The Rehabilitation Act of 1973, as amended
The purpose of the Rehabilitation Act: To support the employment, independence and the inclusion of people with disabilities in American life.
Components of the Rehabilitation Act:
Title I: Vocational Rehabilitation Services
(NOTE: Rehabilitation Services Administration (RSA) provides the oversight under this title via technical assistance and monitoring.)
Title II: Research and TrainingThis title includes the federally funded research and training programs that focus on the inclusion and integration of individuals with disabilities in employment and in society.
Title III: Professional Development and Special Projects and DemonstrationsThis title includes the following program areas funded through federal dollars via discretionary grants (open competition):
(NOTE: Rehabilitation Services Administration provides the oversight through monitoring and technical assistance to grantees under this title.)
Title IV: National Council on Disability (NCD)Presidential appointees who promote policies, programs and practices that support equal opportunity and empower people with disabilities to achieve economic self-sufficiency and community integration. The Council provides advice to the RSA Commissioner, the Director of NIDRR and the Interagency Coordinating Council.
Title V: Rights and Advocacy
Title VI: Employment programs discretionary grant funds.
Projects With Industry (PWI)
(NOTE: Rehabilitation Services Administration provides monitoring and technical assistance.)
Title VII: Independent Living
(NOTE: Rehabilitation Services Administration provides the monitoring and technical assistance for grantees.)
Rehabilitation Services Administration (RSA)
Commissioner Joanne Wilson
RSA is part
of the Office of Special Education and Rehabilitation in the U.S.
Department of Education. RSA has Central Office staff and 10 regional
offices with 5 Regional Commissioners
RSAs annual budget is approximately $2.5 billion per year; 85% of budget into Title I programs.
Finding Information on the Reauthorization of the Rehabilitation Act
The 1998 reauthorization of the Rehabilitation Act (Title IV of the Workforce Investment Act of 1998; PL 105-220) requires that the State Plan for each VR agency must include an interagency agreement covering 1) agency financial responsibility, 2) conditions, terms, & procedures of reimbursement, 3) procedures for resolving interagency disputes, and 4) coordination of service procedures among the various providers of services to VR clients. State Plans are due in to the Federal Government by April 1, 2000.
Postsecondary programs should make sure that they are a part of the planning process in their states. We are finding that many postsecondary program service providers are unaware of the provision in the section on the Rehabilitation Act Reauthorization for interagency agreements. What can you, as a postsecondary institution, do to prepare for these meetings and educate yourself about the Act and its potential impact on services to students who are VR clients?
The entire act is available
free of charge from the Senate Document Room. Fax 202-228-2815 and
request Conference Report 105-659. On the internet, summaries can
be found at http://www.reg10.doleta.gov/wia_nga.htm
(Title IV-Rehab Act Reauthorization). You can see just how much
is covered in the act by going to http://www.usworkforce.org/act.htm.
Three slideshows developed
by the San Diego State University RRCEP project can be found at
In addition, the
Disability Access Information and Support has developed a virtual Teach In on the subject of Vocational Rehabilitation and Interagency Agreements. The purpose of the Teach In is to inform, discuss/share, publicize, and encourage action. The website for the Teach In is http://www.janejarrow.com/teach-in. Information can also be found there on how to sign on to the newly-established listserv that will be used to explore this topic.
Finally, PEPNet has posted a kit to their webpage to help postsecondary education programs prepare for negotiations with Vocational Rehabilitation. The website is http://www.pepnet.org. The PEPNet website explores the history of the Vocational Rehabilitation-Institution of Higher Education relationship, recent events that have had an impact on this relationship, and points that each state Institution of Higher Education should be sure to obtain clarificaiton on, such as how funding of out-of-state students will be handled, and the role of private postsecondary institutions.
WROCC at WOU
345 North Monmouth Avenue Monmouth, OR 97361