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 Documentation: Sub-regulatory guidance documents, such as Grant Award Notification Attachments, Frequently Asked Questions, and Dear Colleague Letters, that support RSA formula and discretionary grant programs.
Guidelines for Use of Federal Financial Participation and Set-Aside Funds in the Randolph-Sheppard Vending Facility Program
Dear Colleague Letters
RSA issues broad written technical assistance in the form of Dear Colleague 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 revised Case Service Report (RSA-911) and instructions for the VR and Supported Employment programs. On September 25, 2023, the Office of Management and Budget approved this information collection (OMB control number 1820-0508) until September 30, 2026. The revisions to the RSA-911 are effective beginning with PY 2024.
RSA transmits a copy of the revised Vocational Rehabilitation Financial Report (RSA-17) form and instructions for the State VR Services program. The Office of Management and Budget has approved this information collection (OMB control number 1820-0017) until September 30, 2026. The revisions to the RSA-17 are effective for the VR program for new VR grant awards issued on or after October 1, 2023 (FFY 2024). The RSA-17 collects semiannual cumulative VR financial data on an award-by-award basis.
This letter informs VR agencies of RSA's change in interpretation of the word “recipient,” for purposes of determining satisfaction of the carryover requirement of section 19(b) of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 (29 U.S.C. § 716(b)) and 34 C.F.R. § 361.64(b). For reasons described in the letter, this change in interpretation affects only the VR program when there are two VR agencies in a State (General and Blind); it does not affect the State Supported Employment Services program.
RSA transmits a copy of the SF-425 and revised instructions for completing the form for the following formula award programs: CAP, IL-OIB, and PAIR. RSA revised and updated the instructions because the Department has retired parts 74 and 80 of EDGAR and adopted in their place the Uniform Guidance at 2 C.F.R. part 200. Through this letter, RSA is rescinding the prior CAP, IL-OIB, and PAIR instructions for completing the SF-425 form (RSA-PD-11-03).
RSA responds to inquiries received regarding whether "fees for services that were not rendered" or "cancellation fees" are allowable under the VR, Supported Employment, and IL-OIB 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 provides a review instrument for the formal interagency agreement between VR agencies and State Education Agencies, as required by Section 101(a)(11)(D) of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 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.
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.
This final Notice of Interpretation (NOI) pertains to the use of Federal VR funds reserved for pre-employment transition services. On February 28, 2020, the U.S. Department of Education (the Department) published an NOI in the Federal Register (85 FR 11848) to clarify current policy regarding the permissibility of using funds reserved for pre-employment transition services for auxiliary aids and services, and to announce a change in policy regarding the use of Federal VR funds reserved for pre-employment transition services. There are no changes between the original interpretation and this final interpretation. Through this document, the Department rescinds the Dear Director Letter (December 28, 2016) regarding the use of reserved funds for the provision of auxiliary aids and services because the substance of that letter was incorporated into and clarified by the original interpretation.
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.
A frequently-asked questions document that announces the U.S. Departments of Labor and Education (the Departments) have determined it is appropriate and reasonable to assess performance for the WIOA title I, III, and IV core programs for PY 2022 for the following performance indicators, as applicable: Employment Rate 2nd Quarter after Exit; Median Earnings 2nd Quarter after Exit; Employment Rate 4th Quarter after Exit; and Credential Attainment Rate. Further, the Departments have determined that the available baseline data are not sufficient to produce reliable estimates using the required statistical adjustment model for the remaining performance indicators. Therefore, the Departments have determined it is necessary to delay assessment of: Measurable Skill Gains Rate for the WIOA titles I and IV core programs; all performance indicators for the WIOA title II core program; the Overall State Indicator Scores; and the Overall State Program Scores for the WIOA titles I, II, and IV programs.
A frequently-asked questions document that explains how to provide post-employment services to individuals with disabilities who have achieved employment outcomes and how to report these services on the Case Service Report (RSA-911), particularly because of the reporting requirements in Section 116 of WIOA and its regulations. Specifically, VR agencies have asked how to report post-employment services since, as explained in this document, VR agencies cannot reopen the service records of “participants” whose “exits” from the VR program have been reported through the RSA-911 under WIOA’s performance accountability system.
A frequently-asked questions document that 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. While these FAQs do not change the Department of Education’s interpretation that has existed since at least the mid-1990s with respect to the criterion for an integrated employment location, they clarify and update a similar set of FAQs, issued January 17, 2017, entitled Frequently Asked Questions: Integrated Location Criteria of the Definition of 'Competitive Integrated Employment.' Therefore, OSERS rescinds the January 2017 FAQs effective as of this date. These updated FAQs take effect immediately upon issuance, and will enable VR program personnel to better carry out the purpose of the VR program and allow individuals with disabilities to maximize their employment potential. Additionally, RSA issued a Response to Significant Commentsthat addresses changes in the updated FAQs made in response to comments received on the proposed FAQs (FAQ 21-03) published in the Federal Register and that provided the public with a 30-day opportunity to comment (86 FR 13511 (March 9, 2021)).
A frequently-asked questions document that announces the U.S. Departments of Labor and Education (the Departments) determined it is appropriate and reasonable for the Department of Labor to begin assessing performance for two performance indicators under WIOA title I and III core programs for PYs 2020 and 2021 in accordance with the phased-in approach to performance assessments described in RSA-TAC-20-02: Negotiations and Sanctions Guidance for the WIOA Core Programs. The Departments, as permitted under section 503(a) of WIOA, determined it reasonable to delay assessing performance for the purpose of imposing sanctions for the remaining performance indicators to ensure an orderly transition from the requirements of the Workforce Investment Act of 1998 to those of WIOA.
A second frequently-asked questions document that responds to additional inquiries concerning the administration of the Randolph-Sheppard Act Financial Relief and Restoration Payments appropriation. RSA issued the first set of frequently-asked questions on March 12, 2021.
A frequently-asked questions document, developed jointly with the U.S. Department of Labor's Wage and Hour Division, that provides information to employers, agencies, and individuals with disabilities concerning limitations on the payment of a subminimum wage, that is, a wage below the Federal minimum wage, to individuals with disabilities. These limitations are imposed by Section 511 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, as amended.
A frequently-asked questions document to support VR agencies in their continued implementation of the requirements for youth with disabilities under Section 511(a) of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, as amended, and to respond to questions that RSA has received. Specifically, these FAQs address the application and eligibility determination processes under Section 102(a) of the Rehabilitation Act that a youth with a disability must satisfy when he or she chooses to pursue subminimum wage work (Section 511(a)(2)(B) of the Rehabilitation Act). As explained in detail through the questions and answers, youth who, through the exercise of informed choice, intend to pursue subminimum wage employment are not eligible for VR services because this outcome is not within the scope of employment outcomes allowable under the program.
A frequently-asked questions document responding to inquiries concerning the administration of the VR, AIVRS and Business Enterprise programs. While these questions and answers relate to these programs, many of the answers apply generally to RSA formula grantees.
A frequently-asked questions document related to the fiscal management of the VR program as VR agencies seek to provide continuity of operations for individuals with disabilities in the current COVID-19 environment.
A frequently-asked questions document about implementing WIOA performance accountability provisions as VR agencies seek to provide continuity of operations for individuals with disabilities in the COVID-19 environment.
A frequently-asked questions document issued on an interim basis to provide OSERS grantees with immediate information to assist them in meeting their obligations under Uniform Administrative Requirements, Cost Principles, and Audit Requirements for Federal Awards.
A frequently-asked questions document, with an accompanying Appendix, related to the dual enrollment of students with disabilities in secondary school and postsecondary education institutions, including comprehensive transition and postsecondary education programs for students with intellectual disabilities.
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.
RSA transmits a copy of the Vocational Rehabilitation Financial Report (RSA-17) and instructions for completing the form for the State VR Services program. The Office of Management and Budget approved this form (OMB Control No. 1820-0017) through August 31, 2023. The RSA-17 will be effective for new VR grant awards issued on or after October 1, 2020 (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 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.