In FY 2020, RSA awarded over $17.1 million in new discretionary grants to fund a variety of programs that assist State and other agencies to provide VR and other services to individuals with disabilities to maximize their employment, independence, and integration into the community and the competitive labor market. Read more about these programs and the new grant award recipients on OSERS Blog.
What's New in RSA
New Discretionary Grant Awards
COVID-19 Frequently-Asked Questions
- On October 16, 2020, RSA issued a fourth Questions and Answers document responding to inquiries related to the VR and AIVRS programs under the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, as amended, and Business Enterprise program under the Randolph-Sheppard Act. While these questions and answers relate to these programs, many of the answers apply generally to RSA formula grantees.
- On May 14, 2020, RSA issued a third Questions and Answers document in response to inquiries concerning the administration of the VR, AIVRS, and Randolph-Sheppard programs.
- On April 28, 2020, RSA issued a second Questions and Answers document in response to inquiries from VR agencies concerning the fiscal management of the VR program.
- On March 27, 2020, RSA issued an initial Questions and Answers document related to the implementation of the performance accountability provisions, under title I of WIOA, in the VR program.
- For more information about COVID-19, please visit the following website: www.coronavirus.gov. To view U.S. Department of Education resources related to COVID-19, please visit the following website: https://www.ed.gov/coronavirus?src=feature.
National Disability Employment Awareness Month: October 2020
With the Multi-Agency Task Force on Increasing Employment Opportunities for Americans with Disabilities, RSA celebrates the 75th Anniversary of National Disability Employment Awareness Month (NDEAM) and renews its commitment to Increase Access and Opportunities for individuals with disabilities.
Importance of Collaboration Between Special Education and VR
On August 31, 2020, RSA Commissioner Mark Schultz and OSEP Director Laurie VanderPloeg issued this letter discussing the importance of collaboration between Special Education and Vocational Rehabilitation related to secondary transition.
A Transition Guide to Postsecondary Education and Employment for Students and Youth with Disabilities
In August 2020, OSERS updated the Guide to advance its efforts to ensure 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 Achieving a Better Life Experience (ABLE) Act. The Guide is intended to help students and youth with disabilities and their families to better understand how state education agencies, local education agencies, and VR agencies work together to facilitate improved outcomes for students and youth with disabilities.
RSA Quarterly Teleconferences with VR Agencies
On August 12, 2020, RSA held a teleconference with VR agencies and other stakeholders to continue to strengthen the communication between RSA and VR agencies. RSA shared information on our response to COVID-19 and other issues of interest to VR agencies. An audio recording and transcript of this teleconference are available.
On April 29, 2020, RSA hosted a similar teleconference to share current RSA events and answer questions related to the VR program. An audio recording and transcript of this teleconference are available.
Modified System of Records for RSA-911
On July 31, 2020, RSA published a notice of a modified system of records for the Case Service Report (RSA-911) (18-16-02) in the Federal Register. This system of records replaces the previous system that RSA published on April 8, 2004. RSA maintains this system for performance accountability, research, monitoring, and evaluation purposes required by the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, as amended by title IV of WIOA, and title I of WIOA. This system contains information on individuals who are participating in or who have exited from the VR and Supported Employment programs, as applicable. Please refer to the Federal Register notice for information related to public comment and other details regarding the modified system.
Technical Assistance and Demonstration Projects Virtual Series: Results and Reflections
Throughout the summer of 2020, RSA offered a virtual series of webinars highlighting RSA-funded technical assistance centers and other demonstration projects. The webinars feature the results of these projects, reflect on lessons learned, and share ideas for the future. All webinars are captioned and include a transcript. Please visit the National Clearinghouse of Rehabilitation Training Materials’ website for the complete series or select the individual webinars below.
- July 9, 2020: Welcome to the Series and Kickoff
- July 16, 2020: Technical Assistance focused on Targeted Communities and Program Evaluation and Quality Assurance
- July 23, 2020: Technical Assistance focused on Services to Students and Youth with Disabilities
- July 30, 2020: Demonstration Projects
- August 6, 2020: Technical Assistance focused on Services to American Indians and Older Individuals who are Blind
The State Vocational Rehabilitation Services Program Before and After Enactment of WIOA in 2014
On April 30, 2020, the U.S. Department of Education (the Department) submitted this report pursuant to the congressional explanatory statement to the FY 2020 Further Consolidated Appropriations Act (Pub. L. No. 116-94), signed into law on December 20, 2019, that “directs the Secretary to submit a report within 90 days of enactment of this Act to the Committees evaluating any changes in trends in employment outcomes for individuals with disabilities served by State vocational rehabilitation programs before and after the implementation of the WIOA.” In addition, “[t]he agreement directs the Secretary to ensure appropriate State level implementation of the Rehabilitation Act, which may include the Department providing technical assistance as necessary.” This report summarizes trends in the performance of the VR program with respect to the characteristics of individuals served, the services they received, and the employment outcomes they achieved, using data collected and reported by VR agencies to the RSA prior to and following the enactment of WIOA. The report also describes the technical assistance RSA has provided to the State VR agencies as they have implemented the changes to the VR program made by WIOA.
COVID-19 Teleconference with RSA, WINTAC, and VR Agencies
On March 30, 2020, OSERS Acting Assistant Secretary Mark Schultz held a stakeholder teleconference with VR agencies and other grantees to share their questions and concerns about the unprecedented outbreak of COVID-19 across the United States and the challenges it poses for VR agencies and the delivery of services. Also, WINTAC representatives presented on the technical assistance they are providing to VR agencies as they engage in distance communication and virtual service delivery to individuals with disabilities. In addition, two VR agencies shared service delivery challenges they are facing in this health crisis. Access the audio recording and download the transcript of the stakeholder teleconference.