ED/OSERS/RSA
Rehabilitation Services Administration
ED

Our mission — to provide leadership and resources to assist state and other agencies in providing vocational rehabilitation(VR) and other services to individuals with disabilities to maximize their employment, independence and integration into the community and the competitive labor market.

RSA is charged with

  • administering formula and discretionary grant programs authorized by Congress;
  • evaluating, monitoring, and reporting on the implementation of Federal policy and programs and the effectiveness of vocational rehabilitation, supported employment, and other related programs for individuals with disabilities;
  • coordinating with other Federal agencies, State agencies, and the private sector including professional organizations, service providers, and organizations of persons with disabilities for the review of program planning, implementation, and monitoring issues.

Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act



WIOA Resources

  • TAC-15-02—"Vision for the State Vocational Rehabilitation Services Program as a Partner in the Workforce Development System under the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act"
    Aug 17, 2015 — PDF (69KB)
  • TAC-15-01—"Vision for the One-Stop Delivery System under the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA)"
    Aug 13, 2015 — PDF (99KB)
  • Read the “July 1, 2015 — Making a Shift in the Public Workforce System” blog post
  • WIOA Vision Blog
  • FAQs about WIOA NPRMs (PDF 348KB)
  • Rehab Act as amended by WIOA Nov 2014 (PDF 578KB)
  • DOL Questions and Answers about WIOA
  • Office of Career, Technical, and Adult Education (OCTAE)
  • Department of Labor's Employment and Training Administration (DOL/ETA)
  • Connect to OSERS Twitter logo OSERS Blog logo

    The President signed the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA), which replaces the Workforce Investment Act of 1998. This new law represents a renewed commitment to workforce development with an eye to the future through innovation and support for individual and national economic growth. It is aimed at increasing opportunities, particularly for those facing barriers to employment, and invests in the important connection between education and career preparation. It looks to the prosperity of workers and employers and focuses on the economic growth of communities, regions, and states to enhance our global competitiveness as a country. While some research services and resources for those with disabilities will be transferred from the U.S. Department of Education (ED) to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), we expect a seamless transition with minimal disruption, and we express our continued strong commitment to grantees and all key stakeholders.

    The new law states that the amendments that it makes to the Rehabilitation Act, as well as the transfer of certain programs from ED to HHS, took effect when President Obama signed the bill. However, WIOA also gives the Secretaries of ED and HHS authority to ensure an orderly transition as they implement these changes so they are carried out in a manner that minimizes disruption. ED and HHS, after working with the Office of Management and Budget, have determined that ED will continue to administer the affected programs until the orderly transfer can be completed as soon as reasonably possible. We will continue to engage and inform grantees and key stakeholders as specific plans for the transfer of these programs are developed and implemented. We appreciate your continued support as we realign and strengthen our programs for people with disabilities.

    To obtain a printed copy in the form of a paperback book from the House Legislative Resource Center, send an e-mail to: info.clerkweb@mail.house.gov, or call: 202-226–5210, or write to:

    B-106 Cannon House Office Building
    Washington, DC 20515-6612

    Ask for Public Law 113-128.




    Q and A's


    The Departments of Education and Labor have jointly developed the following questions and answers concerning the funding of one-stop infrastructure costs.

    Q. Will the specific WIOA requirements for local agreements for funding the one–stop infrastructure costs apply in PY 2016?
    No. The specific requirements for the local funding agreements, which are related to how the shared and infrastructure costs of the one–stop service delivery system will be paid by the one–stop partners, need not be satisfied in the funding agreements for PY 2016. States and local areas may continue to negotiate local funding agreements as they have been doing so under WIA for purposes of PY 2016. However, the local funding agreements must satisfy the requirements of section 121(h) of WIOA for purposes of funding the one–stop system in PY 2017.

    Q. What happens if the local areas fail to reach an agreement for funding the one–stop system in PY 2016?
    In the event of failure to reach an agreement for funding the one–stop system in PY 2016, the State funding mechanism will not yet be applicable as the alternative, as it will not be implemented until PY 2017. Therefore, if a local area fails to reach an agreement for funding the one–stop system in PY 2016, the one–stop partners must continue to use whatever process they have been using under WIA to resolve disputes for purposes of funding the one–stop system during PY 2016.

    Q. What can States do now to prepare for implementation of the funding requirements in PY 2017?
    The Governor and the State Board should begin developing the guidance to be used by the local areas in negotiating agreements for the funding of the one–stop service delivery system. This guidance should also include the development of a State funding mechanism that will be used in the event that a local area fails to reach an agreement.

    (01/28/2016)


    The following two Q and A’s provide information regarding the issuance of final regulations jointly developed by the Departments of Education and Labor and the submission of the Unified and Combined State Plans under the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act, enacted July 22, 2014 (WIOA).

    Q: When will the final regulations for WIOA be published?
    The Departments of Labor and Education, in collaboration with other Federal partner agencies, published five Notices of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRMs) in April 2015. In addition, the Departments and other Federal partner agencies published several proposed new Information Collection Requests (ICRs) in summer 2015 to inform stakeholders of new data elements that would need to be reported under WIOA. As a result of these publications, the Departments received thousands of public comments, all of which must be considered in the development of final rules and ICRs. The Federal agencies have been diligently working on the analysis of all comments in order to develop final regulations, ICRs, and policies that are consistent with the requirements of WIOA, as well as other authorizing laws for the affected programs. Given the complexity of these issues, the Departments are working toward making the final regulations publicly available in June 2016. The Departments intend to provide necessary information about the requirements imposed by WIOA and the forthcoming regulations as soon as possible through guidance, notification of information collection requirements, and technical assistance, and by making the regulations available on their websites when they are sent to the Federal Register.

    Q: When must States submit the first WIOA Unified or Combined State Plan?
    WIOA Sections 102(c)(1)(A) and 103(b)(1) require States to submit the initial Unified or Combined State Plan no later than 120 days prior to the commencement of the second full program year after the date of enactment (i.e., July 1, 2016), making the statutory submission date March 3, 2016. However, pursuant to the orderly transition authority in section 503 of WIOA, the Departments of Labor and Education will consider as timely an initial Unified or Combined State Plan that is submitted by April 1, 2016.

    (01/21/2016)

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    Comments being accepted on the Unified State Plan


    The Department of Labor, in coordination with the Departments of Education, Health and Human Services, Agriculture, and Housing and Urban Development, is soliciting comments concerning a collection of data that will be used for Unified and Combined State Plans under the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA). The WIOA Unified and Combined State Plan Requirements is a consolidated information collection that would implement sections 102 and 103 of WIOA (P.L. 113-128). WIOA requires that, no later than March 3, 2016, each state, at a minimum, submit a Unified State Plan as a condition of receiving funds for core programs subject to the Unified State Plan requirements. In the alternative, states may submit a Combined State Plan as a condition of receiving funds under certain named programs subject to the Combined State Plan provisions. See 29 U.S.C. §§ 3112 and 3113. The Unified or Combined State Plan requirements are designed to improve service integration and ensure that the publicly-funded workforce system provides a range of employment, education, training, and related services and supports to help all jobseekers secure good jobs while providing businesses with the skilled workers they need to compete in the global economy. To that end, the Unified or Combined State Plan would describe how the state will develop and implement a unified, integrated service delivery system rather than discuss the state's approach to operating each program individually.

    As required by the Paperwork Reduction Act, we are seeking comment through January 22, 2016 on the proposed WIOA State Plan information collection request (ICR). A copy of the Federal Register Notice for this collection, proposed ICR and supplement, and supporting statement may be accessed at: http://www.reginfo.gov/public/do/PRAViewICR?ref_nbr=201503-1205-020.

    The Departments published an earlier version of this ICR for a 60-day comment period that closed on October 5, 2015. The Departments responded to comments received during the 60-day comment period and are re-publishing the ICR for a final 30-day comment period as required by the Paperwork Reduction Act. This comment period is open for 30 days and closes on January 22, 2016. Any comments not received through the process outlined in the Federal Register (https://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/FR-2015-12-23/pdf/2015-32278.pdf) will not be considered.

    (12/31/2015)

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    Vision. Policy. Strategy. January 26-28, 2016 in Washington DC


    Mark Your Calendars for the National Convening of Workforce Leadership: A conference on Innovation and Opportunity to be held January 26-28, 2016 in Washington, D.C. Download the flyer (PDF 502KB).

    (11/10/2015)



    Notices of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRMs)


    The Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA), signed by President Obama on July 22, 2014, is the first major reform to federal job training programs in over 15 years. WIOA is designed to streamline and improve the coordination of employment and training services across federal agencies and strengthen collaboration with state and local partners. To ensure the most effective and efficient delivery of these services, on April 16, 2015 the departments of Labor and Education announced five new proposed rules to fully implement WIOA. The five proposed rules include a joint Department of Labor and Education rule, a Department of Labor rule, and three Department of Education rules to implement the requirements of titles II and IV of WIOA

    Here are summaries of each proposed rule and a link to read the comments provided by the public.

    Please visit www.regulations.gov to share your comments on the specific proposed rules, in accordance with the process outlined in the NPRMs. Any comments not received through the processes outlined in the NPRMs will not be considered by the departments.



    Transfer of the Independent Living Services and Centers for Independent Living programs


    The Workforce Innovation and Opportunities Act of 2014 transfers the Independent Living Services and Centers for Independent Living programs from the Rehabilitation Services Administration of the U.S. Department of Education, to the Administration for Community Living (ACL) of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. ACL has posted a news release regarding the transition of these programs.



    Read Submitted Comments on Implementation of Title II and Title IV of the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act


    OSERS and the Office Career, Technical and Adult Education (OCTAE) thank all the contributors who submitted comments on the implementation of WIOA Title II and Title IV. We received 277 comments by the closing on August 29, 2014.

    This thoughtful feedback will be reviewed by the Offices and considered as we prepare the Notice of Proposed Rule Making (NPRM) on proposed regulations.

    Please watch for the next opportunity to submit comments in January 2015 when the NPRM is released in the Federal Register.

    (09/05/2014)



    Additional WIOA Information and Resources




     


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    Find out about RSA programs in your state. Choose a state from the drop-down box and click GO, or click your state on the map.

       
    Alabama Alaska Arizona Arkansas California Colorado Connecticut Delaware District of Columbia Florida Georgia Hawaii Idaho Illinois Indiana Iowa Kansas Kentucky Louisiana Maine Maryland Massachusetts Michigan Michigan Minnesota Mississippi Missouri Montana Nebraska Nevada New Hampshire New Hampshire New Jersey New Mexico New York North Carolina North Dakotra Ohio Oklahoma Oregon Pennsylvania Rhode Island South Carolina South Dakota Tennessee Texas Utah Vermont Vermont Virginia Washington West Virginia Wisconsin Wyoming Clickable map of the US - screen readers may find the dropdown list box more usable

    What's New in RSA




    Comments being accepted on the Unified State Plan


    The Department of Labor, in coordination with the Departments of Education, Health and Human Services, Agriculture, and Housing and Urban Development, is soliciting comments concerning a collection of data that will be used for Unified and Combined State Plans under the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA). The WIOA Unified and Combined State Plan Requirements is a consolidated information collection that would implement sections 102 and 103 of WIOA (P.L. 113-128). WIOA requires that, no later than March 3, 2016, each State, at a minimum, submit a Unified State Plan as a condition of receiving funds for core programs subject to the Unified State Plan requirements. In the alternative, States may submit a Combined State Plan as a condition of receiving funds under certain named programs subject to the Combined State Plan provisions. See 29 U.S.C. §§ 3112 and 3113. The Unified or Combined State Plan requirements are designed to improve service integration and ensure that the publicly-funded workforce system provides a range of employment, education, training, and related services and supports to help all jobseekers secure good jobs while providing businesses with the skilled workers they need to compete in the global economy. To that end, the Unified or Combined State Plan would describe how the State will develop and implement a unified, integrated service delivery system rather than discuss the State's approach to operating each program individually.

    As required by the Paperwork Reduction Act, we are seeking comment through January 22, 2016 on the proposed WIOA State Plan information collection request (ICR). A copy of the Federal Register Notice for this collection, proposed ICR and supplement, and supporting statement may be accessed at: http://www.reginfo.gov/public/do/PRAViewICR?ref_nbr=201503-1205-020.

    The Departments published an earlier version of this ICR for a 60-day comment period that closed on October 5, 2015. The Departments responded to comments received during the 60-day comment period and are re-publishing the ICR for a final 30-day comment period as required by the Paperwork Reduction Act. This comment period is open for 30 days and closes on January 22, 2016. Any comments not received through the process outlined in the Federal Register (https://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/FR-2015-12-23/pdf/2015-32278.pdf) will not be considered.

    (12/31/2015)

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    PD-16-02—OMB Approval for RSA-722


    PD-16-02—"Announcement of OMB Approval for Annual Report on Appeals Process (RSA-722)"
    Dec 14, 2015 — PDF (119KB)

    (12/14/2015)

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    PD-16-01—OMB Approval for RSA-7-OB Annual Report


    PD-16-01—"Announcement of OMB Approval for Form RSA-7-OB, Independent Living Services for Older Individuals who are Blind Program (ILOIB) Annual Report"
    Nov 30, 2015 — PDF (320KB)

    (12/02/2015)

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    Grants & Funding



    The Rehabilitation Services Administration (RSA), through its many programs and projects, provides an array of discretionary grants and other funding opportunities to serve individuals with disabilities and their families. Please find out more about those opportunities below.



    Discretionary Grant Applications


    Click on Discretionary Grant Applications to learn more about discretionary grant funding opportunities available from RSA.


    Scholarships


    RSA awards grants to colleges and universities for providing scholarship assistance to students.


    RSA Program Budget


    The Rehabilitation Services Administration (RSA) supports formula grants to states for vocational rehabilitation services and a variety of smaller demonstration, training and service programs. The purpose of these programs is to develop and implement comprehensive and coordinated programs of vocational rehabilitation and independent living for individuals with disabilities. Current and past program budgets, as well as state-by-state distributions for formula grant awards for all Department of Education programs are available.


     


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    Orientation & Technical Assistance Guide for State Vocational Rehabilitation Directors



     




    Overview


    RSA extends a special welcome to new state vocational rehabilitation (VR) directors. This orientation is provided to support you in the important work of administering federal programs within your state funded under the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, as amended, including the Vocational Rehabilitation Services Program, the Supported Employment Program, the State Independent Living Services Program, and the Independent Living Services for Older Individuals who are Blind Program. RSA developed this guide to provide quick and efficient access to information and technical assistance resources related to the administration of these programs. We hope that you find this information useful and encourage you to contact your RSA state liaison for assistance in locating other resources, or for responses to questions pertaining to the administration of any of these programs.

    The RSA web site is a primary source for locating pertinent information described below related to RSA’s formula and discretionary grant programs, including current policy guidance, on-line training and technical assistance tools and resources, state and national data, grant-related reporting forms, VR and IL State Plans, and other state-specific information. Links to this information are included below for ready access.

    To access the most current information and notifications from RSA, VR directors can subscribe for email updates



    Legislation, Regulations and Guidance





    Program Specific Regulations




    Guidance




    State Rehabilitation Council


    The State Rehabilitation Council (SRC) is a key partner with the VR agency in the administration of the VR program. RSA developed training for State Rehabilitation Council members that may be helpful to you in learning more about the role and function of the SRC. The training is a self-paced on-line tutorial, consisting of a series of topical modules designed to enhance the knowledge of SRCs, thus, enabling them to carry out their functions more effectively.

    The modules address the following topics:

    • history of the VR program;
    • overview of the Rehabilitation Act;
    • role and functions of the SRC related to the conduct of the statewide needs assessment;
    • development of state goals and priorities;
    • analysis of consumer satisfaction; and
    • development and operationalization of the VR State Plan.

    More recent modules address performance evaluation and quality assurance of the VR program. We invite you to access this on-line training program.



    State Independent Living Council


    The Statewide Independent Living Council (SILC) and the Designated State Unit (DSU) are partners in the joint development of the State Plan for Independent Living, with input from the statewide network of Centers for Independent Living (CILs). The SILC and the DSU, together with the statewide network, work to fulfill the purpose of the Independent Living Program. SILC duties and authorized activities are described in sections 705(c), (d) and (e) of the Rehabilitation Act.

    Additional guidance on the role and duties of the SILC can be found in RSA’s Responses to NCIL’s Questions Regarding SILC Roles and Responsibilities.

    RSA, through its Independent Living Training and Technical Assistance center, developed an on-line training resource for SILCs that addresses issues pertinent to the operation and performance of the SILC.



    Vocational Rehabilitation / Supported Employment State Plan


    An important component of the VR/SE State Plan is Attachment 4.11(a), which includes the results of the Comprehensive Statewide Needs Assessment (CSNA) that describes the needs of individuals with disabilities residing within the state, in accordance with the requirements in section 101(a)(15)(A)(i) of the Rehabilitation Act.

    As a resource to VR agencies and SRCs in conducting the CSNA, RSA developed a Vocational Rehabilitation Needs Assessment Guide.

    In addition, RSA developed a subsequent module to the SRC on-line training series focused on program evaluation and quality assurance.



    State Plan for Independent Living (SPIL)


    RSA has provided training and resources to assist states with the development and implementation of the SPIL. In addition, RSA developed an instrument to facilitate the SPIL review process, as well as detailed instructions on completing and submitting the SPIL through the RSA website.



    Monitoring



    Vocational Rehabilitation and Supported Employment Programs


    Section 107 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, as amended, requires the commissioner of 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 agency is complying substantially with the provisions of its VR 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 developed the VR Monitoring and Technical Assistance Guide (MTAG) through which it assesses the performance of the VR agencies in the operation of the program and their compliance with pertinent federal programmatic and fiscal requirements.

    It is important to note that the VR MTAG may be revised or updated from year-to-year. Therefore, we recommend that you return to this site periodically to access RSA’s most current VR MTAG.

    During the monitoring process, RSA works closely with the VR agency, the State Rehabilitation Council, and stakeholders to identify emerging practices to help promote communities of practice and increase awareness of a variety of approaches that could provide a foundation for research and lead to the development of evidence-based practices.



    State Independent Living Programs


    RSA developed the FY 2012 Independent Living Monitoring and Technical Assistance Guide (IL/MTAG) through which it assesses the performance and compliance of the Designated State Agency and/or Designated State Unit with pertinent programmatic and fiscal requirements in the administration of the two IL formula grant programs authorized under Title VII of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, as amended, including the State Independent Living Services Program and the IL Services for Older Individuals who are Blind Program.



    Fiscal Management


    To assist states with the fiscal administration of the program, RSA developed a number of fiscal resources including policy directives and training materials on specific areas of fiscal policy and program administration. In addition, RSA posted training materials from the FY 2013 RSA National Fiscal Management Training Conference conducted August 27-29, 2013, as a resource in this area.

    The materials address a number of topics including:

    • Allowable and Allocable Costs;
    • Contract Development and Administration;
    • Establishment Projects;
    • Indirect Cost and Cost Allocation Plan;
    • Integration of Program and Fiscal Info/Data Planning;
    • Internal and External Fiscal Control;
    • Maintenance of Effort;
    • Management of Funding Streams Cash Management & Drawdown;
    • Personnel Cost Allocation;
    • Sources of Match; Third-Party Cooperative Arrangements; and
    • Supporting Documentation.

    RSA developed calculators to assist VR agencies in finding the amount of match needed to fulfill the non-federal share of a grant award, and the formula grant process for the basic VR state grants program.



     



     


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    Annual Reports



    The RSA Annual Reports provide a description of the activities of RSA. RSA is the principal agency for carrying out Titles I, III, VI and VII, as well as specified portions of Title V of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, as amended. RSA is responsible for preparing and submitting these reports to the President and Congress under Section 13 of the Act.

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