Program Office: Rehabilitation Services Administration (RSA)
CFDA Number: 84.129, 84.246, 84.263, 84.264, 84.265, 84.265, 84.275
Program Type: Discretionary/Competitive Grants
This program is designed to ensure that skilled personnel are available to serve the rehabilitation needs of individuals with disabilities assisted through the Vocational Rehabilitation State Grants program (see # 84.126A, also under topical heading Rehabilitation), the Client Assistance Program (see # 84.161A, also under topical heading Rehabilitation), and the Independent Living State Grants Program (see # 84.169A, also under topical heading Rehabilitation).
Types of Projects
This program supports awards under the Long-Term Training Program (# 84.129); Training Interpreters for Individuals Who Are Deaf or Hard-of-Hearing and Individuals Who Are Deaf-Blind (# 84.160A); Short-Term Training Program (# 84.246); Rehabilitation Continuing Education Program (# 84.264); State Vocational Rehabilitation In-Service Training Program (# 84.265); and General Training (# 84.275).
The purpose of this program is to ensure that skilled personnel are available to serve the rehabilitation needs of individuals with disabilities assisted through vocational rehabilitation (VR), supported employment and independent living programs. The program supports training and related activities designed to increase the number of qualified personnel trained in providing rehabilitation services. Grants and contracts are awarded to states and public and nonprofit agencies and organizations, including institutions of higher education, to pay all or part of the cost of conducting training programs.
Awards may be made in any of 31 long-term training fields, in addition to awards for continuing education, short-term training, experimental and innovative training, and training interpreters for persons who are deaf or hard of hearing and persons who are deaf-blind. These training programs vary in terms of content, methodology, and type of trainee. For example, the long-term training program supports academic training grants that must direct 75 percent of the funds to trainee scholarships. The statute requires trainees who receive assistance either to work for a period of time in public or private nonprofit rehabilitation agencies or related agencies, including professional corporations or professional practice groups that have service arrangements with a state agency, or to pay back the assistance they received.
The Training Program authority requires recipients of grants under the long-term Training Program to build closer relationships between training institutions and VR state agencies, promote careers in the public vocational rehabilitation program, identify potential employers who would meet the student’s payback requirements, and assure that data on the employment of students are accurate. Training of statewide workforce systems personnel is authorized under the Training Program, and such training may be jointly funded by the Department of Labor. Statewide workforce systems personnel may be trained in evaluative skills to determine whether an individual with a disability may be served by the VR state grants program or another component of the statewide workforce system.
Of the funds appropriated for the Training Program, 15 percent must be used to support the In-Service Training Program. This program is intended to assist VR state agencies in the training of state agency staff consistent with the state’s Comprehensive System of Personnel Development (CSPD). Under Title I, each state is required to establish procedures to ensure there is an adequate supply of qualified staff for the state agency, to assess personnel needs and make projections for future needs and to address the current and projected personnel training needs. States are further required to develop and maintain policies and procedures for job-specific personnel standards that are consistent with certification, licensure or other state personnel requirements for comparable positions. If a state’s current personnel do not meet the highest requirements for personnel standards within the state, the CSPD must identify the steps a state will take to upgrade the qualifications of their staff, through retraining or hiring. VR state grant funds may also be used to comply with these requirements.
Additional information about specific activities may be found in the following link at the Rehabilitation Services Administration (RSA) Training Program.
Proposed Priority-Rehabilitation Training: Vocational Rehabilitation Technical Assistance Center-Youth With Disabilities
The Assistant Secretary for Special Education and Rehabilitative Services proposes a priority under the Rehabilitation Training program. The Assistant Secretary may use this priority for competitions in fiscal year (FY) 2015 and later years. This priority is designed to ensure that professionals working in State vocational rehabilitation (VR) agencies receive the technical assistance they need to provide youth with disabilities with services and supports that lead to postsecondary education and competitive integrated employment.
(May 15, 2015)