Code of Virginia

Code of Virginia
Title 51.5. Persons with Disabilities
9/20/2020

Article 3. Department for the Blind and Vision Impaired.

§ 51.5-64. Commissioner of Department; personnel.

The supervision of the Department shall be the responsibility of the Commissioner of the Department under the direction and control of the Governor. The Commissioner shall be appointed by the Governor, subject to confirmation by the General Assembly, to serve at the pleasure of the Governor. The Commissioner of the Department shall employ such personnel as may be required to carry out the purposes of this chapter.

Code 1950, §§ 63-162, 63-163; 1954, c. 71; 1962, c. 161; 1966, c. 43; 1968, c. 578, §§ 63.1-68, 63.1-69; 1980, c. 4; 1984, c. 498; 1988, c. 125; 1995, c. 392; 2000, c. 498; 2002, c. 747.

§ 51.5-65. Functions, duties and powers of Commissioner.

In addition to the functions, duties and powers conferred and imposed upon the Commissioner by other provisions of law, he shall:

1. Ensure that the provisions of this chapter are properly administered;

2. Assist and cooperate with local authorities in the administration of this chapter;

3. Prescribe the form of applications, reports, affidavits and such other forms as shall be required in the administration of this chapter and the required schedule for submission thereof;

4. Cooperate with the federal Department of Education and other agencies of the United States in relation to matters set forth in this chapter; and

5. Adopt regulations to carry out the applicable provisions of this chapter.

Code 1950, § 63-178; 1968, c. 578, § 63.1-85; 1975, c. 524; 1980, c. 4; 1984, cc. 498, 781; 1992, c. 755; 2002, c. 747.

§ 51.5-66. Authority to receive grants-in-aid and gifts.

The Department is authorized to receive, for and on behalf of the Commonwealth and its subdivisions, from the United States and agencies thereof, and from any and all other sources, gifts and grants-in-aid, made for the purpose of providing, or to assist in providing, services to the blind or vision impaired, including expenses of administration.

The Department is designated as a state agency for the purpose of cooperating with the federal government in carrying out the provisions and purposes of federal laws providing for the vocational rehabilitation and other rehabilitation of eligible blind and vision impaired persons. The Department is authorized and directed to cooperate with the federal government in the administration of such laws of Congress; to prescribe and provide such courses of career and technical education and other services as may be necessary for the rehabilitation of blind and vision impaired persons and provided for the supervision of such training and services; and to direct the disbursement and administer the use of all funds provided by the federal government to this Commonwealth for the vocational rehabilitation and other rehabilitation of such persons. All such funds shall be paid into the state treasury.

Code 1950, §§ 63-167.1, 63-176; 1966, c. 259; 1968, c. 578, §§ 63.1-74, 63.1-83; 1975, c. 524; 1979, c. 130; 1980, c. 4; 1984, c. 781; 1989, c. 267; 1992, c. 755; 2002, c. 747.

§ 51.5-67. Donation of equipment.

The Department shall retain title to items of nonexpendable equipment purchased by the Department for individuals or groups of individuals, in accordance with this chapter and the federal Rehabilitation Act, while such equipment has an undepreciated monetary value. Once the equipment has reached a depreciated value of zero, the Department may donate the equipment to the individual or group of individuals then authorized to use it by the Department. The donation shall be consistent with the public purpose of promoting the rehabilitation of persons with disabilities. The Department, in concert with the Department of Accounts, shall establish criteria for depreciation of such equipment in accordance with generally accepted principles and maintain depreciation records. The Department shall report a donation pursuant to this section to the Division of Purchases and Supply and to the Auditor of Public Accounts. Nothing in this section shall be construed to excuse the Department from complying with § 2.2-1124 except for equipment donated pursuant to this section.

1989, c. 267, § 63.1-83.1; 2002, c. 747.

§ 51.5-68. Repealed.

§§ 51.5-68, 51.5-69. Repealed by Acts 2014, c. 572, cl. 2.

§ 51.5-70. Establishment of standards of personnel and service.

The Department shall, as to matters relating to rehabilitation of the blind or vision impaired, establish minimum standards of service and personnel based upon training, experience and general ability for the personnel employed by the Department and the Commissioner in the administration of this chapter and adopt necessary regulations to maintain such standards, including such regulations as may be embraced in the development of a system of personnel administration meeting requirements of the federal Department of Education.

Code 1950, § 63-172; 1968, c. 578, § 63.1-79; 1975, c. 524; 1980, c. 4; 1984, cc. 498, 781; 1992, c. 755; 2002, c. 747.

§ 51.5-71. State Rehabilitation Council for the Blind and Vision Impaired created.

The State Rehabilitation Council for the Blind and Vision Impaired is hereby created to provide advice to the Department for the Blind and Vision Impaired regarding vocational services provided pursuant to Title I and Title VI of the federal Rehabilitation Act. Membership and duties shall be constructed according to federal provisions.

1994, c. 81, § 63.1-70.1; 2000, c. 498; 2002, cc. 46, 747.

§ 51.5-72. Establishment of rehabilitative manufacturing and service industries; expenditures.

The Department may (i) establish, equip and maintain rehabilitative manufacturing and service industries for the employment of suitable blind persons, (ii) pay its employees suitable wages and contribute five percent of the creditable compensation of those employees who elect to participate in a before-tax payroll deduction to a tax deferred retirement savings plan established under the United States Internal Revenue Code for nonprofit agencies, and (iii) devise means for the sale and distribution of the products thereof. However, any expenditures made under §§ 51.5-63, 51.5-66, and 51.5-72 through 51.5-76 shall not exceed the annual appropriation or the amount received by way of bequest or donation during any one year, and no part of the funds appropriated by the Commonwealth for the purposes of §§ 51.5-63, 51.5-66, and 51.5-72 through 51.5-76 shall be used for solely charitable purposes.

Code 1950, § 63-167; 1968, c. 578, § 63.1-73; 1980, c. 4; 1990, c. 740; 1996, cc. 711, 731; 2002, c. 747; 2004, c. 13; 2014, c. 572; 2018, c. 184.

§ 51.5-72.1. The State Advisory Board for the Virginia Industries for the Blind.

A. The State Advisory Board for the Virginia Industries for the Blind (the Board) is established as an advisory board in the executive branch of state government. The purpose of the Board is to provide advice for creating opportunities in career development and employment-related services to blind and visually impaired individuals.

B. The Board shall consist of 12 nonlegislative citizen members appointed by the Board for the Blind and Vision Impaired as follows: (i) three persons who shall be blind persons or parents of blind persons; (ii) three representatives of human service agencies; and (iii) six persons who represent local business and manufacturing entities and other employees. Members shall be appointed for a term of three years. Appointments to fill vacancies, other than by expiration of a term, shall be for the unexpired terms. All members may be reappointed. However, no member shall serve more than two consecutive three-year terms. The remainder of any term to which a member is appointed to fill a vacancy shall not constitute a term in determining the member's eligibility for reappointment. Vacancies shall be filled in the same manner as the original appointments.

C. The Board shall elect a chairman and vice-chairman from among its membership. A majority of the voting members shall constitute a quorum. The meetings of the Board shall be held at the call of the chairman or whenever the majority of the members so request.

D. Members shall not receive compensation for their service or travel expenses.

E. The Board shall have the following powers and duties:

1. Advise managers of the manufacturing plants on business trends, product development, contract opportunities, and other business matters;

2. Review and comment on fiscal and budgetary matters concerning the operations of the manufacturing and service industries; and

3. Perform such other advisory acts that are in accord with the purposes of this section.

F. The Department for the Blind and Vision Impaired shall provide staff support to the Board. All agencies of the Commonwealth shall provide assistance to the Board, upon request.

2004, c. 13.

§ 51.5-73. Rehabilitation Center for the Blind and Vision Impaired; operation and maintenance.

The Department shall have the authority and responsibility for the operation and maintenance of the Virginia Rehabilitation Center for the Blind and Vision Impaired for the purpose of providing services to eligible blind and vision impaired individuals.

1978, c. 143, § 63.1-73.1; 1980, c. 4; 1998, c. 112; 2000, c. 498; 2002, c. 747.

§ 51.5-74. Operation of library service for persons with disabilities; agreement with The Library of Virginia.

The Department is hereby authorized to maintain and operate a library service for persons who are blind, vision impaired, and disabled who are eligible for such services pursuant to the Pratt-Smoot Act (P.L. 89-522). Special materials that are provided through this program may include but are not limited to sound reproduction machines such as tape players and record players; talking book records; magnetic tapes; large print books; Braille books; book holders; page turners; captioned films for the deaf; and special electronic devices used as reading aids. The Department may enter into an agreement or agreements with The Library of Virginia for the purpose of receiving federal funds for the operation of this program.

Code 1950, § 63-167.2; 1968, c. 19, § 63.1-74.1; 1980, c. 4; 1992, c. 755; 1994, c. 64; 2002, c. 747.

§ 51.5-75. Use of earnings of rehabilitative manufacturing and service industries; record of receipts and expenditures.

In furtherance of the purposes of §§ 51.5-63, 51.5-66, and 51.5-72 through 51.5-76, the Department shall have authority to use any receipts or earnings that accrue from the operation of rehabilitative manufacturing and service industries as provided in such sections, but a detailed statement of receipts or earnings and expenditures shall be carefully kept.

Code 1950, § 63-168; 1968, c. 578, § 63.1-75; 1980, c. 4; 2002, c. 747; 2004, c. 58; 2014, c. 572; 2018, c. 184.

§ 51.5-76. Cooperation with other state agencies.

The Department shall cooperate with the State Board of Health and other state agencies in the adoption and enforcement of blindness prevention efforts.

Code 1950, § 63-166; 1968, c. 578, § 63.1-72; 1980, c. 4; 2002, c. 747.

§ 51.5-77. Cooperation with federal agencies.

The Department shall cooperate with the federal Department of Education and any other agencies of the United States, in any reasonable manner that may be necessary for this Commonwealth to qualify for and to receive grants or aid from such agencies for social services, rehabilitation, personal adjustment, library and education services to the blind or vision impaired in conformity with the provisions of this chapter, including the making of such reports in such form and containing such information as such agencies of the United States may require, and to comply with such provisions as such agencies of the United States may require to assure the correctness and verification of such reports.

Code 1950, § 63-174; 1968, c. 578, § 63.1-81; 1975, c. 524; 1980, c. 4; 1984, c. 781; 1992, c. 755; 2002, c. 747.

The chapters of the acts of assembly referenced in the historical citation at the end of these sections may not constitute a comprehensive list of such chapters and may exclude chapters whose provisions have expired.

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