Subject to the availability of appropriations, the Secretary shall establish in the Department of Health and Human Services a Disability, Independent Living, and Rehabilitation Research Advisory Council (referred to in this section as the “Council”) composed of not less than 12 members appointed by the Secretary.
The Council shall advise the Director with respect to research priorities and the development and revision of the 5-year plan required by section 762(h) of this title.
Members of the Council shall be generally representative of the community of disability, independent living, and rehabilitation professionals, the community of disability, independent living, and rehabilitation researchers, the directors of independent living centers and community rehabilitation programs, the business community (including a representative of the small business community) that has experience with the system of vocational rehabilitation services and independent living services carried out under this chapter and with hiring individuals with disabilities, the community of stakeholders involved in assistive technology, the community of covered school professionals, and the community of individuals with disabilities, and the individuals’ representatives. At least one-half of the members shall be individuals with disabilities or the individuals’ representatives.
Any vacancy occurring in the membership of the Council shall be filled in the same manner as the original appointment for the position being vacated. The vacancy shall not affect the power of the remaining members to execute the duties of the Council.
Each member of the Council who is not an officer or full-time employee of the Federal Government shall receive a payment of $150 for each day (including travel time) during which the member is engaged in the performance of duties for the Council. All members of the Council who are officers or full-time employees of the United States shall serve without compensation in addition to compensation received for their services as officers or employees of the United States.
Each member of the Council may receive travel expenses, including per diem in lieu of subsistence, as authorized by section 5703 of title 5 for employees serving intermittently in the Government service, for each day the member is engaged in the performance of duties away from the home or regular place of business of the member.
On the request of the Council, the Secretary may detail, with or without reimbursement, any of the personnel of the Department of Health and Human Services to the Council to assist the Council in carrying out its duties. Any detail shall not interrupt or otherwise affect the civil service status or privileges of the Federal employee.
On the request of the Council, the Secretary shall provide such technical assistance to the Council as the Council determines to be necessary to carry out its duties.