State Codes and Statutes

State Codes and Statutes

Statutes > North-carolina > Chapter_143B > GS_143B-157

Part 7. Commission for the Blind.

§ 143B‑157.  Commission for the Blind –creation, powers and duties.

There is recreated the Commission for the Blind of the Department ofHealth and Human Services with the power and duty to adopt rules governing theconduct of the State's rehabilitative programs for the blind that are necessaryto carry out the provisions and purposes of this Article.

(1)        The Commission shall adopt rules that are necessary anddesirable for the programs administered by the Department of Health and HumanServices as provided in Chapter 111 of the General Statutes of North Carolina.

(2)        Repealed by Session Laws 1993, c. 561, s. 89(a).

(3)        The Commission shall adopt rules, not inconsistent with thelaws of this State, that are required by the federal government for grants‑in‑aidfor rehabilitative purposes for the blind that may be made available to theState from the federal government. This section is to be liberally construed inorder that the State and its citizens may benefit from such grants‑in‑aid.

(3a)      The Commission shall review, analyze, and advise theDepartment regarding the performance of its responsibilities under the federalrehabilitation program in which the State participates, as it relates to theprovision of services to the blind, particularly its responsibilities relatingto the following:

a.         Eligibility for the program;

b.         The extent, scope, and effectiveness of the servicesprovided; and

c.         The functions performed by the Department that affect, orthat have the potential to affect, the ability of individuals who are blind orvisually impaired to achieve rehabilitative goals and objectives under thefederal rehabilitation program;

(3b)      The Commission shall advise the Department regardingpreparation of applications, the State Plan, amendments to this plan, the Stateneeds assessments, and the evaluations required by the federal rehabilitationprogram; and in partnership with the Department develop, agree to, and reviewState goals and priorities;

(3c)      The Commission shall, to the extent feasible, conduct areview and analysis (i) of the effectiveness of, and consumer satisfactionwith, the functions performed by the Department and other public and privateentities responsible for performing functions for individuals who are blind orvisually impaired, and (ii) of vocational rehabilitation services provided orpaid for from funds made available through other public or private sources andprovided by State agencies and other public and private entities responsiblefor providing vocational rehabilitation services to individuals who are blindor visually impaired;

(3d)      The Commission shall prepare and submit an annual report tothe Governor, the Secretary, and the federal rehabilitation program, and makethe report available to the public;

(3e)      The Commission shall coordinate with other councils withinthe State, including the statewide Independent Living Council established undersection 705 of the federal Rehabilitation Act, 29 U.S.C. § 720, et seq., theadvisory panel established under section 612(a)(21) of the Individuals withDisabilities Education Act, 20 U.S.C. § 1413(A)(12), the Council onDevelopmental Disabilities described in section 124 of the DevelopmentalDisabilities Assistance and Bill of Rights Act, 42 U.S.C. § 6024, the StateMental Health Planning Council established pursuant to section 1916(e) of thePublic Health Service Act, 42 U.S.C. § 300x‑4(e), and the Commission onWorkforce Development;

(3f)       The Commission shall advise the Department and provide forcoordination with, and establishment of working relationships between, theDepartment and the Independent Living Council;

(3g)      The Commission shall prepare, in conjunction with theDepartment, a plan for the provision of those resources, including staff andother personnel, that are necessary to carry out the Commission's functionunder this Part. The resource plan shall, to the maximum extent possible, relyon the use of resources in existence during the period of implementation of theplan. The agreed‑upon resources shall be provided pursuant to G.S. 143B‑14.To the extent that there is a disagreement between the Commission and theDepartment with regard to the resources necessary to carry out the functions ofthe Commission required by this Part, the Governor shall resolve thedisagreement. The Department or other State agency shall not assign any otherduties to the staff and other personnel who are assisting the Commission incarrying out its duties that would create a conflict of interest;

(4)        The Commission shall adopt rules consistent with theprovisions of this Chapter. All rules not inconsistent with the provisions ofthis Chapter heretofore adopted by the North Carolina State Commission for theBlind shall remain in full force and effect unless and until repealed orsuperseded by action of the recreated Commission for the Blind. All rulesadopted by the Commission shall be enforced by the Department of Health andHuman Services. (1973, c. 476, s.139; 1993, c. 561, s. 89(a); 1997‑443, s. 11A.118(a); 2000‑121, ss.29, 30.)