Traditionally underserved populations
(a) Findings With respect to the programs authorized in subchapters II through VII of this chapter, the Congress finds as follows:
(1) Racial profile The racial profile of America is rapidly changing. While the rate of increase for white Americans is 3.2 percent, the rate of increase for racial and ethnic minorities is much higher: 38.6 percent for Latinos, 14.6 percent for African-Americans, and 40.1 percent for Asian-Americans and other ethnic groups. By the year
2000, the Nation will have 260,000,000 people, one of every three of whom will be either African-American, Latino, or Asian-American.
(2) Rate of disability Ethnic and racial minorities tend to have disabling conditions at a disproportionately high rate. The rate of work-related disability for American Indians is about one and one-half times that of the general population. African-Americans are also one and one-half times more likely to be disabled than whites and twice as likely to be significantly disabled.
(3) Inequitable treatment Patterns of inequitable treatment of minorities have been documented in all major junctures of the vocational rehabilitation process. As compared to white Americans, a larger percentage of African-American applicants to the vocational rehabilitation system is denied acceptance. Of applicants accepted for service, a larger percentage of African-American cases is closed without being rehabilitated. Minorities are provided less training than their white counterparts.
Consistently, less money is spent on minorities than on their white counterparts.
(4) Recruitment Recruitment efforts within vocational rehabilitation at the level of preservice training, continuing education, and in-service training must focus on bringing larger numbers of minorities into the profession in order to provide appropriate practitioner knowledge, role models, and sufficient manpower to address the clearly changing demography of vocational rehabilitation.
(b) Outreach to minorities (1) In general For each fiscal year, the Commissioner and the Director of the National Institute on Disability and Rehabilitation Research (referred to in this subsection as the "Director") shall reserve 1 percent of the funds appropriated for the fiscal year for programs authorized under subchapters II, III, VI, and VII of this chapter to carry out this subsection. The Commissioner and the Director shall use the reserved funds to carry out one or more of the activities described in paragraph (2) through a grant, contract, or cooperative agreement.
(2) Activities The activities carried out by the Commissioner and the Director shall include one or more of the following:
(A) Making awards to minority entities and Indian tribes to carry out activities under the programs authorized under subchapters II, III, VI, and VII of this chapter.
(B) Making awards to minority entities and Indian tribes to conduct research, training, technical assistance, or a related activity, to improve services provided under this chapter, especially services provided to individuals from minority backgrounds.
(C) Making awards to entities described in paragraph (3) to provide outreach and technical assistance to minority entities and Indian tribes to promote their participation in activities funded under this chapter, including assistance to enhance their capacity to carry out such activities.
(3) Eligibility To be eligible to receive an award under paragraph (2)(C), an entity shall be a State or a public or private nonprofit agency or organization, such as an institution of higher education or an Indian tribe.
(4) Report In each fiscal year, the Commissioner and the Director shall prepare and submit to Congress a report that describes the activities funded under this subsection for the preceding fiscal year.
(5) Definitions In this subsection:
(A) Historically Black college or university The term "historically Black college or university" means a part B institution, as defined in section 1061(2) of title 20.
(B) Minority entity The term "minority entity" means an entity that is a historically Black college or university, a Hispanic-serving institution of higher education, an American Indian tribal college or university, or another institution of higher education whose minority student enrollment is at least 50 percent.
(c) Demonstration In awarding grants, or entering into contracts or cooperative agreements under subchapters I, II, III, VI, and VII of this chapter, and section 794e of this title, the Commissioner and the Director, in appropriate cases, shall require applicants to demonstrate how the applicants will address, in whole or in part, the needs of individuals with disabilities from minority backgrounds.
(Pub. L. 93-112, Sec. 21, formerly Sec. 19, as added Pub. L. 105-220, title IV, Sec. 403, Aug. 7, 1998, 112 Stat. 1115; renumbered Sec. 21 and amended Pub. L. 105-277, div. A, Sec. 101(f) (title VIII, Sec. 402(a)(1), (b)(6), (c)(3)), Oct. 21, 1998, 112 Stat. 2681-337, 2681-412, 2681-413, 2681-415.)