Summary: H.R.2461 — 98th Congress (1983-1984)All Information (Except Text)

Bill summaries are authored by CRS.

Shown Here:
Reported to House with amendment(s) (05/16/1983)

(Reported to House from the Committee on Education and Labor with amendment, H. Rept. 98-137)

Title I: Amendments to the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 - Rehabilitation Act Amendments of 1983 - Amends the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 to extend the authorization of appropriations for grants to States for basic vocational rehabilitation services in specified amounts through FY 1987, and for FY 1988 in an amount to be determined by any increase in the consumer price index for the previous fiscal year.

Eliminates the requirement that the determination of eligibility for vocational rehabilitation services under the State grants program be demonstrated beyond a reasonable doubt following initial evaluation.

Extends the authorization of appropriations for grants to States for innovation and expansion of vocational rehabilitation services through FY 1986, in such sums as may be necessary.

Extends through FY 1986 the authorization of appropriations for grants to Indian tribes for vocational rehabilitation services.

Extends through FY 1986 the authorization of appropriations, in specified minimum amounts, for client assistance projects.

Extends the authorization of appropriations for research and training in vocational rehabilitation services through FY 1986 in such amounts as may be necessary for: (1) the National Institute of Handicapped Research; and (2) other specified research and training programs.

Requires that Rehabilitation Research and Training Centers include both comprehensive multiple disabilities centers and centers focused on particular disabilities. Provides that centers need not be automatically terminated at the end of a project period. Permits center renewal on the basis of a thorough evaluation and peer review including site visits. Makes training of students preparing to be rehabilitation personnel a priority. Provides that grants shall not be prohibited from including faculty support for teaching of credit and other courses offered by the institutions of higher education affiliated with the center.

Extends the authorization of appropriations for supplementary services and facilities through FY 1986 in such sums as may be necessary for: (1) construction of rehabilitation facilities, staffing, and planning assistance (to remain available for expenditure for construction projects funded or staffing grants made prior to October 1, 1987); (2) vocational training for handicapped individuals; (3) training of personnel providing rehabilitation services to handicapped individuals; (4) comprehensive rehabilitation centers; and (5) special projects and supplementary services.

Revises training provisions to require that funds be targeted on areas of qualified rehabilitation personnel shortage. Directs the Commissioner of the Rehabilitation Services Administration (RSA) to report annually to the Congress, documenting the relationship between personnel shortage findings and current and proposed distribution of training funds.

Makes the National Council on the Handicapped (NCH) an independent agency within the executive branch and no longer an agency within the Department of Education or any other executive department or agency. Transfers to the Chairman of NCH all functions relating to NCH which were vested in the Secretary of Education prior to enactment of this Act. Provides that the Chairman shall continue to exercise all functions under any law or authority which the Chairman was performing prior to enactment of this Act. Makes technical and conforming amendments. Requires NCH, in addition to its annual report, to provide advice, recommendations, and information to the Congress on a continuing basis.

Extends the authorization of appropriations for the Architectural and Transportation Barriers Compliance Board through FY 1986.

Extends the authorization of appropriations for employment opportunities for handicapped individuals through FY 1986, in such sums as may be necessary for: (1) community service employment pilot programs for handicapped individuals; and (2) projects with industry and business opportunities for handicapped individuals. Includes designated State units among those entities which may be eligible for projects with industries grants.

Extends the authorization of appropriations for comprehensive services for independent living through FY 1986 in such sums as may be necessary.

Makes technical and conforming amendments.

Title II: Reauthorization of the Helen Keller National Center for Deaf-Blind Youth and Adults - Helen Keller National Center Act - Repeals provisions of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 relating to the Helen Keller National Center.

Directs the Secretary of Education to continue to administer and support the Center. Sets forth the purposes of the Center as follows: (1) to provide specialized intensive services for deaf-blind persons; (2) to train personnel to provide such services; and (3) to conduct applied research, development, and demonstrations relating to communication techniques, teaching methods, aids, and devices, and delivery of services.

Requires an annual independent audit of the Center. Directs the Secretary of Education to ensure that: (1) Center service and training programs are monitored regularly; and (2) Center operation is evaluated annually, with written reports to the President and the Congress submitted by specified deadlines.

Authorizes appropriations for FY 1984 through 1988 for Center operation and maintenance for use in accordance with guidelines or regulations prescribed by the Secretary.

Defines "Helen Keller National Center for Deaf- Blind Youths and Adults" to mean that facility and its affiliated network operated pursuant to specified provisions of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 (which are repealed but also continued under this title).

Provides that nothing in this Act shall in any way cause to affect or modify any existing or future agreement between any federal departments, agency, or instrumentality and the Industrial Home for the Blind, Inc., or its successors or assignees, with respect to the Helen Keller National Center for Deaf-Blind Youths and Adults.

Makes technical and conforming amendments.

Title III: National Commission on Federal Assistance to Disabled Americans - National Commission on Federal Assistance to Disabled Americans Act - Establishes a select commission to be known as the National Commission on Federal Assistance to Disabled Americans.

Requires the Commission to: (1) review all statutes pertaining to Federal programs which assist disabled Americans; (2) make a priority listing of such programs based on the number of disabled Americans they assist and the Federal costs of such programs; (3) assess the extent to which such programs provide incentives or discentives to the establishment of community-based services for disabled Americans, promote the full integration of such individuals in the community, in schools, and in the workplace, and contribute to the independence and dignity of such individuals, and (4) recommend to the President and the Congress legislative mechanisms for increasing incentives and eliminating discentives in Federal programs assisting disabled Americans.

Requires the Commission to submit to the Congress and the President: (1) an interim report of its recommendation within 12 months of its first meeting; and (2) a final report of its recommendations within 18 months after its first meeting.

Sets forth provisions for Commission: (1) membership; (2) executive director and staff; and (3) powers.

Terminates the Commission 90 days after its final report is transmitted to the President and Congress.

Authorizes appropriations to carry out this title.

Title IV: Other Authorizations - Authorizes appropriations for FY 1984 for programs under the jurisdiction of the Committee on Education and Labor at such funding levels as are assumed under the first budget resolution for FY 1984.

Provides that such authorizations of appropriations: (1) supersede and are not in addition to, those (or the limitations thereon) established under the Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act of 1981; and (2) do not supersede, and are not in addition to, any enacted after the enactment of such Act.

Sets forth specified funding levels for FY 1984 for the following programs under the jurisdiction of the Committee: (1) the compensatory education program; (2) the impact aid program; (3) the education of the handicapped programs; (4) the vocational education program; (5) the adult education program; (6) the arts and humanities programs; (7) the museum services program; (8) the community services (block grant) program; (9) the low-income energy assistance program; and (10) the special supplemental food program for women, infants, and children.