Requesting Feedback Related to State VR Agency Technical Assistance Needs

As part of OSERS’ commitment to rethink its work to ensure that it is in the best position to achieve its mission, the Rehabilitation Services Administration (RSA) is rethinking the way it supports and partners with its key stakeholders to improve employment outcomes for individuals with disabilities.

One aspect of this ongoing work is rethinking how RSA evaluates the technical assistance needs of State Vocational Rehabilitation (VR) agencies and RSA’s strategies for disseminating resources and tools that help State VR agencies provide services to individuals with disabilities and the business community.

Through this blog, RSA is interested in receiving feedback from State VR agencies and stakeholders related to two areas: employer services and career advancement under the VR program. In particular, RSA requests that commenters respond to the following questions:

  1. Do State VR agencies need technical assistance or additional information from RSA related to on-demand training (e.g., online videos) for businesses and other employers related to disability issues?
  2. If so, what topics should RSA specifically address related to on-demand training for businesses related to disability issues and through what mode(s) should RSA provide this technical assistance to State VR agencies?
  3. Do State VR agencies need technical assistance or additional information from RSA related to the provision of career advancement services for individuals with disabilities who are employed?
  4. If so, what topics should RSA specifically address related to career advancement and through what mode(s) should RSA deliver this technical assistance to State VR agencies?

RSA will consider comments submitted to the OSERS Blog through December 5, 2019. We appreciate your thoughtful feedback as we work to maximize employment opportunities for individuals with disabilities.


Note:  To help us in our review, we ask that you only address the questions in the comment section. To protect your privacy and the privacy of others, please do not include personally identifiable information, such as a Social Security number, an address, a phone number or an email address in the body of your comment. Comments containing the aforementioned information, or that do not address the above questions, will not be allowed.

Getting Where I Need to Go: Traveling Opens Doors

Jamel Berry

By Jamel Berry


When I was in high school, I was advised to contact New York State’s Adult Career and Continuing Education Services — Vocational Rehabilitation (ACCES-VR) for job training. However, I wasn’t traveling on my own yet, because even though I was 20 years old at the time, I relied on the school bus to get around during all my years of school.

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Vocational Rehabilitation for Individuals with Disabilities from High School and College Youth to Adults

The Maine Department of Labor’s Bureau of Rehabilitation Services works to bring about full access to employment, independence and community integration for people with disabilities.

Working with its partners in the Maine Department of Labor’s CareerCenter and the rehabilitation community, the Bureau of Rehabilitation Services works with persons with disabilities through the divisions of vocational rehabilitation, blind and visually impaired, and deaf, hard of hearing and late deafened.

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I Can Do Anything: Learning Job Basics and Preparing for the Future

NOTE: October is National Disability Employment Awareness Month

Theo Brooks

By Theo Brooks


When I lost my job in the food industry, I didn’t know what to do. Without my job, I was feeling defeated. I was frustrated that the job I enjoyed and looked forward to was gone.

I stopped by INCLUDEnyc, which my mom found, that helps young people with disabilities like me and their families. One of their youth educators spoke to me and gave me an assessment. From that point, I started to feel more optimistic that I had opportunities.

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The Power of Partnerships

NOTE: October is National Disability Employment Awareness Month

Ethan - Photo 2

By Chris Pope, OSERS RSA, and Kathy West-Evans, CSAVR


Partnerships between state vocational rehabilitation (VR) agencies and the private sector have helped individuals with disabilities served by state VR agencies to meet their career goals.

Ethan, a young man with Autism, secured a paid internship with HP Inc. last spring thanks in part to a partnership between the Council of State Administrators of Vocational Rehabilitation’s (CSAVR) National Employment Team (NET), Michigan Rehabilitation Services (MRS), and Michigan Technological University (MTU).

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Transitions and Transmissions: VR Services Help Teen Roadmap a Career Path

Note: October is National Disability Employment Awareness Month

Kenneth Singletary, working on a car.

By Way2Work Maryland

Way2Work Maryland, a five-year federal RSA research grant in Maryland, connects students with disabilities in local school systems across the state to community rehabilitation providers to participate in Work-Based Learning Experiences.


Way2Work student Kenneth Singletary was connected to TransCen, Inc. for services in his junior year thanks to a partnership between the University of Maryland, the Maryland Department of Education’s Division of Rehabilitation Services and its pre-employment transition services funding, and the Harford County, Maryland school system.

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Technical Assistance to Improve Postsecondary Transition Services

Use of joint discretionary grant funding from the Office of Special Education Programs (OSEP) and the Rehabilitation Services Administration (RSA) in the Office of Special Education and Rehabilitative Services (OSERS) to provide technical assistance (TA) to State Education Agencies (SEAs), Local Educational Agencies (LEAs), State Vocational Rehabilitation Agencies (SVRAs), and Career and Technical Education (CTE)


U.S. Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos believes in the innate potential of every student and knows that access to high-quality services are an essential part of local, State, and Federal efforts to improve outcomes for all students and youth with disabilities. OSERS is seeking input from the public, particularly SEAs, LEAs, SVRAs, parents and CTE educators, and other relevant stakeholders on how best to provide TA to States in order to improve postsecondary transition services to all students and youth with disabilities. Additionally, OSERS seeks input on how best to strengthen and expand coordination and collaboration with OSERS Parent Training and Information Centers and other relevant TA centers.

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

Mark Allan Schultz, RSA Commissioner. (Photo/Nebraska Department of Education)

RSA Commissioner Mark Allan Schultz

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.”

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RSA Application Assistance for 2019 Grant Competition: 84.129


Competition:

Long Term Training

CFDA:

84.129B—Rehabilitation Counseling

84.129H—Rehabilitation of Individuals Who Are Mentally Ill

84.129P—Rehabilitation of Individuals Who Are Blind or Have Vision Impairments

84.129Q—Rehabilitation of Individuals Who Are Deaf or Hard of Hearing

The U.S. Department of Education is committed to attracting as many qualified applicants as possible for its discretionary grant competitions. The Department is also committed to an equitable and transparent application process. OSERS is, therefore, providing to interested applicants technical assistance on the application process and application requirements for this competition.

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RSA Application Assistance for 2019 Grant Competition: 84.263C


Competition:

Rehabilitation Training: Innovative Rehabilitation Training Program

CFDA:

84.263C

The U.S. Department of Education is committed to attracting as many qualified applicants as possible for its discretionary grant competitions. The Department is also committed to an equitable and transparent application process. OSERS is, therefore, providing to interested applicants technical assistance on the application process and application requirements for this competition.

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