[nfbmi-talk] Key provisions in proposed amendments toWorkforceInvesstment Act

joe harcz Comcast joeharcz at comcast.net
Tue Apr 8 16:33:17 UTC 2014

On your latter point Christine one of the things sited in the last so-called 
RSA monitoring here is that MRS was cited for violating the Rehab Act over a 
decade for requiring a means test for SSI and SSDI recipients who were not 

Of course, MCB at the time was cited for violating similar provisions 

And we know they've violated the general provisions as well for years.

I mean that mercenary punk lawyerMichael O. King, paid with by MCB bucks 
even argued in court on the Terry Eagle case that Terry must be required to 
pay $30,000 for training!

That is in the public record!

And that is just one extreme example of fundamental Rehab Act violations in 
a court record.

We all know things were worse than that and are even worse now.

By the way if one examines even the college funding which one can only glean 
from past reports which is why I ask for them we'll note that MCB sent many 
more blind students to college and paid for them then they do now.

It is hard to ferret out the information, but simply if we take a look at 
state plan information, comparativie monitoring reviews and the belated 
RSA-2 report we see a steady decline of the aggregate numbers of blind 
students alone who are being funded for college and or other postsecondary 

Yet, the percent of VR funds has gone up.

Now, this goes to a rather complicated issue in that during the last fifteen 
years the cost of higher ed has escalated dramatically especially as state 
supports have dropped and as the recession lingers.

The VR funding is simply a transfer, but I suggest an important one and 
should be maintained.

At least that is what existing law says is so, though again not followed.

Oh, as an aside when that narcistic puke Rodgers brags about how many 
students he (note he always says I fund like it is his personal money) for 
college like it is some sort of perk and a real nice charitable thing he is 
doing personally for those blind kids, and adults....Well it makes me ill.

It is his job to do so.

Moreover, as Dearest Lydia and other parents of blind persons and others 
point out the system even here is broken for what about the kids and even 
adults who are blind and who are not so-called "college material"?

Meanwhile the likes of Rodgers and Pemble who wouldn't know the Rehab Act if 
it snuck up on them in the dark and bit them on their behinds make $128,000 
and $116,000 per year respectively out of VR funds to fiddle about with our 

Lord I want these predators to be unemployed as I do their susupiors and 
handlers in this current administration.

Another rant....Sorry....

The situation makes me ill. But we must speak truth to power and we must as 
Federationists fight for the rights and empowerment of blind citizens, even 
those who don't affiliate with us.

----- Original Message ----- 
From: "Christine Boone" <christineboone2 at gmail.com>
To: "NFB of Michigan Internet Mailing List" <nfbmi-talk at nfbnet.org>
Sent: Tuesday, April 08, 2014 12:07 PM
Subject: Re: [nfbmi-talk] Key provisions in proposed amendments 
toWorkforceInvesstment Act

That funding should not change, however the move of rehabilitation programs 
out of DOE will impact partnerships and supports for secondary education and 
the ripple effect of this cannot be known.

Also, you need to remember that funding levels for post secondary education 
are much lower in general VR programs than in blindness programs, even for 
individuals receiving SSI and SSDI.

On Apr 8, 2014, at 11:49 AM, joe harcz Comcast <joeharcz at comcast.net> wrote:

> Another question here Christine. How will funding for higher education 
> and/or other postsecondary training occer under changes?
> In other words the only thing IMO that VR does right, when they do it is 
> to fund one hundred percent of college/postsecondary ed for PWD who are on 
> SSI or SSDI.
> Will that change under this schema?
> As an aside we know that BSBP and MRS has violated these provisions, but 
> another story for another day I suppose.
> ----- Original Message ----- From: "Christine Boone" 
> <christineboone2 at gmail.com>
> To: "NFB of Michigan Internet Mailing List" <nfbmi-talk at nfbnet.org>; 
> <nfbp-talk at yahoogroups.com>
> Sent: Tuesday, April 08, 2014 10:49 AM
> Subject: [nfbmi-talk] Key provisions in proposed amendments to 
> WorkforceInvesstment Act
> Federationists:
> As most of you know, beginning with its reauthorization in 1998, the 
> Rehabilitation Act has been included as Title IV  in the Workforce 
> Investment Act.  That Act has never been reauthorized since its first 
> writing, but it is once again scheduled for reauthorization this year. 
> The current proposal would have some significant negative  ramifications 
> respecting vocational rehabilitation services.  Here is one overview that 
> was prepared by a State Vocational Rehabilitation agency outside Michigan. 
> It is provided here for your information.
> Review of Key Provisions
> in S. 1356 and the SKILLS Act
> S. 1356
> Splits up Rehab Act programs.
> Sends VR to Labor Department, Independent Living to HHS, and NIDRR 
> (research) to HHS.
> The transfer of VR from Education to Labor will disconnect VR from 
> rehabilitation expertise and place it in a department with no 
> rehabilitation experience and a scant record of serving people with severe 
> disabilities.
> The Secretary of Labor would write the regulations for Rehab.
> The new name for RSA would be Disability Employment Services and Supports 
> Administration (DESSA).
> The Commissioner would still be a President’s appointment but would not 
> have to have rehabilitation experience or knowledge.
> Rehab would be put under ODEP (the Office of Disability Employment 
> Policy) – a tiny division that has never administered direct service 
> programs.
> Placement in Labor ties VR closer into the generic One-Stop culture, where 
> the focus is on the general population and specialized approaches tend to 
> be absent.
> The bill mandates state VR programs to expand and intensify services to 
> youth transitioning to post-secondary life, without added funding to do 
> so.
> Youth are defined as age 14-24.
> Creates a new category of Pre-Employment Transition, for youth age 14 up 
> with significant disabilities.  For those in Supported Employment, VR 
> would pay 4 years extended services.
> Makes states set aside 15% of basic VR funds for Transition, limiting 
> administrative spending to 5% of this.
> Requires all VR offices have Transition Coordinator positions with support 
> staff – administrative expenses which would mostly have to come out of 
> basic VR funds, beyond the 15% set-aside.
> These provisions effectively make Transition a priority for VR spending. 
> As a result, some state VR programs may have reduced funds for serving 
> adults with severe disabilities.
> The bill subjects VR to the same performance standards and measures used 
> for Workforce programs for the non-disabled public.  There are concerns 
> this will not accurately reflect VR performance, will be costly to 
> implement, and could discourage service to persons with the most 
> significant disabilities.
> To implement use of common performance measures, VR would have to retool 
> data systems at great cost.  Adjustments in standards to reflect different 
> conditions for the VR population would entail much staff work, negotiation 
> and approval by Labor.
> VR would have to pay for 2 years of extended services for Supported 
> Employment clients, instead of the current flexible 18 months.  This would 
> be 4 years for youth.
> The bill de-emphasizes rehabilitation throughout.
> Rehab credentials for VR staff are weakened.
> There is concern that features in S. 1356 will reduce access to the highly 
> specialized services required to remove employment barriers for people 
> with severe disabilities.
> Positive features in the bill are business relations emphasis, in-demand 
> occupations emphasis, and a focus on career exploration, work experience 
> and internships for youth.
> Skills Act
> H.R. 803 by Rep. Virginia Foxx (R-NC)
> Consolidates 36 federal employment programs, not VR, which remains a 
> mandatory partner, however.  Although VR remains a distinct program, 
> various provisions in the bill tie VR more closely into the generic 
> Workforce system.
> Requires common data reporting and performance measures for all Workforce 
> partners.
> Increases business representation on Workforce state and local boards. 
> Boards would be 2/3 business representatives.  Partner members like VR are 
> not required on the Boards.
> Emphasizes job training that is responsive to in-demand occupations and 
> business needs.
> In HR-803 VR remains a distinct program but is moved more closely into the 
> generic Workforce system.
> Partners must make all their “work-ready” services available at One-Stops. 
> It is uncertain whether this translates to co-location.
> Lets Governors decide what funds each partner must contribute to the 
> One-Stops.  The Governor can require partners contribute funds above those 
> set in any infrastructure formula.  Thus VR funds could be tapped for 
> various One-Stop expenses.
> One-Stops and training providers would have to meet standards, be 
> certified and re-certified every 3 years, with focus on meeting standards 
> of program integration, as well as other goals.
> It is unclear if VR training providers would have to meet training 
> provider criteria set by the Governor.
> Makes RSA commissioner a Director, no longer a Presidential appointment.
> Requires at least 10% of a state’s VR basic funds must be for expanding 
> Transition.
> The Comprehensive Needs Assessment must add a focus on Transition needs 
> and the performance of existing services in meeting those needs.
> Supported Employment title VI grants are eliminated.
> States must set aside one-half of 1% of their basic VR funds for grants to 
> for-profit businesses to do job readiness, training and placement.
> Eliminates in-service training of VR personnel as a training grant 
> purpose.
> Special concerns related to maintaining an effective Rehabilitation 
> system:
> Special concerns for Rehab:  with VR melded more closely into the generic 
> Workforce system in a number of ways – there is concern for the future of 
> some key rehabilitation principles, features and resources that are 
> critical for successful employment results, including:
> informed client choice
> individualized plans and services
> specialized services
> information accessibility
> communication accessibility
> physical accessibility
> availability of specialized staff
> staff and system understanding of disability
> There is concern that more closely merging VR into the generic Workforce 
> system will lead to
> leaching away of VR funds for non-VR use
> cherry-picking – serving the least disabled first
> reduced help for severely disabled with the greatest employment barriers
> increased diversion of staff time to bureaucratic functions, away from 
> direct service delivery.
> ___________________________
> This week staff and administrators from most public VR agencies across the 
> Nation are gathered in Washington D.C.  Today they are on Capitol Hill, 
> visiting with their Congressional delegations.  Yesterday they were 
> briefed by a panel of experts which included leaders of the National 
> Federation of the Blind.
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