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LETTER OF TRANSMITTAL

U.S. SENATE,

COMMITTEE ON LABOR AND HUMAN RESOURCES,
Washington, D.C., March 21, 1979.

Hon. HARRISON A. WILLIAMS, Jr.,
Chairman, Senate Committee on Labor and Human Resources,
Dirksen Senate Office Building, Washington, D.C.

DEAR MR. CHAIRMAN: It is a privilege to transmit a compilation of two laws: the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 (Public Law 93-112), as amended by Public Law 93-516 (the Rehabilitation Act Amendments of 1974), Public Law 94-230 (the Rehabilitation Act Extension of 1976), Public Law 94-288, and Public Law 95-602 (the Rehabilitation, Comprehensive Services, and Developmental Disabilities Amendments of 1978; and the Mental Retardation Facilities and Community Health Centers Construction Act of 1963, as amended by Public Law 90-170 (the Mental Retardation Amendments of 1967), Public Law 91-517 (the Developmental Disabilities Services and Facilities Construction Amendments of 1970), Public Law 94-103 (Developmentally Disabled Assistance and Bill of Rights Act) and Public Law 95-602 (the Rehabilitation, Comprehensive Services, and Developmental Disabilities Amendments of 1978).

It is my belief that the publication of this document should be helpful to Members of Congress, their staffs, and persons and organizations interested in services to handicapped individuals.

With its mandate on oversight responsibility, it is incumbent on the Congress to monitor carefully the implementation of the new program thrusts initiated by Public Law 95-602. This compilation can be a valuable reference and will be most useful to those who are charged with the implementation of the Rehabilitation, Comprehensive Services and Developmental Disabilities Amendments of 1978. It is my sincere hope that these two laws be published in a committee print. With warm personal regards, I am

Truly,

JENNINGS RANDOLPH, Chairman, Subcommittee on the Handicapped.

(V)

HISTORICAL NOTE

The first nonmilitary vocational rehabilitation legislation, the National Civilian Vocational Rehabilitation Act (Public Law 66-236, 41 Stat. 735), also known as the Smith-Fess Act, became law on June 2, 1920. Minor amendments were enacted in 1924 (43 Stat. 431); 1930 (46 Stat. 524); and 1932 (47 Stat. 488).

Major revisions were adopted in 1943 (Public Law 78-113, 57 Stat. 374), and in 1954 (Public Law 83-565, 68 Stat. 652), when the Act became known as the Vocational Rehabilitation Act. Further amendments were adopted in 1956 (Public Law 84-937, 70 Stat. 956); in 1957 (Public Law 85-198, 71 Stat. 473, and Public Law 85-213, 71 Stat. 488); in 1959 (Public Law 86-70, 73 Stat. 147); in 1960 (Public Law 86-624, 74 Stat. 416); in 1965 (Public Law 89-333, 79 Stat. 1282); in 1967 (Public Law 90-99, 81 Stat. 250); in 1968 (Public Law 90-391, 82 Stat. 298); and in 1970 (Public Law 91-610, 84 Stat. 1817). The Rehabilitation Act of 1973 (Public Law 93-112, 87 Stat. 355) became law on September 26, 1973. It comprised a total legislative revamping of the Federal-State rehabilitation program.

On December 7, 1974, the Act was amended by the Rehabilitation Act Amendments of 1974 (Public Law 93-516, 88 Stat. 1617).

The Rehabilitation Act Extension of 1976, Public Law 94-230, extended the act for 1 year, with a contingency extension of an additional year. On May 21, 1976, the act was again amended by Public Law 94-288, which provided that the center for deaf-blind youths and adults should be named the Helen Keller National Center for Deaf-Blind Youths and Adults.

On November 6, 1978, the act was amended by Public Law 95-602, the Rehabilitation, Comprehensive Services and Developmental Disabilities Amendments of 1978, which established major new program thrusts in pilot employment projects, comprehensive services for independent living, special service programs for deaf individuals, blind individuals, and handicapped American Indians. In addition, Public Law 95-602 established the National Institute of Handicapped Research and the National Council on the Handicapped as well as strengthening the protections afforded handicapped individuals under title V of the act.

The Mental Retardation Facilities and Community Mental Health Center Construction Act of 1963, Public Law 88-164, was enacted on October 31, 1963. Public Law 90-170, the Mental Retardation Amendments, enacted on December 4, 1967, extended the progress established by Public Law 88-164. Major revisions were made in Public Law 91517, the Developmental Disabilities Services and Facilities construction Amendments of 1970, which replaced the old authority with a broad, new Federal-State grant-in-aid program. On October 4, 1975, this legislation was amended by Public Law 94-103, the Developmentally Disabled Assistance and Bill of Rights Act.

(VII)

Public Law 95-602 made significant changes to Public Law 88-164, as amended, in the definition of developmental disability by changing the eligibility criteria from categorical to functional criteria and by requiring States to target resources in specified service areas.

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