall 
prepare a report describing the barriers in Federal assistive 
technology policy to increasing the availability of and access 
to assistive technology devices and assistive technology 
services for individuals with disabilities.
    (2) In preparing the report, the Council shall obtain input 
from the National Institute on Disability and Rehabilitation 
Research and the Association of Tech Act Projects, and from 
targeted individuals, as defined in section 3 of the Assistive 
Technology Act of 1998.
    (3) The Council shall submit the report, along with such 
recommendations as the Council determines to be appropriate, to 
the Committee on Labor and Human Resources of the Senate and 
the Committee on Education and the Workforce of the House of 
Representatives.

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *


       architectural and transportation barriers compliance board

    Sec. 502. (a)(1) * * *

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *

    (d) Beginning in fiscal year 2000, the Access Board, after 
consultation with the Secretary, representatives of such public 
and private entities as the Access Board determines to be 
appropriate (including the electronic and information 
technology industry), targeted individuals (as defined in 
section 3 of the Assistive Technology Act of 1998), and State 
information technology officers, shall provide training for 
Federal and State employees on any obligations related to 
section 508 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973.
    [(d)](e)(1) The Access Board shall conduct investigations, 
hold public hearings, and issue such orders as it deems 
necessary to ensure compliance with the provisions of the Acts 
cited in subsection (b). Except as provided in paragraph (3) of 
[subsection (e)] subsection (f), the provisions of subchapter 
II of chapter 5, and chapter 7 of title 5, United States Code, 
shall apply to procedures under this subsection, and an order 
of compliance issued by the Access Board shall be a final order 
for purposes of judicial review. Any such order affecting any 
Federal department, agency, or instrumentality of the United 
States shall be final and binding on such department, agency, 
or instrumentality. An order of compliance may include the 
withholding or suspension of Federal funds with respect to any 
building or public conveyance or rolling stock found not to be 
in compliance with standards enforced under this section. 
Pursuant to chapter 7 of title 5, United States Code, any 
complainant or participant in a proceeding under this 
subsection may obtain review of a final order issued in such 
proceeding.

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *

    [(e)](f)(1) There shall be appointed by the Access Board an 
executive director and such other professional and clerical 
personnel as are necessary to carry out its functions under 
this Act. The Access Board is authorized to appoint as many 
hearing examiners as are necessary for proceedings required to 
be conducted under this section. The provisions applicable to 
hearing examiners appointed under section 3105 of title 5, 
United States Code, shall apply to hearing examiners appointed 
under this subsection.

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *

    [(f)](g)(1)(A) In carrying out the technical assistance 
responsibilities of the Access Board under this section, the 
Board may enter into an interagency agreement with another 
Federal department or agency.

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *

    [(g)](h)(1) The Access Board shall, at the end of each 
fiscal year, report its activities during the preceding fiscal 
year to the Congress. Such report shall include an assessment 
of the extent of compliance with the Acts cited in subsection 
(b) of this section, along with a description and analysis of 
investigations made and actions taken by the Access Board, and 
the reports and recommendations described in paragraphs (8) and 
(9) of such subsection.

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *

    [(h)](i)(1) The Access Board may make grants to, or enter 
into contracts with, public or private organizations to carry 
out its duties under subsections (b) and (c).

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *

    [(i)](j) There are authorized to be appropriated for the 
purpose of carrying out the duties and functions of the Access 
Board under this section such sums as may be necessary for each 
of the fiscal years 1999 through 2003.

                      secretarial responsibilities

    Sec. 506. (a) * * *

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *

    (c) The Secretary, with the concurrence of the Access Board 
and the President, may provide, directly or by contract, 
financial assistance to any public or nonprofit agency, 
institution, or organization for the purpose of removing 
architectural, transportation, and communication barriers. No 
assistance may be provided under this subsection until a study 
demonstrating the need for such assistance has been conducted 
and submitted under [section 502(h)(1)] section 502(i)(1)

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *


              protection and advocacy of individual rights

    Sec. 509. (a) Purpose and Construction.--
          (1) Purpose.--* * *

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *

          (2) Construction.--This section shall not be 
        construed to require the provision of protection and 
        advocacy services that can be provided under [the 
        Technology-Related Assistance for Individuals With 
        Disabilities Act of 1988 (42 U.S.C. 2201 et seq.)] the 
        Assistive Technology Act of 1998.

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *


Stevenson-Wydler Technology Innovation Act of 1980

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *


    (e) Establishment of Federal Laboratory Consortium for 
Technology Transfer.--(1) There is hereby established the 
Federal Laboratory Consortium for Technology Transfer 
(hereinafter referred to as the ``Consortium'') which, in 
cooperation with Federal Laboratories and the private sector, 
shall--
          (A) * * *

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *

          (I) when requested, assist colleges or universities, 
        businesses, nonprofit organizations, State or local 
        governments, or regional organizations to establish 
        programs to stimulate research and to encourage 
        technology transfer in such areas as technology program 
        development, curriculum design, long-term research 
        planning, personnel needs projections, and productivity 
        assessments[; and] ;
          (J) seek advice in each Federal laboratory consortium 
        region from representatives of State and local 
        governments, large and small business, universities, 
        and other appropriate persons on the effectiveness of 
        the program (and any such advice shall be provided at 
        no expense to the Government)[.] ; and
          (K) work with the Director of the National Institute 
        on Disability and Rehabilitation Research to compile a 
        compendium of current and projected Federal Laboratory 
        technologies and projects that have or will have an 
        intended or recognized impact on the available range of 
        assistive technology for individuals with disabilities 
        (as defined in section 3 of the Assistive Technology 
        Act of 1998), including technologies and projects that 
        incorporate the principles of universal design (as 
        defined in section 3 of such Act), as appropriate.

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *


Technology-Related Assistance for Individuals With Disabilities Act of 
                                  1988

    [The Technology-Related Assistance for Individuals With 
Disabilities Act of 1988 is repealed.]

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *