Grants and contracts under paragraph (1) may be expended for scholarships and may include necessary stipends and allowances.
In carrying out this subsection, the Commissioner may make grants to and enter into contracts with States and public or nonprofit agencies and organizations, including institutions of higher education, to furnish training regarding provisions of Federal statutes, including section 794 of this title, title I of the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 (42 U.S.C. 12111 et seq.), and the provisions of titles II and XVI of the Social Security Act (42 U.S.C. 401 et seq. and 1381 et seq.), that are related to work incentives for individuals with disabilities.
Training and other activities provided under paragraph (4) for personnel may be jointly funded with the Department of Labor, using funds made available under subtitle B of title I of the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act [29 U.S.C. 3151 et seq.].
The Commissioner may make grants to, and enter into contracts with, States and public or nonprofit agencies and organizations (including institutions of higher education) to pay part of the costs of academic training projects to provide training that leads to an academic degree or academic certificate. In making such grants or entering into such contracts, the Commissioner shall target funds to areas determined under subsection (e) to have shortages of qualified personnel.
Except as provided in subparagraph (B), no grant or contract under this subsection may be used to provide any one course of study to an individual for a period of more than 4 years.
Grants and contracts under paragraph (1) may be expanded to provide services that include the provision of scholarships and necessary stipends and allowances.
The Commissioner, in carrying out this section, shall make grants to historically Black colleges and universities and other institutions of higher education whose minority student enrollment is at least 50 percent of the total enrollment of the institution.
A grant may not be awarded to a State or other organization under this section unless the State or organization has submitted an application to the Commissioner at such time, in such form, in accordance with such procedures, and containing such information as the Commissioner may require. Any such application shall include a detailed description of strategies that will be utilized to recruit and train individuals so as to reflect the diverse populations of the United States as part of the effort to increase the number of individuals with disabilities, and individuals who are from linguistically and culturally diverse backgrounds, who are available to provide rehabilitation services.
The Commissioner shall evaluate the impact of the training programs conducted under this section, and collect information on the training needs of, and data on shortages of qualified personnel necessary to provide services to individuals with disabilities. The Commissioner shall prepare and submit to Congress, by September 30 of each fiscal year, a report setting forth and justifying in detail how the funds made available for training under this section for the fiscal year prior to such submission are allocated by professional discipline and other program areas. The report shall also contain findings on such personnel shortages, how funds proposed for the succeeding fiscal year will be allocated under the President’s budget proposal, and how the findings on personnel shortages justify the allocations.
The Commissioner shall award grants under this subsection for programs in geographic areas throughout the United States that the Commissioner considers appropriate to best carry out the objectives of this section.
In awarding grants under this subsection, the Commissioner shall give priority to public or private nonprofit agencies or organizations with existing programs that have a demonstrated capacity for providing interpreter training services.
The Commissioner is authorized to provide technical assistance to State designated agencies and community rehabilitation programs, directly or through contracts with State designated agencies or nonprofit organizations. Any technical assistance provided to community rehabilitation programs shall be focused on the employment outcome of competitive integrated employment for individuals with disabilities.
An expert or consultant appointed or serving under contract pursuant to this section shall be compensated at a rate, subject to approval of the Commissioner, that shall not exceed the daily equivalent of the rate of pay for level 4 of the Senior Executive Service Schedule under section 5382 of title 5. Such an expert or consultant may be allowed travel and transportation expenses in accordance with section 5703 of title 5.
The Commissioner, subject to the provisions of section 776 of this title, may require that recipients of grants or contracts under this section provide information, including data, with regard to the impact of activities funded under this section.
There are authorized to be appropriated to carry out this section $33,657,000 for fiscal year 2015, $36,257,000 for fiscal year 2016, $37,009,000 for fiscal year 2017, $37,830,000 for fiscal year 2018, $38,719,000 for fiscal year 2019, and $39,540,000 for fiscal year 2020.