Sec. 601. Short Title
This title may be cited as the "Employment Opportunities for Individuals With Disabilities Act".
Part A--Projects With Industry
Sec. 611. (a)(1) The purpose of this part is to create and expand job and career opportunities for individuals with disabilities in the competitive labor market by engaging the talent and leadership of private industry as partners in the rehabilitation process, to identify competitive job and career opportunities and the skills needed to perform such jobs, to create practical job and career readiness and training programs, and to provide job placements and career advancement.
(2) The Commissioner, in consultation with the Secretary of Labor and with designated State units, may award grants to individual employers, community rehabilitation program providers, labor unions, trade associations, Indian tribes, tribal organizations, designated State units, and other entities to establish jointly financed Projects With Industry to create and expand job and career opportunities for individuals with disabilities, which projects shall--
(A) provide for the establishment of business advisory councils, that shall--
(i) be comprised of--
(I) representatives of private industry, business concerns, and organized labor;
(II) individuals with disabilities and representatives of individuals with disabilities; and
(III) a representative of the appropriate designated State unit;
(ii) identify job and career availability within the community, consistent with the current and projected local employment opportunities identified by the local workforce investment board for the community under section 118(b)(1)(B) of the Workforce Investment Act of 1998;
(iii) identify the skills necessary to perform the jobs and careers identified; and
(iv) prescribe training programs designed to develop appropriate job and career skills, or job placement programs designed to identify and develop job placement and career advancement opportunities, for individuals with disabilities in fields related to the job and career availability identified under clause (ii);
(B) provide job development, job placement, and career advancement services;
(C) to the extent appropriate, provide for--
(i) training in realistic work settings in order to prepare individuals with disabilities for employment and career advancement in the competitive market; and
(ii) to the extent practicable, the modification of any facilities or equipment of the employer involved that are used primarily by individuals with disabilities, except that a project shall not be required to provide for such modification if the modification is required as a reasonable accommodation under the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 (42 U.S.C. 12101 et seq.); and
(D) provide individuals with disabilities with such support services as may be required in order to maintain the employment and career advancement for which the individuals have received training under this part.
(3)(A) An individual shall be eligible for services described in paragraph (2) if the individual is determined to be an individual described in section 102(a)(1), and if the determination is made in a manner consistent with section 102(a).
(B) Such a determination may be made by the recipient of a grant under this part, to the extent the determination is appropriate and available and consistent with the requirements of section 102(a).
(4) The Commissioner shall enter into an agreement with the grant recipient regarding the establishment of the project. Any agreement shall be jointly developed by the Commissioner, the grant recipient, and, to the extent practicable, the appropriate designated State unit and the individuals with disabilities (or the individuals' representatives) involved. Such agreements shall specify the terms of training and employment under the project, provide for the payment by the Commissioner of part of the costs of the project (in accordance with subsection (c)), and contain the items required under subsection (b) and such other provisions as the parties to the agreement consider to be appropriate.
(5) Any agreement shall include a description of a plan to annually conduct a review and evaluation of the operation of the project in accordance with standards developed by the Commissioner under subsection (d), and, in conducting the review and evaluation, to collect data and information of the type described in subparagraphs (A) through (C) of section 101(a)(10), as determined to be appropriate by the Commissioner.
(6) The Commissioner may include, as part of agreements with grant recipients, authority for such grant recipients to provide technical assistance to--
(A) assist employers in hiring individuals with disabilities; or
(B) improve or develop relationships between--
(i) grant recipients or prospective grant recipients; and
(ii) employers or organized labor; or
(C) assist employers in understanding and meeting the requirements of the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 (42 U.S.C. 12101 et seq.) as the Act relates to employment of individuals with disabilities.
(b) No payment shall be made by the Commissioner under any agreement with a grant recipient entered into under subsection (a) unless such agreement--
(1) provides an assurance that individuals with disabilities placed under such agreement shall receive at least the applicable minimum wage;
(2) provides an assurance that any individual with a disability placed under this part shall be afforded terms and benefits of employment equal to terms and benefits that are afforded to the similarly situated nondisabled co-workers of the individual, and that such individuals with disabilities shall not be segregated from their co-workers; and
(3) provides an assurance that an annual evaluation report containing information specified under subsection (a)(5) shall be submitted as determined to be appropriate by the Commissioner.
(c) Payments under this section with respect to any project may not exceed 80 per centum of the costs of the project.
(d)(1) The Commissioner shall develop standards for the evaluation described in subsection (a)(5) and shall review and revise the evaluation standards as necessary, subject to paragraph (2).
(2) In revising the standards for evaluation to be used by the grant recipients, the Commissioner shall obtain and consider recommendations for such standards from State vocational rehabilitation agencies, current and former grant recipients, professional organizations representing business and industry, organizations representing individuals with disabilities, individuals served by grant recipients, organizations representing community rehabilitation program providers, and labor organizations.
(e)(1)(A) A grant may be awarded under this section for a period of up to 5 years and such grant may be renewed.
(B) Grants under this section shall be awarded on a competitive basis. To be eligible to receive such a grant, a prospective grant recipient shall submit an application to the Commissioner at such time, in such manner, and containing such information as the Commissioner may require.
(2) The Commissioner shall, to the extent practicable, ensure an equitable distribution of payments made under this section among the States. To the extent funds are available, the Commissioner shall award grants under this section to new projects that will serve individuals with disabilities in States, portions of States, Indian tribes, or tribal organizations, that are currently unserved or underserved by projects.
(f)(1) The Commissioner shall, as necessary, develop and publish in the Federal Register, in final form, indicators of what constitutes minimum compliance consistent with the evaluation standards under subsection (d)(1).
(2) Each grant recipient shall report to the Commissioner at the end of each project year the extent to which the grant recipient is in compliance with the evaluation standards.
(3)(A) The Commissioner shall annually conduct onsite compliance reviews of at least 15 percent of grant recipients. The Commissioner shall select grant recipients for review on a random basis.
(B) The Commissioner shall use the indicators in determining compliance with the evaluation standards.
(C) The Commissioner shall ensure that at least one member of a team conducting such a review shall be an individual who--
(i) is not an employee of the Federal Government; and
(ii) has experience or expertise in conducting projects.
(D) The Commissioner shall ensure that--
(i) a representative of the appropriate designated State unit shall participate in the review; and
(ii) no person shall participate in the review of a grant recipient if--
(I) the grant recipient provides any direct financial benefit to the reviewer; or
(II) participation in the review would give the appearance of a conflict of interest.
(4) In making a determination concerning any subsequent grant under this section, the Commissioner shall consider the past performance of the applicant, if applicable. The Commissioner shall use compliance indicators developed under this subsection that are consistent with program evaluation standards developed under subsection (d) to assess minimum project performance for purposes of making continuation awards in the third, fourth, and fifth years.
(5) Each fiscal year the Commissioner shall include in the annual report to Congress required by section 13 an analysis of the extent to which grant recipients have complied with the evaluation standards. The Commissioner may identify individual grant recipients in the analysis. In addition, the Commissioner shall report the results of onsite compliance reviews, identifying individual grant recipients.
(g) The Commissioner may provide, directly or by way of grant, contract, or cooperative agreement, technical assistance to--
(1) entities conducting projects for the purpose of assisting such entities in--
(A) the improvement of or the development of relationships with private industry or labor; or
(B) the improvement of relationships with State vocational rehabilitation agencies; and
(2) entities planning the development of new projects.
(h) As used in this section:
(1) The term "agreement" means an agreement described in subsection (a)(4).
(2) The term "project" means a Project With Industry established under subsection (a)(2).
(3) The term "grant recipient" means a recipient of a grant under subsection (a)(2).
Sec. 612. Authorization of Appropriations
There are authorized to be appropriated to carry out the provisions of this part, such sums as may be necessary for each of fiscal years 1999 through 2003.
Part B--Supported Employment Services for Individuals With the Most Significant Disabilities
Sec. 621. Purpose
It is the purpose of this part to authorize allotments, in addition to grants for vocational rehabilitation services under title I, to assist States in developing collaborative programs with appropriate entities to provide supported employment services for individuals with the most significant disabilities to enable such individuals to achieve the employment outcome of supported employment.
Sec. 622. Allotments
(a) In General
The Secretary shall allot the sums appropriated for each fiscal year to carry out this part among the States on the basis of relative population of each State, except that--
(A) no State shall receive less than $250,000, or one-third of one percent of the sums appropriated for the fiscal year for which the allotment is made, whichever is greater; and
(B) if the sums appropriated to carry out this part for the fiscal year exceed by $1,000,000 or more the sums appropriated to carry out this part in fiscal year 1992, no State shall receive less than $300,000, or one-third of one percent of the sums appropriated for the fiscal year for which the allotment is made, whichever is greater.
(2) Certain territories
(A) In general
For the purposes of this subsection, Guam, American Samoa, the United States Virgin Islands, and the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands shall not be considered to be States.
Each jurisdiction described in subparagraph (A) shall be allotted not less than one-eighth of one percent of the amounts appropriated for the fiscal year for which the allotment is made.`
Whenever the Commissioner determines that any amount of an allotment to a State for any fiscal year will not be expended by such State for carrying out the provisions of this part, the Commissioner shall make such amount available for carrying out the provisions of this part to one or more of the States that the Commissioner determines will be able to use additional amounts during such year for carrying out such provisions. Any amount made available to a State for any fiscal year pursuant to the preceding sentence shall, for the purposes of this section, be regarded as an increase in the allotment of the State (as determined under the preceding provisions of this section) for such year.
Sec. 623. Availability of Services
Funds provided under this part may be used to provide supported employment services to individuals who are eligible under this part. Funds provided under this part, or title I, may not be used to provide extended services to individuals who are eligible under this part or title I.
Sec. 624. Eligibility
An individual shall be eligible under this part to receive supported employment services authorized under this Act if--
(1) the individual is eligible for vocational rehabilitation services;
(2) the individual is determined to be an individual with a most significant disability; and
(3) a comprehensive assessment of rehabilitation needs of the individual described in section 7(2)(B), including an evaluation of rehabilitation, career, and job needs, identifies supported employment as the appropriate employment outcome for the individual.
Sec. 625. State Plan
(a) State Plan Supplements
To be eligible for an allotment under this part, a State shall submit to the Commissioner, as part of the State plan under section 101, a State plan supplement for providing supported employment services authorized under this Act to individuals who are eligible under this Act to receive the services. Each State shall make such annual revisions in the plan supplement as may be necessary.
Each such plan supplement shall--
(1) designate each designated State agency as the agency to administer the program assisted under this part;
(2) summarize the results of the comprehensive, statewide assessment conducted under section 101(a)(15)(A)(i), with respect to the rehabilitation needs of individuals with significant disabilities and the need for supported employment services, including needs related to coordination;
(3) describe the quality, scope, and extent of supported employment services authorized under this Act to be provided to individuals who are eligible under this Act to receive the services and specify the goals and plans of the State with respect to the distribution of funds received under section 622;
(4) demonstrate evidence of the efforts of the designated State agency to identify and make arrangements (including entering into cooperative agreements) with other State agencies and other appropriate entities to assist in the provision of supported employment services;
(5) demonstrate evidence of the efforts of the designated State agency to identify and make arrangements (including entering into cooperative agreements) with other public or nonprofit agencies or organizations within the State, employers, natural supports, and other entities with respect to the provision of extended services;
(6) provide assurances that--
(A) funds made available under this part will only be used to provide supported employment services authorized under this Act to individuals who are eligible under this part to receive the services;
(B) the comprehensive assessments of individuals with significant disabilities conducted under section 102(b)(1) and funded under title I will include consideration of supported employment as an appropriate employment outcome;
(C) an individualized plan for employment, as required by section 102, will be developed and updated using funds under title I in order to--
(i) specify the supported employment services to be provided;
(ii) specify the expected extended services needed; and
(iii) identify the source of extended services, which may include natural supports, or to the extent that it is not possible to identify the source of extended services at the time the individualized plan for employment is developed, a statement describing the basis for concluding that there is a reasonable expectation that such sources will become available;
(D) the State will use funds provided under this part only to supplement, and not supplant, the funds provided under title I, in providing supported employment services specified in the individualized plan for employment;
(E) services provided under an individualized plan for employment will be coordinated with services provided under other individualized plans established under other Federal or State programs;
(F) to the extent jobs skills training is provided, the training will be provided on site; and
(G) supported employment services will include placement in an integrated setting for the maximum number of hours possible based on the unique strengths, resources, priorities, concerns, abilities, capabilities, interests, and informed choice of individuals with the most significant disabilities;
(7) provide assurances that the State agencies designated under paragraph (1) will expend not more than 5 percent of the allotment of the State under this part for administrative costs of carrying out this part; and
(8) contain such other information and be submitted in such manner as the Commissioner may require.
Sec. 626. Restriction
Each State agency designated under section 625(b)(1) shall collect the information required by section 101(a)(10) separately for eligible individuals receiving supported employment services under this part and for eligible individuals receiving supported employment services under title I.
Sec. 627. Savings Provision
(a) Supported Employment Services
Nothing in this Act shall be construed to prohibit a State from providing supported employment services in accordance with the State plan submitted under section 101 by using funds made available through a State allotment under section 110.
(b) Postemployment Services
Nothing in this part shall be construed to prohibit a State from providing discrete postemployment services in accordance with the State plan submitted under section 101 by using funds made available through a State allotment under section 110 to an individual who is eligible under this part.
Sec. 628. Authorization of Appropriations
There are authorized to be appropriated to carry out this part such sums as may be necessary for each of fiscal years 1999 through 2003.
Index TITLE I TITLE II TITLE III TITLE IV TITLE V TITLE VI TITLE VII