This Executive Order implements the authority granted to the Governor by the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, as amended by the Rehabilitation Act Amendments of 1992, and requirements for states participating with the U.S. Department of Education, Rehabilitation Services Administration. The purpose of those acts and regulations is to move toward a collaborative and comprehensive statewide system of rehabilitation services for individuals with disabilities. To do so requires the establishment of state rehabilitation and state independent living councils to advise and assist the state on a broad range of policy and coordination issues.
NOW, THEREFORE, I, Mike Lowry, Governor of the State of Washington, do hereby establish the Washington State Rehabilitation Advisory Council and the Washington State Independent Living Advisory Council.
1. FORMATION OF COUNCILS AND MEMBERSHIP:
Each council shall comprise at least 15 members, but not more than 21 members, of which a majority of the voting appointees shall constitute a quorum. Members of the councils shall be appointed by the Governor. A chairperson shall be designated by the members of each council. State executive and legislative appointees shall be ex officio, non-voting members. Terms of membership shall be three years, with the exception that initial appointments shall be staggered in order to assure continuity of the councils: one-third shall be appointed for one-year terms; one-third shall be appointed for two-year terms; and one-third shall be appointed for three-year terms. If a member resigns before completing a term, a new member may be appointed to serve out the remainder of that term.
To achieve a balanced membership on the councils, appointments shall be made with consideration given to geographic representation, gender, and ethnic and cultural diversity. Individuals with disabilities shall constitute a majority of each council.
A. Membership of the State Rehabilitation Advisory Council shall be as follows:
(1) At least one representative of the State Independent Living Advisory Council, which representative may be the chairperson or other designee of the council.
(2) At least one representative of a parent training and information center established pursuant to the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act.
(3) At least one representative of the Client Assistance Program.
(4) At least one vocational rehabilitation counselor, with knowledge of and experience with vocational rehabilitation programs, who shall serve as an ex off officio, non-voting member if the counselor is an employee of the state.
(5) At least one representative of community rehabilitation program service providers.
(6) Four representatives of business, labor, and industry.
(7) Representatives of disability advocacy groups representing a cross section of:
a. individuals with physical, cognitive, sensory, and mental disabilities; and
b. parents, family members, guardians, advocates, or authorized representatives of individuals with disabilities who have difficulty in representing themselves or are unable, due to their disability, to represent themselves.
(8) Current or former applicants for, or recipients of, vocational rehabilitation services.
(9) Ex Officio Member-The Director of the designated state rehabilitation unit shall be an ex officio member.
B. Membership of the State Independent Living Advisory Council shall be as follows:
(1) At least one director of a center for independent living chosen by the directors of centers for independent living within the state.
(2) As ex officio, non-voting members:
a. a representative from the designated state unit; and
b. representatives from other state agencies that provide services for individuals with disabilities.
(3) The Council may include:
a. Other representatives from centers for independent living
b. Parents and guardians of individuals with disabilities.
c. Advocates of and for individuals with disabilities.
d. Representatives from private businesses.
e. Representatives from organizations that provide services for individuals with disabilities.
f. Other appropriate individuals.
2. ROLES OF EACH COUNCIL:
A. State Rehabilitation Advisory Council Functions:
(1) To review, analyze, and advise the general vocational rehabilitation program of responsibilities under the Act.
(2) Advise and assist the general vocational rehabilitation program in the e preparation of the state plan, the strategic plan, reports, needs assessments, and evaluations.
(3) To conduct a review and analysis of consumer satisfaction.
(4) To prepare and submit an annual report to the Governor, the public, and appropriate state and federal interested parties.
(5) Coordinate with other councils, as specified by the Act.
(6) Advise and provide coordination between the general vocational' rehabilitation program and the State Independent Living Advisory Council and independent living centers.
(7) Perform other functions, consistent with the Act, as the council determines appropriate.
B. State Independent Living Advisory Council Functions:
(1) To jointly develop and submit the State Plan for Independent Living in conjunction with the general vocational rehabilitation program.
(2) To monitor, review, and evaluate the implementation of the State Plan for Independent Living.
(3) Coordinate activities with the State Rehabilitation Advisory Council and other councils that address the needs of disability populations.
(4) Perform other functions, consistent with the Act, as the council determines appropriate.
3. MEETINGS AND OTHER BUSINESS:
A. Each council shall convene at least four meetings a year.
B. The Division of Vocational Rehabilitation of the Department of Social and Health Services shall, in conjunction with each council, develop a plan for the provision of such resources as may be necessary to carry out the functions of each council.
C. Members may be reimbursed for reasonable and necessary expenses of attending council meetings and performing council duties.
This order shall take effect immediately.