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Independent Living News & Policy from the National Council on Independent Living

Action Alert: Submit Your Comments on Proposed WIOA Rule

NCIL logo - National Council on Independent LivingOn April 16, the Department of Education released a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) on Title I of the Workforce Innovation & Opportunity Act (WIOA) to amend regulations governing the State VR Services program, as well as the State Supported Employment Services program and administration of the Rehabilitation Services Administration (RSA). The NPRM includes changes to § 361.35 of WIOA, which addresses requirements regarding DSU’s Innovation and Expansion (I&E) activities.

The original regulations in the Rehabilitation Act, which were unchanged in WIOA, require that States reserve and use a portion of their VR funds to support the resource plans for the State’s SILC and State VR Council. The proposed regulations in this NPRM change the guidance for this requirement, proposing that the State must reserve these funds, but may choose not to use them if the SILC and the State decide to use other resources to fund the resource plan.

NCIL is extremely concerned that this provision may be misinterpreted and used in ways that are contrary to the intent of the law. Inappropriate usage of this provision can result in reduced I&E funding for SILCs, which ultimately could mean reduced Part B funds for Centers. This is unacceptable! The Department of Education acknowledged that WIOA did not change the Innovation and Expansion requirements for DSUs. The rules should not change either!

Comments are being accepted through June 15, 2015, and they need to hear our concerns. Please submit a comment to let the Department of Education know that the law has not changed, and therefore, the rule should not change either!

The full NPRM can be found at the Federal Register and comments can be submitted through June 15, 2015 at regulations.gov.

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