Chapter 111.

Aid to the Blind.

Article 1.

General Duties of Department of Health and Human Services.

111-1 through 111-3: Repealed by Session Laws 1973, c. 476, s. 143.

 

111-4. Register of State's blind.

(a) The Department of Health and Human Services shall cause to be maintained a complete register of the blind in the State that shall describe the condition and cause of blindness of each and any other facts that may seem to the Department of Health and Human Services to be of value.

(b) When, upon examination by a physician or optometrist, any person is found to be blind, the examiner shall report the results of the examination to the Department of Health and Human Services within 30 days after the examination is conducted. (1935, c. 53, s. 3; 1973, c. 476, s. 143; 1975, c. 19, s. 35; 1997-443, s. 11A.118(a); 2000-121, s. 1.)

 

111-5: Repealed by Session Laws 2000-121, s. 2.

 

111-6. Training schools and workshops; training outside State; sale of products; direct relief; matching of federal funds.

The Department of Health and Human Services may establish one or more training schools and workshops for employment of suitable blind and visually impaired persons, equip and maintain these schools and workshops, pay employees suitable wages, devise means for the sale and distribution of the products of these schools and workshops, and cooperate with shops already established. The Department of Health and Human Services may also pay for lodging, tuition, support and all necessary expenses for blind and visually impaired persons during their training or instruction in any suitable occupation, whether it be in industrial, commercial, professional, or any other establishments, schools or institutions, or through private instruction when in the judgment of the Department of Health and Human Services this instruction or training can be obtained and will contribute to the efficiency or self-support of the blind and visually impaired persons. When special educational opportunities cannot be had within the State, they may be arranged for, at the discretion of the Department of Health and Human Services, outside of the State. The Department of Health and Human Services may also aid individual blind and visually impaired persons or groups of blind and visually impaired persons to become self-supporting by furnishing material or equipment to them and by assisting them in the sale and distribution of their products. Any portion of the funds appropriated to the Department of Health and Human Services under the provisions of this Chapter providing for the rehabilitation of the blind and visually impaired and the prevention of blindness may, when the Commission for the Blind deems wise, be given in direct money payments to the needy blind in accordance with the provisions of G.S. 111-13 through G.S. 111-26. Whenever possible such funds may be matched by funds provided by the federal Social Security Act, 42 U.S.C. 301, et seq., as amended. (1935, c. 53, s. 5; 1937, c. 124, s. 16; 1973, c. 476, s. 143; 1997-443, s. 11A.118(a); 2000-121, s. 3.)

 

111-6.1. Rehabilitation center for the blind and visually impaired.

The Department of Health and Human Services shall establish and operate a rehabilitation center for the blind and visually impaired for the purpose of evaluating and providing instruction in specialized independent living, prevocational, and vocational skills to blind and visually impaired persons to prepare them for obtaining and maintaining employment.

The Commission shall make all rules necessary for this purpose and the Department of Health and Human Services may enter into any agreement or contract; to purchase or lease property, both real and personal, to accept grants and gifts of whatever nature, and to do all other things necessary to carry out the intent and purposes of this rehabilitation center.

The Department of Health and Human Services may receive grants-in-aid from the federal government for carrying out the provisions of this section, as well as for other related rehabilitation programs for blind and visually impaired persons under the provisions of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, Pub. L. No. 93-112, 87 Stat. 355, 29 U.S.C. 701, et seq., as amended. Blind and visually impaired persons as defined in G.S. 111-11, who are physically present in North Carolina may enjoy the benefits of this section or any other related rehabilitation benefits under the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, as amended. (1945, c. 698; 1951, c. 319, s. 4; 1971, c. 1215, s. 2; 1973, c. 476, s. 143; 1997-443, s. 11A.118(a); 2000-121, s. 4.)

 

111-7. In-home services.

The Department of Health and Human Services may foster maximum independence of blind and visually impaired persons through the provision of in-home independent living, development of community-based support groups, and related services as it deems advisable. (1935, c. 53, s. 6; 1973, c. 476, s. 143; 1997-443, s. 11A.118(a); 2000-121, s. 5.)

 

111-8. Investigations; eye examination and treatment.

The Department of Health and Human Services shall continue to make inquiries concerning the cause of blindness, to learn what proportion of these cases are preventable, and to inaugurate and cooperate in any measure for the State it deems advisable. The Department of Health and Human Services may arrange for the examination of the eyes of blind and visually impaired persons and may secure and pay for medical and surgical treatment for these persons whenever in the judgment of a qualified ophthalmologist or optometrist the eyes of this person may be benefited by the treatment. (1935, c. 53, s. 7; 1973, c. 476, s. 143; 1997-443, s. 11A.118(a); 2000-121, s. 6.)

 

111-8.1: Repealed by Session Laws 2000-121, s. 7.

 

111-9 through 111-10. Repealed by Session Laws 1973, c. 476, s. 143.

 

111-11. Definitions.

For the purposes of this Chapter, the following definitions apply:

(1) "Blind person" means a person who meets any of the following criteria:

a. Is totally blind.

b. Has central visual acuity that does not exceed 20/200 in the better eye with correcting lenses.

c. Has a visual field that subtends an angle no greater than 20 degrees at its widest diameter.

(2) "Visually impaired person" means a person whose vision with glasses is so limited as to prevent the performance of ordinary activity for which eyesight is essential. (1935, c. 53, s. 10; 1939, c. 124; 1971, c. 1215, s. 3; 2000-121, s. 8.)

 

111-11.1. Jurisdiction of certain Divisions within the Department of Health and Human Services.

For the purpose of providing rehabilitative services to people who are visually impaired, the Division of Services for the Blind and the Division of Vocational Rehabilitation Services shall develop and enter into an agreement specifying which agency can most appropriately meet the specific needs of this client population. If the Divisions cannot reach an agreement, the Secretary of Health and Human Services shall determine which Division can most appropriately meet the specific needs of this client population. (2000-121, s. 9.)

 

111-12. Repealed by Session Laws 1973, c. 476, s. 143.

 

111-12.1. Acceptance of private contributions for particular facilities authorized.

In addition to other powers and duties granted it by law, the Department of Health and Human Services is hereby authorized to accept contributions of funds made by any private individual, agency or organization even though a condition of the contribution may be that the funds be utilized for the establishment of a particular public or private nonprofit workshop, rehabilitation center or other facility established for the purpose of providing training or employment for eligible blind persons. (1965, c. 906, s. 1; 1973, c. 476, s. 143; 1997-443, s. 11A.118(a).)

 

111-12.2. Contributions treated as State funds to match federal funds.

The Department of Health and Human Services is further authorized to treat any funds received in accordance with G.S. 111-12.1 as State funds for the purpose of accepting any funds made available under federal law on a matching basis for the establishment of such facilities. (1965, c. 906, s. 2; 1973, c. 476, s. 143; 1997-443, s. 11A.118(a).)

 

111-12.3. Rules and regulations as to receiving and expending contributions.

The Department of Health and Human Services shall make all rules and regulations necessary for the purpose of receiving and expending any funds mentioned in G.S. 111-12.1 to 111-12.3 which are consistent with the principle of obtaining maximum federal participation and in accordance with established budget procedures of the North Carolina Department of Administration. (1965, c. 906, s. 3; 1973, c. 476, s. 143; 1997-443, s. 11A.118(a).)

 

111-12.4. Repealed by Session Laws 1973, c. 476, s. 143.

 

111-12.5. Reserve and operating capital fund.

Funds now held by the Bureau of Employment of the North Carolina State Commission for the Blind or its successor organization not exceeding one hundred thousand dollars ($100,000) shall be retained by the Department of Health and Human Services as a reserve and operating capital fund to be expended by the Department of Health and Human Services for its lawful purposes and objectives in accordance with this Chapter. (1967, c. 1214; 1973, c. 476, s. 143; 1997-443, s. 11A.118(a).)

 

111-12.6. Disposition of funds deposited with or transferred to State Treasurer.

All funds required under this Article to be deposited with or which have been transferred to the State Treasurer by the Bureau of Employment of the Department of Health and Human Services, and all future net earnings and accumulations of the Bureau or its successor, other than the one hundred thousand dollars ($100,000) reserve fund provided for in G.S. 111-12.5, from whatever source shall be periodically, but not less frequently than annually, paid over to and retained by the State Treasurer as a separate fund or account. The funds deposited with the State Treasurer shall be invested and the income from the corpus shall inure to the sole benefit of the Department of Health and Human Services. The income and corpus shall be expended for services to and for the benefit of blind and visually impaired persons in North Carolina upon recommendation of the Commission for the Blind, by and with the approval of the Governor as the Director of the Budget. (1967, c. 1214; 1973, c. 476, s. 143; 1997-443, s. 11A.118(a); 2000-121, s. 10.)