HUMAN RESOURCES CODE


TITLE 5. SERVICES FOR THE BLIND AND PERSONS WITH VISUAL DISABILITIES


CHAPTER 91. FUNCTIONS OF DEPARTMENT OF ASSISTIVE AND REHABILITATIVE SERVICES RELATING TO THE BLIND AND PERSONS WITH VISUAL DISABILITIES


SUBCHAPTER A. GENERAL PROVISIONS


Sec. 91.002. DEFINITIONS. In this chapter:

(1) Repealed by Acts 2015, 84th Leg., R.S., Ch. 1, Sec. 4.465(a)(79), eff. April 2, 2015.

(2) "Blind" means a person having not more than 20/200 visual acuity in the better eye with correcting lenses or visual acuity greater than 20/200 but with a limitation in the field of vision such that the widest diameter of the visual field subtends an angle no greater than 20 degrees.

(3) "Child with visual impairments" means a child who is blind or visually impaired or who has a visual condition that requires treatment, psychological assistance counseling, or other assistance that the department can provide.

(3-a) "Commissioner" means the commissioner of assistive and rehabilitative services.

(3-b) "Department" means the Department of Assistive and Rehabilitative Services.

(3-c) "Executive commissioner" means the executive commissioner of the Health and Human Services Commission.

(4) "Visual disability" includes blindness, an eye condition for which there is a medical prognosis indicating that the condition is of a progressive nature and may deteriorate either to blindness or to a substantial loss of vision, and physical or psychological disabilities that accompany or complement a disorder or imperfection of the eye.

(5) "Visually impaired" means a visual acuity of not more than 20/70 in the better eye with correcting lenses, or visual acuity greater than 20/70 but with a limitation in the field of vision such that the widest diameter of the visual field subtends an angle no greater than 30 degrees.

Acts 1979, 66th Leg., p. 2396, ch. 842, art. 1, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1979. Amended by Acts 1985, 69th Leg., ch. 793, Sec. 2, eff. Sept. 1, 1985; Acts 1999, 76th Leg., ch. 213, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1999.

Amended by:

Acts 2015, 84th Leg., R.S., Ch. 1 (S.B. 219), Sec. 4.338, eff. April 2, 2015.

Acts 2015, 84th Leg., R.S., Ch. 1 (S.B. 219), Sec. 4.465(a)(79), eff. April 2, 2015.

SUBCHAPTER B. ADMINISTRATIVE PROVISIONS


Sec. 91.012. AUTHORITY OF COMMISSIONER. (a) Repealed by Acts 2015, 84th Leg., R.S., Ch. 1, Sec. 4.465(a)(81), eff. April 2, 2015.

(b) Repealed by Acts 2015, 84th Leg., R.S., Ch. 1, Sec. 4.465(a)(81), eff. April 2, 2015.

(c) Repealed by Acts 2015, 84th Leg., R.S., Ch. 1, Sec. 4.465(a)(81), eff. April 2, 2015.

(d) The commissioner may:

(1) delegate to an employee a power of the commissioner under this chapter or Subchapter E, Chapter 117, except the power to appoint personnel;

(2) accept and use gifts and grants to the department to carry out the purposes of this title or Subchapter E, Chapter 117, if the commissioner determines that the conditions of the gift or grant are consistent with this title or Subchapter E, Chapter 117; and

(3) take other actions that the commissioner considers necessary or appropriate to carry out the department's purposes under this chapter or Subchapter E, Chapter 117.

Acts 1979, 66th Leg., p. 2396, ch. 842, art. 1, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1979. Amended by Acts 1985, 69th Leg., ch. 793, Sec. 4, eff. Sept. 1, 1985; Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 76, Sec. 8.144, eff. Sept. 1, 1995; Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 693, Sec. 7, eff. Sept. 1, 1995; Acts 1999, 76th Leg., ch. 213, Sec. 2, eff. Sept. 1, 1999; Acts 1999, 76th Leg., ch. 1460, Sec. 2.10, eff. Sept. 1, 1999.

Amended by:

Acts 2015, 84th Leg., R.S., Ch. 1 (S.B. 219), Sec. 4.339, eff. April 2, 2015.

Acts 2015, 84th Leg., R.S., Ch. 1 (S.B. 219), Sec. 4.340, eff. April 2, 2015.

Acts 2015, 84th Leg., R.S., Ch. 1 (S.B. 219), Sec. 4.465(a)(81), eff. April 2, 2015.

Sec. 91.014. FUNDS. (a) All sums of money paid to the department under this title or Subchapter E, Chapter 117, shall be deposited in the state treasury.

(b) Repealed by Acts 2015, 84th Leg., R.S., Ch. 1, Sec. 4.465(a)(83), eff. April 2, 2015.

Added by Acts 1983, 68th Leg., p. 3821, ch. 594, Sec. 1, eff. June 19, 1983. Amended by Acts 1985, 69th Leg., ch. 793, Sec. 6, eff. Sept. 1, 1985.

Amended by:

Acts 2015, 84th Leg., R.S., Ch. 1 (S.B. 219), Sec. 4.341, eff. April 2, 2015.

Acts 2015, 84th Leg., R.S., Ch. 1 (S.B. 219), Sec. 4.465(a)(83), eff. April 2, 2015.

Sec. 91.016. COMPENSATION OF CERTAIN EMPLOYEES. (a) Repealed by Acts 2015, 84th Leg., R.S., Ch. 1, Sec. 4.465(a)(85), eff. April 2, 2015.

(b) Repealed by Acts 2015, 84th Leg., R.S., Ch. 1, Sec. 4.465(a)(85), eff. April 2, 2015.

(c) Repealed by Acts 2015, 84th Leg., R.S., Ch. 1, Sec. 4.465(a)(85), eff. April 2, 2015.

(d) Repealed by Acts 2015, 84th Leg., R.S., Ch. 1, Sec. 4.465(a)(85), eff. April 2, 2015.

(e) Repealed by Acts 2015, 84th Leg., R.S., Ch. 1138 , Sec. 30(2), eff. September 1, 2015.

Added by Acts 1985, 69th Leg., ch. 793, Sec. 8, eff. Sept. 1, 1985. Amended by Acts 1999, 76th Leg., ch. 213, Sec. 4, eff. Sept. 1, 1999.

Amended by:

Acts 2015, 84th Leg., R.S., Ch. 1 (S.B. 219), Sec. 4.342, eff. April 2, 2015.

Acts 2015, 84th Leg., R.S., Ch. 1 (S.B. 219), Sec. 4.343, eff. April 2, 2015.

Acts 2015, 84th Leg., R.S., Ch. 1 (S.B. 219), Sec. 4.465(a)(85), eff. April 2, 2015.

Acts 2015, 84th Leg., R.S., Ch. 1138 (S.B. 208), Sec. 30(2), eff. September 1, 2015.

Sec. 91.018. COMPLAINTS. (a) Repealed by Acts 2015, 84th Leg., R.S., Ch. 1, Sec. 4.465(a)(87), eff. April 2, 2015.

(b) Repealed by Acts 2015, 84th Leg., R.S., Ch. 1, Sec. 4.465(a)(87), eff. April 2, 2015.

(c) Except as required by federal regulations for resolving complaints received from people who are receiving service from the department, under this chapter or Subchapter E, Chapter 117, the department shall maintain a file in the manner prescribed by Section 117.072(a) on each written complaint filed with the department.

(d) Repealed by Acts 2015, 84th Leg., R.S., Ch. 1, Sec. 4.465(a)(87), eff. April 2, 2015.

(e) Repealed by Acts 2015, 84th Leg., R.S., Ch. 1, Sec. 4.465(a)(87), eff. April 2, 2015.

(f) Repealed by Acts 2015, 84th Leg., R.S., Ch. 1, Sec. 4.465(a)(87), eff. April 2, 2015.

(g) Repealed by Acts 2015, 84th Leg., R.S., Ch. 1, Sec. 4.465(a)(87), eff. April 2, 2015.

Added by Acts 1985, 69th Leg., ch. 793, Sec. 10, eff. Sept. 1, 1985. Amended by Acts 1999, 76th Leg., ch. 213, Sec. 5, eff. Sept. 1, 1999.

Amended by:

Acts 2015, 84th Leg., R.S., Ch. 1 (S.B. 219), Sec. 4.344, eff. April 2, 2015.

Acts 2015, 84th Leg., R.S., Ch. 1 (S.B. 219), Sec. 4.345, eff. April 2, 2015.

Acts 2015, 84th Leg., R.S., Ch. 1 (S.B. 219), Sec. 4.465(a)(87), eff. April 2, 2015.

SUBCHAPTER C. GENERAL POWERS AND DUTIES


Sec. 91.0205. COMMISSIONER'S POWERS AND DUTIES; EFFECT OF CONFLICT WITH OTHER LAW. To the extent a power or duty given to the commissioner by this chapter, or another law relating to services for the blind or persons with visual disabilities, conflicts with Section 531.0055, Government Code, Section 531.0055 controls.

Added by Acts 1999, 76th Leg., ch. 1460, Sec. 2.11, eff. Sept. 1, 1999.

Amended by:

Acts 2015, 84th Leg., R.S., Ch. 1 (S.B. 219), Sec. 4.347, eff. April 2, 2015.

Sec. 91.021. RESPONSIBILITY FOR PERSONS WITH VISUAL DISABILITIES. (a) The department has primary responsibility for providing all services to persons with visual disabilities except welfare services and services for children provided by regularly established educational agencies and state authorities.

(b) The department shall negotiate interagency agreements with other state agencies to provide services for individuals who have both a visual disability and another disability so that those individuals with multiple disabilities may be provided the most beneficial services with the greatest possible economy.

(c) The department and other concerned state agencies may not refuse to enter into an interagency agreement developed to advance the state's policies regarding the rehabilitation or education of the blind and persons with visual disabilities. In negotiating the agreements the agencies shall seek to extend and improve the regular services provided by the agencies and to effectively use all specialty and fiscal resources that are available. The agencies shall give careful consideration to avoiding unnecessary duplication or overlap of their respective efforts.

(d) The department shall enter into agreements with the federal government to implement federal legislation authorizing the provision of services to persons with visual disabilities. The department shall use methods of administration required by the federal government for the proper and efficient implementation of the agreements, and shall comply with other federal requirements necessary to secure the full benefits of the federal legislation.

(e) The department and other concerned state agencies may not refuse to enter into interagency agreements designed to secure the full benefits of federal legislation authorizing services for persons with visual disabilities.

(f) The department shall:

(1) serve as an information center and referral resource for persons with visual disabilities; and

(2) develop mechanisms and procedures that tend to assist individuals with visual disabilities in bridging gaps between educational, institutional, rehabilitative, vocational, and related types of services operated by public and private nonprofit organizations throughout the state.

Acts 1979, 66th Leg., p. 2397, ch. 842, art. 1, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1979. Amended by Acts 1979, 66th Leg., p. 2437, ch. 842, art. 2, Sec. 12, eff. Sept. 1, 1979; Acts 1985, 69th Leg., ch. 793, Sec. 12, eff. Sept. 1, 1985; Acts 2003, 78th Leg., ch. 198, Sec. 2.130, eff. Sept. 1, 2003; Acts 2003, 78th Leg., ch. 1325, Sec. 13.08, eff. Sept. 1, 2003.

Amended by:

Acts 2005, 79th Leg., Ch. 281 (H.B. 2702), Sec. 4.06, eff. June 14, 2005.

Acts 2007, 80th Leg., R.S., Ch. 268 (S.B. 10), Sec. 32(f), eff. September 1, 2008.

Acts 2015, 84th Leg., R.S., Ch. 1 (S.B. 219), Sec. 4.348, eff. April 2, 2015.

Sec. 91.0211. SERVICE DELIVERY BY TEXAS WORKFORCE COMMISSION. The Texas Workforce Commission has primary responsibility for providing vocational rehabilitation services and other services and programs under Subtitle C, Title 4, Labor Code, notwithstanding Section 91.021(a) and subject to receipt of any required federal approval to administer those services and programs. A power or duty under this chapter, including rulemaking authority, of the department, the commissioner, or the executive commissioner that is applicable to those services or programs is a power or duty of the Texas Workforce Commission with respect to those services or programs.

Added by Acts 2015, 84th Leg., R.S., Ch. 1138 (S.B. 208), Sec. 6, eff. September 1, 2016.

Sec. 91.023. ASSISTANCE WITH REHABILITATION SERVICES. The department may furnish materials, tools, books, and other necessary apparatus and assistance for use in rehabilitating the blind and persons with visual disabilities.

Acts 1979, 66th Leg., p. 2398, ch. 842, art. 1, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1979.

Amended by:

Acts 2015, 84th Leg., R.S., Ch. 1 (S.B. 219), Sec. 4.350, eff. April 2, 2015.

Sec. 91.027. BLINDNESS EDUCATION, SCREENING, AND TREATMENT PROGRAM. (a) To the extent that funds are available under Sections 521.421(j) and 521.422(b), Transportation Code, the department shall operate a Blindness Education, Screening, and Treatment Program to provide:

(1) blindness prevention education and screening and treatment to prevent blindness for residents who are not covered under an adequate health benefit plan; and

(2) transition services to individuals with visual disabilities eligible for vocational rehabilitation services under Section 117.102.

(b) The program shall include:

(1) public education about blindness and other eye conditions;

(2) screenings and eye examinations to identify conditions that may cause blindness;

(3) treatment procedures necessary to prevent blindness; and

(4) transition services.

(c) The executive commissioner by rule shall prescribe eligibility requirements for the program.

Acts 1979, 66th Leg., p. 2398, ch. 842, art. 1, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1979. Amended by Acts 1997, 75th Leg., ch. 510, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1997; Acts 2003, 78th Leg., ch. 198, Sec. 2.115(a), eff. Sept. 1, 2003; Acts 2003, 78th Leg., ch. 1140, Sec. 1, eff. June 20, 2003.

Amended by:

Acts 2009, 81st Leg., R.S., Ch. 87 (S.B. 1969), Sec. 27.002(11), eff. September 1, 2009.

Acts 2015, 84th Leg., R.S., Ch. 1 (S.B. 219), Sec. 4.351, eff. April 2, 2015.

Sec. 91.028. SERVICES FOR CHILDREN WITH VISUAL IMPAIRMENTS. (a) The department may provide services to children with visual impairments to supplement the services provided by other state agencies if the department determines that the provision of the services is appropriate and that the services will assist the children in achieving financial self-sufficiency and a fuller and richer life. It is the intention of the legislature that all state agencies concerned with children with visual impairments cooperate fully to achieve this purpose.

(b) The executive commissioner shall establish, by rule, the income level at which the Medicaid eligibility of a client applying for services under Subsection (a) shall be verified.

(c) The department shall verify the Medicaid eligibility of a client applying for services under Subsection (a) whose income level is equal to or less than the income level established by the executive commissioner under Subsection (b).

(d) The department shall verify the Medicaid eligibility of a client who is required by the department to apply for Medicaid not later than the 90th day after the date the application for services from the department under Subsection (a) is made.

(e) In verifying Medicaid eligibility, an employee of the department shall:

(1) examine appropriate state or private Medicaid eligibility databases; and

(2) record on each client's case records whether Medicaid eligibility was verified, the source of the verification, and the date of the verification.

(f) Except as provided by Subsection (g), a person may not solicit, disclose, receive, use, or knowingly permit the use of records or other information concerning an applicant for or recipient of children's program services that is directly or indirectly acquired by an officer or employee of the state or its political subdivisions in the course of the officer's or employee's official duties.

(g) A person may use the information provided under Subsection (f) in accordance with department rules only for purposes directly connected with the administration of the children's program and for the investigation of a complaint filed against an agency, employee, or contracted provider of services.

Acts 1979, 66th Leg., p. 2398, ch. 842, art. 1, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1979. Amended by Acts 1999, 76th Leg., ch. 213, Sec. 8, eff. Sept. 1, 1999.

Amended by:

Acts 2015, 84th Leg., R.S., Ch. 1 (S.B. 219), Sec. 4.352, eff. April 2, 2015.

Sec. 91.0301. LOANS FOR VISUAL AIDS. (a) The department may establish a program to make loans to finance the purchase of technological aids for persons with visual disabilities. Interest on the loans may not exceed 10 percent a year.

(b) The executive commissioner may promulgate rules to administer the loan program.

Added by Acts 1981, 67th Leg., p. 317, ch. 126, Sec. 2, eff. Sept. 1, 1981. Amended by Acts 1985, 69th Leg., ch. 793, Sec. 13, eff. Sept. 1, 1985.

Amended by:

Acts 2015, 84th Leg., R.S., Ch. 1 (S.B. 219), Sec. 4.353, eff. April 2, 2015.

Sec. 91.031. CONTRACTS FOR SERVICE. (a) The department shall include in its contracts with service providers under this chapter or Subchapter E, Chapter 117, provisions relating to:

(1) clearly defined and measurable program performance standards that directly relate to the service provided;

(2) clearly defined penalties for nonperformance of a contract term; and

(3) clearly specified accounting, reporting, and auditing requirements applicable to money received under the contract.

(b) The department shall monitor a service provider's performance under a contract for service under this chapter or Subchapter E, Chapter 117. In monitoring performance, the department shall:

(1) use a risk-assessment methodology to institute statewide monitoring of contract compliance of service providers; and

(2) evaluate service providers based on clearly defined and measurable program performance objectives.

Added by Acts 1999, 76th Leg., ch. 213, Sec. 8, eff. Sept. 1, 1999.

Amended by:

Acts 2015, 84th Leg., R.S., Ch. 1 (S.B. 219), Sec. 4.354, eff. April 2, 2015.

Sec. 91.032. CONTRACTS FOR ASSISTIVE TECHNOLOGY. The department shall include in a contract under this chapter or Subchapter E, Chapter 117, with a supplier of assistive technology equipment provisions that require the supplier to provide training for clients receiving the assistive technology equipment.

Added by Acts 1999, 76th Leg., ch. 213, Sec. 8, eff. Sept. 1, 1999.

Amended by:

Acts 2015, 84th Leg., R.S., Ch. 1 (S.B. 219), Sec. 4.355, eff. April 2, 2015.

SUBCHAPTER E. CENTRAL MEDIA DEPOSITORY


Sec. 91.081. PURPOSE. (a) The purpose of this subchapter is to establish a comprehensive central state depository for braille, large print, slow speed records and machines, tape recordings and tape players, and related forms of media that will enable the Texas State Library and Archives Commission, the Texas Education Agency, the department, volunteer organizations involved in the production of braille or recorded materials for the blind, the Library of Congress, and related types of organizations to work together more closely and effectively.

(b) It is the intent of this subchapter to allow various agencies and organizations interested in or responsible for such services to work together cooperatively in one facility without requiring one central management.

Renumbered from Sec. 92.051 by Acts 1979, 66th Leg., p. 2438, ch. 842, art. 2, Sec. 15, eff. Sept. 1, 1979; Amended by Acts 1985, 69th Leg., ch. 793, Sec. 17, eff. Sept. 1, 1985. Amended by Acts 1997, 75th Leg., ch. 165, Sec. 6.64, eff. Sept. 1, 1997.

Amended by:

Acts 2015, 84th Leg., R.S., Ch. 1 (S.B. 219), Sec. 4.357, eff. April 2, 2015.

Sec. 91.082. ESTABLISHMENT OF CENTRAL MEDIA DEPOSITORY. (a) The Texas State Library and Archives Commission shall generally supervise the establishment and operation of a central media depository in Austin to house materials and devices required by the blind and individuals with visual disabilities or by other individuals who are unable to use ordinary printed materials.

(b) With the approval of the Texas State Library and Archives Commission, the agencies and organizations maintaining and operating the central media depository shall develop and periodically evaluate and modify specific arrangements for administrative support, sharing of staff and equipment, and related matters involved in the operation of the program.

Renumbered from Sec. 92.052 and amended by Acts 1979, 66th Leg., p. 2438, ch. 842, art. 2, Sec. 15, eff. Sept. 1, 1979.

Amended by:

Acts 2015, 84th Leg., R.S., Ch. 1 (S.B. 219), Sec. 4.358, eff. April 2, 2015.

Sec. 91.083. ANCILLARY SERVICES. The Texas State Library and Archives Commission shall allow the central media depository to be used for the repair of special media and equipment required by individuals who are unable to use ordinary print and for research and demonstration, training, and the production of materials in special media by volunteer organizations.

Renumbered from Sec. 92.053 and amended by Acts 1979, 66th Leg., p. 2438, ch. 842, art. 2, Sec. 15, eff. Sept. 1, 1979.

Amended by:

Acts 2015, 84th Leg., R.S., Ch. 1 (S.B. 219), Sec. 4.359, eff. April 2, 2015.

Sec. 91.084. FUNDING. The cost of establishing and operating the central media depository shall be paid with:

(1) funds appropriated by the legislature for that purpose;

(2) gifts, grants, bequests, and donations received by cooperating agencies for the establishment and support of the depository;

(3) reasonable fees customarily charged for services by the agencies and organizations using or occupying the facility; and

(4) funds budgeted by the cooperating agencies and organizations for that purpose pursuant to interagency contracts and agreements.

Renumbered from Sec. 92.054 by Acts 1979, 66th Leg., p. 2438, ch. 842, art. 2, Sec. 15, eff. Sept. 1, 1979.