National Institute on Disability, Independent Living, and Rehabilitation Research
Establishment; Director as principal officer
There is established within the Administration for Community Living of the Department of Health and Human Services a National Institute on Disability, Independent Living, and Rehabilitation Research (referred to in this subchapter as the “Institute”), which shall be headed by a Director (hereinafter in this subchapter referred to as the “Director”), in order to—
promote, coordinate, and provide for—
demonstration projects, training, and technical assistance;
outreach and information that clarifies research implications for policy and practice; and
with respect to individuals with disabilities;
more effectively carry out activities through the programs under section 764 of this title
and activities under this section;
widely disseminate information from the activities described in subparagraphs (A) and (B); and
provide leadership in advancing the quality of life of individuals with disabilities.
In the performance of the functions of the office, the Director shall be directly responsible to the Administrator for the Administration for Community Living of the Department of Health and Human Services.
Duties of Director
The Director, through the Institute, shall be responsible for—
widely disseminating findings, conclusions, and recommendations, resulting from research, demonstration projects, training, and related activities (referred to in this subchapter as “covered activities”) funded by the Institute, to—
other Federal, State, tribal, and local public agencies;
private organizations engaged in research relating to—
providing rehabilitation or independent living services;
rehabilitation practitioners; and
individuals with disabilities and the individuals’ representatives;
coordinating, through the Interagency Committee established by section 763 of this title
, all Federal programs and policies relating to research on disability, independent living, and rehabilitation;
widely disseminating educational materials and research results, concerning ways to maximize the full inclusion and integration into society, employment, independent living, education, health and wellness, family support, and economic and social self-sufficiency of individuals with disabilities, to—
public and private entities, including—
institutions of higher education;
employers and organizations representing employers with respect to employment-based educational materials or research;
individuals with disabilities (especially such individuals who are members of minority groups or of populations that are unserved or underserved by programs under this chapter);
the individuals’ representatives for the individuals described in subparagraph (D); and
the Committee on Education and the Workforce of the House of Representatives, the Committee on Appropriations of the House of Representatives, the Committee on Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions of the Senate, and the Committee on Appropriations of the Senate;
conducting an education program to inform the public about ways of providing for the rehabilitation of individuals with disabilities, including information relating to—
assistive technology devices and assistive technology services; and
as part of the program, disseminating engineering information about assistive technology devices;
conducting conferences, seminars, and workshops (including in-service training programs and programs for individuals with disabilities) concerning advances in disability, independent living, and rehabilitation research and rehabilitation technology (including advances concerning the selection and use of assistive technology devices and assistive technology services), pertinent to the full inclusion and integration into society, employment, independent living, education, health and wellness, family support, and economic and social self-sufficiency of individuals with disabilities;
producing, in conjunction with the Department of Labor, the National Center for Health Statistics, the Bureau of the Census, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, the Social Security Administration, the Bureau of Indian Affairs, the Indian Health Service, and other Federal departments and agencies, as may be appropriate, statistical reports and studies on the employment, self-employment, telecommuting, health and wellness, income, education, and other demographic characteristics of individuals with disabilities, including information on individuals with disabilities who live in rural or inner-city settings, with particular attention given to underserved populations, and widely disseminating such reports and studies to rehabilitation professionals, individuals with disabilities, the individuals’ representatives, and others to assist in the planning, assessment, and evaluation of independent living, vocational, and rehabilitation services for individuals with disabilities;
conducting research on consumer satisfaction with independent living and vocational rehabilitation services for the purpose of identifying effective independent living and rehabilitation programs and policies that promote the independence of individuals with disabilities and achievement of long-term independent living and employment goals;
conducting research to examine the relationship between the provision of specific services and successful, sustained employment outcomes, including employment outcomes involving self-employment, supported employment (including customized employment), and telecommuting; and
coordinating activities with the Attorney General regarding the provision of information, training, or technical assistance regarding the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 (42 U.S.C. 12101
et seq.) to ensure consistency with the plan for technical assistance required under section 506
See References in Text note below.
of such Act (42 U.S.C. 12206
Development and dissemination of models
The Director, acting through the Institute or one or more entities funded by the Institute, shall provide for the development and dissemination of models to address consumer-driven information needs related to assistive technology devices and assistive technology services.
The development and dissemination of models may include—
convening groups of individuals with disabilities, family members and advocates of such individuals, commercial producers of assistive technology, and entities funded by the Institute to develop, assess, and disseminate knowledge about information needs related to assistive technology;
identifying the types of information regarding assistive technology devices and assistive technology services that individuals with disabilities find especially useful;
evaluating current models, and developing new models, for transmitting the information described in subparagraph (B) to consumers and to commercial producers of assistive technology; and
disseminating through one or more entities funded by the Institute, the models described in subparagraph (C) and findings regarding the information described in subparagraph (B) to consumers and commercial producers of assistive technology.
Appointment of Director; employment of technical and professional personnel; consultants
The Director of the Institute shall be appointed by the Secretary. The Director shall be an individual with substantial knowledge of and experience in independent living, rehabilitation, and research administration.
The Director, subject to the approval of the President, may appoint, for terms not to exceed three years, without regard to the provisions of title 5 governing appointment in the competitive service, and may compensate, without regard to the provisions of chapter 51 and subchapter III of chapter 53 of such title relating to classification and General Schedule pay rates, such technical and professional employees of the Institute as the Director determines to be necessary to accomplish the functions of the Institute and also appoint and compensate without regard to such provisions, in a number not to exceed one-fifth of the number of full-time, regular technical and professional employees of the Institute.
The Director may obtain the services of consultants, without regard to the provisions of title 5 governing appointments in the competitive service.
The Director, pursuant to regulations which the Secretary shall prescribe, may establish and maintain fellowships with such stipends and allowances, including travel and subsistence expenses provided for under title 5, as the Director considers necessary to procure the assistance of highly qualified research fellows, including individuals with disabilities, from the United States and foreign countries.
Scientific peer review of research, training, and demonstration projects
The Director shall provide for scientific peer review of all applications for financial assistance for research, training, and demonstration projects over which the Director has authority. The scientific peer review shall be conducted by individuals who are not Department of Health and Human Services employees. The Secretary shall consider for peer review individuals who are scientists or other experts in disability, independent living, and rehabilitation, including individuals with disabilities and the individuals’ representatives, and who have sufficient expertise to review the projects.
In providing for such scientific peer review, the Secretary shall provide for training, as necessary and appropriate, to facilitate the effective participation of those individuals selected to participate in such review.
Cooperation and consultation with other agencies and departments on design of research programs
In order to promote cooperation among Federal departments and agencies conducting research programs, the Director shall consult with the administrators of such programs, and with the Interagency Committee established by section 763 of this title, regarding the design of research projects conducted by such entities and the results and applications of such research.
Grants for training
The Director shall make grants to institutions of higher education for the training of independent living and rehabilitation researchers, including individuals with disabilities and traditionally underserved populations of individuals with disabilities, as described in section 718 of this title
, with particular attention to research areas that—
support the implementation and objectives of this chapter; and
improve the effectiveness of services authorized under this chapter.
Not later than December 31 of each year, the Director shall prepare, and submit to the Secretary, the Committee on Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions of the Senate, and the Committee on Education and the Workforce of the House of Representatives, a report on the activities funded under this subchapter.
The report under paragraph (1) shall include—
a compilation and summary of the information provided by recipients of funding for such activities under this subchapter;
a summary describing the funding received under this subchapter and the progress of the recipients of the funding in achieving the measurable goals described in section 764(d)(2) of this title
a summary of implications of research outcomes on practice.
[Pub. L. 93–112, title II, § 202], as added [Pub. L. 105–220, title IV, § 405], Aug. 7, 1998, [112 Stat. 1168]; amended [Pub. L. 105–277, div. A, § 101(f) [title VIII, § 401(16)]], Oct. 21, 1998, [112 Stat. 2681–337], 2681–412; [Pub. L. 106–402, title IV, § 401(b)(3)(B)], Oct. 30, 2000, [114 Stat. 1737]; [Pub. L. 107–110, title X, § 1076(u)(1)], Jan. 8, 2002, [115 Stat. 2092]; [Pub. L. 108–173, title IX, § 900(e)(6)(A)], Dec. 8, 2003, [117 Stat. 2373]; [Pub. L. 113–128, title IV, § 433], July 22, 2014, [128 Stat. 1661]; [Pub. L. 114–95, title IX, § 9215(mmm)(1)], Dec. 10, 2015, [129 Stat. 2188].)