Rehabilitation Advisory Council

WHEREAS: the State of Louisiana provides support to its citizens who have disabilities to assist them in their pursuit of meaningful careers and gainful employment;

WHEREAS: the citizens of the State of Louisiana with disabilities can benefit from specialized vocational rehabilitation services and support;

WHEREAS: the United States Rehabilitation Act of 1973, 29 U.S.C.A. 701, et seq., includes provisions for financial assistance to promote effective programs of vocational rehabilitation services for individuals with disabilities; and

WHEREAS: to receive the benefit of such assistance, a state must establish a State Rehabilitation Advisory Council in accordance with federal guidelines, 29 U.S.C.A. 725;

NOW THEREFORE I, M.J. "MIKE" FOSTER, JR., Governor of the State of Louisiana, by virtue of the Constitution and laws of the State of Louisiana, do hereby order and direct as follows: SECTION 1: The Governor's Rehabilitation Advisory Council (hereafter "Council") shall be recreated and re-established within the Department of Social Services.

SECTION 2: The duties and functions of the Council shall be as follows:

  • (A) prepare a state plan for vocational rehabilitation services for individuals with disabilities;

  • (B) monitor, review, and evaluate implementation of this plan, including reviewing consumer satisfaction of services rendered;

  • (C) advise the Office of Louisiana Rehabilitation Services, Department of Social Services, regarding the effectiveness of vocational rehabilitation services provided to individuals with disabilities within the state;

  • (D) coordinate activities with the Statewide Independent Living Council and with other state councils or agencies which address the needs of specific disability populations and issues under federal law;

  • (E) ensure that all regularly scheduled meetings of the council are open to the public and sufficient advance notice is provided; and

  • (F) submit annual reports to the Governor and the federal government.
  • SECTION 3: The members of the council shall be appointed by and serve at the pleasure of the Governor. The voting members of the council shall select a Chair from among its voting membership.

    SECTION 4: Members of the council shall be selected from all areas of the state and shall be knowledgeable about vocational rehabilitation services offered to individuals with disabilities. The majority of the membership of the council shall be composed of Louisiana citizens with disabilities who represent a broad range of disabilities and who are not employed by the Office of Louisiana Rehabilitation Services or any state agency.

    The council shall consist of 30 members, including:

  • (A) 29 voting members selected as follows:

  • (i) one representative of a parent training and information center;

  • (ii) one representative from the voting membership of the Statewide Independent Living Council;

  • (iii) one representative of a client assistance program;

  • (iv) one vocational rehabilitation counselor with knowledge and experience about vocational rehabilitation programs;

  • (v) one representative of community rehabilitation program service providers;

  • (vi) four representatives of business, industry, and labor; and

  • (vii) 19 members representing the following categories:

  • (a) disability advocacy groups which represent a cross section of individuals with disabilities;

  • (b) the parents or guardians of individuals with disabilities who have difficulty representing themselves; and

  • (c) current or former applicants or recipients of vocational rehabilitation services; and
  • (B) one ex officio, nonvoting member, who represents the Office of Louisiana Rehabilitation Services, Department of Social Services.
  • SECTION 5: Each member of the council shall serve a term of three years. No member may serve more than two consecutive full terms.

    SECTION 6: The council shall coordinate its activities with the Office of Disability Affairs, within the Executive Department, Office of the Governor. The council shall follow all rules and regulations of the State of Louisiana including those concerning purchasing, procurement, hiring, and ethics.

    SECTION 7: The majority of the voting membership of the council shall not be composed of individuals who receive compensation, either directly or indirectly, for work they perform on behalf of any vocational rehabilitation service provider.

    SECTION 8: The members of the council shall not receive compensation or a per diem for their services or their attendance at meetings. However, contingent upon the availability of funds, actual travel expenses of the members may be reimbursed in accordance with state and federal guidelines and procedures, and upon the approval of the Commissioner of Administration.

    SECTION 10: All departments, commissions, boards, agencies, and officers of the state or of any political subdivision thereof are authorized and directed to cooperate with the council in implementing the provisions of this Order.

    SECTION 11: The provisions of this Order are effective upon signature and shall remain in effect until amended, modified, terminated, or rescinded by the Governor, or terminated by operation of law.

    IN WITNESS WHEREOF, I have set my hand officially and caused to be affixed the Great Seal of the State of Louisiana, at the Capitol, in the City of Baton Rouge, on this 26th day of September, 1996.

    M.J. "Mike" Foster, Jr.

    Fox McKeithen
    Secretary of State