WSR 02-01-130



(Health and Rehabilitation Services Administration)

[ Filed December 19, 2001, 10:52 a.m. ]

     Subject of Possible Rule Making: The Division of Vocational Rehabilitation (DVR) plans to:

•     Repeal WAC 490-500-520 Purchase of services -- Selection criteria -- Community rehabilitation programs.

•     Add new rules regarding community rehabilitation programs and assistive technology service providers.

     Statutes Authorizing the Agency to Adopt Rules on this Subject: 34 Code of Federal Regulations, Part 361.51 Standards for facilities and providers of services. RCW 74.29.020(8) Rehabilitation services for individuals with disabilities.

     Reasons Why Rules on this Subject may be Needed and What They Might Accomplish: DVR's quality assurance standards for community rehabilitation programs (CRPs) have not been updated in more than fifteen years. Many do not meet current nationally recognized professional standards for CRPs nor do they reflect present quality expectations of individuals receiving CRP services. Updating and establishing these rules will bring DVR's current rules into line with current national standards and assure that the quality expectations of individuals seeking and receiving vocational rehabilitation services through external DVR service providers are recognized and met.

     DVR has no quality standards for providers of assistive technology (AT) services. DVR participants expect such assurances.

     The revised DVR rules will conform to current state statutes requiring criminal background checks to be in place for providers of services to vulnerable adults.

     Federal regulations require DVR to provide individuals with information on the effectiveness, efficiency and customer satisfaction results of AT and CRP service providers whom they may choose to receive services from. The new rules will enable DVR participants to make more informed decisions regarding their service delivery options.

     Other Federal and State Agencies that Regulate this Subject and the Process Coordinating the Rule with These Agencies: United States Department of Education, Rehabilitation Services Administration (RSA)/review and comment.

     Process for Developing New Rule: DVR welcomes public participation in this rule-making process. Anyone interested in doing so may contact the DVR staff person indicated below for more information. A series of statewide forums is planned in the near future to provide the public an opportunity to learn more specifics and provide input to the proposed rules. As the rules are developed, DVR will send drafts to all those interested in receiving a copy for their review and comment.

     Interested parties can participate in the decision to adopt the new rule and formulation of the proposed rule before publication by contacting Lee Ruddy, Program Administrator, DSHS/DVR, P.O. Box 45340, Olympia, WA 98504-5340, e-mail, voice/TTY (360) 438-8000.

December 17, 2001

Brian Lindgren, Manager

Rules and Policies Assistance Unit

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