From the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 (29 U.S.C. 780 et seq.):
Sec. 780 - Establishment of National Council on Disability
- Membership; purpose
- There is established within the Federal Government a National Council on Disability (hereinafter in this subchapter referred to as the "National Council"), which shall be composed of fifteen members appointed by the President, by and with the advice and consent of the Senate.
- The President shall select members of the National Council after soliciting recommendations from representatives of—
- organizations representing a broad range of individuals with disabilities; and
- organizations interested in individuals with disabilities.
- The members of the National Council shall be individuals with disabilities, parents or guardians of individuals with disabilities, or other individuals who have substantial knowledge or experience relating to disability policy or programs. The members of the National Council shall be appointed so as to be representative of individuals with disabilities, national organizations concerned with individuals with disabilities, providers and administrators of services to individuals with disabilities, individuals engaged in conducting medical or scientific research relating to individuals with disabilities, business concerns, and labor organizations. A majority of the members of the National Council shall be individuals with disabilities. The members of the National Council shall be broadly representative of minority and other individuals and groups.
- The purpose of the National Council is to promote policies, programs, practices, and procedures that—
- guarantee equal opportunity for all individuals with disabilities, regardless of the nature or severity of the disability; and
- empower individuals with disabilities to achieve economic self-sufficiency, independent living, and inclusion and integration into all aspects of society.
- Term of office
- Each member of the National Council shall serve for a term of 3 years, except that the terms of service of the members initially appointed after November 6, 1978, shall be (as specified by the President) for such fewer number of years as will provide for the expiration of terms on a staggered basis.
- No member of the National Council may serve more than two consecutive full terms beginning on the date of commencement of the first full term on the Council. Members may serve after the expiration of their terms until their successors have taken office.
- As used in this paragraph, the term "full term" means a term of 3 years.
- Any member appointed to fill a vacancy occurring before the expiration of the term for which such member's predecessor was appointed shall be appointed only for the remainder of such term.
- Chairperson; meetings
The President shall designate the Chairperson from among the members appointed to the National Council. The National Council shall meet at the call of the Chairperson, but not less often than four times each year.
- Quorum; vacancies
Eight members of the National Council shall constitute a quorum and any vacancy in the National Council shall not affect its power to function.
Sec. 781- Duties of the National Council
- In general
The National Council shall—
- provide advice to the Director with respect to the policies and conduct of the National Institute on Disability and Rehabilitation Research, including ways to improve research concerning individuals with disabilities and the methods of collecting and disseminating findings of such research;
- provide advice to the Commissioner with respect to the policies of and conduct of the Rehabilitation Services Administration;
- advise the President, the Congress, the Commissioner, the appropriate Assistant Secretary of the Department of Education, and the Director of the National Institute on Disability and Rehabilitation Research on the development of the programs to be carried out under this chapter;
- provide advice regarding priorities for the activities of the Interagency Disability Coordinating Council and review the recommendations of such Council for legislative and administrative changes to ensure that such recommendations are consistent with the purposes of the Council to promote the full integration, independence, and productivity of individuals with disabilities;
- review and evaluate on a continuing basis—
- policies, programs, practices, and procedures concerning individuals with disabilities conducted or assisted by Federal departments and agencies, including programs established or assisted under this chapter or under the Developmental Disabilities Assistance and Bill of Rights Act of 2000 [42 U.S.C. 15001 et seq.]; and
- all statutes and regulations pertaining to Federal programs which assist such individuals with disabilities; in order to assess the effectiveness of such policies, programs, practices, procedures, statutes, and regulations in meeting the needs of individuals with disabilities;
- assess the extent to which such policies, programs, practices, and procedures facilitate or impede the promotion of the policies set forth in subparagraphs (A) and (B) of section 780 (a)(2) of this title;
- gather information about the implementation, effectiveness, and impact of the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 (42 U.S.C. 12101 et seq.);
- make recommendations to the President, the Congress, the Secretary, the Director of the National Institute on Disability and Rehabilitation Research, and other officials of Federal agencies or other Federal entities, respecting ways to better promote the policies set forth in section 780 (a)(2) of this title;
- provide to the Congress on a continuing basis advice, recommendations, legislative proposals, and any additional information that the National Council or the Congress deems appropriate; and
- review and evaluate on a continuing basis new and emerging disability policy issues affecting individuals with disabilities at the Federal, State, and local levels, and in the private sector, including the need for and coordination of adult services, access to personal assistance services, school reform efforts and the impact of such efforts on individuals with disabilities, access to health care, and policies that operate as disincentives for the individuals to seek and retain employment.
- Annual reports
- Not later than October 31, 1998, and annually thereafter, the National Council shall prepare and submit to the President and the appropriate committees of the Congress a report entitled "National Disability Policy: A Progress Report".
- The report shall assess the status of the Nation in achieving the policies set forth in section 780 (a)(2) of this title, with particular focus on the new and emerging issues impacting on the lives of individuals with disabilities. The report shall present, as appropriate, available data on health, housing, employment, insurance, transportation, recreation, training, prevention, early intervention, and education. The report shall include recommendations for policy change.
- In determining the issues to focus on and the findings, conclusions, and recommendations to include in the report, the National Council shall seek input from the public, particularly individuals with disabilities, representatives of organizations representing a broad range of individuals with disabilities, and organizations and agencies interested in individuals with disabilities.
- Report describing barriers
- Not later than December 31, 1999, the Council shall prepare a report describing the barriers in Federal assistive technology policy to increasing the availability of and access to assistive technology devices and assistive technology services for individuals with disabilities.
- In preparing the report, the Council shall obtain input from the National Institute on Disability and Rehabilitation Research and the Association of Tech Act Projects, and from targeted individuals and entities, as defined in section 3002 of this title.
- The Council shall submit the report, along with such recommendations as the Council determines to be appropriate, to the Committee on Labor and Human Resources of the Senate and the Committee on Education and the Workforce of the House of Representatives.
Sec. 782 - Compensation of National Council Members
Members of the National Council shall be entitled to receive compensation at a rate equal to the rate of pay for level 4 of the Senior Executive Service Schedule under section 5382 of title 5, including travel time, for each day they are engaged in the performance of their duties as members of the National Council.
- Full-time officers or employees of United States
Members of the National Council who are full-time officers or employees of the United States shall receive no additional pay on account of their service on the National Council except for compensation for travel expenses as provided under subsection (c) of this section.
- Travel expenses
While away from their homes or regular places of business in the performance of services for the National Council, members of the National Council shall be allowed travel expenses, including per diem in lieu of subsistence, in the same manner as persons employed intermittently in the Government service are allowed expenses under section 5703 of title 5.
Sec. 783 - Staff of National Council
- Executive Director; technical and professional employees
- The Chairperson of the National Council may appoint and remove, without regard to the provisions of title 5 governing appointments, the provisions of chapter 75 of such title (relating to adverse actions), the provisions of chapter 77 of such title (relating to appeals), or the provisions of chapter 51 and subchapter III of chapter 53 of such title (relating to classification and General Schedule pay rates), an Executive Director to assist the National Council to carry out its duties. The Executive Director shall be appointed from among individuals who are experienced in the planning or operation of programs for individuals with disabilities.
- The Executive Director is authorized to hire technical and professional employees to assist the National Council to carry out its duties.
- Temporary or intermittent services; voluntary and uncompensated services; gifts, etc.; contracts and agreements; official representation and reception
- The National Council may procure temporary and intermittent services to the same extent as is authorized by section 3109 (b) of title 5 (but at rates for individuals not to exceed the daily equivalent of the rate of pay for level 4 of the Senior Executive Service Schedule under section 5382 of title 5).
- The National Council may—
- accept voluntary and uncompensated services, notwithstanding the provisions of section 1342 of title 31;
- in the name of the Council, solicit, accept, employ, and dispose of, in furtherance of this chapter, any money or property, real or personal, or mixed, tangible or nontangible, received by gift, devise, bequest, or otherwise; and
- enter into contracts and cooperative agreements with Federal and State agencies, private firms, institutions, and individuals for the conduct of research and surveys, preparation of reports and other activities necessary to the discharge of the Council's duties and responsibilities.
- Not more than 10 per centum of the total amounts available to the National Council in each fiscal year may be used for official representation and reception.
- Administrative support services
The Administrator of General Services shall provide to the National Council on a reimbursable basis such administrative support services as the Council may request.
- Investment of amounts not required for current withdrawals
- It shall be the duty of the Secretary of the Treasury to invest such portion of the amounts made available under subsection (a)(2)(B) of this section as is not, in the Secretary's judgment, required to meet current withdrawals. Such investments may be made only in interest-bearing obligations of the United States or in obligations guaranteed as to both principal and interest by the United States.
- The amounts described in paragraph (1), and the interest on, and the proceeds from the sale or redemption of, the obligations described in paragraph (1) shall be available to the National Council to carry out this subchapter.
Sec. 784 - Administrative Powers of National Council
- (a) Bylaws and rules
The National Council may prescribe such bylaws and rules as may be necessary to carry out its duties under this subchapter.
- (b) Hearings
The National Council may hold such hearings, sit and act at such times and places, take such testimony, and receive such evidence as it deems advisable.
- (c) Advisory committees
The National Council may appoint advisory committees to assist the National Council in carrying out its duties. The members thereof shall serve without compensation.
- (d) Use of mails
The National Council may use the United States mails in the same manner and upon the same conditions as other departments and agencies of the United States.
- (e) Use of services, personnel, information, and facilities
The National Council may use, with the consent of the agencies represented on the Interagency Disability Coordinating Council, and as authorized in subchapter V of this chapter, such services, personnel, information, and facilities as may be needed to carry out its duties under this subchapter, with or without reimbursement to such agencies.
Sec. 785 - Authorization of Appropriations
There are authorized to be appropriated to carry out this subchapter such sums as may be necessary for each of the fiscal years 1999 through 2003.