CHAPTER 174
EDUCATION OF THE BLIND

Table of Contents

Sec. 10-293. Board of Education and Services for the Blind. Membership. Duties. Annual report.
Sec. 10-294. Executive director. Qualifications. Compensation. Rules and regulations.
Sec. 10-294a. Legal blindness. Impaired vision. Defined.
Sec. 10-294b. Braille Literacy Advisory Council.
Sec. 10-295. Specialized vision-related instruction, educational programs, goods and services. Expense of services. Teachers and educational resources; funding. Adult home instruction. Adaptive equipment.
Sec. 10-295a. Appropriation.
Sec. 10-296. Contracts with public or private entities.
Sec. 10-297. Employment and aid.
Sec. 10-297a. Grants to Connecticut Radio Information Service, Inc.
Sec. 10-298. Powers and duties of the Board of Education and Services for the Blind.
Sec. 10-298a. Workshops and employment assistance for the blind. Statements to be filed.
Sec. 10-298b. Preference to be given to products and services.
Sec. 10-298c. Commissioner of Administrative Services to regulate purchase of products and services of blind or handicapped persons.
Sec. 10-298d. Violations.
Sec. 10-299. Power of Connecticut Institute for Blind to receive bequests; tax exemption. Review of proposed operating budget of Oak Hill School.
Sec. 10-300. Exemption from license fees.
Sec. 10-300a. Labeling of goods made by blind persons.
Secs. 10-301 and 10-302. Instruction in useful occupation; trade implements. Aid for adults.
Sec. 10-303. Food service facilities and vending stands in public buildings controlled by Board of Education and Services for the Blind. Permissible uses of vending machine income.
Sec. 10-304. Sales and service account.
Sec. 10-305. Reports of blind persons by physicians and optometrists.
Sec. 10-306. Vocational rehabilitation program.
Sec. 10-307. Federal funds.
Sec. 10-308. Cooperation with federal government.
Sec. 10-308a. Selection for receipt of rehabilitation services. Regulations.
Sec. 10-309. Placement; regulations.
Sec. 10-310. Limitation of expenditures.
Sec. 10-311. Statement to be filed.
Sec. 10-311a. Records confidential.

      Sec. 10-293. Board of Education and Services for the Blind. Membership. Duties. Annual report. (a) There is established a Board of Education and Services for the Blind that shall serve as the central policy making authority in providing services to the blind and visually impaired in the state. Prior to January 4, 2007, the Board of Education and Services for the Blind shall consist of seven members, six of whom shall be appointed by the Governor and shall be residents of this state. The Commissioner of Social Services shall be a member, ex officio. One of the members appointed by the Governor shall be the parent of a child who receives services provided by the board, and not less than two of the members appointed by the Governor shall be blind persons. One of the members appointed by the Governor shall be designated by the Governor as the chairperson of the board. The Governor may, for reasonable cause, remove any appointed member and appoint another person to fill the vacancy for the unexpired portion of the term. The board shall meet annually in the month of September and may meet at any other time upon the call of its chairperson; and the chairperson shall call a meeting at the request of two members. Any appointed member who fails to attend three consecutive meetings or fifty per cent of all meetings held during any calendar year shall be deemed to have resigned. A majority of the members in office shall constitute a quorum. The terms of the members of the board serving on June 2, 2006, shall expire on January 3, 2007.

      (b) (1) On and after January 4, 2007, the Board of Education and Services for the Blind shall consist of members appointed as follows: Six appointed by the Governor, one appointed by the president pro tempore of the Senate, one appointed by the speaker of the House of Representatives, one appointed by the majority leader of the Senate, one appointed by the minority leader of the Senate, one appointed by the majority leader of the House of Representatives and one appointed by the minority leader of the House of Representatives and all shall be residents of the state. The Commissioner of Social Services shall be a member, ex officio. One of the members appointed by the Governor shall be the parent of a child who receives services provided by the board, and not less than two of the members appointed by the Governor shall be blind persons.

      (2) Three members appointed by the Governor shall serve a term of four years. Three members appointed by the Governor shall serve a term of two years. The three members appointed by the president pro tempore of the Senate, the majority leader of the Senate and the minority leader of the Senate shall serve a term of four years. The three members appointed by the speaker of the House of Representatives, the majority leader of the House of Representatives, and the minority leader of the House of Representatives shall serve a term of two years. Thereafter, all members shall be appointed for a term of four years, commencing on January fourth of the year of the appointment.

      (3) One of the members appointed by the Governor shall be designated by the Governor as the chairperson of the board. The board shall meet annually in the month of September and may meet at any other time upon the call of its chairperson; and the chairperson shall call a meeting at the request of two members. Any appointed member who fails to attend three consecutive meetings or fifty per cent of all meetings held during any calendar year shall be deemed to have resigned. A majority of the members in office shall constitute a quorum. The appointing authority may, for reasonable cause, remove any appointed member and appoint another person to fill the vacancy for the unexpired portion of the term. Any vacancy in the Board of Education and Services for the Blind shall be filled by the appointing authority for the unexpired portion of the term.

      (c) Members appointed to the Board of Education and Services for the Blind shall monitor the activities of the agency in carrying out its mission to provide educational and rehabilitative services to all state residents who are legally blind or visually impaired. Members shall also monitor the activities of the Board of Education and Services for the Blind regarding the agency's compliance with the benchmarks and recommendations set by the monitoring council established pursuant to section 3 of public act 03-217* and offer recommended adjustments to the benchmarks when deemed necessary. Not later than January 1, 2008, and annually thereafter, the members of the Board of Education and Services for the Blind shall report in accordance with section 11-4a, to the Governor, the Office of Policy and Management and to the joint standing committees of the General Assembly having cognizance of matters relating to human services and education on the agency's compliance with the benchmarks established by said monitoring council and on the activities of the agency in fulfilling its mission to provide educational and rehabilitative services to state residents who are legally blind or visually impaired.

      (d) The Board of Education and Services for the Blind shall be within the Department of Social Services for administrative purposes only.

      (1949 Rev., S. 1608; 1957, P.A. 249; September, 1957, P.A. 13, S. 7; 1961, P.A. 539, S. 2; 1963, P.A. 386, S. 1; 1967, P.A. 582, S. 1; P.A. 74-150, S. 1; P.A. 77-614, S. 536, 610; P.A. 84-361, S. 1, 7; P.A. 88-156, S. 6; P.A. 93-262, S. 1, 87; P.A. 04-90, S. 1; P.A. 05-156, S. 3; P.A. 06-124, S. 1.)

      *Note: Section 3 of public act 03-217 is special in nature and therefore has not been codified but remains in full force and effect according to its terms.


      History: 1961 act allowed governor to appoint staff member in his place and changed secretary of board to executive secretary; 1963 act changed name of board and made executive secretary its director; 1967 act changed membership requirements for board by adding an additional member who shall be a blind person for a total of eight members, two of whom shall be blind; P.A. 74-150 deleted requirement that one member be a woman; P.A. 77-614 removed governor and chief justice of supreme court as members, installed commissioner of human resources as member, decreased number of members to seven and added Subsec. (b) placing board within human resources department for administrative purposes, effective January 1, 1979; P.A. 84-361 amended Subsec. (a) by adding provisions re attendance requirements for retaining membership and re members needed for quorum; P.A. 88-156 deleted language re four-year term of office; P.A. 93-262 authorized substitution of commissioner and department of social services for commissioner and department of human resources, effective July 1, 1993; P.A. 04-90 amended Subsec. (a) to require that one member be the parent of a child who receives services provided by the board and not less than two members be blind persons and to make conforming and technical changes; P.A. 05-156 amended Subsec. (a) to specify that a board member appointed by the Governor shall be designated as board chairperson, substitute "chairperson" for "director" re calling of board meetings and delete provision re board adopting rules for its own action and regulations for determining persons who receive benefits; P.A. 06-124 amended Subsec. (a) by specifying that board is to serve as the central policy making authority in providing services to the blind and visually impaired in the state and by adding that the terms of the current board members shall expire on January 3, 2007, added new Subsec. (b) re composition of the board on and after January 4, 2007, added Subsec. (c) re duties of and report from the board, and redesignated existing Subsec. (b) as Subsec. (d), effective June 2, 2006.

      See title 2c re termination under "Sunset Law".

      See Sec. 4-38f for definition of "administrative purposes only".


(Return to
Chapter Table of Contents)
(Return to
List of Chapters)
(Return to
List of Titles)

      Sec. 10-294. Executive director. Qualifications. Compensation. Rules and regulations. The Governor shall appoint an executive director of the board in accordance with the provisions of section 4-7. The executive director shall be a person who has (1) background, training or education related to services for the blind, and (2) experience in program administration, oversight and leadership. The compensation of said director shall be determined in the manner provided in section 4-40. No member of the board established pursuant to section 10-293 shall receive compensation for services rendered unless such services are special and specially requested by the board, in which case a moderate allowance may be made for the time actually spent. The certificate of the director of the amount of any bill for such services and expenses shall be sufficient warrant to the Comptroller for the payment of the same. The board shall adopt rules for its own action and regulations for determining which persons shall receive benefits under the provisions of this chapter.

      (1949 Rev., S. 1609; 1961, P.A. 539, S. 3; 1963, P.A. 386, S. 2; 77-614, S. 537, 610; P.A. 03-217, S. 1; P.A. 05-156, S. 4.)

      History: 1961 act changed secretary to executive secretary and changed certain fiscal procedures; 1963 act changed executive secretary to director; P.A. 77-614 provided that executive director be appointed by governor rather than by board, effective January 1, 1979; P.A. 03-217 substituted reference to Sec. 4-7 for reference to Sec. 4-9a re authority governing appointment of executive director of the board and added provision re qualifications required of executive director, effective July 9, 2003; P.A. 05-156 added provisions re board "established pursuant to section 10-293" and re board adopting rules for its own action and regulations for determining persons who receive benefits.

(Return to
Chapter Table of Contents)
(Return to
List of Chapters)
(Return to
List of Titles)

      Sec. 10-294a. Legal blindness. Impaired vision. Defined. For the purposes of this chapter:

      (a) A person is legally blind if such person's central visual acuity does not exceed 20/200 in the better eye with correcting lenses, or if such person's visual acuity is greater than 20/200 but is accompanied by a limitation in the fields of vision such that the widest diameter of the visual field subtends an angle no greater than twenty degrees;

      (b) A person has impaired vision if such person's central visual acuity does not exceed 20/70 in the better eye with correcting lenses.

      (1961, P.A. 539, S. 1; 1969, P.A. 767, S. 1; P.A. 75-231, S. 1, 6; P.A. 78-218, S. 200; P.A. 05-156, S. 5.)

      History: 1969 act defined what is meant by impaired vision; P.A. 75-231 defined what is meant by products made or manufactured by the blind; P.A. 78-218 added feminine personal pronouns; P.A. 05-156 amended Subsec. (a) to replace "blind" with "legally blind", made technical changes in Subsecs. (a) and (b) for the purpose of gender neutrality and deleted former Subsec. (c) re definition of products made or services provided by blind persons.

(Return to
Chapter Table of Contents)
(Return to
List of Chapters)
(Return to
List of Titles)

      Sec. 10-294b. Braille Literacy Advisory Council. Section 10-294b is repealed, effective October 1, 2005.

      (P.A. 00-127, S. 1, 4; P.A. 05-156, S. 11.)

(Return to
Chapter Table of Contents)
(Return to
List of Chapters)
(Return to
List of Titles)

      Sec. 10-295. Specialized vision-related instruction, educational programs, goods and services. Expense of services. Teachers and educational resources; funding. Adult home instruction. Adaptive equipment. (a) All residents of this state, regardless of age, who, because of blindness or impaired vision, require specialized vision-related educational programs, goods and services, on the signed recommendation of the director of the Board of Education and Services for the Blind, shall be entitled to receive such instruction, programs, goods and services for such length of time as is deemed expedient by said director. Upon the petition of any parent or guardian of a blind child or a child with impaired vision, a local board of education may provide such instruction within the town or it may provide for such instruction by agreement with other towns as provided in subsection (d) of section 10-76d. All educational privileges prescribed in part V of chapter 164, not inconsistent with the provisions of this chapter, shall apply to the pupils covered by this subsection.

      (b) The Board of Education and Services for the Blind shall expend funds for the services made available pursuant to subsection (a) of this section from the educational aid for blind and visually handicapped children account in accordance with the provisions of this subsection. The expense of such services shall be paid by the state in an amount not to exceed six thousand four hundred dollars in any one fiscal year for each child who is blind or visually impaired. The Board of Education and Services for the Blind may adopt such regulations as it deems necessary to carry out the purpose and intent of this subsection.

      (1) The Board of Education and Services for the Blind shall provide, upon written request from any interested school district, the services of teachers of the visually impaired, based on the levels established in the individualized education or service plan. The agency shall also make available its resources, including, but not limited to, the Braille and large print library, to all teachers of public and nonpublic school children. The agency may also provide vision-related professional development and training to all school districts and cover the actual cost for paraprofessionals from school districts to participate in agency-sponsored Braille training programs. The agency shall utilize education consultant positions authorized as of July 1, 2001, funded by moneys appropriated from the General Fund, to supplement new staffing that will be made available through the educational aid for the blind and visually handicapped children account, which shall be governed by formal written policies established by the agency.

      (2) The Board of Education and Services for the Blind shall use funds appropriated to said account, first to provide specialized books, materials, equipment, supplies, adaptive technology services and devices, specialist examinations and aids, preschool programs and vision-related independent living services, excluding primary educational placement, for eligible children without regard to a per child statutory maximum.

      (3) The Board of Education and Services for the Blind may, within available appropriations, employ certified teachers of the visually impaired in sufficient numbers to meet the requests for services received from school districts. In responding to such requests, the agency shall utilize a formula for determining the number of teachers needed to serve the school districts, crediting six points for each Braille-learning child and one point for each other child, with one full-time certified teacher of the visually impaired assigned for every twenty-five points credited. The agency shall exercise due diligence to employ the needed number of certified teachers of the visually impaired, but shall not be liable for lack of resources. Funds appropriated to said account may also be utilized to employ rehabilitation teachers, rehabilitation technologists and orientation and mobility teachers in numbers sufficient to provide compensatory skills evaluations and training to blind and visually impaired children. In addition, up to five per cent of such appropriation may also be utilized to employ special assistants to the blind and other support staff necessary to ensure the efficient operation of service delivery. Not later than October first of each year, the Board of Education and Services for the Blind shall determine the number of teachers needed based on the formula provided in this subdivision. Based on such determination the Board of Education and Services for the Blind shall estimate the funding needed to pay such teachers' salaries, benefits and related expenses.

      (4) In any fiscal year, when funds appropriated to cover the combined costs associated with providing the services set forth in subdivisions (2) and (3) of this subsection are projected to be insufficient, the Board of Education and Services for the Blind shall be authorized to collect revenue from all school districts that have requested such services on a per student pro rata basis, in the sums necessary to cover the projected portion of these services for which there are insufficient appropriations.

      (5) Remaining funds in said account, not expended to fund the services set forth in subdivisions (2) and (3) of this subsection, shall be used to cover on a pro rata basis, the actual cost with benefits of retaining a teacher of the visually impaired, directly hired or contracted by the school districts which opt to not seek such services from the Board of Education and Services for the Blind, provided such teacher has participated in not less than five hours of professional development training on vision impairment or blindness during the school year. Reimbursement shall occur at the completion of the school year, using the caseload formula denoted in subdivision (3) of this section, with twenty-five points allowed for the maximum reimbursable amount as established by the agency annually.

      (6) Remaining funds in such account, not expended to fund the services set forth in subdivisions (2), (3) and (5) of this subsection, shall be distributed to the school districts on a pro rata formula basis with a two-to-one credit ratio for Braille-learning students to non-Braille-learning students in the school district based upon the annual child count data provided pursuant to subdivision (1) of this subsection, provided the school district submits an annual progress report in a format prescribed by the agency for each eligible child.

      (c) The Board of Education and Services for the Blind may provide for the instruction of the adult blind in their homes, expending annually for this purpose such sums as the General Assembly may appropriate.

      (d) The Board of Education and Services for the Blind may expend up to ten thousand dollars per fiscal year per person twenty-one years of age or over who is both blind or visually impaired and deaf for the purpose of providing services through specialized public and private entities from which such person can benefit. Said board may determine the criteria by which a person is eligible to receive specialized services and may adopt regulations necessary to carry out the provisions of this subsection.

      (e) The Board of Education and Services for the Blind may, within available appropriations, purchase adaptive equipment for persons receiving services pursuant to this chapter.

      (1949 Rev., S. 1610; 1949, 1953, 1955, S. 1002d; March, 1958, P.A. 17, S. 1; 1959, P.A. 582; 591; 1961, P.A. 539, S. 4; 1963, P.A. 386, S. 3; 577; February, 1965, P.A. 289, S. 1, 2; 574, S. 12; 1967, P.A. 462, S. 1, 2; 1969, P.A. 159, S. 1, 2; 580, S. 1, 2; 767, S. 2; 1971, P.A. 567, S. 1; 1972, P.A. 212, S. 1; P.A. 73-469, S. 1, 2; P.A. 74-260, S. 1, 2; P.A. 78-211, S. 1, 2; 78-218, S. 201; P.A. 79-525, S. 1; P.A. 81-378, S. 1, 2; June 18 Sp. Sess. P.A. 97-2, S. 138, 165; P.A. 98-252, S. 26, 80; P.A. 03-219, S. 1; P.A. 04-16, S. 1; P.A. 05-156, S. 6; P.A. 08-133, S. 1.)

      History: 1959 acts required that child and either parent or guardian have resided in state for three years immediately preceding application for aid and increased maximum payment by the state; 1961 act further increased maximum payment, increased the maximum additional sum payable, added the provision for blind children with other severe physical handicaps or mental retardation or emotionally maladjusted children, reduced the residence requirement from three years to one year and added Subsec. (c); 1963 acts increased the state's maximum payment and changed the name of the board; 1965 acts increased maximum payment for instruction in Subsec. (a) from $2,100 to $2,700 per year and increased maximum payment in Subsec. (b) from $4,500 to 5,000 per year and substituted Sec. 10-75g for reference to repealed Sec. 10-81 in Subsec. (a); 1967 act increased maximum payment in Subsec. (a) to $2,900 and in Subsec. (b) to $5,500; 1969 acts amended Subsec. (a) to require recommendation of director rather than affirmative vote of three board members for special instruction, to require director to submit names of those recommended to the board, to substitute Sec. 10-76d for Sec. 10-75g, to increase maximum payment for instruction to $3,400, to increase clothing payments from $60 to $100, to add provisions re reimbursement for transportation costs and to extend provisions to those with impaired vision, amended Subsec. (b) to require bona fide residency for eligibility rather than three years' residency, to increase maximum payment to $6,000 and to extend provisions to those with impaired vision; 1971 act made provisions applicable to persons regardless of age, increased maximum payment in Subsec. (a) to $4,000 and in Subsec. (b) to $7,000; 1972 act increased maximum payment in Subsec. (a) to $4,800 and in Subsec. (b) to $8,400; P.A. 73-469 increased payment in Subsec. (a) to $5,400; P.A. 74-260 increased payment in Subsec. (a) to $6,400 and in Subsec. (b) to $9,400; P.A. 78-211 increased maximum payment in Subsec. (b) to $12,000; P.A. 78-218 included regional boards of education in transportation reimbursement provisions in Subsec. (a) and removed masculine personal pronouns in Subsec. (b); P.A. 79-525 added Subsec. (d) re expenditures for persons 21 or older who are both blind or visually impaired and deaf; P.A. 81-378 raised maximum expenditure per year per child from $12,000 to $14,000 in Subsec. (b); June 18 Sp. Sess. P.A. 97-2 amended Subsec. (a) by requiring a local or regional board of education to request reimbursement by the first of June for expenses incurred during the preceding first of July through the thirty-first of December and by the first of December for expenses incurred during the preceding first of January through the thirtieth of June, amended Subsec. (b) by decreasing the amount of funds the board may expend for sending certain children to specialized facilities from $14,000 to $11,000, and added Subsec. (e) allowing the board to purchase adaptive equipment and specifying the cost limits of such purchases, effective July 1, 1997; P.A. 98-252 amended Subsec. (a) to substitute referral by a local or regional board of education for referral by the State Board of Education for purposes of providing instruction to children with vision greater than as defined in Sec. 10-294a, effective July 1, 1998; P.A. 03-219 amended Subsec. (a) by substituting "specialized vision-related educational programs, goods and services" for "special educational programs", making conforming change, and deleting provisions re submission of names by director to the board, "educable" child, $6,400 per person instructional spending limit, $100 per person clothing allowance, $300 per person transportation allowance, and services to a child with vision greater than as defined in Sec. 10-294a, amended Subsec. (b) by deleting provisions re $11,000 per fiscal year per child instructional spending limit for children with multiple handicaps, adding provision re $6,400 per fiscal year per child instructional spending limit and adding Subdivs. (1) to (6) re educational resources and teachers provided by the Board of Education and Services for the Blind to school districts, establishment of formula to determine the number of teachers needed to serve a district, and establishment of pro rata formula for distribution of funds from educational aid for blind and visually handicapped children account, effective July 9, 2003; P.A. 04-16 made technical changes; P.A. 05-156 amended Subsec. (b)(1) to provide that agency may cover actual cost for paraprofessionals to participate in agency-sponsored Braille training programs, amended Subsec. (b)(3) to authorize use of account funds to employ rehabilitation teachers, rehabilitation technologists and orientation and mobility teachers, amended Subsec. (b)(5) to add requirement that costs of retaining teacher for the visually impaired are reimbursable provided such teacher has participated in not less than five hours of professional development training on vision impairment or blindness during school year, amended Subsec. (b)(6) to provide for distribution of funds contingent on school district submitting an annual progress report for each eligible child, amended Subsec. (d) by substituting "providing services through specialized public and private entities" for "sending such person to a specialized public or private facility within the state" and making conforming changes and amended Subsec. (e) to delete provision re maximum cost that board could expend for purchase of adaptive equipment; P.A. 08-133 amended Subsec. (b)(3) to permit 5% of funds appropriated to account to be used to employ special assistants to the blind and other support staff, effective July 1, 2008.

(Return to
Chapter Table of Contents)
(Return to
List of Chapters)
(Return to
List of Titles)

      Sec. 10-295a. Appropriation. Section 10-295a is repealed.

      (1969, P.A. 767, S. 3; P.A. 78-218, S. 211.)

(Return to
Chapter Table of Contents)
(Return to
List of Chapters)
(Return to
List of Titles)

      Sec. 10-296. Contracts with public or private entities. The director may, within available appropriations, contract with public or private entities, individuals or private enterprises for the instruction of the blind.

      (1949 Rev., S. 1612; 1961, P.A. 539, S. 5; 1963, P.A. 386, S. 4; 1969, P.A. 159, S. 3; P.A. 05-156, S. 7.)

      History: 1961 act changed the technical language of the statute, changed the upper age limit from 16 to 18 years, added requirement that application be made by the executive secretary of the board, added requirement that an initial investigation be made and changed the substance of the court order; 1963 act changed executive secretary to director; 1969 act substituted director for board; P.A. 05-156 substituted "available appropriations" for "the expenditure therefor provided in section 10-295" and "entities" for "institutions" and deleted language re director's authority to compel attendance of blind child at institutions having facilities for the instruction of the blind.

(Return to
Chapter Table of Contents)
(Return to
List of Chapters)
(Return to
List of Titles)

      Sec. 10-297. Employment and aid. The director is authorized to aid in securing employment for capable blind or partially blind persons in industrial and mercantile establishments and in other positions which offer financial returns. Said director may aid needy blind persons in such way as said director deems expedient, expending for such purpose such sum as the General Assembly appropriates, provided the maximum expenditure for any one person shall not exceed the sum of nine hundred and sixty dollars in a fiscal year, but, if said maximum amount is insufficient to furnish necessary medical or hospital treatment to a beneficiary, said director may authorize payment of such additional costs as he deems necessary and reasonable.

      (1949 Rev., S. 1613; June, 1955, S. 1003d; 1961, P.A. 539, S. 6; 1969, P.A. 159, S. 4; P.A. 78-218, S. 202.)

      History: 1961 act changed maximum expenditure from monthly to annual basis and clarified that additional payment was in discretion of board; 1969 act substituted director for board; P.A. 78-218 replaced personal pronoun "he" with "said director".

(Return to
Chapter Table of Contents)
(Return to
List of Chapters)
(Return to
List of Titles)

      Sec. 10-297a. Grants to Connecticut Radio Information Service, Inc. The executive director of the Board of Education and Services for the Blind may make grants, within available appropriations, to the Connecticut Radio Information Service, Inc., for the purchase of receivers and for costs related to the operation of said service.

      (P.A. 85-419, S. 1, 2.)

(Return to
Chapter Table of Contents)
(Return to
List of Chapters)
(Return to
List of Titles)

      Sec. 10-298. Powers and duties of the Board of Education and Services for the Blind. (a) The Board of Education and Services for the Blind shall, annually, as provided in section 4-60, submit to the Governor its report, containing a statement of the activities of the board during the preceding year. Said board shall prepare and maintain a register of the blind in this state which shall describe their condition, cause of blindness and capacity for education and rehabilitative training. The board may register cases of persons whose eyesight is seriously defective and who are liable to become visually disabled or blind, and may take such measures in cooperation with other authorities as it deems advisable for the prevention of blindness or conservation of eyesight and, in appropriate cases, for the education of children and for the vocational guidance of adults having seriously defective sight but who are not blind. The agency shall establish criteria for low vision care and maintain a list of ophthalmologists and optometrists that are exclusively authorized to receive agency funds through established and existing state fee schedules for the delivery of specifically defined low vision services that increase the capacity of eligible recipients of such services to maximize the use of their remaining vision.

      (b) The board may accept and receive any bequest or gift of personal property and, subject to the consent of the Governor and Attorney General as provided in section 4b-22, any devise or gift of real property made to said board, and may hold and use such property for the purposes, if any, specified in connection with such bequest, devise or gift.

      (c) The board shall provide the Department of Motor Vehicles with the names of all individuals sixteen years of age or older who, on or after October 1, 2005, have been determined to be blind by a physician or optometrist, as provided in section 10-305. The board shall provide simultaneous written notification to any individual whose name is being transmitted by the board to said department. The board shall update the list of names provided to the Department of Motor Vehicles on a quarterly basis. The list shall also contain the address and date of birth for each individual reported, as shown on the records of the board. The department shall maintain such list on a confidential basis, in accordance with the provisions of section 14-46d. The board shall enter into a memorandum of understanding with the Department of Motor Vehicles to effectuate the purposes of this subsection.

      (1949 Rev., S. 1611; September, 1957, P.A. 11, S. 13; 1961, P.A. 539, S. 7; 1963, P.A. 386, S. 5; P.A. 77-147; P.A. 83-307, S. 1, 2; P.A. 84-546, S. 27, 173; P.A. 89-12, S. 1, 3; P.A. 05-156, S. 1; P.A. 06-130, S. 7.)

      History: 1961 act changed inspection requirement from once every three months to annually, made preparation of register compulsory and clarified right to aid those with defective eyesight but not blind; 1963 act changed the name of the board; P.A. 77-147 added Subsec. (b) re acceptance of bequest or gift of real or personal property; P.A. 83-307 inserted new Subsec. (b) to require Connecticut Institute for the Blind to submit proposed operating budget for Oak Hill School to board of education and services for the blind, relettering former Subsec. (b) as Subsec. (c); P.A. 84-546 made technical change in Subsec. (a), substituting "activities" for "doings"; P.A. 89-12 deleted provision re the power of the board of education and services for the blind to visit, inspect and report on the Connecticut Institute for the Blind in Subsec. (a), deleted former Subsec. (b) re annual submission of proposed operating budget for Oak Hill School and relettered the remaining Subsec. accordingly; P.A. 05-156 amended Subsec. (a) to require agency to establish criteria for low vision care and maintain a list of ophthalmologists and optometrists that are to deliver services to persons with low vision, and to substitute "rehabilitative" for "industrial" and "disabled" for "handicapped" and added new Subsec. (c) re board's duty to provide Department of Motor Vehicles with the names of persons 16 years of age or older who have been determined to be blind; P.A. 06-130 amended Subsec. (c) to require the board to include addresses and dates of birth for each person reported to Department of Motor Vehicles and to require department to maintain the confidentiality of the list, effective June 2, 2006.

(Return to
Chapter Table of Contents)
(Return to
List of Chapters)
(Return to
List of Titles)

      Sec. 10-298a. Workshops and employment assistance for the blind. Statements to be filed. (a) The Board of Education and Services for the Blind may, within available appropriations, (1) maintain and develop workshops for training and employing blind persons in trades and occupations suited to their abilities, for the purpose of producing suitable products and services used by departments, agencies and institutions of the state and its political subdivisions, including, but not limited to towns, cities, boroughs and school districts; (2) aid blind persons in securing employment, in developing home industries and in marketing their products and services; (3) develop and implement rules and guidelines to guarantee that the dignity and rights of citizens involved in such workshops and work training programs shall be maintained; and (4) fund employment and vocational training at community rehabilitation facilities.

      (b) For any fiscal year that the board operates a workshop pursuant to subsection (a) of this section, the board shall file with the Comptroller a balance sheet as of June thirtieth and a statement of operations for the fiscal year ending on that date. A copy of such statement shall be filed with the Auditors of Public Accounts.

      (P.A. 75-231, S. 2, 6; P.A. 05-156, S. 8.)

      History: P.A. 05-156 designated existing provisions as Subsec. (a) and amended same by substituting "may, within available appropriations," for "is authorized", making technical changes and adding Subdiv. (4) re funding employment and vocational training at community rehabilitation facilities, and added Subsec. (b) re statements to be filed for any fiscal year in which the board operates a workshop.

(Return to
Chapter Table of Contents)
(Return to
List of Chapters)
(Return to
List of Titles)

      Sec. 10-298b. Preference to be given to products and services. Whenever any of the products made or manufactured or services provided by blind persons under the direction or supervision of the Board of Education and Services for the Blind meet the requirements of any department, institution or agency supported in whole or in part by the state as to quantity, quality and price such products shall have preference, except over articles produced or manufactured by Department of Correction industries as provided in section 18-88, and except for emergency purchases made under section 4-98. All departments, institutions and agencies supported in whole or in part by the state shall purchase such articles and services from the Board of Education and Services for the Blind. Any political subdivision of the state may purchase such articles made or manufactured and services provided by the blind through the Board of Education and Services for the Blind. Said board shall issue at sufficiently frequent intervals for distribution to the Commissioner of Administrative Services, the Comptroller and the political subdivisions of the state, a catalog showing styles, designs, sizes and varieties of all products made by blind persons pursuant to this section or disabled persons pursuant to section 17b-656 and describing all available services provided by the blind or disabled.

      (P.A. 75-231, S. 3, 6; P.A. 77-405, S. 3, 5; 77-614, S. 135, 610; P.A. 05-156, S. 9.)

      History: P.A. 77-405 included products made by handicapped persons and services provided by them; P.A. 77-614 substituted commissioner of administrative services for director of purchases; P.A. 05-156 substituted "disabled" for "handicapped".

(Return to
Chapter Table of Contents)
(Return to
List of Chapters)
(Return to
List of Titles)

      Sec. 10-298c. Commissioner of Administrative Services to regulate purchase of products and services of blind or handicapped persons. The Commissioner of Administrative Services shall (1) fix a fair market price, based on the cost of materials, labor and overhead, for all articles and services offered for sale and described in the most recent catalog issued by the Board of Education and Services for the Blind pursuant to section 10-298b, provided that the cost of labor on which such fair market price is based shall conform to federal minimum wage regulations for handicapped workers; (2) determine whether or not products produced or services provided by blind persons or handicapped persons meet the reasonable requirements of state departments, agencies and institutions; and (3) authorize state departments, agencies and institutions to purchase articles and services elsewhere when requisitions cannot be complied with through the products and services listed in the most current catalog issued by the Board of Education and Services for the Blind pursuant to section 10-298b.

      (P.A. 75-231, S. 4, 6; P.A. 77-405, S. 4, 5; 77-614, S. 120, 610.)

      History: P.A. 77-405 included reference to handicapped in committee name and included as members a representative of the Connecticut association of rehabilitation facilities and a handicapped person; P.A. 77-614 abolished committee and transferred its duties to the commissioner of administrative services.

      See Sec. 17b-656 re preference given to products and services provided by handicapped persons.

(Return to
Chapter Table of Contents)
(Return to
List of Chapters)
(Return to
List of Titles)

      Sec. 10-298d. Violations. Any responsible officer, commissioner or deputy of any department, institution or agency which violates the provisions of section 10-298b or 10-298c shall be immediately reported to the Governor who shall take whatever action, if any, the Governor deems necessary.

      (P.A. 75-231, S. 5, 6; P.A. 78-218, S. 203.)

      History: P.A. 78-218 substituted "the governor" for the personal pronoun "he".

(Return to
Chapter Table of Contents)
(Return to
List of Chapters)
(Return to
List of Titles)

      Sec. 10-299. Power of Connecticut Institute for Blind to receive bequests; tax exemption. Review of proposed operating budget of Oak Hill School. (a) The Connecticut Institute for the Blind is empowered to receive, hold, invest or employ, as it deems for the best interests of said institute, all property which comes to it by gift, bequest or devise or which it acquires in any manner; but the General Assembly may, at any time, limit the amount of property to be so held or acquired. All property of said institute shall be exempt from taxation.

      (b) For the fiscal year ending June 30, 1990, and each fiscal year thereafter, the Connecticut Institute for the Blind shall submit by July first, its proposed operating budget for the Oak Hill School for the next succeeding fiscal year to the Office of Policy and Management. A copy of the proposed budget shall also be submitted to the joint standing committee of the General Assembly having cognizance of appropriations and matters relating to the budgets of state agencies. The proposed operating budget shall include a statement indicating whether the institute will request an increase in state support for the Oak Hill School.

      (1949 Rev., S. 1614; P.A. 89-12, S. 2, 3.)

      History: P.A. 89-12 added a new Subsec. (b) concerning the review of the proposed operating budget of Oak Hill School.

(Return to
Chapter Table of Contents)
(Return to
List of Chapters)
(Return to
List of Titles)

      Sec. 10-300. Exemption from license fees. Any goods, wares or merchandise, manufactured or produced in whole or in part by the board or The Connecticut Institute for the Blind in furtherance of its purpose to instruct or employ the blind, may be sold or exchanged in any town, city or borough in this state and said board or institute, its agents or its employees shall not be required to procure a license therefor, and no law providing for the payment of a license fee for such privilege shall apply to said board or institute, its agents or employees, unless it or they are particularly referred to in its provisions.

      (1949 Rev., S. 1615; 1961, P.A. 539, S. 8.)

      History: 1961 act added activities of board to existing exemption for institute.

(Return to
Chapter Table of Contents)
(Return to
List of Chapters)
(Return to
List of Titles)

      Sec. 10-300a. Labeling of goods made by blind persons. (a) No goods, wares or merchandise shall be labeled, designated or represented as having been manufactured or produced in whole or in part by any blind person or by any public or private institute, agency or corporation serving the blind unless at least seventy-five per cent of the total hours of labor performed on such goods, wares or merchandise shall have been rendered by a blind person, as defined in section 10-294a. Any person, institute, agency or nonprofit corporation which so manufactures or produces such goods shall register annually, on July first, with the board of education and services for the blind and may affix or cause to be affixed to such goods a stamp or label which identifies such goods as the products of blind persons.

      (b) The Board of Education and Services for the Blind shall adopt regulations pursuant to the provisions of chapter 54 to carry out the provisions of this section.

      (c) Any person, institute, agency or nonprofit corporation which violates any of the provisions of this section shall be fined not more than one hundred dollars for each violation.

      (P.A. 75-520, S. 1, 2.)

      History: (Revisor's note: The words "and services" were added editorially by the Revisors to correct board's name in Subsec. (b)).

(Return to
Chapter Table of Contents)
(Return to
List of Chapters)
(Return to
List of Titles)

      Secs. 10-301 and 10-302. Instruction in useful occupation; trade implements. Aid for adults. Sections 10-301 and 10-302 are repealed.

      (1949 Rev., S. 1616, 1617; 1961, P.A. 539, S. 12.)

(Return to
Chapter Table of Contents)
(Return to
List of Chapters)
(Return to
List of Titles)

      Sec. 10-303. Food service facilities and vending stands in public buildings controlled by Board of Education and Services for the Blind. Permissible uses of vending machine income. (a) The authority in charge of any building or property owned, operated or leased by the state or any municipality therein shall grant to the Board of Education and Services for the Blind a permit to operate in such building or on such property a food service facility, a vending machine or a stand for the vending of newspapers, periodicals, confections, tobacco products, food and such other articles as such authority approves when, in the opinion of such authority, such facility, machine or stand is desirable in such location. Any person operating such a stand in any such location on October 1, 1945, shall be permitted to continue such operation, but upon such person's ceasing such operation such authority shall grant a permit for continued operation to the Board of Education and Services for the Blind. Said board may establish a training facility at any such location.

      (b) Pursuant to the Randolph-Sheppard Vending Stand Act, 49 Stat. 1559 (1936), 20 USC 107, as amended from time to time, the Board of Education and Services for the Blind is authorized to maintain a nonlapsing account and to accrue interest thereon for federal vending machine income which, in accordance with federal regulations, shall be used for the payment of fringe benefits to the vending facility operators by the Board of Education and Services for the Blind.

      (c) The Board of Education and Services for the Blind may maintain a nonlapsing account and accrue interest thereon for state and local vending machine income which shall be used for the payment of fringe benefits, training and support to vending facilities operators, to provide entrepreneurial and independent-living training and equipment to children who are blind or visually impaired and adults who are blind and for other vocational rehabilitation programs and services for adults who are blind.

      (d) The Board of Education and Services for the Blind may disburse state and local vending machine income to student or client activity funds, as defined in section 4-52.

      (1949 Rev., S. 1618; 1959, P.A. 264, S. 1; 615, S. 20; 1963, P.A. 386, S. 6; P.A. 75-549; P.A. 78-218, S. 204; P.A. 80-59; June 18 Sp. Sess. P.A. 97-2, S. 163, 165; P.A. 98-252, S. 27, 80; June Sp. Sess. P.A. 01-9, S. 35, 131; June 30 Sp. Sess. P.A. 03-3, S. 64.)

      History: 1959 acts deleted reference to county buildings and property and extended section's application to food service machines and vending machines; 1963 act changed the name of the board; P.A. 75-549 clarified "state or municipal" building by replacing phrase with "building or property owned, operated or leased by the state or any municipality therein"; P.A. 78-218 substituted "such person's" for "his"; P.A. 80-59 added Subsec. (b) re savings account for nonstate vending machine income; June 18 Sp. Sess. P.A. 97-2 amended Subsec. (a) by adding provision allowing the board to establish a training facility at any location where the board operates a food service, vending machine, newsstand, etc., effective July 1, 1997; P.A. 98-252 made a technical change in Subsec. (a), effective July 1, 1998; June Sp. Sess. P.A. 01-9 amended Subsec. (b) to provide for a nonlapsing account rather than a savings account and allow for the accrual of interest in such account for federal vending machine income, rather than nonstate income, added Subsec. (c) to allow the Board of Education and Services for the Blind to maintain a nonlapsing account for the payment of fringe benefits, training and support to vending facilities operators and provide entrepreneurial and independent-living training and equipment for blind or visually impaired children or blind adults, and added Subsec. (d) to authorize the board to disburse state and local vending machine income to student or client activity funds, effective July 1, 2001; June 30 Sp. Sess. P.A. 03-3 amended Subsec. (c) to authorize use of funds maintained in nonlapsing account for "other vocational rehabilitation programs and services for adults who are blind", effective August 20, 2003.

(Return to
Chapter Table of Contents)
(Return to
List of Chapters)
(Return to
List of Titles)

      Sec. 10-304. Sales and service account. The sales and service account for the Board of Education and Services for the Blind shall be established as a separate account within the General Fund for the purpose of aiding the blind by providing sales and service opportunities. Any money received by the board from refunds for materials advanced for manufacture by the blind, and from the sales of articles or goods manufactured by the blind, and from the sale of other articles or goods, or from sales held to assist the blind, shall be deposited in the General Fund and credited to the account. Payments shall be made from the account for labor or services rendered in connection with the manufacture of articles for resale, for the purchase of materials used in such manufacture, for the purchase of merchandise for resale and for labor, supplies and other operating expenses connected with the operation of vending stands and sales and service opportunities. Bills contracted by the Board of Education and Services for the Blind for the purposes specified in this section shall be paid by order of the Comptroller against the account in the manner provided by law for the payment of all claims against the state. At the end of each fiscal year, any surplus as of June thirtieth determined by including cash, accounts receivable and inventories less accounts payable over the sum of three hundred thousand dollars derived from sales of manufactured goods or articles or other sales, in excess of such cost of labor or services, materials, merchandise, supplies and other such operating expenses, shall revert to the General Fund of the state.

      (1949 Rev., S. 1619; 1949, 1953, S. 1004d; 1963, P.A. 386, S. 7; 1969, P.A. 572, S. 1; P.A. 78-323, S. 1, 3; P.A. 82-107; P.A. 86-312, S. 3, 21.)

      History: 1963 act changed name of board; 1969 act deleted employer's contributions for social security from payments to be made from fund and increased surplus amount beyond which excess funds revert to general fund from $75,000 to $100,000; P.A. 78-323 increased surplus limit to $200,000; P.A. 82-107 increased the amount over which funds revert to the general fund at the end of each fiscal year to $300,000; P.A. 86-312 changed sales and service "fund" from a revolving fund to a separate "account" within the general fund.

(Return to
Chapter Table of Contents)
(Return to
List of Chapters)
(Return to
List of Titles)

      Sec. 10-305. Reports of blind persons by physicians and optometrists. Each physician and optometrist shall report in writing to the Board of Education and Services for the Blind within thirty days each blind person coming under his or her private or institutional care within this state. The report of such blind person shall include the name, address, Social Security number, date of birth, date of diagnosis of blindness and degree of vision. Such reports shall not be open to public inspection.

      (1955, S. 1005d; 1961, P.A. 539, S. 9; 1963, P.A. 386, S. 8; P.A. 78-218, S. 205; June 18 Sp. Sess. P.A. 97-2, S. 139, 165.)

      History: 1961 act deleted provision defining "blind person"; 1963 act changed name of board; P.A. 78-218 included feminine personal pronoun; June 18 Sp. Sess. P.A. 97-2 added requirement that report of each blind person in the care of a physician or optometrist include a social security number, date of birth and date of diagnosis of blindness, effective July 1, 1997.

(Return to
Chapter Table of Contents)
(Return to
List of Chapters)
(Return to
List of Titles)

      Sec. 10-306. Vocational rehabilitation program. The Board of Education and Services for the Blind may maintain a vocational rehabilitation program as authorized under the Federal Rehabilitation Act of 1973, 29 USC 791 et seq., for the purpose of providing and coordinating the full scope of necessary services to assist legally blind recipients of services from the board to prepare for, enter into and maintain employment consistent with the purposes of said act.

      (1949 Rev., S. 1620; 1961, P.A. 539, S. 10; 1963, P.A. 386, S. 9; P.A. 78-218, S. 206; P.A. 05-156, S. 10.)

      History: 1961 act deleted limitation on length of hospital care in definition of physical restoration; 1963 act changed name of board; P.A. 78-218 included feminine personal pronouns and substituted "such person" for "him"; P.A. 05-156 replaced former provisions re board's vocational rehabilitative services program, including definitions of "vocational rehabilitation", "rehabilitation training" and "physical restoration", with provision authorizing board to maintain a vocational rehabilitation program that assists legally blind recipients of services from the board prepare for, enter into and maintain employment.

(Return to
Chapter Table of Contents)
(Return to
List of Chapters)
(Return to
List of Titles)

      Sec. 10-307. Federal funds. The Board of Education and Services for the Blind is empowered to receive any federal funds made available to this state under which vocational rehabilitation is provided for a person whose visual acuity has been impaired and to expend such funds for the purpose or purposes for which they are made available. The State Treasurer shall be the custodian of such funds.

      (1949 Rev., S. 1621; 1963, P.A. 386, S. 10.)

      History: 1963 act changed name of board.

(Return to
Chapter Table of Contents)
(Return to
List of Chapters)
(Return to
List of Titles)

      Sec. 10-308. Cooperation with federal government. The Board of Education and Services for the Blind may cooperate, pursuant to agreements, with the federal government in carrying out the purposes of any federal statutes pertaining to vocational rehabilitation, and is authorized to adopt such methods of administration as are found by the federal government to be necessary for the proper and efficient operation of such agreements or plans for vocational rehabilitation and to comply with such conditions as may be necessary to secure the full benefits of such federal statutes.

      (1949 Rev., S. 1622; 1963, P.A. 386, S. 11.)

      History: 1963 act changed name of board.

(Return to
Chapter Table of Contents)
(Return to
List of Chapters)
(Return to
List of Titles)

      Sec. 10-308a. Selection for receipt of rehabilitation services. Regulations. The Board of Education and Services for the Blind shall adopt regulations, in accordance with chapter 54, to determine the order to be followed in selecting those eligible persons to whom vocational rehabilitation services will be provided, in accordance with federal regulations.

      (June 18 Sp. Sess. P.A. 97-2, S. 141, 165.)

      History: June 18 Sp. Sess. P.A. 97-2 effective July 1, 1997.

(Return to
Chapter Table of Contents)
(Return to
List of Chapters)
(Return to
List of Titles)

      Sec. 10-309. Placement; regulations. The Board of Education and Services for the Blind may place in remunerative occupations persons whose capacity to earn a living has been lost or impaired by lessened visual acuity and who, in the opinion of the board, are susceptible of placement, and may make such regulations as are necessary for the administration of the provisions of sections 10-306 to 10-310, inclusive.

      (1949 Rev., S. 1623; 1963, P.A. 386, S. 12.)

      History: 1963 act changed name of board.

(Return to
Chapter Table of Contents)
(Return to
List of Chapters)
(Return to
List of Titles)

      Sec. 10-310. Limitation of expenditures. The limitations on expenditures for a blind person provided in this chapter shall not apply to the expenditures for vocational rehabilitation of a person of lessened visual acuity as set forth in sections 10-306 to 10-309, inclusive, provided the combined biennial expenditures under this chapter and under said sections shall not exceed the biennial appropriation to the Board of Education and Services for the Blind by the General Assembly.

      (1949 Rev., S. 1624; 1963, P.A. 386, S. 13.)

      History: 1963 act changed name of board.

(Return to
Chapter Table of Contents)
(Return to
List of Chapters)
(Return to
List of Titles)

      Sec. 10-311. Statement to be filed. Section 10-311 is repealed, effective October 1, 2005.

      (1949 Rev., S. 1625; 1963, P.A. 386, S. 14; P.A. 05-156, S. 11.)

(Return to
Chapter Table of Contents)
(Return to
List of Chapters)
(Return to
List of Titles)

      Sec. 10-311a. Records confidential. The case records of the Board of Education and Services for the Blind maintained for the purposes of this chapter shall be confidential and the names and addresses of recipients of assistance under this chapter shall not be published or used for purposes not directly connected with the administration of this chapter, except as necessary to carry out the provisions of sections 10-298 and 17b-6.

      (1961 P.A. 539, S. 11; 1963, P.A. 386, S. 15; June 18 Sp. Sess. P.A. 97-2, S. 140, 165; P.A. 05-156, S. 2; P.A. 06-196, S. 66.)

      History: 1963 act changed name of board; June 18 Sp. Sess. P.A. 97-2 added provision allowing case records to be used to carry out the provisions of Sec. 17b-6, effective July 1, 1997; P.A. 05-156 added reference to Sec. 10-298; P.A. 06-196 made a technical change, effective June 7, 2006.

(Return to
Chapter Table of Contents)
(Return to
List of Chapters)
(Return to
List of Titles)