Vocational Rehabilitation and Other Rehabilitation Services of 1973 - 29 US Code Chapter 16

The purpose of the Vocational Rehabilitation and Other Rehabilitation Services Act is to empower individuals with disabilities to maximize employment, economic self-sufficiency, independence, and inclusion and integration into society.29 USC CHAPTER 16 - VOCATIONAL REHABILITATION AND OTHER REHABILITATION SERVICES

TITLE 29 - LABOR
CHAPTER 16 - VOCATIONAL REHABILITATION AND OTHER REHABILITATION SERVICES

GENERAL PROVISIONS
Sec.
701. Findings; purpose; policy.
702. Rehabilitation Services Administration.
703. Advance funding.
704. Joint funding.
705. Definitions.
706. Allotment percentage.
707. Nonduplication.
708. Application of other laws.
709. Administration.
710. Reports.
711. Evaluation.
712. Information clearinghouse.
713. Transfer of funds.
714. State administration.
715. Review of applications.
716. Carryover.
717. Client assistance information.
718. Traditionally underserved populations.

SUBCHAPTER I - VOCATIONAL REHABILITATION SERVICES

PART A - GENERAL PROVISIONS
720. Declaration of policy; authorization of appropriations.
721. State plans.
722. Eligibility and individualized plan for employment.
723. Vocational rehabilitation services.
724. Non-Federal share for establishment of program or construction.
725. State Rehabilitation Council.
726. Evaluation standards and performance indicators.
727. Monitoring and review.
728. Expenditure of certain amounts.
728a. Training of employers with respect to Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990.

PART B - BASIC VOCATIONAL REHABILITATION SERVICES
730. State allotments.
731. Payments to States.
732. Client assistance program.

PART C - AMERICAN INDIAN VOCATIONAL REHABILITATION SERVICES
741. Vocational rehabilitation services grants.

PART D - VOCATIONAL REHABILITATION SERVICES CLIENT INFORMATION
751. Data sharing.

SUBCHAPTER II - RESEARCH AND TRAINING
760. Declaration of purpose.
761. Authorization of appropriations.
762. National Institute on Disability and Rehabilitation Research.
762a. Research and demonstration projects.
763. Interagency Committee.
764. Research and other covered activities.
765. Rehabilitation Research Advisory Council.

SUBCHAPTER III - PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT AND SPECIAL PROJECTS AND DEMONSTRATIONS
771. Declaration of purpose and competitive basis of grants and contracts.
772. Training.
773. Demonstration and training programs.
774. Migrant and seasonal farmworkers.
775. Recreational programs.
776. Measuring of project outcomes and performance.

SUBCHAPTER IV - NATIONAL COUNCIL ON DISABILITY
780. Establishment of National Council on Disability.
780a. Independent status of National Council on the Handicapped.
781. Duties of National Council.
782. Compensation of National Council members.
783. Staff of National Council.
784. Administrative powers of National Council.
785. Authorization of appropriations.

SUBCHAPTER V - RIGHTS AND ADVOCACY
790. Repealed.
791. Employment of individuals with disabilities.
792. Architectural and Transportation Barriers Compliance Board.
793. Employment under Federal contracts.
794. Nondiscrimination under Federal grants and programs.
794a. Remedies and attorney fees.
794b. Removal of architectural, transportation, or communication barriers; technical and financial assistance; compensation of experts or consultants; authorization of appropriations.
794c. Interagency Disability Coordinating Council.
794d. Electronic and information technology.
794e. Protection and advocacy of individual rights.

SUBCHAPTER VI - EMPLOYMENT OPPORTUNITIES FOR INDIVIDUALS WITH DISABILITIES

PART A - PROJECTS WITH INDUSTRY
795. Projects With Industry.
795a. Authorization of appropriations.

PART B - SUPPORTED EMPLOYMENT SERVICES FOR INDIVIDUALS WITH THE MOST SIGNIFICANT DISABILITIES
795g. Purpose.
795h. Allotments.
795i. Availability of services.
795j. Eligibility.
795k. State plan.
795l. Restriction.
795m. Savings provision.
795n. Authorization of appropriations.

SUBCHAPTER VII - INDEPENDENT LIVING SERVICES AND CENTERS FOR INDEPENDENT LIVING

PART A - INDIVIDUALS WITH SIGNIFICANT DISABILITIES

SUBPART 1 - GENERAL PROVISIONS
796. Purpose.
796a.. Definitions.
796b.. Eligibility for receipt of services.
796c.. State plan.
796d.. Statewide Independent Living Council.
796d-1 . Responsibilities of Commissioner.

SUBPART 2 - INDEPENDENT LIVING SERVICES
796e. Allotments.
796e-1. Payments to States from allotments.
796e-2. Authorized uses of funds.
796e-3. Authorization of appropriations.

SUBPART 3 - CENTERS FOR INDEPENDENT LIVING
796f. Program authorization.
796f-1. Grants to centers for independent living in States in which Federal funding exceeds State funding.
796f-2. Grants to centers for independent living in States in which State funding equals or exceeds Federal funding.
796f-3. Centers operated by State agencies.
796f-4. Standards and assurances for centers for independent living.
796f-5. Eligible agency defined.
796f-6. Authorization of appropriations.

PART B - INDEPENDENT LIVING SERVICES FOR OLDER INDIVIDUALS WHO ARE BLIND
796j. Older individual who is blind defined.
796k. Program of grants.
796l. Authorization of appropriations.

SUBCHAPTER VIII - SPECIAL DEMONSTRATIONS AND TRAINING PROJECTS
797 to 797b. Repealed.

GENERAL PROVISIONS

Sec. 701. Findings; purpose; policy

   (a) Findings
Congress finds that -
          (1) millions of Americans have one or more physical or mental disabilities and the number of Americans with such disabilities is increasing;
          (2) individuals with disabilities constitute one of the most disadvantaged groups in society;
          (3) disability is a natural part of the human experience and in no way diminishes the right of individuals to -
            (A) live independently;
            (B) enjoy self-determination;
            (C) make choices;
            (D) contribute to society;
            (E) pursue meaningful careers; and
            (F) enjoy full inclusion and integration in the economic, political, social, cultural, and educational mainstream of American society;

          (4) increased employment of individuals with disabilities can be achieved through implementation of statewide workforce investment systems under title I of the Workforce Investment Act of 1998 [29 U.S.C. 2801 et seq.] that provide meaningful and effective participation for individuals with disabilities in workforce investment activities and activities carried out under the vocational rehabilitation program established under subchapter I of this chapter, and through the provision of independent living services, support services, and meaningful opportunities for employment in integrated work settings through the provision of reasonable accommodations;
          (5) individuals with disabilities continually encounter various forms of discrimination in such critical areas as employment, housing, public accommodations, education, transportation, communication, recreation, institutionalization, health services, voting, and public services; and
          (6) the goals of the Nation properly include the goal of providing individuals with disabilities with the tools necessary to -
            (A) make informed choices and decisions; and
            (B) achieve equality of opportunity, full inclusion and integration in society, employment, independent living, and economic and social self-sufficiency, for such individuals.
   (b) Purpose
The purposes of this chapter are -
          (1) to empower individuals with disabilities to maximize employment, economic self-sufficiency, independence, and inclusion and integration into society, through -
            (A) statewide workforce investment systems implemented in accordance with title I of the Workforce Investment Act of 1998 [29 U.S.C. 2801 et seq.] that include, as integral components, comprehensive and coordinated state-of-the-art programs of vocational rehabilitation;
            (B) independent living centers and services;
            (C) research;
            (D) training;
            (E) demonstration projects; and
            (F) the guarantee of equal opportunity; and

          (2) to ensure that the Federal Government plays a leadership role in promoting the employment of individuals with disabilities, especially individuals with significant disabilities, and in assisting States and providers of services in fulfilling the aspirations of such individuals with disabilities for meaningful and gainful employment and independent living.
   (c) Policy
 It is the policy of the United States that all programs, projects, and activities receiving assistance under this chapter shall be carried out in a manner consistent with the principles of -
          (1) respect for individual dignity, personal responsibility, self-determination, and pursuit of meaningful careers, based on informed choice, of individuals with disabilities;
          (2) respect for the privacy, rights, and equal access
        (including the use of accessible formats), of the individuals;
          (3) inclusion, integration, and full participation of the individuals;
          (4) support for the involvement of an individual's representative if an individual with a disability requests, desires, or needs such support; and
          (5) support for individual and systemic advocacy and community involvement.

Sec. 702. Rehabilitation Services Administration

        (a) There is established in the Office of the Secretary a Rehabilitation Services Administration which shall be headed by a Commissioner (hereinafter in this chapter referred to as the "Commissioner") appointed by the President by and with the advice and consent of the Senate. Except for subchapters IV and V of this chapter and as otherwise specifically provided in this chapter, such Administration shall be the principal agency, and the Commissioner shall be the principal officer, of such Department for carrying out this chapter. The Commissioner shall be an individual with substantial experience in rehabilitation and in rehabilitation program management. In the performance of the functions of the office, the Commissioner shall be directly responsible to the Secretary or to the Under Secretary or an appropriate Assistant Secretary of such Department, as designated by the Secretary. The functions of the Commissioner shall not be delegated to any officer not directly responsible, both with respect to program operation and administration, to the Commissioner. Any reference in this chapter to duties to be carried out by the Commissioner shall be considered to be a reference to duties to be carried out by the Secretary acting through the Commissioner. In carrying out any of the functions of the office under this chapter, the Commissioner shall be guided by general policies of the National Council on Disability established under subchapter IV of this chapter.
        (b) The Secretary shall take whatever action is necessary to ensure that funds appropriated pursuant to this chapter are expended only for the programs, personnel, and administration of programs carried out under this chapter.

Sec. 703. Advance funding

        (a) For the purpose of affording adequate notice of funding available under this chapter, appropriations under this chapter are authorized to be included in the appropriation Act for the fiscal year preceding the fiscal year for which they are available for obligation.
        (b) In order to effect a transition to the advance funding method of timing appropriation action, the authority provided by subsection (a) of this section shall apply notwithstanding that its initial application will result in the enactment in the same year (whether in the same appropriation Act or otherwise) of two separate appropriations, one for the then current fiscal year and one for the succeeding fiscal year.

Sec. 704. Joint funding

Pursuant to regulations prescribed by the President, and to the extent consistent with the other provisions of this chapter, where funds are provided for a single project by more than one Federal agency to an agency or organization assisted under this chapter, the Federal agency principally involved may be designated to act for all in administering the funds provided, and, in such cases, a single non-Federal share requirement may be established according to the proportion of funds advanced by each agency. When the principal agency involved is the Rehabilitation Services Administration, it may waive any grant or contract requirement (as defined by such regulations) under or pursuant to any law other than this chapter, which requirement is inconsistent with the similar requirements of the administering agency under or pursuant to this chapter.

Sec. 705. Definitions

For the purposes of this chapter:
        (1) Administrative costs The term "administrative costs" means expenditures incurred in the performance of administrative functions under the vocational rehabilitation program carried out under subchapter I of this chapter, including expenses related to program planning, development, monitoring, and evaluation, including expenses for -
            (A) quality assurance;
            (B) budgeting, accounting, financial management, information systems, and related data processing;
            (C) providing information about the program to the public;
            (D) technical assistance and support services to other State agencies, private nonprofit organizations, and businesses and industries, except for technical assistance and support services described in section 723(b)(5) of this title;
            (E) the State Rehabilitation Council and other advisory committees;
            (F) professional organization membership dues for designated State unit employees;
            (G) the removal of architectural barriers in State vocational rehabilitation agency offices and State operated rehabilitation facilities;
            (H) operating and maintaining designated State unit facilities, equipment, and grounds;
            (I) supplies;
            (J) administration of the comprehensive system of personnel development described in section 721(a)(7) of this title, including personnel administration, administration of affirmative action plans, and training and staff development;
            (K) administrative salaries, including clerical and other support staff salaries, in support of these administrative functions;
            (L) travel costs related to carrying out the program, other than travel costs related to the provision of services;
            (M) costs incurred in conducting reviews of rehabilitation counselor or coordinator determinations under section 722(c) of this title; and
            (N) legal expenses required in the administration of the program.
        (2) Assessment for determining eligibility and vocational rehabilitation needs The term "assessment for determining eligibility and vocational rehabilitation needs" means, as appropriate in each case -
            (A)(i) a review of existing data -
              (I) to determine whether an individual is eligible for vocational rehabilitation services; and
              (II) to assign priority for an order of selection described in section 721(a)(5)(A) of this title in the States that use an order of selection pursuant to section 721(a)(5)(A) of this title; and

            (ii) to the extent necessary, the provision of appropriate assessment activities to obtain necessary additional data to make such determination and assignment;
            (B) to the extent additional data is necessary to make a determination of the employment outcomes, and the nature and scope of vocational rehabilitation services, to be included in the individualized plan for employment of an eligible individual, a comprehensive assessment to determine the unique strengths, resources, priorities, concerns, abilities, capabilities, interests, and informed choice, including the need for supported employment, of the eligible individual, which comprehensive assessment -
              (i) is limited to information that is necessary to identify the rehabilitation needs of the individual and to develop the individualized plan for employment of the eligible individual;
              (ii) uses, as a primary source of such information, to the maximum extent possible and appropriate and in accordance with confidentiality requirements -
                (I) existing information obtained for the purposes of determining the eligibility of the individual and assigning priority for an order of selection described in section 721(a)(5)(A) of this title for the individual; and
                (II) such information as can be provided by the individual and, where appropriate, by the family of the individual;

              (iii) may include, to the degree needed to make such a determination, an assessment of the personality, interests, interpersonal skills, intelligence and related functional capacities, educational achievements, work experience, vocational aptitudes, personal and social adjustments, and employment opportunities of the individual, and the medical, psychiatric, psychological, and other pertinent vocational, educational, cultural, social, recreational, and environmental factors, that affect the employment and rehabilitation needs of the individual; and
              (iv) may include, to the degree needed, an appraisal of the patterns of work behavior of the individual and services needed for the individual to acquire occupational skills, and to develop work attitudes, work habits, work tolerance, and social and behavior patterns necessary for successful job performance, including the utilization of work in real job situations to assess and develop the capacities of the individual to perform adequately in a work environment;

            (C) referral, for the provision of rehabilitation technology services to the individual, to assess and develop the capacities of the individual to perform in a work environment; and
            (D) an exploration of the individual's abilities, capabilities, and capacity to perform in work situations, which shall be assessed periodically during trial work experiences, including experiences in which the individual is provided appropriate supports and training.
        (3) Assistive technology device
The term "assistive technology device" has the meaning given such term in section 3002 of this title, except that the reference in such section to the term "individuals with disabilities" shall be deemed to mean more than one individual with a disability as defined in paragraph (20)(A).
        (4) Assistive technology service
The term "assistive technology service" has the meaning given such term in section 3002 of this title, except that the reference in such section -
            (A) to the term "individual with a disability" shall be deemed to mean an individual with a disability, as defined in paragraph (20)(A); and
            (B) to the term "individuals with disabilities" shall be deemed to mean more than one such individual.
        (5) Community rehabilitation program The term "community rehabilitation program" means a program that provides directly or facilitates the provision of vocational rehabilitation services to individuals with disabilities, and that provides, singly or in combination, for an individual with a disability to enable the individual to maximize opportunities for employment, including career advancement -
            (A) medical, psychiatric, psychological, social, and vocational services that are provided under one management;
            (B) testing, fitting, or training in the use of prosthetic and orthotic devices;
            (C) recreational therapy;
            (D) physical and occupational therapy;
            (E) speech, language, and hearing therapy;
            (F) psychiatric, psychological, and social services, including positive behavior management;
            (G) assessment for determining eligibility and vocational rehabilitation needs;
            (H) rehabilitation technology;
            (I) job development, placement, and retention services;
            (J) evaluation or control of specific disabilities;
            (K) orientation and mobility services for individuals who are blind;
            (L) extended employment;
            (M) psychosocial rehabilitation services;
            (N) supported employment services and extended services;
            (O) services to family members when necessary to the vocational rehabilitation of the individual;
            (P) personal assistance services; or
            (Q) services similar to the services described in one of subparagraphs (A) through (P).
        (6) Construction; cost of construction
          (A) Construction
The term "construction" means -
              (i) the construction of new buildings;
              (ii) the acquisition, expansion, remodeling, alteration, and renovation of existing buildings; and
              (iii) initial equipment of buildings described in clauses
            (i) and (ii).
          (B) Cost of construction
The term "cost of construction" includes architects' fees and the cost of acquisition of land in connection with construction but does not include the cost of offsite improvements.
        (7) Repealed. Pub. L. 105-277, div. A, Sec. 101(f) [title VIII, Sec. 402(c)(1)(B)], Oct. 21, 1998, 112 Stat. 2681-337, 2681-415
        (8) Designated State agency; designated State unit
          (A) Designated State agency
The term "designated State agency" means an agency designated under section 721(a)(2)(A) of this title.
          (B) Designated State unit
The term "designated State unit" means -
              (i) any State agency unit required under section 721(a)(2)(B)(ii) of this title; or
              (ii) in cases in which no such unit is so required, the State agency described in section 721(a)(2)(B)(i) of this title.
        (9) Disability
The term "disability" means -
            (A) except as otherwise provided in subparagraph (B), a physical or mental impairment that constitutes or results in a substantial impediment to employment; or
            (B) for purposes of sections 701, 711, and 712 of this title, and subchapters II, IV, V, and VII of this chapter, a physical or mental impairment that substantially limits one or more major life activities.
        (10) Drug and illegal use of drugs
          (A) Drug
The term "drug" means a controlled substance, as defined in schedules I through V of section 202 of the Controlled Substances Act (21 U.S.C. 812).
          (B) Illegal use of drugs
The term "illegal use of drugs" means the use of drugs, the possession or distribution of which is unlawful under the Controlled Substances Act [21 U.S.C. 801 et seq.]. Such term does not include the use of a drug taken under supervision by a licensed health care professional, or other uses authorized by the Controlled Substances Act or other provisions of Federal law.
        (11) Employment outcome
The term "employment outcome" means, with respect to an individual -
            (A) entering or retaining full-time or, if appropriate, part-time competitive employment in the integrated labor market;
            (B) satisfying the vocational outcome of supported employment; or
            (C) satisfying any other vocational outcome the Secretary may determine to be appropriate (including satisfying the vocational outcome of self-employment, telecommuting, or business ownership),
in a manner consistent with this chapter.
        (12) Establishment of a community rehabilitation program
The term "establishment of a community rehabilitation program" includes the acquisition, expansion, remodeling, or alteration of existing buildings necessary to adapt them to community rehabilitation program purposes or to increase their effectiveness for such purposes (subject, however, to such limitations as the Secretary may determine, in accordance with regulations the Secretary shall prescribe, in order to prevent impairment of the objectives of, or duplication of, other Federal laws providing Federal assistance in the construction of facilities for community rehabilitation programs), and may include such additional equipment and staffing as the Commissioner considers appropriate.
        (13) Extended services
The term "extended services" means ongoing support services and other appropriate services, needed to support and maintain an individual with a most significant disability in supported employment, that -
            (A) are provided singly or in combination and are organized and made available in such a way as to assist an eligible individual in maintaining supported employment;
            (B) are based on a determination of the needs of an eligible individual, as specified in an individualized plan for employment; and
            (C) are provided by a State agency, a nonprofit private organization, employer, or any other appropriate resource, after an individual has made the transition from support provided by the designated State unit.
        (14) Federal share
          (A) In general
Subject to subparagraph (B), the term "Federal share" means 78.7 percent.
          (B) Exception
The term "Federal share" means the share specifically set forth in section 731(a)(3) of this title, except that with respect to payments pursuant to part B of subchapter I of this chapter to any State that are used to meet the costs of construction of those rehabilitation facilities identified in section 723(b)(2) of this title in such State, the Federal share shall be the percentages determined in accordance with the provisions of section 731(a)(3) of this title applicable with respect to the State.
          (C) Relationship to expenditures by a political subdivision
For the purpose of determining the non-Federal share with respect to a State, expenditures by a political subdivision thereof or by a local agency shall be regarded as expenditures by such State, subject to such limitations and conditions as the Secretary shall by regulation prescribe.
        (15) Governor
The term "Governor" means a chief executive officer of a State.
        (16) Impartial hearing officer
          (A) In general
The term "impartial hearing officer" means an individual -
              (i) who is not an employee of a public agency (other than an administrative law judge, hearing examiner, or employee of an institution of higher education);
              (ii) who is not a member of the State Rehabilitation Council described in section 725 of this title;
              (iii) who has not been involved previously in the vocational rehabilitation of the applicant or eligible individual;
              (iv) who has knowledge of the delivery of vocational rehabilitation services, the State plan under section 721 of this title, and the Federal and State rules governing the provision of such services and training with respect to the performance of official duties; and
              (v) who has no personal or financial interest that would be in conflict with the objectivity of the individual.
          (B) Construction
An individual shall not be considered to be an employee of a public agency for purposes of subparagraph (A)(i) solely because the individual is paid by the agency to serve as a hearing officer.
        (17) Independent living core services
The term "independent living core services" means -
            (A) information and referral services;
            (B) independent living skills training;
            (C) peer counseling (including cross-disability peer counseling); and
            (D) individual and systems advocacy.
        (18) Independent living services The term "independent living services" includes -
            (A) independent living core services; and
            (B)(i) counseling services, including psychological, psychotherapeutic, and related services;
            (ii) services related to securing housing or shelter, including services related to community group living, and supportive of the purposes of this chapter and of the subchapters of this chapter, and adaptive housing services
          (including appropriate accommodations to and modifications of any space used to serve, or occupied by, individuals with disabilities);
            (iii) rehabilitation technology;
            (iv) mobility training;
            (v) services and training for individuals with cognitive and sensory disabilities, including life skills training, and interpreter and reader services;
            (vi) personal assistance services, including attendant care and the training of personnel providing such services;
            (vii) surveys, directories, and other activities to identify appropriate housing, recreation opportunities, and accessible transportation, and other support services;
            (viii) consumer information programs on rehabilitation and independent living services available under this chapter, especially for minorities and other individuals with disabilities who have traditionally been unserved or underserved by programs under this chapter;
            (ix) education and training necessary for living in a community and participating in community activities;
            (x) supported living;
            (xi) transportation, including referral and assistance for such transportation and training in the use of public transportation vehicles and systems;
            (xii) physical rehabilitation;
            (xiii) therapeutic treatment;
            (xiv) provision of needed prostheses and other appliances and devices;
            (xv) individual and group social and recreational services;
            (xvi) training to develop skills specifically designed for youths who are individuals with disabilities to promote self-awareness and esteem, develop advocacy and self-empowerment skills, and explore career options;
            (xvii) services for children;
            (xviii) services under other Federal, State, or local programs designed to provide resources, training, counseling, or other assistance, of substantial benefit in enhancing the independence, productivity, and quality of life of individuals with disabilities;
            (xix) appropriate preventive services to decrease the need of individuals assisted under this chapter for similar services in the future;
            (xx) community awareness programs to enhance the understanding and integration into society of individuals with disabilities; and
            (xxi) such other services as may be necessary and not inconsistent with the provisions of this chapter.
        (19) Indian; American Indian; Indian American; Indian tribe
          (A) In general
The terms "Indian", "American Indian", and "Indian American" mean an individual who is a member of an Indian tribe.
          (B) Indian tribe
The term "Indian tribe" means any Federal or State Indian tribe, band, rancheria, pueblo, colony, or community, including any Alaskan native village or regional village corporation (as defined in or established pursuant to the Alaska Native Claims Settlement Act [43 U.S.C. 1601 et seq.]).
        (20) Individual with a disability
          (A) In general
Except as otherwise provided in subparagraph (B), the term "individual with a disability" means any individual who -
              (i) has a physical or mental impairment which for such individual constitutes or results in a substantial impediment to employment; and
              (ii) can benefit in terms of an employment outcome from vocational rehabilitation services provided pursuant to subchapter I, III, or VI of this chapter.
          (B) Certain programs; limitations on major life activities
Subject to subparagraphs (C), (D), (E), and (F), the term "individual with a disability" means, for purposes of sections 701, 711, and 712 of this title, and subchapters II, IV, V, and VII of this chapter, any person who -
              (i) has a physical or mental impairment which substantially limits one or more of such person's major life activities;
              (ii) has a record of such an impairment; or
              (iii) is regarded as having such an impairment.
          (C) Rights and advocacy provisions
            (i) In general; exclusion of individuals engaging in drug use
For purposes of subchapter V of this chapter, the term "individual with a disability" does not include an individual who is currently engaging in the illegal use of drugs, when a covered entity acts on the basis of such use.
            (ii) Exception for individuals no longer engaging in drug use
Nothing in clause (i) shall be construed to exclude as an individual with a disability an individual who -
                (I) has successfully completed a supervised drug rehabilitation program and is no longer engaging in the illegal use of drugs, or has otherwise been rehabilitated successfully and is no longer engaging in such use;
                (II) is participating in a supervised rehabilitation program and is no longer engaging in such use; or
                (III) is erroneously regarded as engaging in such use, but is not engaging in such use; except that it shall not be a violation of this chapter for a covered entity to adopt or administer reasonable policies or procedures, including but not limited to drug testing, designed to ensure that an individual described in subclause
            (I) or (II) is no longer engaging in the illegal use of drugs.
            (iii) Exclusion for certain services
Notwithstanding clause (i), for purposes of programs and activities providing health services and services provided under subchapters I, II, and III of this chapter, an individual shall not be excluded from the benefits of such programs or activities on the basis of his or her current illegal use of drugs if he or she is otherwise entitled to such services.
            (iv) Disciplinary action
For purposes of programs and activities providing educational services, local educational agencies may take disciplinary action pertaining to the use or possession of illegal drugs or alcohol against any student who is an individual with a disability and who currently is engaging in the illegal use of drugs or in the use of alcohol to the same extent that such disciplinary action is taken against students who are not individuals with disabilities. Furthermore, the due process procedures at section 104.36 of title 34, Code of Federal Regulations (or any corresponding similar regulation or ruling) shall not apply to such disciplinary actions.
            (v) Employment; exclusion of alcoholics
For purposes of sections 793 and 794 of this title as such sections relate to employment, the term "individual with a disability" does not include any individual who is an alcoholic whose current use of alcohol prevents such individual from performing the duties of the job in question or whose employment, by reason of such current alcohol abuse, would constitute a direct threat to property or the safety of others.
          (D) Employment; exclusion of individuals with certain diseases or infections
For the purposes of sections 793 and 794 of this title, as such sections relate to employment, such term does not include an individual who has a currently contagious disease or infection and who, by reason of such disease or infection, would constitute a direct threat to the health or safety of other individuals or who, by reason of the currently contagious disease or infection, is unable to perform the duties of the job.
          (E) Rights provisions; exclusion of individuals on basis of homosexuality or bisexuality
For the purposes of sections 791, 793, and 794 of this title -
              (i) for purposes of the application of subparagraph (B) to such sections, the term "impairment" does not include homosexuality or bisexuality; and
              (ii) therefore the term "individual with a disability" does not include an individual on the basis of homosexuality or bisexuality.
          (F) Rights provisions; exclusion of individuals on basis of certain disorders
For the purposes of sections 791, 793, and 794 of this title, the term "individual with a disability" does not include an individual on the basis of -
              (i) transvestism, transsexualism, pedophilia, exhibitionism, voyeurism, gender identity disorders not resulting from physical impairments, or other sexual behavior disorders;
              (ii) compulsive gambling, kleptomania, or pyromania; or
              (iii) psychoactive substance use disorders resulting from current illegal use of drugs.
          (G) Individuals with disabilities
The term "individuals with disabilities" means more than one individual with a disability.
        (21) Individual with a significant disability
          (A) In general
Except as provided in subparagraph (B) or (C), the term "individual with a significant disability" means an individual with a disability -
              (i) who has a severe physical or mental impairment which seriously limits one or more functional capacities (such as mobility, communication, self-care, self-direction, interpersonal skills, work tolerance, or work skills) in terms of an employment outcome;
              (ii) whose vocational rehabilitation can be expected to require multiple vocational rehabilitation services over an extended period of time; and
              (iii) who has one or more physical or mental disabilities resulting from amputation, arthritis, autism, blindness, burn injury, cancer, cerebral palsy, cystic fibrosis, deafness, head injury, heart disease, hemiplegia, hemophilia, respiratory or pulmonary dysfunction, mental retardation, mental illness, multiple sclerosis, muscular dystrophy, musculo-skeletal disorders, neurological disorders (including stroke and epilepsy), paraplegia, quadriplegia, and other spinal cord conditions, sickle cell anemia, specific learning disability, end-stage renal disease, or another disability or combination of disabilities determined on the basis of an assessment for determining eligibility and vocational rehabilitation needs described in subparagraphs (A) and (B) of paragraph (2) to cause comparable substantial functional limitation.
          (B) Independent living services and centers for independent living
For purposes of subchapter VII of this chapter, the term "individual with a significant disability" means an individual with a severe physical or mental impairment whose ability to function independently in the family or community or whose ability to obtain, maintain, or advance in employment is substantially limited and for whom the delivery of independent living services will improve the ability to function, continue functioning, or move toward functioning independently in the family or community or to continue in employment, respectively.
          (C) Research and training
For purposes of subchapter II of this chapter, the term "individual with a significant disability" includes an individual described in subparagraph (A) or (B).
          (D) Individuals with significant disabilities
The term "individuals with significant disabilities" means more than one individual with a significant disability.
          (E) Individual with a most significant disability
            (i) In general
The term "individual with a most significant disability", used with respect to an individual in a State, means an individual with a significant disability who meets criteria established by the State under section 721(a)(5)(C) of this title.
            (ii) Individuals with the most significant disabilities
The term "individuals with the most significant disabilities" means more than one individual with a most significant disability.
        (22) Individual's representative; applicant's representative
The terms "individual's representative" and "applicant's representative" mean a parent, a family member, a guardian, an advocate, or an authorized representative of an individual or applicant, respectively.
        (23) Institution of higher education
The term "institution of higher education" has the meaning given the term in section 1001 of title 20.
        (24) Local agency
The term "local agency" means an agency of a unit of general local government or of an Indian tribe (or combination of such units or tribes) which has an agreement with the designated State agency to conduct a vocational rehabilitation program under the supervision of such State agency in accordance with the State plan approved under section 721 of this title. Nothing in the preceding sentence of this paragraph or in section 721 of this title shall be construed to prevent the local agency from arranging to utilize another local public or nonprofit agency to provide vocational rehabilitation services if such an arrangement is made part of the agreement specified in this paragraph.
        (25) Local workforce investment board
The term "local workforce investment board" means a local workforce investment board established under section 117 of the Workforce Investment Act of 1998 [29 U.S.C. 2832].
        (26) Nonprofit
The term "nonprofit", when used with respect to a community rehabilitation program, means a community rehabilitation program carried out by a corporation or association, no part of the net earnings of which inures, or may lawfully inure, to the benefit of any private shareholder or individual and the income of which is exempt from taxation under section 501(c)(3) of title 26.
        (27) Ongoing support services
The term "ongoing support services" means services -
            (A) provided to individuals with the most significant disabilities;
            (B) provided, at a minimum, twice monthly -
              (i) to make an assessment, regarding the employment situation, at the worksite of each such individual in supported employment, or, under special circumstances, especially at the request of the client, off site; and
              (ii) based on the assessment, to provide for the coordination or provision of specific intensive services, at or away from the worksite, that are needed to maintain employment stability; and

            (C) consisting of -
              (i) a particularized assessment supplementary to the comprehensive assessment described in paragraph (2)(B);
              (ii) the provision of skilled job trainers who accompany the individual for intensive job skill training at the worksite;
              (iii) job development, job retention, and placement services;
              (iv) social skills training;
              (v) regular observation or supervision of the individual;
              (vi) followup services such as regular contact with the employers, the individuals, the individuals' representatives, and other appropriate individuals, in order to reinforce and stabilize the job placement;
              (vii) facilitation of natural supports at the worksite;
              (viii) any other service identified in section 723 of this title; or
              (ix) a service similar to another service described in this subparagraph.
        (28) Personal assistance services
The term "personal assistance services" means a range of services, provided by one or more persons, designed to assist an individual with a disability to perform daily living activities on or off the job that the individual would typically perform if the individual did not have a disability. Such services shall be designed to increase the individual's control in life and ability to perform everyday activities on or off the job.
        (29) Public or nonprofit
The term "public or nonprofit", used with respect to an agency or organization, includes an Indian tribe.
        (30) Rehabilitation technology
The term "rehabilitation technology" means the systematic application of technologies, engineering methodologies, or scientific principles to meet the needs of and address the barriers confronted by individuals with disabilities in areas which include education, rehabilitation, employment, transportation, independent living, and recreation. The term includes rehabilitation engineering, assistive technology devices, and assistive technology services.
        (31) Secretary
The term "Secretary", except when the context otherwise requires, means the Secretary of Education.
        (32) State
The term "State" includes, in addition to each of the several States of the United States, the District of Columbia, the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, the United States Virgin Islands, Guam, American Samoa, and the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands.
        (33) State workforce investment board
The term "State workforce investment board" means a State workforce investment board established under section 111 of the Workforce Investment Act of 1998 [29 U.S.C. 2821].
        (34) Statewide workforce investment system
The term "statewide workforce investment system" means a system described in section 111(d)(2) of the Workforce Investment Act of 1998 [29 U.S.C. 2821(d)(2)].
        (35) Supported employment
          (A) In general
The term "supported employment" means competitive work in integrated work settings, or employment in integrated work settings in which individuals are working toward competitive work, consistent with the strengths, resources, priorities, concerns, abilities, capabilities, interests, and informed choice of the individuals, for individuals with the most significant disabilities -
              (i)(I) for whom competitive employment has not traditionally occurred; or
              (II) for whom competitive employment has been interrupted or intermittent as a result of a significant disability; and
              (ii) who, because of the nature and severity of their disability, need intensive supported employment services for the period, and any extension, described in paragraph (36)(C) and extended services after the transition described in paragraph (13)(C) in order to perform such work.
          (B) Certain transitional employment
Such term includes transitional employment for persons who are individuals with the most significant disabilities due to mental illness.
        (36) Supported employment services
The term "supported employment services" means ongoing support services and other appropriate services needed to support and maintain an individual with a most significant disability in supported employment, that -
            (A) are provided singly or in combination and are organized and made available in such a way as to assist an eligible individual to achieve competitive employment;
            (B) are based on a determination of the needs of an eligible individual, as specified in an individualized plan for employment; and
            (C) are provided by the designated State unit for a period of time not to extend beyond 18 months, unless under special circumstances the eligible individual and the rehabilitation counselor or coordinator involved jointly agree to extend the time in order to achieve the employment outcome identified in the individualized plan for employment.
        (37) Transition services
The term "transition services" means a coordinated set of activities for a student, designed within an outcome-oriented process, that promotes movement from school to post school activities, including postsecondary education, vocational training, integrated employment (including supported employment), continuing and adult education, adult services, independent living, or community participation. The coordinated set of activities shall be based upon the individual student's needs, taking into account the student's preferences and interests, and shall include instruction, community experiences, the development of employment and other post school adult living objectives, and, when appropriate, acquisition of daily living skills and functional vocational evaluation.
        (38) Vocational rehabilitation services
The term "vocational rehabilitation services" means those services identified in section 723 of this title which are provided to individuals with disabilities under this chapter.
        (39) Workforce investment activities
The term "workforce investment activities" means workforce investment activities, as defined in section 101 of the Workforce Investment Act of 1998 [29 U.S.C. 2801], that are carried out under that Act.

Sec. 706. Allotment percentage

        (a)(1) For purposes of section 730 of this title, the allotment percentage for any State shall be 100 per centum less that percentage which bears the same ratio to 50 per centum as the per capita income of such State bears to the per capita income of the United States, except that -
          (A) the allotment percentage shall in no case be more than 75 per centum or less than 33 1/3 per centum; and
          (B) the allotment percentage for the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, Guam, the Virgin Islands, American Samoa, and the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands shall be 75 per centum.

        (2) The allotment percentages shall be promulgated by the Secretary between October 1 and December 31 of each even-numbered year, on the basis of the average of the per capita incomes of the States and of the United States for the three most recent consecutive years for which satisfactory data are available from the Department of Commerce. Such promulgation shall be conclusive for each of the 2 fiscal years in the period beginning on the October 1 next succeeding such promulgation.
        (3) The term "United States" means (but only for purposes of this subsection) the 50 States and the District of Columbia.
        (b) The population of the several States and of the United States shall be determined on the basis of the most recent data available, to be furnished by the Department of Commerce by October 1 of the year preceding the fiscal year for which funds are appropriated pursuant to statutory authorizations.

Sec. 707. Nonduplication

In determining the amount of any State's Federal share of expenditures for planning, administration, and services incurred by it under a State plan approved in accordance with section 721 of this title, there shall be disregarded -
          (1) any portion of such expenditures which are financed by Federal funds provided under any other provision of law; and
          (2) the amount of any non-Federal funds required to be expended as a condition of receipt of such Federal funds.
No payment may be made from funds provided under one provision of this chapter relating to any cost with respect to which any payment is made under any other provision of this chapter, except that this section shall not be construed to limit or reduce fees for services rendered by community rehabilitation programs.

Sec. 708. Application of other laws

The provisions of chapter 71 of title 31 and of title V of the Act of October 15, 1977 (Public Law 95-134) shall not apply to the administration of the provisions of this chapter or to the administration of any program or activity under this chapter.

Sec. 709. Administration

   (a) Technical assistance; short-term traineeships; special projects; dissemination of information; monitoring and evaluations In carrying out the purposes of this chapter, the Commissioner may -
          (1) provide consultative services and technical assistance to public or nonprofit private agencies and organizations, including assistance to enable such agencies and organizations to facilitate meaningful and effective participation by individuals with disabilities in workforce investment activities;
          (2) provide short-term training and technical instruction, including training for the personnel of community rehabilitation programs, centers for independent living, and other providers of services (including job coaches);
          (3) conduct special projects and demonstrations;
          (4) collect, prepare, publish, and disseminate special educational or informational materials, including reports of the projects for which funds are provided under this chapter; and
          (5) provide monitoring and conduct evaluations.
   (b) Utilization of services and facilities; information task forces
        (1) In carrying out the duties under this chapter, the Commissioner may utilize the services and facilities of any agency of the Federal Government and of any other public or nonprofit agency or organization, in accordance with agreements between the Commissioner and the head thereof, and may pay therefor, in advance or by way of reimbursement, as may be provided in the agreement.
        (2) In carrying out the provisions of this chapter, the Commissioner shall appoint such task forces as may be necessary to collect and disseminate information in order to improve the ability of the Commissioner to carry out the provisions of this chapter.
   (c) Rules and regulations The Commissioner may promulgate such regulations as are considered appropriate to carry out the Commissioner's duties under this chapter.
   (d) Regulations for implementation of order of selection for vocational rehabilitation services The Secretary shall promulgate regulations regarding the requirements for the implementation of an order of selection for vocational rehabilitation services under section 721(a)(5)(A) of this title if such services cannot be provided to all eligible individuals with disabilities who apply for such services.
   (e) Regulations to implement amendments Not later than 180 days after August 7, 1998, the Secretary shall receive public comment and promulgate regulations to implement the amendments made by the Rehabilitation Act Amendments of 1998.
   (f) Limitation on regulations In promulgating regulations to carry out this chapter, the Secretary shall promulgate only regulations that are necessary to administer and ensure compliance with the specific requirements of this chapter.
   (g) Authorization of appropriations There are authorized to be appropriated to carry out this section such sums as may be necessary.

Sec. 710. Reports

   (a) Annual reports required Not later than one hundred and eighty days after the close of each fiscal year, the Commissioner shall prepare and submit to the President and to the Congress a full and complete report on the activities carried out under this chapter, including the activities and staffing of the information clearinghouse under section 712 of this title.
   (b) Collection of information The Commissioner shall collect information to determine whether the purposes of this chapter are being met and to assess the performance of programs carried out under this chapter. The Commissioner shall take whatever action is necessary to assure that the identity of each individual for which information is supplied under this section is kept confidential, except as otherwise required by law (including regulation).
   (c) Information to be included in reports In preparing the report, the Commissioner shall annually collect and include in the report information based on the information submitted by States in accordance with section 721(a)(10) of this title, including information on administrative costs as required by section 721(a)(10)(D) of this title. The Commissioner shall, to the maximum extent appropriate, include in the report all information that is required to be submitted in the reports described in section 2871(d) of this title and that pertains to the employment of individuals with disabilities.

Sec. 711. Evaluation

   (a) Statement of purpose; standards; persons eligible to conduct evaluations For the purpose of improving program management and effectiveness, the Secretary, in consultation with the Commissioner, shall evaluate all the programs authorized by this chapter, their general effectiveness in relation to their cost, their impact on related programs, and their structure and mechanisms for delivery of services, using appropriate methodology and evaluative research designs. The Secretary shall establish and use standards for the evaluations required by this subsection. Such an evaluation shall be conducted by a person not immediately involved in the administration of the program evaluated.
   (b) Opinions of program and project participants In carrying out evaluations under this section, the Secretary shall obtain the opinions of program and project participants about the strengths and weaknesses of the programs and projects.
   (c) Data as property of United States The Secretary shall take the necessary action to assure that all studies, evaluations, proposals, and data produced or developed with Federal funds under this chapter shall become the property of the United States.
   (d) Information from other departments and agencies Such information as the Secretary may determine to be necessary for purposes of the evaluations conducted under this section shall be made available upon request of the Secretary, by the departments and agencies of the executive branch.
   (e) Longitudinal study
        (1) To assess the linkages between vocational rehabilitation services and economic and noneconomic outcomes, the Secretary shall continue to conduct a longitudinal study of a national sample of applicants for the services.
        (2) The study shall address factors related to attrition and completion of the program through which the services are provided and factors within and outside the program affecting results. Appropriate comparisons shall be used to contrast the experiences of similar persons who do not obtain the services.
        (3) The study shall be planned to cover the period beginning on the application of individuals with disabilities for the services, through the eligibility determination and provision of services for the individuals, and a further period of not less than 2 years after the termination of services.
   (f) Information on exemplary practices
        (1) The Commissioner shall identify and disseminate information on exemplary practices concerning vocational rehabilitation.
        (2) To facilitate compliance with paragraph (1), the Commissioner shall conduct studies and analyses that identify exemplary practices concerning vocational rehabilitation, including studies in areas relating to providing informed choice in the rehabilitation process, promoting consumer satisfaction, promoting job placement and retention, providing supported employment, providing services to particular disability populations, financing personal assistance services, providing assistive technology devices and assistive technology services, entering into cooperative agreements, establishing standards and certification for community rehabilitation programs, converting from nonintegrated to integrated employment, and providing caseload management.
   (g) Authorization of appropriations There are authorized to be appropriated to carry out this section such sums as may be necessary.

Sec. 712. Information clearinghouse

   (a) Establishment; information and resources for individuals with disabilities The Secretary shall establish a central clearinghouse for information and resource availability for individuals with disabilities which shall provide information and data regarding -
          (1) the location, provision, and availability of services and programs for individuals with disabilities, including such information and data provided by State workforce investment boards regarding such services and programs authorized under title I of such Act; (!1)

          (2) research and recent medical and scientific developments bearing on disabilities (and their prevention, amelioration, causes, and cures); and
          (3) the current numbers of individuals with disabilities and their needs.
The clearinghouse shall also provide any other relevant information and data which the Secretary considers appropriate.
   (b) Information and data retrieval system The Commissioner may assist the Secretary to develop within the Department of Education a coordinated system of information and data retrieval, which will have the capacity and responsibility to provide information regarding the information and data referred to in subsection (a) of this section to the Congress, public and private agencies and organizations, individuals with disabilities and their families, professionals in fields serving such individuals, and the general public.
   (c) Office of Information and Resources for Individuals with Disabilities The office established to carry out the provisions of this section shall be known as the "Office of Information and Resources for Individuals with Disabilities".
   (d) Authorization of appropriations There are authorized to be appropriated to carry out this section such sums as may be necessary.

Sec. 713. Transfer of funds

        (a) Except as provided in subsection (b) of this section, no funds appropriated under this chapter for any program or activity may be used for any purpose other than that for which the funds were specifically authorized.
        (b) No more than 1 percent of funds appropriated for discretionary grants, contracts, or cooperative agreements authorized by this chapter may be used for the purpose of providing non-Federal panels of experts to review applications for such grants, contracts, or cooperative agreements.

Sec. 714. State administration

The application of any State rule or policy relating to the administration or operation of programs funded by this chapter (including any rule or policy based on State interpretation of any Federal law, regulation, or guideline) shall be identified as a State imposed requirement.

Sec. 715. Review of applications

Applications for grants in excess of $100,000 in the aggregate authorized to be funded under this chapter, other than grants primarily for the purpose of conducting dissemination or conferences, shall be reviewed by panels of experts which shall include a majority of non-Federal members. Non-Federal members may be provided travel, per diem, and consultant fees not to exceed the daily equivalent of the rate of pay for level 4 of the Senior Executive Service Schedule under section 5382 of title 5.

Sec. 716. Carryover

   (a) In general Except as provided in subsection (b) of this section, and notwithstanding any other provision of law -
          (1) any funds appropriated for a fiscal year to carry out any grant program under part B of subchapter I of this chapter, section 794e of this title (except as provided in section 794e(b) of this title), part B of subchapter VI of this chapter, subpart 2 or 3 of part A of subchapter VII of this chapter, or part B of subchapter VII of this chapter (except as provided in section 796k(b) of this title), including any funds reallotted under any such grant program, that are not obligated and expended by recipients prior to the beginning of the succeeding fiscal year; or
          (2) any amounts of program income, including reimbursement payments under the Social Security Act (42 U.S.C. 301 et seq.), received by recipients under any grant program specified in paragraph (1) that are not obligated and expended by recipients prior to the beginning of the fiscal year succeeding the fiscal year in which such amounts were received,
shall remain available for obligation and expenditure by such recipients during such succeeding fiscal year.
   (b) Non-Federal share Such funds shall remain available for obligation and expenditure by a recipient as provided in subsection (a) of this section only to the extent that the recipient complied with any Federal share requirements applicable to the program for the fiscal year for which the funds were appropriated.

Sec. 717. Client assistance information

All programs, including community rehabilitation programs, and projects, that provide services to individuals with disabilities under this chapter shall advise such individuals who are applicants for or recipients of the services, or the applicants' representatives or individuals' representatives, of the availability and purposes of the client assistance program under section 732 of this title, including information on means of seeking assistance under such program.

Sec. 718. Traditionally underserved populations

   (a) Findings With respect to the programs authorized in subchapters II through VII of this chapter, the Congress finds as follows:
        (1) Racial profile
The racial profile of America is rapidly changing. While the rate of increase for white Americans is 3.2 percent, the rate of increase for racial and ethnic minorities is much higher: 38.6 percent for Latinos, 14.6 percent for African-Americans, and 40.1 percent for Asian-Americans and other ethnic groups. By the year 2000, the Nation will have 260,000,000 people, one of every three of whom will be either African-American, Latino, or Asian-American.
        (2) Rate of disability
Ethnic and racial minorities tend to have disabling conditions at a disproportionately high rate. The rate of work-related disability for American Indians is about one and one-half times that of the general population. African-Americans are also one and one-half times more likely to be disabled than whites and twice as likely to be significantly disabled.
        (3) Inequitable treatment
Patterns of inequitable treatment of minorities have been documented in all major junctures of the vocational rehabilitation process. As compared to white Americans, a larger percentage of African-American applicants to the vocational rehabilitation system is denied acceptance. Of applicants accepted for service, a larger percentage of African-American cases is closed without being rehabilitated. Minorities are provided less training than their white counterparts. Consistently, less money is spent on minorities than on their white counterparts.
        (4) Recruitment
Recruitment efforts within vocational rehabilitation at the level of preservice training, continuing education, and in-service training must focus on bringing larger numbers of minorities into the profession in order to provide appropriate practitioner knowledge, role models, and sufficient manpower to address the clearly changing demography of vocational rehabilitation.
   (b) Outreach to minorities
        (1) In general
For each fiscal year, the Commissioner and the Director of the National Institute on Disability and Rehabilitation Research
        (referred to in this subsection as the "Director") shall reserve 1 percent of the funds appropriated for the fiscal year for programs authorized under subchapters II, III, VI, and VII of this chapter to carry out this subsection. The Commissioner and the Director shall use the reserved funds to carry out one or more of the activities described in paragraph (2) through a grant, contract, or cooperative agreement.
        (2) Activities
The activities carried out by the Commissioner and the Director shall include one or more of the following:
            (A) Making awards to minority entities and Indian tribes to carry out activities under the programs authorized under subchapters II, III, VI, and VII of this chapter.
            (B) Making awards to minority entities and Indian tribes to conduct research, training, technical assistance, or a related activity, to improve services provided under this chapter, especially services provided to individuals from minority backgrounds.
            (C) Making awards to entities described in paragraph (3) to provide outreach and technical assistance to minority entities and Indian tribes to promote their participation in activities funded under this chapter, including assistance to enhance their capacity to carry out such activities.
        (3) Eligibility
To be eligible to receive an award under paragraph (2)(C), an entity shall be a State or a public or private nonprofit agency or organization, such as an institution of higher education or an Indian tribe.
        (4) Report
In each fiscal year, the Commissioner and the Director shall prepare and submit to Congress a report that describes the activities funded under this subsection for the preceding fiscal year.
        (5) Definitions
In this subsection:
          (A) Historically Black college or university
The term "historically Black college or university" means a part B institution, as defined in section 1061(2) of title 20.
          (B) Minority entity
The term "minority entity" means an entity that is a historically Black college or university, a Hispanic-serving institution of higher education, an American Indian tribal college or university, or another institution of higher education whose minority student enrollment is at least 50 percent.
   (c) Demonstration In awarding grants, or entering into contracts or cooperative agreements under subchapters I, II, III, VI, and VII of this chapter, and section 794e of this title, the Commissioner and the Director, in appropriate cases, shall require applicants to demonstrate how the applicants will address, in whole or in part, the needs of individuals with disabilities from minority backgrounds.

SUBCHAPTER I - VOCATIONAL REHABILITATION SERVICES

PART A - GENERAL PROVISIONS
Sec. 720. Declaration of policy; authorization of appropriations

   (a) Findings; purpose; policy
        (1) Findings
Congress finds that -
            (A) work -
              (i) is a valued activity, both for individuals and society; and
              (ii) fulfills the need of an individual to be productive, promotes independence, enhances self-esteem, and allows for participation in the mainstream of life in the United States;

            (B) as a group, individuals with disabilities experience staggering levels of unemployment and poverty;
            (C) individuals with disabilities, including individuals with the most significant disabilities, have demonstrated their ability to achieve gainful employment in integrated settings if appropriate services and supports are provided;
            (D) reasons for significant numbers of individuals with disabilities not working, or working at levels not commensurate with their abilities and capabilities, include -
              (i) discrimination;
              (ii) lack of accessible and available transportation;
              (iii) fear of losing health coverage under the medicare and medicaid programs carried out under titles XVIII and XIX of the Social Security Act (42 U.S.C. 1395 et seq. and 1396 et seq.) or fear of losing private health insurance; and
              (iv) lack of education, training, and supports to meet job qualification standards necessary to secure, retain, regain, or advance in employment;

            (E) enforcement of subchapter V of this chapter and of the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 (42 U.S.C. 12101 et seq.) holds the promise of ending discrimination for individuals with disabilities;
            (F) the provision of workforce investment activities and vocational rehabilitation services can enable individuals with disabilities, including individuals with the most significant disabilities, to pursue meaningful careers by securing gainful employment commensurate with their abilities and capabilities; and
            (G) linkages between the vocational rehabilitation programs established under this subchapter and other components of the statewide workforce investment systems are critical to ensure effective and meaningful participation by individuals with disabilities in workforce investment activities.
        (2) Purpose
The purpose of this subchapter is to assist States in operating statewide comprehensive, coordinated, effective, efficient, and accountable programs of vocational rehabilitation, each of which is -
            (A) an integral part of a statewide workforce investment system; and
            (B) designed to assess, plan, develop, and provide vocational rehabilitation services for individuals with disabilities, consistent with their strengths, resources, priorities, concerns, abilities, capabilities, interests, and informed choice, so that such individuals may prepare for and engage in gainful employment.
        (3) Policy
It is the policy of the United States that such a program shall be carried out in a manner consistent with the following principles:
            (A) Individuals with disabilities, including individuals with the most significant disabilities, are generally presumed to be capable of engaging in gainful employment and the provision of individualized vocational rehabilitation services can improve their ability to become gainfully employed.
            (B) Individuals with disabilities must be provided the opportunities to obtain gainful employment in integrated settings.
            (C) Individuals who are applicants for such programs or eligible to participate in such programs must be active and full partners in the vocational rehabilitation process, making meaningful and informed choices -
              (i) during assessments for determining eligibility and vocational rehabilitation needs; and
              (ii) in the selection of employment outcomes for the individuals, services needed to achieve the outcomes, entities providing such services, and the methods used to secure such services.

            (D) Families and other natural supports can play important roles in the success of a vocational rehabilitation program, if the individual with a disability involved requests, desires, or needs such supports.
            (E) Vocational rehabilitation counselors that are trained and prepared in accordance with State policies and procedures as described in section 721(a)(7)(B) of this title (referred to individually in this subchapter as a "qualified vocational rehabilitation counselor"), other qualified rehabilitation personnel, and other qualified personnel facilitate the accomplishment of the employment outcomes and objectives of an individual.
            (F) Individuals with disabilities and the individuals' representatives are full partners in a vocational rehabilitation program and must be involved on a regular basis and in a meaningful manner with respect to policy development and implementation.
            (G) Accountability measures must facilitate the accomplishment of the goals and objectives of the program, including providing vocational rehabilitation services to, among others, individuals with the most significant disabilities.
   (b) Authorization of appropriations
        (1) In general
For the purpose of making grants to States under part B of this subchapter to assist States in meeting the costs of vocational rehabilitation services provided in accordance with State plans under section 721 of this title, there are authorized to be appropriated such sums as may be necessary for fiscal years 1999 through 2003, except that the amount to be appropriated for a fiscal year shall not be less than the amount of the appropriation under this paragraph for the immediately preceding fiscal year, increased by the percentage change in the Consumer Price Index determined under subsection (c) of this section for the immediately preceding fiscal year.
        (2) Reference
The reference in paragraph (1) to grants to States under part B of this subchapter shall not be considered to refer to grants under section 732 of this title.
   (c) Consumer Price Index
        (1) Percentage change
No later than November 15 of each fiscal year (beginning with fiscal year 1979), the Secretary of Labor shall publish in the Federal Register the percentage change in the Consumer Price Index published for October of the preceding fiscal year and October of the fiscal year in which such publication is made.
        (2) Application
          (A) Increase
If in any fiscal year the percentage change published under paragraph (1) indicates an increase in the Consumer Price Index, then the amount to be appropriated under subsection (b)(1) of this section for the subsequent fiscal year shall be at least the amount appropriated under subsection (b)(1) of this section for the fiscal year in which the publication is made under paragraph (1) increased by such percentage change.
          (B) No increase or decrease
If in any fiscal year the percentage change published under paragraph (1) does not indicate an increase in the Consumer Price Index, then the amount to be appropriated under subsection (b)(1) of this section for the subsequent fiscal year shall be at least the amount appropriated under subsection (b)(1) of this section for the fiscal year in which the publication is made under paragraph (1).
        (3) Definition
For purposes of this section, the term "Consumer Price Index" means the Consumer Price Index for All Urban Consumers, published monthly by the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
   (d) Extension
        (1) In general
          (A) Authorization or duration of program
Unless the Congress in the regular session which ends prior to the beginning of the terminal fiscal year -
              (i) of the authorization of appropriations for the program authorized by the State grant program under part B of this subchapter; or
              (ii) of the duration of the program authorized by the State grant program under part B of this subchapter; has passed legislation which would have the effect of extending the authorization or duration (as the case may be) of such program, such authorization or duration is automatically extended for 1 additional year for the program authorized by this subchapter.
          (B) Calculation
The amount authorized to be appropriated for the additional fiscal year described in subparagraph (A) shall be an amount equal to the amount appropriated for such program for fiscal year 2003, increased by the percentage change in the Consumer Price Index determined under subsection (c) of this section for the immediately preceding fiscal year, if the percentage change indicates an increase.
        (2) Construction
          (A) Passage of legislation
For the purposes of paragraph (1)(A), Congress shall not be deemed to have passed legislation unless such legislation becomes law.
          (B) Acts or determinations of Commissioner
In any case where the Commissioner is required under an applicable statute to carry out certain acts or make certain determinations which are necessary for the continuation of the program authorized by this subchapter, if such acts or determinations are required during the terminal year of such program, such acts and determinations shall be required during any fiscal year in which the extension described in that part of paragraph (1) that follows clause (ii) of paragraph (1)(A) is in effect.

Sec. 721. State plans

   (a) Plan requirements
        (1) In general
          (A) Submission
To be eligible to participate in programs under this subchapter, a State shall submit to the Commissioner a State plan for vocational rehabilitation services that meets the requirements of this section, on the same date that the State submits a State plan under section 112 of the Workforce Investment Act of 1998 [29 U.S.C. 2822].
          (B) Nonduplication
The State shall not be required to submit, in the State plan for vocational rehabilitation services, policies, procedures, or descriptions required under this subchapter that have been previously submitted to the Commissioner and that demonstrate that such State meets the requirements of this subchapter, including any policies, procedures, or descriptions submitted under this subchapter as in effect on the day before August 7, 1998.
          (C) Duration
The State plan shall remain in effect subject to the submission of such modifications as the State determines to be necessary or as the Commissioner may require based on a change in State policy, a change in Federal law (including regulations), an interpretation of this chapter by a Federal court or the highest court of the State, or a finding by the Commissioner of State noncompliance with the requirements of this chapter, until the State submits and receives approval of a new State plan.
        (2) Designated State agency; designated State unit
          (A) Designated State agency
The State plan shall designate a State agency as the sole State agency to administer the plan, or to supervise the administration of the plan by a local agency, except that -
              (i) where, under State law, the State agency for individuals who are blind or another agency that provides assistance or services to adults who are blind is authorized to provide vocational rehabilitation services to individuals who are blind, that agency may be designated as the sole State agency to administer the part of the plan under which vocational rehabilitation services are provided for individuals who are blind (or to supervise the administration of such part by a local agency) and a separate State agency may be designated as the sole State agency to administer or supervise the administration of the rest of the State plan;
              (ii) the Commissioner, on the request of a State, may authorize the designated State agency to share funding and administrative responsibility with another agency of the State or with a local agency in order to permit the agencies to carry out a joint program to provide services to individuals with disabilities, and may waive compliance, with respect to vocational rehabilitation services furnished under the joint program, with the requirement of paragraph (4) that the plan be in effect in all political subdivisions of the State; and
              (iii) in the case of American Samoa, the appropriate State agency shall be the Governor of American Samoa.
          (B) Designated State unit
The State agency designated under subparagraph (A) shall be -
              (i) a State agency primarily concerned with vocational rehabilitation, or vocational and other rehabilitation, of individuals with disabilities; or
              (ii) if not such an agency, the State agency (or each State agency if 2 are so designated) shall include a vocational rehabilitation bureau, division, or other organizational unit that -
                (I) is primarily concerned with vocational rehabilitation, or vocational and other rehabilitation, of individuals with disabilities, and is responsible for the vocational rehabilitation program of the designated State agency;
                (II) has a full-time director;
                (III) has a staff employed on the rehabilitation work of the organizational unit all or substantially all of whom are employed full time on such work; and
                (IV) is located at an organizational level and has an organizational status within the designated State agency comparable to that of other major organizational units of the designated State agency.
          (C) Responsibility for services for the blind
If the State has designated only 1 State agency pursuant to subparagraph (A), the State may assign responsibility for the part of the plan under which vocational rehabilitation services are provided for individuals who are blind to an organizational unit of the designated State agency and assign responsibility for the rest of the plan to another organizational unit of the designated State agency, with the provisions of subparagraph
          (B) applying separately to each of the designated State units.
        (3) Non-Federal share
The State plan shall provide for financial participation by the State, or if the State so elects, by the State and local agencies, to provide the amount of the non-Federal share of the cost of carrying out part B of this subchapter.
        (4) Statewideness
The State plan shall provide that the plan shall be in effect in all political subdivisions of the State, except that -
            (A) in the case of any activity that, in the judgment of the Commissioner, is likely to assist in promoting the vocational rehabilitation of substantially larger numbers of individuals with disabilities or groups of individuals with disabilities, the Commissioner may waive compliance with the requirement that the plan be in effect in all political subdivisions of the State to the extent and for such period as may be provided in accordance with regulations prescribed by the Commissioner, but only if the non-Federal share of the cost of the vocational rehabilitation services involved is met from funds made available by a local agency (including funds contributed to such agency by a private agency, organization, or individual); and
            (B) in a case in which earmarked funds are used toward the non-Federal share and such funds are earmarked for particular geographic areas within the State, the earmarked funds may be used in such areas if the State notifies the Commissioner that the State cannot provide the full non-Federal share without such funds.
        (5) Order of selection for vocational rehabilitation services
In the event that vocational rehabilitation services cannot be provided to all eligible individuals with disabilities in the State who apply for the services, the State plan shall -
            (A) show the order to be followed in selecting eligible individuals to be provided vocational rehabilitation services;
            (B) provide the justification for the order of selection;
            (C) include an assurance that, in accordance with criteria established by the State for the order of selection, individuals with the most significant disabilities will be selected first for the provision of vocational rehabilitation services; and
            (D) provide that eligible individuals, who do not meet the order of selection criteria, shall have access to services provided through the information and referral system implemented under paragraph (20).
        (6) Methods for administration
          (A) In general
The State plan shall provide for such methods of administration as are found by the Commissioner to be necessary for the proper and efficient administration of the plan.
          (B) Employment of individuals with disabilities
The State plan shall provide that the designated State agency, and entities carrying out community rehabilitation programs in the State, who are in receipt of assistance under this subchapter shall take affirmative action to employ and advance in employment qualified individuals with disabilities covered under, and on the same terms and conditions as set forth in, section 793 of this title.
          (C) Facilities
The State plan shall provide that facilities used in connection with the delivery of services assisted under the State plan shall comply with the Act entitled "An Act to insure that certain buildings financed with Federal funds are so designed and constructed as to be accessible to the physically handicapped", approved on August 12, 1968 (commonly known as the "Architectural Barriers Act of 1968") [42 U.S.C. 4151 et seq.], with section 794 of this title, and with the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 [42 U.S.C. 12101 et seq.].
        (7) Comprehensive system of personnel development
The State plan shall -
            (A) include a description (consistent with the purposes of this chapter) of a comprehensive system of personnel development, which shall include -
              (i) a description of the procedures and activities the designated State agency will undertake to ensure an adequate supply of qualified State rehabilitation professionals and paraprofessionals for the designated State unit, including the development and maintenance of a system for determining, on an annual basis -
                (I) the number and type of personnel that are employed by the designated State unit in the provision of vocational rehabilitation services, including ratios of qualified vocational rehabilitation counselors to clients; and
                (II) the number and type of personnel needed by the State, and a projection of the numbers of such personnel that will be needed in 5 years, based on projections of the number of individuals to be served, the number of such personnel who are expected to retire or leave the vocational rehabilitation field, and other relevant factors;

              (ii) where appropriate, a description of the manner in which activities will be undertaken under this section to coordinate the system of personnel development with personnel development activities under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (20 U.S.C. 1400 et seq.);
              (iii) a description of the development and maintenance of a system of determining, on an annual basis, information on the programs of institutions of higher education within the State that are preparing rehabilitation professionals, including -
                (I) the numbers of students enrolled in such programs; and
                (II) the number of such students who graduated with certification or licensure, or with credentials to qualify for certification or licensure, as a rehabilitation professional during the past year;

              (iv) a description of the development, updating, and implementation of a plan that -
                (I) will address the current and projected vocational rehabilitation services personnel training needs for the designated State unit; and
                (II) provides for the coordination and facilitation of efforts between the designated State unit, institutions of higher education, and professional associations to recruit, prepare, and retain qualified personnel, including personnel from minority backgrounds, and personnel who are individuals with disabilities; and

              (v) a description of the procedures and activities the designated State agency will undertake to ensure that all personnel employed by the designated State unit are appropriately and adequately trained and prepared, including -
                (I) a system for the continuing education of rehabilitation professionals and paraprofessionals within the designated State unit, particularly with respect to rehabilitation technology; and
                (II) procedures for acquiring and disseminating to rehabilitation professionals and paraprofessionals within the designated State unit significant knowledge from research and other sources, including procedures for providing training regarding the amendments to this chapter made by the Rehabilitation Act Amendments of 1998;

            (B) set forth policies and procedures relating to the establishment and maintenance of standards to ensure that personnel, including rehabilitation professionals and paraprofessionals, needed within the designated State unit to carry out this part are appropriately and adequately prepared and trained, including -
              (i) the establishment and maintenance of standards that are consistent with any national or State approved or recognized certification, licensing, registration, or other comparable requirements that apply to the area in which such personnel are providing vocational rehabilitation services; and
              (ii) to the extent that such standards are not based on the highest requirements in the State applicable to a specific profession or discipline, the steps the State is taking to require the retraining or hiring of personnel within the designated State unit that meet appropriate professional requirements in the State; and

            (C) contain provisions relating to the establishment and maintenance of minimum standards to ensure the availability of personnel within the designated State unit, to the maximum extent feasible, trained to communicate in the native language or mode of communication of an applicant or eligible individual.
        (8) Comparable services and benefits
          (A) Determination of availability
            (i) In general
The State plan shall include an assurance that, prior to providing any vocational rehabilitation service to an eligible individual, except those services specified in paragraph (5)(D) and in paragraphs (1) through (4) and (14) of section 723(a) of this title, the designated State unit will determine whether comparable services and benefits are available under any other program (other than a program carried out under this subchapter) unless such a determination would interrupt or delay -
                (I) the progress of the individual toward achieving the employment outcome identified in the individualized plan for employment of the individual in accordance with section 722(b) of this title;
                (II) an immediate job placement; or
                (III) the provision of such service to any individual at extreme medical risk.
            (ii) Awards and scholarships
For purposes of clause (i), comparable benefits do not include awards and scholarships based on merit.
          (B) Interagency agreement
The State plan shall include an assurance that the Governor of the State, in consultation with the entity in the State responsible for the vocational rehabilitation program and other appropriate agencies, will ensure that an interagency agreement or other mechanism for interagency coordination takes effect between any appropriate public entity, including the State entity responsible for administering the State medicaid program, a public institution of higher education, and a component of the statewide workforce investment system, and the designated State unit, in order to ensure the provision of vocational rehabilitation services described in subparagraph
          (A) (other than those services specified in paragraph (5)(D), and in paragraphs (1) through (4) and (14) of section 723(a) of this title), that are included in the individualized plan for employment of an eligible individual, including the provision of such vocational rehabilitation services during the pendency of any dispute described in clause (iii). Such agreement or mechanism shall include the following:
            (i) Agency financial responsibility
An identification of, or a description of a method for defining, the financial responsibility of such public entity for providing such services, and a provision stating the financial responsibility of such public entity for providing such services.
            (ii) Conditions, terms, and procedures of reimbursement
Information specifying the conditions, terms, and procedures under which a designated State unit shall be reimbursed by other public entities for providing such services, based on the provisions of such agreement or mechanism.
            (iii) Interagency disputes
Information specifying procedures for resolving interagency disputes under the agreement or other mechanism (including procedures under which the designated State unit may initiate proceedings to secure reimbursement from other public entities or otherwise implement the provisions of the agreement or mechanism).
            (iv) Coordination of services procedures
Information specifying policies and procedures for public entities to determine and identify the interagency coordination responsibilities of each public entity to promote the coordination and timely delivery of vocational rehabilitation services (except those services specified in paragraph (5)(D) and in paragraphs (1) through (4) and (14) of section 723(a) of this title).
          (C) Responsibilities of other public entities
            (i) Responsibilities under other law
Notwithstanding subparagraph (B), if any public entity other than a designated State unit is obligated under Federal or State law, or assigned responsibility under State policy or under this paragraph, to provide or pay for any services that are also considered to be vocational rehabilitation services (other than those specified in paragraph (5)(D) and in paragraphs (1) through (4) and (14) of section 723(a) of this title), such public entity shall fulfill that obligation or responsibility, either directly or by contract or other arrangement.
            (ii) Reimbursement
If a public entity other than the designated State unit fails to provide or pay for the services described in clause
            (i) for an eligible individual, the designated State unit shall provide or pay for such services to the individual. Such designated State unit may claim reimbursement for the services from the public entity that failed to provide or pay for such services. Such public entity shall reimburse the designated State unit pursuant to the terms of the interagency agreement or other mechanism described in this paragraph according to the procedures established in such agreement or mechanism pursuant to subparagraph (B)(ii).
          (D) Methods
The Governor of a State may meet the requirements of subparagraph (B) through -
              (i) a State statute or regulation;
              (ii) a signed agreement between the respective officials of the public entities that clearly identifies the responsibilities of each public entity relating to the provision of services; or
              (iii) another appropriate method, as determined by the designated State unit.
        (9) Individualized plan for employment
          (A) Development and implementation
The State plan shall include an assurance that an individualized plan for employment meeting the requirements of section 722(b) of this title will be developed and implemented in a timely manner for an individual subsequent to the determination of the eligibility of the individual for services under this subchapter, except that in a State operating under an order of selection described in paragraph (5), the plan will be developed and implemented only for individuals meeting the order of selection criteria of the State.
          (B) Provision of services
The State plan shall include an assurance that such services will be provided in accordance with the provisions of the individualized plan for employment.
        (10) Reporting requirements
          (A) In general
The State plan shall include an assurance that the designated State agency will submit reports in the form and level of detail and at the time required by the Commissioner regarding applicants for, and eligible individuals receiving, services under this subchapter.
          (B) Annual reporting
In specifying the information to be submitted in the reports, the Commissioner shall require annual reporting on the eligible individuals receiving the services, on those specific data elements described in section 136(d)(2) of the Workforce Investment Act of 1998 [29 U.S.C. 2871(d)(2)] that are determined by the Secretary to be relevant in assessing the performance of designated State units in carrying out the vocational rehabilitation program established under this subchapter.
          (C) Additional data
In specifying the information required to be submitted in the reports, the Commissioner shall require additional data with regard to applicants and eligible individuals related to -
              (i) the number of applicants and the number of individuals determined to be eligible or ineligible for the program carried out under this subchapter, including -
                (I) the number of individuals determined to be ineligible because they did not require vocational rehabilitation services, as provided in section 722(a) of this title; and
                (II) the number of individuals determined, on the basis of clear and convincing evidence, to be too severely disabled to benefit in terms of an employment outcome from vocational rehabilitation services;

              (ii) the number of individuals who received vocational rehabilitation services through the program, including -
                (I) the number who received services under paragraph
              (5)(D), but not assistance under an individualized plan for employment;
                (II) of those recipients who are individuals with significant disabilities, the number who received assistance under an individualized plan for employment consistent with section 722(b) of this title; and
                (III) of those recipients who are not individuals with significant disabilities, the number who received assistance under an individualized plan for employment consistent with section 722(b) of this title;

              (iii) of those applicants and eligible recipients who are individuals with significant disabilities -
                (I) the number who ended their participation in the program carried out under this subchapter and the number who achieved employment outcomes after receiving vocational rehabilitation services; and
                (II) the number who ended their participation in the program and who were employed 6 months and 12 months after securing or regaining employment, or, in the case of individuals whose employment outcome was to retain or advance in employment, who were employed 6 months and 12 months after achieving their employment outcome, including -
                  (aa) the number who earned the minimum wage rate specified in section 6(a)(1) of the Fair Labor Standards Act of 1938 (29 U.S.C. 206(a)(1)) or another wage level set by the Commissioner, during such employment; and
                  (bb) the number who received employment benefits from an employer during such employment; and

              (iv) of those applicants and eligible recipients who are not individuals with significant disabilities -
                (I) the number who ended their participation in the program carried out under this subchapter and the number who achieved employment outcomes after receiving vocational rehabilitation services; and
                (II) the number who ended their participation in the program and who were employed 6 months and 12 months after securing or regaining employment, or, in the case of individuals whose employment outcome was to retain or advance in employment, who were employed 6 months and 12 months after achieving their employment outcome, including -
                  (aa) the number who earned the minimum wage rate specified in section 6(a)(1) of the Fair Labor Standards Act of 1938 (29 U.S.C. 206(a)(1)) or another wage level set by the Commissioner, during such employment; and
                  (bb) the number who received employment benefits from an employer during such employment.
          (D) Costs and results
The Commissioner shall also require that the designated State agency include in the reports information on -
              (i) the costs under this subchapter of conducting administration, providing assessment services, counseling and guidance, and other direct services provided by designated State agency staff, providing services purchased under individualized plans for employment, supporting small business enterprises, establishing, developing, and improving community rehabilitation programs, providing other services to groups, and facilitating use of other programs under this chapter and title I of the Workforce Investment Act of 1998 [29 U.S.C. 2801 et seq.] by eligible individuals; and
              (ii) the results of annual evaluation by the State of program effectiveness under paragraph (15)(E).
          (E) Additional information
The Commissioner shall require that each designated State unit include in the reports additional information related to the applicants and eligible individuals, obtained either through a complete count or sampling, including -
              (i) information on -
                (I) age, gender, race, ethnicity, education, category of impairment, severity of disability, and whether the individuals are students with disabilities;
                (II) dates of application, determination of eligibility or ineligibility, initiation of the individualized plan for employment, and termination of participation in the program;
                (III) earnings at the time of application for the program and termination of participation in the program;
                (IV) work status and occupation;
                (V) types of services, including assistive technology services and assistive technology devices, provided under the program;
                (VI) types of public or private programs or agencies that furnished services under the program; and
                (VII) the reasons for individuals terminating participation in the program without achieving an employment outcome; and

              (ii) information necessary to determine the success of the
State in meeting -
                (I) the State performance measures established under section 136(b) of the Workforce Investment Act of 1998 [29 U.S.C. 2871(b)], to the extent the measures are applicable to individuals with disabilities; and
                (II) the standards and indicators established pursuant to section 726 of this title.
          (F) Completeness and confidentiality
The State plan shall include an assurance that the information submitted in the reports will include a complete count, except as provided in subparagraph (E), of the applicants and eligible individuals, in a manner permitting the greatest possible cross-classification of data and that the identity of each individual for which information is supplied under this paragraph will be kept confidential.
        (11) Cooperation, collaboration, and coordination
          (A) Cooperative agreements with other components of statewide workforce investment systems
The State plan shall provide that the designated State unit or designated State agency shall enter into a cooperative agreement with other entities that are components of the statewide workforce investment system of the State, regarding the system, which agreement may provide for -
              (i) provision of intercomponent staff training and technical assistance with regard to -
                (I) the availability and benefits of, and information on eligibility standards for, vocational rehabilitation services; and
                (II) the promotion of equal, effective, and meaningful participation by individuals with disabilities in workforce investment activities in the State through the promotion of program accessibility, the use of nondiscriminatory policies and procedures, and the provision of reasonable accommodations, auxiliary aids and services, and rehabilitation technology, for individuals with disabilities;

              (ii) use of information and financial management systems that link all components of the statewide workforce investment system, that link the components to other electronic networks, including nonvisual electronic networks, and that relate to such subjects as employment statistics, and information on job vacancies, career planning, and workforce investment activities;
              (iii) use of customer service features such as common intake and referral procedures, customer databases, resource information, and human services hotlines;
              (iv) establishment of cooperative efforts with employers to -
                (I) facilitate job placement; and
                (II) carry out any other activities that the designated State unit and the employers determine to be appropriate;

              (v) identification of staff roles, responsibilities, and available resources, and specification of the financial responsibility of each component of the statewide workforce investment system with regard to paying for necessary services (consistent with State law and Federal requirements); and
              (vi) specification of procedures for resolving disputes among such components.
          (B) Replication of cooperative agreements
The State plan shall provide for the replication of such cooperative agreements at the local level between individual offices of the designated State unit and local entities carrying out activities through the statewide workforce investment system.
          (C) Interagency cooperation with other agencies
The State plan shall include descriptions of interagency cooperation with, and utilization of the services and facilities of, Federal, State, and local agencies and programs, including programs carried out by the Under Secretary for Rural Development of the Department of Agriculture and State use contracting programs, to the extent that such agencies and programs are not carrying out activities through the statewide workforce investment system.
          (D) Coordination with education officials
The State plan shall contain plans, policies, and procedures for coordination between the designated State agency and education officials responsible for the public education of students with disabilities, that are designed to facilitate the transition of the students with disabilities from the receipt of educational services in school to the receipt of vocational rehabilitation services under this subchapter, including information on a formal interagency agreement with the State educational agency that, at a minimum, provides for -
              (i) consultation and technical assistance to assist educational agencies in planning for the transition of students with disabilities from school to post-school activities, including vocational rehabilitation services;
              (ii) transition planning by personnel of the designated State agency and educational agency personnel for students with disabilities that facilitates the development and completion of their individualized education programs under section 614(d) of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act [20 U.S.C. 1414(d)] (as added by section 101 of Public Law 105-17);
              (iii) the roles and responsibilities, including financial responsibilities, of each agency, including provisions for determining State lead agencies and qualified personnel responsible for transition services; and
              (iv) procedures for outreach to and identification of students with disabilities who need the transition services.
          (E) Coordination with Statewide Independent Living Councils and independent living centers
The State plan shall include an assurance that the designated State unit, the Statewide Independent Living Council established under section 796d of this title, and the independent living centers described in subpart 3 (!1) of part A of subchapter VII of this chapter within the State have developed working relationships and coordinate their activities.

          (F) Cooperative agreement with recipients of grants for services to American Indians
In applicable cases, the State plan shall include an assurance that the State has entered into a formal cooperative agreement with each grant recipient in the State that receives funds under part C of this subchapter. The agreement shall describe strategies for collaboration and coordination in providing vocational rehabilitation services to American Indians who are individuals with disabilities, including -
              (i) strategies for interagency referral and information sharing that will assist in eligibility determinations and the development of individualized plans for employment;
              (ii) procedures for ensuring that American Indians who are individuals with disabilities and are living near a reservation or tribal service area are provided vocational rehabilitation services; and
              (iii) provisions for sharing resources in cooperative studies and assessments, joint training activities, and other collaborative activities designed to improve the provision of services to American Indians who are individuals with disabilities.
        (12) Residency
The State plan shall include an assurance that the State will not impose a residence requirement that excludes from services provided under the plan any individual who is present in the State.
        (13) Services to American Indians
The State plan shall include an assurance that, except as otherwise provided in part C of this subchapter, the designated State agency will provide vocational rehabilitation services to American Indians who are individuals with disabilities residing in the State to the same extent as the designated State agency provides such services to other significant populations of individuals with disabilities residing in the State.
        (14) Annual review of individuals in extended employment or other employment under special certificate provisions of the Fair Labor Standards Act of 1938 The State plan shall provide for -
            (A) an annual review and reevaluation of the status of each individual with a disability served under this subchapter who has achieved an employment outcome either in an extended employment setting in a community rehabilitation program or any other employment under section 14(c) of the Fair Labor Standards Act (29 U.S.C. 214(c)) for 2 years after the achievement of the outcome (and thereafter if requested by the individual or, if appropriate, the individual's representative), to determine the interests, priorities, and needs of the individual with respect to competitive employment or training for competitive employment;
            (B) input into the review and reevaluation, and a signed acknowledgment that such review and reevaluation have been conducted, by the individual with a disability, or, if appropriate, the individual's representative; and
            (C) maximum efforts, including the identification and provision of vocational rehabilitation services, reasonable accommodations, and other necessary support services, to assist the individuals described in subparagraph (A) in engaging in competitive employment.
        (15) Annual State goals and reports of progress
          (A) Assessments and estimates
The State plan shall -
              (i) include the results of a comprehensive, statewide assessment, jointly conducted by the designated State unit and the State Rehabilitation Council (if the State has such a Council) every 3 years, describing the rehabilitation needs of individuals with disabilities residing within the State, particularly the vocational rehabilitation services needs of -
                (I) individuals with the most significant disabilities, including their need for supported employment services;
                (II) individuals with disabilities who are minorities and individuals with disabilities who have been unserved or underserved by the vocational rehabilitation program carried out under this subchapter; and
                (III) individuals with disabilities served through other components of the statewide workforce investment system
              (other than the vocational rehabilitation program), as identified by such individuals and personnel assisting such individuals through the components;

              (ii) include an assessment of the need to establish, develop, or improve community rehabilitation programs within the State; and
              (iii) provide that the State shall submit to the Commissioner a report containing information regarding updates to the assessments, for any year in which the State updates the assessments.
          (B) Annual estimates
The State plan shall include, and shall provide that the State shall annually submit a report to the Commissioner that includes, State estimates of -
              (i) the number of individuals in the State who are eligible for services under this subchapter;
              (ii) the number of such individuals who will receive services provided with funds provided under part B of this subchapter and under part B of subchapter VI of this chapter, including, if the designated State agency uses an order of selection in accordance with paragraph (5), estimates of the number of individuals to be served under each priority category within the order; and
              (iii) the costs of the services described in clause (i), including, if the designated State agency uses an order of selection in accordance with paragraph (5), the service costs for each priority category within the order.
          (C) Goals and priorities
            (i) In general
The State plan shall identify the goals and priorities of the State in carrying out the program. The goals and priorities shall be jointly developed, agreed to, and reviewed annually by the designated State unit and the State Rehabilitation Council, if the State has such a Council. Any revisions to the goals and priorities shall be jointly agreed to by the designated State unit and the State Rehabilitation Council, if the State has such a Council. The State plan shall provide that the State shall submit to the Commissioner a report containing information regarding revisions in the goals and priorities, for any year in which the State revises the goals and priorities.
            (ii) Basis
The State goals and priorities shall be based on an analysis of -
                (I) the comprehensive assessment described in subparagraph (A), including any updates to the assessment;
                (II) the performance of the State on the standards and indicators established under section 726 of this title; and
                (III) other available information on the operation and the effectiveness of the vocational rehabilitation program carried out in the State, including any reports received from the State Rehabilitation Council, under section 725(c) of this title and the findings and recommendations from monitoring activities conducted under section 727 of this title.
            (iii) Service and outcome goals for categories in order of selection
If the designated State agency uses an order of selection in accordance with paragraph (5), the State shall also identify in the State plan service and outcome goals and the time within which these goals may be achieved for individuals in each priority category within the order.
          (D) Strategies
The State plan shall contain a description of the strategies the State will use to address the needs identified in the assessment conducted under subparagraph (A) and achieve the goals and priorities identified in subparagraph (C), including -
              (i) the methods to be used to expand and improve services to individuals with disabilities, including how a broad range of assistive technology services and assistive technology devices will be provided to such individuals at each stage of the rehabilitation process and how such services and devices will be provided to such individuals on a statewide basis;
              (ii) outreach procedures to identify and serve individuals with disabilities who are minorities and individuals with disabilities who have been unserved or underserved by the vocational rehabilitation program;
              (iii) where necessary, the plan of the State for establishing, developing, or improving community rehabilitation programs;
              (iv) strategies to improve the performance of the State with respect to the evaluation standards and performance indicators established pursuant to section 726 of this title; and
              (v) strategies for assisting entities carrying out other components of the statewide workforce investment system
            (other than the vocational rehabilitation program) in assisting individuals with disabilities.
          (E) Evaluation and reports of progress
The State plan shall -
              (i) include the results of an evaluation of the effectiveness of the vocational rehabilitation program, and a joint report by the designated State unit and the State Rehabilitation Council, if the State has such a Council, to the Commissioner on the progress made in improving the effectiveness from the previous year, which evaluation and report shall include -
                (I) an evaluation of the extent to which the goals identified in subparagraph (C) were achieved;
                (II) a description of strategies that contributed to achieving the goals;
                (III) to the extent to which the goals were not achieved, a description of the factors that impeded that achievement; and
                (IV) an assessment of the performance of the State on the standards and indicators established pursuant to section 726 of this title; and

              (ii) provide that the designated State unit and the State Rehabilitation Council, if the State has such a Council, shall jointly submit to the Commissioner an annual report that contains the information described in clause (i).
        (16) Public comment
The State plan shall -
            (A) provide that the designated State agency, prior to the adoption of any policies or procedures governing the provision of vocational rehabilitation services under the State plan
          (including making any amendment to such policies and procedures), shall conduct public meetings throughout the State, after providing adequate notice of the meetings, to provide the public, including individuals with disabilities, an opportunity to comment on the policies or procedures, and actively consult with the Director of the client assistance program carried out under section 732 of this title, and, as appropriate, Indian tribes, tribal organizations, and Native Hawaiian organizations on the policies or procedures; and
            (B) provide that the designated State agency (or each designated State agency if two agencies are designated) and any sole agency administering the plan in a political subdivision of the State, shall take into account, in connection with matters of general policy arising in the administration of the plan, the views of -
              (i) individuals and groups of individuals who are recipients of vocational rehabilitation services, or in appropriate cases, the individuals' representatives;
              (ii) personnel working in programs that provide vocational rehabilitation services to individuals with disabilities;
              (iii) providers of vocational rehabilitation services to individuals with disabilities;
              (iv) the director of the client assistance program; and
              (v) the State Rehabilitation Council, if the State has such a Council.
        (17) Use of funds for construction of facilities
The State plan shall provide that if, under special circumstances, the State plan includes provisions for the construction of facilities for community rehabilitation programs -
            (A) the Federal share of the cost of construction for the facilities for a fiscal year will not exceed an amount equal to 10 percent of the State's allotment under section 730 of this title for such year;
            (B) the provisions of section 776 of this title (as in effect on the day before August 7, 1998) shall be applicable to such construction and such provisions shall be deemed to apply to such construction; and
            (C) there shall be compliance with regulations the Commissioner shall prescribe designed to assure that no State will reduce its efforts in providing other vocational rehabilitation services (other than for the establishment of facilities for community rehabilitation programs) because the plan includes such provisions for construction.
        (18) Innovation and expansion activities
The State plan shall -
            (A) include an assurance that the State will reserve and use a portion of the funds allotted to the State under section 730 of this title -
              (i) for the development and implementation of innovative approaches to expand and improve the provision of vocational rehabilitation services to individuals with disabilities under this subchapter, particularly individuals with the most significant disabilities, consistent with the findings of the statewide assessment and goals and priorities of the State as described in paragraph (15); and
              (ii) to support the funding of -
                (I) the State Rehabilitation Council, if the State has such a Council, consistent with the plan prepared under section 725(d)(1) of this title; and
                (II) the Statewide Independent Living Council, consistent with the plan prepared under section 796d(e)(1) of this title;

            (B) include a description of how the reserved funds will be utilized; and
            (C) provide that the State shall submit to the Commissioner an annual report containing a description of how the reserved funds were utilized during the preceding year.
        (19) Choice
The State plan shall include an assurance that applicants and eligible individuals or, as appropriate, the applicants' representatives or individuals' representatives, will be provided information and support services to assist the applicants and individuals in exercising informed choice throughout the rehabilitation process, consistent with the provisions of section 722(d) of this title.
        (20) Information and referral services
          (A) In general
The State plan shall include an assurance that the designated State agency will implement an information and referral system adequate to ensure that individuals with disabilities will be provided accurate vocational rehabilitation information and guidance, using appropriate modes of communication, to assist such individuals in preparing for, securing, retaining, or regaining employment, and will be appropriately referred to Federal and State programs (other than the vocational rehabilitation program carried out under this subchapter), including other components of the statewide workforce investment system in the State.
          (B) Referrals
An appropriate referral made through the system shall -
              (i) be to the Federal or State programs, including programs carried out by other components of the statewide workforce investment system in the State, best suited to address the specific employment needs of an individual with a disability; and
              (ii) include, for each of these programs, provision to the individual of -
                (I) a notice of the referral by the designated State agency to the agency carrying out the program;
                (II) information identifying a specific point of contact within the agency carrying out the program; and
                (III) information and advice regarding the most suitable services to assist the individual to prepare for, secure, retain, or regain employment.
        (21) State independent consumer-controlled commission; State Rehabilitation Council
          (A) Commission or Council
The State plan shall provide that either -
              (i) the designated State agency is an independent commission that -
                (I) is responsible under State law for operating, or overseeing the operation of, the vocational rehabilitation program in the State;
                (II) is consumer-controlled by persons who -
                  (aa) are individuals with physical or mental impairments that substantially limit major life activities; and
                  (bb) represent individuals with a broad range of disabilities, unless the designated State unit under the direction of the commission is the State agency for individuals who are blind;

                (III) includes family members, advocates, or other representatives, of individuals with mental impairments; and
                (IV) undertakes the functions set forth in section 725(c)(4) of this title; or

              (ii) the State has established a State Rehabilitation Council that meets the criteria set forth in section 725 of this title and the designated State unit -
                (I) in accordance with paragraph (15), jointly develops, agrees to, and reviews annually State goals and priorities, and jointly submits annual reports of progress with the Council;
                (II) regularly consults with the Council regarding the development, implementation, and revision of State policies and procedures of general applicability pertaining to the provision of vocational rehabilitation services;
                (III) includes in the State plan and in any revision to the State plan, a summary of input provided by the Council, including recommendations from the annual report of the Council described in section 725(c)(5) of this title, the review and analysis of consumer satisfaction described in section 725(c)(4) of this title, and other reports prepared by the Council, and the response of the designated State unit to such input and recommendations, including explanations for rejecting any input or recommendation; and
                (IV) transmits to the Council -
                  (aa) all plans, reports, and other information required under this subchapter to be submitted to the Secretary;
                  (bb) all policies, and information on all practices and procedures, of general applicability provided to or used by rehabilitation personnel in carrying out this subchapter; and
                  (cc) copies of due process hearing decisions issued under this subchapter, which shall be transmitted in such a manner as to ensure that the identity of the participants in the hearings is kept confidential.
          (B) More than one designated State agency
In the case of a State that, under subsection (a)(2) of this section, designates a State agency to administer the part of the State plan under which vocational rehabilitation services are provided for individuals who are blind (or to supervise the administration of such part by a local agency) and designates a separate State agency to administer the rest of the State plan, the State shall either establish a State Rehabilitation Council for each of the two agencies that does not meet the requirements in subparagraph (A)(i), or establish one State Rehabilitation Council for both agencies if neither agency meets the requirements of subparagraph (A)(i).
        (22) Supported employment State plan supplement
The State plan shall include an assurance that the State has an acceptable plan for carrying out part B of subchapter VI of this chapter, including the use of funds under that part to supplement funds made available under part B of this subchapter to pay for the cost of services leading to supported employment.
        (23) Annual updates
The plan shall include an assurance that the State will submit to the Commissioner reports containing annual updates of the information required under paragraph (7) (relating to a comprehensive system of personnel development) and any other updates of the information required under this section that are requested by the Commissioner, and annual reports as provided in paragraphs (15) (relating to assessments, estimates, goals and priorities, and reports of progress) and (18) (relating to innovation and expansion), at such time and in such manner as the Secretary may determine to be appropriate.
        (24) Certain contracts and cooperative agreements
          (A) Contracts with for-profit organizations
The State plan shall provide that the designated State agency has the authority to enter into contracts with for-profit organizations for the purpose of providing, as vocational rehabilitation services, on-the-job training and related programs for individuals with disabilities under part A of subchapter VI of this chapter, upon a determination by such agency that such for-profit organizations are better qualified to provide such rehabilitation services than nonprofit agencies and organizations.
          (B) Cooperative agreements with private nonprofit organizations
The State plan shall describe the manner in which cooperative agreements with private nonprofit vocational rehabilitation service providers will be established.
   (b) Approval; disapproval of the State plan
        (1) Approval
The Commissioner shall approve any plan that the Commissioner finds fulfills the conditions specified in this section, and shall disapprove any plan that does not fulfill such conditions.
        (2) Disapproval
Prior to disapproval of the State plan, the Commissioner shall notify the State of the intention to disapprove the plan and shall afford the State reasonable notice and opportunity for a hearing.

Sec. 722. Eligibility and individualized plan for employment

   (a) Eligibility
        (1) Criterion for eligibility
An individual is eligible for assistance under this subchapter if the individual -
            (A) is an individual with a disability under section 705(20)(A) of this title; and
            (B) requires vocational rehabilitation services to prepare for, secure, retain, or regain employment.
        (2) Presumption of benefit
          (A) Demonstration
For purposes of this section, an individual shall be presumed to be an individual that can benefit in terms of an employment outcome from vocational rehabilitation services under section 705(20)(A) of this title, unless the designated State unit involved can demonstrate by clear and convincing evidence that such individual is incapable of benefiting in terms of an employment outcome from vocational rehabilitation services due to the severity of the disability of the individual.
          (B) Methods
In making the demonstration required under subparagraph (A), the designated State unit shall explore the individual's abilities, capabilities, and capacity to perform in work situations, through the use of trial work experiences, as described in section 705(2)(D) of this title, with appropriate supports provided through the designated State unit, except under limited circumstances when an individual cannot take advantage of such experiences. Such experiences shall be of sufficient variety and over a sufficient period of time to determine the eligibility of the individual or to determine the existence of clear and convincing evidence that the individual is incapable of benefiting in terms of an employment outcome from vocational rehabilitation services due to the severity of the disability of the individual.
        (3) Presumption of eligibility
          (A) In general
For purposes of this section, an individual who has a disability or is blind as determined pursuant to title II or title XVI of the Social Security Act (42 U.S.C. 401 et seq. and 1381 et seq.) shall be -
              (i) considered to be an individual with a significant disability under section 705(21)(A) of this title; and
              (ii) presumed to be eligible for vocational rehabilitation services under this subchapter (provided that the individual intends to achieve an employment outcome consistent with the unique strengths, resources, priorities, concerns, abilities, capabilities, interests, and informed choice of the individual) unless the designated State unit involved can demonstrate by clear and convincing evidence that such individual is incapable of benefiting in terms of an employment outcome from vocational rehabilitation services due to the severity of the disability of the individual in accordance with paragraph (2).
          (B) Construction
Nothing in this paragraph shall be construed to create an entitlement to any vocational rehabilitation service.
        (4) Use of existing information
          (A) In general
To the maximum extent appropriate and consistent with the requirements of this part, for purposes of determining the eligibility of an individual for vocational rehabilitation services under this subchapter and developing the individualized plan for employment described in subsection (b) of this section for the individual, the designated State unit shall use information that is existing and current (as of the date of the determination of eligibility or of the development of the individualized plan for employment), including information available from other programs and providers, particularly information used by education officials and the Social Security Administration, information provided by the individual and the family of the individual, and information obtained under the assessment for determining eligibility and vocational rehabilitation needs.
          (B) Determinations by officials of other agencies
Determinations made by officials of other agencies, particularly education officials described in section 721(a)(11)(D) of this title, regarding whether an individual satisfies one or more factors relating to whether an individual is an individual with a disability under section 705(20)(A) of this title or an individual with a significant disability under section 705(21)(A) of this title shall be used, to the extent appropriate and consistent with the requirements of this part, in assisting the designated State unit in making such determinations.
          (C) Basis
The determination of eligibility for vocational rehabilitation services shall be based on -
              (i) the review of existing data described in section 705(2)(A)(i) of this title; and
              (ii) to the extent that such data is unavailable or insufficient for determining eligibility, the provision of assessment activities described in section 705(2)(A)(ii) of this title.
        (5) Determination of ineligibility
If an individual who applies for services under this subchapter is determined, based on the review of existing data and, to the extent necessary, the assessment activities described in section 705(2)(A)(ii) of this title, not to be eligible for the services, or if an eligible individual receiving services under an individualized plan for employment is determined to be no longer eligible for the services -
            (A) the ineligibility determination involved shall be made only after providing an opportunity for full consultation with the individual or, as appropriate, the individual's representative;
            (B) the individual or, as appropriate, the individual's representative, shall be informed in writing (supplemented as necessary by other appropriate modes of communication consistent with the informed choice of the individual) of the ineligibility determination, including -
              (i) the reasons for the determination; and
              (ii) a description of the means by which the individual may express, and seek a remedy for, any dissatisfaction with the determination, including the procedures for review by an impartial hearing officer under subsection (c) of this section;

            (C) the individual shall be provided with a description of services available from the client assistance program under section 732 of this title and information on how to contact that program; and
            (D) any ineligibility determination that is based on a finding that the individual is incapable of benefiting in terms of an employment outcome shall be reviewed -
              (i) within 12 months; and
              (ii) thereafter, if such a review is requested by the individual or, if appropriate, by the individual's representative.
        (6) Timeframe for making an eligibility determination
The designated State unit shall determine whether an individual is eligible for vocational rehabilitation services under this subchapter within a reasonable period of time, not to exceed 60 days, after the individual has submitted an application for the services unless -
            (A) exceptional and unforeseen circumstances beyond the control of the designated State unit preclude making an eligibility determination within 60 days and the designated State unit and the individual agree to a specific extension of time; or
            (B) the designated State unit is exploring an individual's abilities, capabilities, and capacity to perform in work situations under paragraph (2)(B).
   (b) Development of an individualized plan for employment
        (1) Options for developing an individualized plan for employment If an individual is determined to be eligible for vocational rehabilitation services as described in subsection (a) of this section, the designated State unit shall complete the assessment for determining eligibility and vocational rehabilitation needs, as appropriate, and shall provide the eligible individual or the individual's representative, in writing and in an appropriate mode of communication, with information on the individual's options for developing an individualized plan for employment, including -
            (A) information on the availability of assistance, to the extent determined to be appropriate by the eligible individual, from a qualified vocational rehabilitation counselor in developing all or part of the individualized plan for employment for the individual, and the availability of technical assistance in developing all or part of the individualized plan for employment for the individual;
            (B) a description of the full range of components that shall be included in an individualized plan for employment;
            (C) as appropriate -
              (i) an explanation of agency guidelines and criteria associated with financial commitments concerning an individualized plan for employment;
              (ii) additional information the eligible individual requests or the designated State unit determines to be necessary; and
              (iii) information on the availability of assistance in completing designated State agency forms required in developing an individualized plan for employment; and

            (D)(i) a description of the rights and remedies available to such an individual including, if appropriate, recourse to the processes set forth in subsection (c) of this section; and
            (ii) a description of the availability of a client assistance program established pursuant to section 732 of this title and information about how to contact the client assistance program.
        (2) Mandatory procedures
          (A) Written document
An individualized plan for employment shall be a written document prepared on forms provided by the designated State unit.
          (B) Informed choice
An individualized plan for employment shall be developed and implemented in a manner that affords eligible individuals the opportunity to exercise informed choice in selecting an employment outcome, the specific vocational rehabilitation services to be provided under the plan, the entity that will provide the vocational rehabilitation services, and the methods used to procure the services, consistent with subsection (d) of this section.
          (C) Signatories
An individualized plan for employment shall be -
              (i) agreed to, and signed by, such eligible individual or, as appropriate, the individual's representative; and
              (ii) approved and signed by a qualified vocational rehabilitation counselor employed by the designated State unit.
          (D) Copy
A copy of the individualized plan for employment for an eligible individual shall be provided to the individual or, as appropriate, to the individual's representative, in writing and, if appropriate, in the native language or mode of communication of the individual or, as appropriate, of the individual's representative.
          (E) Review and amendment
The individualized plan for employment shall be -
              (i) reviewed at least annually by -
                (I) a qualified vocational rehabilitation counselor; and
                (II) the eligible individual or, as appropriate, the individual's representative; and

              (ii) amended, as necessary, by the individual or, as appropriate, the individual's representative, in collaboration with a representative of the designated State agency or a qualified vocational rehabilitation counselor (to the extent determined to be appropriate by the individual), if there are substantive changes in the employment outcome, the vocational rehabilitation services to be provided, or the service providers of the services (which amendments shall not take effect until agreed to and signed by the eligible individual or, as appropriate, the individual's representative, and by a qualified vocational rehabilitation counselor employed by the designated State unit).
        (3) Mandatory components of an individualized plan for employment
Regardless of the approach selected by an eligible individual to develop an individualized plan for employment, an individualized plan for employment shall, at a minimum, contain mandatory components consisting of -
            (A) a description of the specific employment outcome that is chosen by the eligible individual, consistent with the unique strengths, resources, priorities, concerns, abilities, capabilities, interests, and informed choice of the eligible individual, and, to the maximum extent appropriate, results in employment in an integrated setting;
            (B)(i) a description of the specific vocational rehabilitation services that are -
              (I) needed to achieve the employment outcome, including, as appropriate, the provision of assistive technology devices and assistive technology services, and personal assistance services, including training in the management of such services; and
              (II) provided in the most integrated setting that is appropriate for the service involved and is consistent with the informed choice of the eligible individual; and

            (ii) timelines for the achievement of the employment outcome and for the initiation of the services;
            (C) a description of the entity chosen by the eligible individual or, as appropriate, the individual's representative, that will provide the vocational rehabilitation services, and the methods used to procure such services;
            (D) a description of criteria to evaluate progress toward achievement of the employment outcome;
            (E) the terms and conditions of the individualized plan for employment, including, as appropriate, information describing -
              (i) the responsibilities of the designated State unit;
              (ii) the responsibilities of the eligible individual, including -
                (I) the responsibilities the eligible individual will assume in relation to the employment outcome of the individual;
                (II) if applicable, the participation of the eligible individual in paying for the costs of the plan; and
                (III) the responsibility of the eligible individual with regard to applying for and securing comparable benefits as described in section 721(a)(8) of this title; and

              (iii) the responsibilities of other entities as the result of arrangements made pursuant to comparable services or benefits requirements as described in section 721(a)(8) of this title;

            (F) for an eligible individual with the most significant disabilities for whom an employment outcome in a supported employment setting has been determined to be appropriate, information identifying -
              (i) the extended services needed by the eligible individual; and
              (ii) the source of extended services or, to the extent that the source of the extended services cannot be identified at the time of the development of the individualized plan for employment, a description of the basis for concluding that there is a reasonable expectation that such source will become available; and

            (G) as determined to be necessary, a statement of projected need for post-employment services.
   (c) Procedures
        (1) In general Each State shall establish procedures for mediation of, and procedures for review through an impartial due process hearing of, determinations made by personnel of the designated State unit that affect the provision of vocational rehabilitation services to applicants or eligible individuals.
        (2) Notification
          (A) Rights and assistance
The procedures shall provide that an applicant or an eligible individual or, as appropriate, the applicant's representative or individual's representative shall be notified of -
              (i) the right to obtain review of determinations described in paragraph (1) in an impartial due process hearing under paragraph (5);
              (ii) the right to pursue mediation with respect to the determinations under paragraph (4); and
              (iii) the availability of assistance from the client assistance program under section 732 of this title.
          (B) Timing
Such notification shall be provided in writing -
              (i) at the time an individual applies for vocational rehabilitation services provided under this subchapter;
              (ii) at the time the individualized plan for employment for the individual is developed; and
              (iii) upon reduction, suspension, or cessation of vocational rehabilitation services for the individual.
        (3) Evidence and representation The procedures required under this subsection shall, at a minimum -
            (A) provide an opportunity for an applicant or an eligible individual, or, as appropriate, the applicant's representative or individual's representative, to submit at the mediation session or hearing evidence and information to support the position of the applicant or eligible individual; and
            (B) include provisions to allow an applicant or an eligible individual to be represented in the mediation session or hearing by a person selected by the applicant or eligible individual.
        (4) Mediation
          (A) Procedures
Each State shall ensure that procedures are established and implemented under this subsection to allow parties described in paragraph (1) to disputes involving any determination described in paragraph (1) to resolve such disputes through a mediation process that, at a minimum, shall be available whenever a hearing is requested under this subsection.
          (B) Requirements
Such procedures shall ensure that the mediation process -
              (i) is voluntary on the part of the parties;
              (ii) is not used to deny or delay the right of an individual to a hearing under this subsection, or to deny any other right afforded under this subchapter; and
              (iii) is conducted by a qualified and impartial mediator who is trained in effective mediation techniques.
          (C) List of mediators
The State shall maintain a list of individuals who are qualified mediators and knowledgeable in laws (including regulations) relating to the provision of vocational rehabilitation services under this subchapter, from which the mediators described in subparagraph (B) shall be selected.
          (D) Cost
The State shall bear the cost of the mediation process.
          (E) Scheduling
Each session in the mediation process shall be scheduled in a timely manner and shall be held in a location that is convenient to the parties to the dispute.
          (F) Agreement
An agreement reached by the parties to the dispute in the mediation process shall be set forth in a written mediation agreement.
          (G) Confidentiality
Discussions that occur during the mediation process shall be confidential and may not be used as evidence in any subsequent due process hearing or civil proceeding. The parties to the mediation process may be required to sign a confidentiality pledge prior to the commencement of such process.
          (H) Construction
Nothing in this subsection shall be construed to preclude the parties to such a dispute from informally resolving the dispute prior to proceedings under this paragraph or paragraph (5), if the informal process used is not used to deny or delay the right of the applicant or eligible individual to a hearing under this subsection or to deny any other right afforded under this subchapter.
        (5) Hearings
          (A) Officer
A due process hearing described in paragraph (2) shall be conducted by an impartial hearing officer who shall issue a decision based on the provisions of the approved State plan, this chapter (including regulations implementing this chapter), and State regulations and policies that are consistent with the Federal requirements specified in this subchapter. The officer shall provide the decision in writing to the applicant or eligible individual, or, as appropriate, the applicant's representative or individual's representative, and to the designated State unit.
          (B) List
The designated State unit shall maintain a list of qualified impartial hearing officers who are knowledgeable in laws
          (including regulations) relating to the provision of vocational rehabilitation services under this subchapter from which the officer described in subparagraph (A) shall be selected. For the purposes of maintaining such list, impartial hearing officers shall be identified jointly by -
              (i) the designated State unit; and
              (ii) members of the Council or commission, as appropriate, described in section 721(a)(21) of this title.
          (C) Selection
Such an impartial hearing officer shall be selected to hear a particular case relating to a determination -
              (i) on a random basis; or
              (ii) by agreement between -
                (I) the Director of the designated State unit and the individual with a disability; or
                (II) in appropriate cases, the Director and the individual's representative.
          (D) Procedures for seeking review
A State may establish procedures to enable a party involved in a hearing under this paragraph to seek an impartial review of the decision of the hearing officer under subparagraph (A) by -
              (i) the chief official of the designated State agency if the State has established both a designated State agency and a designated State unit under section 721(a)(2) of this title; or
              (ii) an official from the office of the Governor.
          (E) Review request
If the State establishes impartial review procedures under subparagraph (D), either party may request the review of the decision of the hearing officer within 20 days after the decision.
          (F) Reviewing official
The reviewing official described in subparagraph (D) shall -
              (i) in conducting the review, provide an opportunity for the submission of additional evidence and information relevant to a final decision concerning the matter under review;
              (ii) not overturn or modify the decision of the hearing officer, or part of the decision, that supports the position of the applicant or eligible individual unless the reviewing official concludes, based on clear and convincing evidence, that the decision of the impartial hearing officer is clearly erroneous on the basis of being contrary to the approved State plan, this chapter (including regulations implementing this chapter) or any State regulation or policy that is consistent with the Federal requirements specified in this subchapter;
              (iii) make a final decision with respect to the matter in a timely manner and provide such decision in writing to the applicant or eligible individual, or, as appropriate, the applicant's representative or individual's representative, and to the designated State unit, including a full report of the findings and the grounds for such decision; and
              (iv) not delegate the responsibility for making the final decision to any officer or employee of the designated State unit.
          (G) Finality of hearing decision
A decision made after a hearing under subparagraph (A) shall be final, except that a party may request an impartial review if the State has established procedures for such review under subparagraph (D) and a party involved in a hearing may bring a civil action under subparagraph (J).
          (H) Finality of review
A decision made under subparagraph (F) shall be final unless such a party brings a civil action under subparagraph (J).
          (I) Implementation
If a party brings a civil action under subparagraph (J) to challenge a final decision of a hearing officer under subparagraph (A) or to challenge a final decision of a State reviewing official under subparagraph (F), the final decision involved shall be implemented pending review by the court.
          (J) Civil action
            (i) In general
Any party aggrieved by a final decision described in subparagraph (I), may bring a civil action for review of such decision. The action may be brought in any State court of competent jurisdiction or in a district court of the United States of competent jurisdiction without regard to the amount in controversy.
            (ii) Procedure
In any action brought under this subparagraph, the court -
                (I) shall receive the records relating to the hearing under subparagraph (A) and the records relating to the State review under subparagraphs (D) through (F), if applicable;
                (II) shall hear additional evidence at the request of a party to the action; and
                (III) basing the decision of the court on the preponderance of the evidence, shall grant such relief as the court determines to be appropriate.
        (6) Hearing board
          (A) In general
A fair hearing board, established by a State before January 1, 1985, and authorized under State law to review determinations or decisions under this chapter, is authorized to carry out the responsibilities of the impartial hearing officer under this subsection.
          (B) Application
The provisions of paragraphs (1), (2), and (3) that relate to due process hearings do not apply, and paragraph (5) (other than subparagraph (J)) does not apply, to any State to which subparagraph (A) applies.
        (7) Impact on provision of services Unless the individual with a disability so requests, or, in an appropriate case, the individual's representative, so requests, pending a decision by a mediator, hearing officer, or reviewing officer under this subsection, the designated State unit shall not institute a suspension, reduction, or termination of services being provided for the individual, including evaluation and assessment services and plan development, unless such services have been obtained through misrepresentation, fraud, collusion, or criminal conduct on the part of the individual, or the individual's representative.
        (8) Information collection and report
          (A) In general
The Director of the designated State unit shall collect information described in subparagraph (B) and prepare and submit to the Commissioner a report containing such information. The Commissioner shall prepare a summary of the information furnished under this paragraph and include the summary in the annual report submitted under section 710 of this title. The Commissioner shall also collect copies of the final decisions of impartial hearing officers conducting hearings under this subsection and State officials conducting reviews under this subsection.
          (B) Information
The information required to be collected under this subsection includes -
              (i) a copy of the standards used by State reviewing officials for reviewing decisions made by impartial hearing officers under this subsection;
              (ii) information on the number of hearings and reviews sought from the impartial hearing officers and the State reviewing officials, including the type of complaints and the issues involved;
              (iii) information on the number of hearing decisions made under this subsection that were not reviewed by the State reviewing officials; and
              (iv) information on the number of the hearing decisions that were reviewed by the State reviewing officials, and, based on such reviews, the number of hearing decisions that were -
                (I) sustained in favor of an applicant or eligible individual;
                (II) sustained in favor of the designated State unit;
                (III) reversed in whole or in part in favor of the applicant or eligible individual; and
                (IV) reversed in whole or in part in favor of the designated State unit.
          (C) Confidentiality
The confidentiality of records of applicants and eligible individuals maintained by the designated State unit shall not preclude the access of the Commissioner to those records for the purposes described in subparagraph (A).
   (d) Policies and procedures Each designated State agency, in consultation with the State Rehabilitation Council, if the State has such a council, shall, consistent with section 720(a)(3)(C) of this title, develop and implement written policies and procedures that enable each individual who is an applicant for or eligible to receive vocational rehabilitation services under this subchapter to exercise informed choice throughout the vocational rehabilitation process carried out under this subchapter, including policies and procedures that require the designated State agency -
          (1) to inform each such applicant and eligible individual
        (including students with disabilities who are making the transition from programs under the responsibility of an educational agency to programs under the responsibility of the designated State unit), 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) to assist applicants and eligible individuals in exercising informed choice in decisions related to the provision of assessment services under this subchapter;
          (3) to develop and implement flexible procurement policies and methods that facilitate the provision of services, and that afford eligible individuals meaningful choices among the methods used to procure services, under this subchapter;
          (4) to provide or assist eligible individuals in acquiring information that enables those individuals to exercise informed choice under this subchapter in the selection of -
            (A) the employment outcome;
            (B) the specific vocational rehabilitation services needed to achieve the employment outcome;
            (C) the entity that will provide the services;
            (D) the employment setting and the settings in which the services will be provided; and
            (E) the methods available for procuring the services; and

          (5) to ensure that the availability and scope of informed choice provided under this section is consistent with the obligations of the designated State agency under this subchapter.

Sec. 723. Vocational rehabilitation services

   (a) Vocational rehabilitation services for individuals Vocational rehabilitation services provided under this subchapter are any services described in an individualized plan for employment necessary to assist an individual with a disability in preparing for, securing, retaining, or regaining an employment outcome that is consistent with the strengths, resources, priorities, concerns, abilities, capabilities, interests, and informed choice of the individual, including -
          (1) an assessment for determining eligibility and vocational rehabilitation needs by qualified personnel, including, if appropriate, an assessment by personnel skilled in rehabilitation technology;
          (2) counseling and guidance, including information and support services to assist an individual in exercising informed choice consistent with the provisions of section 722(d) of this title;
          (3) referral and other services to secure needed services from other agencies through agreements developed under section 721(a)(11) of this title, if such services are not available under this subchapter;
          (4) job-related services, including job search and placement assistance, job retention services, followup services, and follow-along services;
          (5) vocational and other training services, including the provision of personal and vocational adjustment services, books, tools, and other training materials, except that no training services provided at an institution of higher education shall be paid for with funds under this subchapter unless maximum efforts have been made by the designated State unit and the individual to secure grant assistance, in whole or in part, from other sources to pay for such training;
          (6) to the extent that financial support is not readily available from a source (such as through health insurance of the individual or through comparable services and benefits consistent with section 721(a)(8)(A) of this title), other than the designated State unit, diagnosis and treatment of physical and mental impairments, including -
            (A) corrective surgery or therapeutic treatment necessary to correct or substantially modify a physical or mental condition that constitutes a substantial impediment to employment, but is of such a nature that such correction or modification may reasonably be expected to eliminate or reduce such impediment to employment within a reasonable length of time;
            (B) necessary hospitalization in connection with surgery or treatment;
            (C) prosthetic and orthotic devices;
            (D) eyeglasses and visual services as prescribed by qualified personnel who meet State licensure laws and who are selected by the individual;
            (E) special services (including transplantation and dialysis), artificial kidneys, and supplies necessary for the treatment of individuals with end-stage renal disease; and
            (F) diagnosis and treatment for mental and emotional disorders by qualified personnel who meet State licensure laws;

          (7) maintenance for additional costs incurred while participating in an assessment for determining eligibility and vocational rehabilitation needs or while receiving services under an individualized plan for employment;
          (8) transportation, including adequate training in the use of public transportation vehicles and systems, that is provided in connection with the provision of any other service described in this section and needed by the individual to achieve an employment outcome;
          (9) on-the-job or other related personal assistance services provided while an individual is receiving other services described in this section;
          (10) interpreter services provided by qualified personnel for individuals who are deaf or hard of hearing, and reader services for individuals who are determined to be blind, after an examination by qualified personnel who meet State licensure laws;
          (11) rehabilitation teaching services, and orientation and mobility services, for individuals who are blind;
          (12) occupational licenses, tools, equipment, and initial stocks and supplies;
          (13) technical assistance and other consultation services to conduct market analyses, develop business plans, and otherwise provide resources, to the extent such resources are authorized to be provided through the statewide workforce investment system, to eligible individuals who are pursuing self-employment or telecommuting or establishing a small business operation as an employment outcome;
          (14) rehabilitation technology, including telecommunications, sensory, and other technological aids and devices;
          (15) transition services for students with disabilities, that facilitate the achievement of the employment outcome identified in the individualized plan for employment;
          (16) supported employment services;
          (17) services to the family of an individual with a disability necessary to assist the individual to achieve an employment outcome; and
          (18) specific post-employment services necessary to assist an individual with a disability to, retain, regain, or advance in employment.
   (b) Vocational rehabilitation services for groups of individuals Vocational rehabilitation services provided for the benefit of groups of individuals with disabilities may also include the following:
          (1) In the case of any type of small business operated by individuals with significant disabilities the operation of which can be improved by management services and supervision provided by the designated State agency, the provision of such services and supervision, along or together with the acquisition by the designated State agency of vending facilities or other equipment and initial stocks and supplies.
          (2)(A) The establishment, development, or improvement of community rehabilitation programs, including, under special circumstances, the construction of a facility. Such programs shall be used to provide services that promote integration and competitive employment.
          (B) The provision of other services, that promise to contribute substantially to the rehabilitation of a group of individuals but that are not related directly to the individualized plan for employment of any 1 individual with a disability.
          (3) The use of telecommunications systems (including telephone, television, satellite, radio, and other similar systems) that have the potential for substantially improving delivery methods of activities described in this section and developing appropriate programming to meet the particular needs of individuals with disabilities.
          (4)(A) 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.
          (B) Captioned television, films, or video cassettes for individuals who are deaf or hard of hearing.
          (C) Tactile materials for individuals who are deaf-blind.
          (D) Other special services that provide information through tactile, vibratory, auditory, and visual media.
          (5) Technical assistance and support services to businesses that are not subject to title I of the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 (42 U.S.C. 12111 et seq.) and that are seeking to employ individuals with disabilities.
          (6) Consultative and technical assistance services to assist educational agencies in planning for the transition of students with disabilities from school to post-school activities, including employment.

Sec. 724. Non-Federal share for establishment of program or construction

For the purpose of determining the amount of payments to States for carrying out part B of this subchapter (or to an Indian tribe under part C of this subchapter), the non-Federal share, subject to such limitations and conditions as may be prescribed in regulations by the Commissioner, shall include contributions of funds made by any private agency, organization, or individual to a State or local agency to assist in meeting the costs of establishment of a community rehabilitation program or construction, under special circumstances, of a facility for such a program, which would be regarded as State or local funds except for the condition, imposed by the contributor, limiting use of such funds to establishment of such a program or construction of such a facility.

Sec. 725. State Rehabilitation Council

   (a) Establishment
        (1) In general Except as provided in section 721(a)(21)(A)(i) of this title, to be eligible to receive financial assistance under this subchapter a State shall establish a State Rehabilitation Council
        (referred to in this section as the "Council") in accordance with this section.
        (2) Separate agency for individuals who are blind A State that designates a State agency to administer the part of the State plan under which vocational rehabilitation services are provided for individuals who are blind under section 721(a)(2)(A)(i) of this title may establish a separate Council in accordance with this section to perform the duties of such a Council with respect to such State agency.
   (b) Composition and appointment
        (1) Composition
          (A) In general
Except in the case of a separate Council established under subsection (a)(2) of this section, the Council shall be composed of -
              (i) at least one representative of the Statewide
Independent Living Council established under section 796d of this title, which representative may be the chairperson or other designee of the Council;
              (ii) at least one representative of a parent training and information center established pursuant to section 682(a) of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act [20 U.S.C. 1482(a)] (as added by section 101 of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act Amendments of 1997; Public Law 105-17);
              (iii) at least one representative of the client assistance program established under section 732 of this title;
              (iv) at least one qualified vocational rehabilitation counselor, with knowledge of and experience with vocational rehabilitation programs, who shall serve as an ex officio, nonvoting member of the Council if the counselor is an employee of the designated State agency;
              (v) at least one representative of community rehabilitation program service providers;
              (vi) four representatives of business, industry, and labor;
              (vii) representatives of disability advocacy groups representing a cross section of -
                (I) individuals with physical, cognitive, sensory, and mental disabilities; and
                (II) individuals' representatives of individuals with disabilities who have difficulty in representing themselves or are unable due to their disabilities to represent themselves;

              (viii) current or former applicants for, or recipients of, vocational rehabilitation services;
              (ix) in a State in which one or more projects are carried out under section 741 of this title, at least one representative of the directors of the projects;
              (x) at least one representative of the State educational agency responsible for the public education of students with disabilities who are eligible to receive services under this subchapter and part B of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act [20 U.S.C. 1411 et seq.]; and
              (xi) at least one representative of the State workforce investment board.
          (B) Separate Council
In the case of a separate Council established under subsection (a)(2) of this section, the Council shall be composed of -
              (i) at least one representative described in subparagraph
            (A)(i);
              (ii) at least one representative described in subparagraph
            (A)(ii);
              (iii) at least one representative described in subparagraph
            (A)(iii);
              (iv) at least one vocational rehabilitation counselor described in subparagraph (A)(iv), who shall serve as described in such subparagraph;
              (v) at least one representative described in subparagraph
            (A)(v);
              (vi) four representatives described in subparagraph
            (A)(vi);
              (vii) at least one representative of a disability advocacy group representing individuals who are blind;
              (viii) at least one individual's representative, of an individual who -
                (I) is an individual who is blind and has multiple disabilities; and
                (II) has difficulty in representing himself or herself or is unable due to disabilities to represent himself or herself;

              (ix) applicants or recipients described in subparagraph
            (A)(viii);
              (x) in a State described in subparagraph (A)(ix), at least one representative described in such subparagraph;
              (xi) at least one representative described in subparagraph
            (A)(x); and
              (xii) at least one representative described in subparagraph
            (A)(xi).
          (C) Exception
In the case of a separate Council established under subsection (a)(2) of this section, any Council that is required by State law, as in effect on October 29, 1992, to have fewer than 15 members shall be deemed to be in compliance with subparagraph (B) if the Council -
              (i) meets the requirements of subparagraph (B), other than the requirements of clauses (vi) and (ix) of such subparagraph; and
              (ii) includes at least -
                (I) one representative described in subparagraph (B)(vi); and
                (II) one applicant or recipient described in subparagraph
              (B)(ix).
        (2) Ex officio member The Director of the designated State unit shall be an ex officio, nonvoting member of the Council.
        (3) Appointment Members of the Council shall be appointed by the Governor or, in the case of a State that, under State law, vests authority for the administration of the activities carried out under this chapter in an entity other than the Governor (such as one or more houses of the State legislature or an independent board), the chief officer of that entity. The appointing authority shall select members after soliciting recommendations from representatives of organizations representing a broad range of individuals with disabilities and organizations interested in individuals with disabilities. In selecting members, the appointing authority shall consider, to the greatest extent practicable, the extent to which minority populations are represented on the Council.
        (4) Qualifications
          (A) In general A majority of Council members shall be persons who are -
              (i) individuals with disabilities described in section 705(20)(B) of this title; and
              (ii) not employed by the designated State unit.
          (B) Separate Council
In the case of a separate Council established under subsection (a)(2) of this section, a majority of Council members shall be persons who are -
              (i) blind; and
              (ii) not employed by the designated State unit.
        (5) Chairperson
          (A) In general
Except as provided in subparagraph (B), the Council shall select a chairperson from among the membership of the Council.
          (B) Designation by chief executive officer
In States in which the chief executive officer does not have veto power pursuant to State law, the appointing authority described in paragraph (3) shall designate a member of the Council to serve as the chairperson of the Council or shall require the Council to so designate such a member.
        (6) Terms of appointment
          (A) Length of term
Each member of the Council shall serve for a term of not more than 3 years, except that -
              (i) a member appointed to fill a vacancy occurring prior to the expiration of the term for which a predecessor was appointed, shall be appointed for the remainder of such term; and
              (ii) the terms of service of the members initially appointed shall be (as specified by the appointing authority described in paragraph (3)) for such fewer number of years as will provide for the expiration of terms on a staggered basis.
          (B) Number of terms
No member of the Council, other than a representative described in clause (iii) or (ix) of paragraph (1)(A), or clause (iii) or (x) of paragraph (1)(B), may serve more than two consecutive full terms.
        (7) Vacancies
          (A) In general
Except as provided in subparagraph (B), any vacancy occurring in the membership of the Council shall be filled in the same manner as the original appointment. The vacancy shall not affect the power of the remaining members to execute the duties of the Council.
          (B) Delegation
The appointing authority described in paragraph (3) may delegate the authority to fill such a vacancy to the remaining members of the Council after making the original appointment.
   (c) Functions of Council The Council shall, after consulting with the State workforce investment board -
          (1) review, analyze, and advise the designated State unit regarding the performance of the responsibilities of the unit under this subchapter, particularly responsibilities relating to -
            (A) eligibility (including order of selection);
            (B) the extent, scope, and effectiveness of services provided; and
            (C) functions performed by State agencies that affect or that potentially affect the ability of individuals with disabilities in achieving employment outcomes under this subchapter;

          (2) in partnership with the designated State unit -
            (A) develop, agree to, and review State goals and priorities in accordance with section 721(a)(15)(C) of this title; and
            (B) evaluate the effectiveness of the vocational rehabilitation program and submit reports of progress to the Commissioner in accordance with section 721(a)(15)(E) of this title;

          (3) advise the designated State agency and the designated State unit regarding activities authorized to be carried out under this subchapter, and assist in the preparation of the State plan and amendments to the plan, applications, reports, needs assessments, and evaluations required by this subchapter;
          (4) to the extent feasible, conduct a review and analysis of the effectiveness of, and consumer satisfaction with -
            (A) the functions performed by the designated State agency;
            (B) vocational rehabilitation services provided by State agencies and other public and private entities responsible for providing vocational rehabilitation services to individuals with disabilities under this chapter; and
            (C) employment outcomes achieved by eligible individuals receiving services under this subchapter, including the availability of health and other employment benefits in connection with such employment outcomes;

          (5) prepare and submit an annual report to the Governor and the Commissioner on the status of vocational rehabilitation programs operated within the State, and make the report available to the public;
          (6) to avoid duplication of efforts and enhance the number of individuals served, coordinate activities with the activities of other councils within the State, including the Statewide Independent Living Council established under section 796d of this title, the advisory panel established under section 612(a)(21) of the Individual (!1) with Disabilities Education Act [20 U.S.C. 1412(a)(21)] (as amended by section 101 of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act Amendments of 1997; Public Law 105-17), the State Council on Developmental Disabilities established under section 15025 of title 42, the State mental health planning council established under section 300x-3(a) of title 42, and the State workforce investment board;

          (7) provide for coordination and the establishment of working relationships between the designated State agency and the Statewide Independent Living Council and centers for independent living within the State; and
          (8) perform such other functions, consistent with the purpose of this subchapter, as the State Rehabilitation Council determines to be appropriate, that are comparable to the other functions performed by the Council.
   (d) Resources
        (1) Plan The Council shall prepare, in conjunction with the designated State unit, a plan for the provision of such resources, including such staff and other personnel, as may be necessary and sufficient to carry out the functions of the Council under this section. The resource plan shall, to the maximum extent possible, rely on the use of resources in existence during the period of implementation of the plan.
        (2) Resolution of disagreements To the extent that there is a disagreement between the Council and the designated State unit in regard to the resources necessary to carry out the functions of the Council as set forth in this section, the disagreement shall be resolved by the Governor consistent with paragraph (1).
        (3) Supervision and evaluation Each Council shall, consistent with State law, supervise and evaluate such staff and other personnel as may be necessary to carry out its functions under this section.
        (4) Personnel conflict of interest While assisting the Council in carrying out its duties, staff and other personnel shall not be assigned duties by the designated State unit or any other agency or office of the State, that would create a conflict of interest.
   (e) Conflict of interest No member of the Council shall cast a vote on any matter that would provide direct financial benefit to the member or otherwise give the appearance of a conflict of interest under State law.
   (f) Meetings The Council shall convene at least four meetings a year in such places as it determines to be necessary to conduct Council business and conduct such forums or hearings as the Council considers appropriate. The meetings, hearings, and forums shall be publicly announced. The meetings shall be open and accessible to the general public unless there is a valid reason for an executive session.
   (g) Compensation and expenses The Council may use funds allocated to the Council by the designated State unit under this subchapter (except for funds appropriated to carry out the client assistance program under section 732 of this title and funds reserved pursuant to section 730(c) of this title to carry out part C of this subchapter) to reimburse members of the Council for reasonable and necessary expenses of attending Council meetings and performing Council duties (including child care and personal assistance services), and to pay compensation to a member of the Council, if such member is not employed or must forfeit wages from other employment, for each day the member is engaged in performing the duties of the Council.
   (h) Hearings and forums The Council is authorized to hold such hearings and forums as the Council may determine to be necessary to carry out the duties of the Council.

Sec. 726. Evaluation standards and performance indicators

   (a) Establishment
        (1) In general
          (A) Establishment of standards and indicators
The Commissioner shall, not later than July 1, 1999, establish and publish evaluation standards and performance indicators for the vocational rehabilitation program carried out under this subchapter.
          (B) Review and revision
Effective July 1, 1999, the Commissioner shall review and, if necessary, revise the evaluation standards and performance indicators every 3 years. Any revisions of the standards and indicators shall be developed with input from State vocational rehabilitation agencies, related professional and consumer organizations, recipients of vocational rehabilitation services, and other interested parties. Any revisions of the standards and indicators shall be subject to the publication, review, and comment provisions of paragraph (3).
          (C) Bases
Effective July 1, 1999, to the maximum extent practicable, the standards and indicators shall be consistent with the core indicators of performance established under section 2871(b) of this title.
        (2) Measures The standards and indicators shall include outcome and related measures of program performance that facilitate the accomplishment of the purpose and policy of this subchapter.
        (3) Comment The standards and indicators shall be developed with input from State vocational rehabilitation agencies, related professional and consumer organizations, recipients of vocational rehabilitation services, and other interested parties. The Commissioner shall publish in the Federal Register a notice of intent to regulate regarding the development of proposed standards and indicators. Proposed standards and indicators shall be published in the Federal Register for review and comment. Final standards and indicators shall be published in the Federal Register.
   (b) Compliance
        (1) State reports In accordance with regulations established by the Secretary, each State shall report to the Commissioner after the end of each fiscal year the extent to which the State is in compliance with the standards and indicators.
        (2) Program improvement
          (A) Plan
If the Commissioner determines that the performance of any State is below established standards, the Commissioner shall provide technical assistance to the State, and the State and the Commissioner shall jointly develop a program improvement plan outlining the specific actions to be taken by the State to improve program performance.
          (B) Review
The Commissioner shall -
              (i) review the program improvement efforts of the State on a biannual basis and, if necessary, request the State to make further revisions to the plan to improve performance; and
              (ii) continue to conduct such reviews and request such revisions until the State sustains satisfactory performance over a period of more than 1 year.
   (c) Withholding If the Commissioner determines that a State whose performance falls below the established standards has failed to enter into a program improvement plan, or is not complying substantially with the terms and conditions of such a program improvement plan, the Commissioner shall, consistent with subsections (c) and (d) of section 727 of this title, reduce or make no further payments to the State under this program, until the State has entered into an approved program improvement plan, or satisfies the Commissioner that the State is complying substantially with the terms and conditions of such a program improvement plan, as appropriate.
   (d) Report to Congress Beginning in fiscal year 1999, the Commissioner shall include in each annual report to the Congress under section 710 of this title an analysis of program performance, including relative State performance, based on the standards and indicators.

Sec. 727. Monitoring and review

   (a) In general
        (1) Duties In carrying out the duties of the Commissioner under this subchapter, the Commissioner shall -
            (A) provide for the annual review and periodic onsite monitoring of programs under this subchapter; and
            (B) determine whether, in the administration of the State plan, a State is complying substantially with the provisions of such plan and with evaluation standards and performance indicators established under section 726 of this title.
        (2) Procedures for reviews In conducting reviews under this section the Commissioner shall consider, at a minimum -
            (A) State policies and procedures;
            (B) guidance materials;
            (C) decisions resulting from hearings conducted in accordance with due process;
            (D) State goals established under section 721(a)(15) of this title and the extent to which the State has achieved such goals;
            (E) plans and reports prepared under section 726(b) of this title;
            (F) consumer satisfaction reviews and analyses described in section 725(c)(4) of this title;
            (G) information provided by the State Rehabilitation Council established under section 725 of this title, if the State has such a Council, or by the commission described in section 721(a)(21)(A)(i) of this title, if the State has such a commission;
            (H) reports; and
            (I) budget and financial management data.
        (3) Procedures for monitoring In conducting monitoring under this section the Commissioner shall conduct -
            (A) onsite visits, including onsite reviews of records to verify that the State is following requirements regarding the order of selection set forth in section 721(a)(5)(A) of this title;
            (B) public hearings and other strategies for collecting information from the public;
            (C) meetings with the State Rehabilitation Council, if the State has such a Council or with the commission described in section 721(a)(21)(A)(i) of this title, if the State has such a commission;
            (D) reviews of individual case files, including individualized plans for employment and ineligibility determinations; and
            (E) meetings with qualified vocational rehabilitation counselors and other personnel.
        (4) Areas of inquiry In conducting the review and monitoring, the Commissioner shall examine -
            (A) the eligibility process;
            (B) the provision of services, including, if applicable, the order of selection;
            (C) such other areas as may be identified by the public or through meetings with the State Rehabilitation Council, if the State has such a Council or with the commission described in section 721(a)(21)(A)(i) of this title, if the State has such a commission; and
            (D) such other areas of inquiry as the Commissioner may consider appropriate.
        (5) Reports If the Commissioner issues a report detailing the findings of an annual review or onsite monitoring conducted under this section, the report shall be made available to the State Rehabilitation Council, if the State has such a Council, for use in the development and modification of the State plan described in section 721 of this title.
   (b) Technical assistance The Commissioner shall -
          (1) provide technical assistance to programs under this subchapter regarding improving the quality of vocational rehabilitation services provided; and
          (2) provide technical assistance and establish a corrective action plan for a program under this subchapter if the Commissioner finds that the program fails to comply substantially with the provisions of the State plan, or with evaluation standards or performance indicators established under section 726 of this title, in order to ensure that such failure is corrected as soon as practicable.
   (c) Failure to comply with plan
        (1) Withholding payments Whenever the Commissioner, after providing reasonable notice and an opportunity for a hearing to the State agency administering or supervising the administration of the State plan approved under section 721 of this title, finds that -
            (A) the plan has been so changed that it no longer complies with the requirements of section 721(a) of this title; or
            (B) in the administration of the plan there is a failure to comply substantially with any provision of such plan or with an evaluation standard or performance indicator established under section 726 of this title,
the Commissioner shall notify such State agency that no further payments will be made to the State under this subchapter (or, in the discretion of the Commissioner, that such further payments will be reduced, in accordance with regulations the Commissioner shall prescribe, or that further payments will not be made to the State only for the projects under the parts of the State plan affected by such failure), until the Commissioner is satisfied there is no longer any such failure.
        (2) Period Until the Commissioner is so satisfied, the Commissioner shall make no further payments to such State under this subchapter (or shall reduce payments or limit payments to projects under those parts of the State plan in which there is no such failure).
        (3) Disbursal of withheld funds The Commissioner may, in accordance with regulations the Secretary shall prescribe, disburse any funds withheld from a State under paragraph (1) to any public or nonprofit private organization or agency within such State or to any political subdivision of such State submitting a plan meeting the requirements of section 721(a) of this title. The Commissioner may not make any payment under this paragraph unless the entity to which such payment is made has provided assurances to the Commissioner that such entity will contribute, for purposes of carrying out such plan, the same amount as the State would have been obligated to contribute if the State received such payment.
   (d) Review
        (1) Petition Any State that is dissatisfied with a final determination of the Commissioner under section 721(b) of this title or subsection (c) of this section may file a petition for judicial review of such determination in the United States Court of Appeals for the circuit in which the State is located. Such a petition may be filed only within the 30-day period beginning on the date that notice of such final determination was received by the State. The clerk of the court shall transmit a copy of the petition to the Commissioner or to any officer designated by the Commissioner for that purpose. In accordance with section 2112 of title 28, the Commissioner shall file with the court a record of the proceeding on which the Commissioner based the determination being appealed by the State. Until a record is so filed, the Commissioner may modify or set aside any determination made under such proceedings.
        (2) Submissions and determinations If, in an action under this subsection to review a final determination of the Commissioner under section 721(b) of this title or subsection (c) of this section, the petitioner or the Commissioner applies to the court for leave to have additional oral submissions or written presentations made respecting such determination, the court may, for good cause shown, order the Commissioner to provide within 30 days an additional opportunity to make such submissions and presentations. Within such period, the Commissioner may revise any findings of fact, modify or set aside the determination being reviewed, or make a new determination by reason of the additional submissions and presentations, and shall file such modified or new determination, and any revised findings of fact, with the return of such submissions and presentations. The court shall thereafter review such new or modified determination.
        (3) Standards of review
          (A) In general
Upon the filing of a petition under paragraph (1) for judicial review of a determination, the court shall have jurisdiction -
              (i) to grant appropriate relief as provided in chapter 7 of title 5, except for interim relief with respect to a determination under subsection (c) of this section; and
              (ii) except as otherwise provided in subparagraph (B), to review such determination in accordance with chapter 7 of title 5.
          (B) Substantial evidence
Section 706 of title 5 shall apply to the review of any determination under this subsection, except that the standard for review prescribed by paragraph (2)(E) of such section 706 shall not apply and the court shall hold unlawful and set aside such determination if the court finds that the determination is not supported by substantial evidence in the record of the proceeding submitted pursuant to paragraph (1), as supplemented by any additional submissions and presentations filed under paragraph (2).

Sec. 728. Expenditure of certain amounts

   (a) Expenditure Amounts described in subsection (b) of this section may not be expended by a State for any purpose other than carrying out programs for which the State receives financial assistance under this subchapter, under part B of subchapter VI of this chapter, or under subchapter VII of this chapter.
   (b) Amounts The amounts referred to in subsection (a) of this section are amounts provided to a State under the Social Security Act (42 U.S.C. 301 et seq.) as reimbursement for the expenditure of payments received by the State from allotments under section 730 of this title.

Sec. 728a. Training of employers with respect to Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990

A State may expend payments received under section 731 of this title -
          (1) to carry out a program to train employers with respect to compliance with the requirements of title I of the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 (42 U.S.C. 12111 et seq.); and
          (2) to inform employers of the existence of the program and the availability of the services of the program.

PART B - BASIC VOCATIONAL REHABILITATION SERVICES
Sec. 730. State allotments

   (a) Computation; additional amount; minimum amount; adjustments
        (1) Subject to the provisions of subsection (c) of this section, for each fiscal year beginning before October 1, 1978, each State shall be entitled to an allotment of an amount bearing the same ratio to the amount authorized to be appropriated under section 720(b)(1) of this title for allotment under this section as the product of -
          (A) the population of the State; and
          (B) the square of its allotment percentage,
bears to the sum of the corresponding products for all the States.
        (2)(A) For each fiscal year beginning on or after October 1, 1978, each State shall be entitled to an allotment in an amount equal to the amount such State received under paragraph (1) for the fiscal year ending September 30, 1978, and an additional amount determined pursuant to subparagraph (B) of this paragraph.
        (B) For each fiscal year beginning on or after October 1, 1978, each State shall be entitled to an allotment, from any amount authorized to be appropriated for such fiscal year under section 720(b)(1) of this title for allotment under this section in excess of the amount appropriated under section 720(b)(1)(A) (!1) of this title for the fiscal year ending September 30, 1978, in an amount equal to the sum of -

          (i) an amount bearing the same ratio to 50 percent of such excess amount as the product of the population of the State and the square of its allotment percentage bears to the sum of the corresponding products for all the States; and
          (ii) an amount bearing the same ratio to 50 percent of such excess amount as the product of the population of the State and its allotment percentage bears to the sum of the corresponding products for all the States.

        (3) The sum of the payment to any State (other than Guam, American Samoa, the Virgin Islands, and the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands) under this subsection for any fiscal year which is less than 1/3 of 1 percent of the amount appropriated under section 720(b)(1) of this title, or $3,000,000, whichever is greater, shall be increased to that amount, the total of the increases thereby required being derived by proportionately reducing the allotment to each of the remaining such States under this subsection, but with such adjustments as may be necessary to prevent the sum of the allotments made under this subsection to any such remaining State from being thereby reduced to less than that amount.
   (b) Unused funds; redistribution; increase in amount
        (1) Not later than 45 days prior to the end of the fiscal year, the Commissioner shall determine, after reasonable opportunity for the submission to the Commissioner of comments by the State agency administering or supervising the program established under this subchapter, that any payment of an allotment to a State under section 731(a) of this title for any fiscal year will not be utilized by such State in carrying out the purposes of this subchapter.
        (2) As soon as practicable but not later than the end of the fiscal year, the Commissioner shall make such amount available for carrying out the purposes of this subchapter to one or more other States to the extent the Commissioner determines such other State will be able to use such additional amount during that fiscal year or the subsequent fiscal year for carrying out such purposes. The Commissioner shall make such amount available only if such other State will be able to make sufficient payments from non-Federal sources to pay for the non-Federal share of the cost of vocational rehabilitation services under the State plan for the fiscal year for which the amount was appropriated.
        (3) For the purposes of this part, any amount made available to a State for any fiscal year pursuant to this subsection shall be regarded as an increase of such State's allotment (as determined under the preceding provisions of this section) for such year.
   (c) Funds for American Indian vocational rehabilitation services
        (1) For fiscal year 1987 and for each subsequent fiscal year, the Commissioner shall reserve from the amount appropriated under section 720(b)(1) of this title for allotment under this section a sum, determined under paragraph (2), to carry out the purposes of part C of this subchapter.
        (2) The sum referred to in paragraph (1) shall be, as determined by the Secretary -
          (A) not less than three-quarters of 1 percent and not more than 1.5 percent of the amount referred to in paragraph (1), for fiscal year 1999; and
          (B) not less than 1 percent and not more than 1.5 percent of the amount referred to in paragraph (1), for each of fiscal years 2000 through 2003.

Sec. 731. Payments to States

   (a) Amount
        (1) Except as provided in paragraph (2), from each State's allotment under this part for any fiscal year, the Commissioner shall pay to a State an amount equal to the Federal share of the cost of vocational rehabilitation services under the plan for that State approved under section 721 of this title, including expenditures for the administration of the State plan.
        (2)(A) The total of payments under paragraph (1) to a State for a fiscal year may not exceed its allotment under subsection (a) of section 730 of this title for such year.
        (B) For fiscal year 1994 and each fiscal year thereafter, the amount otherwise payable to a State for a fiscal year under this section shall be reduced by the amount by which expenditures from non-Federal sources under the State plan under this subchapter for the previous fiscal year are less than the total of such expenditures for the second fiscal year preceding the previous fiscal year.
        (C) The Commissioner may waive or modify any requirement or limitation under subparagraph (B) or section 721(a)(17) of this title if the Commissioner determines that a waiver or modification is an equitable response to exceptional or uncontrollable circumstances affecting the State.
        (3)(A) Except as provided in subparagraph (B), the amount of a payment under this section with respect to any construction project in any State shall be equal to the same percentage of the cost of such project as the Federal share that is applicable in the case of rehabilitation facilities (as defined in section 291o(g) of title 42), in such State.
        (B) If the Federal share with respect to rehabilitation facilities in such State is determined pursuant to section 291o(b)(2) of title 42, the percentage of the cost for purposes of this section shall be determined in accordance with regulations prescribed by the Commissioner designed to achieve as nearly as practicable results comparable to the results obtained under such section.
   (b) Method of computation and payment The method of computing and paying amounts pursuant to subsection(a) of this section shall be as follows:
          (1) The Commissioner shall, prior to the beginning of each calendar quarter or other period prescribed by the Commissioner, estimate the amount to be paid to each State under the provisions of such subsection for such period, such estimate to be based on such records of the State and information furnished by it, and such other investigation as the Commissioner may find necessary.
          (2) The Commissioner shall pay, from the allotment available therefor, the amount so estimated by the Commissioner for such period, reduced or increased, as the case may be, by any sum (not previously adjusted under this paragraph) by which the Commissioner finds that the estimate of the amount to be paid the State for any prior period under such subsection was greater or less than the amount which should have been paid to the State for such prior period under such subsection. Such payment shall be made prior to audit or settlement by the General Accounting Office, shall be made through the disbursing facilities of the Treasury Department, and shall be made in such installments as the Commissioner may determine.

Sec. 732. Client assistance program

   (a) Establishment of grant program From funds appropriated under subsection (h) of this section, the Secretary shall, in accordance with this section, make grants to States to establish and carry out client assistance programs to provide assistance in informing and advising all clients and client applicants of all available benefits under this chapter, and, upon request of such clients or client applicants, to assist and advocate for such clients or applicants in their relationships with projects, programs, and services provided under this chapter, including assistance and advocacy in pursuing legal, administrative, or other appropriate remedies to ensure the protection of the rights of such individuals under this chapter and to facilitate access to the services funded under this chapter through individual and systemic advocacy. The client assistance program shall provide information on the available services and benefits under this chapter and title I of the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 (42 U.S.C. 12111 et seq.) to individuals with disabilities in the State, especially with regard to individuals with disabilities who have traditionally been unserved or underserved by vocational rehabilitation programs. In providing assistance and advocacy under this subsection with respect to services under this subchapter, a client assistance program may provide the assistance and advocacy with respect to services that are directly related to facilitating the employment of the individual.
   (b) Existence of State program as requisite to receiving payments No State may receive payments from its allotment under this chapter in any fiscal year unless the State has in effect not later than October 1, 1984, a client assistance program which -
          (1) has the authority to pursue legal, administrative, and other appropriate remedies to ensure the protection of rights of individuals with disabilities who are receiving treatments, services, or rehabilitation under this chapter within the State; and
          (2) meets the requirements of designation under subsection (c) of this section.
   (c) Designation of agency to conduct program
        (1)(A) The Governor shall designate a public or private agency to conduct the client assistance program under this section. Except as provided in the last sentence of this subparagraph, the Governor shall designate an agency which is independent of any agency which provides treatment, services, or rehabilitation to individuals under this chapter. If there is an agency in the State which has, or had, prior to February 22, 1984, served as a client assistance agency under this section and which received Federal financial assistance under this chapter, the Governor may, in the initial designation, designate an agency which provides treatment, services, or rehabilitation to individuals with disabilities under this chapter.
        (B)(i) The Governor may not redesignate the agency designated under subparagraph (A) without good cause and unless -
          (I) the Governor has given the agency 30 days notice of the intention to make such redesignation, including specification of the good cause for such redesignation and an opportunity to respond to the assertion that good cause has been shown;
          (II) individuals with disabilities or the individuals' representatives have timely notice of the redesignation and opportunity for public comment; and
          (III) the agency has the opportunity to appeal to the Commissioner on the basis that the redesignation was not for good cause.

        (ii) If, after August 7, 1998 -
          (I) a designated State agency undergoes any change in the organizational structure of the agency that results in the creation of one or more new State agencies or departments or results in the merger of the designated State agency with one or more other State agencies or departments; and
          (II) an agency (including an office or other unit) within the designated State agency was conducting a client assistance program before the change under the last sentence of subparagraph
        (A),
the Governor shall redesignate the agency conducting the program. In conducting the redesignation, the Governor shall designate to conduct the program an agency that is independent of any agency that provides treatment, services, or rehabilitation to individuals with disabilities under this chapter.
        (2) In carrying out the provisions of this section, the Governor shall consult with the director of the State vocational rehabilitation agency, the head of the developmental disability protection and advocacy agency, and with representatives of professional and consumer organizations serving individuals with disabilities in the State.
        (3) The agency designated under this subsection shall be accountable for the proper use of funds made available to the agency.
   (d) Class action by designated agency prohibited The agency designated under subsection (c) of this section may not bring any class action in carrying out its responsibilities under this section.
   (e) Allotment and reallotment of funds
        (1)(A) The Secretary shall allot the sums appropriated for each fiscal year under this section among the States on the basis of relative population of each State, except that no State shall receive less than $50,000.
        (B) The Secretary shall allot $30,000 each to American Samoa, Guam, the Virgin Islands, and the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands.
        (C) For the purpose of this paragraph, the term "State" does not include American Samoa, Guam, the Virgin Islands, and the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands.
        (D)(i) In any fiscal year that the funds appropriated for such fiscal year exceed $7,500,000, the minimum allotment shall be $100,000 for States and $45,000 for territories.
        (ii) For any fiscal year in which the total amount appropriated under subsection (h) of this section exceeds the total amount appropriated under such subsection for the preceding fiscal year, the Secretary shall increase each of the minimum allotments under clause (i) by a percentage that shall not exceed the percentage increase in the total amount appropriated under such subsection between the preceding fiscal year and the fiscal year involved.
        (2) The amount of an allotment to a State for a fiscal year which the Secretary determines will not be required by the State during the period for which it is available for the purpose for which allotted shall be available for reallotment by the Secretary at appropriate times to other States with respect to which such a determination has not been made, in proportion to the original allotments of such States for such fiscal year, but with such proportionate amount for any of such other States being reduced to the extent it exceeds the sum the Secretary estimates such State needs and will be able to use during such period, and the total of such reduction shall be similarly reallotted among the States whose proportionate amounts were not so reduced. Any such amount so reallotted to a State for a fiscal year shall be deemed to be a part of its allotment for such fiscal year.
        (3) Except as specifically prohibited by or as otherwise provided in State law, the Secretary shall pay to the agency designated under subsection (c) of this section the amount specified in the application approved under subsection (f) of this section.
   (f) Application by State for grant funds No grant may be made under this section unless the State submits an application to the Secretary at such time, in such manner, and containing or accompanied by such information as the Secretary deems necessary to meet the requirements of this section.
   (g) Regulations; minimum requirements The Secretary shall prescribe regulations applicable to the client assistance program which shall include the following requirements:
          (1) No employees of such programs shall, while so employed, serve as staff or consultants of any rehabilitation project, program, or facility receiving assistance under this chapter in the State.
          (2) Each program shall be afforded reasonable access to policymaking and administrative personnel in the State and local rehabilitation programs, projects, or facilities.
          (3)(A) Each program shall contain provisions designed to assure that to the maximum extent possible alternative means of dispute resolution are available for use at the discretion of an applicant or client of the program prior to resorting to litigation or formal adjudication to resolve a dispute arising under this section.
          (B) In subparagraph (A), the term "alternative means of dispute resolution" means any procedure, including good faith negotiation, conciliation, facilitation, mediation, factfinding, and arbitration, and any combination of procedures, that is used in lieu of litigation in a court or formal adjudication in an administrative forum, to resolve a dispute arising under this section.
          (4) For purposes of any periodic audit, report, or evaluation of the performance of a client assistance program under this section, the Secretary shall not require such a program to disclose the identity of, or any other personally identifiable information related to, any individual requesting assistance under such program.
   (h) Authorization of appropriations There are authorized to be appropriated such sums as may be necessary for fiscal years 1999 through 2003 to carry out the provisions of this section.
PART C - AMERICAN INDIAN VOCATIONAL REHABILITATION SERVICES

Sec. 741. Vocational rehabilitation services grants

   (a) Governing bodies of Indian tribes; amount; non-Federal share The Commissioner, in accordance with the provisions of this part, may make grants to the governing bodies of Indian tribes located on Federal and State reservations (and consortia of such governing bodies) to pay 90 percent of the costs of vocational rehabilitation services for American Indians who are individuals with disabilities residing on or near such reservations. The non-Federal share of such costs may be in cash or in kind, fairly valued, and the Commissioner may waive such non-Federal share requirement in order to carry out the purposes of this chapter.
   (b) Application; effective period; continuation of programs and services; separate service delivery systems
        (1) No grant may be made under this part for any fiscal year unless an application therefor has been submitted to and approved by the Commissioner. The Commissioner may not approve an application unless the application -
          (A) is made at such time, in such manner, and contains such information as the Commissioner may require;
          (B) contains assurances that the rehabilitation services provided under this part to American Indians who are individuals with disabilities residing on or near a reservation in a State shall be, to the maximum extent feasible, comparable to rehabilitation services provided under this subchapter to other individuals with disabilities residing in the State and that, where appropriate, may include services traditionally used by Indian tribes; and
          (C) contains assurances that the application was developed in consultation with the designated State unit of the State.

        (2) The provisions of sections 450c, 450d, 450e, and 450f(a) of title 25 shall be applicable to any application submitted under this part. For purposes of this paragraph, any reference in any such provision to the Secretary of Education or to the Secretary of the Interior shall be considered to be a reference to the Commissioner.
        (3) Any application approved under this part shall be effective for not more than 60 months, except as determined otherwise by the Commissioner pursuant to prescribed regulations. The State shall continue to provide vocational rehabilitation services under its State plan to American Indians residing on or near a reservation whenever such State includes any such American Indians in its State population under section 730(a)(1) of this title.
        (4) In making grants under this part, the Secretary shall give priority consideration to applications for the continuation of programs which have been funded under this part.
        (5) Nothing in this section may be construed to authorize a separate service delivery system for Indian residents of a State who reside in non-reservation areas.
   (c) "Reservation" defined The term "reservation" includes Indian reservations, public domain Indian allotments, former Indian reservations in Oklahoma, and land held by incorporated Native groups, regional corporations, and village corporations under the provisions of the Alaska Native Claims Settlement Act [43 U.S.C. 1601 et seq.].

PART D - VOCATIONAL REHABILITATION SERVICES CLIENT INFORMATION

Sec. 751. Data sharing

   (a) In general
        (1) Memorandum of understanding The Secretary of Education and the Secretary of Health and Human Services shall enter into a memorandum of understanding for the purposes of exchanging data of mutual importance -
            (A) that concern clients of designated State agencies; and
            (B) that are data maintained either by -
              (i) the Rehabilitation Services Administration, as required by section 710 of this title; or
              (ii) the Social Security Administration, from its Summary
Earnings and Records and Master Beneficiary Records.
        (2) Employment statistics The Secretary of Labor shall provide the Commissioner with employment statistics specified in section 49l-2 of this title, that facilitate evaluation by the Commissioner of the program carried out under part B of this subchapter, and allow the Commissioner to compare the progress of individuals with disabilities who are assisted under the program in securing, retaining, regaining, and advancing in employment with the progress made by individuals who are assisted under title I of the Workforce Investment Act of 1998 [29 U.S.C. 2801 et seq.].
   (b) Treatment of information For purposes of the exchange described in subsection (a)(1) of this section, the data described in subsection (a)(1)(B)(ii) of this section shall not be considered return information (as defined in section 6103(b)(2) of title 26) and, as appropriate, the confidentiality of all client information shall be maintained by the Rehabilitation Services Administration and the Social Security Administration.

SUBCHAPTER II - RESEARCH AND TRAINING

Sec. 760. Declaration of purpose

The purpose of this subchapter is to -
          (1) provide for research, demonstration projects, training, and related activities to maximize the full inclusion and integration into society, employment, independent living, family support, and economic and social self-sufficiency of individuals with disabilities of all ages, with particular emphasis on improving the effectiveness of services authorized under this chapter;
          (2) provide for a comprehensive and coordinated approach to the support and conduct of such research, demonstration projects, training, and related activities and to ensure that the approach is in accordance with the 5-year plan developed under section 762(h) of this title;
          (3) promote the transfer of rehabilitation technology to individuals with disabilities through research and demonstration projects relating to -
            (A) the procurement process for the purchase of rehabilitation technology;
            (B) the utilization of rehabilitation technology on a national basis;
            (C) specific adaptations or customizations of products to enable individuals with disabilities to live more independently; and
            (D) the development or transfer of assistive technology;

          (4) ensure the widespread distribution, in usable formats, of practical scientific and technological information -
            (A) generated by research, demonstration projects, training, and related activities; and
            (B) regarding state-of-the-art practices, improvements in the services authorized under this chapter, rehabilitation technology, and new knowledge regarding disabilities,
to rehabilitation professionals, individuals with disabilities, and other interested parties, including the general public;
          (5) identify effective strategies that enhance the opportunities of individuals with disabilities to engage in employment, including employment involving telecommuting and self-employment; and
          (6) increase opportunities for researchers who are members of traditionally underserved populations, including researchers who are members of minority groups and researchers who are individuals with disabilities.

Sec. 761. Authorization of appropriations

        (a) There are authorized to be appropriated -
          (1) for the purpose of providing for the expenses of the National Institute on Disability and Rehabilitation Research under section 762 of this title, which shall include the expenses of the Rehabilitation Research Advisory Council under section 765 of this title, and shall not include the expenses of such Institute to carry out section 764 of this title, such sums as may be necessary for each of fiscal years 1999 through 2003; and
          (2) to carry out section 764 of this title, such sums as may be necessary for each of fiscal years 1999 through 2003.

        (b) Funds appropriated under this subchapter shall remain available until expended.

Sec. 762. National Institute on Disability and Rehabilitation Research

   (a) Establishment; Director as principal officer
        (1) There is established within the Department of Education a National Institute on Disability and Rehabilitation Research (hereinafter in this subchapter referred to as the "Institute"), which shall be headed by a Director (hereinafter in this subchapter referred to as the "Director"), in order to -
          (A) promote, coordinate, and provide for -
            (i) research;
            (ii) demonstration projects and training; and
            (iii) related activities,
with respect to individuals with disabilities;
          (B) more effectively carry out activities through the programs under section 764 of this title and activities under this section;
          (C) widely disseminate information from the activities described in subparagraphs (A) and (B); and
          (D) provide leadership in advancing the quality of life of individuals with disabilities.

        (2) In the performance of the functions of the office, the Director shall be directly responsible to the Secretary or to the same Under Secretary or Assistant Secretary of the Department of Education to whom the Commissioner is responsible under section 702(a) of this title.
   (b) Duties of Director The Director, through the Institute, shall be responsible for -
          (1) administering the programs described in section 764 of this title and activities under this section;
          (2) widely disseminating findings, conclusions, and recommendations, resulting from research, demonstration projects, training, and related activities (referred to in this subchapter as "covered activities") funded by the Institute, to -
            (A) other Federal, State, tribal, and local public agencies;
            (B) private organizations engaged in research relating to rehabilitation or providing rehabilitation services;
            (C) rehabilitation practitioners; and
            (D) individuals with disabilities and the individuals' representatives;

          (3) coordinating, through the Interagency Committee established by section 763 of this title, all Federal programs and policies relating to research in rehabilitation;
          (4) widely disseminating educational materials and research results, concerning ways to maximize the full inclusion and integration into society, employment, independent living, family support, and economic and social self-sufficiency of individuals with disabilities, to -
            (A) public and private entities, including -
              (i) elementary and secondary schools (as defined in section 7801 of title 20; (!1) and

              (ii) institutions of higher education;

            (B) rehabilitation practitioners;
            (C) individuals with disabilities (especially such individuals who are members of minority groups or of populations that are unserved or underserved by programs under this chapter); and
            (D) the individuals' representatives for the individuals described in subparagraph (C);

          (5)(A) conducting an education program to inform the public about ways of providing for the rehabilitation of individuals with disabilities, including information relating to -
            (i) family care;
            (ii) self-care; and
            (iii) assistive technology devices and assistive technology services; and

          (B) as part of the program, disseminating engineering information about assistive technology devices;
          (6) conducting conferences, seminars, and workshops (including in-service training programs and programs for individuals with disabilities) concerning advances in rehabilitation research and rehabilitation technology (including advances concerning the selection and use of assistive technology devices and assistive technology services), pertinent to the full inclusion and integration into society, employment, independent living, family support, and economic and social self-sufficiency of individuals with disabilities;
          (7) taking whatever action is necessary to keep the Congress fully and currently informed with respect to the implementation and conduct of programs and activities carried out under this subchapter, including dissemination activities;
          (8) producing, in conjunction with the Department of Labor, the National Center for Health Statistics, the Bureau of the Census, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, the Social Security Administration, the Bureau of Indian Affairs, the Indian Health Service, and other Federal departments and agencies, as may be appropriate, statistical reports and studies on the employment, self-employment, telecommuting, health, income, and other demographic characteristics of individuals with disabilities, including information on individuals with disabilities who live in rural or inner-city settings, with particular attention given to underserved populations, and widely disseminating such reports and studies to rehabilitation professionals, individuals with disabilities, the individuals' representatives, and others to assist in the planning, assessment, and evaluation of vocational and other rehabilitation services for individuals with disabilities;
          (9) conducting research on consumer satisfaction with vocational rehabilitation services for the purpose of identifying effective rehabilitation programs and policies that promote the independence of individuals with disabilities and achievement of long-term vocational goals;
          (10) conducting research to examine the relationship between the provision of specific services and successful, sustained employment outcomes, including employment outcomes involving self-employment and telecommuting; and
          (11) coordinating activities with the Attorney General regarding the provision of information, training, or technical assistance regarding the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990
        (42 U.S.C. 12101 et seq.) to ensure consistency with the plan for technical assistance required under section 506 of such Act (42 U.S.C. 12206).
   (c) Development and dissemination of models
        (1) The Director, acting through the Institute or one or more entities funded by the Institute, shall provide for the development and dissemination of models to address consumer-driven information needs related to assistive technology devices and assistive technology services.
        (2) The development and dissemination of models may include -
          (A) convening groups of individuals with disabilities, family members and advocates of such individuals, commercial producers of assistive technology, and entities funded by the Institute to develop, assess, and disseminate knowledge about information needs related to assistive technology;
          (B) identifying the types of information regarding assistive technology devices and assistive technology services that individuals with disabilities find especially useful;
          (C) evaluating current models, and developing new models, for transmitting the information described in subparagraph (B) to consumers and to commercial producers of assistive technology; and
          (D) disseminating through one or more entities funded by the Institute, the models described in subparagraph (C) and findings regarding the information described in subparagraph (B) to consumers and commercial producers of assistive technology.
   (d) Appointment of Director; employment of technical and professional personnel; consultants
        (1) The Director of the Institute shall be appointed by the Secretary. The Director shall be an individual with substantial experience in rehabilitation and in research administration.
        (2) The Director, subject to the approval of the President, may appoint, for terms not to exceed three years, without regard to the provisions of title 5 governing appointment in the competitive service, and may compensate, without regard to the provisions of chapter 51 and subchapter III of chapter 53 of such title relating to classification and General Schedule pay rates, such technical and professional employees of the Institute as the Director determines to be necessary to accomplish the functions of the Institute and also appoint and compensate without regard to such provisions, in a number not to exceed one-fifth of the number of full-time, regular technical and professional employees of the Institute.
        (3) The Director may obtain the services of consultants, without regard to the provisions of title 5 governing appointments in the competitive service.
   (e) Fellowships The Director, pursuant to regulations which the Secretary shall prescribe, may establish and maintain fellowships with such stipends and allowances, including travel and subsistence expenses provided for under title 5, as the Director considers necessary to procure the assistance of highly qualified research fellows, including individuals with disabilities, from the United States and foreign countries.
   (f) Scientific peer review of research, training, and demonstration projects
        (1) The Director shall provide for scientific peer review of all applications for financial assistance for research, training, and demonstration projects over which the Director has authority. The scientific peer review shall be conducted by individuals who are not Federal employees, who are scientists or other experts in the rehabilitation field (including the independent living field), including knowledgeable individuals with disabilities, and the individuals' representatives, and who are competent to review applications for the financial assistance.
        (2) In providing for such scientific peer review, the Secretary shall provide for training, as necessary and appropriate, to facilitate the effective participation of those individuals selected to participate in such review.
   (g) Use of funds Not less than 90 percent of the funds appropriated under this subchapter for any fiscal year shall be expended by the Director to carry out activities under this subchapter through grants, contracts, or cooperative agreements. Up to 10 percent of the funds appropriated under this subchapter for any fiscal year may be expended directly for the purpose of carrying out the functions of the Director under this section.
   (h) 5-year plan
        (1) The Director shall -
          (A) by October 1, 1998, and every fifth October 1 thereafter, prepare and publish in the Federal Register for public comment a draft of a 5-year plan that outlines priorities for rehabilitation research, demonstration projects, training, and related activities and explains the basis for such priorities;
          (B) by June 1, 1999, and every fifth June 1 thereafter, after considering public comments, submit the plan in final form to the appropriate committees of Congress;
          (C) at appropriate intervals, prepare and submit revisions in the plan to the appropriate committees of Congress; and
          (D) annually prepare and submit progress reports on the plan to the appropriate committees of Congress.

        (2) Such plan shall -
          (A) identify any covered activity that should be conducted under this section and section 764 of this title respecting the full inclusion and integration into society of individuals with disabilities, especially in the area of employment;
          (B) determine the funding priorities for covered activities to be conducted under this section and section 764 of this title;
          (C) specify appropriate goals and timetables for covered activities to be conducted under this section and section 764 of this title;
          (D) be developed by the Director -
            (i) after consultation with the Rehabilitation Research Advisory Council established under section 765 of this title;
            (ii) in coordination with the Commissioner;
            (iii) after consultation with the National Council on Disability established under subchapter IV of this chapter, the Secretary of Education, officials responsible for the administration of the Developmental Disabilities Assistance and Bill of Rights Act of 2000 [42 U.S.C. 15001 et seq.], and the Interagency Committee on Disability Research established under section 763 of this title; and
            (iv) after full consideration of the input of individuals with disabilities and the individuals' representatives, organizations representing individuals with disabilities, providers of services furnished under this chapter, researchers in the rehabilitation field, and any other persons or entities the Director considers to be appropriate;

          (E) specify plans for widespread dissemination of the results of covered activities, in accessible formats, to rehabilitation practitioners, individuals with disabilities, and the individuals' representatives; and
          (F) specify plans for widespread dissemination of the results of covered activities that concern individuals with disabilities who are members of minority groups or of populations that are unserved or underserved by programs carried out under this chapter.
   (i) Cooperation and consultation with other agencies and departments on design of research programs In order to promote cooperation among Federal departments and agencies conducting research programs, the Director shall consult with the administrators of such programs, and with the Interagency Committee established by section 763 of this title, regarding the design of research projects conducted by such entities and the results and applications of such research.
   (j) Comprehensive and coordinated research program; interagency cooperation; research and training center
        (1) The Director shall take appropriate actions to provide for a comprehensive and coordinated research program under this subchapter. In providing such a program, the Director may undertake joint activities with other Federal entities engaged in research and with appropriate private entities. Any Federal entity proposing to establish any research project related to the purposes of this chapter shall consult, through the Interagency Committee established by section 763 of this title, with the Director as Chairperson of such Committee and provide the Director with sufficient prior opportunity to comment on such project.
        (2) Any person responsible for administering any program of the National Institutes of Health, the Department of Veterans Affairs, the National Science Foundation, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration, the Office of Special Education and Rehabilitative Services, or of any other Federal entity, shall, through the Interagency Committee established by section 763 of this title, consult and cooperate with the Director in carrying out such program if the program is related to the purposes of this subchapter.
        (3) The Director shall support, directly or by grant or contract, a center associated with an institution of higher education, for research and training concerning the delivery of vocational rehabilitation services to rural areas.
   (k) Grants for training The Director shall make grants to institutions of higher education for the training of rehabilitation researchers, including individuals with disabilities, with particular attention to research areas that support the implementation and objectives of this chapter and that improve the effectiveness of services authorized under this chapter.

Sec. 762a. Research and demonstration projects

   (a) Multiple and interrelated service needs of individuals with handicaps; report to Congress The Secretary of Education is authorized to make grants to, and to enter into contract with, public and nonprofit agencies and organizations for the purpose of research and demonstration projects specifically designed to address the multiple and interrelated service needs of individuals with handicaps, the elderly, and children, youths, adults, and families. A report evaluating each project funded under this section shall be submitted to appropriate committees of the Congress within four months after the date each such project is completed.
   (b) Authorization of appropriations There are authorized to be appropriated to carry out this section such sums as may be necessary. No funds other than those appropriated pursuant to this subsection can be used for the conduct of research specifically authorized by this section.
   (c) Study on impact of vocational rehabilitation services; transmittal to Congress Within one year after the date appropriations are made under subsection (b) of this section for purposes of research and demonstration projects under subsection (a) of this section, the Secretary shall prepare and transmit to the Congress a study concerning the impact of vocational rehabilitation services provided under the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 [29 U.S.C. 701 et seq.] on recipients of disability payments under titles II and XVI of the Social Security Act [42 U.S.C. 401 et seq., 1381 et seq.]. The study shall examine the relationship between the vocational rehabilitation services provided under the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 and the programs under sections 222 and 1615 of the Social Security Act [42 U.S.C. 422, 1382d], and shall include -
          (1) an analysis of the savings in disability benefit payments under titles II and XVI of the Social Security Act as a result of the provision of vocational rehabilitation services under the Rehabilitation Act of 1973;
          (2) a specification of the rate of return to the active labor force by recipients of services under sections 222 and 1615 of the Social Security Act;
          (3) a specification of the total amount of expenditures, in the five fiscal years preceding the date of submission of the report, for vocational rehabilitation services under the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 and under sections 222 and 1615 of the Social Security Act, and recommendations for the coordinated presentation of such expenditures in the Budget submitted by the President pursuant to section 1105 of title 31; and
          (4) recommendations to improve the coordination of services under the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 with programs under sections 222 and 1615 of the Social Security Act, including recommendations for increasing savings in disability benefits payments and the rate of return to the active labor force by recipients of services under sections 222 and 1615 of the Social Security Act.

Sec. 763. Interagency Committee

   (a) Establishment; membership; meetings
        (1) In order to promote coordination and cooperation among Federal departments and agencies conducting rehabilitation research programs, including programs relating to assistive technology research and research that incorporates the principles of universal design, there is established within the Federal Government an Interagency Committee on Disability Research (hereinafter in this section referred to as the "Committee"), chaired by the Director and comprised of such members as the President may designate, including the following (or their designees): the Director, the Commissioner of the Rehabilitation Services Administration, the Assistant Secretary for Special Education and Rehabilitative Services, the Secretary of Education, the Secretary of Veterans Affairs, the Director of the National Institutes of Health, the Director of the National Institute of Mental Health, the Administrator of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration, the Secretary of Transportation, the Assistant Secretary of the Interior for Indian Affairs, the Director of the Indian Health Service, and the Director of the National Science Foundation.
        (2) The Committee shall meet not less than four times each year.
   (b) Duties
        (1) After receiving input from targeted individuals, the Committee shall identify, assess, and seek to coordinate all Federal programs, activities, and projects, and plans for such programs, activities, and projects with respect to the conduct of research (including assistive technology research and research that incorporates the principles of universal design) related to rehabilitation of individuals with disabilities.
        (2) In carrying out its duties with respect to the conduct of Federal research (including assistive technology research and research that incorporates the principles of universal design) related to rehabilitation of individuals with disabilities, the Committee shall -
          (A) share information regarding the range of assistive technology research, and research that incorporates the principles of universal design, that is being carried out by members of the Committee and other Federal departments and organizations;
          (B) identify, and make efforts to address, gaps in assistive technology research and research that incorporates the principles of universal design that are not being adequately addressed;
          (C) identify, and establish, clear research priorities related to assistive technology research and research that incorporates the principles of universal design for the Federal Government;
          (D) promote interagency collaboration and joint research activities relating to assistive technology research and research that incorporates the principles of universal design at the Federal level, and reduce unnecessary duplication of effort regarding these types of research within the Federal Government; and
          (E) optimize the productivity of Committee members through resource sharing and other cost-saving activities, related to assistive technology research and research that incorporates the principles of universal design.
   (c) Annual report Not later than December 31 of each year, the Committee shall prepare and submit, to the President and to the Committee on Education and the Workforce of the House of Representatives and the Committee on Labor and Human Resources of the Senate, a report that -
          (1) describes the progress of the Committee in fulfilling the duties described in subsection (b) of this section;
          (2) makes such recommendations as the Committee determines to be appropriate with respect to coordination of policy and development of objectives and priorities for all Federal programs relating to the conduct of research (including assistive technology research and research that incorporates the principles of universal design) related to rehabilitation of individuals with disabilities; and
          (3) describes the activities that the Committee recommended to be funded through grants, contracts, cooperative agreements, and other mechanisms, for assistive technology research and development and research and development that incorporates the principles of universal design.
   (d) Recommendations
        (1) In order to promote coordination and cooperation among Federal departments and agencies conducting assistive technology research programs, to reduce duplication of effort among the programs, and to increase the availability of assistive technology for individuals with disabilities, the Committee may recommend activities to be funded through grants, contracts or cooperative agreements, or other mechanisms -
          (A) in joint research projects for assistive technology research and research that incorporates the principles of universal design; and
          (B) in other programs designed to promote a cohesive, strategic Federal program of research described in subparagraph (A).

        (2) The projects and programs described in paragraph (1) shall be jointly administered by at least 2 agencies or departments with representatives on the Committee.
        (3) In recommending activities to be funded in the projects and programs, the Committee shall obtain input from targeted individuals, and other organizations and individuals the Committee determines to be appropriate, concerning the availability and potential of technology for individuals with disabilities.
   (e) Definitions In this section, the terms "assistive technology", "targeted individuals", and "universal design" have the meanings given the terms in section 3002 of this title.

Sec. 764. Research and other covered activities

   (a) Federal grants and contracts for certain research projects and related activities
        (1) To the extent consistent with priorities established in the 5-year plan described in section 762(h) of this title, the Director may make grants to and contracts with States and public or private agencies and organizations, including institutions of higher education, Indian tribes, and tribal organizations, to pay part of the cost of projects for the purpose of planning and conducting research, demonstration projects, training, and related activities, the purposes of which are to develop methods, procedures, and rehabilitation technology, that maximize the full inclusion and integration into society, employment, independent living, family support, and economic and social self-sufficiency of individuals with disabilities, especially individuals with the most significant disabilities, and improve the effectiveness of services authorized under this chapter.
        (2)(A) In carrying out this section, the Director shall emphasize projects that support the implementation of subchapters I, III, V, VI, and VII of this chapter, including projects addressing the needs described in the State plans submitted under section 721 or 796c of this title by State agencies.
        (B) Such projects, as described in the State plans submitted by State agencies, may include -
          (i) medical and other scientific, technical, methodological, and other investigations into the nature of disability, methods of analyzing it, and restorative techniques, including basic research where related to rehabilitation techniques or services;
          (ii) studies and analysis of industrial, vocational, social, recreational, psychiatric, psychological, economic, and other factors affecting rehabilitation of individuals with disabilities;
          (iii) studies and analysis of special problems of individuals who are homebound and individuals who are institutionalized;
          (iv) studies, analyses, and demonstrations of architectural and engineering design adapted to meet the special needs of individuals with disabilities;
          (v) studies, analyses, and other activities related to supported employment;
          (vi) related activities which hold promise of increasing knowledge and improving methods in the rehabilitation of individuals with disabilities and individuals with the most significant disabilities, particularly individuals with disabilities, and individuals with the most significant disabilities, who are members of populations that are unserved or underserved by programs under this chapter; and
          (vii) studies, analyses, and other activities related to job accommodations, including the use of rehabilitation engineering and assistive technology.
   (b) Research grants
        (1) In addition to carrying out projects under subsection (a) of this section, the Director may make grants under this subsection (referred to in this subsection as "research grants") to pay part or all of the cost of the research or other specialized covered activities described in paragraphs (2) through (18). A research grant made under any of paragraphs (2) through (18) may only be used in a manner consistent with priorities established in the 5-year plan described in section 762(h) of this title.
        (2)(A) Research grants may be used for the establishment and support of Rehabilitation Research and Training Centers, for the purpose of providing an integrated program of research, which Centers shall -
          (i) be operated in collaboration with institutions of higher education or providers of rehabilitation services or other appropriate services; and
          (ii) serve as centers of national excellence and national or regional resources for providers and individuals with disabilities and the individuals' representatives.

        (B) The Centers shall conduct research and training activities by -
          (i) conducting coordinated and advanced programs of research in rehabilitation targeted toward the production of new knowledge that will improve rehabilitation methodology and service delivery systems, alleviate or stabilize disabling conditions, and promote maximum social and economic independence of individuals with disabilities, especially promoting the ability of the individuals to prepare for, secure, retain, regain, or advance in employment;
          (ii) providing training (including graduate, pre-service, and in-service training) to assist individuals to more effectively provide rehabilitation services;
          (iii) providing training (including graduate, pre-service, and in-service training) for rehabilitation research personnel and other rehabilitation personnel; and
          (iv) serving as an informational and technical assistance resource to providers, individuals with disabilities, and the individuals' representatives, through conferences, workshops, public education programs, in-service training programs, and similar activities.

        (C) The research to be carried out at each such Center may include -
          (i) basic or applied medical rehabilitation research;
          (ii) research regarding the psychological and social aspects of rehabilitation, including disability policy;
          (iii) research related to vocational rehabilitation;
          (iv) continuation of research that promotes the emotional, social, educational, and functional growth of children who are individuals with disabilities;
          (v) continuation of research to develop and evaluate interventions, policies, and services that support families of those children and adults who are individuals with disabilities; and
          (vi) continuation of research that will improve services and policies that foster the productivity, independence, and social integration of individuals with disabilities, and enable individuals with disabilities, including individuals with mental retardation and other developmental disabilities, to live in their communities.

        (D) Training of students preparing to be rehabilitation personnel shall be an important priority for such a Center.
        (E) The Director shall make grants under this paragraph to establish and support both comprehensive centers dealing with multiple disabilities and centers primarily focused on particular disabilities.
        (F) Grants made under this paragraph may be used to provide funds for services rendered by such a Center to individuals with disabilities in connection with the research and training activities.
        (G) Grants made under this paragraph may be used to provide faculty support for teaching -
          (i) rehabilitation-related courses of study for credit; and
          (ii) other courses offered by the Centers, either directly or through another entity.

        (H) The research and training activities conducted by such a Center shall be conducted in a manner that is accessible to and usable by individuals with disabilities.
        (I) The Director shall encourage the Centers to develop practical applications for the findings of the research of the Centers.
        (J) In awarding grants under this paragraph, the Director shall take into consideration the location of any proposed Center and the appropriate geographic and regional allocation of such Centers.
        (K) To be eligible to receive a grant under this paragraph, each such institution or provider described in subparagraph (A) shall -
          (i) be of sufficient size, scope, and quality to effectively carry out the activities in an efficient manner consistent with appropriate Federal and State law; and
          (ii) demonstrate the ability to carry out the training activities either directly or through another entity that can provide such training.

        (L) The Director shall make grants under this paragraph for periods of 5 years, except that the Director may make a grant for a period of less than 5 years if -
          (i) the grant is made to a new recipient; or
          (ii) the grant supports new or innovative research.

        (M) Grants made under this paragraph shall be made on a competitive basis. To be eligible to receive a grant under this paragraph, a prospective grant recipient shall submit an application to the Director at such time, in such manner, and containing such information as the Director may require.
        (N) In conducting scientific peer review under section 762(f) of this title of an application for the renewal of a grant made under this paragraph, the peer review panel shall take into account the past performance of the applicant in carrying out the grant and input from individuals with disabilities and the individuals' representatives.
        (O) An institution or provider that receives a grant under this paragraph to establish such a Center may not collect more than 15 percent of the amount of the grant received by the Center in indirect cost charges.
        (3)(A) Research grants may be used for the establishment and support of Rehabilitation Engineering Research Centers, operated by or in collaboration with institutions of higher education or nonprofit organizations, to conduct research or demonstration activities, and training activities, regarding rehabilitation technology, including rehabilitation engineering, assistive technology devices, and assistive technology services, for the purposes of enhancing opportunities for better meeting the needs of, and addressing the barriers confronted by, individuals with disabilities in all aspects of their lives.
        (B) In order to carry out the purposes set forth in subparagraph (A), such a Center shall carry out the research or demonstration activities by -
          (i) developing and disseminating innovative methods of applying advanced technology, scientific achievement, and psychological and social knowledge to -
            (I) solve rehabilitation problems and remove environmental barriers through planning and conducting research, including cooperative research with public or private agencies and organizations, designed to produce new scientific knowledge, and new or improved methods, equipment, and devices; and
            (II) study new or emerging technologies, products, or environments, and the effectiveness and benefits of such technologies, products, or environments;

          (ii) demonstrating and disseminating -
            (I) innovative models for the delivery, to rural and urban areas, of cost-effective rehabilitation technology services that promote utilization of assistive technology devices; and
            (II) other scientific research to assist in meeting the employment and independent living needs of individuals with significant disabilities; or

          (iii) conducting research or demonstration activities that facilitate service delivery systems change by demonstrating, evaluating, documenting, and disseminating -
            (I) consumer responsive and individual and family-centered innovative models for the delivery to both rural and urban areas, of innovative cost-effective rehabilitation technology services that promote utilization of rehabilitation technology; and
            (II) other scientific research to assist in meeting the employment and independent living needs of, and addressing the barriers confronted by, individuals with disabilities, including individuals with significant disabilities.

        (C) To the extent consistent with the nature and type of research or demonstration activities described in subparagraph (B), each Center established or supported through a grant made available under this paragraph shall -
          (i) cooperate with programs established under the Assistive Technology Act of 1998 [29 U.S.C. 3001 et seq.] and other regional and local programs to provide information to individuals with disabilities and the individuals' representatives to -
            (I) increase awareness and understanding of how rehabilitation technology can address their needs; and
            (II) increase awareness and understanding of the range of options, programs, services, and resources available, including financing options for the technology and services covered by the area of focus of the Center;

          (ii) provide training opportunities to individuals, including individuals with disabilities, to become researchers of rehabilitation technology and practitioners of rehabilitation technology in conjunction with institutions of higher education and nonprofit organizations; and
          (iii) respond, through research or demonstration activities, to the needs of individuals with all types of disabilities who may benefit from the application of technology within the area of focus of the Center.

        (D)(i) In establishing Centers to conduct the research or demonstration activities described in subparagraph (B)(iii), the Director may establish one Center in each of the following areas of focus:
          (I) Early childhood services, including early intervention and family support.
          (II) Education at the elementary and secondary levels, including transition from school to postschool activities.
          (III) Employment, including supported employment, and reasonable accommodations and the reduction of environmental barriers as required by the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 (42 U.S.C. 12101 et seq.) and subchapter V of this chapter.
          (IV) Independent living, including transition from institutional to community living, maintenance of community living on leaving the workforce, self-help skills, and activities of daily living.

        (ii) Each Center conducting the research or demonstration activities described in subparagraph (B)(iii) shall have an advisory committee, of which the majority of members are individuals with disabilities who are users of rehabilitation technology, and the individuals' representatives.
        (E) Grants made under this paragraph shall be made on a competitive basis and shall be for a period of 5 years, except that the Director may make a grant for a period of less than 5 years if -
          (i) the grant is made to a new recipient; or
          (ii) the grant supports new or innovative research.

        (F) To be eligible to receive a grant under this paragraph, a prospective grant recipient shall submit an application to the Director at such time, in such manner, and containing such information as the Director may require.
        (G) Each Center established or supported through a grant made available under this paragraph shall -
          (i) cooperate with State agencies and other local, State, regional, and national programs and organizations developing or delivering rehabilitation technology, including State programs funded under the Assistive Technology Act of 1998 [29 U.S.C. 3001 et seq.]; and
          (ii) prepare and submit to the Director as part of an application for continuation of a grant, or as a final report, a report that documents the outcomes of the program of the Center in terms of both short- and long-term impact on the lives of individuals with disabilities, and such other information as may be requested by the Director.

        (4)(A) Research grants may be used to conduct a program for spinal cord injury research, including conducting such a program by making grants to public or private agencies and organizations to pay part or all of the costs of special projects and demonstration projects for spinal cord injuries, that will -
          (i) ensure widespread dissemination of research findings among all Spinal Cord Injury Centers, to rehabilitation practitioners, individuals with spinal cord injury, the individuals' representatives, and organizations receiving financial assistance under this paragraph;
          (ii) provide encouragement and support for initiatives and new approaches by individual and institutional investigators; and
          (iii) establish and maintain close working relationships with other governmental and voluntary institutions and organizations engaged in similar efforts in order to unify and coordinate scientific efforts, encourage joint planning, and promote the interchange of data and reports among spinal cord injury investigations.

        (B) Any agency or organization carrying out a project or demonstration project assisted by a grant under this paragraph that provides services to individuals with spinal cord injuries shall -
          (i) establish, on an appropriate regional basis, a multidisciplinary system of providing vocational and other rehabilitation services, specifically designed to meet the special needs of individuals with spinal cord injuries, including acute care as well as periodic inpatient or outpatient followup and services;
          (ii) demonstrate and evaluate the benefits to individuals with spinal cord injuries served in, and the degree of cost-effectiveness of, such a regional system;
          (iii) demonstrate and evaluate existing, new, and improved methods and rehabilitation technology essential to the care, management, and rehabilitation of individuals with spinal cord injuries; and
          (iv) demonstrate and evaluate methods of community outreach for individuals with spinal cord injuries and community education in connection with the problems of such individuals in areas such as housing, transportation, recreation, employment, and community activities.

        (C) In awarding grants under this paragraph, the Director shall take into account the location of any proposed Spinal Cord Injury Center and the appropriate geographic and regional allocation of such Centers.
        (5) Research grants may be used to conduct a program for end-stage renal disease research, to include support of projects and demonstrations for providing special services (including transplantation and dialysis), artificial kidneys, and supplies necessary for the rehabilitation of individuals with such disease and which will -
          (A) ensure dissemination of research findings;
          (B) provide encouragement and support for initiatives and new approaches by individuals and institutional investigators; and
          (C) establish and maintain close working relationships with other governmental and voluntary institutions and organizations engaged in similar efforts,
in order to unify and coordinate scientific efforts, encourage joint planning, and promote the interchange of data and reports among investigators in the field of end-stage renal disease. No person shall be selected to participate in such program who is eligible for services for such disease under any other provision of law.
        (6) Research grants may be used to conduct a program for international rehabilitation research, demonstration, and training for the purpose of developing new knowledge and methods in the rehabilitation of individuals with disabilities in the United States, cooperating with and assisting in developing and sharing information found useful in other nations in the rehabilitation of individuals with disabilities, and initiating a program to exchange experts and technical assistance in the field of rehabilitation of individuals with disabilities with other nations as a means of increasing the levels of skill of rehabilitation personnel.
        (7) Research grants may be used to conduct a research program concerning the use of existing telecommunications systems (including telephone, television, satellite, radio, and other similar systems) which have the potential for substantially improving service delivery methods, and the development of appropriate programming to meet the particular needs of individuals with disabilities.
        (8) Research grants may be used to conduct a program of joint projects with the National Institutes of Health, the National Institute of Mental Health, the Health Services Administration, the Administration on Aging, the National Science Foundation, the Veterans' Administration, the Department of Health and Human Services, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration, other Federal agencies, and private industry in areas of joint interest involving rehabilitation.
        (9) Research grants may be used to conduct a program of research related to the rehabilitation of children, or older individuals, who are individuals with disabilities, including older American Indians who are individuals with disabilities. Such research program may include projects designed to assist the adjustment of, or maintain as residents in the community, older workers who are individuals with disabilities on leaving the workforce.
        (10) Research grants may be used to conduct a research program to develop and demonstrate innovative methods to attract and retain professionals to serve in rural areas in the rehabilitation of individuals with disabilities, including individuals with significant disabilities.
        (11) Research grants may be used to conduct a model research and demonstration project designed to assess the feasibility of establishing a center for producing and distributing to individuals who are deaf or hard of hearing captioned video cassettes providing a broad range of educational, cultural, scientific, and vocational programming.
        (12) Research grants may be used to conduct a model research and demonstration program to develop innovative methods of providing services for preschool age children who are individuals with disabilities, including -
          (A) early intervention, assessment, parent counseling, infant stimulation, early identification, diagnosis, and evaluation of children who are individuals with significant disabilities up to the age of five, with a special emphasis on children who are individuals with significant disabilities up to the age of three;
          (B) such physical therapy, language development, pediatric, nursing, psychological, and psychiatric services as are necessary for such children; and
          (C) appropriate services for the parents of such children, including psychological and psychiatric services, parent counseling, and training.

        (13) Research grants may be used to conduct a model research and training program under which model training centers shall be established to develop and use more advanced and effective methods of evaluating and addressing the employment needs of individuals with disabilities, including programs that -
          (A) provide training and continuing education for personnel involved with the employment of individuals with disabilities;
          (B) develop model procedures for testing and evaluating the employment needs of individuals with disabilities;
          (C) develop model training programs to teach individuals with disabilities skills which will lead to appropriate employment;
          (D) develop new approaches for job placement of individuals with disabilities, including new followup procedures relating to such placement;
          (E) provide information services regarding education, training, employment, and job placement for individuals with disabilities; and
          (F) develop new approaches and provide information regarding job accommodations, including the use of rehabilitation engineering and assistive technology.

        (14) Research grants may be used to conduct a rehabilitation research program under which financial assistance is provided in order to -
          (A) test new concepts and innovative ideas;
          (B) demonstrate research results of high potential benefits;
          (C) purchase prototype aids and devices for evaluation;
          (D) develop unique rehabilitation training curricula; and
          (E) be responsive to special initiatives of the Director.
No single grant under this paragraph may exceed $50,000 in any fiscal year and all payments made under this paragraph in any fiscal year may not exceed 5 percent of the amount available for this section to the National Institute on Disability and Rehabilitation Research in any fiscal year. Regulations and administrative procedures with respect to financial assistance under this paragraph shall, to the maximum extent possible, be expedited.
        (15) Research grants may be used to conduct studies of the rehabilitation needs of American Indian populations and of effective mechanisms for the delivery of rehabilitation services to Indians residing on and off reservations.
        (16) Research grants may be used to conduct a demonstration program under which one or more projects national in scope shall be established to develop procedures to provide incentives for the development, manufacturing, and marketing of orphan technological devices, including technology transfer concerning such devices, designed to enable individuals with disabilities to achieve independence and access to gainful employment.
        (17)(A) Research grants may be used to conduct a research program related to quality assurance in the area of rehabilitation technology.
        (B) Activities carried out under the research program may include -
          (i) the development of methodologies to evaluate rehabilitation technology products and services and the dissemination of the methodologies to consumers and other interested parties;
          (ii) identification of models for service provider training and evaluation and certification of the effectiveness of the models;
          (iii) identification and dissemination of outcome measurement models for the assessment of rehabilitation technology products and services; and
          (iv) development and testing of research-based tools to enhance consumer decisionmaking about rehabilitation technology products and services.

        (18) Research grants may be used to provide for research and demonstration projects and related activities that explore the use and effectiveness of specific alternative or complementary medical practices for individuals with disabilities. Such projects and activities may include projects and activities designed to -
          (A) determine the use of specific alternative or complementary medical practices among individuals with disabilities and the perceived effectiveness of the practices;
          (B) determine the specific information sources, decisionmaking methods, and methods of payment used by individuals with disabilities who access alternative or complementary medical services;
          (C) develop criteria to screen and assess the validity of research studies of such practices for individuals with disabilities; and
          (D) determine the effectiveness of specific alternative or complementary medical practices that show promise for promoting increased functioning, prevention of secondary disabilities, or other positive outcomes for individuals with certain types of disabilities, by conducting controlled research studies.
   (c) Site visits; grant limitations
        (1) In carrying out evaluations of covered activities under this section, the Director is authorized to make arrangements for site visits to obtain information on the accomplishments of the projects.
        (2) The Director shall not make a grant under this section that exceeds $500,000 unless the peer review of the grant application has included a site visit.

Sec. 765. Rehabilitation Research Advisory Council

   (a) Establishment Subject to the availability of appropriations, the Secretary shall establish in the Department of Education a Rehabilitation Research Advisory Council (referred to in this section as the "Council") composed of 12 members appointed by the Secretary.
   (b) Duties 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.
   (c) Qualifications Members of the Council shall be generally representative of the community of rehabilitation professionals, the community of rehabilitation researchers, 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.
   (d) Terms of appointment
        (1) Length of term Each member of the Council shall serve for a term of up to 3 years, determined by the Secretary, except that -
            (A) a member appointed to fill a vacancy occurring prior to the expiration of the term for which a predecessor was appointed, shall be appointed for the remainder of such term; and
            (B) the terms of service of the members initially appointed shall be (as specified by the Secretary) for such fewer number of years as will provide for the expiration of terms on a staggered basis.
        (2) Number of terms No member of the Council may serve more than two consecutive full terms. Members may serve after the expiration of their terms until their successors have taken office.
   (e) Vacancies 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.
   (f) Payment and expenses
        (1) Payment 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.
        (2) Travel expenses 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.
   (g) Detail of Federal employees On the request of the Council, the Secretary may detail, with or without reimbursement, any of the personnel of the Department of Education 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.
   (h) Technical assistance 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.
   (i) Termination Section 14 of the Federal Advisory Committee Act (5 U.S.C. App.) shall not apply with respect to the Council.