RSA OIB Regulations
Resolution 2015-16
Whereas, the Rehabilitation Services Administration (RSA) administers the more than $32 million national Independent Living Services to Older Individuals who are Blind (OIB) program established under Title VII, Chapter 2 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, as amended; and
Whereas, RSA makes OIB funding available to state vocational rehabilitation agencies who in turn can contract with a variety of private entities to deliver independent living services to clients; and
Whereas, on the whole, organizations which specialize in providing rehabilitation services to the blind and visually impaired community can best provide the specialized independent living services to persons served under the OIB program; and
Whereas, RSA does not require state agencies to give priority to private organizations specializing in services to clients who are blind or visually impaired when such state agencies contract with third parties to deliver OIB services; and
Whereas, this lack of a mandatory priority is resulting in OIB contracts being awarded to third parties, such as independent living centers, which rarely possess the commitment and expertise to provide OIB services competently and thoroughly;
Now, therefore, be it resolved by the American Council of the Blind in convention assembled on the 10th day of July, 2015, at the Sheraton Dallas Hotel, Dallas, Texas, that this organization strongly urge the Rehabilitation Services Administration to adopt regulations that establish clear and unequivocal requirements for the training of personnel who will be permitted to provide services under the OIB program; and
Be it further resolved that the RSA instruct state agencies to provide funding only to those private agencies whose personnel meet the standards articulated in such regulations.
Ray Campbell, Secretary