What's New in RSA

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.

(July 31, 2020)

RSA Quarterly Teleconferences with VR Agencies

On August 12, 2020, at 2:00PM (EDT), RSA will hold a quarterly teleconference with VR agencies and other stakeholders to continue to strengthen the communication between RSA and the VR agencies. During this call, RSA will share information on our response to COVID-19 and other issues of interest to VR agencies.  There will also be an opportunity for Q&A. Please register for this quarterly teleconference here. You will receive an email containing dial-in numbers and a personalized access code. 

On April 29, 2020, RSA held a similar quarterly teleconference to share current RSA events and answer questions about the VR program. RSA has released the audio recording and transcript of this teleconference.

(July 30, 2020)

60-Day Comment Period for Joint WIOA Performance ICR

On July 9, 2020, the WIOA Federal partners announced the 60-day public comment period in the Federal Register concerning a proposed extension for the information collection request (ICR) titled, “Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA) Common Performance Reporting (OMB Control No. 1205–0526).” This comment period concludes on September 8, 2020. This proposal revises the current ICR, previously approved on June 30, 2016, which details the requirements for joint WIOA performance reporting. The ICR contains the following:

  • WIOA Statewide Performance Report Template and WIOA Local Performance Report Template (ETA–9169);
  • WIOA Joint Participant Individual Record Layout (ETA–9170); and
  • WIOA Eligible Training Provider Performance Report Specifications and WIOA Eligible Training Provider Performance Report Definitions (ETP– 9171). Note that this instrument does not apply to the VR program.

To view the supporting statement and these instruments, please visit the Employment and Training Administration’s website. Submit written comments about, or requests for a copy of, this ICR by mail or courier to the U.S. Department of Labor, Office of Policy Development and Research, Room N5641, Employment and Training Administration, 200 Constitution Ave. NW, Washington DC 20210; by email: ahmed.toquir@dol.gov; or by fax: 202-693-2766.

(July 20, 2020)

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 20, 2020)

COVID-19 Frequently-Asked Questions

  • On May 14, 2020, RSA issued a 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 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.
(May 14, 2020)

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.

(April 30, 2020)

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.

(April 7, 2020)

WIOA Negotiations and Sanctions Webcast

On April 1, 2020, the U.S. Departments of Education and Labor (the Departments) announced the availability of a Webcast that provides an overview of the joint policy guidance related to WIOA Performance Negotiations and Sanctions. On February 6, 2020, the Rehabilitation Services Administration (RSA) issued TAC 20-02 hat delineates the process for negotiating levels of performance and explains the two instances in which a State may be sanctioned.

(April 1, 2020)

WIOA Performance Calculations Tool

On March 3, 2020, RSA and the WINTAC shared Calculating VR Program Performance for MSG in Program Years 2020 and 2021. This technical assistance tool highlights key information from RSA-TAC-20-02 related to establishing performance levels and outlines, using two examples, how RSA will calculate Individual Indicator Scores for Measurable Skill Gains Rate after each Program Year ends.

(March 3, 2020)

MSG Statistical Adjustment Model (SAM) for PYs 2020 and 2021

On February 28, 2020, RSA provided VR agencies with the estimated levels of performance for Measurable Skill Gains (MSG) for PYs 2020 and 2021, as predicted by the Statistical Adjustment Model (SAM). In Excel file format, the SAM includes the coefficients and specific values for each variable for each State. These estimated levels may not be altered for the purposes of negotiations, including any changes in participant characteristics or economic conditions anticipated by the state that would result in changes to the levels predicted by the SAM. Any changes in participant characteristics or economic conditions will be reflected in the SAM by using the actual participant characteristics and economic conditions after the close of each Program Year and they will not be factored into the negotiations process. The Excel file also includes MSG performance for PYs 2017 and 2018 for each State VR program.

As discussed in RSA-TAC-20-02, WIOA requires that RSA use a SAM to ensure participant characteristics and economic conditions are accounted for in determining negotiated levels of performance. RSA, and its Federal partners, recognize that the use of the SAM is a new requirement for core programs and believe that it will be critically important to the negotiations process. As more data become available, RSA will periodically review the SAM and refine it as necessary. State performance will be assessed using the iteration of the SAM used to negotiate the levels of performance for that Program Year.

(February 28, 2020)