Subject to available funds, and consistent with federal law and regulations the department shall:
Develop statewide rehabilitation programs;
Provide vocational rehabilitation services, independent living services, and/or job support services to individuals with disabilities or severe disabilities;
Disburse all funds provided by law and may receive, accept and disburse such gifts, grants, conveyances, devises and bequests of real and personal property from public or private sources, as may be made from time to time, in trust or otherwise, whenever the terms and conditions thereof will aid in carrying out rehabilitation services as specified by law and the regulations of the department; and may sell, lease or exchange real or personal property according to the terms and conditions thereof. Any money so received shall be deposited in the state treasury for investment, reinvestment or expenditure in accordance with the conditions of its receipt and RCW 43.88.180;
Appoint and fix the compensation and prescribe the duties, of the personnel necessary for the administration of this chapter, unless otherwise provided by law;
Make exploratory studies, do reviews, and research relative to rehabilitation;
Coordinate with the state rehabilitation advisory council and the state independent living advisory council on the administration of the programs;
Report to the governor and to the legislature on the administration of this chapter, as requested; and
Adopt rules, in accord with chapter 34.05 RCW, necessary to carry out the purposes of this chapter.
The department may establish cooperative agreements with other state and local agencies.
The state of Washington does hereby:
Accept the provisions and maximum possible benefits resulting from any acts of congress which provide benefits for the purposes of this chapter;
Designate the state treasurer as custodian of all moneys received by the state from appropriations made by the congress of the United States for purposes of this chapter, and authorize the state treasurer to make disbursements therefrom upon the order of the department; and
Empower and direct the department to cooperate with the federal government in carrying out the provisions of this chapter or of any federal law or regulation pertaining to vocational rehabilitation, and to comply with such conditions as may be necessary to assure the maximum possible benefits resulting from any such federal law or regulation.
Determination of eligibility and need for rehabilitation services and determination of eligibility for job support services shall be made by the department for each individual according to its established rules, policies, procedures, and standards.
The department may purchase, from any source, rehabilitation services and job support services for individuals with disabilities, subject to the individual's income or other resources that are available to contribute to the cost of such services.
The department shall maintain registers of individuals and organizations which meet required standards and qualify to provide rehabilitation services and job support services to individuals with disabilities. Eligibility of such individuals and organizations shall be based upon standards and criteria promulgated by the department.
The department of social and health services shall:
Establish a school to work program in all counties in the state to work with all students with intellectual and developmental disabilities who are potentially eligible to receive adult support services from the developmental disabilities administration of the department and are receiving high school transition services in order to connect these students with supported employment services; and
In collaboration with the office of the superintendent of public instruction, the counties administering supported employment services in collaboration with the developmental disabilities administration of the department, the department of services for the blind, and any other relevant state agency working with students who are potentially eligible for adult support services from the developmental disabilities administration of the department shall:
Create a statewide council to:
Establish common guidelines and outcome goals across regional interagency transition networks to ensure equitable access through system navigation for individuals receiving high school transition services and connection to services after leaving the school system; and
Establish a referral and information system that helps students who are potentially eligible for adult support services from the developmental disabilities administration of the department who are transitioning from high school, and their families or guardians, connect to the necessary services and agencies that support the needs of adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities; and
Establish regional interagency transition networks as proposed in the 2020 transition collaborative summative report. Each regional network shall include representation from schools, counties, the developmental disabilities administration of the department, the regional division of vocational rehabilitation, service providers, community members, and students and families. The regional networks shall identify improvement goals and report no less than annually on progress or barriers to achieving these goals to the statewide council.
The office of the superintendent of public instruction must establish interagency agreements with the department of social and health services, the department of services for the blind, and any other state agency that provides high school transition services for special education students. Such interagency agreements shall not interfere with existing individualized education programs, nor override any individualized education program team's decision-making power. The purpose of the interagency agreements is to foster effective collaboration among the multiple agencies providing transition services for individualized education program-eligible special education students from the beginning of transition planning, as soon as educationally and developmentally appropriate, through age twenty-one, or through high school graduation, whichever occurs first. Interagency agreements are also intended to streamline services and programs, promote efficiencies, and establish a uniform focus on improved outcomes related to self-sufficiency.
When educationally and developmentally appropriate, the interagency responsibilities and linkages with transition services under subsection (1) of this section must be addressed in a transition plan to a postsecondary setting in the individualized education program of a student with disabilities.
Transition planning shall be based upon educationally and developmentally appropriate transition assessments that outline the student's individual needs, strengths, preferences, and interests. Transition assessments may include observations, interviews, inventories, situational assessments, formal and informal assessments, as well as academic assessments.
The transition services that the transition plan must address include activities needed to assist the student in reaching postsecondary goals and courses of study to support postsecondary goals.
Transition activities that the transition plan may address include instruction, related services, community experience, employment and other adult living objectives, daily living skills, and functional vocational evaluation.
When educationally and developmentally appropriate, a discussion must take place with the student and parents, and others as needed, to determine the postsecondary goals or postschool vision for the student. This discussion may be included as part of an annual individualized education program review, high school and beyond plan meeting, or any other meeting that includes parents, students, and educators. The postsecondary goals included in the transition plan shall be goals that are measurable and must be based on appropriate transition assessments related to training, education, employment, and independent living skills, when necessary. The goals must also be based on the student's needs, while considering the strengths, preferences, and interests of the student.
As the student gets older, changes in the transition plan may be noted in the annual update of the student's individualized education program.
A transition plan required under this subsection (2) must be aligned with a student's high school and beyond plan.
To the extent that data is available through data-sharing agreements established by the education data center under RCW 43.41.400, the education data center must monitor the following outcomes for individualized education program-eligible special education students after high school graduation:
The number of students who, within one year of high school graduation:
Enter integrated employment paid at the greater of minimum wage or competitive wage for the type of employment, with access to related employment and health benefits; or
Enter a postsecondary education or training program focused on leading to integrated employment;
The wages and number of hours worked per pay period;
The impact of employment on any state and federal benefits for individuals with disabilities;
Indicators of the types of settings in which students who previously received transition services primarily reside;
Indicators of improved economic status and self-sufficiency;
Data on those students for whom a postsecondary or integrated employment outcome does not occur within one year of high school graduation, including:
Information on the reasons that the desired outcome has not occurred;
The number of months the student has not achieved the desired outcome; and
The efforts made to ensure the student achieves the desired outcome.
To the extent that the data elements in subsection (3) of this section are available to the education data center through data-sharing agreements, the office of the superintendent of public instruction must prepare an annual report using existing resources and submit the report to the legislature.
To minimize gaps in services through the transition process, no later than three years before students receiving special education services leave the school system, the office of the superintendent of public instruction shall transmit a list of potentially eligible students to the department of social and health services, the counties, the department of services for the blind, and any other state agency working with individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities. The office of the superintendent of public instruction shall ensure that consent be obtained prior to the release of this information as required in accordance with state and federal requirements.
If specific funding for the purposes of this act, referencing this act by bill or chapter number, is not provided by June 30, 2022, in the omnibus appropriations act, this act is null and void.