Sec. 7029.6 - Informed Choice
§ 7029.6. Informed Choice
(a) Applicants and eligible individuals or, as appropriate, their representatives shall be provided information and support services to assist them in exercising informed choice throughout the rehabilitation process consistent with the requirements of this section.
(b) To assist applicants and eligible individuals to exercise informed choice throughout the vocational rehabilitation process, the Department shall:
(1) Inform each applicant and eligible individual (including students with disabilities who are making the transition from programs under the responsibility of an educational agency to the Department's programs), through appropriate modes of communication, about the availability of and opportunities to exercise informed choice, including the availability of support services for individuals with cognitive or other disabilities who require assistance in exercising informed choice throughout the vocational rehabilitation process;
(2) Assist applicants and eligible individuals in exercising informed choice in decisions related to the provision of assessment services;
(3) Afford eligible individuals meaningful choices among methods used to procure vocational rehabilitation services, consistent with applicable State procurement laws and regulations and federal policy directives issued by the U.S. Department of Education, Office of Special Education and Rehabilitative Services (OSERS), Rehabilitation Services Administration; and
(4) Assist eligible individuals or, as appropriate, the individuals' representatives to acquire information that enables them to exercise informed choice in the development of their Individualized Plans for Employment (IPEs) with respect to the selection of the -
(A) Employment outcome, as defined in and consistent with Section 7011 of these regulations;
(B) Specific vocational rehabilitation services needed to achieve the employment outcome, as defined in and consistent with Section 7149 of these regulations;
(C) Entity that will provide the services;
(D) Employment setting and the settings in which the services will be provided; and
(E) Methods available for procuring the services, consistent with State procurement laws and regulations and federal policy directives issued by the U.S. Department of Education, Office of Special Education and Rehabilitative Services (OSERS), Rehabilitation Services Administration.
(c) The availability and scope of informed choice shall be consistent with the Department's obligations under the Act and federal regulations and with the Department's responsibilities for the administration of the vocational rehabilitation program. Statutory and regulatory requirements that affect the exercise of informed choice include all of the following:
(1) Section 101(a)(6)(C) of the Act and 34 CFR 361.51, which require that any facility used in connection with the delivery of vocational rehabilitation services is accessible to individuals with disabilities.
(2) Section 101(a)(8)(A) of the Act and 34 CFR 361.53, which require that prior to providing any vocational rehabilitation service to an eligible individual, or to members of the individual's family, the Department shall determine whether comparable services and benefits as defined in Section7006 of these regulations are available under any other program in accordance with and under conditions specified in Chapter 5, Article 3 of these regulations.
(3) Section 101(a)(9)(B) of the Act and 34 CFR 361.45, which require that vocational rehabilitation services be provided in accordance with the provisions of the Individualized Plan for Employment (IPE).
(4) 34 CFR 361.50, which authorizes the Department to develop and maintain written policies covering the nature and scope of each of the vocational rehabilitation services specified in Section 7149 of these regulations and the criteria under which each service is provided.
(5) 34 CFR 361.54, which permits the Department to consider the financial need of eligible individuals, or individuals who are receiving services through trial work experience under Section 7062(h) or during an extended evaluation under Section 7062(i) of these regulations, for purposes of determining the extent of their participation in the costs of vocational rehabilitation services under conditions specified in Chapter 5, Article 1 of these regulations.
(6) 34 CFR 80.36(a) of the Education Department General Administrative Regulations (EDGAR), which governs the procurement of property and services under a grant.
(7) 34 CFR 361.13(c), which specifies activities that are the responsibility of the Department in the administration of the vocational rehabilitation program. These activities include, but are not limited to:
(A) All decisions affecting eligibility for vocational rehabilitation services, the nature and scope of available services, and the provision of these services; and
(B) The allocation and expenditure of vocational rehabilitation funds.
(8) 34 CFR 361.12, which requires, in part, that the Department ensure financial accountability in administering the vocational rehabilitation program.
(9) 34 CFR 361.48 which requires, in part, that vocational rehabilitation services must be appropriate to the vocational rehabilitation needs of the individual.
(10) 34 CFR 361.45, which requires, in part, that the employment outcome chosen by the eligible individual must be consistent with the individual's strengths, resources, priorities, concerns, abilities, capabilities, and interests.
(d) When assisting an applicant and eligible individual to exercise informed choice during the assessment for determining eligibility and vocational rehabilitation needs and during development of the IPE, the Department must provide the individual or the individual's representative, or assist the individual or the individual's representative to acquire, information necessary to make an informed choice about the specific vocational rehabilitation services, including the providers of those services, that are needed to achieve the individual's employment outcome. This information must include, at a minimum, information relating to the -
(1) Cost, accessibility, and duration of potential services;
(2) Consumer satisfaction with those services, to the extent that this information is available;
(3) Qualifications of potential service providers;
(4) Types of services offered by the potential providers;
(5) Degree to which services are provided in integrated settings; and
(6) Outcomes achieved by individuals working with service providers, to the extent that this information is available.
(e) In providing, or assisting the individual or the individual's representative to acquire, the information specified in (d) of this section, the Department may use, but is not limited to, the following methods or sources of information.
(1) Lists of services and service providers.
(2) Periodic consumer satisfaction surveys and reports.
(3) Referrals to other consumers, consumer groups, or disability advisory councils qualified to discuss the services or service providers.
(4) Relevant accreditation, certification, or other information relating to the qualifications of service providers.
(5) Opportunities for individuals to visit or experience various work and service provider settings.(1. New chapter 1.5 (section 7029.6) and sectionfiled 3-4-2004; operative 4-3-2004 (Register 2004, No. 10).)
Note: Authority cited: Sections 19006 and 19016, Welfare and Institutions Code. Reference: 29 USC Sections 701(a)(6) and (c)(1), 721(a)(19) and 722(b) and (d); 34 CFR Sections 361.50 and 361.52; and Sections 19000(d)(1) and (e)(6), 19005, 19011 and 19012, Welfare and Institutions Code.
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