New Guidance on Youth Transition and Vocational Rehabilitation

The Department of Education, Rehabilitation Services Administration (RSA), has issued a technical assistance circular (RSA-TAC-14-03) that addresses a variety of transition-related issues affecting state Vocational Rehabilitation (VR) agencies. As noted by RSA, the issues addressed in the TAC “pertain to: (1) the effective collaboration between VR agencies and State educational agencies (SEA) for the provision of transition services; (2) the VR process as it relates to referral and application for services, the determination of eligibility, and the development of the individualized plan for employment (IPE); and (3) the services that may be provided through the VR program. The guidance contained in this TAC will better enable VR agencies to implement policies and engage in innovative strategies designed to improve the transition of students with disabilities including those with the most significant disabilities, from school to the achievement of integrated employment outcomes and careers.”

Senate Confirms Janet LaBreck as Commissioner of the Rehabilitation Services Administration, Department of Education

On August 1st the U.S. Senate confirmed the nomination of Janet LaBreck, who had been nominated by President Obama to serve as Commissioner of the Rehabilitation Services Administration in February. She was the Commissioner of the Massachusetts Commission for the Blind (MCB), a position she held since 2007.

Survey on Rehabilitative and Habilitative Services

The ITEM coalition is collecting information on typical coverage of rehabilitative and habilitative services and devices by employer-sponsored health insurance plans.  They are particularly interested in things like physical therapy, occupational therapy, speech therapy, etc. and devices (durable medical equipment) and things like orthotics, prosthetics, or other assistive devices.  If you (or someone you can respond for) has health insurance through an employer and have ever had a disability or chronic condition, please take a moment to respond to this quick 10 question, anonymous survey called “Insurance Coverage of Rehabilitative and Habilitative Devices,” at http://www.surveymonkey.com/s/LY58SY5.  The survey closes on September 23 and the results will help The Arc and other members of the ITEM coalition to advocate for comprehensive coverage of these services and devices within the new insurance exchanges.