34 CFR § 361.49 - Scope of vocational rehabilitation services for groups of individuals with disabilities.

§ 361.49 Scope of vocational rehabilitation services for groups of individuals with disabilities.

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

(1) The establishment, development, or improvement of a public or other nonprofit community rehabilitation program that is used to provide vocational rehabilitation services that promote integration into the community and prepare individuals with disabilities for competitive integrated employment, including supported employment and customized employment, and under special circumstances, the construction of a facility for a public or nonprofit community rehabilitation program as defined in §§ 361.5(c)(10), 361.5(c)(16) and 361.5(c)(17). Examples of special circumstances include the destruction by natural disaster of the only available center serving an area or a State determination that construction is necessary in a rural area because no other public agencies or private nonprofit organizations are currently able to provide vocational rehabilitation services to individuals.

(2) Telecommunications systems that have the potential for substantially improving vocational rehabilitation service delivery methods and developing appropriate programming to meet the particular needs of individuals with disabilities, including telephone, television, video description services, satellite, tactile-vibratory devices, and similar systems, as appropriate.

(3) Special services to provide nonvisual access to information for individuals who are blind, including the use of telecommunications, Braille, sound recordings, or other appropriate media; captioned television, films, or video cassettes for individuals who are deaf or hard of hearing; tactile materials for individuals who are deaf-blind; and other special services that provide information through tactile, vibratory, auditory, and visual media.

(4) Technical assistance to businesses that are seeking to employ individuals with disabilities.

(5) In the case of any small business enterprise operated by individuals with significant disabilities under the supervision of the designated State unit, including enterprises established under the Randolph-Sheppard program, management services and supervision provided by the State unit along with the acquisition by the State unit of vending facilities or other equipment, initial stocks and supplies, and initial operating expenses, in accordance with the following requirements:

(i) Management services and supervision includes inspection, quality control, consultation, accounting, regulating, in-service training, and related services provided on a systematic basis to support and improve small business enterprises operated by individuals with significant disabilities. Management services and supervision may be provided throughout the operation of the small business enterprise.

(ii) Initial stocks and supplies includes those items necessary to the establishment of a new business enterprise during the initial establishment period, which may not exceed six months.

(iii) Costs of establishing a small business enterprise may include operational costs during the initial establishment period, which may not exceed six months.

(iv) If the designated State unit provides for these services, it must ensure that only individuals with significant disabilities will be selected to participate in this supervised program.

(v) If the designated State unit provides for these services and chooses to set aside funds from the proceeds of the operation of the small business enterprises, the State unit must maintain a description of the methods used in setting aside funds and the purposes for which funds are set aside. Funds may be used only for small business enterprises purposes, and benefits that are provided to operators from set-aside funds must be provided on an equitable basis.

(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.

(8) The establishment, development, or improvement of assistive technology demonstration, loan, reutilization, or financing programs in coordination with activities authorized under the Assistive Technology Act of 1998 (29 U.S.C. 3001 et seq.) to promote access to assistive technology for individuals with disabilities and employers.

(9) Support (including, as appropriate, tuition) for advanced training in a field of science, technology, engineering, or mathematics (including computer science), medicine, law, or business, provided after an individual eligible to receive services under this title demonstrates—

(i) Such eligibility;

(ii) Previous completion of a bachelor's degree program at an institution of higher education or scheduled completion of such a degree program prior to matriculating in the program for which the individual proposes to use the support; and

(iii) Acceptance by a program at an institution of higher education in the United States that confers a master's degree in a field of science, technology, engineering, or mathematics (including computer science), a juris doctor degree, a master of business administration degree, or a doctor of medicine degree, except that—

(A) No training provided at an institution of higher education may be paid for with funds under this program unless maximum efforts have been made by the designated State unit to secure grant assistance, in whole or in part, from other sources to pay for such training; and

(B) Nothing in this paragraph prevents any designated State unit from providing similar support to individuals with disabilities within the State who are eligible to receive support under this title and who are not served under this section.

(b) If the designated State unit provides for vocational rehabilitation services for groups of individuals, it must—

(1) Develop and maintain written policies covering the nature and scope of each of the vocational rehabilitation services it provides and the criteria under which each service is provided; and

(2) Maintain information to ensure the proper and efficient administration of those services in the form and detail and at the time required by the Secretary, including the types of services provided, the costs of those services, and, to the extent feasible, estimates of the numbers of individuals benefiting from those services.

(Authority: Sections 12(c), 101(a)(6)(A), and 103(b) of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, as amended; 29 U.S.C. 709(c), 721(a)(6), and 723(b))