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Public Law No: 93-112 (09/26/1973)

(LATEST SUMMARY)

Rehabilitation Act - Declares that it is the purpose of this Act to provide a statutory basis for the Rehabilitation Service Administration, to establish within the Department of Health, Education and Welfare an Office for the Handicapped, and to authorize specified programs.

Establishes within the Department of Health, Education, and Welfare a Rehabilitation Services Administration which shall be headed by a Commissioner.

Authorizes the inclusion of appropriations under this Act in appropriations for the fiscal year preceding the fiscal year for which they are available for obligation. Provides that where funds are provided for a single project by more than one Federal agency to an agency or organization assisted under this Act, the Federal agency principally involved may be designated to act for all in administering such funds.

Provides that States may submit consolidated rehabilitation plans under this Act and under the Developmental Disabilities Services and Facilities Construction Amendments of 1970.

Sets forth definitions of terms used in this Act.

=Title I: Vocational Rehabilitation Services= - States it to be the purpose of this title to authorize grants to assist States in meeting the current and future needs of handicapped individuals, so that such individuals may prepare for and engage in gainful employment to the extent of their capabilities.

Authorizes to be appropriated $650,000,000 for fiscal year 1974, and $680,000,000 for fiscal year 1975 for the purpose of making grants to States to assist them in meeting the costs of vocational rehabilitation services.

Authorizes to be appropriated $37,000,000 and $39,000,000 and such additional sums as may be necessary for fiscal years 1974 and 1975, respectively for the purpose of making grants to States and public and nonprofit agencies to assist them in meeting the costs of projects to initiate or expand services to handicapped individuals.

Sets forth the requirements of State plans to be submitted and approved for participation in programs under this title. Authorizes judicial review in United States district courts of decisions affecting State plans.

Provides that the Secretary of Health, Education, and Welfare shall insure that the individualized written rehabilitation program required in a State plan in the case of each handicapped individual shall be developed jointly by the vocational rehabilitation counselor or coordinator and the handicapped individual.

Defines vocational rehabilitation services provided under this Act as any goods or services necessary to render a handicapped individual employable, including, but not limited to, the following: (1) evaluation of rehabilitation potential; (2) counseling, guidance, referral, and placement services; (3) vocational and training services; (4) physical and mental restoration services; (5) maintenance, not exceeding the estimated cost of subsistence, during rehabilitation; (6) interpreter services for the deaf and reader services for the blind; (7) recruitment and training services; (8) rehabilitation teaching services and orientation and mobility services for the blind; (9) occupational licenses, tools, equipment, and initial stocks and supplies; (10) transportation in connection with the rendering of any vocational rehabilitation services; and (11) telecommunications, sensory, and technological aids.

Provides a formula for the allotment and payment of funds to States for providing rehabilitation services under this title.

Directs the Secretary to pay a State or, at the option of the State, to a public or nonprofit organization or agency a portion of the cost of planning, preparing for, and initiating special programs under the State plan to expand vocational rehabilitation services.

=Title II: Research and Training= - Authorizes appropriations to assist State and public or nonprofit agencies to plan and conduct research, demonstrations, and related activities in the vocational rehabilitation of handicapped individuals and to train rehabilitation personnel. Specifies those specialized research activities for which grants may be made.

=Title III: Special Federal Responsibilities= - Authorizes the Secretary of Health, Education, and Welfare to make grants to States and public or nonprofit agencies and organizations for paying part of the cost for construction of rehabilitation facilities, initial staffing and planning assistance. Authorizes appropriations of such sums as may be necessary for fiscal years 1974 and 1975.

Authorizes necessary appropriations for fiscal years 1974 and 1975 for the purpose of making grants and contracts for vocational training services for handicapped individuals.

Authorizes the Secretary of HEW in consultation with the Secretary of Housing and Urban Development to insure morgages for rehabilitation facilities. Specifies conditions to be met prior to the issuance of any such mortgage. Creates a Rehabilitation Facilities Insurance Fund to carry out the insurance provisions of this Act. Limits the total amount of outstanding mortgages insured under this Act to $200,000,000.

Provides that the Secretary may make contracts or jointly finance cooperative arrangements with employers and organizations for the establishment of projects designed to prepare handicapped individuals for gainful and suitable employment in the competitive labor market under which such handicapped individuals are provided training and employment in a realistic work setting and such other services as may be necessary for such individuals to continue to engage in such employment. Authorizes the Secretary to provide technical assistance: (1) to rehabilitation facilities, and; (2) for the purpose of removal of architectural and transportation barriers, to any public or nonprofit agency, institution, organization or facility.

Authorizes appropriations of $15,000,000 and $17,000,000 for fiscal years 1974 and 1975, respectively, and such additional sums necessary for such years to make grants for special projects and demonstrations for vocational rehabilitation.

Authorizes appropriations of such sums as may be necessary for fiscal years 1974 and 1975 for the purpose of establishing and operating a National Center for Deaf-Blind Youths and Adults.

Sets forth specific grants and contract requirements applying to all projects approved and assisted under this title.

=Title IV: Administration and Program and Project Evaluation= - Sets forth the functions of the Commissioner in carrying out his duties under this Act. Authorizes the Secretary to conduct studies, investigations and evaluations of programs authorized by this Act.

Provides that the Secretary shall measure and evaluate the impact of all programs authorized by this Act in order to determine their effectiveness in achieving stated goals. Requires the Secretary to submit an annual report on such determination and review to the appropriate committees of the Congress. Authorizes appropriations to conduct such program and project evaluations. Requires the Secretary to submit an annual report to the President and to the Congress on the activities carried out under this Act. Provides for a study of the role of sheltered workshops in the rehabilitation and employment of handicapped individuals.

=Title V: Miscellaneous= - Provides for the repeal of the Vocational Rehabilitation Act.

Establishes an Interagency Committee on Handicapped Employees to provide a focus for Federal and other employment of handicapped individuals, to insure that the special needs of such individuals are being met, and to consult with the Civil Service Commission in carrying out the Commissioner's responsibilities under this Act.

Requires Executive departments and agencies to submit to the Civil Service Commission and to the Committee affirmative action program plans for the hiring, placement, and advancement of handicapped individuals in such departments or agencies.

Requires any contract in excess of $2500 entered into by any Federal department or agency for the procurement of personal property and nonpersonal services (including construction) for the United States to contain a provision requiring that, in employing persons to carry out such contract, the party contracting with the United States shall take affirmative action to employ and advance in employment qualified handicapped individuals.

Establishes an Architectural and Transportation Barriers Compliance Board to investigate problems of handicapped persons in the areas of architecture and transportation, to make legislative recommendations to the President and the Congress, and to insure compliance with the standards prescribed pursuant to the Architectural Barriers Act.

States that no otherwise qualified handicapped individual in the United States shall, solely by reason of his handicap, be excluded from the participation in, be denied the benefits of, or be subjected to discrimination under any program or activity receiving Federal financial assistance.