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Scope of Vocational Rehabilitation Services for Groups of Individuals with Disabilities (§361.49)

Pre-ETS Notice

This part of the website has been updated to reflect the Notice of Interpretation in the Federal Register.

Regulation:
  • (a) The designated State unit may provide for the following vocational rehabilitation services for the benefit of groups of individuals with disabilities:

    ...(6) Consultation and technical assistance services to assist State educational agencies and local educational agencies in planning for the transition of students and youth with disabilities from school to postsecondary life, including employment

    (7) Transition services to youth with disabilities and students with disabilities who may not have yet applied or been determined eligible for vocational rehabilitation services, for which a vocational rehabilitation counselor works in concert with educational agencies, providers of job training programs, providers of services under the Medicaid program under title XIX of the Social Security Act (42 U.S.C. 1396 et seq.), entities designated by the State to provide services for individuals with developmental disabilities, centers for independent living (as defined in section 702 of the Act), housing and transportation authorities, workforce development systems, and businesses and employers. These specific transition services are to benefit a group of students with disabilities or youth with disabilities and are not individualized services directly related to an individualized plan for employment goal. Services may include, but are not limited to, group tours of universities and vocational training programs, employer or business site visits to learn about career opportunities, career fairs coordinated with workforce development and employers to facilitate mock interviews and resume writing, and other general services applicable to groups of students with disabilities and youth with disabilities.

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Preamble Discussion:
  • Scope of Vocational Rehabilitation Services for Groups of Individuals with Disabilities (361.49) found in the preamble Final VR Regulations at 81 FR 55697-55698 (August 19, 2016)

    • Discussion: We appreciate all of these comments.  A student with a disability or a youth with a disability is not required to have applied or been determined eligible for vocational rehabilitation services to receive general transition services provided to groups under section 103(b)(7) of the Act, as amended by WIOA, and final 361.49(a)(7).  Therefore, a DSU may, but is not required to, provide or collect applications from students and youth with disabilities receiving transition services under final 361.49(a)(7).  Students with disabilities may receive these services in a variety of settings, including classroom, employment, and community-based settings.  However, the Department strongly encourages DSUs to provide these services in integrated settings to the maximum extent possible to best prepare students and youth with disabilities for competitive integrated employment.  Furthermore, students and youth with disabilities may continue to receive generalized transition services under this authority while also receiving individualized vocational rehabilitation services under an individualized plan for employment pursuant to section 103(a) of the Act and final §361.48(b).

      Pre-employment transition services may be provided in a group setting to students with disabilities who have not applied or been determined eligible for vocational rehabilitation services, as discussed in the examples in final §361.48(a).  Contrary to the assumption in some comments, pre-employment transition services cannot be provided to students with disabilities as a service for groups under section 103(b)(7) of the Act, as amended by WIOA, or final §361.49(a)(7).  Pre-employment transition services must only be provided under section 113 of the Act and final §361.48(a).

      The intent of these generalized transition services when provided under final §361.49(a)(7) is to benefit groups of students and youth with disabilities.  We understand the concern that these services are limited to only students and youth with disabilities.  Transition services provided under final §361.48(b) under an individualized plan for employment are more individualized in nature, and the settings in which they are delivered are typically more diverse.

      We agree that the purpose of transition services to groups should ultimately be achieving competitive integrated employment for students and youth with disabilities consistent with the purpose of the VR program set forth in final §361.1.  Nonetheless, the transition services provided under final §361.49(a)(7) are not limited to those individuals who have been determined eligible for the VR program and who are pursuing an employment outcome in competitive integrated employment or supported employment.  Therefore, we cannot require that the transition services authorized in final section 361.49(a)(7) be provided only for the purpose of assisting students and youth with disabilities to obtain competitive integrated employment.

      We also agree that the families of students and youth with disabilities should be involved in all transition services, even though section 103(b) of the Act, as amended by WIOA, does not specifically include outreach to and engagement of parents within its requirements.  Neither the Act nor these final regulations prohibit a DSU from providing outreach to, and engaging parents in, the provision of transition services under final §361.49(a)(7).

      Finally, informed choice, as outlined in final 361.52, applies throughout the vocational rehabilitation process; therefore, students and youth with disabilities receiving transition services under final §361.49(a)(7) must be given the opportunity to exercise their informed choice.

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