WHEREAS, the purpose of the Federal Rehabilitation Act is to empower individuals with disabilities to maximize employment, economic self-sufficiency, independence, and inclusion and integration into society; and
WHEREAS, only through the establishment of a state rehabilitation council is the State of Washington eligible for Rehabilitation Act funding for a statewide program of vocational rehabilitation services; and
WHEREAS, on April 30, 1993, Governor Mike Lowry issued Executive Order 93-04 which, in part, established a Washington State Rehabilitation Advisory Council; and
WHEREAS, individuals with disabilities in the State of Washington continue to benefit from federally funded vocational rehabilitation services; and
WHEREAS, the formation of a new, streamlined council is necessary to ensure better alignment with federal requirements, to simplify existing processes, and to enhance overall effectiveness.
NOW, THEREFORE, I, Gary Locke, Governor of the State of Washington, do hereby establish the State Rehabilitation Council, and require the following:
1. FORMATION OF COUNCIL AND MEMBERSHIP
The Council shall comprise at least 13 members, but not more than 19 members, of which a majority of the voting appointees shall constitute a quorum. Members of the Council shall be appointed by the Governor and shall serve at the pleasure of the Governor. A chairperson shall be designated by the members of the 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 Council: 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. No member may serve more than two consecutive 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 Council, appointments shall be made with consideration given to geographic representation, gender, and ethnic and cultural diversity. Individuals with disabilities shall constitute a majority of the Council.
Membership of the State Rehabilitation Council shall be as follows:
- At least one representative of the State Independent Living Council, which representative may be the chairperson or other designee of the Council.
- At least one representative of a parent training and information center established pursuant to the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act.
- At least one representative of the Client Assistance Program.
- At least one vocational rehabilitation counselor, with knowledge of and experience with vocational rehabilitation programs, who shall serve as an ex officio, non-voting member if the counselor is an employee of the state.
- At least one representative of community rehabilitation program service providers.
- Four representatives of business, labor, and industry.
- Representatives of disability advocacy groups representing a cross section of:
- individuals with physical, cognitive, sensory, and mental disabilities; and
- 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.
- Current or former applicants for, or recipients of, vocational rehabilitation services.
- At least one representative of directors of any vocational rehabilitation services projects operated by Indian tribes on reservations in Washington with Rehabilitation Act funding.
- At least one representative from the Office of the Superintendent of Public Instruction or other state educational agency responsible for the public education of students with disabilities who are eligible to receive services under the Rehabilitation Act or under Part B of the Federal Individuals with Disabilities Education Act.
- At least one representative of the state workforce investment board.
- The Director of the designated state rehabilitation unit, the Department of Social and Health Services' Division of Vocational Rehabilitation, shall be an ex officio member.
2. ROLE OF THE COUNCIL
The State Rehabilitation Council shall have the following functions:
- To review, analyze, and advise the general vocational rehabilitation program of responsibilities under the Rehabilitation Act.
- In partnership with the general vocational rehabilitation program, develop, agree to, and review the preparation of the state plan, the strategic plan, reports, needs assessments, and evaluations
- To conduct a review and analysis of consumer satisfaction as outlined in the Rehabilitation Act.
- To prepare and submit an annual report to the Governor, the public, and appropriate state and federal interested parties.
- Coordinate with other councils, as specified by the Rehabilitation Act.
- Advise and provide coordination between the general vocational rehabilitation program and the State Independent Living Council and independent living centers.
- Perform other functions, consistent with the Rehabilitation Act, as the Council determines appropriate.
- Ensure that all regularly scheduled meetings of the Council are open to the public and sufficient advance notice is provided, as required by 42.30 RCW, the Open Public Meetings Act. Additionally, Council Records shall be made available upon request as required by the Public Records Act, RCW 42.17.260.
3. MEETINGS AND OTHER BUSINESS
- The Council shall convene at least four meetings a year.
- Members may be reimbursed for reasonable and necessary expenses of attending Council meetings and performing Council duties. The Council's expense policies must conform to guidelines published within the State Administrative and Accounting Manual.
4. DESIGNATED STATE AGENCY
- The Department of Social and Health Services' Division of Vocational Rehabilitation shall provide administrative support to the Council as follows:
- I n conjunction with the Council, develop a plan for the provision of such resources as may be necessary to carry out the functions of the Council.
- If the resource plan includes state staff support for the Council, recognize that the Council shall supervise and evaluate such staff in regards to performance of Council support functions.
- Disburse and account for any funding made available to the Council.
- Ensure that the Council is operating within federal and state law, policies and procedures in all of its administrative functions.
All aspects of the Council shall comply with, and conform to, the requirements of the Federal Rehabilitation Act.