Appropriate modes of communication means specialized aids and supports that enable an individual with a disability to comprehend and respond to information that is being communicated. Appropriate modes of communication include, but are not limited to, the use of interpreters, open and closed captioned videos, specialized telecommunications services and audio recordings, brailled and large print materials, materials in electronic formats, augmentative communication devices, graphic presentations, and simple language materials.
Reference: §361.5(b)(5)

Assessment for determining eligibility and vocational rehabilitation (VR) needs means, as appropriate in each case:

Reference: §361.5(b)(6)
Assistive technology device means 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. Examples include:

Reference: §361.5(b)(7)

Assistive technology service means any service that directly assists an individual with a disability in the selection, acquisition, or use of an assistive technology device, including:

Reference: §361.5(b)(8)

Auxiliary aids and services , which may be provided by RS, include but are not limited to:

The purpose of these auxiliary aids and services is to provide a means of effective communication, accommodating the needs of individual clients so they may derive full benefit of other VR services. Reference: State definition

Community rehabilitation program means:


Reference: §361.5(b)(9)

Comparable services and benefits means services and benefits that are:

Comparable benefits do not include awards and scholarships based on merit.
Reference: §361.5(b)(10)

Competitive employment means work:

Reference: §361.5(b)(11)

Core services are assessment, substantial counseling and guidance, physical/mental restoration, training, job-related services (job preparation, job development and job placement), supported employment, occupational tools and licenses, and rehabilitation technology. 

Counseling and guidance means:

Reference: State definition

Employment outcome means, with respect to an individual, entering or retaining full-time or, if appropriate, part-time competitive employment in the integrated labor market, supported employment, or any other type of employment in an integrated setting, including self-employment, telecommuting, or business ownership that is consistent with an individual's strengths, resources, priorities, concerns, abilities, capabilities, interests, and informed choice.

Regulatory guidance: Homemaker remains an acceptable outcome. However, competitive employment, which is the optimal employment outcome under the program, should be considered for each individual who receives services.

Reference: §361.5(b)(16)

Extended employment means work in a non-integrated or sheltered setting for a public or private nonprofit agency or organization that provides compensation in accordance with the Fair Labor Standards Act.
Reference: §361.5(b)(19)

Extended services , as used in the definition of “supported employment,” means ongoing support services and other appropriate services that are needed to support and maintain an individual with a most significant disability in supported employment and that are provided by a State agency, a private nonprofit organization, employer, or any other appropriate resource from funds other than Title I VR dollars after an individual with a most significant disability has made the transition from support provided by RS.
Reference: §361.5(b)(20)

Extreme medical risk means a probability of substantially increasing functional impairment or death if medical services, including mental health services, are not provided expeditiously.
Reference: §361.5(b)(21)

Family member, for purposes of receiving VR services when necessary to enable the applicant or client to achieve an employment outcome, means an individual:

Reference: §361.5(b)(23)

Reference: State guidance

Homemaker is recognized as gainful work in the regulations which implement the Rehabilitation Act. Homemaking may be an appropriate occupation for any client — man or woman — regardless of marital status or dependents. Homemaking involves managing the household as one’s main daily activity or principal occupation.  Common tasks may include cleaning, cooking, laundry or caring for dependents in the home.  The appropriateness of a homemaker goal or outcome depends on the individual’s needs and circumstances. In order for homemaking to be considered as a gainful occupation, the essential functions of the homemaker duties must be performed by the individual with or without a reasonable accommodation. There must have been benefits derived from VR services which contribute to the client’s ability to function as a homemaker. This includes the individual for whom a change in the vocational objective to homemaker is determined to be most suitable given that services have contributed substantially to an improvement in homemaker abilities and client independence. Counselors and clients will work together to define the specific homemaker duties for each individual case.
Reference: State definition

Individual with a disability, for purposes of the VR program, means an individual:

Reference: §361.5(b)(28)

Individual with a significant disability means an individual with a disability:

Reference: §361.5(b)(31)

Individual's representative means any representative chosen by an applicant or eligible individual, including a parent, guardian, other family member, or advocate, unless a representative has been appointed by a court to represent the individual, in which case the court-appointed representative is the individual's representative.
Reference: §361.5(b)(32)

Integrated setting:

Reference: §361.5(b)(33)

Intercurrent illness is an unexpected illness or injury that arises during rehabilitation and constitutes a hazard to the determination of eligibility, participation in IPE services or the achievement of the vocational objective.
Reference: State definition

Maintenance means monetary support provided to an eligible individual for expenses such as food, shelter, and clothing, that are in excess of the normal expenses of the individual and that are necessitated by the individual's participation in an assessment for determining eligibility and VR needs or the individual’s receipt of VR services under an IPE.
Rehabilitation Services Administration (RSA) guidance: The following are examples of expenses that would meet the definition of maintenance. The examples are purely illustrative, do not address all possible circumstances, and are not intended to substitute for individual counselor judgment.

Reference: §361.5(b)(35)

Note: It is possible to provide short-term emergency financial assistance to eligible individuals who are homeless or deinstitutionalized not as maintenance but as “other services” that are necessary for the individual to achieve an employment outcome. Beyond the emergency situation, however, RSA guidance indicates that welfare and other social service agencies are better equipped to support the everyday living expenses of the homeless or deinstitutionalized. Reference: Regulatory guidance, Page 6313, Federal Register, February 11, 1997 and §361.48(a)(20)

Mediation means the act or process of using an independent third party to act as a mediator, intermediary, on conciliator to assist persons or parties in settling differences or disputes prior to pursuing formal administrative of other legal remedies.
Reference: §361.5(b)(36)

Multiple contacts means that the counselor has made numerous attempts to contact the client at different hours of the day and different days of the week, using a variety of methods such as phone, e-mail, mail, or messages through the client’s identified contact person.
Reference: State definition

Occupational licenses
This service is provided when necessary to increase an individual’s opportunity for successful employment following completion of the other components of the IPE. Occupational licenses include: licenses, certifications, registrations or permits required by a state, city or other governmental unit to enter or engage in an occupation of business. The need for occupational licenses must be clearly established, based on state and local requirements, employer requirements for hiring or job retention, and requirements of the trade of profession.
Reference: State definition

Ongoing support services, as used in the definition of supported employment:

Reference: §361.5(b)(38)

Other goods and services Other services that are not otherwise defined but are directly related to participation in the IPE or achieving an employment outcome.
Reference: State definition


Personal assistance services means a range of services provided by one or more persons designed to assist an individual with a disability to perform daily living activities on or off the job that the individual would typically perform without assistance if the individual did not have a disability. The services must be designed to increase the individual’s control in life and ability to perform everyday activities on or off the job. The services must be necessary to the achievement of an employment outcome and may be provided only while the individual is receiving other VR services. The services may include training in managing, supervising, and directing personal assistance services. Reference: §361.5(b)(39)

Personal assistance services may be provided through VR if they are not available through another source. It is important to determine whether such services are available as a comparable benefit through any other program. When the individual will need continuing personal assistance after VR case closure, it is essential to identify and plan for other programs that will provide the long-term support. This is a support service and will be provided only in conjunction with other rehabilitation services.
Reference: State guidance

Physical and mental restoration services means:

Reference: §361.5(b)(40)

Physical or mental impairment means:

Reference: §361.5(b)(41)

Post-employment services means one or more VR services that are provided subsequent to the achievement of an employment outcome and that are necessary for an individual to maintain, regain, or advance in employment, consistent with the individual's strengths, resources, priorities, concerns, abilities, capabilities, and interests.

RSA guidance: Post-employment services are intended to ensure that the employment outcome remains consistent with the individual's strengths, resources, priorities, concerns, abilities, capabilities, and interests. These services are available to meet rehabilitation needs that do not require a complex and comprehensive provision of services and, thus, should be limited in scope and duration. If more comprehensive services are required, then a new rehabilitation effort should be considered. Post-employment services are to be provided under an amended IPE; thus, a re-determination of eligibility is not required. The provision of post-employment services is subject to the same requirements as the provision of any other vocational rehabilitation service. Post-employment services are available to assist an individual to maintain employment, e.g., the individual's employment is jeopardized because of conflicts with supervisors or co-workers and the individual needs mental health services and counseling to maintain the employment; to regain employment, e.g., the individual's job is eliminated through reorganization and new placement services are needed; and to advance in employment, e.g., the employment is no longer consistent with the individual's strengths, resources, priorities, concerns, abilities, capabilities, and interests.  

Reference: §361.5(b)(42)

Reader services
Readers may read textbooks or other written materials for persons who have impaired reading ability due to the disability. This purpose is to provide a means of effective communication, accommodating the needs of the individual clients so they may derive full benefit of other VR services.
Reference: State definition

Referral and other services
Information and referral services are intended to assist individuals to access or secure needed services and benefits from other agencies, programs or sources. Such services are an essential part of case management with all applicants and recipients of services, particularly related to the search for and use of comparable benefits and services.
Reference: State definition

Rehabilitation engineering means 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.
Reference: §361.5(b)(44)

Rehabilitation technology means 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. The term includes rehabilitation engineering, assistive technology devices, and assistive technology services.
Reference: §361.5(b)(45)

Self-employment means working for oneself and may be temporary, home-based, contractual, full-time, part-time. Self-employment through business entrepreneurship means that a person owns, operates and managers a business; no supervisor oversees the person.
Reference: State definition

Substantiality of services means that VR services, whether provided by staff or purchased:

Substantial impediment to employment means that a physical or mental impairment (in light of attendant medical, psychological, vocational, educational, communication and other related factors) hinders an individual from preparing for, entering into, engaging in, or retaining employment consistent with the individual's abilities and capabilities.
Reference: §361.5(b)(52)

Support services are any services necessary for the eligible individual to derive full benefit from his or her VR plan. These services can only be provided in conjunction with non-support services. They are maintenance, transportation, services to family members, reasonable accommodations to facilitate participation in core VR services (such as sign language interpreters, readers or personal assistance), and referral to other services.  
Reference: State definition based on federal guidance

Supported employment means :

Reference: §361.5(b)(53)

Supported employment services means ongoing support services and other appropriate services needed to support and maintain an individual with a most significant disability in supported employment that are provided by RS:

Reference: §361.5(b)(54)

Transition services means a coordinated set of activities for a student designed within an outcome-oriented process that promotes movement from school to post-school activities, including postsecondary education, vocational training, integrated employment (including supported employment), continuing and adult education, adult services, independent living, or community participation. The coordinated set of activities must be based upon the individual student's needs, taking into account the student's preferences and interests, and must include instruction, community experiences, the development of employment and other post-school adult living objectives, and, if appropriate, acquisition of daily living skills and functional vocational evaluation. Transition services must promote or facilitate the achievement of the employment outcome identified in the student's IPE.
Reference: §361.5(b)(55)

Transitional employment , as used in the definition of supported employment, means a series of temporary job placements in competitive work in integrated settings with ongoing support services for individuals with the most significant disabilities due to mental illness. In transitional employment, the provision of ongoing support services must include continuing sequential job placements until job permanency is achieved.
Reference: §361.5(b)(56)

Transportation means travel and related expenses that are necessary to enable an applicant or eligible individual to participate in a VR service, including expense for training in the use of public transportation vehicles and systems.
RSA Guidance: The following are examples of expenses that would meet the definition of transportation. The examples are purely illustrative, do not address all possible circumstances, and are not intended to substitute for individual counselor judgment.

Reference: §361.5(b)(49)

Transportation is a support service and will be provided only in conjunction with other rehabilitation services. This service may include, but is not limited to:

Reference: State guidance