CHAPTER 319mm
ASSISTANCE TO THE DISABLED

Table of Contents

Sec. 17b-602a. Waiver for community-based services program for persons with psychiatric disabilities. Report.
Sec. 17b-612. (Formerly Sec. 17-624). Disabled students transition program.
Sec. 17b-614. (Formerly Sec. 17-626). State-wide network of independent living centers.
Sec. 17b-615. (Formerly Sec. 17-627). State-wide Independent Living Council.
Sec. 17b-650a. Bureau of Rehabilitative Services.
Sec. 17b-650b. Transfer of functions, powers and duties from Bureau of Rehabilitation Services of the Department of Social Services to Bureau of Rehabilitative Services.
Sec. 17b-650c. Transfer of functions, powers and duties from Board of Education and Services for the Blind to Bureau of Rehabilitative Services.
Sec. 17b-650d. Transfer of functions, powers and duties from Commission on the Deaf and Hearing Impaired to Bureau of Rehabilitative Services.
Sec. 17b-650e. Bureau of Rehabilitative Services to provide services to deaf and hearing impaired persons.
Sec. 17b-651. (Formerly Sec. 17-661). Bureau of Rehabilitation Services. Disbursement of funds.
Sec. 17b-651a. Disability determination services unit. Inquiries into criminal history of applicants for employment.
Sec. 17b-652. Transfer of Bureau of Rehabilitation Services.
Sec. 17b-653. (Formerly Sec. 17-663). Eligibility for services.
Sec. 17b-654. (Formerly Sec. 17-664). Administrative review. Appeal.
Sec. 17b-655. (Formerly Sec. 17-665). Powers and duties of Bureau of Rehabilitative Services re vocational rehabilitation.
Sec. 17b-656. (Formerly Sec. 17-666). Preference to be given to products and services rendered by persons with disabilities. Information concerning products and services to be supplied by bureau.
Sec. 17b-657. (Formerly Sec. 17-667). Additional powers of bureau re provision of medical, diagnostic, physical restoration, training and other rehabilitation services.
Sec. 17b-658. (Formerly Sec. 17-668). Cooperation with federal government.
Sec. 17b-659. (Formerly Sec. 17-669). Treasurer to receive and disburse federal funds.
Sec. 17b-660. (Formerly Sec. 17-670). Gifts for vocational rehabilitation.
Sec. 17b-661. (Formerly Sec. 17-671). Purchase of placement equipment and wheelchairs.
Sec. 17b-664. (Formerly Sec. 17-674). Bureau of Rehabilitation Services. Toll-free telephone service.
Sec. 17b-665. (Formerly Sec. 17-675). Bureau of Rehabilitative Services to submit data re vocational rehabilitation services program.
Sec. 17b-666. Employment opportunities program for underserved persons with significant disabilities. Regulations.

PART I
PERSONS WITH DISABILITIES. ASSISTANCE

      Sec. 17b-602a. Waiver for community-based services program for persons with psychiatric disabilities. Report. (a) The Department of Social Services, in consultation with the Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services, may seek approval of an amendment to the state Medicaid plan or a waiver from federal law, whichever is sufficient and most expeditious, to establish and implement a Medicaid-financed home and community-based program to provide community-based services and, if necessary, housing assistance, to adults with severe and persistent psychiatric disabilities being discharged or diverted from nursing home residential care.

      (b) On or before January 1, 2007, and annually thereafter, the Commissioner of Social Services, in consultation with the Commissioner of Mental Health and Addiction Services, shall submit a report to the joint standing committee of the General Assembly having cognizance of matters relating to public health, in accordance with the provisions of section 11-4a, on the status of any amendment to the state Medicaid plan or waiver from federal law pursuant to subsection (a) of this section and on the establishment and implementation of the program authorized under said subsection (a).

      (P.A. 06-188, S. 32; P.A. 11-215, S. 10.)

      History: P.A. 06-188 effective May 26, 2006; P.A. 11-215 amended Subsec. (a) by deleting requirement that commissioner consult with Community Mental Health Strategy Board.

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      Sec. 17b-612. (Formerly Sec. 17-624). Disabled students transition program. The Bureau of Rehabilitative Services shall establish a program to assist disabled public school students in preparing for and obtaining competitive employment and to strengthen the linkage between vocational rehabilitation services and public schools. Under the program, the Bureau of Rehabilitative Services shall provide, within the limits of available appropriations, vocational evaluations and other appropriate transitional services and shall place vocational rehabilitation counselors in the following school districts: Hartford, West Hartford, Norwich, Bloomfield, Wethersfield and other school districts selected by the Bureau of Rehabilitative Services. The counselors shall, if requested, assist those persons planning in-school skill development programs. The counselors shall, with planning and placement team members, develop transition plans and individual education and work rehabilitation plans for disabled students who will no longer be eligible for continued public school services. Students whose termination date for receipt of public school services is most immediate shall be given priority.

      (P.A. 86-360, S. 1, 2; P.A. 89-237, S. 2, 5, 11; 89-354, S. 15, 21; P.A. 90-325, S. 12, 32; P.A. 93-262, S. 1, 87; P.A. 11-44, S. 54.)

      History: P.A. 89-237 changed the program from a three-year pilot to a permanent program, provided that counselors be placed in school districts selected by the division of vocational rehabilitation, deleted obsolete provision re report to general assembly due January 15, 1989, and made a technical change (Revisor's note: The term "division of vocational rehabilitation" was changed editorially by the Revisors to "bureau of rehabilitation services" when P.A. 89-237 was merged with P.A. 89-354 to reflect the name change in section 5 of P.A. 89-354); P.A. 89-354 changed pilot program to continuing program, changed division of vocational services to bureau of rehabilitation services, changed responsibilities of program from state board of education to department of human resources and added the school district of Norwich to section and deleted obsolete study report, effective July 1, 1990; P.A. 90-325 changed the effective date of P.A. 89-354 from July 1, 1990, to 60 days after the determination by the Office of Special Education and Rehabilitation Services of the U.S. Department of Education that department of human resources meets all applicable federal statutory and regulatory requirements to be designated as sole state agency to administer the state plan for vocational rehabilitation services and that proposed bureau of rehabilitation services within the department meets all applicable federal statutory and regulatory requirements as a vocational rehabilitation organizational unit, i.e. July 1, 1991; Sec. 10-99e transferred to Sec. 17-624 in 1993; P.A. 93-262 authorized substitution of commissioner and department of social services for commissioner and department of human resources, effective July 1, 1993; Sec. 17-624 transferred to Sec. 17b-612 in 1995; P.A. 11-44 replaced "Department of Social Services" and "Bureau of Rehabilitation Services" with "Bureau of Rehabilitative Services", effective July 1, 2011.

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      Sec. 17b-614. (Formerly Sec. 17-626). State-wide network of independent living centers. (a) The Bureau of Rehabilitative Services shall establish and maintain a state-wide network of centers for independent living.

      (b) Not more than five per cent of the amount appropriated in any fiscal year for the purposes of this section may be used by the Bureau of Rehabilitative Services to provide state-wide administration, evaluation and technical assistance relating to the implementation of this section.

      (P.A. 87-563, S. 2, 5; P.A. 89-354, S. 2, 21; P.A. 90-325, S. 12, 32; P.A. 93-262, S. 1, 87; P.A. 95-355, S. 8; P.A. 11-44, S. 55.)

      History: P.A. 89-354 changed name of division of rehabilitation services to bureau of rehabilitation services and transferred the bureau from the department of education to the department of human resources, effective July 1, 1990; P.A. 90-325 changed the effective date of P.A. 89-354 from July 1, 1990, to sixty days after the determination by the Office of Special Education and Rehabilitation Services of the U.S. Department of Education that department of human resources meets all applicable federal statutory and regulatory requirements to be designated as sole state agency to administer the state plan for vocational rehabilitation services and that proposed bureau of rehabilitation services within the department meets all applicable federal statutory and regulatory requirements as a vocational rehabilitation organizational unit; i.e. July 1, 1991; Sec. 10-4j transferred to Sec. 17-626 in 1993; P.A. 93-262 authorized substitution of commissioner and department of social services for commissioner and department of human resources, effective July 1, 1993; Sec. 17-626 transferred to Sec. 17b-614 in 1995; P.A. 95-355 amended Subsec. (a) by changing the reference to "independent living centers" to "centers for independent living"; P.A. 11-44 amended Subsec. (a) by replacing "Bureau of Rehabilitation Services within the Department of Social Services" with "Bureau of Rehabilitative Services" and amended Subsec. (b) by replacing "Department of Social Services" with "Bureau of Rehabilitative Services", effective July 1, 2011.

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      Sec. 17b-615. (Formerly Sec. 17-627). State-wide Independent Living Council. (a) The Governor shall appoint a state-wide Independent Living Council, in accordance with Title VII of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, 29 USC 701 et seq., as amended from time to time.

      (b) The council shall meet regularly with the director of the Bureau of Rehabilitative Services and shall perform the following duties: (1) Issue an annual report by January first, with recommendations regarding independent living services and centers, to the Governor and the chairpersons of the joint standing committee of the General Assembly having cognizance of matters relating to human services, and (2) consult with, advise and make recommendations to the Bureau of Rehabilitative Services concerning independent living and related policy, management and budgetary issues.

      (c) Council members who are consumers shall be reimbursed for expenses incurred in the performance of their duties as council members.

      (P.A. 87-563, S. 3, 5; P.A. 89-144, S. 3; 89-354, S. 3, 21; P.A. 90-325, S. 12, 32; P.A. 93-262, S. 1, 87; P.A. 95-355, S. 9; P.A. 11-44, S. 56.)

      History: P.A. 89-144 amended Subsec. (a) by substituting the office of protection and advocacy for persons with disabilities for the office of protection and advocacy for handicapped and developmentally disabled persons; P.A. 89-354 changed responsibility of section from the director of division of rehabilitation services to the commissioner of human resources, effective July 1, 1990; P.A. 90-325 changed the effective date of P.A. 89-354 from July 1, 1990, to 60 days after the determination by the Office of Special Education and Rehabilitation Services of the U.S. Department of Education that department of human resources meets all applicable federal statutory and regulatory requirements to be designated as sole state agency to administer the state plan for vocational rehabilitation services and that proposed bureau of rehabilitation services within the department meets all applicable federal statutory and regulatory requirements as a vocational rehabilitation organizational unit, i.e. July 1, 1991; Sec. 10-4k transferred to Sec. 17-627 in 1993 and reference to Sec. 10-4i changed to 17-625 to reflect its transfer; P.A. 93-262 authorized substitution of commissioner and department of social services for commissioner and department of human resources, effective July 1, 1993; Sec. 17-627 transferred to Sec. 17b-615 in 1995; P.A. 95-355 replaced the Independent Living Advisory Council with a state-wide Independent Living Council to be appointed by the Governor in accordance with Title VII of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, 29 USC 701 et seq., as amended from time to time; P.A. 11-44 amended Subsec. (b) by replacing "Bureau of Rehabilitation Services" and "department" with "Bureau of Rehabilitative Services", effective July 1, 2011.

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PART II
BUREAU OF REHABILITATIVE SERVICES

      Sec. 17b-650a. Bureau of Rehabilitative Services. (a) There is created a Bureau of Rehabilitative Services, which shall be within the Department of Social Services for administrative purposes only. Said bureau shall be responsible for: (1) Providing services to the deaf and hearing impaired; (2) providing services for the blind and visually impaired; and (3) providing rehabilitation services in accordance with the provisions of the general statutes concerning said bureau.

      (b) The department head shall be the director of the Bureau of Rehabilitative Services, who shall be appointed by the Governor in accordance with the provisions of sections 4-5 to 4-8, inclusive, and shall have the powers and duties described in said sections. The director shall appoint such persons as may be necessary to administer the provisions of public act 11-44* and the Commissioner of Administrative Services shall fix the compensation of such persons in accordance with the provisions of section 4-40. The director may create such sections within said bureau as will facilitate such administration, including a disability determinations section for which one hundred per cent federal funds may be accepted for the operation of such section in conformity with applicable state and federal regulations.

      (P.A. 11-44, S. 1.)

      *Note: Public act 11-44 is entitled "An Act Concerning the Bureau of Rehabilitative Services and Implementation of Provisions of the Budget Concerning Human Services and Public Health". (See Reference Table captioned "Public Acts of 2011" following the Index which lists the sections amended, created or repealed by the act.)


      History: P.A. 11-44 effective July 1, 2011.

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      Sec. 17b-650b. Transfer of functions, powers and duties from Bureau of Rehabilitation Services of the Department of Social Services to Bureau of Rehabilitative Services. All functions, powers and duties of the Bureau of Rehabilitation Services of the Department of Social Services are transferred to the Bureau of Rehabilitative Services. The Bureau of Rehabilitative Services shall constitute a successor to the Bureau of Rehabilitation Services of the Department of Social Services, in accordance with the provisions of sections 4-38d and 4-38e.

      (P.A. 11-44, S. 4.)

      History: P.A. 11-44 effective July 1, 2011.

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      Sec. 17b-650c. Transfer of functions, powers and duties from Board of Education and Services for the Blind to Bureau of Rehabilitative Services. All functions, powers and duties of the Board of Education and Services for the Blind under chapter 174 and sections 5-175a, 5-259, 10-76y, 12-217oo, 14-253a, 17a-248 and 17b-656 shall be transferred to the Bureau of Rehabilitative Services, except as provided in section 10-293. The Bureau of Rehabilitative Services shall constitute a successor to the Board of Education and Services for the Blind, in accordance with the provisions of sections 4-38d and 4-38e, with respect to such functions, powers and duties.

      (P.A. 11-44, S. 3.)

      History: P.A. 11-44 effective July 1, 2011.

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      Sec. 17b-650d. Transfer of functions, powers and duties from Commission on the Deaf and Hearing Impaired to Bureau of Rehabilitative Services. All functions, powers and duties of the Commission on the Deaf and Hearing Impaired under chapter 814a and sections 4-89, 9-20, 16-256b, 17a-248 and 51-245 are transferred to the Bureau of Rehabilitative Services, except as otherwise provided in sections 46a-27 and 46a-28. The Bureau of Rehabilitative Services shall constitute a successor to the Commission on the Deaf and Hearing Impaired, in accordance with the provisions of sections 4-38d and 4-38e, with respect to such functions, powers and duties.

      (P.A. 11-44, S. 2.)

      History: P.A. 11-44 effective July 1, 2011.

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      Sec. 17b-650e. Bureau of Rehabilitative Services to provide services to deaf and hearing impaired persons. The Bureau of Rehabilitative Services may provide necessary services to deaf and hearing impaired persons, including, but not limited to, nonreimbursable interpreter services and message relay services for persons using telecommunication devices for the deaf.

      (P.A. 11-44, S. 33.)

      History: P.A. 11-44 effective July 1, 2011.

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      Sec. 17b-651. (Formerly Sec. 17-661). Bureau of Rehabilitation Services. Disbursement of funds. Section 17b-651 is repealed, effective July 1, 2011.

      (1949 Rev., S. 1410; 1957, P.A. 557, S. 2; February, 1965, P.A. 91; P.A. 77-614, S. 540, 610; P.A. 78-354, S. 2, 8; P.A. 89-354, S. 5, 21; P.A. 90-325, S. 12, 32; P.A. 93-262, S. 1, 87; P.A. 11-44, S. 178.)

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      Sec. 17b-651a. Disability determination services unit. Inquiries into criminal history of applicants for employment. The director of the Bureau of Rehabilitative Services shall inquire into the criminal history of any applicant, who is not at the time of application employed by the Bureau of Rehabilitative Services, for a position of employment with the bureau's disability determination services unit. Such inquiry shall be conducted in accordance with the provisions of section 31-51i. The director shall require each such applicant to state whether the applicant has ever been convicted of a crime, whether criminal charges are pending against the applicant at the time of application, and, if so, to identify the charges and court in which such charges are pending. Each such applicant offered a position of employment with the bureau's disability determination services unit shall be required to submit to fingerprinting and state and national criminal history records checks, as provided in section 29-17a.

      (Sept. Sp. Sess. P.A. 09-5, S. 67; P.A. 11-44, S. 57.)

      History: Sept. Sp. Sess. P.A. 09-5 effective October 5, 2009; P.A. 11-44 replaced "Commissioner of Social Services" with "director of the Bureau of Rehabilitative Services", replaced "Department of Social Services" with "Bureau of Rehabilitative Services", and made conforming changes, effective July 1, 2011.

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      Sec. 17b-652. Transfer of Bureau of Rehabilitation Services. Section 17b-652 is repealed, effective July 1, 2011.

      (P.A. 93-427, S. 4, 6; P.A. 11-44, S. 178.)

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      Sec. 17b-653. (Formerly Sec. 17-663). Eligibility for services. (a) Vocational rehabilitation services shall be provided, with or without public cost, directly or through public or private instrumentalities, as part of an individual plan for employment for a person with disabilities determined to be eligible by the Bureau of Rehabilitative Services, in accordance with Title I of the Rehabilitation Act, 29 USC 701 et seq., as amended from time to time. Nothing in this section shall be construed to mean that an individual's ability or inability to share in the cost of vocational rehabilitative services may be taken into account during the determination of eligibility for such services.

      (b) If vocational rehabilitation services cannot be provided for all eligible persons with disabilities who apply for such services, the Bureau of Rehabilitative Services shall determine, in accordance with Title I of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, 29 USC 701 et seq., and federal regulations, as amended from time to time, the order to be followed in selecting those to whom such services will be provided.

      (c) Nothing in section 17b-650 or subsection (a) of this section shall be construed to preclude provision of vocational rehabilitation services, with or without public cost, to a person with a disability under an extended evaluation for a total period not in excess of eighteen months, in accordance with Title I of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, 29 USC 701 et seq., as amended from time to time.

      (d) The director of the Bureau of Rehabilitative Services may adopt regulations in accordance with the provisions of chapter 54 to establish standards and procedures governing the provision of vocational rehabilitation services and, where appropriate, a means test to determine, based upon the financial need of each eligible person with disabilities, the extent to which such services will be provided at public cost. Any funds received by the bureau from individuals or third parties for the provision of vocational rehabilitation services shall be used by the bureau to provide such services. The regulations may also prescribe the procedures to be used when payment is made by individuals required to contribute to the cost of vocational rehabilitation services. Regulations developed to implement a means test shall include, but not be limited to: (1) An exemption for any individual with an income of less than one hundred per cent of the state median income and assets which are less than five thousand dollars; (2) an exemption for services covered in an individual plan for employment in effect at the time of implementation of the means test; (3) an exclusion from an individual's income of the costs of necessary and reasonable disability-related expenses including, but not limited to, personal attendant services and medications for which payment is unavailable to the individual through other benefits or resources; (4) an exclusion from the individual's assets of the value of the individual's primary residence and motor vehicle; (5) a method by which the director of the Bureau of Rehabilitative Services may reduce the level of required contributions by an individual in the case of undue hardship; and (6) a requirement that such bureau notify an individual of the results of the means test analysis within thirty days of receipt of necessary financial information from the individual. Such means test shall not apply to services covered under a determination of financial need made by an institution of higher education. The Bureau of Rehabilitative Services shall develop the regulations in consultation with representatives of providers of vocational rehabilitation services and recipients of such services or their representatives.

      (1957, P.A. 557, S. 3; 1967, P.A. 337, S. 2, 3; 1969, P.A. 449, S. 2-4; P.A. 77-614, S. 541, 610; P.A. 78-354, S. 3, 8; P.A. 79-344, S. 2; P.A. 85-551; P.A. 89-354, S. 6, 21; P.A. 90-325, S. 12, 32; P.A. 93-262, S. 14, 87; P.A. 95-355, S. 2; P.A. 98-103; P.A. 11-44, S. 58.)

      History: 1967 act amended Subsec. (a) to include services to present or potential social security disability beneficiaries regardless of residency and to those requiring service to determine their potential to benefit from rehabilitation service, removed limitations on provision of services at public cost which had excluded payment for diagnostic and related services and limited payments to "the extent that the handicapped individual is found to require financial assistance" and added Subsec. (c); 1969 act amended Subsec. (a) to include services to families of handicapped persons, to delete provision concerning residency and social security disability as eligibility criteria and to add provision concerning evaluation and work adjustment services, amended Subsec. (b) to include evaluation and work adjustment services and amended Subsec. (c) to include persons with arthritis, muscular dystrophy, cystic fibrosis or renal failure; P.A. 77-614 substituted department of human resources for state board of education, effective January 1, 1979; P.A. 78-354 substituted state board of education for department of human resources; P.A. 79-344 deleted provisions concerning evaluation and work adjustment services and revised Subsec. (c) to replace specific and detailed provisions governing extended evaluations with more general provisions; P.A. 85-551 added provisions re regulations to establish standards and procedures for determining when part of the cost of services is to be paid by the recipient; P.A. 89-354 changed responsibilities of vocational rehabilitation services from state board of education to department of human resources and changed "handicapped individual" to "person with a disability", effective July 1, 1990; P.A. 90-325 changed the effective date to P.A. 89-354 from July 1, 1990, to 60 days after the determination by the Office of Special Education and Rehabilitation Services of the U.S. Department of Education that department of human resources meets all applicable federal statutory and regulatory requirements to be designated as sole state agency to administer the state plan for vocational rehabilitation services and that proposed bureau of rehabilitation services within the department meets all applicable federal statutory and regulatory requirements as a vocational rehabilitation organizational unit, i.e. July 1, 1991; Sec. 10-102 transferred to Sec. 17-663 in 1993 and internal reference to Sec. 10-100 revised to reflect its transfer to Sec. 17-660; P.A. 93-262 replaced department of human resources with department of social services and deleted reference to income maintenance department's advisory role in developing regulations, effective July 1, 1993; Sec. 17-663 transferred to Sec. 17b-653 in 1995; P.A. 95-355 replaced previous criteria for provision of services with requirement that vocational rehabilitation services be provided in accordance with Title I of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, 29 USC 701 et seq., as amended from time to time; P.A. 98-103 amended Subsec. (a) to require that vocational rehabilitation services be provided "with or without" public cost in lieu of "completely or in part, at" public cost, amended Subsec. (c) to make a technical change consistent with Subsec. (a) and amended Subsec. (d) to authorize adoption of regulations establishing a means test to determine extent to which such services will be provided at public cost, to specify six requirements for the regulations re means test and to make various technical changes; P.A. 11-44 amended Subsec. (a) by replacing "Bureau of Rehabilitation Services" with "Bureau of Rehabilitative Services" and replacing "written rehabilitation program" with "plan for employment", amended Subsec. (b) by replacing "Department of Social Services" with "Bureau of Rehabilitative Services", amended Subsec. (d) by replacing "Department of Social Services" with "director of the Bureau of Rehabilitative Services" or "Bureau of Rehabilitative Services", replacing "Bureau of Rehabilitation Services" with "Bureau of Rehabilitative Services", replacing "department" with "bureau" and replacing "written rehabilitation program" with "plan for employment", effective July 1, 2011.

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      Sec. 17b-654. (Formerly Sec. 17-664). Administrative review. Appeal. (a) Any applicant for or recipient of vocational rehabilitation services may request an informal review of any decision made by the bureau pursuant to section 17b-653.

      (b) Regardless of whether a person requests an informal review under subsection (a) of this section, any applicant for or recipient of vocational rehabilitation services who is aggrieved by a decision made by the Bureau of Rehabilitative Services pursuant to section 17b-653 may request an administrative hearing, by making written request to the director of the Bureau of Rehabilitative Services.

      (c) An individual who is aggrieved by a final agency decision made pursuant to subsection (b) of this section may appeal therefrom in accordance with section 4-183. Such appeals shall be privileged cases to be heard by the court as soon after the return day as shall be practicable.

      (P.A. 79-344, S. 3; P.A. 89-354, S. 7, 21; P.A. 90-325, S. 12, 32; P.A. 93-262, S. 1, 87; P.A. 95-355, S. 3; P.A. 11-44, S. 59.)

      History: P.A. 89-354 changed responsibilities from state board of education to department of human resources, effective July 1, 1990; P.A. 90-325 changed the effective date of P.A. 89-354 from July 1, 1990, to 60 days after the determination by the Office of Special Education and Rehabilitation Services of the U.S. Department of Education that department of human resources meets all applicable federal statutory and regulatory requirements to be designated as sole state agency to administer the state plan for vocational rehabilitation services and that proposed bureau of rehabilitation services within the department meets all applicable federal statutory and regulatory requirements as a vocational rehabilitation organizational unit, i.e. July 1, 1991; Sec. 10-102a transferred to Sec. 17-664 in 1993 and internal reference to Sec. 10-102 revised to reflect its transfer; P.A. 93-262 authorized substitution of commissioner and department of social services for commissioner and department of human resources, effective July 1, 1993; Sec. 17-664 transferred to Sec. 17b-654 in 1995; P.A. 95-355 substituted "informal" for "administrative" review in Subsec. (a), added Subsec. (b) which provides for an administrative hearing and added Subsec. (c) which provides for an appeal in accordance with Sec. 4-183; P.A. 11-44 amended Subsec. (b) by replacing "Bureau of Rehabilitation Services" and "bureau" with "Bureau of Rehabilitative Services", effective July 1, 2011.

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      Sec. 17b-655. (Formerly Sec. 17-665). Powers and duties of Bureau of Rehabilitative Services re vocational rehabilitation. (a) In carrying out sections 17b-650 to 17b-665, inclusive, the Bureau of Rehabilitative Services shall cooperate with other departments, agencies and institutions, both public and private, in providing for the vocational rehabilitation of persons with disabilities, in studying the problems involved therein and in establishing, developing and providing such programs, facilities and services as it deems necessary or desirable. Notwithstanding any other provisions of the general statutes to the contrary, the Bureau of Rehabilitative Services shall not be required to pay that portion of the cost of a program of postsecondary education or training which is properly designated as expected parental or family contribution in accordance with state and federal law regarding eligibility for student financial aid.

      (b) Subject to the approval of all real estate acquisitions by the Commissioner of Administrative Services and the State Properties Review Board, in carrying out said sections, the Bureau of Rehabilitative Services may (1) establish, operate, foster and promote the establishment of rehabilitation facilities and make grants to public and other nonprofit and nonsectarian organizations for such purposes; (2) assist persons with severe disabilities to establish and operate small businesses; and (3) make studies, investigations, demonstrations and reports, and provide training and instruction, including the establishment and maintenance of such research fellowships and traineeships with such stipends and allowances as may be deemed necessary, in matters relating to vocational rehabilitation.

      (c) The director of the Bureau of Rehabilitative Services shall develop and maintain a program of public education and information. The program shall include, but not be limited to, education of the public concerning services available from the Bureau of Rehabilitative Services, its policies and goals, an outreach effort to discover persons with disabilities, including such persons who are minorities as defined in subsection (a) of section 32-9n, who may benefit from the services it offers and the dissemination of printed materials to persons at their initial meeting with staff of the bureau, including a statement of such person's rights. Each state agency providing services to persons with disabilities shall furnish to each person applying for such services, at the time of initial application, a written summary of all state programs for persons with disabilities. Such summary shall be developed by the Department of Social Services as the lead agency for services to persons with disabilities pursuant to section 17b-606. The Department of Social Services shall distribute sufficient copies of the summary to all state agencies providing services to persons with disabilities in order that such copies may be furnished in accordance with this subsection.

      (1957, P.A. 557, S. 4; 1969, P.A. 449, S. 5; P.A. 75-425, S. 28, 57; P.A. 77-614, S. 73, 542, 610; P.A. 78-354, S. 4, 8; P.A. 87-496, S. 47, 110; P.A. 89-354, S. 8, 21; P.A. 90-325, S. 12, 32; P.A. 91-303, S. 1, 2, 22; P.A. 93-262, S. 1, 87; P.A. 95-355, S. 4; P.A. 11-44, S. 60; 11-51, S. 44.)

      History: 1969 act deleted provision empowering board to enter into reciprocal agreements with other states, allowed state board itself to establish and operate facilities as well as to foster and promote their establishment and deleted reference to workshops; P.A. 75-425 made real estate acquisitions subject to approval of public works commissioner and state properties review board; P.A. 77-614 transferred powers and duties of state board of education to department of human resources, effective January 1, 1979; P.A. 78-354 returned powers and duties to state board of education; P.A. 87-496 substituted public works for administrative services commissioner in Subsec. (b); P.A. 89-354 changed responsibilities of vocational rehabilitation services from state board of education to department of human resources and changed "handicapped individual" to "person with a disability" and added new Subsec. (c) re program of public education and information, effective July 1, 1990; P.A. 90-325 changed the effective date of P.A. 89-354 from July 1, 1990, to 60 days after the determination by the Office of Special Education and Rehabilitation Services of the U.S. Department of Education that department of human resources meets all applicable federal statutory and regulatory requirements to be designated as sole state agency to administer the state plan for vocational rehabilitation services and that proposed bureau of rehabilitation services within the department meets all applicable federal statutory and regulatory requirements as a vocational rehabilitation organizational unit, i.e. July 1, 1991; P.A. 91-303 in Subsec. (a) added the clause concerning expected parental or family contribution; Sec. 10-103 transferred to Sec. 17-665 in 1993 and internal reference to Secs. 10-100 to 10-108, inclusive, revised to reflect their transfer; P.A. 93-262 authorized substitution of commissioner and department of social services for commissioner and department of human resources, effective July 1, 1993; Sec. 17-665 transferred to Sec. 17b-655 in 1995; P.A. 95-355 made a technical change; P.A. 11-44 replaced "Department of Social Services", "Division of Rehabilitation Services" and "Bureau of Rehabilitation Services" with "Bureau of Rehabilitative Services" and replaced "Commissioner of Social Services" with "director of the Bureau of Rehabilitative Services", effective July 1, 2011; pursuant to P.A. 11-51, "Commissioner of Public Works" was changed editorially by the Revisors to "Commissioner of Administrative Services" in Subsec. (b), effective July 1, 2011.

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      Sec. 17b-656. (Formerly Sec. 17-666). Preference to be given to products and services rendered by persons with disabilities. Information concerning products and services to be supplied by bureau. Whenever any products made or manufactured by or services provided by persons with disabilities through community rehabilitation programs described in subsection (b) of section 17b-655 or in any workshop established, operated or funded by nonprofit and nonsectarian organizations for the purpose of providing persons with disabilities training and employment suited to their abilities 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 over products or services from other providers, except (1) articles produced or manufactured by Department of Correction industries as provided in section 18-88, (2) emergency purchases made under section 4-98, and (3) janitorial services provided by a qualified partnership, pursuant to the provisions of subsections (b) to (e), inclusive, of section 4a-82. All departments, institutions and agencies supported in whole or in part by the state shall purchase such articles made or manufactured and services provided by persons with disabilities from the Bureau of Rehabilitative Services. Any political subdivision of the state may purchase such articles and services through the Bureau of Rehabilitative Services. A list describing styles, designs, sizes and varieties of all such articles made by persons with disabilities and describing all available services provided by such persons shall be prepared by the Connecticut Community Providers Association.

      (P.A. 77-405, S. 2, 5; P.A. 89-354, S. 9, 21; P.A. 90-325, S. 12, 32; P.A. 93-262, S. 1, 87; P.A. 95-355, S. 5; P.A. 06-129, S. 5; P.A. 11-44, S. 29.)

      History: P.A. 89-354 changed responsibilities of vocational rehabilitation services from state board of education to department of human resources and changed "handicapped individual" to "person with a disability", effective July 1, 1990; P.A. 90-325 changed the effective date of P.A. 89-354 from July 1, 1990, to 60 days after the determination by the Office of Special Education and Rehabilitation Services of the U.S. States Department of Education that department of human resources meets all applicable federal statutory and regulatory requirements to be designated as sole state agency to administer the state plan for vocational rehabilitation services and that proposed bureau of rehabilitation services within the department meets all applicable federal statutory and regulatory requirements as a vocational rehabilitation organizational unit, i.e. July 1, 1991; Sec. 10-103a transferred to Sec. 17-666 in 1993 and internal reference to Sec. 10-103 revised to reflect its transfer; P.A. 93-262 authorized substitution of commissioner and department of social services for commissioner and department of human resources, effective July 1, 1993; Sec. 17-666 transferred to Sec. 17b-656 in 1995; P.A. 95-355 changed the reference of "rehabilitation facilities" to "community rehabilitation programs"; P.A. 06-129 added Subdiv. (4) re exception for janitorial services provided by a qualified partnership and changed "Connecticut Association of Rehabilitation Facilities" to "Connecticut Community Providers Association"; P.A. 11-44 replaced "Bureau of Rehabilitation Services of the Department of Social Services" with "Bureau of Rehabilitative Services", deleted former Subdiv. (1) re exception for articles produced by blind persons, redesignated existing Subdivs. (2) to (4) as Subdivs. (1) to (3), and deleted provision requiring Bureau of Rehabilitation Services to cooperate with State Board of Education and Services for the Blind, effective July 1, 2011.

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      Sec. 17b-657. (Formerly Sec. 17-667). Additional powers of bureau re provision of medical, diagnostic, physical restoration, training and other rehabilitation services. The Bureau of Rehabilitative Services is authorized to provide such medical, diagnostic, physical restoration, training and other rehabilitation services as may be needed to enable persons with disabilities to attain the maximum degree of self care. The powers herein delegated and authorized to the Bureau of Rehabilitative Services shall be in addition to those authorized by any other law and shall become effective upon authorization of federal grant-in-aid funds for participation in the cost of independent living rehabilitation services for persons with disabilities. The Bureau of Rehabilitative Services shall be authorized to cooperate with whatever federal agency is directed to administer the federal aspects of such program and to comply with such requirements and conditions as may be established for the receipt and disbursement of federal grant-in-aid funds which may be made available to the state of Connecticut in carrying out such program.

      (P.A. 79-344, S. 4; P.A. 89-354, S. 10, 21; P.A. 90-325, S. 12, 32; P.A. 93-262, S. 1, 87; P.A. 11-44, S. 61.)

      History: P.A. 89-354 changed responsibilities of vocational rehabilitation services from state board of education to department of human resources and changed "handicapped individual" to "person with a disability", effective July 1, 1990; P.A. 90-325 changed the effective date of P.A. 89-354 from July 1, 1990, to 60 days after the determination by the Office of Special Education and Rehabilitation Services of the U.S. Department of Education that department of human resources meets all applicable federal statutory and regulatory requirements to be designated as sole state agency to administer the state plan for vocational rehabilitation services and that proposed bureau of rehabilitation services within the department meets all applicable federal statutory and regulatory requirements as a vocational rehabilitation organizational unit, i.e. July 1, 1991; Sec. 10-103b transferred to Sec. 17-667 in 1993; P.A. 93-262 authorized substitution of commissioner and department of social services for commissioner and department of human resources, effective July 1, 1993; Sec. 17-667 transferred to Sec. 17b-657 in 1995; P.A. 11-44 replaced references to Department of Social Services and its Bureau of Rehabilitation Services with "Bureau of Rehabilitative Services", effective July 1, 2011.

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      Sec. 17b-658. (Formerly Sec. 17-668). Cooperation with federal government. The Bureau of Rehabilitative Services is authorized to cooperate with the federal government in carrying out the purposes of any federal statutes pertaining to vocational rehabilitation, to adopt such methods of administration as it finds necessary for the proper and efficient operation of 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 to this state.

      (1957, P.A. 557, S. 5; P.A. 77-614, S. 543, 610; P.A. 78-354, S. 5, 8; P.A. 89-354, S. 11, 21; P.A. 90-325, S. 12, 32; P.A. 93-262, S. 1, 87; P.A. 11-44, S. 62.)

      History: P.A. 77-614 substituted department of human resources for state board of education, effective January 1, 1979; P.A. 78-354 replaced department of human resources with state board of education; P.A. 89-354 changed responsibilities from state board of education to department of human resources, effective July 1, 1990; P.A. 90-325 changed the effective date of P.A. 89-354 from July 1, 1990, to 60 days after the determination by the Office of Special Education and Rehabilitation Services of the U.S. Department of Education that department of human resources meets all applicable federal statutory and regulatory requirements to be designated as sole state agency to administer the state plan for vocational rehabilitation services and that proposed bureau of rehabilitation services within the department meets all applicable federal statutory and regulatory requirements as a vocational rehabilitation organizational unit, i.e. July 1, 1991; Sec. 10-104 transferred to Sec. 17-668 in 1993; P.A. 93-262 authorized substitution of commissioner and department of social services for commissioner and department of human resources, effective July 1, 1993; Sec. 17-668 transferred to Sec. 17b-658 in 1995; P.A. 11-44 replaced "Department of Social Services" with "Bureau of Rehabilitative Services", effective July 1, 2011.

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      Sec. 17b-659. (Formerly Sec. 17-669). Treasurer to receive and disburse federal funds. The State Treasurer is designated as the custodian of all funds received from the federal government for the purpose of carrying out any federal statutes pertaining to vocational rehabilitation or any agreements authorized by sections 17b-650 to 17b-663, inclusive, and shall make disbursements from such funds and from all state funds available for vocational rehabilitation purposes upon certification by the director of the Bureau of Rehabilitative Services.

      (1957, P.A. 557, S. 6; P.A. 77-614, S. 544, 610; P.A. 78-354, S. 6, 8; P.A. 89-354, S. 12, 21; P.A. 90-325, S. 12, 32; P.A. 93-262, S. 1, 87; P.A. 11-44, S. 63.)

      History: P.A. 77-614 substituted department of human resources for state board of education, effective January 1, 1979; P.A. 78-354 replaced department of human resources with state board of education; P.A. 89-354 changed responsibilities from commissioner of education to commission of human resources, effective July 1, 1990; P.A. 90-325 changed the effective date of P.A. 89-354 from July 1, 1990, to 60 days after the determination by the Office of Special Education and Rehabilitation Services of the U.S. Department of Education that department of human resources meets all applicable federal statutory and regulatory requirements to be designated as sole state agency to administer the state plan for vocational rehabilitation services and that proposed bureau of rehabilitation services within the department meets all applicable federal statutory and regulatory requirements as a vocational rehabilitation organizational unit, i.e. July 1, 1991; Sec. 10-105 transferred to Sec. 17-669 in 1993 and internal reference to Secs. 10-100 to 10-108, inclusive, revised to reflect their transfer; P.A. 93-262 authorized substitution of commissioner and department of social services for commissioner and department of human resources, effective July 1, 1993; Sec. 17-669 transferred to Sec. 17b-659 in 1995; P.A. 11-44 deleted exception for services to the blind and replaced "Commissioner of Social Services" with "director of the Bureau of Rehabilitative Services", effective July 1, 2011.

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      Sec. 17b-660. (Formerly Sec. 17-670). Gifts for vocational rehabilitation. The director of the Bureau of Rehabilitative Services is authorized to accept and use gifts made unconditionally by will or otherwise for carrying out the purposes of the general statutes concerning the Bureau of Rehabilitative Services. Gifts made under such conditions as in the judgment of the director of the Bureau of Rehabilitative Services are proper and consistent with the provisions of said sections may be so accepted and shall be held, invested, reinvested and used in accordance with the conditions of the gift.

      (1949 Rev., S. 1411; 1957, P.A. 557, S. 7; P.A. 77-614, S. 545, 610; P.A. 78-354, S. 7, 8; P.A. 85-377, S. 3, 13; P.A. 89-354, S. 13, 21; P.A. 90-325, S. 12, 32; P.A. 93-262, S. 1, 87; P.A. 11-44, S. 64.)

      History: P.A. 77-614 substituted department of human resources for state board of education, effective January 1, 1979; P.A. 78-354 replaced department of human resources with state board of education; P.A. 85-377 substituted "commissioner" for "state board" of education; P.A. 89-354 changed responsibilities from commissioner of education to commissioner of human resources, effective July 1, 1990; P.A. 90-325 changed the effective date of P.A. 89-354 from July 1, 1990, to 60 days after the determination by the Office of Special Education and Rehabilitation Services of the U.S. Department of Education that department of human resources meets all applicable federal statutory and regulatory requirements to be designated as sole state agency to administer the state plan for vocational rehabilitation services and that proposed bureau of rehabilitation services within the department meets all applicable federal statutory and regulatory requirements as a vocational rehabilitation organizational unit, i.e. July 1, 1991; Sec. 10-106 transferred to Sec. 17-670 in 1993 and internal reference to Secs. 10-100 to 10-108, inclusive, revised to reflect their transfer; P.A. 93-262 authorized substitution of commissioner and department of social services for commissioner and department of human resources, effective July 1, 1993; Sec. 17-670 transferred to Sec. 17b-660 in 1995; P.A. 11-44 replaced "Commissioner of Social Services" with "director of the Bureau of Rehabilitative Services" and replaced reference to Secs. 17b-650 to 17b-663 with reference to "the general statutes concerning the Bureau of Rehabilitative Services", effective July 1, 2011.

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      Sec. 17b-661. (Formerly Sec. 17-671). Purchase of placement equipment and wheelchairs. Notwithstanding any other provision of the general statutes, the Bureau of Rehabilitative Services may, within the limits of appropriations, purchase (1) wheelchairs and placement equipment directly and without the issuance of a purchase order, provided such purchases shall not be in excess of three thousand five hundred dollars per unit purchased, and (2) adaptive equipment and modified vehicles for persons with disabilities directly and without the issuance of a purchase order, provided such purchases of adaptive equipment shall not be in excess of ten thousand dollars per unit purchased and such purchases of modified vehicles shall not be in excess of twenty-five thousand dollars per vehicle. All such purchases shall be made in the open market, but shall, when possible, be based on at least three competitive bids. Such bids shall be solicited by sending notice to prospective suppliers and by posting notice on a public bulletin board within the Bureau of Rehabilitative Services. Each bid shall be opened publicly at the time stated in the notice soliciting such bid. Acceptance of a bid by the Bureau of Rehabilitative Services shall be based on standard specifications as may be adopted by said bureau.

      (P.A. 77-264; P.A. 89-354, S. 14, 21; P.A. 90-325, S. 12, 32; P.A. 93-262, S. 1, 87; P.A. 11-44, S. 65.)

      History: P.A. 89-354 changed responsibilities of vocational rehabilitation services from state board of education to department of human resources and added new Subdiv. (2) re adaptive equipment and modified vehicles, effective July 1, 1990; P.A. 90-325 changed the effective date of P.A. 89-354 from July 1, 1990, to 60 days after the determination by the Office of Special Education and Rehabilitation Services of the U.S. Department of Education that department of human resources meets all applicable federal statutory and regulatory requirements to be designated as sole state agency to administer the state plan for vocational rehabilitation services and that proposed bureau of rehabilitation services within the department meets all applicable federal statutory and regulatory requirements as a vocational rehabilitation organizational unit, i.e. July 1, 1991; Sec. 10-106a transferred to Sec. 17-671 in 1993; P.A. 93-262 authorized substitution of commissioner and department of social services for commissioner and department of human resources, effective July 1, 1993; Sec. 17-671 transferred to Sec. 17b-661 in 1995; P.A. 11-44 replaced "Bureau of Rehabilitation Services of the Department of Social Services" with "Bureau of Rehabilitative Services" and made conforming changes, effective July 1, 2011.

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      Sec. 17b-664. (Formerly Sec. 17-674). Bureau of Rehabilitation Services. Toll-free telephone service. Section 17b-664 is repealed, effective July 1, 2011.

      (P.A. 89-354, S. 17, 21; P.A. 90-325, S. 12, 32; P.A. 93-262, S. 1, 87; P.A. 11-44, S. 178.)

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      Sec. 17b-665. (Formerly Sec. 17-675). Bureau of Rehabilitative Services to submit data re vocational rehabilitation services program. On July 1, 2011, and annually thereafter, the Bureau of Rehabilitative Services shall submit to the joint standing committees of the General Assembly having cognizance of matters relating to human services and appropriations and the budgets of state agencies the data the bureau provides to the federal government that relates to the evaluation standards and performance indicators for the vocational rehabilitation services program.

      (P.A. 89-354, S. 18, 21; P.A. 90-325, S. 12, 32; P.A. 93-262, S. 1, 87; P.A. 11-44, S. 66.)

      History: P.A. 89-354, S. 18 effective July 1, 1990; P.A. 90-325 changed the effective date of P.A. 89-354 from July 1, 1990, to 60 days after the determination by the office of Special Education and Rehabilitation Services of the U.S. Department of Education that department of human resources meets all applicable federal statutory and regulatory requirements to be designated as sole state agency to administer the state plan for vocational rehabilitation services and that proposed bureau of rehabilitation services within the department meets all applicable federal statutory and regulatory requirements as a vocational rehabilitation organizational unit, i.e. July 1, 1991; Sec. 17-612 transferred to Sec. 17-675 in 1993; P.A. 93-262 authorized substitution of commissioner and department of social services for commissioner and department of human resources, effective July 1, 1993; Sec. 17-675 transferred to Sec. 17b-665 in 1995; P.A. 11-44 replaced "1991" with "2011" and replaced provisions requiring Department of Social Services to submit report with provisions requiring Bureau of Rehabilitative Services to submit data concerning vocational rehabilitation services program, effective July 1, 2011.

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      Sec. 17b-666. Employment opportunities program for underserved persons with significant disabilities. Regulations. (a) The Bureau of Rehabilitative Services may receive state and federal funds to administer, within available appropriations, an employment opportunities program to serve individuals with the most significant disabilities who do not meet the eligibility requirements of supported employment programs administered by the Departments of Developmental Services and Mental Health and Addiction Services. For the purposes of this section, "individuals with the most significant disabilities" means those individuals who (1) have serious employment limitations in a total of three or more functional areas including, but not limited to, mobility, communication, self-care, interpersonal skills, work tolerance or work skills, or (2) will require significant ongoing disability-related services on the job in order to maintain employment.

      (b) The employment opportunities program shall provide extended services, as defined in 34 CFR 361.5(b)(19), that are necessary for individuals with the most significant disabilities to maintain supported employment. Such services shall include coaching and other related services that allow participants to obtain and maintain employment and maximize economic self-sufficiency.

      (c) The Bureau of Rehabilitative Services shall adopt regulations, in accordance with chapter 54, to implement the provisions of this section.

      (P.A. 01-61, S. 1, 2; P.A. 07-73, S. 2(a); P.A. 11-44, S. 67.)

      History: P.A. 01-61 effective July 1, 2001; pursuant to P.A. 07-73 "Department of Mental Retardation" was changed editorially by the Revisors to "Department of Developmental Services", effective October 1, 2007; P.A. 11-44 replaced "Bureau of Rehabilitation Services of the Department of Social Services" with "Bureau of Rehabilitative Services" in Subsec. (a) and made a conforming change in Subsec. (c), effective July 1, 2011.

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