NASET News Alert

Hurricane Victims with Disabilities

May 26, 2006

Hurricane Victims with Disabilities Receive Assistance Through Department of Education

Gulf States to Get $25.9 Million in Vocational Rehabilitation Services

President Bush recently signed into law the Assistance for Individuals with Disabilities Affected by Hurricanes Katrina and Rita Act of 2005, granting the U.S. Education Department authority to permit hurricane-affected Gulf Coast states access to $25.9 million in federal funds for vocational rehabilitation (VR) services without the states having to provide matching funds.

These VR services may include education, training, assistive technology or various supports necessary for employment of individuals with disabilities affected by Hurricanes Katrina or Rita that contribute to the economic growth and development of communities.

"Children and adults with disabilities face challenges with the loss of their homes and supports for daily living," Secretary of Education Margaret Spellings said. "Through the department's Office of Special Education and Rehabilitative Services, this funding will provide additional assistance to those with disabilities affected by the hurricanes."

Federal funds for VR services will be made available to affected states in the following amounts:

  • Louisiana, $16.4 million
  • Mississippi, $6.1 million
  • Alabama, $1.7 million
  • Texas, $1.7 million.

Beyond the support to people with disabilities provided by this new law, a fact sheet lists additional efforts by the Office of Special Education and Rehabilitative Services to help hurricane victims.  This fact sheet can be found at:

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