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Sub-Regulatory Guidance

RSA establishes policy and prescribes the methods found necessary for the proper and efficient administration of the programs for which RSA is responsible. Policy is a formal statement, from among one or more legally supportable options, establishing conditions, relationships or conduct which are held to be necessary for implementing or substantiating the letter and/or intent of relevant law and regulations and ensuring the proper management by such laws and regulations.

  • Policy Directives (PD) are formal statements of required action(s) or condition(s) that must be carried out or met by VR agencies or other RSA grantees to comply with statute or regulations. A PD is legally enforceable because it is based on a statutory or regulatory provision.
  • Technical Assistance Circulars (TAC) are formal statements of guidelines and/or suggested methods to satisfy statutory, regulatory or policy requirements. A TAC addresses those areas of program requirements for which VR agencies or other RSA grantees have flexibility in determining precisely how such requirements are to be met.
  • Information Memoranda (IM) transmit information to grantees who administer RSA formula or discretionary grant programs.
  • Other DocumentationSub-regulatory guidance documents, such as Grant Award Notification Attachments, Frequently Asked Questions, and Dear Colleague Letters, that support RSA formula and discretionary grant programs.
Sub-Regulatory Guidance Table

Negotiations and Sanctions Guidance for WIOA Core Programs


Federal Requirements Governing the Composition and Membership of, and Appointments to, the State Rehabilitation Councils


Allowable Sources of Non-Federal Share for the State VR Services Program


Performance Accountability Guidance for WIOA Core Programs


Prohibition Against Applying Financial Needs Tests or Requiring Cost Participation as a Condition for the Receipt of VR Services for SSI and SSDI Recipients

TAC 22-02

Modification Requirements for WIOA State Plans for PYs 2022 and 2023


RSA Approval of State Rules


The Application of the Randolph-Sheppard Act Priority for Blind Vendors to the Operation of Vending Machines on Federal Property and the Use of Third-Party Vendors on that Property


Active Participation of Elected Committees of Blind Vendors with State Licensing Agencies in the Randolph-Sheppard Vending Facility Program


Technical Assistance regarding the Submission Deadline for the Unified and Combined State Plans under WIOA for PYs 2020-2023 and Other Related Requirements


Guidance for Validating Jointly Required Performance Data Submitted under WIOA


Two-Year Modification Requirements for WIOA Unified and Combined State Plans


WIOA Annual Performance Report Submission


Guidance on the Use of Supplemental Wage Information to Implement the Performance Accountability Requirements under WIOA


Infrastructure Funding of the One-Stop Delivery System


One-Stop Operations Guidance for the American Job Center Network


Vision for the State VR Services Program as a Partner in the Workforce Development System under WIOA


Vision for the One-Stop Delivery System under WIOA


Reorganization of the Designated State Agency and the Designated State Unit for the VR Program


Provision of VR Services to an Individual by More Than One Agency


Organizational Structure and Non-Delegable Responsibilities of the Designated State Unit for the VR Program


Self-Employment, Telecommuting, and Establishing a Small Business as Employment Outcomes


Support Services for Individuals with Cognitive Disabilities and Others Who Need Assistance in Implementing Informed Choice

Dear Director Letters

RSA issues broad written technical assistance in the form of Dear Director Letters that provide information, technical assistance and clarification regarding implementation of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, as amended by Title IV of the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA).

  • RSA transmits a copy of the Vocational Rehabilitation Financial Report (RSA-17) and instructions for completing the form for the State Vocational Rehabilitation (VR) Services program. The Office of Management and Budget (OMB) has approved this form (OMB Control No. 1820-0017) through August 31, 2023. The RSA-17 will be effective for the VR program for new VR grant awards issued on or after October 1, 2020 (Federal fiscal year (FFY) 2021). The RSA-17 form will replace the RSA-2 and SF-425 submissions for these awards. The RSA-17 will collect quarterly cumulative VR financial data on an award-by-award basis.

  • RSA transmits a copy of the SF-425 and revised instructions for completing the form for the following formula award programs: Client Assistance Program; Independent Living Services for Older Individuals Who Are Blind (OIB); and Protection and Advocacy of Individual Rights (PAIR). RSA revised and updated the instructions because the Department has retired parts 74 and 80 of the Education Department General Administrative Regulations and adopted in their place the governmentwide Uniform Administrative Requirements, Cost Principles, and Audit Requirements for Federal Awards (Uniform Guidance) at 2 C.F.R. part 200. Through this letter, RSA is rescinding the prior Client Assistance Program, OIB, and PAIR instructions for completing the SF-425 form (RSA-PD-11-03).

  • Cancellation Fees ( )

    RSA responds to inquiries received regarding whether "fees for services that were not rendered" or "cancellation fees" are allowable under the State VR Services, State Supported Employment Services, and Independent Living Services for Older Individuals who are Blind programs. In this response, RSA provides an analysis for program staff to use when determining whether such a cost is allowable and, therefore, may be paid with program funds as an administrative cost.

  • RSA informs State Vocational Rehabilitation agencies of an important change to the process used to assess maintenance of effort (MOE) penalties for the State VR Services program that will affect the way we allot VR funds in Federal fiscal year (FFY) 2020 and future years.

  • RSA provides a review instrument for the formal interagency agreement between SEAs and VR agencies, as required by Section 101(a)(11)(D) of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, as amended by Title IV of the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA), and 34 C.F.R. §361.22(b) along with technical assistance resources.

  • On February 24, 2017, President Trump signed Executive Order (EO) 13777: Enforcing the Regulatory Reform Agenda, which established a Federal policy “to alleviate unnecessary regulatory burdens” on the American people. In accordance with the EO, the U.S. Department of Education published a notice in the Federal Register on June 22, 2017, seeking input on regulations and guidance that may be appropriate for repeal, replacement, or modification. On October 20, 2017, OSERS issued this letter that rescinded some documents, provided under the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, as amended, due to the issuances being outdated, unnecessary, or ineffective.

Other Sub-Regulatory Documents

  • This Federal Register Notice implements an exception, approved by the Office of Management and Budget, to lower the per-unit acquisition cost for equipment acquired by State licensing agencies for the benefit of the Randolph-Sheppard Vending Facility Program. The per unit acquisition cost is lowered from the current $5,000 or the capitalization level established by the non-Federal entity for financial statement purposes to “equal or exceed the lesser of $1,000 or the capitalization level established by the non-Federal entity for financial statement purposes.”

  • Developed in partnership with the U.S. Department of Labor’s Office of Disability Employment Policy and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ Administration for Community Living and Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, this paper, targeted to both policymakers and service providers, presents a joint Federal vision for community engagement by individuals with disabilities. Community engagement, supported by a variety of service systems, enables individuals with disabilities to expand skills and experience so that they may secure high-quality and personally satisfying careers and jobs and the benefits of employment. In addition to explaining what community engagement means and its benefits, this paper contains information about the wide variety of services, that when provided together, expand opportunities for youth and adults with disabilities to achieve competitive integrated employment.

  • OSERS issued this letter discussing the importance of collaboration between Special Education and Vocational Rehabilitation related to secondary transition.

  • OSERS updated the Guide to advance our efforts in ensuring that all students and youth with disabilities are equipped with the skills and knowledge to achieve their post-school and career goals. In this update, OSERS added information about dual enrollment and the ABLE Act. The Guide is intended to help students and youth with disabilities and their families to better understand how the state education agencies, the local education agencies, and VR agencies work together to facilitate improved outcomes for students and youth with disabilities.

  • This joint guidance provides information to assist State agencies (including VR agencies), educational agencies and institutions, and service providers in performance reporting and evaluation requirements under WIOA. Under WIOA, States are required to use education information and quarterly wage records to measure performance of the six core programs and other title I programs authorized by WIOA, which raises complex issues related to data sharing and privacy. This joint guidance provides States with information about applicable requirements for, and procedures and options for, matching confidential Unemployment Compensation information from wage records with personal information from VR records, and personally identifiable information from education records, and for protecting the confidentiality of information contained in such records.

Frequently-Asked Questions

Rescinded Sub-Regulatory Guidance

  • A frequently-asked questions document that provides further clarification of the definition of “competitive integrated employment,” particularly with respect to: (1) the criterion for an “integrated employment location” (i.e., the integration standards for the location of the employment) in the definition of “competitive integrated employment” for purposes of the VR program; and (2) how the criterion for an integrated employment location in the definition affects a VR program participant’s ability to exercise informed choice. These FAQs provides guidance and technical assistance to VR agencies and community rehabilitation programs so they may assist individuals with disabilities to achieve high-quality employment and exercise their informed choice about the type of employment to pursue, either with assistance from the VR program or from other community resources.

  • A frequently-asked questions document defining “Competitive Integrated Employment.”

  • RSA clarifies whether states may expend funds reserved for the provision of pre-employment transition services on auxiliary aids and services for students with disabilities with sensory and communicative disorders who require such services to access pre-employment transition services.