The Rehabilitation Services Administration (RSA) requires DARS
to develop and implement standards for Centers for Independent Living (CILs) to ensure compliance with Title VII of the Rehabilitation Act
of 1973, as amended. These standards are based on
- Section 725 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, as amended (the Act);
- 34 CFR Section 364; and
- 34 CFR Section 366.
A CIL that receives funds from DARS must meet the standards in applicable state and federal regulations as well as those described in
this chapter and in the following sections of Chapter 1: Basic Standards, of the DRS Standards for Providers:
A CIL must promote and practice an independent living philosophy including commitment to
- consumer control of the CIL, including
- service delivery,
- management, and
- establishment of the policy and direction of the CIL;
- self-help and self-advocacy—for example, by training people with significant disabilities in self-advocacy;
- peer relationships and peer role models—for example, by using people with significant disabilities who have achieved IL goals as
instructors in its training programs or as peer counselors; and
- equal access for people with significant disabilities to all public or private
- resources, and
- is a private nonprofit organization that is
- cross-disability, and
- is designed and operated in the local community by people with disabilities, and
- provides an array of IL services.
A CIL must have written documentation that its board
- is the CIL's principal governing body, and
- has a majority of members who have significant disabilities.
Each CIL shall have written documentation that the CIL promotes
- increased availability and improved quality of community-based programs that serve individuals with significant disabilities, and
- removal of any existing barrier (architectural, attitudinal, communication, environmental, or other type) that prevents the full
integration of these individuals into society.
This documentation must demonstrate that the CIL performed at least one activity in each of the following categories:
- community advocacy;
- technical assistance to the community on making services, programs, activities, resources, and facilities in society accessible to
individuals with significant disabilities;
- public information and education;
- aggressive outreach to members of populations of individuals with significant disabilities that are unserved or underserved by programs
under Title VII of the Act in the CIL's service area; and
- collaboration with service providers, other agencies, and organizations that could assist in improving the options available for
individuals with significant disabilities to avail themselves of the services, programs, activities, resources, and facilities in the CIL's
Each CIL must submit to the State Independent Living Council (SILC) a copy of its Annual Performance Report for the State Independent
Living Services Program (RSA-704 Part II). (See 7.11 Reporting.) The SILC uses this information for reports (for example, to the
Texas Legislature) as well as to monitor information contained within the State Plan for Independent Living (SPIL).
The CIL must be chartered by the State of Texas as a nonprofit organization and must have a board of directors.
The board must
- ensure that the CIL maintains the organization's focus on its mission and purpose;
- hire the executive director;
- outline the responsibilities of each position and each member in the board's organization;
- either as a whole or by means of the CIL's finance committee, regularly review actual revenue and expenditures and compare them with
budgeted revenue and estimated costs;
- meet at least quarterly;
- review and approve programs and budgets;
- periodically review policies and procedures for the organization's operation; and
- review and approve changes and revisions to policies and procedures before implementation.
Each board member must receive training that covers board responsibilities and applicable CIL policies, to be provided within 90 days of
his or her board appointment.
Board meeting minutes must include at a minimum the following:
- meeting date and location,
- names of all attendees and visitors,
- progress made on grant work plan goals and objectives,
- all items voted upon,
- results of votes, and
- the date the board approved the minutes.
The CIL must observe sound business practices in securing bonding and insurance to provide adequate coverage for DARS-funded projects.
Board members and staff members must be insured or bonded when required
- by the organization's bylaws;
- by law or regulations;
- as a condition of the grant award, and
- to protect DARS' grant interests.
A CIL must develop and follow policies and procedures that comply with
The CIL board must ensure that organizational policies and procedures include
- personnel policies to be followed by CIL management and staff members,
- financial management and procurement standards, and
- program service guidelines that comply with federal and state requirements.
Organizational policies and procedures must be
- periodically reviewed by the board, and
- published and distributed or made available to all board and staff members.
Any changes or revisions must have board approval before becoming effective.
The CIL organizational budget
- reflects, in monetary terms, the organizational goals and objectives for the coming year,
- provides an opportunity to review the prior year's actual expenditures against the initial budget, and
- allows assessment of variances to determine whether they are likely to recur in the coming year and should be reflected in the new
The CIL must maintain an organizational budget that
- is prepared at least annually,
- is approved by the board,
- identifies all anticipated funding sources, and
- identifies planned use of all financial resources.
DARS provides financial assistance that enables CILs to provide services for consumers.
The CIL must
- accept full legal responsibility for the program, including fulfilling grant requirements,
- direct all program and administrative aspects through effective and sound management practices and policies, and
- provide fiscal and program management of the grant.
DARS provides financial assistance based on an approved grant application submitted by a CIL. The DARS grant application is typically
submitted every two years. The grant application consists of a grant work plan, a budget, and other requirements. DARS will communicate the
deadline for submission of the application during the contract renewal process.
The CIL prepares a grant work plan with goals, objectives, activities, and measurable outputs and outcomes and has the responsibility to
fulfill the plan. The plan must be consistent with the State Plan
for Independent Living (SPIL) at the time the grant application is prepared. If a new SPIL becomes effective after the grant application
is prepared and requires changes to the work plan, the CIL must consult the Grant Award and Contract section to see if a contract amendment
is required. (See 7.4 CIL Grant Information/Grant Award and Contract.)
A budget must be prepared for each year of the grant period. The grant budget reflects anticipated costs associated with the goals,
objectives, activities, and outcomes outlined in the grant work plan. Costs are budgeted under seven cost categories, which are described
later in this section.
After approving the application, DARS develops a bilateral contract. The bases of the agreement between DARS and the CIL are
- the approved application,
- the contract, and
- any amendments and updates to the application and the contract.
The contract is effective for one year, with a one-year renewal option. Renewal requires submission of updates to certain sections of the
application (for example, the budget, work plan, and other information that has changed). Any commitment or expenditure of grant funds must
be based on the approved application and signed contract as well as on amendments and updates to the contract and application.
An amendment to the contract is required when
- a formal budget revision approved by DARS is required; or
- a substantial change is made to the grant work plan (whether linked to budget changes or not).
Changes to goals or objectives in the work plan require an amendment. Major changes to activities (for example, deleting an activity,
adding a new activity, substantially altering an activity) may require an amendment. The CIL should consult with the grant manager when
making such changes.
CILs are reimbursed for allowable budgeted expenses incurred and paid in the course of providing services consistent with the terms of
A CIL may be considered higher risk if DARS determines that the CIL
- demonstrates poor performance in the conduct of grant requirements,
- is not financially stable, or
- does not comply with
Based on these factors that indicate higher risk, the DARS grant may include special conditions or restrictions, such as
- additional approvals of grant decisions,
- required training and/or technical assistance,
- payment on a reimbursement basis instead of cash advances,
- more frequent financial and/or program performance reports, and
- increased grant and/or project monitoring.
All CILs must comply with applicable Office of Management and Budget (OMB)
and U.S. Department of Education General Administrative Regulations (EDGAR)
fiscal and accounting requirements. CILs must adopt those fiscal control and fund accounting procedures as necessary to ensure proper
disbursement of, and accounting for, CIL funds.
The CIL maintains a sound fiscal management system that
- discloses financial results;
- maintains accurate and complete records of
- funding sources, and
- uses of all grant funds;
- complies with grant rules and regulations;
- maintains system-generated reports required by the
- executive director, and
- funding agencies;
- evaluates progress toward objectives; and
- has an internal control structure that
- segregates funds,
- authorizes expenditures,
- addresses separation of duties,
- includes adequate checks and balances,
- records financial transactions, and
- limits access to assets.
The CIL's policies and procedures for financial management should include methods for making payments, accounting for program income,
approving budget revisions, determining legitimacy of costs, and establishing fund availability.
- The CIL must maintain an accounting system and records that
- record revenue and expenditures using generally accepted accounting principles;
- include a chart of accounts that lists all accounts by an assigned number;
- contain a general ledger and subsidiary ledgers;
- identify all funding sources and expenditures by separate fund type; and
- use a double-entry accounting system; that is, the cash, the accrual, or the modified accrual system.
Fund accounting is a system in which separate records are maintained for each funding source. When fund accounting is used, the chart of
accounts must be carefully structured and must account for each program separately. For example, DARS reimburses the CIL for specific
The CIL must define
- circumstances under which the chart of accounts may be revised, and
- frequency of board approval.
CILs must designate people who have financial administration authority to
- enter into contracts,
- request and expend funds,
- seek and pursue funding sources, and
- administer and manage all fiscal matters on behalf of the CIL.
CIL policy approved by the board must indicate positions and areas of responsibility for financial administration. Positions with
financial administration authority may include
- the CIL board chair, president, or a board member with relevant expertise;
- the CIL executive director or chief executive officer; and
- other staff members or contractors with financial responsibilities.
Those given financial administration authority must
- have sufficient experience in grant expenditures; for example, in
- keeping financial records,
- preparing financial statements,
- anticipating financial needs,
- safeguarding and managing financial assets,
- complying with federal and state reporting requirements, and
- establishing and monitoring a system of internal controls;
- participate in long-range planning to secure permanent funding for projects that provide services; and
- sign financial documents to certify their accuracy and validity according to DARS reporting requirements and CIL policy approved by the
CIL contracts are classified as “cost reimbursement contracts,” which means that CILs are reimbursed for allowable incurred costs. The
CIL may request operating funds for no more than 30 days in advance or to be reimbursed for allowable costs already incurred.
CILs that meet the contract requirements may request advance payments, certifying that the amount requested will not exceed 30 days'
operating funds. If advanced funds are not expended during the month of the request, they must be adjusted on the next request. If the CIL
does not meet the requirements of the contract, DARS may
- adjust payments,
- reimburse based on actual costs already incurred,
- require additional supporting documentation to make payments, and
- take other action as appropriate.
The CIL must ensure that no more than $250.00 earned in interest on advance payments is retained for administrative expenses over the
CIL cash management policies must address
- check and cash receipting,
- petty cash funds (if used), and
- check processing.
Cash receipts and checks must be deposited promptly and recorded in the accounting system according to CIL policies. In addition,
- a cash-receipts log must be maintained, and
- checks must be restrictively endorsed.
Petty cash disbursements must be
- adequately safeguarded, and
- properly recorded.
Checks for CIL purchases must be processed by completion of an order or request. CIL policy must identify those with authority to approve
expenditures and sign checks.
The CIL must maintain proper custody over checks, including voided checks.
Bank accounts must be reconciled monthly by someone who does not disburse, receive, or record receipt of funds.
Records must include
- initialed and dated monthly reconciliation,
- bank statement,
- check register,
- canceled and voided checks,
- electronic funds transactions, and
- any other applicable accounting records.
All adjusting entries must be approved by management and promptly recorded by appropriate staff members.
All cash disbursements must be verified and entered into the CIL's accounting system.
In the grant application, the CIL provides information about other sources of funds used to support the CIL program in addition to DARS
grant funds. These other sources of funds may include
- RSA federal funds and other grant money,
- donated volunteer services and goods, and
- program income.
The CIL must determine the value of donated goods and volunteer services and show them as other sources of funds in the grant
application. The value of donated goods must reflect the cost that would be incurred if the CIL were to purchase the items, and may not be
reimbursed as either a direct or indirect cost. Donated goods and volunteer services must be allowable, reasonable, and necessary to the
program in order to be reported. For guidance on how to value volunteer time, see 7.6.7 Volunteer Program.
For more information about funding, see
Program income is gross income that is earned by the CIL and that is directly generated by a supported activity of the CIL grant award.
Program income is allocated proportionally according to the percent of program funding provided by each funding source.
The CIL must ensure that program income is
- used during the current fiscal year or subsequent fiscal year as
- a deduction from total allowable costs charged to the grant, or
- an addition to the grant funds to be used for additional allowable program expenditures, and
- accounted for separately for each fiscal year.
The CIL must maintain policies that
- document resources used in generating program income,
- ensure that earned and used program income are accounted for separately in the chart of accounts, and
- address the process to carry forward program income.
Records must include
- sources of program income,
- amount of program income received, and
- quarterly financial reports consistent with accounting records.
All costs must be reasonable, necessary, allowable, and allocable to the contract in accordance with 2 CFR 230 (OMB Circular A-122).
If the CIL has questions about a specific cost that is not addressed in 2 CFR 230 (OMB Circular A-122), the CIL should seek technical
assistance from the grant manager.
When costs are distributed between multiple programs or cost centers, a CIL must submit a cost allocation plan with the grant application
to ensure that all costs are allocated properly. The CIL must pay particular attention to personnel, building costs, and equipment. For
details about cost allocation plans, see 2 CFR 230
(OMB Circular A-122).
The CIL must
- obtain board approval of the cost allocation plan;
- update the cost allocation plan as needed—for example, when new funding sources are obtained;
- document application of the cost allocation plan to shared costs, to ensure that the appropriate share is requested from the DARS grant;
- submit the cost allocation plan to the grant manager when the grant application is submitted and when revisions are made.
The CIL's organizational and personnel assignment practices, as documented in written board policy, must comply with Section 503 of the Rehabilitation Act, including taking affirmative action
to employ and promote qualified individuals with significant disabilities.
A CIL must also document that the majority of its staff members, including members in decision-making positions, are people with
CIL staff members must include specialists in developing and providing IL services and in developing and supporting a CIL. To the
greatest extent possible, personnel should be available who are able to communicate
- with individuals with significant disabilities who rely on alternative modes of communication, such as manual communication, nonverbal
communication devices, braille, or audiotapes;
- with people who apply for or receive IL services under Title VII of the Act; and
- in the native languages of individuals with significant disabilities whose English proficiency is limited and who apply for or receive
IL services under Title VII of the Act.
CILs must establish and maintain a program of staff development for those involved in providing IL services, and, if appropriate, in
administering the CIL program. Staff development programs should emphasize improving the skills of staff members directly responsible for
providing IL services, including knowledge and practice of the IL philosophy. A CIL must provide training to its staff on how to serve
unserved and underserved populations, including minority groups and urban and rural populations, as evidenced by in-service training
CILs must comply with federal and state employment laws in their human resource policies.
CIL policies must address
- Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) minimum wage and maximum hours provisions;
- definitions of full-time, part-time, and temporary positions;
- wage and salary schedule;
- approved job descriptions including
- duties and functions of each position;
- minimum knowledge, skills, and abilities to perform the job;
- employee performance appraisal;
- employee separation or termination; and
- professional conduct;
The CIL must
- maintain an organizational chart outlining the current structure of the CIL organization; the chart must
- identify all staff and volunteer positions by job title, including supervisory positions; and
- define reporting relationships among positions, which must be approved by the board;
- maintain personnel files that include at a minimum
- current application and/or resume;
- current job description;
- documents that support payroll deductions (W4, court orders, etc.);
- proof of citizenship or right to work in United States (Form I-9 or other state or federally recognized form);
- proof of professional credentials (if applicable); and
- current driver's license and evidence of automobile insurance (if applicable).
Time reporting must be based on documented payrolls approved by responsible officials of the organization. Salaries and wages must be
supported by personnel activity reports reflecting the distribution of activity of each employee charged to the grant. The reports must
- reflect an after-the-fact determination of the actual activity of each employee,
- account for the total activity for which employees are compensated and which is required in fulfillment of their obligations to the
- be signed by each employee and by a responsible supervisory official having first-hand knowledge of the activities performed by the
employee, assuring that the distribution of activity represents a reasonable estimate of the actual work the employee performed during the
periods covered by the reports, and
- be prepared at least monthly and coincide with one or more pay periods.
Policy must address
- work hours,
- attendance, and
- leave reporting.
The following are considered benefits if the costs are absorbed by all organizational activities in proportion to the amount of time or
effort devoted to each:
- regular compensation paid to employees for authorized absences such as vacation leave, sick leave, etc.; and
- employer contributions to Social Security, workers' compensation, insurance, pension plans, etc.
Policy must address
- accrual, balance, and carryover of leave,
- deferred compensation,
- workers' compensation, and
- unemployment compensation.
When a CIL uses a volunteer to fill a position that fulfills a critical function of the IL program, the CIL must provide
- an approved job description,
- time sheets signed by the volunteer and supervisor, and
- documented valuation of the hourly rate assigned to the volunteer's time.
These requirements do not apply to one-time, spontaneous, or informal volunteer activities.
The value of volunteer services in positions that would otherwise require hired staff members is based on the work performed. CILs that
already have employees performing these activities may use their own rate of pay to assess the value of volunteer services. If a CIL does
not have employees in a similar position, it may use standard local compensation for such positions.
CIL procurement policies must address
- conflict of interest situations,
- planning for procurement needs,
- criteria and situations for obtaining bids or proposals,
- purchasing of supplies and equipment,
- contracts for goods or services, and
- maintenance of procurement records.
CILS must have written procurement procedures that address the requirements of 2 CFR Part 215 (OMB Circular A-110),
- avoiding the purchase of unnecessary items;
- where appropriate, analyzing lease and purchase alternatives to determine which would be the more economical and practical procurement
for the CIL;
- ensuring that solicitations for goods and services provide for all of the following:
- a clear and accurate description of the technical requirements for the material, product, or service to be procured. In competitive
procurements, the description must not contain features that unduly restrict competition;
- requirements that the bidder must fulfill and all other factors used in evaluating bids or proposals;
- a description, whenever practicable, of technical requirements in terms of functions to be performed or performance required, including
the range of acceptable characteristics or minimum acceptable standards;
- the specific features of "brand name or equal" descriptions that bidders are required to meet when such items are included in the
- the acceptance, to the extent practicable and economically feasible, of products and services dimensioned in the metric system of
- preference, to the extent practicable and economically feasible, for products and services that conserve natural resources, protect the
environment, and are energy efficient;
- making efforts to use small businesses, minority-owned firms, and women's business enterprises, whenever possible;
- clarifying the type of procuring instruments used (for example, fixed price contracts, cost reimbursable contracts, service authorization and/or purchase orders, and incentive contracts);
- ensuring that contracts are made only with responsible contractors who have the potential ability to perform successfully under the
terms and conditions of the proposed procurement.
CILs must, on request, make available to DARS pre-award review and procurement documents, such as requests for proposals or invitations
for bids, independent cost estimates, etc.
CILs must develop and follow policies and procedures that address asset purchase and inventory records, safeguarding assets, periodic
conduct of inventory, and disposition of DARS-funded assets.
- dispose of equipment by following the current edition of the American Hospital Association's (AHA) Estimated Useful Lives of Depreciable
Assets, except when federal or statutory requirements supersede; and
- request approval from the DARS program staff before disposing of equipment with a fair market value of $5,000 or more, or a controlled
asset before the end of that item's useful life, or as otherwise required by contract.
The AHA Estimated Useful Lives of Depreciable Assets may be obtained through
The requirements in the Uniform Grant Management Standards must be followed if an item of equipment or a controlled asset is not
- contained in the AHA Estimated Useful Lives of Depreciable Assets,
- governed by contract, or
- superseded by federal or state requirements.
If approval for disposition is not required, or approval has already been obtained from DARS program staff members, subrecipients must
ensure that disposition of any equipment or controlled asset is in accordance with the terms of the contract, such as compliance with
Generally Accepted Accounting Principles and any applicable federal guidance.
All grant-funded contracts for goods or services must be in writing and include all terms and conditions.
Contracts must contain
- a clause requiring that the contractor does not subcontract with another individual or organization;
- rights and responsibilities of both parties;
- purpose of the contract;
- description of deliverable goods or services;
- delivery dates of services or goods;
- the amount and method of payment;
- appropriate pass-through regulations (for example, civil rights and other rights identified in the DARS DRS Standards for Providers);
- the signatures of authorized parties.
CILs must monitor contracts to ensure that goods and services are provided and paid according to contract terms and conditions.
Employee compensation costs (or compensation for personal services) must
A CIL must
- compensate employees
- according to policies, programs, and procedures that effectively relate individual compensation to the person's contribution to the
performance of the contract work;
- follow policies that result in internally consistent, equitable treatment of employees; and
- pay employees a wage or salary that is comparable to that paid for similar services outside the organization in the labor market in
which the CIL competes for the kind of employees involved;
- review and approve salaries by position or function;
- ensure that employees who work
- solely on a single award or cost objective are supported by periodic certifications that employees worked solely on the IL program, or
- on multiple activities or cost objectives record the actual time spent on each funded activity on a timesheet or personnel activity
report. Time sheets or personnel activity reports must reflect an after-the-fact distribution of actual activity.
A CIL must not bill and receive reimbursement from funding sources for more than 100 percent of an employee's total salary or work time.
Fringe benefits are allowances and services that the CIL provides to employees as additional compensation. Employer contributions for
employees' health insurance, life insurance, and retirement plans are examples of fringe benefits. Also included are items required by law
for the benefit of employees, the employer's portion of the Federal Insurance Contributions Act tax (FICA, also known as Social Security),
workers' compensation insurance, and unemployment insurance.
A CIL must determine its responsibilities and comply with applicable state and federal laws and regulations including the following:
- workers' compensation—questions may be addressed to a qualified local insurance agency, the State Board of Insurance, or the State
Industrial Accident Board;
- F.I.C.A.—questions may be addressed to the IRS;
- federal unemployment taxes—questions may be addressed to the IRS;
- state unemployment taxes—questions may be addressed to the Texas Workforce Commission.
The percentage of costs for an employee's fringe benefits charged to the contract must not exceed the percentage of time or effort the
employee devotes to the contract.
Travel-related expenses are budgeted and allowed on a cost-incurred basis if the costs are reasonable, necessary, allocable, and
substantiated by adequate documentation. Travel costs are limited to the rates and line items approved in the contract.
Travel expenses are allowable if they are incurred by the CIL's employees while performing official contract business. Travel expenses
for consumers are included in the Other Costs category.
Travel-related expenses include
- personal vehicle mileage,
- parking fees,
- toll fees,
- taxi fare, and
- other travel-related costs.
Reimbursement for meals and lodging is allowed only for approved, overnight travel outside the designated headquarters (city limits).
DARS reimbursement for meals, lodging, and mileage may not exceed the comptroller's established Travel Reimbursement Rates. If the CIL has a policy that sets travel
reimbursement rates lower than the current state rates, budgeting and contract reimbursement cannot exceed the rate set by the CIL's policy.
If the CIL has a policy that sets travel reimbursement rates higher than the current state rates, the difference between the state's
allowable contract reimbursement and the CIL rates may be made up from other funding sources.
According to 2 CFR 230 (OMB Circular A-122),
airfare costs in excess of the customary standard commercial airfare (coach or equivalent), or of the lowest commercial discount airfare,
are unallowable except in special circumstances, which must be documented.
Out-of-state travel may be budgeted. The purpose and destination must be stated, and if available, supporting documentation must be
maintained to justify the expense, including meeting or conference agendas.
If out-of-state travel is not budgeted
- prior written approval from the DARS grant manager is required, and
- a formal budget revision may be required.
Budgeting and reimbursement requests for out-of-state travel must not exceed out-of-state per diem rates in the comptroller's established Travel Reimbursement Rates. Allowability of out-of-state travel costs is
determined based on comparing total costs for similar or comparable travel purposes available within the state.
Travel policy for local, in-state, and out-of-state travel must address
- allowable travel,
- required documentation,
- reimbursement rates, and
- circumstances under which an advance may be issued and procedures for reconciliation of actual costs.
Records must include
- a travel report signed by the traveler that includes
- certification that the employee incurred travel expenses while performing official contract business,
- the purpose of the trip,
- points of departure and arrival, and
- dates and times of departure and arrival;
- receipts, invoices, travel and mileage logs, travel vouchers, and any other documentation that supports the CIL's travel-related costs
(receipts for meals are required if the CIL's policy includes this requirement);
- a canceled check or other documentation that indicates
- the amount reimbursed for travel, and
- reconciliation of actual costs if an advance was issued; and
- accounting system entries that detail the amount of travel paid.
Equipment includes articles of nonexpendable, tangible personal property having a useful life of more than one year and an acquisition
- is $5,000 or more, or
- exceeds the capitalization level established by the organization for financial statement purposes, if lower.
The CIL must obtain prior DARS approval to purchase equipment. Equipment purchased through the contract is owned by the CIL but is
subject to an equitable claim by the state upon closing or terminating the contract. The CIL is accountable for equipment purchased through
the contract. The CIL must bill equipment according to federal regulations found in 45 CFR Part 74 and 2 CFR 230 (OMB Circular A-122).
The CIL must
- define equipment as stated in the applicable law, regulation, or condition of grant award,
- require that all purchases (covered by the above definition) be capitalized,
- maintain a capitalization and depreciation schedule, and
- specify requirements for insurance coverage.
A CIL may include equipment rental or lease in the grant budget if
- the cost is reasonable, and
- the cost of leasing (over the life of the contract) is less than the purchase price.
Note: The authorized rental or lease of items classified as anything other than equipment should be included in the "Other Costs" line item of the contract budget.
A consumable material or supply is any article that is not classified as equipment or intangible personal property and has a useful life
of less than one year. Consumable materials and supplies charged by a CIL as a direct cost must include only the materials and supplies used
to carry out the contract.
Material and supply items usually fall into one of the following categories:
- office supplies—such as pens, paper, notebooks, staplers, binders;
- program supplies—such as training materials and outreach materials;
- maintenance supplies—such as soap, paper towels, mops, and cleaning products.
The CIL must
- ensure that supplies are approved by authorized staff members,
- ensure that supplies are purchased competitively in accord with 2 CFR Part 215 (OMB Circular A-110),
- ensure that purchased supplies will be used during the current budget period to avoid stockpiling supplies, and
- obtain approval from DARS before disposing of supplies whose average fair market value exceeds $5,000.
Controlled assets are items of real or personal property with an estimated life of greater than one year, but an
acquisition cost of less than $5,000. These items are considered high risk and have a high potential for loss; therefore, controlled assets
must be maintained in a contractor's inventory system and tagged accordingly based on specified acquisition costs.
CILs should review the Comptroller's State Property Accounting (SPA) User Manual for the most current listing of controlled assets. CILs must add items classified as
controlled assets to their inventory list based on the acquisition costs noted in the SPA Manual.
This budget category may include consumer services that are either subcontracted or else are janitorial, accounting, and maintenance
services, etc., that are addressed by a contract. CIL contracting policy must be followed in determining which services should be
Other costs are those that are not covered by the preceding cost categories. These typically include items such as building rent,
utilities, postage, and insurance. In addition, any travel costs paid to or on behalf of consumers are included in this cost category (bus
passes, mileage reimbursement, etc.). Each cost must conform to federal and state regulations.
CILs must establish records management policies and procedures that ensure compliance with the DARS contract and applicable OMB and EDGAR
recordkeeping requirements. CIL records must fully disclose and document
- the amount and disposition by the CIL of grant funds,
- the cost of the project for which grant funding is given or used,
- the amount of project cost funding supplied by other sources, and
- compliance with the requirements of Chapter 1 of Title VII of the Act and Part 364 of Title 34 of the Code of Federal Regulations.
The CIL record-keeping system must contain data concerning the grant program's funds including information necessary to receive payment.
The CIL must ensure that funds are being spent and used in accordance with the grant award.
Records must include, but are not limited t
- up-to-date ledgers and journals,
- logs of management-approved adjusting journal entries,
- supporting documentation for all journal entries,
- bank statements,
- canceled checks,
- deposit slips,
- records of electronic transactions,
- approved invoices,
- time sheets,
- capitalization and depreciation schedule, and
- cost allocation sheets.
CILs must maintain the security and confidentiality of grant records including the adoption and implementation of policies and procedures
that meet the requirements of 34 CFR
364.56 to safeguard the confidentiality of all personal information, including photographs and names.
The CIL must
- maintain accurate administrative, program or consumer, and fiscal records reflecting the grant's performance, and
- provide DARS or others authorized by law or regulations to conduct reviews or audits access to its grant-related records for
programmatic or fiscal purposes during the grant budget and retention period.
Required and optional services must be addressed in the grant work plan goals, objectives, and activities.
A CIL must provide the following independent living core services:
- information and referral services,
- independent living skills training,
- peer counseling (including cross-disability peer counseling), and
- individual and systems advocacy.
A CIL must provide a combination of any two or more of the following IL services:
- psychological, psychotherapeutic, and related counseling;
- services related to securing housing or shelter (including community group-living and services supportive of the purposes and titles of
the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, as amended);
- services related to obtaining adaptive housing services (including appropriately accommodating and modifying any space used to serve
individuals with disabilities);
- rehabilitation technology;
- mobility training;
- services and training for people with cognitive and sensory disabilities, including life skills training and interpreter and reader
- personal assistance, including attendant care and the training of personnel who provide such services;
- directories, surveys, and other activities to identify appropriate
- recreation opportunities,
- accessible transportation, and
- other support services;
- consumer information programs on rehabilitation and IL services available under this Act, especially for minorities and other
individuals with disabilities who have traditionally been unserved or underserved by programs under the Act;
- education and training necessary for living in the community and participating in community activities;
- supported living;
- transportation, including referral and assistance for such transportation;
- physical rehabilitation;
- therapeutic treatment;
- provision of needed prostheses and other appliances and devices;
- individual and group social and recreational activities;
- training to develop skills specifically designed for youths with disabilities to
- promote self-awareness and self-esteem,
- develop advocacy and self-empowerment skills, and
- explore career options;
- services for children;
- services under other federal, state, or local programs designed to provide
- counseling, or
- other assistance of substantial benefit in enhancing
- productivity, and
- the quality of life of individuals with disabilities;
- preventive services to decrease the need of individuals assisted under the Act for similar services in the future;
- community awareness programs to help individuals with disabilities integrate into society; and
- other services as necessary and consistent with the Act.
A CIL must document that it serves people with a wide range of significant disabilities, including people who are unserved or
underserved, such as people with significant disabilities who
- have cognitive and sensory impairments,
- are members of racial and ethnic minority groups,
- live in rural areas, or
- have been identified by the CIL as unserved or underserved within the CIL's catchment area.
A CIL must conduct aggressive outreach regarding services provided through the center in an effort to reach populations of individuals
with significant disabilities that are unserved or underserved, especially minority groups and urban and rural populations.
An appropriate CIL staff member must sign and date an eligibility statement certifying that the consumer is determined eligible for IL
services. This decision must be
- based on the person's having a severe physical, mental, cognitive, or sensory impairment that substantially interferes with the ability
to function independently in the family, home, or community; and
- made without regard to age, color, creed, gender, national origin, race, religion, type of significant disability of the person applying
for services, or any state or local residence requirement.
If an applicant for IL services is determined ineligible for IL services, the CIL must provide the applicant with documentation of the
ineligibility determination, which must be dated and signed by an appropriate CIL staff member.
If an applicant for IL services has been found ineligible, the CIL must review the applicant's ineligibility at least once
- within 12 months after the ineligibility determination has been made and
- When CIL staff determine the applicant's status has materially changed.
The review need not be conducted if
- the applicant has refused the review,
- the applicant is no longer present in the state, or
- the applicant's whereabouts are unknown.
If the CIL intends to terminate services to a consumer with a Consumer Service Record (CSR), the CIL must notify the consumer, provide
information on the Client Assistance Program (CAP), and if appropriate, refer
the consumer to other agencies and facilities. (For more information about CAP, see 7.10.11.)
A CIL must provide the consumer with the choice of
- · developing an Independent Living Plan (ILP) in collaboration with CIL staff members, or
- · signing a waiver, leaving the planning process to CIL staff members.
If the consumer chooses to develop an ILP, the CIL staff member and the consumer must develop a mutually agreed-upon ILP. The ILP must be
signed by the consumer, or his or her representative, and the appropriate staff member.
If the consumer chooses to sign a waiver form, waiving his or her right to participate in plan development, CIL staff must develop the
plan of services.
The plan must include
- the consumer's goals and objectives,
- services the CIL will provide,
- the anticipated duration of each individual service (start and end dates),
- the anticipated duration of the service program (start and end dates),
- the planned frequency of consumer contact, and
- documentation that the consumer or his or her representative was given a copy of the signed ILP or waiver.
Services entered on the ILP or waived plan must
- clearly support achievement of consumer goals or objectives, and
- be time-limited.
CIL staff must review the consumer plan or waived plan as often as necessary, but at least annually, to determine whether services should
be continued, modified, or discontinued.
A Consumer Service Record (CSR) must be maintained for each applicant for IL services and each recipient of IL services (other than
information and referral). The CSR must contain
- documentation concerning eligibility or ineligibility for services;
- the IL plan developed with the consumer, or a waiver signed by the consumer waiving consumer's participation in plan development;
- services requested by the consumer;
- services provided to the consumer;
- frequency of consumer contact, and
- the IL goals or objectives
- o established with the consumer, whether or not in the consumer's IL plan; and
- o achieved by the consumer.
A CSR may be maintained electronically or in printed form. However, the IL plan or waiver must bear signatures of the consumer, or the
consumer's representative, and the CIL staff member.
A CIL must ensure that it facilitates development and achievement of suitable IL goals. IL goals relate directly to addressing the
consumer's functional needs and what the consumer wants to achieve to access his or her home, family, and/or community.
IL goals address significant life achievements that
- enable the consumer to become more, or to remain, independent in the home, family, or community; and
- are made possible through IL services.
A consumer may have more than one goal listed on the ILP or waived plan. Goals may be related to
- community-based living,
- community and social participation,
- education needed for independent living,
- information access and technology,
- mobility and transportation,
- personal resource management,
- relocation from a nursing home or other institution,
- self-advocacy and self-empowerment,
- self-care, and
- other areas leading to independent living.
Improve the consumer's ability to
- understand and acknowledge communication by others through gestures or verbal response (receptive); or
- produce verbal language, sign language, or other nonverbal communication (for example, gestures and facial expressions).
Change the consumer's living situation to enable the consumer to remain in his or her home or apartment or get around better.
- obtaining accessible housing,
- modifying a home or apartment,
- attaining self-directed assisted living, and
- attaining self-directed living with family or friends.
Community and social participation
Help the consumer participate in such community activities as
- worship services,
- recreation activities,
- community affairs, and
- government functions.
Education needed for independent living
Achieve non-degreed and non-vocational training goals that are expected to improve the consumer's knowledge or skills in order to
expand his or her independence. Examples include
- literacy training, and
- training to do his or her own income taxes.
Information access and technology
Help the consumer obtain or use information necessary for independence and community integration. This may include
- using a computer or assistive technology, devices, or equipment; and
- developing information technology skills, such as using computer screen-reading software.
Mobility and transportation
Improve the consumer's access to his or her environment or community by
- improving the consumer's ability to move or transport himself or herself;
- allowing the consumer to be moved or transported by another person, or
- training the consumer to use public transportation.
Personal resource management
Help the consumer learn such skills as
- establishing and maintaining a personal or family budget;
- managing a checkbook; and
- obtaining information about resources for income, housing, food, medical, or other benefits.
Relocation from a nursing home or other institution
Achieve goals related to relocating from a nursing home or other institution to community-based living.
Self-advocacy and self-empowerment
Help the consumer
- represent and advocate for himself or herself with public and/or private entities,
- make key decisions involving himself or herself, or
- organize and manage his or her own activities to achieve desired objectives.
Help the consumer function more independently by
- improving or maintaining the consumer's autonomy in activities of daily living such as
- personal hygiene,
- meal preparation,
- money management, and
- technology access; and/or
- decreasing the amount of help and/or supervision the consumer needs to perform daily activities.
Other goals leading to independent living
Achieve other goals, including obtaining, maintaining, or retaining employment, that are not already included in this section, but
are necessary for the consumer to become or remain independent.
The Client Assistance Program (CAP) is a federally-funded program created by the Rehabilitation Act of 1973. CAP helps inform and advise
all consumers or applicants of all available benefits under the Act. If consumers or applicants request it, CAP also helps and advocates for
consumers or applicants in their relationships with projects, programs, and service providers under the Act. CAP has the ability to pursue
legal, administrative, or other appropriate remedies to ensure protection of the rights of such consumers.
CAP was created t
- facilitate consumer use of rehabilitation services,
- provide a forum for applicants and consumers to air grievances,
- assist consumers and applicants in understanding and using the appeals process,
- assist in facilitating the expansion and improvement of rehabilitation services, and
- assist in removing barriers (for example, inappropriate policies and procedures, attitudinal problems, etc.) that inhibit equal access
to rehabilitation services funded under the Act.
CILs must use accessible formats to notify individuals with disabilities who are prospective or current consumers about
- the availability of the CAP,
- the purposes of the services provided under the CAP, and
- how to contact the CAP.
The CIL must maintain written documentation of this notification in the CSR.
A CIL must
- conduct annual self-evaluations,
- prepare required reports as described below, and
- maintain records adequate to measure performance as compared with the Standards.
Information must be available about
- the extent to which the CIL is in compliance with the Standards;
- the number of individuals with significant disabilities, reported by demographic group and type of services received through the CIL;
- the sources and amounts of funding for the operation of the CIL;
- the number of individuals with significant disabilities who are
- employed by the CIL, and
- in management and decision-making positions; and
- when appropriate, a description of the CIL's activities in previous years, as compared with its activities in the most recent year.
The CIL must inform the DARS grant manager when any of the following conditions occur:
- problems, delays, or adverse conditions arise that materially impair the CIL's ability to meet the grant objectives. This disclosure
must include a statement of
- action(s) taken or contemplated, and
- assistance needed to resolve the situation;
- favorable developments that enable the CIL to
- meet time schedules and objectives sooner, or at a lesser cost than anticipated; or
- produce more beneficial results than originally planned;
- legal or financial difficulties (e.g., lawsuits, IRS issues) that could affect the program;
- change in location: the CIL must notify the DARS grant manager in writing of any proposed change in physical location for grant-related
work at least 30 days in advance of the change; or
- any changes in key grant personnel.
A CIL that receives DARS funding must submit reports as described below. CIL records must support all data reported, including that
amounts in fiscal reports match amounts in accounting records.
DARS3161, Consumer Demographic Information
By day 8 of the following month
DARS3160, Quarterly Program Performance Report
Within 30 calendar days of the end of the quarter, or in the case of the Q4 (annual) Quarterly Performance Report, within 45 days of
the end of the quarter
Annual Performance Report for the State Independent Living Services Program, (RSA 704 Report, Part II)
By December 31
Consumer Satisfaction survey results
30 days after the end of the grant period
Budget Workbook (includes):
- quarterly financial report
Due within 30 days after the close of the quarter
- Request for Advance or Reimbursement (RAR)
Request for Reimbursement: Due within 30 days after the close of the reporting month.
Advances: No more than 30 days prior to the month of the advance request.
- budget revision requests.
Single Audit (if applicable)
The earlier of
- 30 days after receipt of the auditor's report, or
- nine months after the end of the CIL's fiscal year
Audited Financial Statements (if not subject to Single Audit requirement)
The earlier of
- 30 days after receipt of the auditor's report, or
- nine months after the end of the CIL's fiscal year
Each month, CILs use the DARS3161 to report the number of consumers served, the number of services provided, and the types of services
Each quarter, CILs use the DARS3160 to report progress and achievements on goals and objectives contained in the work plan as part of the
All DARS-funded CILs must submit a copy of the RSA 704 Part II report to DARS and the SILC. This report should be submitted
electronically, preferably as an electronic file that can be edited, or alternatively, scanned and e-mailed to the grant manager.
The Consumer Satisfaction survey measures consumer satisfaction about benefits received from services. The CIL must provide the results
of the consumer satisfaction survey to the DARS grant manager no later than 30 days after the end of the grant period (typically August 31).
Financial reports including the original annual budget, quarterly financial report, program income report, and budget revision request
are included in the Budget Workbook, an Excel workbook. Reports are linked in order to support ongoing budget oversight. When a report is
due, it should be saved separately, named appropriately and submitted to the grant manager.
When fund transfers among approved budget categories reach or exceed cumulatively 10 percent of the total grant award, a budget revision
request must be submitted and approved by DARS prior to implementing the revised budget.
The CIL should notify the grant manager when the CIL needs to use funds within budget categories differently than is shown in the budget
Note: If a budget transfer will substantially affect the grant work plan, the budget transfer may require an amendment regardless
of the amount. The grant manager should be consulted in such instances.
DARS will process a RAR to advance up to 30 days of operating funds if the CIL meets the requirements of the contract and requests to use
advances. If the CIL selects reimbursement of actual costs, the payment will reflect the allowable costs for the period billed. A RAR must
be submitted and approved by DARS before payment.
All CILs are required to obtain annual financial audits conducted by an independent auditor in compliance with generally accepted
auditing standards (GAAS), as published by the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants.
The CIL must arrange for a financial and compliance audit (single audit) if required by OMB Circular A-133. The resulting single audit report
must be approved by the CIL board, and, if necessary, a corrective plan must be developed. The CIL must comply with the following
- The audit must reflect the CIL's fiscal year;
- The audit must be conducted by an independent certified public accountant (CPA) and must be in accordance with applicable Government
Auditing Standards and OMB circulars;
- The CIL must procure audit services in compliance with OMB Circular
A-133 and 2 CFR Part 215 (OMB Circular A-110);
- The CIL must submit a copy of its audit report, including the management letter, to DARS and to the Health and Human Services Office of
Inspector General (OIG) within the earlier of 30 calendar days after receipt from independent CPA or nine months after the end of the audit
period, unless a longer period is agreed to in advance by HHSC OIG or a different period is specified in a program-specific audit guide.
DARS and HHSC OIG will communicate with the CILs to provide instructions on submission.
If a single audit is not required, the CIL still must obtain an annual financial audit. All CIL financial statements must be audited
annually, regardless of grant size.
Audited financial statements must include
- an independent auditor's report,
- statements of
- financial position,
- functional expenses, and
- cash flows, and
- notes to financial statements.
The audited financial statements must be submitted to the designated DARS grant manager within one of the deadlines below, whichever is
- 30 days after receipt of the auditor's report, or
- nine months after the end of the CIL's fiscal year.
- The Rehabilitation Act of 1973, as amended.
- Any individual with a significant disability who is eligible for IL services under 34 CFR Section 364.40(a).
- Core Services
- IL services defined in Section 7(17) of the Act, which include information and referral services, IL skills training, peer
counseling (including cross-disability peer counseling), and individual and systems advocacy.
- A Consumer Service Record maintained for an eligible consumer receiving IL services and meeting the requirements of 34 CFR Section 364.53. In cases where IL services are provided to the parent or guardian of a consumer, the CSR is established for
the consumer, and the services provided are reflected in that CSR. (Active CSRs are those corresponding to consumers who were served
during the reporting year.)
- The Designated State Unit, or units, identified under Section 101(a)(2)(B) of the Act. In Texas, the Department of Assistive and
Rehabilitative Services (DARS), Division for Blind Services (DBS), and Division for Rehabilitation Services (DRS) are the DSUs.
- An Independent Living Plan for the provision of IL services mutually agreed upon by an appropriate staff member of a service
provider and by an individual with significant disabilities.
- Significant Disability
- An individual with a significant disability means an individual with a severe physical, mental, cognitive, or sensory impairment
whose ability to function independently in the family or community or whose ability to obtain, maintain, or advance in employment is
substantially limited and for whom the delivery of IL services will improve the ability to function, continue functioning, or move
toward functioning independently in the family or community or to continue in employment.
According to RSA 704 Report, Part II, Reporting Instructions
- Advocacy and Legal Services
- Assistance or representation for a consumer in obtaining access to entitled benefits, services, and programs.
- Assistive Technology Services
- Providing or helping with the selection, acquisition, or use of any assistive technology, that is, any piece of equipment, product,
or software or hardware system that is used to increase, maintain, or improve functional capabilities of individuals with disabilities
and any assistive technology service that assists a individual with a disability.
- Children's Services
- Providing specific IL services designed to serve individuals under the age of 14 with significant disabilities.
- Communication Services
- Services that enable consumers to better communicate, such as interpreter services, training in using communication equipment,
braille instruction, and reading services.
- Counseling and Related Services
- Services that include information-sharing; psychological services of a nonpsychiatric, nontherapeutic nature; parent-to-parent
services; and related services.
- Family Services
- Services provided to the family members of an individual with a significant disability when necessary for improving the person's
ability to live and function more independently or to engage or continue in employment. Such services may include respite care.
- Housing, Home Modifications, and Shelter Services
- Services related to securing housing or shelter, adaptive housing services (including appropriate accommodations to and
modifications of any space used to serve, or occupied by, individuals with significant disabilities).
Note: A CIL
may not provide housing or shelter as an IL service either temporarily or long-term unless the housing or shelter is incidental to the
overall operation of the CIL and is provided to any individual for no more than eight weeks during any six-month period.
- IL Skills Training and Life Skills Training Services
- Services that may include instruction in developing independent living skills in personal care, coping, financial management, social
skills, and household management. These may also include education and training necessary for living in the community and participating
in community activities.
- Information and Referral Services
- Services such as information about available services as well as referrals to other agencies or resources relevant to independent
- Mental Restoration Services
- Psychiatric restoration services including maintenance on psychotropic medication, psychological services, and treatment management
for substance abuse.
- Mobility Training Services
- A variety of services that involve helping consumers get around in their homes and communities.
- Peer Counseling Services
- Counseling, teaching, information-sharing, and similar kinds of contact provided to consumers by other people with disabilities.
- Personal Assistance Services
- Services that include help with personal bodily functions; communicative, household, mobility, work, emotional, cognitive, personal,
and financial affairs; community participation; parenting; leisure; and other related needs.
- Physical Restoration Services
- Services including medical services, health maintenance, eyeglasses, and visual services.
- Preventive Services
- Services intended to prevent additional disabilities or to prevent an increase in the severity of an existing disability.
- Prostheses, Orthotics, and Other Appliances
- Providing or helping a consumer to obtain an adaptive device or appliance that substitutes for one or more parts of the human body.
- Recreational Services
- Providing or identifying opportunities for consumers to participate in meaningful leisure time activities. These may include such
things as participating in community affairs and other recreation activities that may be competitive, active, or quiet.
- Rehabilitation Technology Services
- Providing or helping consumers obtain adaptive modifications, such as wheelchairs and lifts, that address the barriers confronted by
individuals with significant disabilities, including barriers to education, rehabilitation, employment, transportation, IL, or
- Therapeutic Treatment
- Services provided by registered occupational, physical, recreational, hearing, language, or speech therapists.
- Transportation Services
- Providing or arranging for transportation.
- Youth Transition Services
- Any service that develops skills specifically designed for youths with significant disabilities between the ages of 14 and 24 to
promote self-awareness and esteem, develop advocacy and self-empowerment skills, and explore career options, including transitioning
from school to such activities as postsecondary education, vocational training, employment, continuing and adult education, adult
services, independent living, or community participation.
- Vocational Services
- Any services designed to achieve or maintain employment.
- Other Services
- Any IL services not listed above.