Findings; Purpose; Policy Sec. 2. (a)Findings Congress finds that
(1) millions of Americans have one or more physical or mental disabilities and the number of Americans with such disabilities is increasing;
(2) individuals with disabilities constitute one of the most disadvantaged groups in society;
(3) disability is a natural part of the human experience and in no way diminishes the right of individuals to
(A) live independently;
(B) enjoy self determination;
(C) make choices;
(D) contribute to society;
(E) pursue meaningful careers; and
(F) enjoy full inclusion and integration in the economic, political, social, cultural, and educational mainstream of American society;
(4) increased employment of individuals with disabilities can be achieved through implementation of statewide workforce investment systems under title I of the Workforce Investment Act of 1998 that provide meaningful and effective participation for individuals with disabilities in workforce investment activities and activities carried out under the vocational rehabilitation program established under title I, and through the provision of independent living services, support services, and meaningful opportunities for employment in integrated work settings through the provision of reasonable accommodations;
(5) individuals with disabilities continually encounter various forms of discrimination in such critical areas as employment, housing, public accommodations, education, transportation, communication, recreation, institutionalization, health services, voting, and public services; and
(6) the goals of the Nation properly include the goal of providing individuals with disabilities with the tools necessary to
(A) make informed choices and decisions; and
(B) achieve equality of opportunity, full inclusion and integration in society, employment, independent living, and economic and social self sufficiency, for such individuals.
(b)Purpose The purposes of this Act are
(1) to empower individuals with disabilities to maximize employment, economic self sufficiency, independence, and inclusion and integration into society, through
(A) statewide workforce investment systems implemented in accordance with title I of the Workforce Investment Act of 1998 that include, as integral components, comprehensive and coordinated state of the art programs of vocational rehabilitation;
(B) independent living centers and services;
(E) demonstration projects; and
(F) the guarantee of equal opportunity; and
(2) to ensure that the Federal Government plays a leadership role in promoting the employment of individuals with disabilities, especially individuals with significant disabilities, and in assisting States and providers of services in fulfilling the aspirations of such individuals with disabilities for meaningful and gainful employment and independent living.
(c)Policy It is the policy of the United States that all programs, projects, and activities receiving assistance under this Act shall be carried out in a manner consistent with the principles of
(1) respect for individual dignity, personal responsibility, self determination, and pursuit of meaningful careers, based on informed choice, of individuals with disabilities;
(2) respect for the privacy, rights, and equal access (including the use of accessible formats), of the individuals;
(3) inclusion, integration, and full participation of the individuals;
(4) support for the involvement of an individual's representative if an individual with a disability requests, desires, or needs such support; and
(5) support for individual and systemic advocacy and community involvement.
Rehabilitation Services Administration Sec. 3. (a) There is established in the Office of the Secretary a Rehabilitation Services Administration which shall be headed by a Commissioner (hereinafter in this Act referred to as the "Commissioner") appointed by the President by and with the advice and consent of the Senate. Except for titles IV and V and as otherwise specifically provided in this Act, such Administration shall be the principal agency, and the Commissioner shall be the principal officer, of such Department for carrying out this Act. The Commissioner shall be an individual with substantial experience in rehabilitation and in rehabilitation program management. In the performance of the functions of the office, the Commissioner shall be directly responsible to the Secretary or to the Under Secretary or an appropriate Assistant Secretary of such Department, as designated by the Secretary. The functions of the Commissioner shall not be delegated to any officer not directly responsible, both with respect to program operation and administration, to the Commissioner. Any reference in this Act to duties to be carried out by the Commissioner shall be considered to be a reference to duties to be carried out by the Secretary acting through the Commissioner. In carrying out any of the functions of the office under this Act, the Commissioner shall be guided by general policies of the National Council on Disability established under title IV of this Act.
(b) The Secretary shall take whatever action is necessary to ensure that funds appropriated pursuant to this Act are expended only for the programs, personnel, and administration of programs carried out under this Act.
Advance Funding Sec. 4. (a) For the purpose of affording adequate notice of funding available under this Act, appropriations under this Act are authorized to be included in the appropriation Act for the fiscal year preceding the fiscal year for which they are available for obligation.
(b) In order to effect a transition to the advance funding method of timing appropriation action, the authority provided by subsection (a) of this section shall apply notwithstanding that its initial application will result in the enactment in the same year (whether in the same appropriation Act or otherwise) of two separate appropriations, one for the then current fiscal year and one for the succeeding fiscal year.
Joint Funding Sec. 5. Pursuant to regulations prescribed by the President, and to the extent consistent with the other provisions of this Act, where funds are provided for a single project by more than one Federal agency to an agency or organization assisted under this Act, the Federal agency principally involved may be designated to act for all in administering the funds provided, and, in such cases, a single non Federal share requirement may be established according to the proportion of funds advanced by each agency. When the principal agency involved is the Rehabilitation Services Administration, it may waive any grant or contract requirement (as defined by such regulations) under or pursuant to any law other than this Act, which requirement is inconsistent with the similar requirements of the administering agency under or pursuant to this Act.
Definitions Sec. 7. For the purposes of this Act:
(1)Administrative costs The term "administrative costs" means expenditures incurred in the performance of administrative functions under the vocational rehabilitation program carried out under title I, including expenses related to program planning, development, monitoring, and evaluation, including expenses for
(A) quality assurance;
(B) budgeting, accounting, financial management, information systems, and related data processing;
(C) providing information about the program to the public;
(D) technical assistance and support services to other State agencies, private nonprofit organizations, and businesses and industries, except for technical assistance and support services described in section 103(b)(5);
(E) the State Rehabilitation Council and other advisory committees;
(F) professional organization membership dues for designated State unit employees;
(G) the removal of architectural barriers in State vocational rehabilitation agency offices and State operated rehabilitation facilities;
(H) operating and maintaining designated State unit facilities, equipment, and grounds;
(J) administration of the comprehensive system of personnel development described in section 101(a)(7), including personnel administration, administration of affirmative action plans, and training and staff development;
(K) administrative salaries, including clerical and other support staff salaries, in support of these administrative functions;
(L) travel costs related to carrying out the program, other than travel costs related to the provision of services;
(M) costs incurred in conducting reviews of rehabilitation counselor or coordinator determinations under section 102(c); and
(N) legal expenses required in the administration of the program.
(2)Assessment for determining eligibility and vocational rehabilitation needs The term "assessment for determining eligibility and vocational rehabilitation needs" means, as appropriate in each case
(A)(i) a review of existing data
(I) to determine whether an individual is eligible for vocational rehabilitation services; and
(II) to assign priority for an order of selection described in section 101(a)(5)(A) in the States that use an order of selection pursuant to section 101(a)(5)(A); and
(ii) to the extent necessary, the provision of appropriate assessment activities to obtain necessary additional data to make such determination and assignment;
(B) to the extent additional data is necessary to make a determination of the employment outcomes, and the nature and scope of vocational rehabilitation services, to be included in the individualized plan for employment of an eligible individual, a comprehensive assessment to determine the unique strengths, resources, priorities, concerns, abilities, capabilities, interests, and informed choice, including the need for supported employment, of the eligible individual, which comprehensive assessment
(i) is limited to information that is necessary to identify the rehabilitation needs of the individual and to develop the individualized plan for employment of the eligible individual;
(ii) uses, as a primary source of such information, to the maximum extent possible and appropriate and in accordance with confidentiality requirements—
(I) existing information obtained for the purposes of determining the eligibility of the individual and assigning priority for an order of selection described in section 101(a)(5)(A) for the individual; and
(II) such information as can be provided by the individual and, where appropriate, by the family of the individual;
(iii) may include, to the degree needed to make such a determination, an assessment of the personality, interests, interpersonal skills, intelligence and related functional capacities, educational achievements, work experience, vocational aptitudes, personal and social adjustments, and employment opportunities of the individual, and the medical, psychiatric, psychological, and other pertinent vocational, educational, cultural, social, recreational, and environmental factors, that affect the employment and rehabilitation needs of the individual; and
(iv) may include, to the degree needed, an appraisal of the patterns of work behavior of the individual and services needed for the individual to acquire occupational skills, and to develop work attitudes, work habits, work tolerance, and social and behavior patterns necessary for successful job performance, including the utilization of work in real job situations to assess and develop the capacities of the individual to perform adequately in a work environment;
(C) referral, for the provision of rehabilitation technology services to the individual, to assess and develop the capacities of the individual to perform in a work environment; and
(D) an exploration of the individual's abilities, capabilities, and capacity to perform in work situations, which shall be assessed periodically during trial work experiences, including experiences in which the individual is provided appropriate supports and training.
(3)Assistive technology device The term "assistive technology device" has the meaning given such term in section 3 of the Assistive Technology Act of 1998, except that the reference in such section to the term "individuals with disabilities" shall be deemed to mean more than one individual with a disability as defined in paragraph (20)(A).
(4)Assistive technology service The term "assistive technology service" has the meaning given such term in section 3 of the Assistive Technology Act of 1998, except that the reference in such section
(A) to the term "individual with a disability" shall be deemed to mean an individual with a disability, as defined in paragraph (20)(A); and
(B) to the term "individuals with disabilities" shall be deemed to mean more than one such individual.
(5)Community rehabilitation program The term "community rehabilitation program" means a program that provides directly or facilitates the provision of vocational rehabilitation services to individuals with disabilities, and that provides, singly or in combination, for an individual with a disability to enable the individual to maximize opportunities for employment, including career advancement
(A) medical, psychiatric, psychological, social, and vocational services that are provided under one management;
(B) testing, fitting, or training in the use of prosthetic and orthotic devices;
(C) recreational therapy;
(D) physical and occupational therapy;
(E) speech, language, and hearing therapy;
(F) psychiatric, psychological, and social services, including positive behavior management;
(G) assessment for determining eligibility and vocational rehabilitation needs;
(H) rehabilitation technology;
(I) job development, placement, and retention services;
(J) evaluation or control of specific disabilities;
(K) orientation and mobility services for individuals who are blind;
(L) extended employment;
(M) psychosocial rehabilitation services;
(N) supported employment services and extended services;
(O) services to family members when necessary to the vocational rehabilitation of the individual;
(P) personal assistance services; or
(Q) services similar to the services described in one of subparagraphs (A) through (P).
(6)Construction; cost of construction (A)Construction The term "construction" means
(i) the construction of new buildings;
(ii) the acquisition, expansion, remodeling, alteration, and renovation of existing buildings; and
(iii) initial equipment of buildings described in clauses (i) and (ii).
(B)Cost of construction The term "cost of construction" includes architects' fees and the cost of acquisition of land in connection with construction but does not include the cost of offsite improvements.
(8)Designated state agency; designated state unit (A)Designated state agency The term "designated State agency" means an agency designated under section 101(a)(2)(A).
(B)Designated state unit The term "designated State unit" means
(i) any State agency unit required under section 101(a)(2)(B)(ii); or
(ii) in cases in which no such unit is so required, the State agency described in section 101(a)(2)(B)(i).
(9)Disability The term "disability" means
(A) except as otherwise provided in subparagraph (B), a physical or mental impairment that constitutes or results in a substantial impediment to employment; or
(B) for purposes of sections 2, 14, and 15, and titles II, IV, V, and VII, a physical or mental impairment that substantially limits one or more major life activities.
(10)Drug and illegal use of drugs (A)Drug The term "drug" means a controlled substance, as defined in schedules I through V of section 202 of the Controlled Substances Act (21 U.S.C. 812).
(B)Illegal use of drugs The term "illegal use of drugs" means the use of drugs, the possession or distribution of which is unlawful under the Controlled Substances Act. Such term does not include the use of a drug taken under supervision by a licensed health care professional, or other uses authorized by the Controlled Substances Act or other provisions of Federal law.
(11)Employment outcome The term "employment outcome" means, with respect to an individual
(A) entering or retaining full time or, if appropriate, part time competitive employment in the integrated labor market;
(B) satisfying the vocational outcome of supported employment; or
(C) satisfying any other vocational outcome the Secretary may determine to be appropriate (including satisfying the vocational outcome of self employment, telecommuting, or business ownership), in a manner consistent with this Act.
(12)Establishment of a community rehabilitation program The term "establishment of a community rehabilitation program" includes the acquisition, expansion, remodeling, or alteration of existing buildings necessary to adapt them to community rehabilitation program purposes or to increase their effectiveness for such purposes (subject, however, to such limitations as the Secretary may determine, in accordance with regulations the Secretary shall prescribe, in order to prevent impairment of the objectives of, or duplication of, other Federal laws providing Federal assistance in the construction of facilities for community rehabilitation programs), and may include such additional equipment and staffing as the Commissioner considers appropriate.
(13)Extended services The term "extended services" means ongoing support services and other appropriate services, needed to support and maintain an individual with a most significant disability in supported employment, that
(A) are provided singly or in combination and are organized and made available in such a way as to assist an eligible individual in maintaining supported employment;
(B) are based on a determination of the needs of an eligible individual, as specified in an individualized plan for employment; and
(C) are provided by a State agency, a nonprofit private organization, employer, or any other appropriate resource, after an individual has made the transition from support provided by the designated State unit.
(14)Federal share (A)In general Subject to subparagraph (B), the term "Federal share" means 78.7 percent.
(B)Exception The term "Federal share" means the share specifically set forth in section 111(a)(3), except that with respect to payments pursuant to part B of title I to any State that are used to meet the costs of construction of those rehabilitation facilities identified in section 103(b)(2) in such State, the Federal share shall be the percentages determined in accordance with the provisions of section 111(a)(3) applicable with respect to the State.
(C)Relationship to expenditures by a political subdivision For the purpose of determining the non Federal share with respect to a State, expenditures by a political subdivision thereof or by a local agency shall be regarded as expenditures by such State, subject to such limitations and conditions as the Secretary shall by regulation prescribe.
(15)Governor The term "Governor" means a chief executive officer of a State.
(16)Impartial hearing officer (A)In general The term "impartial hearing officer" means an individual
(i) who is not an employee of a public agency (other than an administrative law judge, hearing examiner, or employee of an institution of higher education);
(ii) who is not a member of the State Rehabilitation Council described in section 105;
(iii) who has not been involved previously in the vocational rehabilitation of the applicant or eligible individual;
(iv) who has knowledge of the delivery of vocational rehabilitation services, the State plan under section 101, and the Federal and State rules governing the provision of such services and training with respect to the performance of official duties; and
(v) who has no personal or financial interest that would be in conflict with the objectivity of the individual.
(B)Construction An individual shall not be considered to be an employee of a public agency for purposes of subparagraph (A)(i) solely because the individual is paid by the agency to serve as a hearing officer.
(17)Independent living core services The term "independent living core services" means
(A) information and referral services;
(B) independent living skills training;
(C) peer counseling (including cross disability peer counseling); and
(D) individual and systems advocacy.
(18)Independent living services The term "independent living services" includes
(A) independent living core services; and
(B)(i) counseling services, including psychological, psychotherapeutic, and related services;
(ii) services related to securing housing or shelter, including services related to community group living, and supportive of the purposes of this Act and of the titles of this Act, and adaptive housing services (including appropriate accommodations to and modifications of any space used to serve, or occupied by, individuals with disabilities);
(iii) rehabilitation technology;
(iv) mobility training;
(v) services and training for individuals with cognitive and sensory disabilities, including life skills training, and interpreter and reader services;
(vi) personal assistance services, including attendant care and the training of personnel providing such services;
(vii) surveys, directories, and other activities to identify appropriate housing, recreation opportunities, and accessible transportation, and other support services;
(viii) consumer information programs on rehabilitation and independent living services available under this Act, especially for minorities and other individuals with disabilities who have traditionally been unserved or underserved by programs under this Act;
(ix) education and training necessary for living in a community and participating in community activities;
(x) supported living;
(xi) transportation, including referral and assistance for such transportation and training in the use of public transportation vehicles and systems;
(xii) physical rehabilitation;
(xiii) therapeutic treatment;
(xiv) provision of needed prostheses and other appliances and devices;
(xv) individual and group social and recreational services;
(xvi) training to develop skills specifically designed for youths who are individuals with disabilities to promote self awareness and esteem, develop advocacy and self empowerment skills, and explore career options;
(xvii) services for children;
(xviii) services under other Federal, State, or local programs designed to provide resources, training, counseling, or other assistance, of substantial benefit in enhancing the independence, productivity, and quality of life of individuals with disabilities;
(xix) appropriate preventive services to decrease the need of individuals assisted under this Act for similar services in the future;
(xx) community awareness programs to enhance the understanding and integration into society of individuals with disabilities; and
(xxi) such other services as may be necessary and not inconsistent with the provisions of this Act.
(19)Indian; american indian; indian american; indian tribe (A)In general The terms "Indian", "American Indian", and "Indian American" mean an individual who is a member of an Indian tribe.
(B)Indian tribe The term "Indian tribe" means any Federal or State Indian tribe, band, rancheria, pueblo, colony, or community, including any Alaskan native village or regional village corporation (as defined in or established pursuant to the Alaska Native Claims Settlement Act).
(20)Individual with a disability (A)In general Except as otherwise provided in subparagraph (B), the term "individual with a disability" means any individual who
(i) has a physical or mental impairment which for such individual constitutes or results in a substantial impediment to employment; and
(ii) can benefit in terms of an employment outcome from vocational rehabilitation services provided pursuant to title I, III, or VI.
(B)Certain programs; limitations on major life activities Subject to subparagraphs (C), (D), (E), and (F), the term "individual with a disability" means, for purposes of sections 2, 14, and 15, and titles II, IV, V, and VII of this Act, any person who
(i) has a physical or mental impairment which substantially limits one or more of such person's major life activities;
(ii) has a record of such an impairment; or
(iii) is regarded as having such an impairment.
(C)Rights and advocacy provisions (i)In general; exclusion of individuals engaging in drug use For purposes of title V, the term "individual with a disability" does not include an individual who is currently engaging in the illegal use of drugs, when a covered entity acts on the basis of such use.
(ii)Exception for individuals no longer engaging in drug use Nothing in clause (i) shall be construed to exclude as an individual with a disability an individual who
(I) has successfully completed a supervised drug rehabilitation program and is no longer engaging in the illegal use of drugs, or has otherwise been rehabilitated successfully and is no longer engaging in such use;
(II) is participating in a supervised rehabilitation program and is no longer engaging in such use; or
(III) is erroneously regarded as engaging in such use, but is not engaging in such use; except that it shall not be a violation of this Act for a covered entity to adopt or administer reasonable policies or procedures, including but not limited to drug testing, designed to ensure that an individual described in subclause (I) or (II) is no longer engaging in the illegal use of drugs.
(iii)Exclusion for certain services Notwithstanding clause (i), for purposes of programs and activities providing health services and services provided under titles I, II, and III, an individual shall not be excluded from the benefits of such programs or activities on the basis of his or her current illegal use of drugs if he or she is otherwise entitled to such services.
(iv)Disciplinary action For purposes of programs and activities providing educational services, local educational agencies may take disciplinary action pertaining to the use or possession of illegal drugs or alcohol against any student who is an individual with a disability and who currently is engaging in the illegal use of drugs or in the use of alcohol to the same extent that such disciplinary action is taken against students who are not individuals with disabilities. Furthermore, the due process procedures at section 104.36 of title 34, Code of Federal Regulations (or any corresponding similar regulation or ruling) shall not apply to such disciplinary actions.
(v)Employment; exclusion of alcoholics For purposes of sections 503 and 504 as such sections relate to employment, the term "individual with a disability" does not include any individual who is an alcoholic whose current use of alcohol prevents such individual from performing the duties of the job in question or whose employment, by reason of such current alcohol abuse, would constitute a direct threat to property or the safety of others.
(D)Employment; exclusion of individuals with certain diseases or infections For the purposes of sections 503 and 504, as such sections relate to employment, such term does not include an individual who has a currently contagious disease or infection and who, by reason of such disease or infection, would constitute a direct threat to the health or safety of other individuals or who, by reason of the currently contagious disease or infection, is unable to perform the duties of the job.
(E)Rights provisions; exclusion of individuals on basis of homosexuality or bisexuality For the purposes of sections 501, 503, and 504
(i) for purposes of the application of subparagraph (B) to such sections, the term "impairment" does not include homosexuality or bisexuality; and
(ii) therefore the term "individual with a disability" does not include an individual on the basis of homosexuality or bisexuality.
(F)Rights provisions; exclusion of individuals on basis of certain disorders For the purposes of sections 501, 503, and 504, the term "individual with a disability" does not include an individual on the basis of
(i) transvestism, transsexualism, pedophilia, exhibitionism, voyeurism, gender identity disorders not resulting from physical impairments, or other sexual behavior disorders;
(ii) compulsive gambling, kleptomania, or pyromania; or
(iii) psychoactive substance use disorders resulting from current illegal use of drugs.
(G)Individuals with disabilities The term "individuals with disabilities" means more than one individual with a disability.
(21)Individual with a significant disability (A)In general Except as provided in subparagraph (B) or (C), the term "individual with a significant disability" means an individual with a disability
(i) who has a severe physical or mental impairment which seriously limits one or more functional capacities (such as mobility, communication, self care, self direction, interpersonal skills, work tolerance, or work skills) in terms of an employment outcome;
(ii) whose vocational rehabilitation can be expected to require multiple vocational rehabilitation services over an extended period of time; and
(iii) who has one or more physical or mental disabilities resulting from amputation, arthritis, autism, blindness, burn injury, cancer, cerebral palsy, cystic fibrosis, deafness, head injury, heart disease, hemiplegia, hemophilia, respiratory or pulmonary dysfunction, mental retardation, mental illness, multiple sclerosis, muscular dystrophy, musculo skeletal disorders, neurological disorders (including stroke and epilepsy), paraplegia, quadriplegia, and other spinal cord conditions, sickle cell anemia, specific learning disability, end stage renal disease, or another disability or combination of disabilities determined on the basis of an assessment for determining eligibility and vocational rehabilitation needs described in subparagraphs (A) and (B) of paragraph (2) to cause comparable substantial functional limitation.
(B)Independent living services and centers for independent living For purposes of title VII, the term "individual with a significant disability" means an individual with a severe physical or mental impairment whose ability to function independently in the family or community or whose ability to obtain, maintain, or advance in employment is substantially limited and for whom the delivery of independent living services will improve the ability to function, continue functioning, or move towards functioning independently in the family or community or to continue in employment, respectively.
(C)Research and training For purposes of title II, the term "individual with a significant disability" includes an individual described in subparagraph (A) or (B).
(D)Individuals with significant disabilities The term "individuals with significant disabilities" means more than one individual with a significant disability.
(E)Individual with a most significant disability (i)In general The term "individual with a most significant disability", used with respect to an individual in a State, means an individual with a significant disability who meets criteria established by the State under section 101(a)(5)(C).
(ii)Individuals with the most significant disabilities The term "individuals with the most significant disabilities" means more than one individual with a most significant disability.
(22)Individual's representative; applicant's representative The terms "individual's representative" and "applicant's representative" mean a parent, a family member, a guardian, an advocate, or an authorized representative of an individual or applicant, respectively.
(23)Institution of higher education The term "institution of higher education" has the meaning given the term in section 1201(a) of the Higher Education Act of 1965 (20 U.S.C. 1141(a)).
(24) Local agency The term "local agency" means an agency of a unit of general local government or of an Indian tribe (or combination of such units or tribes) which has an agreement with the designated State agency to conduct a vocational rehabilitation program under the supervision of such State agency in accordance with the State plan approved under section 101. Nothing in the preceding sentence of this paragraph or in section 101 shall be construed to prevent the local agency from arranging to utilize another local public or nonprofit agency to provide vocational rehabilitation services if such an arrangement is made part of the agreement specified in this paragraph.
(25)Local workforce investment board The term "local workforce investment board" means a local workforce investment board established under section 117 of the Workforce Investment Act of 1998.
(26)Nonprofit The term "nonprofit", when used with respect to a community rehabilitation program, means a community rehabilitation program carried out by a corporation or association, no part of the net earnings of which inures, or may lawfully inure, to the benefit of any private shareholder or individual and the income of which is exempt from taxation under section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986.
(27)Ongoing support services The term "ongoing support services" means services
(A) provided to individuals with the most significant disabilities;
(B) provided, at a minimum, twice monthly
(i) to make an assessment, regarding the employment situation, at the worksite of each such individual in supported employment, or, under special circumstances, especially at the request of the client, off site; and
(ii) based on the assessment, to provide for the coordination or provision of specific intensive services, at or away from the worksite, that are needed to maintain employment stability; and
(C) consisting of
(i) a particularized assessment supplementary to the comprehensive assessment described in paragraph (2)(B);
(ii) the provision of skilled job trainers who accompany the individual for intensive job skill training at the worksite;
(iii) job development, job retention, and placement services;
(iv) social skills training;
(v) regular observation or supervision of the individual;
(vi) followup services such as regular contact with the employers, the individuals, the individuals' representatives, and other appropriate individuals, in order to reinforce and stabilize the job placement;
(vii) facilitation of natural supports at the worksite;
(viii) any other service identified in section 103; or
(ix) a service similar to another service described in this subparagraph.
(28)Personal assistance services The term "personal assistance services" means a range of services, provided by one or more persons, designed to assist an individual with a disability to perform daily living activities on or off the job that the individual would typically perform if the individual did not have a disability. Such services shall be designed to increase the individual's control in life and ability to perform everyday activities on or off the job.
(29)Public or nonprofit The term "public or nonprofit", used with respect to an agency or organization, includes an Indian tribe.
(30)Rehabilitation technology The term "rehabilitation technology" means the systematic application of technologies, engineering methodologies, or scientific principles to meet the needs of and address the barriers confronted by individuals with disabilities in areas which include education, rehabilitation, employment, transportation, independent living, and recreation. The term includes rehabilitation engineering, assistive technology devices, and assistive technology services.
(31)Secretary The term "Secretary", except when the context otherwise requires, means the Secretary of Education.
(32)State The term "State" includes, in addition to each of the several States of the United States, the District of Columbia, the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, the United States Virgin Islands, Guam, American Samoa, and the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands.
(33)State workforce investment board The term "State workforce investment board" means a State workforce investment board established under section 111 of the Workforce Investment Act of 1998.
(34)Statewide workforce investment system The term "statewide workforce investment system" means a system described in section 111(d)(2) of the Workforce Investment Act of 1998.
(35)Supported employment (A)In general The term "supported employment" means competitive work in integrated work settings, or employment in integrated work settings in which individuals are working toward competitive work, consistent with the strengths, resources, priorities, concerns, abilities, capabilities, interests, and informed choice of the individuals, for individuals with the most significant disabilities
(i)(I) for whom competitive employment has not traditionally occurred; or
(II) for whom competitive employment has been interrupted or intermittent as a result of a significant disability; and
(ii) who, because of the nature and severity of their disability, need intensive supported employment services for the period, and any extension, described in paragraph (36)(C) and extended services after the transition described in paragraph (13)(C) in order to perform such work.
(B)Certain transitional employment Such term includes transitional employment for persons who are individuals with the most significant disabilities due to mental illness.
(36)Supported employment services The term "supported employment services" means ongoing support services and other appropriate services needed to support and maintain an individual with a most significant disability in supported employment, that
(A) are provided singly or in combination and are organized and made available in such a way as to assist an eligible individual to achieve competitive employment;
(B) are based on a determination of the needs of an eligible individual, as specified in an individualized plan for employment; and
(C) are provided by the designated State unit for a period of time not to extend beyond 18 months, unless under special circumstances the eligible individual and the rehabilitation counselor or coordinator involved jointly agree to extend the time in order to achieve the employment outcome identified in the individualized plan for employment.
(37)Transition services The term "transition services" means a coordinated set of activities for a student, designed within an outcome oriented process, that promotes movement from school to post school activities, including postsecondary education, vocational training, integrated employment (including supported employment), continuing and adult education, adult services, independent living, or community participation. The coordinated set of activities shall be based upon the individual student's needs, taking into account the student's preferences and interests, and shall include instruction, community experiences, the development of employment and other post school adult living objectives, and, when appropriate, acquisition of daily living skills and functional vocational evaluation.
(38)Vocational rehabilitation services The term "vocational rehabilitation services" means those services identified in section 103 which are provided to individuals with disabilities under this Act.
(39)Workforce investment activities The term "workforce investment activities" means workforce investment activities, as defined in section 101 of the Workforce Investment Act of 1998, that are carried out under that Act.
Allotment Percentage Sec. 8. (a)(1) For purposes of section 110, the allotment percentage for any State shall be 100 per centum less that percentage which bears the same ratio to 50 per centum as the per capita income of such State bears to the per capita income of the United States, except that
(A) the allotment percentage shall in no case be more than 75 per centum or less than 33 1/3 per centum; and
(B) the allotment percentage for the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, Guam, the Virgin Islands, American Samoa, and the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands shall be 75 per centum.
(2) The allotment percentages shall be promulgated by the Secretary between October 1 and December 31 of each even numbered year, on the basis of the average of the per capita incomes of the States and of the United States for the three most recent consecutive years for which satisfactory data are available from the Department of Commerce. Such promulgation shall be conclusive for each of the two fiscal years in the period beginning on the October 1 next succeeding such promulgation.
(3) The term "United States" means (but only for purposes of this subsection) the fifty States and the District of Columbia.
(b) The population of the several States and of the United States shall be determined on the basis of the most recent data available, to be furnished by the Department of Commerce by October 1 of the year preceding the fiscal year for which funds are appropriated pursuant to statutory authorizations.
Nonduplication Sec. 10. In determining the amount of any State's Federal share of expenditures for planning, administration, and services incurred by it under a State plan approved in accordance with section 101, there shall be disregarded--
(1) any portion of such expenditures which are financed by Federal funds provided under any other provision of law, and
(2) the amount of any non Federal funds required to be expended as a condition of receipt of such Federal funds.
No payment may be made from funds provided under one provision of this Act relating to any cost with respect to which any payment is made under any other provision of this Act, except that this section shall not be construed to limit or reduce fees for services rendered by community rehabilitation programs.
Application of Other Laws Sec. 11. The provisions of the Act of December 5, 1974 (Public Law 93 510) and of title V of the Act of October 15, 1977 (Public Law 95 134) shall not apply to the administration of the provisions of this Act or to the administration of any program or activity under this Act.
Administration of the Act Sec. 12. (a) In carrying out the purposes of this Act, the Commissioner may
(1) provide consultative services and technical assistance to public or nonprofit private agencies and organizations, including assistance to enable such agencies and organizations to facilitate meaningful and effective participation by individuals with disabilities in workforce investment activities;
(2) provide short term training and technical instruction, including training for the personnel of community rehabilitation programs, centers for independent living, and other providers of services (including job coaches);
(3) conduct special projects and demonstrations;
(4) collect, prepare, publish, and disseminate special educational or informational materials, including reports of the projects for which funds are provided under this Act; and
(5) provide monitoring and conduct evaluations.
(b)(1) In carrying out the duties under this Act, the Commissioner may utilize the services and facilities of any agency of the Federal Government and of any other public or nonprofit agency or organization, in accordance with agreements between the Commissioner and the head thereof, and may pay therefor, in advance or by way of reimbursement, as may be provided in the agreement.
(2) In carrying out the provisions of this Act, the Commissioner shall appoint such task forces as may be necessary to collect and disseminate information in order to improve the ability of the Commissioner to carry out the provisions of this Act.
(c) The Commissioner may promulgate such regulations as are considered appropriate to carry out the Commissioner's duties under this Act.
(d) The Secretary shall promulgate regulations regarding the requirements for the implementation of an order of selection for vocational rehabilitation services under section 101(a)(5)(A) if such services cannot be provided to all eligible individuals with disabilities who apply for such services.
(e) Not later than 180 days after the date of enactment of the Rehabilitation Act Amendments of 1998, the Secretary shall receive public comment and promulgate regulations to implement the amendments made by the Rehabilitation Act Amendments of 1998.
(f) In promulgating regulations to carry out this Act, the Secretary shall promulgate only regulations that are necessary to administer and ensure compliance with the specific requirements of this Act.
(g) There are authorized to be appropriated to carry out this section such sums as may be necessary.
Reports Sec. 13. (a) Not later than one hundred and eighty days after the close of each fiscal year, the Commissioner shall prepare and submit to the President and to the Congress a full and complete report on the activities carried out under this Act, including the activities and staffing of the information clearinghouse under section 15.
(b) The Commissioner shall collect information to determine whether the purposes of this Act are being met and to assess the performance of programs carried out under this Act. The Commissioner shall take whatever action is necessary to assure that the identity of each individual for which information is supplied under this section is kept confidential, except as otherwise required by law (including regulation).
(c) In preparing the report, the Commissioner shall annually collect and include in the report information based on the information submitted by States in accordance with section 101(a)(10), including information on administrative costs as required by section 101(a)(10)(D). The Commissioner shall, to the maximum extent appropriate, include in the report all information that is required to be submitted in the reports described in section 136(d) of the Workforce Investment Act of 1998 and that pertains to the employment of individuals with disabilities.
Evaluation Sec. 14. (a) For the purpose of improving program management and effectiveness, the Secretary, in consultation with the Commissioner, shall evaluate all the programs authorized by this Act, their general effectiveness in relation to their cost, their impact on related programs, and their structure and mechanisms for delivery of services, using appropriate methodology and evaluative research designs. The Secretary shall establish and use standards for the evaluations required by this subsection. Such an evaluation shall be conducted by a person not immediately involved in the administration of the program evaluated.
(b) In carrying out evaluations under this section, the Secretary shall obtain the opinions of program and project participants about the strengths and weaknesses of the programs and projects.
(c) The Secretary shall take the necessary action to assure that all studies, evaluations, proposals, and data produced or developed with Federal funds under this Act shall become the property of the United States.
(d) Such information as the Secretary may determine to be necessary for purposes of the evaluations conducted under this section shall be made available upon request of the Secretary, by the departments and agencies of the executive branch.
(e)(1) To assess the linkages between vocational rehabilitation services and economic and noneconomic outcomes, the Secretary shall continue to conduct a longitudinal study of a national sample of applicants for the services.
(2) The study shall address factors related to attrition and completion of the program through which the services are provided and factors within and outside the program affecting results. Appropriate comparisons shall be used to contrast the experiences of similar persons who do not obtain the services.
(3) The study shall be planned to cover the period beginning on the application of individuals with disabilities for the services, through the eligibility determination and provision of services for the individuals, and a further period of not less than 2 years after the termination of services.
(f)(1) The Commissioner shall identify and disseminate information on exemplary practices concerning vocational rehabilitation.
(2) To facilitate compliance with paragraph (1), the Commissioner shall conduct studies and analyses that identify exemplary practices concerning vocational rehabilitation, including studies in areas relating to providing informed choice in the rehabilitation process, promoting consumer satisfaction, promoting job placement and retention, providing supported employment, providing services to particular disability populations, financing personal assistance services, providing assistive technology devices and assistive technology services, entering into cooperative agreements, establishing standards and certification for community rehabilitation programs, converting from nonintegrated to integrated employment, and providing caseload management.
(g) There are authorized to be appropriated to carry out this section such sums as may be necessary.
Information Clearinghouse Sec. 15. (a) The Secretary shall establish a central clearinghouse for information and resource availability for individuals with disabilities which shall provide information and data regarding
(1) the location, provision, and availability of services and programs for individuals with disabilities, including such information and data provided by State workforce investment boards regarding such services and programs authorized under title I of such Act;
(2) research and recent medical and scientific developments bearing on disabilities (and their prevention, amelioration, causes, and cures); and
(3) the current numbers of individuals with disabilities and their needs. The clearinghouse shall also provide any other relevant information and data which the Secretary considers appropriate.
(b) The Commissioner may assist the Secretary to develop within the Department of Education a coordinated system of information and data retrieval, which will have the capacity and responsibility to provide information regarding the information and data referred to in subsection (a) of this section to the Congress, public and private agencies and organizations, individuals with disabilities and their families, professionals in fields serving such individuals, and the general public.
(c) The office established to carry out the provisions of this section shall be known as the “Office of Information and Resources for Individuals with Disabilities.”
(d) There are authorized to be appropriated to carry out this section such sums as may be necessary.
Transfer of Funds Sec. 16. (a) Except as provided in subsection (b) of this section, no funds appropriated under this Act for any program or activity may be used for any purpose other than that for which the funds were specifically authorized.
(b) No more than 1 percent of funds appropriated for discretionary grants, contracts, or cooperative agreements authorized by this Act may be used for the purpose of providing non Federal panels of experts to review applications for such grants, contracts, or cooperative agreements.
State Administration Sec. 17. The application of any State rule or policy relating to the administration or operation of programs funded by this Act (including any rule or policy based on State interpretation of any Federal law, regulation, or guideline) shall be identified as a State imposed requirement.
Review of Applications Sec. 18. Applications for grants in excess of $100,000 in the aggregate authorized to be funded under this Act, other than grants primarily for the purpose of conducting dissemination or conferences, shall be reviewed by panels of experts which shall include a majority of non Federal members. Non Federal members may be provided travel, per diem, and consultant fees not to exceed the daily equivalent of the rate of pay for level 4 of the Senior Executive Service Schedule under section 5382 of title 5, United States Code.
Carryover Sec. 19. (a)In General Except as provided in subsection (b), and notwithstanding any other provision of law
(1) any funds appropriated for a fiscal year to carry out any grant program under part B of title I, section 509 (except as provided in section 509(b)), part B of title VI, part B or C of chapter 1 of title VII, or chapter 2 of title VII (except as provided in section 752(b)), including any funds reallotted under any such grant program, that are not obligated and expended by recipients prior to the beginning of the succeeding fiscal year; or
(2) any amounts of program income, including reimbursement payments under the Social Security Act (42 U.S.C. 301 et seq.), received by recipients under any grant program specified in paragraph (1) that are not obligated and expended by recipients prior to the beginning of the fiscal year succeeding the fiscal year in which such amounts were received, shall remain available for obligation and expenditure by such recipients during such succeeding fiscal year.
(b)Non Federal Share Such funds shall remain available for obligation and expenditure by a recipient as provided in subsection (a) only to the extent that the recipient complied with any Federal share requirements applicable to the program for the fiscal year for which the funds were appropriated.
Client Assistance Information Sec. 20. All programs, including community rehabilitation programs, and projects, that provide services to individuals with disabilities under this Act shall advise such individuals who are applicants for or recipients of the services, or the applicants' representatives or individuals' representatives, of the availability and purposes of the client assistance program under section 112, including information on means of seeking assistance under such program.
Traditionally Underserved Populations Sec. 21. (a)Findings With respect to the programs authorized in titles II through VII, the Congress finds as follows:
(1)Racial profile The racial profile of America is rapidly changing. While the rate of increase for white Americans is 3.2 percent, the rate of increase for racial and ethnic minorities is much higher: 38.6 percent for Latinos, 14.6 percent for African Americans, and 40.1 percent for Asian Americans and other ethnic groups. By the year 2000, the Nation will have 260,000,000 people, one of every three of whom will be either African American, Latino, or Asian American.
(2)Rate of disability Ethnic and racial minorities tend to have disabling conditions at a disproportionately high rate. The rate of work related disability for American Indians is about one and one half times that of the general population. African Americans are also one and one half times more likely to be disabled than whites and twice as likely to be significantly disabled.
(3)Inequitable treatment Patterns of inequitable treatment of minorities have been documented in all major junctures of the vocational rehabilitation process. As compared to white Americans, a larger percentage of African American applicants to the vocational rehabilitation system is denied acceptance. Of applicants accepted for service, a larger percentage of African American cases is closed without being rehabilitated. Minorities are provided less training than their white counterparts. Consistently, less money is spent on minorities than on their white counterparts.
(4)Recruitment Recruitment efforts within vocational rehabilitation at the level of preservice training, continuing education, and in service training must focus on bringing larger numbers of minorities into the profession in order to provide appropriate practitioner knowledge, role models, and sufficient manpower to address the clearly changing demography of vocational rehabilitation.
(b)Outreach to Minorities (1)In general For each fiscal year, the Commissioner and the Director of the National Institute on Disability and Rehabilitation Research (referred to in this subsection as the "Director") shall reserve 1 percent of the funds appropriated for the fiscal year for programs authorized under titles II, III, VI, and VII to carry out this subsection. The Commissioner and the Director shall use the reserved funds to carry out 1 or more of the activities described in paragraph (2) through a grant, contract, or cooperative agreement.
(2)Activities The activities carried out by the Commissioner and the Director shall include 1 or more of the following:
(A) Making awards to minority entities and Indian tribes to carry out activities under the programs authorized under titles II, III, VI, and VII.
(B) Making awards to minority entities and Indian tribes to conduct research, training, technical assistance, or a related activity, to improve services provided under this Act, especially services provided to individuals from minority backgrounds.
(C) Making awards to entities described in paragraph (3) to provide outreach and technical assistance to minority entities and Indian tribes to promote their participation in activities funded under this Act, including assistance to enhance their capacity to carry out such activities.
(3)Eligibility To be eligible to receive an award under paragraph (2)(C), an entity shall be a State or a public or private nonprofit agency or organization, such as an institution of higher education or an Indian tribe.
(4)Report In each fiscal year, the Commissioner and the Director shall prepare and submit to Congress a report that describes the activities funded under this subsection for the preceding fiscal year.
(5)Definitions In this subsection:
(A)Historically black college or university: The term "historically Black college or university" means a part B institution, as defined in section 322(2) of the Higher Education Act of 1965 (20 U.S.C. 1061(2)).
(B)Minority entity: The term "minority entity" means an entity that is a historically Black college or university, a Hispanic serving institution of higher education, an American Indian tribal college or university, or another institution of higher education whose minority student enrollment is at least 50 percent.
(c)Demonstration In awarding grants, or entering into contracts or cooperative agreements under titles I, II, III, VI, and VII, and section 509, the Commissioner and the Director, in appropriate cases, shall require applicants to demonstrate how the applicants will address, in whole or in part, the needs of individuals with disabilities from minority backgrounds.
TITLE I VOCATIONAL REHABILITATION SERVICES