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Title 34

Displaying title 34, up to date as of 9/23/2021. Title 34 was last amended 9/23/2021.

Title 34

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§ 361.20 Public participation requirements.

(a) Conduct of public meetings.

(1) The vocational rehabilitation services portion of the Unified or Combined State Plan must assure that prior to the adoption of any substantive policies or procedures governing the provision of vocational rehabilitation services under the Unified or Combined State Plan, the designated State agency conducts public meetings throughout the State to provide the public, including individuals with disabilities, an opportunity to comment on the policies or procedures.

(2) For purposes of this section, substantive changes to the policies or procedures governing the provision of vocational rehabilitation services that would require the conduct of public meetings are those that directly impact the nature and scope of the services provided to individuals with disabilities, or the manner in which individuals interact with the designated State agency or in matters related to the delivery of vocational rehabilitation services. Examples of substantive changes include, but are not limited to -

(i) Any changes to policies or procedures that fundamentally alter the rights and responsibilities of individuals with disabilities in the vocational rehabilitation process;

(ii) Organizational changes to the designated State agency or unit that would likely affect the manner in which services are delivered;

(iii) Any changes that affect the nature and scope of vocational rehabilitation services provided by the designated State agency or unit;

(iv) Changes in formal or informal dispute procedures;

(v) The adoption or amendment of policies instituting an order of selection; and

(vi) Changes to policies and procedures regarding the financial participation of eligible individuals.

(3) Non-substantive, e.g., administrative changes that would not require the need for public hearings include:

(i) Internal procedures that do not directly affect individuals receiving vocational rehabilitation services, such as payment processing or personnel procedures;

(ii) Changes to the case management system that only affect vocational rehabilitation personnel;

(iii) Changes in indirect cost allocations, internal fiscal review procedures, or routine reporting requirements;

(iv) Minor revisions to vocational rehabilitation procedures or policies to correct production errors, such as typographical and grammatical mistakes; and

(v) Changes to contract procedures that do not affect the delivery of vocational rehabilitation services.

(b) Notice requirements. The vocational rehabilitation services portion of the Unified or Combined State Plan must assure that the designated State agency, prior to conducting the public meetings, provides appropriate and sufficient notice throughout the State of the meetings in accordance with -

(1) State law governing public meetings; or

(2) In the absence of State law governing public meetings, procedures developed by the designated State agency in consultation with the State Rehabilitation Council.

(c) Summary of input of the State Rehabilitation Council. The vocational rehabilitation services portion of the Unified or Combined State Plan must provide a summary of the input of the State Rehabilitation Council, if the State agency has a Council, into the vocational rehabilitation services portion of the Unified or Combined State Plan and any amendment to that portion of the plan, in accordance with § 361.16(a)(2)(v).

(d) Special consultation requirements. The vocational rehabilitation services portion of the Unified or Combined State Plan must assure that the State agency actively consults with the director of the Client Assistance Program, the State Rehabilitation Council, if the State agency has a Council, and, as appropriate, Indian tribes, tribal organizations, and native Hawaiian organizations on its policies and procedures governing the provision of vocational rehabilitation services under the vocational rehabilitation services portion of the Unified or Combined State Plan.

(e) Appropriate modes of communication. The State unit must provide to the public, through appropriate modes of communication, notices of the public meetings, any materials furnished prior to or during the public meetings, and the policies and procedures governing the provision of vocational rehabilitation services under the vocational rehabilitation services portion of the Unified or Combined State Plan.

(Approved by the Office of Management and Budget under control number 1205-0522)