H. R. 511
IN THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES
February 5, 2013
Mr. Harper (for himself and Mrs. McMorris Rodgers) introduced the following bill; which was referred to the Committee on Energy and Commerce
To amend the Developmental Disabilities Assistance and Bill of Rights Act of 2000 to provide assistance to States for development and implementation of an individual transition plan for each individual with a developmental disability in the State who is making the transition from the secondary school system into adulthood, and for other purposes.
Short title; table of contents
This Act may be cited
Transition toward Excellence,
Achievement, and Mobility through Empowerment Act of 2013
TEAM–Empowerment Act of
Table of contents
The table of contents of this Act is as follows:
Sec. 1. Short title; table of contents.
Sec. 2. Findings and purposes.
Sec. 3. Individualized transition plans; transition planning and services administrative units.
Findings and purposes
Congress finds the following:
Evidence-based research has conclusively documented that youth with significant disabilities who were educated in inclusive settings, were exposed to work experience and career exploration, and participated in a paid work experience while in school had better postsecondary outcomes and higher rates of sustainable employment.
Higher rates of self-determination, in which individuals with significant disabilities and their families have direct control over the decisionmaking process in order to ensure an appropriate individualized transition strategy, lead to better outcomes.
Regulations and processes allowing for flexibility in the blending and braiding of government funds to ensure seamless, collaborative strategies during the transition process lead to better outcomes for individuals with significant disabilities.
Agency officials involved directly in the provision of supports and services during a youth’s transition into adulthood and beyond must be provided additional training to become properly prepared to adequately address the individual transition needs of students with significant disabilities.
The purposes of this Act are the following:
Create a holistic system across multiple partners focused on successful transition of youth with significant disabilities into adulthood.
Create a systemic focus on achieving high expectations for all youth, through equality of opportunity, full participation through self-determination and informed choice, outcomes related to post-secondary options that lead to competitive integrated employment and economic self-sufficiency.
Promote innovative strategies to foster academic, professional, and social inclusion, and the solidification of long-term supports and services required to ensure full integration into the community setting.
Better define and coordinate specific services related to the effective transition of youth with significant disabilities.
Eliminate barriers and promote incentives for multiple stakeholders to collaborate and improve transition opportunities for youth with significant disabilities.
Individualized transition plans; transition planning and services administrative units
Title I of the Developmental Disabilities Assistance and Bill of Rights Act of 2000 (42 U.S.C. 15001 et seq.) is amended by adding at the end the following:
Adult transition system
In this subtitle:
The term asset development means a strategy to assist low-income workers and job seekers, including individuals with disabilities, move toward economic security and greater financial self-sufficiency through income preservation, effective money and credit management, the pursuit of post-secondary education, the purchase of a home, business startup and growth, and the setting aside of resources for longer-term needs and retirement.
The term individualized education program has the meaning given such term in section 602 of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act.
The term integrated employment means work compensated at the greater of minimum wage or competitive wages with related employment benefits, occurring in a typical work setting where the employee with the disability—
interacts or has the opportunity to interact continuously with nondisabled co-workers;
has an opportunity for advancement and mobility; and
is preferably engaged in full-time employment.
The term ITP means an individual transition plan developed under section 173.
The term local educational agency has the meaning given to such term in section 9101 of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965.
The term secondary school has the meaning given to such term in section 9101 of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965.
The term State intellectual and developmental disabilities agency means the primary State agency or subdivision with administrative, programmatic, and operational responsibility for the full range of services and supports furnished to individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities.
The term TPS administrative unit refers to the transition planning and services administrative unit of a State established in accordance with section 174.
The term 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 and customized employment), continuing and adult education, adult services, asset development services, independent living, or community participation.
The coordinated set of activities shall be based upon the individual student’s needs, taking into account the student’s preferences and interests, and shall include instruction, community experiences, the development of employment and other post school adult living objectives; school-based preparatory experiences, career preparation, and integrated work-based learning experiences (inclusive of in-school, after school and work experiences outside the traditional school setting where other youth without disabilities are engaged in similar activities); youth development and leadership; connecting activities; training in self-advocacy, self-determination skills, and peer mentoring; family involvement and supports; and, when appropriate, acquisition of daily living skills and functional vocational evaluation.
Such term does not include the use of facility-based employment and activity settings, such as sheltered workshops, day habilitation centers, and enclave work settings. Additionally, the coordinated set of activities should lead to the attainment of at least one of the following outcomes: post-secondary education, long-term integrated employment (including supported employment or customized employment), asset development, independent living, and community participation.
For each fiscal year, the Secretary, acting through the Commissioner of the Administration on Developmental Disabilities, shall—
make grants on a competitive basis to States that agree to carry out the activities required of States under this subtitle; and
among the States receiving grants under paragraph (1), allocate payments pursuant to a formula that—
is established by the Secretary, acting through the Commissioner; and
takes into consideration an estimate of the number of individuals to be served under this subtitle in each State.
Individualized transition plans
Each State that receives assistance under this subtitle shall, with respect to each individual with a developmental disability in the State who is making the transition from the secondary school system into adulthood, develop, and assist in the implementation of, an individual transition plan to coordinate transition services intended to assist the individual in achieving the outcomes of integrated employment, postsecondary education, independent living, and community engagement.
An ITP shall be—
coordinated with any pre-existing transition services being provided to the individual as a result of an individualized education program developed for the individual prior to exiting secondary school pursuant to the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act;
developed not later than 30 days after the date on which the individual graduates from or otherwise exits the State’s secondary school system; and
applicable through the date on which the individual attains 26 years of age;
reviewed annually and updated as needed; and
developed during in-person meetings that—
are led by the TPS administrative unit of the State intellectual and developmental disabilities agency established under section 174; and
at a minimum, include the following stakeholders: the individual, the individual’s family, a transition broker (as described in section 174), a representative of the State vocational rehabilitation agency, relevant service providers that are contracted by the State or chosen by the individual and the individual’s family or guardian to provide transition services, the transition coordinator of the local educational agency (where available, during the first year the individual exits the secondary school system), assistive technology experts (as appropriate), and representatives of the workforce development sector.
An ITP shall include strategies for the implementation of service models and practices with documented effectiveness that—
address and emphasize the 5 areas of postsecondary educational experiences, career preparation and work-based learning experiences, development and leadership, connecting activities, and family involvement and supports;
identify the needs of the individual in each of these 5 areas and articulate how the State and its agencies will meet those needs; and
will advance economic self-sufficiency with specific asset development goals and identify specific tools for advancing economic self-sufficiency, such as favorable tax benefits, work incentives, matched savings plans, education financing, and effective strategies to manage a budget, money, and credit.
Transition planning and services administrative unit
Each State that receives assistance under this subtitle shall establish and maintain a transition planning and services (TPS) administrative unit within the State intellectual and developmental disabilities agency.
The primary focus of a TPS administrative unit shall be to assist individuals with a developmental disability in the State to make the transition from the secondary school system into adulthood. The responsibilities of the TPS administrative unit shall include the following:
Individual transition plan
The TPS administrative unit shall have responsibility for developing and assisting in the implementation of ITPs.
The TPS administrative unit shall employ or otherwise secure the services of transition brokers.
A transition broker of the TPS administrative unit shall—
facilitate coordination among State agencies in the development of ITPs; and
provide assistance to individuals with developmental disabilities, consistent with the individual’s ITP, in navigating the complex system of supports and services available through Federal and State programs.
To be eligible to serve as a transition broker of the TPS administrative unit, an individual shall possess two or more of the following qualifications:
Expertise relating to individuals with developmental disabilities, benefits planning, the provision of transition services, employment and job development, and negotiating among various State stakeholders.
Experience with and knowledge of the generic workforce development sector, vocational rehabilitation, and job development.
Knowledge and expertise in the use of tools to advance asset development and economic self-sufficiency, including favorable tax benefits, work incentives, matched savings plans, education financing, and effective strategies to manage a budget, money, and credit.
Knowledge about self-direction and person-centered planning processes.
A transition broker of the TPS administrative unit shall be assigned to an individual upon—
the individual or the individual’s family or guardian selecting the broker; and
the State intellectual and developmental disabilities agency approving the selection.
Self-advocacy, self-determination skills, and peer mentoring
The TPS administrative unit shall offer strategies and training to individuals with developmental disabilities and their families regarding self-advocacy, self-determination skills, and peer mentoring to improve the ability of such individuals to advocate and negotiate on their own behalf.
Effective information and resources
The TPS administrative unit shall provide information to individuals with developmental disabilities and their families on Federal and State services, supports, and regulations, including with respect to asset development, insurance and benefit programs, financial savings tools, and asset or income limits that affect eligibility for Federal and State means-tested services, supports, or programs. Such information shall be easily understood and updated on a quarterly basis each year.
Fostering multiagency collaboration
The State intellectual and developmental disabilities agency of each State that receives assistance under this subtitle shall facilitate memoranda of understanding among key State agencies for the purpose of coordinating and improving the services and supports provided by such agencies to individuals with developmental disabilities during the transition into adulthood.
Not later than the end of fiscal year 2014, and annually thereafter, the Secretary shall submit a report to the Congress containing an evaluation of the implementation and effectiveness of this subtitle, including an evaluation of—
the number of individuals in each State who had an ITP developed on their behalf over the past fiscal year;
progress made at the individual level in implementing the objectives of ITPs developed since the date of enactment; and
with respect to individuals for whom an ITP is developed, their employment status, education status, income level, race, gender, and current residence.
Authorization of appropriations
To carry out this subtitle , there is authorized to be appropriated $50,000,000 for each of fiscal years 2014 through 2018.