The Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act
A page has been posted with information about the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act Reauthorization.
(updated July 22, 2014)
Job-Driven Training for Workers
In his January 28, 2014 State of the Union address, President Obama “asked Vice President Biden to lead an across-the-board reform of America’s training programs to make sure they have one mission: train Americans with the skills employers need, and match them to good jobs that need to be filled right now. That means more on-the-job training, and more apprenticeships that set a young worker on an upward trajectory for life. It means connecting companies to community colleges that can help design training to fill their specific needs.” Two days later, in Waukesha, Wisconsin, he signed a Presidential Memorandum on Job-Driven Training for Workers to develop within 180 days an action plan to make America’s workforce and training system “more job-driven, integrated and effective.” The Presidential Memorandum called for this action plan to include “concrete steps to make federal workforce and training programs and policies more focused on imparting relevant skills with job-market value, more easily accessed by employers and job seekers, and more accountable for producing positive employment and earning outcomes for the people they serve.” For more, read the Ready to Work: Job-Driven Training and American Opportunity (1.54 M) report, which was released on July 22, 2014.
(updated July 22, 2014)
Announcements in the Federal Register July 14-18, 2014
- A notice of applications for new awards for the Vocational Rehabilitation Services Projects for American Indians With Disabilities program was posted in the Federal Register on Thursday, July 17, 2014. The deadline for transmittal of applications is September 2, 2014.
- In accordance with the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 (44 U.S.C. chapter 3501 et seq.), a notice that ED is proposing an extension of an existing information collection (the RSA-7OB for the Independent Living Services for Older Individuals Who Are Blind program) was published in the Federal Register on Friday, July 18, 2014. Comments due on or before August 18, 2014.
- In accordance with the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 (44 U.S.C. chapter 3501 et seq.), a notice that ED is proposing a revision of an existing information collection (the RSA-15 for Randolph-Sheppard) was published in the Federal Register on Friday, July 18, 2014. Comments due on or before August 18, 2014.
(updated July 22, 2014)
Proposed Priority-Rehabilitation Training; Job-Driven Vocational Rehabilitation Technical Assistance Center
On Thursday, June 19, 2014, the U.S Department of Education published a Notice in the Federal register that the Assistant Secretary for Special Education and Rehabilitative Services proposes a priority to establish a Job-Driven Vocational Rehabilitation Technical Assistance Center. The Assistant Secretary may use this priority for competitions in fiscal year (FY) 2014 and later years. We take this action to provide training and technical assistance to improve the capacity of State Vocational Rehabilitation (VR) agencies and their partners to equip individuals with disabilities with the skills and competencies necessary to help them obtain high-quality competitive employment.
In order to assist with this process, the Department hosted an informational teleconference for applicants to review the application and ask questions. You can replay the webinar or review a PDF of the PowerPoint Presentation (161KB). As a follow-up to the informational teleconferences, transcripts for the July 8, 2014 (85KB) and July 9, 2014 (85KB) events are available for download.
(updated July 21, 2014)
The National Technical Assistance Center on Improving Transition to Postsecondary Education and Employment for Students with Disabilities
On Wednesday, July 2, 2014, the U.S Department of Education published a Notice in the Federal register inviting applications for a new award to establish and operate a National Technical Assistance Center on Improving Transition to Postsecondary Education and Employment for Students with Disabilities (Center). The Center will assist State educational agencies (SEAs), local educational agencies (LEAs), State vocational rehabilitation (VR) agencies and other VR service providers to implement evidence-based and promising practices and strategies to ensure that students with disabilities, including those with significant disabilities, graduate from high school with the knowledge, skills, and supports needed for success in postsecondary education and employment.
Too many students with disabilities continue to experience difficulty in completing high school programs and gaining the content knowledge, work experiences, and other career-readiness skills and preparation needed to succeed as they transition from secondary education to postsecondary education and employment. According to the National Center for Education Statistics (2014) in 2012, 80 percent of students graduated high school with a regular diploma in four years, whereas, for students with disabilities, the four-year cohort graduation rate was 61 percent. Furthermore, data from the National Longitudinal Transition Study ( NLTS-2), in the 2009-2010 school year, indicated that 21 percent of students with disabilities dropped out of high school and only 45.6 percent of students with disabilities enrolled in some form of postsecondary education within four years of leaving school (Newman et. al., 2010). In order to improve post-school outcomes for students with disabilities, SEAs, LEAs, State VR agencies, and other VR service providers need to implement evidence-based and promising practices and strategies designed to prepare students with disabilities for postsecondary education and employment.
The Department of Education’s Office of Special Education and Rehabilitative Services is committed to the goal of ensuring that every student, including every student with a disability, graduates from high school with the essential knowledge and skills for success in postsecondary education and employment. In order to improve outcomes for students with disabilities, the Department is working to better coordinate its expertise and resources. To further this, the Office of Special Education Programs (OSEP) and the Rehabilitation Services Administration (RSA) are collaborating to support a technical assistance center that will help build the capacity of SEAs, LEAs, State VR agencies, and other VR service providers to implement evidence-based and promising practices and strategies to ensure that students with disabilities graduate from high school and are prepared for success in postsecondary education and employment.
This competition is open to SEAs; LEAs, including public charter schools that are considered LEAs under State law; State VR agencies; IHEs; other public agencies; private nonprofit organizations; outlying areas; freely associated States; Indian tribes or tribal organizations; and for-profit organizations. The Department intends to fund one project for $2.5 million a year for 5 years.
(updated July 10, 2014)
Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) on the definition of “reservation.”
The U.S. Department of Education (Department) published an NPRM in the June 23, 2014 Federal Register requesting public comment on the actions that the Department should take to amend the definition of “reservation” under the regulations governing the American Indian Vocational Rehabilitation Services (AIVRS) program in one of two ways. The Department is requesting comment from the public on two proposed amendments:
- Alternative A: would conform the definition to the Department’s current interpretation and practices.
- Alternative B: would limit the areas of land the Department considers to be reservations to those that are listed in the statutory definition of “reservation.”
The NPRM includes information about how to submit public comments. Responses must be received on or before August 22, 2014.
(June 23, 2014)
Updated Monitoring Tables
The FY 2014 Monitoring and Technical Assistance Guide (MTAG) includes a new focus area through which it will assess the use of VR program resources to achieve quality employment outcomes by conducting an in-depth and integrated analysis of core VR program and fiscal data. Links to the data tables to be used in this area of monitoring are available below.
(June 9, 2014)
Wall Chart for FY 2013 State Vocational Rehabilitation Performance
The Wall Chart for FY 2013 State Vocational Rehabilitation Performance has been posted. The Wall Chart contains the results of various performance measures of the 80 VR and agency grantees grouped by agencies who serve blind and visually impaired individuals, the general disabled population of those states with two agencies, as well as those agencies with one VR agency serving all disabilities. Charts for prior years are also available.
(April 23, 2014)
New Technical Assistance Circulars
Mar 28, 2014
"Submission of the FY 2015 State Plan for the Vocational Rehabilitation Services Program and Supplement for the Supported Employment Services Program"
MS Word (247KB) | PDF (2.18MB)
Mar 18, 2014
"Federal Requirements Governing the Statewide Independent Living Councils -- Composition, Membership, Appointments, Term Limits, Duties, and Resource Plan"
MS Word (83KB) | PDF (338KB)
Accessing and Initiating Changes to Formula Grant Award Notifications
This document describes the process to be used to request changes to the GAN (Grant Award Notification) such as address; however this process may be used only when the rights and obligations of the grantee are not affected. Also, please note that this process does not apply to the State Grant for Assistive Technology program.
MS Word (48KB) | PDF (232KB)
(February 19, 2014)
Monitoring and Technical Assistance Guide
Section 107 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, as amended, requires the Commissioner of the Rehabilitation Services Administration (RSA) to conduct annual reviews and periodic on-site monitoring of programs authorized under Title I of the Rehabilitation Act to determine whether a vocational rehabilitation (VR) agency is complying substantially with the provisions of its State Plan under Section 101 of the Rehabilitation Act and with the Evaluation Standards and Performance Indicators established under Section 106. To fulfill this requirement, RSA has developed a Monitoring and Technical Assistance Guide (MTAG), through which it will assess improvements in the performance of the VR program, including those resulting from innovative practices, as well as compliance with pertinent federal programmatic and fiscal requirements.
(February 3, 2014)
New Policy Directives Issued
(December 18, 2013)
New Policy Directives Issued
Oct 25, 2013
"Revision of PD-13-04 instructions for the completion of the Annual Vocational Rehabilitation Program/Cost Report (RSA-2) for the State Vocational Rehabilitation Services Program and the State Supported Employment Services Program"
MS Word (179KB) | PDF (253KB)
(November 4, 2013)
2013 National State Rehabilitation Council Forum
The RSA National State Rehabilitation Council (SRC) Forum was held from June 24-25, 2013 in Arlington, Virginia. The objective of the Forum was to empower Councils, encourage partnerships with State Vocational Rehabilitation Agencies (VR) and foster advocacy for improvements in the public VR program in order to enhance opportunities for high quality employment for individuals with disabilities.
(September 10, 2013)
Fiscal Resources (for Basic VR)
The Basic VR Fiscal Resources page has been updated to show 2013 MOE Penalties and links to the materials from the FY 2013 National Financial Management Training Conference.
(September 10, 2013)
Previously posted news about RSA
View the past five years of news items on the Previously Posted News from RSA page. To view even older items, use the Advanced Search option and select 'Return Archived Results'.
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