Skip to Content Skip to Content
OVR Staff and Clients OVR Staff and Clients OVR Staff and Clients OVR Staff and Clients OVR Staff and Clients OVR Staff and Clients OVR Staff and Clients OVR Staff and Clients OVR Staff and Clients OVR Staff and Clients OVR Staff and Clients OVR Staff and Clients OVR Staff and Clients OVR Staff and Clients OVR Staff and Clients OVR Staff and Clients OVR Staff and Clients OVR Staff and Clients OVR Staff and Clients

Homepage Message

Director's Message

Program Year 2014...more

Vocational
Rehabilitation Update

July 24, 2014

U.S. DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION
THE WORKFORCE INNOVATION AND OPPORTUNITY ACT OVERVIEW OF TITLE IV:
AMENDMENTS TO THE REHABILITATION ACT OF 1973


THE WORKFORCE INNOVATION AND OPPORTUNITY ACT (WIOA)

On July 22, 2014, President Obama signed into law the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA), which replaces the Workforce Investment Act of 1998 (WIA) and amends the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 (Rehabilitation Act). This new law, which was a bipartisan and bicameral effort, represents a renewed commitment to workforce development with an eye to the future through innovation and support for individual and national economic growth. It is aimed at increasing opportunities, particularly for those individuals with disabilities who face barriers to employment, and invests in the important connection between education and career preparation.

The following summary highlights significant changes made to the Rehabilitation Act by title IV of WIOA, which took effect on the date of enactment – July 22, 2014. This is not intended to be a comprehensive listing of changes. The Rehabilitation Services Administration, in the Office of Special Education and Rehabilitative Services, U.S. Department of Education, will provide detailed technical assistance on the statutory changes in the near future.

HIGHLIGHTS OF CHANGES TO REHABILITATION ACT PROGRAMS

Increases Services to Youth with Disabilities: Throughout WIOA, especially in the amendments to the Rehabilitation Act, there is a significant emphasis on the provision of services to youth with disabilities. To that end, WIOA:

Supports Employer Engagement: WIOA contributes to economic growth and business expansion by ensuring that the workforce is job-driven, matching employers with skilled individuals.
Emphasizes Competitive Integrated Employment: WIOA places significant emphasis on obtaining competitive integrated employment, especially in the amendments to the Rehabilitation Act.
Enhances Accountability: WIOA puts a premium on ensuring the accountability of Federal programs.
WIOA increases accountability and places stronger emphasis on results through the establishment of common employment outcome measures across core WIOA programs, including the VR program.
Promotes Collaboration and Efficiency: WIOA establishes several new requirements to ensure greater efficiency within the programs and to ensure collaboration among all relevant stakeholders at both the Federal and State levels to ensure that the vision of WIOA is implemented.
Promotes training and technical assistance for grantees:
Transfers Programs: WIOA transfers certain programs from ED to the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) and gives the Secretaries of ED and HHS authority to ensure an orderly transition as they implement these changes.
o   State Independent Living Services Program (IL, Part B),
o   Centers for Independent Living Program (IL, Part C),
o   National Institute on Disability and Rehabilitation Research; and
o   Programs under the Assistive Technology Act of 1998.
Repeals Programs: WIOA repeals several programs, including the following programs under the Rehabilitation Act.

This website was developed with federal funds made possible by a grant from the United States Department of Education, Office of Special Education and Rehabilitative Services (OSERS).