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Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Effective Communication for People with Disabilities: Before, During, and After Emergencies

From the National Council on Disabilities

http://www.ncd.gov/newsroom/research/Effective_Communication_Pre-solicitation_Notice

Overview Information

Notice of Funding Opportunity
NCD-01-12
February 8, 2012 – Announcement of Funding Opportunity for a Cooperative Agreement

Authority:  Section 401, Title IV of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, as amended.

Application materials are available at: ncd.gov and grants.gov

You may also request application materials by writing to:

Robyn Powell
Attorney Advisor
National Council on Disability
1331 F Street, NW Suite 850
Washington, DC  20004 or by e-mail request: rpowell@ncd.gov

Full Proposal Deadline(s) (due by 5:00 p.m. local time): March 8, 2012

Late applications will not be considered.

Deliver all materials to:
National Council on Disability
1331 F Street, NW, Suite 850
Washington, DC   20004
ATTN: Robyn Powell

Maximum amount available for this project:  $50,000.00
All potential applicants are eligible to apply
Cost sharing is not required
The estimated period of performance is 10 months.

Project Summary

The National Council on Disability is interested in evaluating effective communication for Americans with disabilities before, during, and after emergencies.
Since 2005, NCD has noted in multiple publications the need for research and evidence-based knowledge to support national efforts on emergency management and disability.  As a result of this work, NCD was given responsibilities regarding emergency management in the Post-Katrina Emergency Reform Act (PKEMRA).  As part of these responsibilities, NCD recently participated in two events that illustrated the need to place additional emphasis on effective communication.  In September 2011, NCD held an all-day meeting with FEMA's Regional Disability Integration Specialists, where the agencies discussed the current state of emergency management as well as barriers and facilitators to the inclusion of people with disabilities.  Also in September 2011, NCD cosponsored FEMA's Getting Real II conference, which highlighted promising practices in inclusive emergency management.  During both meetings, issues related to effective communication were raised as a critical area needing attention.
Effective communication throughout all phases of emergency management (preparedness, response, recovery, and mitigation) must be fully accessible to all people with disabilities.  NCD is interested in examining the accessibility of communication before, during, and after emergencies for people with sensory disabilities (deaf, hard of hearing, blind, low-vision, deaf-blind, and speech disabilities) as well as people with intellectual or developmental disabilities and people with psychiatric disabilities.  NCD will document successful practices and identify facilitators and barriers to providing effective emergency-related communication.  Through this study, NCD will aim to educate emergency planners, as well as state and local officials, about how to provide effective communication to all people with disabilities before, during, and after emergencies. 
A key piece of this research will include a thorough examination of the current state of affairs concerning the accessibility of emergency-related communication.  This analysis must address all phases of emergency management and be cross-disability and demonstrate sensitivity to diversity matters/issues that can impact outreach and response.  The research must include what is occurring in this area on both the national and state level.
NCD proposes to collect information on the experiences of people with disabilities as it relates to emergency-related communication; highlight accomplishments, and determine recommendations for how emergency communication accessibility for people with disabilities can be improved.
NCD is also interested in looking at current disability laws and regulations as they pertain to effective communication before, during, and after emergencies, the enforcement of these laws and regulations, and whether further laws and/or regulations should be promulgated.
NCD hopes the information in this report will motivate and drive emergency planners to improve their ability to provide effective communication for people with disabilities.

Agency Contact:

Robyn Powell, Attorney Advisor, National Council on Disability, 1331 F Street, NW, Suite 850, Washington, DC  20004, telephone (202) 272-2008, e-mail: rpowell@ncd.gov

Award Information

Anticipated Type of Award:  Cooperative Agreement
Estimated Number of Awards: 1
Anticipated Funding Amount:  $50,000.00
Proposal Preparation and Submission Instructions
Proposals must be submitted by the following date (due by 5 p.m. submitter's local time):  March 8, 2012
Proposal Review Information
Review Criteria:  National Council on Disability approved criteria.  Please see the full text of this solicitation for further information.

Award Administration Information

Award Conditions:  Please see the full text of this solicitation for further information. 
Reporting Requirements:  Additional reporting requirements apply.  Please see the full text of this solicitation for further information.

Background Narrative:  

From earthquakes to tsunamis to tornados to hurricanes, 2011 was a year of devastating disasters in the United States and worldwide.  Again and again our nation has experienced disastrous outcomes for people with disabilities in emergencies –unnecessary separation from families; loss of independence resulting in institutionalization; inaccessible emergency transportation, communication, housing, and medical care; and death.
In the United States, there have been increasingly urgent national efforts to improve outcomes for people with disabilities in emergencies.  However, despite the increasing attention given to the access and functional needs of people with disabilities in emergency management, as well as obligations pursuant to the Americans with Disabilities Act, 42 U.S.C. § 12131 et seq. and Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act, 29 U.S.C. § 794 et seq.,effective communication before, during, and after emergencies remains an enormous and devastating barrier for many people with disabilities, particularly for people with sensory disabilities (deaf, hard of hearing, blind, low-vision, deaf-blind, and speech disabilities) as well as people with intellectual or developmental disabilities and people with psychiatric disabilities. 
Through its emergency management work, NCD has identified numerous instances of ineffective communication before, during, and after emergencies.  Such issues include, but are not limited to: 
  • Televised emergency announcements by officials not including American Sign Language interpreters
  • Inaccessible emergency notification systems
  • Inaccessible evacuation maps
  • Websites with emergency information that is not accessible to screen readers used by people who are blind or low vision
  • Shelters unable to communicate with people that are deaf or hard of hearing
  • Emergency communication in language inaccessible to people with intellectual or developmental disabilities and people with limited English proficiency
  • People with disabilities not able to contact 9-1-1 via text-based communication
Effective communication is critical and can save lives during times of emergencies.  Emergency managers must address the needs of the whole community, including people with sensory disabilities (deaf, hard of hearing, blind, low-vision, deaf-blind, and speech disabilities) as well as people with intellectual or developmental disabilities and people with psychiatric disabilities.  Planners must communicate with everyone in ways that are easy to access and understand. Planners must also use communication methods that reach everyone in the community.

Suggested Framework for Research

The National Council on Disability is interested in answering the following questions:
  • What are the current barriers to effective communication before, during, and after emergencies for people with disabilities?
  • What is the impact of emerging technology for effective communication before, during, and after emergencies for people with disabilities?  How can technology facilitate effective communication before, during, and after emergencies for people with disabilities?
  • Are broadcasters complying with current rules regarding accessibility of emergency information?  Are these rules/regulations enough or is more needed?
  • Are state and local governments complying with their effective communication legal obligations before, during, and after emergencies?
  • Are disability laws being enforced as they relate to effective communication before, during, and after emergencies for people with disabilities?
  • What promising practices have been implemented at the federal, state, and local levels to address effective communication before, during, and after emergencies?
  • What policy barriers are there in federal emergency management policy that prevents increasing the availability and access to assistive effective communication for people with disabilities?
  • Are current emergency alert systems accessible to all people with disabilities?  If not, what is being done to improve the accessibility of such systems?  Also, what are the barriers to making them fully accessible?
  • More and more states, cities, and towns are using enhanced or reverse 9-1-1 to communicate during emergencies with its residents.  Are such systems accessible to all people with disabilities?  If not, what is being done to improve the accessibility of such systems?  What are the barriers to making them fully accessible?
  • What are the cost-effective solutions to providing fully accessible effective communication before, during, and after emergencies?
In addition to answering the above questions, this study will encompass the following main areas:
  1. An in-depth understanding of the current state of affairs related to effective communication before, during, and after emergencies for people with sensory disabilities (deaf, hard of hearing, blind, low-vision, deaf-blind, and speech disabilities) as well as people with intellectual or developmental disabilities and people with psychiatric disabilities
  2. Identify and promote pomising/best practices
  3. Recommendations for improving effective communication before, during, and after emergencies for people with sensory disabilities (deaf, hard of hearing, blind, low-vision, deaf-blind, and speech disabilities) as well as people with intellectual or developmental disabilities and people with psychiatric disabilities
The report will be formatted as a standard NCD report with an executive summary. A cohesive, final report will incorporate the findings and conclusions that can be drawn from the examination and include recommendations that will advance the accessibility of effective communication before, during, and after emergencies.
Any successful proposal must demonstrate knowledge of work in this area, including the prior work of NCD, particularly NCD's Effective Emergency Management: Making Improvements for Communities and People with Disabilities and Saving Lives: Including People with Disabilities in Emergency Planning reports, and propose a plan for building on existing work so as to produce new information and not duplicate work already accomplished.

Conclusion

This study will culminate in a final report which will incorporate the findings and conclusions that can be drawn from the examination, and include recommendations that will advance the accessibility of communication before, during, and after emergencies.
The deliverables for this project will include:
  • A detailed preliminary framing paper and outline of the final report
  • A revised detailed framing paper and outline of the final report
  • An initial draft report incorporating the findings, conclusions, and recommendations that can be drawn from the examination
  • A second draft report which will which will incorporate the findings, conclusions, and recommendations that can be drawn from the examination and incorporating recommended revisions derived from NCD staff, Council members, and external peer reviews
  • A final report incorporating recommended revisions derived from NCD staff, Council members, and external peer reviews.
The final report must also document the methodology, findings, and recommendations and must include a separate section containing the recommendations, organized according to the entity to which they are directed.  All assertions of fact must be substantiated in endnotes, and presented in the format of the Chicago Style Manual.
Any methodology used to obtain stakeholder input must allow for open-ended discussions between stakeholders, as opposed to soliciting answers to specific, predetermined questions.  While the use of data from existing surveys is permitted, conducting surveys or purposes of this study is strongly discouraged.  The inclusion of people with disabilities must be integral to the planning, development, and execution of this project.  The report should also reflect NCD's view that the disability community is heterogeneous, with diverse needs and perspectives, and those perspectives should be included.
The report will be formatted as a standard NCD report with an executive summary, introduction, etc.  A cohesive, final report will incorporate the findings and conclusions that can be drawn from the examination, and include recommendations that will advance the accessibility of communication before, during, and after emergencies.

Eligibility Information

All potential applicants are eligible to apply.
Cost-sharing is not required.
Other Eligibility Criteria:  Proposals that merely offer to conduct a project in accordance with the requirements of the Government's scope of work will not be eligible for award.  Proposals that do not comply with NCD's Document Access Requirements, as specified below, will not be considered for award.

Award Information

NCD expects to make 1 award with an anticipated funding amount of $50,000.

PROPOSAL PREPARATION AND SUBMISSION INSTRUCTIONS

Due Dates

Full proposals must be submitted by the following date (due by 5 p.m. submitter's local time): March 8, 2012
The proposal must be prepared in two parts: A 'Technical Proposal' and a 'Business Proposal. Each of the parts shall be separate and complete in itself so that evaluation of one may be accomplished independently of evaluation of the other. The technical proposal must not contain reference to cost; however, resource information, such as data concerning labor hours and categories, materials, subcontracts, etc., must be contained in the technical proposal so that your understanding of the scope of the work may be evaluated. It must disclose your technical approach in sufficient detail to provide a clear and concise presentation that includes, but is not limited to, the requirements of the technical proposal instructions.
The proposal must be signed by an official authorized to bind your organization. You must submit an original and 4 copies of your technical proposal and an original and 4 copies of your business proposal, including an e-mailed/electronic file copy of the technical and business proposal, to:
Robyn Powell
Attorney Advisor
National Council on Disability
1331 F Street, N.W., Suite 850
Washington, DC 20004-1107
You may, at your discretion, submit alternate proposals, or proposals which deviate from the requirements; PROVIDED, that you also submit a proposal for performance of the work, as specified in the statement of work. These proposals may be considered if overall performance would be improved or not compromised and if they are in the best interest of the Government. Alternate proposals, or deviations from any requirements of this RFP, must be clearly identified.
The Government will evaluate proposals in accordance with the evaluation criteria set forth in this request for proposals.
It is understood that your proposal will become part of the official contract file.
This solicitation does not commit the Government to pay any cost for the preparation and submission of a proposal.
To assist you in the preparation of your proposal, the Government estimates the effort to perform this contract to be as stated below. These numbers are furnished for the offeror's information only and are not considered restrictive for proposal purposes.
Labor Category            Staff Hours
1. PROFESSIONAL     1500
2. CLERICAL                300
Proposals which merely offer to conduct a program in accordance with the requirements of the Government's scope of work will not be eligible for award. You must submit an explanation of the proposed technical approach in conjunction with the tasks to be performed in achieving the project objectives.
A detailed work plan must be submitted indicating how each aspect of the statement of work is to be accomplished. Your technical approach should be in as much detail as your consider necessary to fully explain your proposed technical approach or method. The technical proposal should reflect a clear understanding of the nature of the work being undertaken.
The technical proposal must include information on how the project is to be organized, staffed, and managed. Information should be provided which will demonstrate your understanding and management of important events or tasks. You must explain how the management and coordination of consultant and/or subcontractor efforts will be accomplished.
The technical proposal must include a list of names and proposed duties of the professional personnel, consultants, and key subcontractor employees assigned to the project. Their resumes should be included and should contain information on education, background, recent experience, and specific requirement related or technical accomplishments. The approximate percentage of time each individual will be available for this project must be included. The proposed staff hours for each of the above individuals should be allocated against each task or subtask for the project.
The technical proposal must provide the general background, experience, and qualifications of the organization. Similar or related contracts, subcontracts, or grants should be included and contain the name of the customer, contract or grant number, dollar amount, time of performance, and the names and telephone numbers of the contracting officer's technical representative or project officer and contracting/grants officer.
The technical proposal must contain a discussion of present or proposed facilities and equipment which will be used in the performance of the contract.

The technical proposal must be prepared and submitted in the following format:

1. Abstract (no more than 2 pages)
A two-page summary shall be provided abstracting the proposal contents (e.g., objectives, activities, expected outcomes) in language understandable to an informed layperson. The narrative should be limited to no more than 250 words.
2. Table of Contents
3. Introduction (no more than 20 pages)
Offerors shall summarize, in their own words, the purposes and objectives of the project to demonstrate their complete understanding of NCD's intent and requirements. This section also should contain a specific statement of any interpretations, questions, qualifications, limitations, deviations, or exceptions to the Solicitation's scope of work and the extent to which the offeror's proposal can be expected to meet the requirements set forth in the scope of work.
4. Procedural Plan (no more than 40 pages)
This section shall fully describe the theoretical and technical approaches the offeror will employ in complying with each task in the scope of work. While a general statement of strategy is appropriate, the offeror shall be specific in describing the manner in which the overall review will be conducted, and the intended approach to the design.
5. Management Plan and Schedule (no more than 15 pages)
The management plan shall show the feasibility of implementing the offeror's resources. The offeror shall present a time chart that specifies the amount of time (in person days) each staff member will commit to implementing each task. The plan shall present a clear description of the working relationships among personnel. Finally, the plan shall contain a method for insuring the timely and successful completion of each work task.
6. Personnel
Personnel with major responsibilities shall be listed by name, title, position, academic background, relevant experience, responsibilities with the project, and the extent to which this commitment is assured. This section should include specific time commitments of staff to other projects, both Federal and non-Federal. Consultants who have agreed to serve on the project should be similarly identified and assurances of their commitment included. The Project Director shall be committed for no less than approximately 60 percent of the contract. Vitae for all principal personnel, including consultants, should be appended to the proposal. Each curriculum vitae should be limited to not more than two (2) pages and should emphasize areas of experience directly relevant to this work statement.
7. Organization Experience
This section shall describe the offeror's pertinent experience and qualification in conducting work of a similar nature. Offerors shall offer evidence of not more than 5 previous related assignments, including the names and telephone numbers of client project offices who would be able to comment on the offeror's performance of those assignments. Summaries (not to exceed one page) of related work shall be included. References to products resulting from these related activities shall also be included.
8. Resources/Facilities/Equipment
This section shall identify those resources (other than personnel), facilities, and equipment (e.g., library holdings, computer hardware, and software) available for use in conducting this project. Offeror should address accessibility for persons with disabilities.
9. Current Contractual Obligations
Each offeror will be required to outline both Federal and non-Federal contractual obligations existing during the course of his award for all projects involving personnel who will be assigned to this project. Such organizations/agencies must be identified by name and the percentage of work time allotted to these projects by personnel committed to the proposed project must be provided.
10. Issues and Associated Data Items
When responding to the Tasks, when identifying what should receive emphasis, careful consideration should be given to the issues identified, their associated data items, and the statement of products desired in the Final Report.
All information provided by NCD must be returned to NCD upon completion of the analysis and no later than 10 working days after the completion of the contract. The information may not be reproduced or released without the prior written permission of NCD.
11. Rights in Data, Copyright, and Disclosure
a. Data – The term data as used here includes written reports (progress, draft, and final), electronic format and work of any similar nature that is required under any resulting Cooperative Agreement to perform this project.  It does not include the contractor's financial reports, or other information incidental to contractor administration. Data submitted to and accepted by the NCD under the cooperative agreement shall be the property of the NCD, and NCD shall have full and unlimited rights to use such data for any purpose in whatever manner deemed desirable and appropriate, including making it available to the general public. Such use shall be without any additional payment to the contractor. Data may be published as the property of NCD without giving authorship to the contractor.
b. Copyright – The contractor relinquishes any and all copyrights and/or privileges developed under any Cooperative Agreement. The contractor shall not include in the data any copyrightable matter without the written approval of NCD, unless the contractor provides the NCD with the written permission of the copyright owner for the NCD to use the matter.
c. Disclosure – The contractor agrees not to divulge or release any information, reports or recommendations developed or obtained in connection with the performance of any Cooperative Agreement with NCD, and not otherwise available to the public, without the prior approval of the NCD.
d. Final approval of deliverables
All final deliverables are the product of NCD and require acceptance and approval by NCD.  NCD reserves the right to make substantive edits to any final deliverables.
12. Award Information
The Government will make award to the responsible offeror(s) whose offer conforms to the solicitation and is most advantageous to the Government, cost or price and other factors considered. For this solicitation, technical quality is more important than cost or price. As proposals become more equal in their technical merit, the evaluated cost or price becomes more important. As the technical merit and the evaluated cost or price become essentially equal, other factors may become a determining factor.
Upon notification of intent to award, the Contractor will be expected to:
*Develop and submit a timeline and deliverables schedule that will be used to guide the conduct and monitor the work;
*Develop and submit a payment schedule chart to be used for installment payments of the award;
*Meet with select NCD staff and board members.
13. Reporting
Throughout the project, the Contractor and Contract Officer will conduct mutually agreed upon monthly teleconference calls and/or biweekly meetings, set-up and arranged for by the Contractor, to include other project staff members, NCD staff and, as appropriate, selected project advisors and NCD board members.   The Contractor will also provide monthly electronic progress reports to the NCD contractor Officer.  The contractor will also present to the full Council at a quarterly Council meeting and should factor the travel expenses into the project budget.

Business Proposal

The business proposal should contain a detailed budget for the project and the certifications and representations required by OMB Circular A-110. 
Note:  For each type of entity, there is a set of Federal principles for determining allowable costs. Allowability of costs shall be determined in accordance with the cost principles applicable to the entity incurring the costs. Thus, allowability of costs incurred by State, local or federally-recognized Indian tribal governments is determined in accordance with the provisions of OMB Circular A–87, "Cost Principles for State and Local Governments." The allowability of costs incurred by non-profit organizations is determined in accordance with the provisions of OMB Circular A–122, "Cost Principles for Non-Profit Organizations."
The allowability of costs incurred by institutions of higher education is determined in accordance with the provisions of OMB Circular A–21, "Cost Principles for Educational Institutions." The allowability of costs incurred by hospitals is determined in accordance with the provisions of appendix E of 45 CFR part 74, "Principles for Determining Costs Applicable to Research and Development Under Grants and Contracts with Hospitals." The allowability of costs incurred by commercial organizations and those non-profit organizations listed in Attachment C to Circular A–122 is determined in accordance with the provisions of the Federal Acquisition Regulation (FAR) at 48 CFR part 31.

Technical Evaluation Criteria

Evaluation criteria will score proposals with a maximum of 100 points, divided as follows:
1. A clear understanding of the nature of the work (20 points)
The proposal presents a clear understanding of the tasks required and the importance, quality and reliability of those tasks. The proposal will present the rationale/interpretation of the project approach.
2. Procedural Plan (30 points)
The proposal contains evidence of a fully described technical approach to comply with each of the tasks in the scope of work. The proposal is consistent with the goals, objectives, compliance requirements, and is practical in terms of producing needed information, analysis and recommendations.
3. Management Plan and Schedule (20 points)
The degree to which the project team, including any use of consultants, is organized, managed, and motivated to accomplish effective and efficient implementation of all tasks to be completed. The proposal budget is appropriate to the administration of the project. The time frame is realistic. Plans and schedules to assure smooth cooperation with the NCD staff involved are evident. The proposal clearly identifies who will be key personnel and includes a table showing the number of person-days by tasks for each of the key personnel.
4. Personnel (15 points)
The proposal provides evidence of the specific qualifications and skills of staff and consultants to be assigned to this project, and their experience and familiarity with the topic, including relevant laws, regulations, procedures and practices in the Federal Government. Skills in writing, and conducting research should also clearly demonstrated.
5. Organizational Experience (15 points)
The degree to which the overall experience and past performance of the offeror in executing similar projects should be described. Evidence of related assignments should be detailed. Offeror shall present evidence of related assignments, including the names and telephone numbers of previous project officers who would be able to comment on the offeror's performance of those assignments.

Project Start Date

The projected start of the contract is April 16, 2012.  The first complete draft of the report is due to NCD by December 1, 2012. The final draft of the report is due to NCD by January 14, 2013.
Furthermore, the vendor will be expected to arrange and conduct monthly teleconference calls with NCD staff and board members, will provide monthly progress reports to NCD staff, and will also be expected to meet with select NCD staff and Board Members upon the awarding of the contract.  The vendor is also responsible for reasonable accommodations at any meetings, events, forums, focus groups, etc. (i.e. sign language interpreters, CART reporters, and other such providers, as well as documents or other materials that are made available in public forums), associated with this agreement.
The contractor will also present to the full Council at a quarterly Council meeting and should factor the travel expenses into the project budget.
Finally, the vendor is expected to develop and submit a "timeline and deliverables and payment schedule" chart which will be used to guide the conduct of the research.

Formatting Guidelines Project Start Date

If you are drafting a written or electronic report for the National Council on Disability (NCD), you must submit your material in an electronic Word format and in hard copy.  If PDF is used, submissions to NCD must be created using the tools and guidance developed for creating accessible PDF.  The document must be professionally edited. In addition, you must adhere to NCD's formatting and style standards, which follow the Government Printing Office Style Guide.

Accessibility

First and foremost, NCD reports must be totally accessible to all people with disabilities. All graphs and charts must have full text descriptions. Shading is not permissible. Electronic copy must be Bobby 508 compliant.

Contrast

Text and covers should be printed with the highest contrast possible.

Fonts

Use Arial, 12 point. Italics should be used sparingly, not for full sentences or paragraphs or recommendations. Do not use small caps.

Line Spacing

Set line spacing to 1.5. Reference, endnotes, appendices, etc. sections should be single spaced.

Paper Size

Set paper size to 8.5" x 11"

Margins

Set standard one inch (1") margins on all sides.

Paragraphs

Use block style. Begin paragraphs without tabbing in. Text should be in single column format. Use a double space between paragraphs.

Justification

Use left justified (ragged right).

Smart Quotes and Apostrophes

Use smart quotes and apostrophes.

Chapters

Chapters start on odd-numbered pages, which fall on the right side.

Headers and Footers

Delete unnecessary headers and footers.

Widows and Orphans

Do not have widows or orphans.

Web Addresses

Make all Web addresses hyperlinks.

Style Heads

Paragraph headers between major subject areas are encouraged. Headers should be bold, but not underlined. Headers should not be all caps nor small caps. Double space between headers and text.

Spacing After Periods

Use one space after a period at the end of a sentence. Use one space after colons, question marks, and footnote numbers.

Endnotes

All documents use endnotes in Times Roman, 12 point font and single spaced.

Page Numbering

Page numbering will be centered at the bottom of each page. Blank pages require page numbers.
Begin page numbering in roman on Letter of Transmittal page (suppress page number of that page). Begin ordinal numbering on Executive Summary.

Contents Page

Complete table of contents page. This includes page numbers for chapters and major sections. Text in regular font. Do not bold entire page.

Style Requirements

General:

Use active voice (within reason)
Serial comma
Numbers: one-nine, 10 and above

Use "people [[not "persons" or "individuals"]] with disabilities" and "people without disabilities," not disabled, handicapped, or nondisabled

1990s (not 1990's)

Use "people from diverse cultures," "people from diverse racial background," and so forth [not minorities]

Punctuation NEVER comes after a closing quotation mark.
Due to or Because of?
"Due to" modifies nouns and is generally used after some form of the verb to be (is, are, was, were, etc.). Jan's success is due to talent and spunk (due to modifies success). "Because of" should modify verbs. Ted resigned because of poor health (because of modifies resigned).

Generally, use between for two, and among for three or more.

Legal Cases/Bills/Laws, etc:

H.R. 2457
S. 1322
P.L. 106-515
Italicize names of court cases
Get rid of small caps used in notes

Word List:

ADA, not the ADA
Administration (presidential)
closed captioning
Congress, not the Congress
data indicates (treat data as singular)
decision making
Department (capped referring to a U.S. Department)
email
end-user
Executive Order
federal
Federal Government
governor
health care (n, um*)
home- and community-based (um)
interagency (closed up)
multi (close up)
nation
NCD, not the NCD
non (close up)
percent, not %, unless in tables or parentheses
Ph.D.
policymaker
the President
proactive
reauthorize
reenter
rulemaking
screen-reader
standalone
state (l.c.) upfront
Supreme Court, the Court
Web site, the Web
white
workforce
workplace

In titles, cap prepositions of 5 or more letters.

*um=unit modifier, meaning two words used as an adjective

PROPOSAL REVIEW INFORMATION

Reviews of proposals submitted to NCD are solicited from peers with expertise in the substantive area of the proposed project. These reviewers are selected by NCD staff charged with the oversight of the review process. Care is taken to ensure that reviewers have no conflicts with the proposer. Special efforts are made to recruit reviewers from non-academic institutions, minority-serving institutions, or adjacent disciplines to that principally addressed in the proposal.
All proposals are carefully reviewed by at least three other persons outside NCD who are experts in the particular field represented by the proposal.
Reviewers will be asked to formulate a recommendation to either support or decline each proposal. The NCD staff assigned to manage the proposal's review will consider the advice of reviewers and will formulate a recommendation.
A summary rating and accompanying narrative will be completed and submitted by each reviewer. In all cases, reviews are treated as confidential documents. 

Notice of Award

NCD will notify the applicant by telephone, e-mail, and/or letter.  This notification will begin negotiations for a Cooperative Agreement.  The letter is not authorization to begin performance. Notification of the award will be made to the submitting organization by Robyn Powell, NCD Attorney Advisor. Organizations whose proposals are declined will be advised as promptly as possible. Verbatim copies of reviews, not included identifying names or information about proposal reviewers, will be made available upon request. 

CONTACTS FOR ADDITIONAL INFORMATION

Inquiries regarding this study should be made to:
Robyn Powell, Attorney Advisor telephone: 202-272-2008 email: rpowell@ncd.gov