New York State has another council with similar goals and mission serving through the Office of Children and Family Services Commission for the Blind and Visually Handicapped.
Raise the Employment Rate of People with Disabilities to a Rate that is Equal to the Rate of People without Disabilities
The Council was originally established by ACCES-VR in 1992 to fulfill the requirements of the Federal Rehabilitation Act amendments of 1992. Those amendments stressed consumer responsiveness and greater accountability for state vocational rehabilitation agencies to provide services. Section 105 (of the Amendments) created the State Rehabilitation Advisory Council and reflected the expectation that state VR agencies would be held accountable for the delivery of services.
According to the Act, the purpose of the SRAC was to review, analyze, and advise the designated State unit regarding the performance of its responsibilities under Title 1 of the Rehabilitation Act. The section detailed the manner in which the SRAC would achieve this end. It was expected that the Council members would become involved in the State Plan, consumer satisfaction surveys, and networking with partners.
The 1998 Amendments to the Rehabilitation Act were incorporated as Title IV of the Workforce Investment Act (WIA), enacted in July 1998. However, funding for vocational rehabilitation services was maintained as a separate entity. With Section 105 the SRAC identification was changed to reflect the expanded role and responsibilities of the Council. The role of the State Rehabilitation Council (SRC) is no longer "advisory"; rather, members work in strategic partnership with the VR agency, while establishing and maintaining the Councils operational autonomy. Under the 1998 amendment, the SRC took on additional responsibilities to work jointly with the state vocational rehabilitation agency to develop a statewide needs assessment, set goals and priorities, report on program effectiveness, provide policy advice, identify impartial hearing officers, measure consumer satisfaction and develop and manage a resource plan for the Council.
The focus of the Council is to review, analyze and advise the New York State Board of Regents, the Commissioner of Education, and the Office of Adult Career and Continuing Education Services-Vocational Rehabilitation (ACCES-VR) with regard to the provision of vocational rehabilitation services.
The Council works to fulfill the intent of the Federal Rehabilitation Act of 1973, as amended. The Council works with the New York State Board of Regents, the Commissioner of Education, and the Office of Adult Career and Continuing Education Services-Vocational Rehabilitation (ACCES-VR) with regard to the provision of vocational rehabilitation services.
To review, analyze, and advise regarding the performance of the responsibilities of ACCES-VR under the Rehabilitation Act, particularly responsibilities relating to:
- eligibility (including order of selection);
- the extent, scope, and effectiveness of services provided; and
- functions performed by State agencies that affect or potentially affect the ability of individuals with disabilities in achieving employment outcomes.
In partnership with NYSED ACCES-VR :
- develop, agree to, and review ACCES-VR goals and priorities, and evaluate the effectiveness of ACCES-VRs vocational rehabilitation program.
- assist in the preparation of the State Plan and amendments to Plan applications, reports, needs assessments, and evaluations.
- conduct a review and analysis, to the extent feasible, of the effectiveness of and
consumer satisfaction with:
- the functions performed by ACCES-VR; and
- vocational rehabilitation services----
- provided by State agencies and other public and private entities responsible for providing vocational rehabilitation services to individuals with disabilities under the Rehabilitation Act; and
- employment outcomes achieved by eligible individuals receiving services under the Rehabilitation Act.