What's New in RSA

RSA Publishes FY 2022 MTAG

On January 10, 2022, RSA published the FY 2022 Monitoring and Technical Assistance Guide (MTAG); this is also available at VR Program Monitoring. The MTAG continues to represent the culmination of the collaborative work of members of the Monitoring Work Group consisting of VR agency directors representing CSAVR and NCSAB as well as RSA, including the Acting Deputy Commissioner, State Team Facilitators, Unit Chiefs, and others.

The MTAG is intended to serve as a resource and planning guide for VR agencies and RSA to assist in the preparation for and conduct of monitoring and technical assistance activities in both program and fiscal performance focus areas with a goal of continuous improvement, taking into account the unique circumstances and needs of each VR agency.

(January 10, 2022)

ED and DOL Issue WIOA State Plan Modification Guidance for PYs 2022 and 2023

On December 14, 2021, RSA issued TAC-22-02: Modification Requirements for WIOA State Plans for Program Years 2022 and 2023. This joint policy guidance describes the Administration’s priorities, modification requirements, submission process, and deadline for the required modification of the WIOA Unified and Combined State Plans for PYs 2022 and 2023.

In accordance with WIOA, its implementing regulations, and the WIOA Unified and Combined State Plan Requirements information collection request, states must submit a two-year modification of their WIOA Unified or Combined State Plans to the U.S. Departments of Labor and Education (the Departments). States should submit plan modifications by March 15, 2022, using the WIOA State Plan Portal. Once submitted, the Departments will review and provide a decision within 90 days for the core programs.  

(December 14, 2021)

Effectiveness in Serving Employers Rulemaking Plans

In the Spring 2021 Unified Agenda, the Biden Administration signaled that the U.S. Departments of Education and Labor planned to issue a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) in March 2022 to define the Effectiveness in Serving Employers performance indicator in regulations. The Biden Administration recently published its Fall 2021 Unified Agenda, which signals the Departments plan to issue this NPRM in May 2022, beginning the rulemaking process two months later. This Proposed Rule Stage is available.

Until the Departments define this performance indicator in final regulations and implement data collection and reporting, States will continue to report piloted Effectiveness in Serving Employers measures in accordance with joint policy guidance (RSA-TAC-17-01). This will continue, at a minimum, for Program Years 2021 and 2022.

(December 13, 2021)

NCSAB Fall 2021 Virtual Conference

The theme of the NCSAB Fall 2021 Virtual Conference is Measures That Matter and Services That Succeed. On December 6, 2021, OSERS' Katy Neas delivered a keynote and answered questions from the audience. RSA management provided updates and delivered a presentation featuring: 

This Excel file includes the performance results and other data RSA shared during the presentation. 

(December 6, 2021)

RSA Announces FY 2022 VR Program Monitoring

On December 6, 2021, RSA announced the selection of twelve VR agencies for on-site monitoring and off-site reviews during FFY 2022. The following VR agencies will be monitored on-site: Oregon Blind; Vermont General; Wyoming Combined; and Washington General. The following agencies will receive off-site reviews: Oregon General; Guam Combined; Maryland Combined; and Washington Blind. In addition, focused off-site reviews related to follow-up of corrective action plans will be conducted for: Florida Blind; Virgin Islands Combined; New Jersey General; and Maine General/Blind.

These reviews will be conducted using the FFY 2022 Monitoring and Technical Assistance Guide (MTAG). The MTAG explains the process through which RSA will provide technical assistance to, and review the progress of, VR agencies in: 1) improving the quality of services for, and employment outcomes achieved by, individuals with disabilities, and 2) complying with requirements under the Rehabilitation Act. The FFY 2022 MTAG appropriately updates and mirrors the FFY 2021 MTAG RSA developed in collaboration with VR agencies. The objective of these reviews is to support VR agencies and RSA in improving results for individuals with disabilities seeking high-quality competitive integrated employment by responding to the unique needs and challenges of individual VR agencies. Fundamental to this monitoring approach are values shared by RSA and its State partners. RSA is committed to these values as it partners with VR agencies in the conduct of these reviews to foster continuous improvement in outcomes for individuals with disabilities.

(December 6, 2021)

RSA Issues TAC 22-01: RSA Approval of State Rules

On December 3, 2021, RSA issued TAC-22-01: RSA Approval of State Rules. This guidance describes the requirements in the Randolph-Sheppard Act and its implementing regulations that require State licensing agencies (SLAs) to issue State rules and regulations affecting the operation of the Randolph-Sheppard Vending Facility Program in their States and require RSA to review and approve those rules. RSA provides this guidance to assist SLAs in developing their rules and regulations in active participation with Elected Committees of Blind Vendors by answering the questions received and providing examples of common issues SLAs must address satisfactorily under the Federal requirements to obtain RSA approval of State rules and regulations.

(December 3, 2021)

International Day of Persons with Disabilities

On December 2, 2021, President Biden proclaimed that December 3, 2021 will be honored as International Day of Persons with Disabilities. For more information, please read the proclamation.

(December 2, 2021)

CSAVR Fall 2021 Virtual Conference

The theme of CSAVR's Fall 2021 Virtual Conference is The Future of the VR Program: A Call to Action. On November 1, 2021, OSERS' Katy Neas delivered a keynote and answered questions from the audience. On November 5, 2021, RSA delivered a presentation featuring: 

This Excel file includes the performance results and other data RSA shared during the presentation. 

(November 5, 2021)

RSA Publishes PY 2020 WIOA Annual Reports

On October 29, 2021, RSA published the PY 2020 WIOA Annual Reports for the VR program. 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 the five WIOA performance indicators for the second consecutive year:

  1. Measurable Skill Gains Rate (participants during PY 2020);
  2. Employment Rate in the Second Quarter after Exit (participants who exited during PY 2019);
  3. Median Earnings in the Second Quarter after Exit (participants who exited during PY 2019);
  4. Employment Rate in the Fourth Quarter after Exit (participants who exited during CY 2019); and
  5. Credential Attainment Rate (participants who exited during CY 2019)

The sixth indicator, Effectiveness in Serving Employers (ESE), remained in pilot during PY 2020. The U.S. Department of Labor’s Employment and Training Administration will publish the ESE results in the title I and III program reports.

(October 29, 2021)

RSA Issues FAQs related to Criterion for an Integrated Employment Location in the Definition of “Competitive Integrated Employment” and Participant Choice

On October 29, 2021, RSA issued frequently-asked questions titled Criterion for an Integrated Employment Location in the Definition of “Competitive Integrated Employment” and Participant Choice, published as RSA-FAQ-22-02. These FAQs provide 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 Comments that addresses changes in the updated FAQs made in response to comments received on the proposed FAQs (RSA-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)).

(October 29, 2021)