House Bill 382
151st General Assembly (Present)
Ready for Governor for action
AN ACT TO AMEND TITLE 14, TITLE 29, AND TITLE 31 RELATING TO PEOPLE WHO ARE VISUALLY IMPAIRED.
This Act is a result of the Joint Legislature Oversight and Sunset Committee's ("JLOSC") review of the Division for the Visually Impaired ("DVI") and represents the collaboration of several state agencies and other stakeholders. The General Assembly originally codified DVI in 1909 as the Delaware Commission for the Blind, Delaware’s first state agency. DVI was established in § 7929, Title 29 in 1978 and housed under the Department of Health and Social Services. The JLOSC review and subsequent task force on DVI revealed changes needed under Title 14, 29, and 31. This Act modernizes the portions of Titles 14, 29, and 31 relating to persons with blindness, including: - Updating sections language pertaining to the federal Vocational Rehabilitation (“VR”) program, which includes the Business Enterprise Program. DVI is an approved VR agency under the federal program. The Rehabilitation Services Administration (RSA) is the federal agency who oversees DVI’s VR program. The RSA completes audits on DVI’s VR program and provides ongoing guidance and support. This Act makes amendments to areas identified in the JLOSC review process and by RSA during their recent audit. - Updating language in Title 14 relating to teacher certification. Teachers that DVI employs are certified teachers of the visually impaired and must meet all Department of Education (“DOE”) requirements. This area of law is extensively regulated under the DOE’s regulations relating to educational services to all children with disabilities, including blindness. See Regulation 925 of Title 14 of the Delaware Administrative Code. DVI worked in collaboration with the Department of Education on updates to Title 14 and removed outdated information on teacher certification. - Repealing Chapter 23, Title 31. Chapter 23 is outdated language that codified the duties of the previous entity, the Commission for the Blind. DVI does not provide the services under Chapter 23. - Correcting the title of the Council on the Blind in § 8210, Title 29. - Removing remaining references to the Commission on the Blind. - Replacing antiquated language with the appropriate phrase, “person with blindness” or "person with visual impairment." This Act also makes technical corrections to conform existing law to the standards of the Delaware Legislative Drafting Manual.
Takes effect upon being signed into law