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Notice #: 05525363
Public Hearings



Pursuant to Section 91-3 and 92-41, Hawaii Revised Statutes, notice is hereby given that the Department of Human Services (DHS) will hold a public hearing to consider the proposed repeal of Chapters 17-400 Vocational Rehabilitation Administration and 17-401 Vocational Rehabilitation Services, Hawaii Administrative Rules and the adoption of new Chapters 17-400.1 Vocational Rehabilitation Administration and 17-401.1 Vocational Rehabilitation Services, Hawaii Administrative Rules, for the purpose of conforming to the 1998 Amendments to the Rehabilitation Act and implementing Federal Regulations issued January 17, 2001 and January 22, 2001. A brief description of the changes in each Chapter is described below.

Chapter 17-400.1 Vocational Rehabilitation Administration rules:

Sections 17-400.1-3 State plan, 17-400.1-12 Interagency cooperation and coordination, 17-400.1-13 Coordination of services with the State department of education, 17-400.1-14 Cooperation with WIA One-Stop centers, 17-400.1-15 Cooperative agreements with WIA One-Stop partners, and 17-400.1-16 Cooperation with other federal, state and local agencies and programs, are new sections.

Sections 17-400.1-2 Sole state agency, 17-400.1-9 Certification for telephone solicitation, and 17-400.1-19 Volunteer services program remain generally unchanged.

The remaining ten Sections 17-400.1-1 Objectives, 17-400.1-4 Nondiscrimination, 17-400.1-5 Right to due process, 17-400.1-6 Mediation, 17-400.1-7 Hearing, 17-400.1-8 Maintenance of case records, 17-400.1-10 Standards of services, 17-400.1-11 Administration of funds, 17-400.1-17 Requests to inspect or obtain copies of government or personal records, and 17-400.1-18 Requests for changes in the rules of the division have been updated to comply with current Federal or State requirements.

The most significant changes in the new Chapter 17-400.1 are in Sections 17-400.1-12 through 17-400.1-16 which contain new requirements for interagency cooperation and coordination of services, and Sections 17-400.1-5 through 17-400.1-7 which replace the administrative review – fair hearing process with a mediation – hearing process and a change in time period from 45 days to 60 days.

Repealed Sections 17-400-9 Contractual arrangements, 17-400-12 Social Security disability insurance/Supplemental Security Income-VR (SSDI/SSI-VR) programs, and 17-400-13 Project grants for vocational rehabilitation are no longer applicable and are not included in the new rules.

Chapter 17-401.1 Vocational Rehabilitation Services rules:

Sections 17-401.1-1 Purpose, 17-401.1-2 Applicable definitions, 17-401.1-3 Information and referral, 17-401.1-8 Determination of ineligibility, 17-401.1-12 Opportunity to exercise informed choice, 17-401.1-15 Annual reviews, 17-401.1-17 Referral and other services, 17-401.1-28 Rehabilitation technology services, 17-401.1-29 Transition services, 17-401.1-30 On-the-job or other related personal attendant services, 17-401.1-31 Supported employment services, and 17-401.1-32 Technical assistance and other consultation services are new sections based on the new Federal requirements.

Section 17-401.1-37 Disposition of case records remains generally unchanged.

The remaining Sections 17-401.1-4 Referral and application, 17-401.1-5 Order of selection, 17-401.1-6 Scope of vocational rehabilitation services, 17-401.1-7 Assessment for determining eligibility and priority for services, 17-401.1-9 Certification of eligibility or ineligibility, 17-401.1-10 Development of the individualized plan for employment, 17-401.1-11 Content of the individualized plan for employment, 17-401.1-13 Use of comparable services and benefits, 17-401.1-14 Use of personal resources, 17-401.1-16 Vocational rehabilitation counseling and guidance, 17-401.1-18 Diagnosis and treatment of physical and mental impairments, 17-401.1-19 Vocational and other training services, 17-401.1-20 Job-related services, 17-401.1-21 Specific post-employment services, 17-401.1-22 Vocational rehabilitation services to family members, 17-401.1-23 Maintenance services, 17-401.1-24 Interpreter services and tactile interpreting services, 17-401.1-25 Reader, rehabilitation teaching, and orientation and mobility services, 17-401.1-26 Occupational licenses, tools, equipment, and initial stocks and supplies, 17-401.1-27 Transportation services, 17-401.1-29 Transition services, 17-401.1-33 Other goods and services, 17-401.1-34 Record of services, 17-401.1-35 Confidentiality, 17-401.1-36 Requirements for successful closures, and 17-401.1-37 Disposition of case records, have been updated to comply with current Federal or State requirements.

Significant changes in the new Chapter 17-401.1 are found in the new sections and the following sections that have been updated to reflect the changes in the 1998 Amendments to the Rehabilitation Act: Section 17-401.1-7 contains changes in the eligibility criteria; Sections 17-401.1-10 and 17-401.1-11 replace the individualized written rehabilitation program with an individualized employment plan; Sections 17-401.1-13 and 17-401.1-14 contain changes in the services exempted from the comparable services and benefits and/or personal resources (financial needs test) provisions; Section 17-401.1-19 states the division’s preference for in-State over out-of-State training services; Section 17-401.1-23 reflects changes in the definition of maintenance services; and Section 17-401.1-27 includes the division’s prohibition on purchase of motorized vehicles for transportation.

Repealed Sections 17-401-1 Case finding, and 17-401-19 Recruitment and training services to provide new employment opportunities are no longer applicable and are not included in the new rules.

A Public Hearing will be held at the following date, time and place: Monday, November 27, 2006, 1:00 p.m. in the Kalanimoku Building, 1151 Punchbowl Street, Third Floor Conference Room 322B, Honolulu, Hawaii.

All interested persons are invited to attend the hearing and to state their views relative to the proposed repeal and adoption of rules either orally or in writing. Should written testimony be presented, five (5) copies shall be made available to the presiding officer at the public hearing or within seven days before the hearing to:

Department of Human Services
VR Administration Office
VR & Services for the Blind Division
601 Kamokila Boulevard, Room 515
Kapolei, Hawaii 96707

Residents on the islands of Hawaii, Maui, Kauai, and Molokai wishing to present oral testimonies may also contact the Vocational Rehabilitation (VR) Branch Office listed below for their respective islands within five (5) working days before the Honolulu hearing date to have their testimony recorded.

Hawaii Branch Office, VRSBD Kona Field Office, VRSBD
Hilo State Office Building 82-6130 Mamalahoa Hwy.
75 Aupuni Street, Room 110 Captain Cook, HI 96704
Hilo, HI 96720 (State Complex Bldg. #2, Kinue Road)
Telephone (974-6444 V/TTY) Telephone (323-0025 V/TTY)

Maui Branch Office, VRSBD Molokai Field Office, VRSBD
State Office Building P.O. Box 1068
54 South High Street, Rm. 309 Kaunakakai, HI 96748
Wailuku, HI 96793 (55 Makaena Street)
Telephone (984-8350 V/TTY) Telephone (553-3621 V/TTY)

Kauai Branch Office, VRSBD
State Office Building
3060 Eiwa Street, Room 304
Lihue, HI 96766
Telephone (274-3333 V/TTY)

A copy of the rules proposed to be repealed or the new rules to be adopted, or both, will be mailed to any interested person who requests a copy at no cost. Requests may be made by calling 692-7715 (V/TTY) or writing to the VR Administration Office.

The rules proposed to be repealed and the proposed new rules are also available on the department’s website at

The proposed rules to be repealed or the new rules to be adopted, or both, may be reviewed in person at the VR Administration Office or any of the VR Branch Offices listed above, during regular business days between the hours of 7:45 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. within five (5) working days before the Honolulu hearing date.

Special accommodations (i.e., sign language interpreters, large print, taped materials, or accessible parking) can be provided, if requested at least five (5) working days before the scheduled public hearing on Oahu by calling 692-7715 (V/TTY). Neighbor island residents needing special accommodations should contact the VR Branch Office on their respective island with their requests at least five (5) working days before the Honolulu hearing date.

(SB05525363 10/24/06) LILLIAN B. KOLLER, ESQ., DIRECTOR