New from NCRTM

Issue #44 June 2020

Upcoming Live Events

On-Demand Webinars

VR100: Opportunities to Celebrate 

RSA continues to feature ways that VR can make a difference. Below are opportunities to celebrate:
Banner with the words VR100 Vocational Rehabilitation 1920-2020

Partnerships that Make a Difference
June 25, 2020, 2:30 EDT

On June 25, 2020, RSA will showcase two partnerships that are enabling individuals with disabilities to benefit from advances in technology.
  • RSA and the Department of Health and Human Services' Administration for Community Living will highlight a decades-long partnership between the VR program and programs established under the Assistive Technology Act that have expanded career opportunities for individuals with disabilities through assistive technology.
  • RSA and the Department of Veteran Affairs' Vocational Rehabilitation and Employment (VR&E) will feature their history of partnerships and share examples and user success stories of how recent collaboration has enabled counselors and veterans with disabilities to benefit from advances in technology.

VR100 Anniversary: Celebrating a Century of Success

June 2, 2020, marked the 100th anniversary of the VR program. OSERS' Rehabilitation Services Administration paid tribute to this historical occasion by showcasing how VR has helped change the lives of students and adults with disabilities.

RSA TA and Demonstration Projects Virtual Series: Results and Reflections

During the month of July, the RSA-funded technical assistance centers and other demonstration projects will feature the results of their projects and reflect on take-aways and implications for the future.

New & Notable from RSA


Summer 2020 Call for Peer Reviewers 

U.S. Department of Education, Office of Special Education and Rehabilitative Services (OSERS), RSA is seeking qualified peer reviewers with VR expertise in working with individuals who are blind; quality program management; and/or cultural competency for possible upcoming grant competitions. Interested reviewers must be able to participate in review panels to provide written analysis and scoring of submitted grant applications, which will be used to provide constructive written feedback to applicants.  RSA seeks individuals with VR experience who are excellent writers, good critical thinkers, and committed to completing assigned tasks in a professional and timely manner. A 2020 Call for Peer Reviewers is available in the NCRTM.

RSA Discretionary Grants

Are you considering applying for an RSA grant? Check out the RSA Discretionary Grants Information Page hosted in the NCRTM. Below is a list of open discretionary grant competitions:
  • Parent Information and Training - CFDA 84.235F - Application Closing Date: 6/22/2020
  • Parent Information and Training Program - Technical Assistance for Parent Training and Information Centers - CFDA 84.235G - Application Closing Date: 6/22/2020
  • American Indian Vocational Rehabilitation Services (AIVRS) Program - CFDA 84.250N - Extended Application Deadline: 6/26/2020

RSA Announces New Approach to Technical Assistance with Businesses

On June 17, 2020, RSA announced a change in technical assistance strategy with businesses that partner with RSA VR agency grantees for data and case management systems. RSA will partner differently with case management system companies, consultants, and firms who provide services to our grantees. To ensure that the technical assistance we provide is transparent and available to each of these businesses, RSA will no longer hold individual meetings with businesses. Instead, businesses may email their questions related to the Case Service Report (RSA-911) and the WIOA performance accountability system to Businesses may email their questions related to financial reports to RSA will collect these questions and answer them through GovDelivery email. If a business or VR agency is interested in receiving these emails, please register at the U.S. Department of Education’s GovDelivery. This new approach will help to ensure that all businesses and VR agencies receive RSA’s technical assistance related to Federal reporting requirements.
RSA remains committed to providing technical assistance directly to our grantees. We encourage VR agency staff who work with performance data to reach out to staff in the Data Collection and Analysis Unit. VR agency staff who work with fiscal data should continue to partner with Financial Management Specialists in the Fiscal Unit. As always, grantees may also connect with their RSA State Liaison

RSA-Funded TA Center COVID-19 Updates and Resources

We know how difficult it has been for the VR community to adapt to the uncertainty and changes in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. RSA’s technical assistance (TA) centers are continually updating information and resources at the following sites:

RSA Announces Phased Migration to New Website and New RSAMIS at

On June 22, 2020, RSA began a phased migration to our new website that continues to serve as RSA's platform for sharing information and news related to our programs and our repository of guidance, technical assistance, and other resources for grantees and the public. The website continues to serve as the RSA Management Information System (RSAMIS) wherein grantees report performance data, fiscal data, and other information. RSA anticipates that all data collection forms will be available for use by grantees through the new RSAMIS by the time each report must be submitted. Specific information on the phased migration process is located on the About RSA.ED.GOV and RSAMIS Technical Support page.

The phased migration of this website and the RSAMIS has been and will continue to be a complex information technology project with many challenges. RSA thanks you, in advance, for your partnership and patience as we navigate this project. We look forward to receiving feedback and suggestions from grantees and our partners as we build a useful website that is accessible to all users. Please reach out to your RSA State Liaison with feedback or questions.

Learning Opportunities

The RSA-funded TA Centers and other RSA-funded projects report that participation in online training has increased significantly since in-person contact opportunities are not possible. Check back to the NCRTM Events page to keep up with new and on-demand learning opportunities. We offer a few of these opportunities below: 

Project E3 Webcast Series

Project E3 offers a robust series of webcasts on topics designed to improve VR services for the most underserved groups of people with disabilities. Gain valuable information on a wide range of topics that will help improve employment outcomes and quality of employment for people you serve. You will have the opportunity to ask questions and discuss issues with presenters and other attendees. As a bonus, they offer continuing education credits.

Learn More About DeafBlind Interpreting 

The DeafBlind Interpreting Training and Resource Center offers self-paced online learning modules for interpreters, VR professionals, educators, and students. The topics include:
  • Module 1: The Protactile Movement
  • Module 2: The Seven Principles of Protactile Language
  • Module 3: DeafBlind Interpreting in Vocational Rehab Settings
  • Module 4: Understanding Accessible Technologies

Free Courses - Blindness and Low Vision

While many professionals are working from home, consider meeting your continuing education requirements through the 40 free courses from the National Research & Training Center on Blindness and Low Vision (NRTC).Two recent courses include:
  • Basics in Evaluation of Programs for Older Individuals who are Blind breaks down program evaluation into manageable steps so that OIB program managers can be confident in their abilities to accomplish a program evaluation that yields meaningful data (1-hour)
  • Assistive Technology for Individuals who are Blind or Visually Impaired in the Workplace provides information on assessment, ways to obtain devices, and resources for training individuals to use provided devices (1-hour)
The Frequently Asked Questions page discusses browser compatibility, keyboard shortcuts, and credits available (CRCC, ACVREP, and NBPCB).

Evidence-Based Practices DIY

NTACT has packaged resources for practitioners who would like to learn and try out evidence-based practices (EBP). Topics include video modeling, Go 4 It Now, Self-Determined Learning Model of Instruction (SDLMI), and response prompting. These topics can be used across academic, non-academic and employment areas. Resources include how-to videos, lesson plans, instructional guides, and other key materials. Want us to add another DIY package for an existing EBP? Let us know the topic!

COVID-19, The ADA and the Rehab Act

The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) released the publication “What You Should Know About COVID-19 and the ADA, the Rehabilitation Act, and Other EEO Laws” that clarifies how employers must try to accommodate workers with medical conditions that make them vulnerable to COVID-19. 

New Content


From RSA-Funded TA Centers

From States

Resources from RSA grantees, Federal partners, and Other Relevant Partners

This newsletter includes some acronyms for RSA-funded Technical Assistance Centers and other grantee offerings. Links to these centers are included in the “RSA-Funded Assistance and Other Resources” section of the NCRTM.
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