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RSA Presents Performance Results at Fall 2023 Conferences

RSA was pleased to participate in the Fall 2023 conferences of the Council of State Administrators of Vocational Rehabilitation (CSAVR) and National Council of State Agencies for Blind (NSCAB) in Savannah, GA. 

  • At CSAVR, RSA shared this presentation (accessible Excel file) regarding the performance of the VR program during PY 2022.
  • At NCSAB, RSA shared a similar presentation (accessible Excel file) specific to the performance of the 22 Blind VR agencies during PY 2022. 

For additional information, please visit WIOA Annual Reports and Accountability

(November 1, 2023)

ED and DOL Issue PYs 2024-2027 WIOA State Plan Guidance

On October 31, 2023, RSA and its Federal partners published joint policy guidance titled, Requirements for WIOA State Plans for PYs 2024-2027 (RSA-TAC-24-02).

This joint policy guidance conveys to States the Biden-Harris Administration’s priorities, State Plan requirements, submission process, and deadline for the WIOA Unified or Combined State Plans for PYs 2024 through 2027. Through the WIOA State Plan Portal, States must submit these State Plans to ED and DOL by March 4, 2024. Once submitted, the Departments will review and provide a decision within 90 days for the WIOA core programs. Visit WIOA State Plan Plans to view other resources. 

(October 31, 2023)

RSA Publishes Guidance on Promoting Meaningful and Sustained Engagement in the VR Program

On October 30, 2023, RSA published policy guidance titled, Promoting Meaningful and Sustained Engagement of Individuals with Disabilities in the State Vocational Rehabilitation Services Program (RSA-TAC-24-01).

This policy guidance supports VR agencies in their efforts to make changes that will promote meaningful and sustained engagement with individuals with disabilities throughout the VR process. The continuum of VR services affords VR agencies opportunities, through multiple touchpoints, to provide quality services that maximize the potential of individuals with disabilities, including individuals with the most significant disabilities, to achieve competitive integrated employment. By actively considering and acknowledging the importance of sustained engagement that encourages and fosters active participation of individuals with disabilities in services, VR agencies can improve performance, reduce attrition of those they serve, and increase the number of participants achieving their employment goals.

(October 30, 2023)

RSA Publishes PY22 WIOA Annual Reports and Performance Assessment Results

On October 30, 2023, RSA published the PY 2022 WIOA Annual Reports and notified the leadership of Congressional committees. In addition to information related to the characteristics and barriers to employment of the participants served the VR program, the national summary and State-level reports include performance results across five WIOA performance indicators for the third consecutive year.

In addition, RSA published the PY 2022 WIOA Performance Assessment Results for the VR program. These results are also available at Accountability. RSA conducted these assessments in accordance with joint policy guidance (FAQ 23-01) issued August 11, 2023. 

(October 30, 2023)

OSERS Offers First Session in 2023-2024 Symposium Series

On October 25, 2023, OSERS hosted the first session of its Symposium Series: Belonging, Building and Sustaining Environments That Support High Expectations, Engagement and Empowerment for All

The series provides an opportunity for the field to join OSERS in the challenge to raise expectations, engage families earlier, and fully empower all individuals who support transition services to improve postschool outcomes for children and youth with disabilities and their families. OSERS believes that education and VR services can work seamlessly to deliver high-quality transition programming that will prepare youth with disabilities for lifelong success. Such effective delivery under IDEA and WIOA relies on purposeful collaboration between educators, VR professionals, service providers, and especially youth and families. The first session in this series focused on the importance of building a sense of belonging for children, youth, and young adults with disabilities in school, college and workplace settings.

(October 24, 2023)

RSA Publishes MTAG and Announces FFY 2024 Reviews

On October 23, 2023, RSA published the Monitoring and Technical Assistance Guide (MTAG) it will use in monitoring the VR and Supported Employment programs during FFY 2024. The MTAG serves as a resource and planning guide for VR agencies and RSA State Teams to assist in the preparation for and conduct of monitoring and technical assistance activities in two focus areas. RSA’s goal for monitoring and technical assistance is to support VR agencies in maximizing the use of VR program funds and fostering continuous improvement in competitive integrated employment outcomes achieved by individuals with disabilities, taking into account the unique circumstances and needs of each VR agency. To review RSA’s monitoring resources, please visit VR Program Monitoring.

In FFY 2024, RSA will monitor and provide technical assistance to the following eight VR agencies: Arizona-Combined, Colorado-Combined, Florida-General, Illinois-Combined, Michigan-General, New Jersey-General, New York-General, and Utah-Combined. 

(October 23, 2023)

RSA Recognizes National Disability Employment Awareness Month

October is National Disability Employment Awareness Month. Recognizing the importance of ensuring all people have equal opportunity to contribute their skills and talents, this year’s theme is “Advancing Access and Equity.” Learn more from our Federal partners at the Office of Disability Employment Programs at dol.gov/NDEAM.

On October 2, 2023, President Biden issued a Proclamation on National Disability Employment Awareness Month, 2023 and delivered Remarks Celebrating the Rehabilitation Act and Americans with Disabilities Act at the White House. 

On October 5, 2023, Secretary Cardona shared a video featuring Khalil Watson, a Masters degree student in Social Work at Virginia Commonwealth University, sharing his story and experience with the VR program in Virginia

On October 6, 2023, Secretary Cardona shared a video featuring Kathryn Hayfield, Commissioner of the Virginia Department of Aging and Rehabilitative Services, reflecting on the value of the VR program and the Rehabilitation Act. 

2023 NDEAM theme image of
(October 2, 2023)

RSA Celebrates the 50th Anniversary of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973

This year marks the 50th anniversary of the passage of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 - the first Federal legislation to address access and equity for people with disabilities. In commemoration of the anniversary, OSERS and RSA celebrated throughout the month of September. 

  • On September 1, 2023, RSA was proud to take part in the VR Workforce Studio podcast: Celebrating the 50th Anniversary of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973. The podcast features VR success stories from across the country and is available throughout the month of September as we celebrate the 50th anniversary. 
  • On September 21, 2023, OSERS published a Blog that looks back on the past 50 years of both the Rehabilitation Act and the VR program and looks ahead at the next 50 years. 
  • On September 26, 2023, RSA and CSAVR released a feature video: Celebrating the 50th Anniversary of the Rehabilitation Act: Through our History, Successes and Vision for the Future. In the video, former Senator Tom Harkin recounts the history behind the Rehabilitation Act; guitarist George Dennehy performs his song, "Work Makes the World Go Round," featuring individuals with disabilities at work; and OSERS Assistant Secretary Glenna Wright-Gallo discusses the impact of the Rehabilitation Act.
  • On September 26, 2023, OSERS and RSA participated in the White House Forum on Disability Policy Forum Celebrating the 50th Anniversary of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973. The event was held at the U.S. Department of Education in Washington, DC. 
  • On September 26, 2023, President Biden issued a statement commemorating the 50th anniversary
Rehabilitation Act 50 logo
(September 26, 2023)

RSA Shares Training for PYs 24-27 WIOA State Plans

On September 25, 2023, RSA shared new training for the WIOA Unified and Combined State Plan for PYs 2024-2027. The video outlines the requirements for submission of the State Plan and addresses the redesigned VR services portion of the State Plan. Visit the NCRTM Library to access the supporting PowerPoint presentation and transcript. 

(September 25, 2023)

RSA Awards $199 Million to Improve Career Opportunities for Students with Disabilities Through Partnerships

On September 15, 2023, RSA announced it will fund 20 model demonstration projects focused on improving economic self-sufficiency for students with disabilities by creating systemic approaches to enhance post-school outcomes. The nearly $199 million in funding for the Pathways to Partnerships projects supports collaborative partnerships between VR agencies, state and local educational agencies, and federally funded centers for independent living to help individuals with disabilities seamlessly transition to life after high school - preparing them for independent living, competitive integrated employment, and community integration. Pathways to Partnerships is the largest discretionary grant ever administered by RSA. 

Learn more about the 20 projects and read the U.S. Department of Education's Press Release

(September 15, 2023)