Rehabilitation Services Administration

What's New in RSA

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: www.ed.gov/coronavirus.

(May 14, 2020)

Vocational Rehabilitation Stakeholder Quarterly Teleconference with OSERS Acting Assistant Secretary Mark Schultz

On Wednesday, April 29, 2020, OSERS Acting Assistant Secretary and RSA Commissioner Mark Schultz held his quarterly teleconference with VR agencies and other stakeholders to share current RSA events and answer questions about the VR program. RSA has released the audio recording and transcript of the teleconference.

(May 01, 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)

Vocational Rehabilitation Stakeholder Teleconference with OSERS Acting Assistant Secretary Mark Schultz

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, representatives of the WINTAC 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 07, 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 that delineates the process for negotiating levels of performance and explains the two instances in which a State may be sanctioned.

(April 01, 2020)

Notice of Interpretation: Pre-Employment Transition Services Flexibility Regarding the Use of Federal Vocational Rehabilitation Funds

On February 27, 2020, in the Federal Register, OSERS made available for public inspection a notice of interpretation (NOI) to:

  • Clarify current policy regarding the use of Federal Vocational Rehabilitation (VR) funds reserved for the provision of pre-employment transition services to pay for auxiliary aids and services needed by all students with disabilities in order to access or participate in required pre-employment transition services under section 113(b) of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, as amended by WIOA; and
  • Announce a change in policy with respect to additional VR services needed by eligible students with disabilities that may be paid for with Federal VR grant funds reserved for the provision of pre-employment transition services and the circumstances under which those funds may be used to pay for those additional VR services.

There will be a public comment period from February 28, 2020 through March 30, 2020.

(February 28, 2020)

Independent Living Services for Older Individuals who are Blind Program (ILOIB) Annual Report (RSA-7-OB) Revision

RSA issued PD-20-01 revising the Independent Living Services for Older Individuals who are Blind Program (ILOIB) Annual Report (RSA-7-OB). The Office of Management and Budget (OMB) has approved an extension with changes to the RSA-7-OB (OMB control number 1820-0608) until December 31, 2022. For Federal fiscal year (FFY) 2020, agencies should continue to use the previously approved RSA-7-OB to collect and report data no later than December 31, 2020. Beginning with FFY 2021, agencies must use the revised RSA-7-OB; these data must be reported to RSA by December 31, 2021.

(January 29, 2020)


This year marks the 100th anniversary of the Vocational Rehabilitation Program. President Woodrow Wilson signed the Smith-Fess Act of 1920, also known as the Industrial Rehabilitation Act and referred to as "The National Civilian Vocational Rehabilitation Act," into law on June 2, 1920. RSA will be celebrating 100 Years of VR throughout 2020. To that end, we have launched a dedicated VR100 webpage to house anniversary content. We encourage you to visit the webpage where you will find the kick-off podcast from OSERS Acting Assistant Secretary Mark Schultz, VR100 graphics, VR100 signature blocks, and the #VR100Years hashtag to use in social media campaigns promoting the celebration. New information will be added to the VR100 webpage throughout 2020.

(January 23, 2020)

Infographics: Maximizing Employment Opportunities for Individuals with Disabilities

RSA, in partnership with State Vocational Rehabilitation (VR) agencies and stakeholders across the country, administers programs that assist nearly one million individuals with disabilities each year through the State VR Services and the State Supported Employment Services programs. Through this partnership, RSA supports State VR agencies as they maximize opportunities for individuals with disabilities to prepare for, secure, retain, advance in, or regain employment that is consistent with their unique strengths, resources, priorities, concerns, abilities, capabilities, interests, and informed choice.

In July 2019, RSA issued this infographic that highlights positive trends related to the employment outcomes that individuals served by the VR program achieved in Federal fiscal years 2017 and 2018. In January 2020, RSA issued a second infographic illustrating more positive trends in the VR program related to the number of VR program participants who earned Measurable Skill Gains in Program Years 2017 and 2018 as well as the number of students with disabilities who received pre-employment transition services in the same timeframe. Both infographics also showcase the number of employment outcomes in the VR program under the current Administration.

(January 17, 2020)

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) Prior Approval

The Department issued the document Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) Prior Approval — OSEP and RSA Formula Grants. This document is non-binding and does not create or impose new legal requirements. The Department is issuing it in this document on an “interim” basis to provide grantees with immediate information to assist them in meeting their obligations under Uniform Administrative Requirements, Cost Principles, and Audit Requirements for Federal Awards. We intend to publish this further and invite public comments.

Frequently Asked Questions: Prior Approval (PDF)

(Oct. 30, 2019)

ReThink VR Performance

Beginning in the spring of 2019, RSA, CSAVR, NCSAB, and State VR agencies committed to rethinking the way we look at the performance of the VR program, improving results, and maintaining high expectations of both the VR program and individuals with disabilities.

Through several meetings with the ReThink VR Performance Workgroup in the summer and fall of 2019, RSA identified strategies it will adopt to rethink how RSA fosters continuous improvement, enhances collaboration, and maximizes high-quality employment opportunities for customers served by the VR program.

During the CSAVR Fall 2019 Conference, RSA presented its plan for ReThink VR Performance outlining goals and specific actions across five priority areas identified in this initiative. Please visit the CSAVR Fall 2019 Conference webpage to view the presentation.

ReThink VR Performance (PDF)

(Oct. 25, 2019)

Increasing Postsecondary Opportunities and Success for Students and Youth with Disabilities

The Department issued a Questions and Answers document (Q&A), with an accompanying Appendix, on the dual enrollment of students with disabilities in secondary school and postsecondary education institutions, including comprehensive transition and postsecondary education programs for students with intellectual disabilities.

Increasing Postsecondary Opportunities and Success for Students and Youth with Disabilities (PDF, 400KB)

(Sep. 17, 2019)

New Commissioner Leads U.S. Education Department’s Rehabilitation Services Administration

Mark Allan Schultz, most recently a deputy commissioner at the Nebraska Department of Education, will lead the Rehabilitation Services Administration (RSA) within the Office of Special Education and Rehabilitative Services (OSERS). RSA assists states and other agencies in their work to provide vocational rehabilitation and other services to individuals with disabilities to maximize their employment, independence and integration into the community and the competitive labor market.

Read more on the OSERS Blog.

(August 12, 2019)

Collaboration Opportunities: WIOA Youth and Vocational Rehabilitation Programs

On May 16, 2019, the U.S. Departments of Education and Labor issued a technical assistance resource titled Collaboration Opportunities: WIOA Youth and Vocational Rehabilitation Programs. This resource is intended to provide a high-level overview of these two programs and improve coordination of workforce preparation activities and employment services between these two core programs. The document offers strategies and resources to increase collaboration between the State and local agencies under these two programs, as well as program providers, so they may more effectively serve youth with disabilities.

(June 5, 2019)

Case Service Report (RSA-911)

On May 6, 2019, RSA issued PD-19-03 including the revised Case Service Report (RSA-911) for implementation beginning in Program Year (PY) 2020, beginning July 1, 2020. PD-16-04 remains in effect for PY 2018 and PY 2019. RSA also posted the Case Service Report (RSA-911) Correction Procedures. This technical assistance resource outlines the options available to State Vocational Rehabilitation agencies to correct information reported on the RSA-911 when errors in data collection or reporting are identified.

(June 4, 2019)

State Wage Interchange System (SWIS) Data Sharing Agreement

On May 3, 2019, the U.S. Departments of Education and Labor made available to the public workforce development system the State Wage Interchange System (SWIS) Data Sharing Agreement. To review the SWIS Agreement, SWIS Background Information, and an Informational Webcast, please visit the Innovation and Opportunity Network (ION).

(June 3, 2019)

WIOA Program Year 2017 Reports

WIOA requires States to submit an annual statewide performance report, including information on levels of performance achieved with respect to the primary indicators of performance. For Program Year (PY) 2017, State VR agencies reported some of this information to RSA for the first time under WIOA. PY 2017 data only includes performance for the Measurable Skill Gains indicator for the VR program because this was the only primary indicator for which data were available for reporting in PY 2017. To view each State report and the national summary for the VR program, please visit WIOA Annual Reports (PY 2017).

(June 1, 2019)

This content was copied from www.ed.gov on 02/09/2018