WSR 01-03-131

PREPROPOSAL STATEMENT OF INQUIRY

DEPARTMENT OF

SERVICES FOR THE BLIND

[ Filed January 23, 2001, 12:49 p.m. ]

Subject of Possible Rule Making: Order of selection.

Statutes Authorizing the Agency to Adopt Rules on this Subject: Federal Regulatory Authority for Order of Selection Rehabilitation Act of 1973, as amended, Section 101 (a)(5). 34 Code of Federal Regulations Part 361 Sec. 361.36 Ability to serve all eligible individuals; order of selection for services. Regulatory Authority for Information and Referral Services Rehabilitation Act of 1973, as amended, Section 101 (a)(20) Information and Referral services. 34 Code of Federal Regulations Part 361 Sec. 361.37 Information and referral services. The Rehabilitation Act of 1973, as Amended, Title I - Vocational Rehabilitation Services, Part A - General Provisions, Section 100 - Declaration of Policy; Authorization of Appropriations; (b) Authorization of Appropriations (5) Order of Selection for Vocational Rehabilitation Services.

Reasons Why Rules on this Subject may be Needed and What They Might Accomplish: In the event that the Department of Services for the Blind does not have sufficient vocational rehabilitation funds to serve all eligible participants, the federal Vocational Rehabilitation Act requires that a system be established for giving "the most severely disabled" eligible participants priority for services. The proposed rules would establish the state's definition of "the most severely disabled," as well as priority categories, and would provide a description of how order of selection would be implemented.

Other Federal and State Agencies that Regulate this Subject and the Process Coordinating the Rule with These Agencies: The Division of Vocational Rehabilitation within the Department of Social and Health Services has already established a WAC on Order of Selection. Both the DVR WAC and the new rule we are proposing are designed to comply with the requirements of the Rehabilitation Act for how vocational rehabilitation funds are expended, and to assure that the full range of services, as required by the federal law, continue to be provided to eligible participants in priority categories in a fair and systematic manner. Our two agencies serve different constituencies and have a different definition for the "most severely disabled" which affects how the order of selection is implemented.

Process for Developing New Rule: Agency study.

Interested parties can participate in the decision to adopt the new rule and formulation of the proposed rule before publication by contacting Lou Oma Durand, Department of Services for the Blind, Director of Employment Services, 9010 East Marginal Way South, Suite 12C, Seattle, WA 98108-4011, Loudurand@dsb.wa.gov, phone (206) 658-6735, fax (206) 764-4098, toll free 1-800-552-7103.

Department of Services for the Blind Community Meetings: On February 23, 2001, Seattle, Washington Talking Book and Braille Library, 5:30-7:30 p.m.; on February 24, 2001, Bellingham, Bellingham Public Library, 10-noon; on March 1, 2001, Vancouver, Washington State School for the Blind, 6-8 p.m.; on March 2, 2001, Tacoma, Tacoma Public Library, 3:30-5:30 p.m.; on March 26, 2001, Richland, Richland Public Library, 6-8 p.m.; and on March 27, 2001, Spokane, LILAC, 6-8 p.m.

Rehabilitation Council Meeting on March 3, 2001, Tacoma, Tacoma Public Library, 9:30 a.m.-4 p.m.

January 23, 2001

Bill Palmer

Executive Director

Washington State Code Reviser's Office