Connecticut Seal

Substitute Senate Bill No. 874

Public Act No. 13-20

AN ACT CONCERNING VARIOUS REVISIONS TO THE DEPARTMENT OF DEVELOPMENTAL SERVICES' STATUTES.

Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives in General Assembly convened:

Section 1. Subsection (k) of section 17a-215c of the general statutes is repealed and the following is substituted in lieu thereof (Effective October 1, 2013):

(k) The [independent council established in connection with the autism spectrum disorder pilot program previously operated by the Department of Developmental Services shall continue to] Autism Spectrum Disorder Advisory Council, established pursuant to section 2 of this act, shall advise the Commissioner of Developmental Services on all matters relating to autism.

Sec. 2. (NEW) (Effective July 1, 2013) (a) There is established the Autism Spectrum Disorder Advisory Council. The council shall consist of the following members: (1) The Commissioner of Developmental Services, or the commissioner's designee; (2) the Commissioner of Children and Families, or the commissioner's designee; (3) the Commissioner of Education, or the commissioner's designee; (4) the Commissioner of Mental Health and Addiction Services, or the commissioner's designee; (5) the Commissioner of Public Health, or the commissioner's designee; (6) the Commissioner of Rehabilitation Services, or the commissioner's designee; (7) the Commissioner of Social Services, or the commissioner's designee; (8) the Secretary of the Office of Policy and Management, or the secretary's designee; (9) the executive director of the Office of Protection and Advocacy for Persons with Disabilities, or the executive director's designee; (10) two persons with autism spectrum disorder, one each appointed by the Governor and the speaker of the House of Representatives; (11) two persons who are parents or guardians of a child with autism spectrum disorder, one each appointed by the Governor and the minority leader of the Senate; (12) two persons who are parents or guardians of an adult with autism spectrum disorder, one each appointed by the president pro tempore of the Senate and the majority leader of the House of Representatives; (13) two persons who are advocates for persons with autism spectrum disorder, one each appointed by the Governor and the speaker of the House of Representatives; (14) two persons who are licensed professionals working in the field of autism spectrum disorder, one each appointed by the Governor and the majority leader of the Senate; (15) two persons who provide services for persons with autism spectrum disorder, one each appointed by the Governor and the minority leader of the House of Representatives; and (16) two persons who shall be representatives of an institution of higher education in the state with experience in the field of autism spectrum disorder, one each appointed by the Governor and the president pro tempore of the Senate.

(b) The council shall have two chairpersons, one of whom shall be the Commissioner of Developmental Services, or the commissioner's designee, and one of whom shall be elected by the members of the council. The council shall make rules for the conduct of its affairs. The council shall meet not less than four times per year and at such other times as requested by the chairpersons. Council members shall serve without compensation.

(c) The council shall advise the Commissioner of Developmental Services concerning: (1) Policies and programs for persons with autism spectrum disorder; (2) services provided by the Department of Developmental Services' Division of Autism Spectrum Disorder Services; and (3) implementation of the recommendations resulting from the autism feasibility study. The council may make recommendations to the commissioner for policy and program changes to improve support services for persons with autism spectrum disorder.

(d) The Autism Spectrum Disorder Advisory Council shall terminate on June 30, 2018.

Sec. 3. Section 17a-217a of the general statutes is repealed and the following is substituted in lieu thereof (Effective October 1, 2013):

(a) There shall be a Camp Harkness Advisory Committee to advise the Commissioner of Developmental Services with respect to issues concerning the health and safety of persons who attend and utilize the facilities at Camp Harkness. The advisory committee shall be composed of twelve members as follows: (1) The director of Camp Harkness, who shall serve ex officio, one member representing the Southeastern Connecticut Association for Developmental Disabilities, one member representing the Southbury Training School, one member representing the Arc of New London County, one consumer representing persons who use the camp on a residential basis and one member representing parents or guardians of persons who use the camp, all of whom shall be appointed by the Governor; (2) one member representing parents or guardians of persons who use the camp, who shall be appointed by the president pro tempore of the Senate; (3) one [consumer from] member of the Family Support Council established pursuant to section 17a-219c representing persons who use the camp on a day basis, who shall be appointed by the speaker of the House of Representatives; (4) one member representing the board of selectmen of the town of Waterford, who shall be appointed by the majority leader of the House of Representatives; (5) one member representing a private nonprofit corporation that is: (A) Tax exempt under Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986, or any subsequent internal revenue code of the United States, as amended from time to time, and (B) established to promote and support Camp Harkness and its camping programs, who shall be appointed by the majority leader of the Senate; (6) one member representing the Connecticut Institute for the Blind and the Oak Hill School, who shall be appointed by the minority leader of the House of Representatives; and (7) one member representing the United Cerebral Palsy Association, who shall be appointed by the minority leader of the Senate.

(b) The advisory committee shall promote communication regarding camp services and develop recommendations for the commissioner regarding the use of Camp Harkness.

Sec. 4. Section 17a-248 of the general statutes is repealed and the following is substituted in lieu thereof (Effective October 1, 2013):

As used in this section and sections 17a-248b to 17a-248g, inclusive, as amended by this act, 38a-490a and 38a-516a, unless the context otherwise requires:

(1) "Commissioner" means the Commissioner of Developmental Services.

(2) "Council" means the State Interagency Birth-to-Three Coordinating Council established pursuant to section 17a-248b, as amended by this act.

(3) "Early intervention services" means early intervention services, as defined in [34 CFR Part 303. 12] 34 CFR Part 303.13, as from time to time amended.

(4) "Eligible children" means children from birth to thirty-six months of age, who are not eligible for special education and related services pursuant to sections 10-76a to 10-76h, inclusive, and who need early intervention services because such children are:

(A) Experiencing a significant developmental delay as measured by standardized diagnostic instruments and procedures, including informed clinical opinion, in one or more of the following areas: (i) Cognitive development; (ii) physical development, including vision or hearing; (iii) communication development; (iv) social or emotional development; or (v) adaptive skills; or

(B) Diagnosed as having a physical or mental condition that has a high probability of resulting in developmental delay.

(5) "Evaluation" means a multidisciplinary professional, objective assessment conducted by appropriately qualified personnel in order to determine a child's eligibility for early intervention services.

(6) "Individualized family service plan" means a written plan for providing early intervention services to an eligible child and the child's family.

(7) "Lead agency" means the Department of Developmental Services, the public agency responsible for the administration of the birth-to-three system in collaboration with the participating agencies.

(8) "Parent" means (A) a biological, adoptive or foster parent of a child; (B) a guardian, except for the Commissioner of Children and Families; (C) an individual acting in the place of a biological or adoptive parent, including, but not limited to, a grandparent, stepparent, or other relative with whom the child lives; (D) an individual who is legally responsible for the child's welfare; or (E) an individual appointed to be a surrogate parent.

(9) "Participating agencies" includes, but is not limited to, the Departments of Education, Social Services, Public Health, Children and Families and Developmental Services, the Insurance Department, the Department of Rehabilitation Services and the Office of Protection and Advocacy for Persons with Disabilities.

(10) "Qualified personnel" means persons who meet the standards specified in [34 CFR Part 303. 12(e)] 34 CFR Part 303.31, as from time to time amended, and who are licensed physicians or psychologists or persons holding a state-approved or recognized license, certificate or registration in one or more of the following fields: (A) Special education, including teaching of the blind and the deaf; (B) speech and language pathology and audiology; (C) occupational therapy; (D) physical therapy; (E) social work; (F) nursing; (G) dietary or nutritional counseling; and (H) other fields designated by the commissioner that meet requirements that apply to the area in which the person is providing early intervention services, provided there is no conflict with existing professional licensing, certification and registration requirements.

(11) "Service coordinator" means a person carrying out service coordination services, as defined in [34 CFR Part 303. 22] 34 CFR Part 303.34, as from time to time amended.

(12) "Primary care provider" means physicians and advanced practice registered nurses, licensed by the Department of Public Health, who are responsible for performing or directly supervising the primary care services for children enrolled in the birth-to-three program.

Sec. 5. Subsections (a) and (b) of section 17a-248b of the general statutes are repealed and the following is substituted in lieu thereof (Effective October 1, 2013):

(a) The lead agency shall establish a State Interagency Birth-to-Three Coordinating Council and shall provide staff assistance and other resources to the council. The council shall consist of the following members, appointed by the Governor: (1) Parents, including minority parents, of children with disabilities twelve years of age or younger, with knowledge of, or experience with, programs for children with disabilities from birth to thirty-six months of age, the total number of whom shall equal not less than twenty per cent of the total membership of the council, and at least one of whom shall be a parent of a child six years of age or younger, with a disability; (2) two members of the General Assembly at the time of their appointment, one of whom shall be designated by the speaker of the House of Representatives and one of whom shall be designated by the president pro tempore of the Senate; (3) one person involved in the training of personnel who provide early intervention services; (4) one person who is a member of the American Academy of Pediatrics; (5) the state coordinator of education for homeless children and youth, the state coordinator for early childhood special education and one person from each of the participating agencies, except the Department of Education, who shall be designated by the commissioner or executive director of the participating agency and who have authority to engage in policy planning and implementation on behalf of the participating agency; (6) public or private providers of early intervention services, the total number of whom shall equal not less than twenty per cent of the total membership of the council; and (7) a representative of a Head Start program or agency. The Governor shall designate the chairperson of the council who shall not be the designee of the lead agency.

(b) The Governor shall appoint all members of the council for terms of three years. No appointed member of the council may serve more than two consecutive terms, except a member may continue to serve until a successor is appointed.

Sec. 6. Section 17a-248d of the general statutes is repealed and the following is substituted in lieu thereof (Effective October 1, 2013):

(a) The lead agency, in coordination with the participating agencies and in consultation with the council, shall establish and maintain a state-wide birth-to-three system of early intervention services pursuant to Part C of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act, 20 USC 1431 et seq. , for eligible children and families of such children.

(b) The state-wide system shall include a system for compiling data on the number of eligible children in the state in need of appropriate early intervention services, the number of such eligible children and their families served, the types of services provided and other information as deemed necessary by the lead agency.

(c) The state-wide system shall include a comprehensive child-find system and public awareness program to ensure that eligible children are identified, located, referred to the system and evaluated. The following persons and entities, [within two working days of identifying] as soon as possible but not later than seven calendar days after identifying a child from birth to three years of age suspected of having a developmental delay or of being at risk of having a developmental delay, shall refer the parent of such child to the early intervention system unless the person knows the child has already been referred: (1) Hospitals; (2) child health care providers; (3) local school districts; (4) public health facilities; (5) early intervention service providers; (6) participating agencies; and (7) such other social service and health care agencies and providers as the commissioner specifies in regulation.

(d) The commissioner, in coordination with the participating agencies and in consultation with the council, shall adopt regulations, pursuant to chapter 54, to carry out the provisions of section 17a-248, as amended by this act, and sections 17a-248b to 17a-248g, inclusive, as amended by this act, 38a-490a and 38a-516a.

(e) The state-wide system shall include a system for required notification to any local or regional school board of education no later than January first of each year of any child who resides in the local or regional school district, participates in the state-wide program and will attain the age of three during the next fiscal year. Such system of notification shall include provisions for preserving the confidentiality of such child and of the parent or guardian of such child.

Approved May 28, 2013