Discretionary/Competitive Grants, Contracts, Cooperative Agreements
Also Known As:
Special Projects and Demonstrations, Special Demonstration Programs, Rehabilitation National Activities Program
This program provides competitive grants or contracts to eligible entities to expand and improve the provision of rehabilitation and other services authorized under the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, as amended by title IV of the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA). Funding also is provided to further the purposes and policies of the act. More specifically, the program supports activities that increase the provision, extent, availability, scope, and quality of rehabilitation services under the act. Sec. 303 authorizes support of activities serving individuals with disabilities in an array of project types. These diverse projects may include model demonstration projects, technical assistance projects, systems change projects, special studies and evaluations, and dissemination and utilization activities. Priority consideration is given to initiatives focused on: (1) improving transition from education, including postsecondary education, to employment, particularly in competitive integrated employment, for youth who are individuals with significant disabilities, (2) supported employment, and (3) increasing competitive integrated employment for individuals with significant disabilities.
Types of Projects
Types of projects include model demonstration projects, technical assistance projects, systems-change projects, special studies and evaluations, and dissemination and utilization activities. In addition, this program supports grants for Braille Training (# 84.235E) and Parent Information and Training programs (# 84.235F and # 84.235G, both also under topical heading Rehabilitation). FY 2015 funds also supported Career Pathways for Individuals with Disabilities Model Demonstrations (#84.235N).
Technical Assistance Centers and Demonstration Projects
Aligning with the Rehabilitation Services Administration’s (RSA’s) mission to provide leadership and resources to grantees and stakeholders, RSA created a series of training and technical assistance centers (TACs) and demonstration projects to assist state vocational rehabilitation (VR) agencies and their partners in providing VR and other services to individuals with disabilities. Each TAC focuses its efforts on a specific set of topics designed to provide universal, targeted, and intensive technical assistance (TA) for the purpose of improving services to individuals with disabilities to maximize their employment, independence and integration into the community and the competitive labor market.
Section 303(b) of the Rehabilitation Act (Act) authorizes the support of activities to demonstrate methods of service delivery to individuals with disabilities, as well as activities such as technical assistance, systems change, special studies and evaluation, and dissemination and utilization of findings from successful, previously-funded projects. The expansion and improvement of rehabilitation and other services will lead to more competitive integrated employment outcomes for more individuals for whom vocational rehabilitation services were previously unavailable, who did not take advantage of the availability of such services, who were unserved or underserved by the present vocational rehabilitation system, or for whom traditional vocational rehabilitation services have proved unsuccessful.