WASHINGTON (Aug. 12, 2019)—The U.S. Department of Education welcomed a new commissioner to its Rehabilitation Services Administration (RSA) today.
Mark Allan Schultz, most recently a deputy commissioner at the Nebraska Department of Education, will lead RSA within the Office of Special Education and Rehabilitative Services (OSERS). The 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.
“RSA plays a key leadership role through its resources and technical assistance to state VR programs and others,” Schultz said. “I’m excited to work with RSA staff, and our state and federal partners, to maximize the opportunities for individuals with disabilities to be successfully employed and to live independently in their communities.”
The vocational rehabilitation program will celebrate its 100th year of existence in 2020.
“Those 100 years of experience bring a responsibility of leadership on issues that impact the ability of individuals with disabilities to be employed and live independently,” Schultz said. “In order for states to be innovative and creative as they seek to improve employment outcomes for individuals with disabilities, RSA will continue to support states in the work they are leading, provide flexibility within the constructs of the law, and partner with all those who have a stake in improving employment outcomes and raising expectations for individuals with disabilities.”
Schultz’ inspiration for a career related to vocational rehabilitation stems from the experience of having a family member with mental and physical health issues resulting in a disability.
“This experience taught me the importance of work to one’s self-worth and self-esteem and provides a personal motivation for wanting to make a difference,” Schultz said.
Prior to his role at the Nebraska Department of Education, Schultz served as both the director and associate director with Nebraska Vocational Rehabilitation, director of the Nebraska Assistive Technology Partnership and as a barrier-free design specialist for the League of Human Dignity, a Center for Independent Living. He has also served as a president of the Council of State Administrators of Vocational Rehabilitation and a member of the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act Information Technology Steering Committee.
Schultz received a bachelor’s in architectural studies from University of Nebraska, Lincoln and a master’s in public administration from the University of Nebraska, Omaha.
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