What's New in RSA

Active Participation of ECVBs with SLAs in the Randolph-Sheppard Vending Facility Program

On December 15, 2020, RSA issued TAC-21-01: "Active Participation of Elected Committees of Blind Vendors with State Licensing Agencies in the Randolph-Sheppard Vending Facility Program" in response to several inquiries from State licensing agencies (SLAs) and Elected Committees of Blind Vendors (ECBVs) under the Randolph-Sheppard Act seeking guidance regarding issues related to the active participation of the ECBV in the major administrative and policy decisions affecting the operation of the vending facility program in the States. While there is flexibility on how each State may fulfill its obligation to ensure that active participation occurs with the ECBV in the respective State, RSA provides TAC 21-01 to SLAs and ECBVs to outline the Federal requirements governing active participation and clarify Federal requirements for SLAs and ECBVs, including examples of major administrative decisions and policy and program development where active participation is required.

(December 30, 2020)

Randolph-Sheppard Report to Congress

On December 21, 2020, RSA transmitted the report on the Randolph-Sheppard Vending Facility Program authorized by the Randolph-Sheppard Act of 1936 to the Committees on Appropriations, pursuant to the congressional explanatory statement to the fiscal year 2020 Further Consolidated Appropriations Act (Pub. L. No. 116-94), signed into law on December 20, 2019. This report summarizes RSA’s progress in the convening of arbitration panels in a timely manner, the review and approval of State licensing agencies’ (SLA) policy changes, and RSA’s work with SLAs to approve routine expenditures, including prior approval requests, associated with the program. The report also describes the technical assistance RSA provided to SLAs and blind vendors.

(December 21, 2020)

IDEA45

IDEA-45 logo - RGB - Large

November 29, 2020 marks the 45th anniversary of President Gerald Ford signing the Education for All Handicapped Children Act (Public Law 94-142) into law. The 1990 amendment to Public Law 94-142 changed the law’s name to the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA). Join OSERS and the Office of Special Education Programs the week of November 30, 2020 in celebrating 45 years of providing education, supports and services to infants, toddlers, children, and youth with disabilities and their families through the IDEA.

New resources and stories will be posted each day on IDEA45. Follow OSERS on Twitter to celebrate 45 years of IDEA.

(November 20, 2020)

CSAVR Fall 2020 Conference

CSAVR held its Fall 2020 Conference from November 9-13, 2020. RSA Commissioner Mark Schultz, RSA management, and other RSA staff delivered several presentations at the virtual conference. The following presentations are available: 

(November 13, 2020)

Summit Conference 2020

The 13th Annual Summit Conference on Performance Management Excellence was held November 3-6, 2020. RSA Commissioner Mark Schultz and Christopher Pope, Chief of the Data Collection and Analysis Unit, delivered the keynote. The video  and slides are now available. 

The virtual conference was a collaboration between the Florida Department of Education – Division of Vocational RehabilitationFlorida ABLE TRUSTProgram Evaluation and Quality Assurance Technical Assistance CenterRehabilitation Program Evaluation NetworkThe ABLE TrustThe Summit Group and NavigatorsWorkforce Innovation Technical Assistance Center; and RSA.

(November 6, 2020)

New Discretionary Grant Awards

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

(October 21, 2020)

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.
(October 16, 2020)

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. 

  • View the Task Force's NDEAM statement.
  • Learn more about NDEAM at the U.S. Department of Labor's Office of Disability Employment Policy website.
  • Follow OSERS's Twitter as we highlight VR success stories for NDEAM in October and continue to celebrate VR100 throughout 2020. 
(October 2, 2020)

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.

(August 31, 2020)

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.

(August 24, 2020)