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Persons with Disabilities
Persons with mental retardation, developmental disabilities, or mental illness. Revises the external human rights system for persons with mental retardation, developmental disabilities, or mental illness. The Department for Rights of Virginians with Disabilities is removed from the executive branch and becomes an independent state agency renamed the Virginia Office for Protection and Advocacy. The bill creates a governing board for the Office, consisting of 11 members who are appointed by the Governor and the General Assembly for staggered terms. No such appointments shall be members of the General Assembly. This board shall hire the agency director, who shall be an attorney in good standing licensed to practice in Virginia. The Office is given the authority to access facilities and programs, receive notification of deaths in state facilities and to protect the confidentiality of records. The bill establishes an ombudsman program, within the new office, to become effective July 1, 2004, and creates the Protection and Advocacy Fund.
Patron - Hamilton
Rehabilitative services; assistive loan fund. Permits the Assistive Technology Loan Fund Authority to make loans available to people with disabilities for entrepreneurial purposes.
Patron - Nixon
Research and new technologies for persons with disabilities. Requests the Secretaries of Technology and Health and Human Resources to work with representatives of technology industries to develop an action plan prescribing renewed partnerships among the Center for Innovative Technology (CIT), the Department of Information Technology (DIT) and rehabilitation agencies, including the Department of Rehabilitation Services, the Department for the Blind and Vision Impaired, the Department for the Deaf and Hard-of-Hearing and the Woodrow Wilson Rehabilitation Center, to strengthen cooperation in advancing research and new technologies to respond to the talents and needs of persons with disabilities. The Secretaries must report their written findings and recommendations to the Governor and the 2003 Session of the General Assembly. This resolution is a recommendation of the Disability Commission.
Patron - Van Landingham
Housing opportunities for persons with disabilities. Encourages the Virginia Disability Commission to make the identification of improved housing opportunities for citizens with disabilities its top priority for the 2002-2003 interim session and to facilitate collaboration among stakeholders to develop recommendations for strengthening intergovernmental and interagency coordination of housing programs for people with disabilities. The Commission is requested to expand its work group to include the participation and involvement of all federal, state, local and community agencies, organizations and individuals concerned about housing for people with disabilities. In addition, the Commission and its work group are encouraged to develop a Housing Action Plan that (i) identifies the mission, composition, responsibilities, and funding for an intergovernmental, interagency coordinating body on housing and disability issues; (ii) identifies actionable strategies consistent with the mission and responsibilities of state housing agencies for the maximizing use of Section 8 programs and other federal housing and housing production programs for individuals with disabilities in Virginia; and (iii) develops a system of incentives and rewards for building accessible housing. The Commission is also encouraged to make use of existing research and presentation opportunities, including the annual state housing conference, to bring about optimal statewide attention to the housing needs of people with disabilities and available federal opportunities. This resolution is identical to HJR 236.
Patron - Bloxom
Rehabilitative services; vocational. Revises state code language to reflect changes made in 1998 to the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, as amended. The changes update the list of vocational rehabilitation services, add the new consumer option to develop all or part of the written plan for services with or without the Department of Rehabilitative Services assistance, revise the name of the written plan for services to "Individualized Plan for Employment" to emphasize the plan's goal to achieve an employment outcome and replace the outdated term "sheltered workshop" with "community rehabilitation program."
Patron - Hanger
Licensure of providers of services. Grants the Commissioner of the Department of Mental Health, Mental Retardation and Substance Abuse Services the authority to issue licenses to providers of day support, in-home support or crisis stabilization services funded through the Individual and Families Developmental Disabilities Support Waiver. The Department of Rehabilitative Services shall collaborate with the Department of Mental Health, Mental Retardation and Substance Abuse Services in activities related to licensing providers of services under such waiver. These activities include involving advocacy and consumer groups who represent persons with developmental disabilities in the regulatory process; training the Department of Mental Health, Mental Retardation and Substance Abuse Services, local human rights committees and the State Human Rights Committee on the unique needs and preferences of individuals with developmental disabilities; assisting in the development of regulatory requirements for such providers; and providing technical assistance in the regulatory process and in performing annual inspections and complaint investigations.
Patron - Bolling
Commonwealth Neurotrauma Initiative. Moves the statutory language and responsibilities for the Commonwealth Neurotrauma Initiative from the Commonwealth Neurotrauma Advisory Board and Department of Health to the Commissioner and the Department of Rehabilitative Services. The provisions of the program remain the same except that the Commonwealth Neurotrauma Initiative Trust Fund will be allocated forty-seven and one-half percent for research on neurotrauma, forty-seven and one-half percent for rehabilitative services, and five percent for the Department of Rehabilitative Services' costs for administering and staffing the Commonwealth Neurotrauma Initiative Advisory Board. Enactment clauses repeal the present health provisions, continue the previously appointed Commonwealth Neurotrauma Initiative Advisory Board, and preserve the Board of Health's regulations and grant application, review, and award procedures until the Commissioner of Rehabilitative Services promulgates regulations.
Patron - Puller
Joint ventures in technology and rehabilitation. Requests the Secretary of Technology, the Secretary of Health and Human Resources, and representatives of technology industries to develop an action plan prescribing renewed partnerships among the Center for Innovative Technology (CIT), the Department of Information Technology (DIT) and rehabilitation agencies (Departments of Rehabilitative Services, Blind and Vision Impaired and Deaf and Hard-of-Hearing and the Woodrow Wilson Rehabilitation Center) to strengthen cooperation in advancing research and new technology to respond to the talents and needs of persons with disabilities. This initiative is a recommendation of the Disability Commission. This resolution is incorporated into HJR 218.
Patron - McQuigg
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