The U.S. Department of Education’s Office of Special Education and Rehabilitative Services (OSERS) and Office of Career, Technical, and Adult Education (OCTAE) invite you to submit comments and recommendations to help us implement the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA), signed by President Obama on July 22. This new law seeks to maximize opportunities for youth and adults, with and without disabilities, to succeed in postsecondary education and in high-skill, high-wage, high-demand jobs in the 21st century economy. Specifically, we seek your comments to assist us as we begin the process of implementing the amendments to the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 that were made by Title IV of WIOA and of the new version of the Adult Education and Family Literacy Act (AEFLA), in Title II of WIOA.
Your input can help us identify issues and concerns that we need to address in order to fulfill the expectations of WIOA, particularly as we develop draft regulations for public comment. While OSERS and OCTAE encourage you to respond to the specific questions that are set out below, we also encourage you to identify other issues that you believe are significant, and to provide your recommendations on how we should address them.
OSERS is particularly interested in comments on any or all of the following questions:
- What should OSERS consider in developing regulation or guidance for implementing performance measures in section 116 of WIOA with regard to the Vocational Rehabilitation Services program?
- In light of the new provisions in the Rehabilitation Act regarding competitive integrated employment in high-demand fields, what revisions should be made, if any, to the regulations related to the definition of employment outcome?
- What should OSERS consider in developing regulation or guidance related to transition services for students with disabilities, particularly the new provisions in section 113 of the Rehabilitation Act related to pre-employment transition services and transition services to groups in section 103(b) of the Rehabilitation Act?
- Section 109 of the Rehabilitation Act made significant changes regarding the provision of services to employers, including the requirement for performance measures related to the effectiveness of services to employers. How can OSERS best implement these new provisions?
- Subtitle G of WIOA made significant changes to the Rehabilitation Act related to supported employment. What should be considered in regulation or guidance on the new requirements specifically related to the provision of supported employment to youth with most significant disabilities?
OCTAE is particularly interested in comments on any or all of the following questions:
- In issuing definitions of performance indicators under Section 116, what should be considered in regulation or guidance when applying these indicators to adult education participants? How can the use of “measurable skill gain” best support services to low-skilled and limited English proficient individuals?
- WIOA emphasizes the importance of connecting job seekers and workers with the needs of employers and the regional economy. States will be required to report on their effectiveness in serving employers. What factors should OCTAE consider when defining how adult education and literacy programs may effectively serve employers?
- WIOA requires states to implement adult education content standards that are aligned to their standards under Title I of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965. What are the timeline and implementation issues that should be considered in supporting this requirement?
- AEFLA adds new activities to adult education and literacy services, including integrated education and training and workforce preparation. What should be considered in regulation or guidance on these new activities?
The comment period has ended.