State Rehabilitation Council

Applicable citations: 34 CFR § 361.16 and 34 CFR § 361.17

What is the State Rehabilitation Council?

The State Rehabilitation Council (SRC) collaborates with the VR agency in administering the VR program. In partnership with the VR agency, the SRC carries out the following important functions:

  1. Develop, agree to, and review State goals and priorities in accordance with §361.29(c);
  2. Evaluate the effectiveness of the VR program;
  3. Assist in the preparation of the vocational rehabilitation services portion of the Unified or Combined State Plan and amendments to the plan, applications, reports, needs assessments, and evaluations required by §361.17;
  4. To the extent feasible, conduct a review and analysis of the effectiveness of, and consumer satisfaction with:
    1. The functions performed by the designated State agency;
    2. The 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 Act; and
    3. The employment outcomes achieved by eligible individuals receiving services, including the availability of health and other employment benefits in connection with those employment outcomes;
  5. Prepare and submit an annual report to the Governor and RSA on the status of vocational rehabilitation programs operated within the State;
  6. To avoid duplication of efforts and enhance the number of individuals served, coordinate activities with the activities of other councils within the State; and
  7. Provide for coordination and the establishment of working relationships between the designated State agency and the Statewide Independent Living Council and centers for independent living within the State;

The SRC composition and responsibilities requirements are specified in Section 105 of the Rehabilitation Act and 34 C.F.R. §§ 361.16 and 361.17. It is critical to understand the role of and develop a strong partnership with the SRC and its Chairperson. This partnership requires sharing responsibility in carrying out certain tasks while advocating on behalf of people with disabilities to achieve competitive integrated employment.

Who comprises the State Rehabilitation Council?

The SRC is composed of stakeholders -- individuals with disabilities, advocates, business and industry reps, VR professionals, service providers, and more -- who represent different perspectives and who are typically appointed by the Governor. In states with both Blind and General VR programs, there are separate councils for each entity.

The VR Director serves as a non-voting member. Each member of the SRC must be appointed for a term of no more than three years, and may serve for no more than two consecutive full terms. A member appointed to fill a vacancy is appointed for the remainder of the predecessor’s term; thus, that is considered their first term, regardless of whether or not the remainder of that term is a full three years. The Client Assistance Program and the 121 Native American VR Project Director positions have no term limit.

The SRC must have at least 15 members, including the following:

  • At least one representative of the Statewide Independent Living Council (SILC) who must be either the chairperson or another designee of the SILC;
  • At least one representative of a parent training and information center established pursuant to section 682(a) of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act;
  • At least one representative of the Client Assistance Program (CAP) who must be either the CAP director or another individual recommended by the CAP;
  • At least one qualified VR counselor with knowledge of and experience with the VR program, who serves as a nonvoting, ex officio member if he or she is employed by the DSA;
  • At least one representative of community rehabilitation program service providers;
  • Four representatives of business, industry, and labor;
  • Representatives of disability advocacy groups: (a) representing a cross-section of individuals with physical, cognitive, sensory, and mental disabilities; and (b) representing individuals with disabilities who have difficulty representing themselves or are unable to represent themselves due to their disabilities;
  • Former or current applicants for, or recipient of, VR services;
  • At least one representative of the directors of AIVRS projects, if such projects are funded under section 121 of the Rehabilitation Act in the State;
  • At least one representative of the State educational agency responsible for the public education of students with disabilities; and
  • At least one representative from the State Workforce Development Board.

The majority of SRC members must be individuals with disabilities not employed by the designated State unit (DSU).

The SRC is required to convene at least four meetings a year which are publicly announced and open and accessible to the general public.

In 2011, the 36th Institute on Rehabilitation Issues (IRI) published “The State Rehabilitation Council-Vocational Rehabilitation Partnership (IRI-SRC VR Partnership.) This publication offers an in-depth view of all things SRC. In light of passage of the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act, this was updated in 2019 and this updated version is linked below in “other resources”.

Important changes to the law to note

One important note: In 1998, several changes were made to the law regarding SRCs. States that already had a consumer-controlled independent commission were grandfathered in and allowed to retain those structures rather than establish an SRC as required by the legislation. The following agencies were grandfathered under that clause:

  1. Idaho Commissioner for the Blind and Visually Impaired
  2. Iowa Department for the Blind
  3. Michigan Commission for the Blind and Visually Impaired
  4. Nebraska Commission for the Blind and Visually Impaired
  5. New Mexico Commission for the Blind
  6. Ohio Rehabilitation Services Commission
  7. Oregon Commission for the Blind
  8. South Carolina Commission for the Blind
  9. South Carolina Vocational Rehabilitation Department

Other Resources

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