OSERS: Office of Special Education and Rehabilitative Services
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RSA, Legislation and Policy

The Rehabilitation Services Administration (RSA) develops and administers many areas of policy and legislation that directly affect individuals with disabilities and their families. We also play critical roles both in the development of the regulations that bring policies into effect and in monitoring that these laws and regulations are followed.


Rehabilitation Act of 1973

The Rehabilitation Act of 1973, as amended, is the major legislative source for programs and initiatives administered by the Rehabilitation Services Administration (RSA).

Assistive Technology Act of 2004

The Assistive Technology Act of 2004 is the legislative source for the:

  • Assistive Technology State Grant program (ATSG),
  • Alternative Financing program (AFP), and the
  • Protection and Advocacy for Assistive Technology (PAAT) program, also administered by RSA.

Other Legislation

Other legislative sources for RSA programs and initiatives are:

  • The Randolph-Sheppard Act, P.L. 74-732, as amended by P.L. 83-565 and P.L. 93-516; 20 U.S.C. Sec. 107 et seq.
  • The Helen Keller National Center Act of 1984, as amended by P.L. 99-506; 29 U.S.C. 1901 et seq.


RSA issues regulations to clarify, build upon or otherwise implement statutory requirements pertaining to certain programs under the Rehabilitation Act. These "program regulations" establish requirements that grantees (e.g., state agency grantees under the state VR services program) must follow, in addition to following applicable requirements in the Rehabilitation Act.

Sub-Regulatory Policy

RSA develops and promulgates a variety of sub-regulatory guidance intended to provide additional direction in support of program legislation and regulations. RSA issues the following guidance:

  • Policy Directives
  • Technical Assistance Circulars
  • Information Memoranda
  • Memoranda of Understanding


To learn more about RSA—or use tools and download data—visit our Web portal at https://rsa.ed.gov or click on one of the links below.

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Last Modified: 09/08/2014