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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 presented a special 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 Rights for the 50th Anniversary of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973. The event was held at the U.S. Department of Education in Washington, DC. The public may attend via Zoom. ASL and CART will be provided. 
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)

OSERS Launches "Successful Transitions for All" Blog Series

On August 14, 2023, RSA's Carol Dobak and OSEP's Valerie Williams published the first blog in a series for Expect, Engage, Empower: Successful Transitions for All. To learn more about this secondary transition initiative, please visit Ideas That Work

Successful Transitions for All logo
(August 14, 2023)

DOL and ED Announce PY 2022 WIOA Performance Assessments

On August 11, 2023, DOL and ED issued joint policy guidance related to PY 2022 performance assessments. 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.

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.
(August 11, 2023)

RSA Issues VR Program Guidance on Maximizing Services and Use of Funds

On July 11, 2023, RSA issued TAC-23-03: Maximizing Services and the Use of Funds to Support Quality Employment Outcomes for Individuals with Disabilities through the Vocational Rehabilitation and Supported Employment Programs.

This guidance supports VR agencies’ efforts and the mutual efforts of community rehabilitation programs, employers, families, and other stakeholders to maximize VR and supported employment services and supports that assist individuals with disabilities in achieving long-term labor market attachment in competitive integrated employmentTAC 23-03 describes how VR agencies can maximize the use of funds to provide a full continuum of services that will strengthen quality employment outcomes leading to lasting careers and economic success for individuals with disabilities through participant engagement, informed choice, investment in postsecondary training, access to assistive technology and critical support services, work-based learning experiences and apprenticeships, and meaningful partnerships within the workforce development system.

(July 11, 2023)

DOL and ED Share Webcast for WIOA Negotiations and Sanctions Guidance

On May 10, 2023, DOL and ED issued a revision to the joint policy guidance outlining the WIOA performance accountability system’s negotiations and sanctions processes; RSA reissued TAC-20-02: Negotiations and Sanctions for the WIOA Core Programs.

On July 6, 2023, the Departments shared a 17 minute Webcast that highlights key points in the joint guidance and provides an example of the revised performance assessment process. Additional information and materials related to the Webcast are available on WorkforceGPS.  

(July 6, 2023)

RSA Announces PIMS Job Board

On June 26, 2023, RSA announced the roll-out of the Payback Information Management System (PIMS) Job Board. The PIMS Job Board is available to State VR agencies to post open positions and serves as a resource for RSA scholars in their search for qualifying employment. Postings found on the Job Board undergo a review by RSA, and when approved, signal to RSA scholars that the positions are eligible to fulfill a scholar’s payback of scholarship funds received through the Rehabilitation Long-Term Training program. State VR agencies are encouraged to avail themselves of this platform to recruit newly trained rehabilitation counseling professionals and to post opportunities often.

RSA scholars can access the PIMS Job Board by logging on to their PIMS account. State VR agencies may submit open positions by submitting this form.

(June 26, 2023)

RSA Publishes Annual Review Reports

Section 107 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, as amended, requires RSA to conduct annual reviews and periodic on-site monitoring of programs authorized under Title I of the Rehabilitation Act to determine whether a State VR agency is complying substantially with the provisions of its Unified or Combined State Plan.

Beginning with Federal fiscal year (FFY) 2007, RSA has published monitoring reports at VR Program Monitoring and Technical Assistance. RSA recently published all monitoring reports for reviews conducted during FFY 2022.

During FFY 2023, RSA conducted annual reviews to determine whether States substantially complied with the requirements governing the provision of pre-employment transition services to students with disabilities. RSA has also published the annual review reports on our website. In the future, these annual reviews will include provisions related to the timeliness of both eligibility determinations and development of individualized plans for employment.

(June 13, 2023)

RSA Issues NIA for Activities for Underserved Populations Grant

On May 31, 2023, RSA issued a notice inviting applications for the FY 2023 Activities for Underserved Populations Program (Assistance Listing Number 84.315C) to make awards to minority entities and Indian Tribes to conduct research, training and technical assistance, and related activities to improve services under the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, as amended, especially services provided to underserved populations. The purpose of this program is to improve the quality, access, and delivery of services and the outcomes of services provided under the Rehabilitation Act, especially services provided to individuals with disabilities from underserved backgrounds, and to increase the capacity of minority entities and Indian Tribes to participate in activities funded under the Rehabilitation Act.

Applications are due by July 21, 2023. Please visit Activities for Underserved Populations for more information. 

(May 31, 2023)