​Chapter 8.02 Contents:

[REVISED: 11/22/16]

  1. Chapter 8.02 applies to rehabilitation technology other than:
    Corrective lenses and eyeglasses, see Chapter 8.14, PHYS RES, Policy 2.

    Driving instruction on modified vehicle, see Chapter 8.21, VEHICLE MOD, Policy 5.

    Durable medical equipment and wheelchairs; see Chapter 8.14, PHYS RES, Policy 2

    Hearing aids, see Chapter 8.14, PHYS RES, Policy 1.

    Home modification; see Chapter 8.06, HOME MOD, Policy 1.

    Occupational therapy, see Chapter 8.14, PHYS RES, Policy 1.

    Physical therapy, see Chapter 8.14, PHYS RES, Policy 1.

    Prosthetic and orthotic appliances see Chapter 8.14, PHYS RES, Policy 1.

    Telecommunication, sensory and other technological aids and devices, see Chapter 8.14, PHYS RES, Policy 1.

    Vehicle modification, see Chapter 8.21, VEHICLE MOD, Policy 5.

               

  2. Rehabilitation technology definition.
    Rehabilitation technology means (per 2014 Public Law 113-128, Title IV, Section 404, Sec 7 and 2016 Federal Regulation 34 CFR § 361.5 (c)(45)) the systematic application of technologies, engineering methodologies, or scientific principles to meet the needs of, and address the barriers confronted by, individuals with disabilities in areas that include education, rehabilitation, employment, transportation, independent living, and recreation. Rehabilitation technology (per federal Technical Assistance Circular RSA-TAC-91-01 issued November 16, 1990) includes rehabilitation engineering, assistive technology devices, and assistive technology services available to substitute for functions lost through disability, or to supplement/enhance existing functions to expand employment and independent living opportunities, or to impact the environment through changes, such as job re-design or work site modifications.

  3. Rehabilitation engineering definition.
    Rehabilitation engineering means (per 2016 Federal Regulation 34 CFR § 361.5 (c)(44)) the systematic application of engineering sciences to design, develop, adapt, test, evaluate, apply, and distribute technological solutions to problems confronted by individuals with disabilities in functional areas such as mobility, communications, hearing, vision, and cognition, and in activities associated with employment, independent living, education, and integration into the community. Rehabilitation engineering is often provided in collaboration with other rehabilitation service providers, such as physical therapists and occupational therapists.

  4. Assistive technology device definition.
    Assistive technology device means (per 2014 Public Law 113-128, Title IV, Section 404, Sec 7 and 29 U.S.C. 3002 and 2016 Federal Regulation 34 CFR § 361.5 (c) (6)) any item, piece of equipment, or product system - whether acquired commercially off the shelf, modified, or customized - that is used to increase, maintain, or improve the functional capabilities of an individual with a disability.

  5. Assistive technology service definition.
    Assistive technology service means (per 2014 Public Law 113-128, Title IV, Section 404, Sec 7 and 29 U.S.C. 3002 and 2016 Federal Regulation 34 CFR § 361.5 (c)(6)) any service that directly assists an individual with a disability in the selection, acquisition, or use of an assistive technology device, including:

     

      1. Evaluation of the needs of an individual with a disability, including a functional evaluation of the impact of the provision of appropriate assistive technology and appropriate services to the individual in his or her customary environment,
      2. Purchasing, leasing, or otherwise providing for the acquisition of assistive technology devices by individuals with disabilities,
      3. Selecting, designing, fitting, customizing, adapting, applying, maintaining, repairing, replacing, or donating assistive technology devices,
      4. Coordinating and using necessary therapies, interventions, or services with assistive technology devices, such as therapies, interventions, or services associated with education and rehabilitation plans and programs,
      5. Training or technical assistance for an individual with a disability or, where appropriate, the family members, guardians, advocates, or authorized representatives of such an individual, and
      6. Training or technical assistance for professionals (including individuals providing education and rehabilitation services and entities that manufacture or sell assistive technology devices), employers, providers of employment and training services, or other individuals who provide services to, employ, or are otherwise substantially involved in the major life functions of individuals with disabilities.
      7. Expanding the availability of access to technology, including electronic and information technology, to individuals with disabilities.
  6. Case status.
    The counselor may provide rehabilitation technology under a Trial Work Experiences Plan, Extended Evaluation Plan, Individualized Plan for Employment (IPE), or Post Employment Services (PES) Plan.

  7. Needs assessment.
    Before the counselor includes rehabilitation technology on the service plan, the case record shall (per 2016 Federal Regulation 34 CFR § 361.42 (d) (1) and 2016 Federal Regulation 34 CFR § 361.45 (b) (1) and 2016 Federal Regulation 34 CFR § 361.48 (a)) document all requirements in Chapter 6.07, AT ASSESSMENT, Policies 1 and 2 have been met.

  8. Borrowing before buying.
    When appropriate, feasible, readily available, and more cost effective to DRS than purchasing, the counselor shall provide on a “borrow-free-of-charge” or pay to rent any assistive technology device needed for an assessment service or before Service status.

  9. Service and warranty contracts.
    The counselor may authorize a service maintenance contract and extended warranty contract.

  10. Client training on use and care.
    The counselor may (per 2016 Federal Regulation 34 CFR § 361.5 (c)(8)) authorize client training on assistive technology device use and care recommended in the Rehabilitation Technology Assessment Report. If authorized, the client shall complete the training.

  11. Client use.
    Assistive technology devices are (per State Regulation 22 VAC 30-20-120) for the exclusive use of the client for whom they are purchased. For some job placements and vocational training situations (such as modified equipment used in work shifts, employer or training vendor shares the purchase cost, etc.), the client, counselor, and employer/trainer may agree that others may share the goods that are purchased for client use. The client shall properly use and maintain the assistive technology device and protect it from theft or damage. The client shall not dispose of, sell, lend, give away, or borrow against the item while it is needed for VR or employment. The client shall inform the counselor right away if the client stops using it.

  12. Ownership and annual inventory. 
     

 

  1. The assistive technology device shall become client personal property upon receipt if it is:

    1. Prescribed, or

    1. Personalized and therefore not appropriate for reassignment to another client (sip and puff device, etc.), or

    1. Depleted (not depreciated) with normal use, or

    1. DRS paid less than $5,000 for it. 

  1. DARS shall retain title/ownership to all other assistive technology devices, and the client shall sign the Title of Agreement RS-14 before taking possession, and staff shall take annual inventory (see Chapter 14.1, PURCHASING, Policy 7).  If the client stops using the device while DRS retains title, the counselor may ask the client to voluntarily return it and reassign it to another client.  The client shall fully cooperate with DARS staff assigned to take inventory of goods listed on the Title of Agreement RS-14 form.   

  1. DRS does not repossess assistive technology devices from a client, unless obtained by collusion, fraud, or illegal means.

 

 

 

 

13. Comparable benefits.
Although rehabilitation technology is exempt (per 2016 Federal Regulation 34 CFR § 361.53) from a search for comparable benefits, the counselor shall (per federal Technical Assistance Circular RSA-TAC-91-01 issued November 16, 1990; federal policy directive RSA-PD-91-03 issued November 16, 1990) use a readily available comparable benefit.

  1. Employers having more than 15 full-time employees are generally financially responsible under federal law (P.L. 101-336 Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990) for reasonable job- and work site- accommodation and rehabilitation technology for their employees, including VR clients who are employed, such as clients with Supported Employment job placement or clients in on-the-job training (OJT). However, if the employer is unwilling or financially unable to comply, or is not subject to ADA, the counselor may (per federal Technical Assistance Circular RSA-TAC-98-04 issued September 29, 1998) provide it during the 90 day employment period without requiring the employer to meet the ADA test for “undue hardship” or “undue burden.”  After VR case closure, responsibility to provide rehabilitation technology lies elsewhere (such as with the employer or individual). Refer ADA employer obligation questions or alleged violations to the DARS Policy and Planning Division or U.S. Department of Justice or U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission.

  1. Public secondary (junior and senior high) schools have a legal obligation under federal law (P.L. 105-17 Individuals with Disabilities Education Act) to provide rehabilitation technology necessary for the student to benefit from the Individualized Education Program (IEP). When needed for the school IEP only, the counselor shall not authorize the purchase.  When needed for VR only (such as eligibility and VR service needs assessment, or training that is not part of the high school curriculum, etc.), the counselor may authorize the purchase. When needed for both the IEP and to achieve the IPE employment goal, the counselor shall (per 2016 Federal Regulation 34 CFR § 361.53) document an attempt to negotiate co-funding with the school.

 

 

14. Fee-based.
 

  1. Rehabilitation technology goods, service maintenance contract, and extended warranty contract shall (per 2016 Federal Regulation 34 CFR § 361.54 (b)(2)) be subject to consumer financial participation policy and Client Financial Statement (RS-13 form) results (see Chapter 14.3 FINANCIAL, Policy 1), including (per 2016 Federal Regulation 34 CFR § 361.54 (b)(3)) when needed to access a VR assessment service. 

     
  1. Non-assessment rehabilitation technology services shall be exempt from consumer financial participation when provided by DRS staff (such as assistive technology specialist, rehabilitation engineer, etc.) and shall (per 2016 Federal Regulation 34 CFR § 361.54 (b)(3)) be subject to consumer financial participation when provided by someone else.

 

 

15. Encumbering funds.
See Chapter 14.1, PURCHASING, Policy 1.  For S/I Code and fee schedule, see DARS Services Reference Manual, Other services, Rehabilitation Engineering category.

 

 

16. Lowest cost.
For policies on lowest cost, add-ons, and upgrades, see Chapter 14.1, PURCHASING, Policy 6.

 

 

17. Repair.
See Chapter 8.08, REPAIRS, Policy 1.

 

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Links to the Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) are currently unavailable while we await federal changes to the vocational rehabilitation program. Upon promulgation of the final regulations the links will be updated and activated.