Florida Senate - 2016                   (PROPOSED BILL) SPB 7034
       FOR CONSIDERATION By the Committee on Children, Families, and
       Elder Affairs
       586-00885B-16                                         20167034pb
    1                        A bill to be entitled                      
    2         An act relating to prenatal services and early
    3         childhood development; amending s. 383.141, F.S.;
    4         revising the requirements for the Department of Health
    5         to maintain a clearinghouse of information for parents
    6         and health care providers on developmental evaluation
    7         and early intervention programs; requiring the
    8         clearinghouse to use a specified term; revising the
    9         information to be included in the clearinghouse;
   10         amending s. 391.025, F.S.; revising the components of
   11         the Children’s Medical Services program; amending s.
   12         391.026, F.S.; requiring the department to serve as
   13         the lead agency to administer the Early Steps Program;
   14         amending s. 391.301, F.S.; deleting a provision
   15         relating to legislative findings and establishing the
   16         Early Steps Program within the department; providing
   17         requirements and responsibilities for the program;
   18         amending s. 391.302, F.S.; defining terms; revising
   19         the definitions of certain terms; amending s. 391.308,
   20         F.S.; renaming the “Infants and Toddlers Early
   21         Intervention Program” as the “Early Steps Program”;
   22         requiring, rather than authorizing, the department to
   23         implement and administer the program; providing
   24         performance standards; revising the duties of the
   25         department; establishing eligibility criteria for the
   26         program; providing duties for local program offices;
   27         requiring the development of an individual family
   28         support plan for each child served in the program;
   29         requiring referral for services by a local program
   30         office under certain circumstances; requiring the
   31         local program office to negotiate and maintain
   32         agreements with specified providers and managed care
   33         plans; requiring the local program office to
   34         coordinate with managed care plans; requiring the
   35         department to submit an annual report to the Governor,
   36         the Legislature, and the Florida Interagency
   37         Coordinating Council for Infants and Toddlers;
   38         designating the Florida Interagency Coordinating
   39         Council for Infants and Toddlers as the state
   40         interagency coordinating council required by federal
   41         rule; providing requirements for the local program
   42         office and local school district to prepare children
   43         for the transition to school; amending s. 413.092,
   44         F.S.; conforming provisions to changes made by the
   45         act; amending s. 1003.575, F.S.; conforming provisions
   46         to changes made by the act; repealing ss. 391.303,
   47         391.304, 391.305, 391.306, and 391.307, F.S., relating
   48         to requirements for the Children’s Medical Services
   49         program, program coordination, program standards,
   50         program funding and contracts, and program review,
   51         respectively; providing an effective date.
   53  Be It Enacted by the Legislature of the State of Florida:
   55         Section 1. Subsections (2) and (3) of section 383.141,
   56  Florida Statutes, are amended to read:
   57         383.141 Prenatally diagnosed conditions; patient to be
   58  provided information; definitions; information clearinghouse;
   59  advisory council.—
   60         (2) When a developmental disability is diagnosed based on
   61  the results of a prenatal test, the health care provider who
   62  ordered the prenatal test, or his or her designee, shall provide
   63  the patient with current information about the nature of the
   64  developmental disability, the accuracy of the prenatal test, and
   65  resources for obtaining relevant support services, including
   66  hotlines, resource centers, and information clearinghouses
   67  related to Down syndrome or other prenatally diagnosed
   68  developmental disabilities; support programs for parents and
   69  families; and developmental evaluation and intervention services
   70  under this part s. 391.303.
   71         (3) The Department of Health shall develop and implement a
   72  comprehensive information clearinghouse to educate health care
   73  providers, inform parents, and increase public awareness
   74  regarding brain development, developmental disabilities and
   75  delays, and all services, resources, and interventions available
   76  to mitigate the effects of impaired development among children.
   77  The clearinghouse must use the term “unique abilities” as much
   78  as possible when identifying infants or children with
   79  developmental disabilities and delays. The clearinghouse must
   80  provide:
   81         (a)Health information on conditions that may lead to
   82  impaired development of physical, learning, language, or
   83  behavioral skills.
   84         (b)Education and information to support parents whose
   85  unborn children have been prenatally diagnosed with
   86  developmental disabilities or whose children have diagnosed or
   87  suspected developmental delays.
   88         (c) Education and training for health care providers to
   89  recognize and respond appropriately to developmental
   90  disabilities, delays, and conditions related to disabilities or
   91  delays. Specific information approved by the advisory council
   92  shall be made available to health care providers for use in
   93  counseling parents whose unborn children have been prenatally
   94  diagnosed with developmental disabilities or whose children have
   95  diagnosed or suspected developmental delays.
   96         (d) Promotion of public awareness of availability of
   97  supportive services, such as resource centers, educational
   98  programs, other support programs for parents and families, and
   99  developmental evaluation and intervention services.
  100         (e) Hotlines specific to Down syndrome and other prenatally
  101  diagnosed developmental disabilities. The hotlines and the
  102  department’s clearinghouse must provide information to parents
  103  and families or other caregivers regarding the Early Steps
  104  Program under s. 391.301 and any other developmental evaluation
  105  and intervention program. Information offered must include
  106  directions on how to obtain early intervention, rehabilitative,
  107  and habilitative services and devices establish on its Internet
  108  website a clearinghouse of information related to developmental
  109  disabilities concerning providers of supportive services,
  110  information hotlines specific to Down syndrome and other
  111  prenatally diagnosed developmental disabilities, resource
  112  centers, educational programs, other support programs for
  113  parents and families, and developmental evaluation and
  114  intervention services under s. 391.303. Such information shall
  115  be made available to health care providers for use in counseling
  116  pregnant women whose unborn children have been prenatally
  117  diagnosed with developmental disabilities.
  118         (4)(a) There is established an advisory council within the
  119  Department of Health which consists of health care providers and
  120  caregivers who perform health care services for persons who have
  121  developmental disabilities, including Down syndrome and autism.
  122  This group shall consist of nine members as follows:
  123         1. Three members appointed by the Governor;
  124         2. Three members appointed by the President of the Senate;
  125  and
  126         3. Three members appointed by the Speaker of the House of
  127  Representatives.
  128         (b) The advisory council shall provide technical assistance
  129  to the Department of Health in the establishment of the
  130  information clearinghouse and give the department the benefit of
  131  the council members’ knowledge and experience relating to the
  132  needs of patients and families of patients with developmental
  133  disabilities and available support services.
  134         (c) Members of the council shall elect a chairperson and a
  135  vice chairperson. The elected chairperson and vice chairperson
  136  shall serve in these roles until their terms of appointment on
  137  the council expire.
  138         (d) The advisory council shall meet quarterly to review
  139  this clearinghouse of information, and may meet more often at
  140  the call of the chairperson or as determined by a majority of
  141  members.
  142         (e) The council members shall be appointed to 4-year terms,
  143  except that, to provide for staggered terms, one initial
  144  appointee each from the Governor, the President of the Senate,
  145  and the Speaker of the House of Representatives shall be
  146  appointed to a 2-year term, one appointee each from these
  147  officials shall be appointed to a 3-year term, and the remaining
  148  initial appointees shall be appointed to 4-year terms. All
  149  subsequent appointments shall be for 4-year terms. A vacancy
  150  shall be filled for the remainder of the unexpired term in the
  151  same manner as the original appointment.
  152         (f) Members of the council shall serve without
  153  compensation. Meetings of the council may be held in person,
  154  without reimbursement for travel expenses, or by teleconference
  155  or other electronic means.
  156         (g) The Department of Health shall provide administrative
  157  support for the advisory council.
  158         Section 2. Paragraph (c) of subsection (1) of section
  159  391.025, Florida Statutes, is amended to read:
  160         391.025 Applicability and scope.—
  161         (1) The Children’s Medical Services program consists of the
  162  following components:
  163         (c) The developmental evaluation and intervention program,
  164  including the Early Steps Florida Infants and Toddlers Early
  165  Intervention Program.
  166         Section 3. Subsection (19) is added to section 391.026,
  167  Florida Statutes, to read:
  168         391.026 Powers and duties of the department.—The department
  169  shall have the following powers, duties, and responsibilities:
  170         (19) To serve as the lead agency to administer the Early
  171  Steps Program pursuant to part C of the federal Individuals with
  172  Disabilities Education Act and part III of this chapter.
  173         Section 4. Section 391.301, Florida Statutes, is amended to
  174  read:
  175         391.301 Early Steps Program; establishment and goals
  176  Developmental evaluation and intervention programs; legislative
  177  findings and intent.—
  178         (1) The Early Steps Program is established within the
  179  department to serve infants and children who are at risk of
  180  developmental disabilities and infants and children with
  181  developmental delays by providing developmental evaluation and
  182  early intervention and by providing families with training and
  183  support services in a variety of home and community settings The
  184  Legislature finds that the high-risk and disabled newborn
  185  infants in this state need in-hospital and outpatient
  186  developmental evaluation and intervention and that their
  187  families need training and support services. The Legislature
  188  further finds that there is an identifiable and increasing
  189  number of infants who need developmental evaluation and
  190  intervention and family support due to the fact that increased
  191  numbers of low-birthweight and sick full-term newborn infants
  192  are now surviving because of the advances in neonatal intensive
  193  care medicine; increased numbers of medically involved infants
  194  are remaining inappropriately in hospitals because their parents
  195  lack the confidence or skills to care for these infants without
  196  support; and increased numbers of infants are at risk due to
  197  parent risk factors, such as substance abuse, teenage pregnancy,
  198  and other high-risk conditions.
  199         (2) The program must include It is the intent of the
  200  Legislature to establish developmental evaluation and early
  201  intervention services at all hospitals providing Level II or
  202  Level III neonatal intensive care services, in order to promptly
  203  identify newborns with disabilities or with conditions
  204  associated with risks of developmental delays so that families
  205  with high-risk or disabled infants may gain as early as possible
  206  the services and skills they need to support their infants’
  207  development infants.
  208         (3) The program must It is the intent of the Legislature
  209  that a methodology be developed to integrate information and
  210  coordinate services on infants with potentially disabling
  211  conditions with other early developmental evaluation and
  212  intervention programs, including, but not limited to, Part C of
  213  Pub. L. No. 105-17 and the Healthy Start program, the newborn
  214  screening program, and the Blind Babies Program.
  215         (4) The program must:
  216         (a) Enhance the development of infants and toddlers with
  217  disabilities in order to mitigate any potential developmental
  218  delay.
  219         (b)Expand the recognition by health care providers,
  220  families, and the public of the significant brain development
  221  that occurs during a child’s first 3 years of life.
  222         (c)Affirm the importance of the family in all areas of the
  223  child’s development and to support the family’s participation in
  224  early intervention services and decisions affecting the child.
  225         (d)Operate a comprehensive, coordinated interagency system
  226  of early intervention services and supports in accordance with
  227  part C of the federal Individuals with Disabilities Education
  228  Act.
  229         (e)Ensure timely evaluation, individual planning, and
  230  early intervention services necessary to meet the unique needs
  231  of eligible children.
  232         (f)Build the service capacity and enhance the competencies
  233  of health care providers serving children with unique needs and
  234  abilities.
  235         (g)Ensure programmatic and fiscal accountability through
  236  establishment of a high-capacity data system, active monitoring
  237  of performance indicators, and ongoing quality improvement.
  238         Section 5. Section 391.302, Florida Statutes, is amended to
  239  read:
  240         391.302 Definitions.—As used in ss. 391.301-391.308 ss.
  241  391.301-391.307, the term:
  242         (1) “Developmental delay” means a condition, identified and
  243  measured through appropriate instruments and procedures, which
  244  may delay physical, cognitive, communication, social or
  245  emotional, or adaptive development.
  246         (2) “Developmental disability” means a condition,
  247  identified and measured through appropriate instruments and
  248  procedures, which may impair physical, cognitive, communication,
  249  social or emotional, or adaptive development.
  250         (3) “Developmental intervention” or “early intervention”
  251  means individual individualized therapies and services needed to
  252  enhance both the infant’s or toddler’s growth and development
  253  and family functioning. The term includes habilitative services
  254  and devices, rehabilitative services and devices, and parent
  255  support and training.
  256         (4) “Habilitative services and devices” means health care
  257  services and devices that help a child maintain, learn, or
  258  improve skills and functioning for daily living.
  259         (5)(2) “Infant or toddler” or “child” means a child from
  260  birth until the child’s third birthday.
  261         (6)(3) “In-hospital intervention services” means the
  262  provision of assessments; the provision of individual
  263  individualized services; monitoring and modifying the delivery
  264  of medical interventions; and enhancing the environment for the
  265  high-risk, developmentally disabled, or medically involved
  266  infant or toddler in order to achieve optimum growth and
  267  development.
  268         (7) “Local program office” means an office that administers
  269  the Early Steps Program within a municipality, county, or
  270  region.
  271         (8)(4) “Parent support and training” means a range of
  272  services to families of high-risk, developmentally disabled, or
  273  medically involved infants or toddlers, including family
  274  counseling; financial planning; agency referral; development of
  275  parent-to-parent support groups; education concerning growth,
  276  development, and developmental intervention and objective
  277  measurable skills, including abuse avoidance skills; training of
  278  parents to advocate for their child; and bereavement counseling.
  279         (9) “Rehabilitative services and devices” means restorative
  280  and remedial services and mechanisms that maintain or enhance
  281  the current level of functioning of a child if there is a
  282  possibility of improvement or reversal of impairment.
  283         Section 6. Section 391.308, Florida Statutes, is amended to
  284  read:
  285         391.308 Early Steps Infants and Toddlers Early Intervention
  286  Program.—The department shall Department of Health may implement
  287  and administer part C of the federal Individuals with
  288  Disabilities Education Act (IDEA), which shall be known as the
  289  “Early Steps “Florida Infants and Toddlers Early Intervention
  290  Program.”
  291         (1) PERFORMANCE STANDARDS.—The department shall ensure that
  292  the Early Steps Program complies with the following performance
  293  standards:
  294         (a)The program must provide services from referral through
  295  transition in a family-centered manner that recognizes and
  296  responds to unique circumstances and needs of children and their
  297  families as measured by a variety of qualitative data, including
  298  satisfaction surveys, interviews, focus groups, and input from
  299  stakeholders.
  300         (b)The program must provide individual family support
  301  plans that are understandable and usable by families, health
  302  care providers, and payors and that identify the current level
  303  of functioning of the family, family supports and resources,
  304  expected outcomes, and specific early intervention services
  305  needed to achieve the expected outcomes, as measured by user
  306  feedback and periodic independent evaluation.
  307         (c)The program must help each family to use available
  308  resources in a way that maximizes the child’s access to services
  309  necessary to achieve the outcomes of the individual family
  310  support plan, as measured by family feedback and by independent
  311  assessments of services used by each child.
  312         (d)The program must offer families access to quality
  313  services that effectively enable children with developmental
  314  disabilities and developmental delays to achieve optimal
  315  functional levels as measured by an independent evaluation of
  316  outcome indicators in social relationships, communication, and
  317  adaptive behaviors.
  318         (2) DUTIES OF THE DEPARTMENT.—The department shall:,
  319         (a) Jointly with the Department of Education, shall
  320  annually prepare a grant application to the United States
  321  Department of Education for funding early intervention services
  322  for infants and toddlers with disabilities, from birth through
  323  36 months of age, and their families pursuant to part C of the
  324  federal Individuals with Disabilities Education Act.
  325         (b)(2)The department, Jointly with the Department of
  326  Education, provide shall include a reading initiative as an
  327  early intervention service for infants and toddlers.
  328         (c) Annually develop a state plan for the Early Steps
  329  Program.
  330         1. The plan must assess the need for early intervention
  331  services, evaluate the extent of the statewide need that is met
  332  by the program, identify barriers to fully meeting the need, and
  333  recommend specific action steps to improve program performance.
  334         2. The plan must be developed through an inclusive process
  335  that involves families, local program offices, health care
  336  providers, and other stakeholders.
  337         (d)Ensure the provision of developmental evaluation and
  338  intervention services in each hospital that provides Level II
  339  and Level III neonatal intensive care services to an infant or a
  340  toddler identified as being at risk for developmental
  341  disabilities or identified as medically involved who, along with
  342  his or her family, would benefit from early intervention
  343  services.
  344         (e) Establish standards and qualifications for
  345  developmental evaluation and early intervention service
  346  providers, including standards for determining the adequacy of
  347  provider networks in each local program office service area.
  348         (f) Establish statewide uniform protocols and procedures to
  349  determine eligibility for developmental evaluation and early
  350  intervention services.
  351         (g) Establish a consistent, statewide format and procedure
  352  for preparing and completing an individual family support plan.
  353         (h)Promote interagency cooperation and coordination,
  354  particularly with the Medicaid program and the Department of
  355  Education program pursuant to part B of the federal Individuals
  356  with Disabilities Education Act.
  357         1. Coordination with the Medicaid program shall be
  358  developed and maintained through written agreements with the
  359  Agency for Health Care Administration and Medicaid managed care
  360  entities as well as through active and ongoing communication
  361  with these entities. The department shall assist local program
  362  offices to negotiate agreements with Medicaid managed care
  363  entities in the service areas of the local program offices.
  364         2. Coordination with education programs pursuant to part B
  365  of the federal Individuals with Disabilities Education Act shall
  366  be developed and maintained through written agreements with the
  367  Department of Education. The department shall assist local
  368  program offices to negotiate agreements with school districts in
  369  the service areas of the local program offices.
  370         (i)Develop and disseminate the knowledge and methods
  371  necessary to effectively coordinate benefits among various payor
  372  types.
  373         (j) Provide an appeals process under chapter 120 for
  374  applicants found ineligible for developmental evaluation or
  375  early intervention services or denied financial support for such
  376  services.
  377         (k)Competitively procure local program offices to provide
  378  services throughout the state in accordance with chapter 287.
  379  The department shall specify the requirements and qualifications
  380  for local program offices in the procurement document.
  381         (l) Establish performance standards and other metrics for
  382  evaluation of local program offices, including standards for
  383  measuring timeliness of services, outcomes of early intervention
  384  services, and administrative efficiency.
  385         (m) Provide technical assistance to the local program
  386  offices.
  387         (3) ELIGIBILITY.—The department shall apply the following
  388  eligibility criteria as authorized in the General Appropriations
  389  Act.
  390         (a) All children in this state are eligible for an
  391  evaluation to determine the presence of a developmental
  392  disability or conditions that cause or increase the risk of
  393  developmental delays.
  394         (b)All children determined to have a developmental
  395  disability based on an established condition or determined to be
  396  at risk of developmental delays based on an informed clinical
  397  opinion are eligible for Early Steps Program services.
  398         (c) A child is eligible for Early Steps Program services if
  399  the application of a standardized evaluation instrument results
  400  in a score that is 1.5 standard deviations from the mean in two
  401  or more of the following domains: physical, cognitive,
  402  communication, social or emotional, and adaptive.
  403         (d) A child is eligible for Early Steps Program services if
  404  the application of a standardized evaluation instrument results
  405  in a score that is 2.0 standard deviations from the mean in one
  406  of the following domains: physical, cognitive, communication,
  407  social or emotional, and adaptive.
  408         (e) A child is eligible for Early Steps Program services if
  409  diagnosed with a physical or mental condition that has a high
  410  probability of resulting in a developmental delay.
  411         (4) DUTIES OF THE LOCAL PROGRAM OFFICES.—A local program
  412  office shall:
  413         (a)Evaluate a child to determine eligibility within 45
  414  calendar days after the child is referred to the program.
  415         (b)Notify the parent or legal guardian of his or her
  416  child’s eligibility status initially and at least annually
  417  thereafter. If a child is determined not to be eligible, the
  418  local program office must provide the parent or legal guardian
  419  with written information on the right to an appeal and the
  420  process for making such an appeal.
  421         (c) Secure and maintain interagency agreements or contracts
  422  with local school districts and the Medicaid managed care plans
  423  in a local service area.
  424         (d) Provide services directly or procure services from
  425  health care providers that meet or exceed the minimum
  426  qualifications established for service providers. The local
  427  program office must become a Medicaid provider if it provides
  428  services directly.
  429         (e) Provide directly or procure services that are, to the
  430  extent possible, delivered in a child’s natural environment,
  431  such as in the child’s home or community setting. The inability
  432  to provide services in the natural environment is not a
  433  sufficient reason to deny services.
  434         (f) Develop an individual family support plan for each
  435  child served. The plan must:
  436         1. Be completed within 45 calendar days after enrollment in
  437  the program;
  438         2. Be developed in conjunction with the child’s parent or
  439  legal guardian who provides written consent for the services
  440  included in the plan;
  441         3. Be reviewed at least annually with the parent or legal
  442  guardian and updated if needed; and
  443         4. Include steps to transition to school or other future
  444  services by the child’s third birthday.
  445         (g) Assess the progress of the child and his or her family
  446  in meeting the goals of the individual family support plan.
  447         (h) For each service required by the individual family
  448  support plan, refer the child to an appropriate service provider
  449  or work with Medicaid managed care entities or private insurers
  450  to secure the needed services.
  451         (i) Provide care coordination services, including
  452  contacting the appropriate service provider to determine whether
  453  the provider can timely deliver the service, providing the
  454  parent or legal guardian with the name and location of the
  455  service provider and the date of any appointment made on behalf
  456  of the child, and contacting the parent or legal guardian after
  457  the service is provided to ensure that the service is delivered
  458  timely and to determine whether additional services are needed.
  459         (j) Negotiate and maintain agreements with Medicaid
  460  providers and Medicaid managed care entities in its area.
  461         1. With the parent’s or legal guardian’s permission, the
  462  services in the child’s approved individual family support plan
  463  shall be communicated to the Medicaid managed care entity.
  464  Services that cannot be funded by Medicaid must be specifically
  465  identified and explained to the family.
  466         2. The agreement between the local program office and
  467  Medicaid managed care entities must establish methods of
  468  communication and procedures for the timely approval of services
  469  covered by Medicaid.
  470         (k) Develop agreements and arrangements with private
  471  insurers in order to coordinate benefits and services for any
  472  mutual enrollee.
  473         1. The child’s approved individual family support plan may
  474  be communicated to the child’s insurer with the parent’s or
  475  legal guardian’s permission.
  476         2. The local program office and private insurers shall
  477  establish methods of communication and procedures for the timely
  478  approval of services covered by the child’s insurer, if
  479  appropriate and approved by the child’s parent or legal
  480  guardian.
  481         (l)Provide to the department data necessary for an
  482  evaluation of the local program office performance.
  483         (5)ACCOUNTABILITY REPORTING.—By October 1 of each year,
  484  the department shall prepare and submit a report that assesses
  485  the performance of the Early Steps Program to the Governor, the
  486  President of the Senate, the Speaker of the House of
  487  Representatives, and the Florida Interagency Coordinating
  488  Council for Infants and Toddlers. The department must address
  489  the performance standards in subsection (1) and report actual
  490  performance compared to the standards for the prior fiscal year.
  491  The data used to compile the report must be submitted by each
  492  local program office in the state. The department shall report
  493  on all of the following measures:
  494         (a) Number and percentage of children served.
  495         (b) Number and percentage of children demonstrating
  496  improved social or emotional skills after the program.
  497         (c) Number and percentage of children demonstrating
  498  improved use of knowledge and cognitive skills after the
  499  program.
  500         (d) Number and percentage of families reporting positive
  501  outcomes in the development of children as a result of early
  502  intervention services.
  503         (e) Progress toward meeting the goals of individual family
  504  support plans.
  505         (f) Any additional measures established by the department.
  507  Interagency Coordinating Council for Infants and Toddlers shall
  508  serve as the state interagency coordinating council required by
  509  34 C.F.R. s. 303.600. The council shall be housed for
  510  administrative purposes in the department, and the department
  511  shall provide administrative support to the council.
  512         (7)TRANSITION TO EDUCATION.—
  513         (a)At least 6 months before a child reaches 3 years of
  514  age, the local program office shall:
  515         1. Initiate transition planning to ensure the child’s
  516  successful transition from the Early Steps Program to a school
  517  district program for children with disabilities or to another
  518  program as part of an individual family support plan.
  519         2. Notify the appropriate local school district located in
  520  its service area that the child may be eligible for specialized
  521  instruction or related services as determined by the local
  522  school district pursuant to ss. 1003.21 and 1003.57.
  523         (b)The local program office shall convene a transition
  524  conference that includes participation by a local school
  525  district representative and a child’s parent or legal guardian
  526  to discuss options for and availability of services at least 3
  527  months before the child reaches 3 years of age.
  528         (c) The local school district shall evaluate and determine
  529  a child’s eligibility for receiving specialized instruction or
  530  related services pursuant to ss. 1003.21 and 1003.57.
  531         (d)The local program office, in conjunction with the local
  532  school district, shall modify a child’s individual family
  533  support plan, or, if applicable, the local school district shall
  534  develop an individual education plan for the child pursuant to
  535  ss. 1003.57, 1003.571, and 1003.5715, which identifies
  536  specialized instruction or related services that the child will
  537  receive and the providers or agencies that will provide such
  538  services.
  539         (e) If a child is determined to be ineligible for school
  540  district program services, the local program office shall
  541  provide the child’s parent or legal guardian with written
  542  information on other available services or community resources.
  543         (f)The local program office shall negotiate and maintain
  544  an interagency agreement with each local school district in its
  545  service area pursuant to the federal Individuals with
  546  Disabilities Education Act, 20 U.S.C. s. 1435(a)(10)(F). Each
  547  interagency agreement must be reviewed at least annually and
  548  updated upon review, if needed.
  549         Section 7. Subsections (1) and (2) of section 413.092,
  550  Florida Statutes, are amended to read:
  551         413.092 Blind Babies Program.—
  552         (1) The Blind Babies Program is created within the Division
  553  of Blind Services of the Department of Education to provide
  554  community-based early-intervention education to children from
  555  birth through 5 years of age who are blind or visually impaired,
  556  and to their parents, families, and caregivers, through
  557  community-based provider organizations. The division shall
  558  enlist parents, ophthalmologists, pediatricians, schools, the
  559  Early Steps Program Infant and Toddlers Early Intervention
  560  Programs, and therapists to help identify and enroll blind and
  561  visually impaired children, as well as their parents, families,
  562  and caregivers, in these educational programs.
  563         (2) The program is not an entitlement but shall promote
  564  early development with a special emphasis on vision skills to
  565  minimize developmental delays. The education shall lay the
  566  groundwork for future learning by helping a child progress
  567  through normal developmental stages. It shall teach children to
  568  discover and make the best use of their skills for future
  569  success in school. It shall seek to ensure that visually
  570  impaired and blind children enter school as ready to learn as
  571  their sighted classmates. The program shall seek to link these
  572  children, and their parents, families, and caregivers, to other
  573  available services, training, education, and employment programs
  574  that could assist these families in the future. This linkage may
  575  include referrals to the school districts and the Early Steps
  576  Infants and Toddlers Early Intervention Program for assessments
  577  to identify any additional services needed which are not
  578  provided by the Blind Babies Program. The division shall develop
  579  a formula for eligibility based on financial means and may
  580  create a means-based matrix to set a copayment fee for families
  581  having sufficient financial means.
  582         Section 8. Subsection (1) of section 1003.575, Florida
  583  Statutes, is amended to read:
  584         1003.575 Assistive technology devices; findings;
  585  interagency agreements.—Accessibility, utilization, and
  586  coordination of appropriate assistive technology devices and
  587  services are essential as a young person with disabilities moves
  588  from early intervention to preschool, from preschool to school,
  589  from one school to another, and from school to employment or
  590  independent living. If an individual education plan team makes a
  591  recommendation in accordance with State Board of Education rule
  592  for a student with a disability, as defined in s. 1003.01(3), to
  593  receive an assistive technology assessment, that assessment must
  594  be completed within 60 school days after the team’s
  595  recommendation. To ensure that an assistive technology device
  596  issued to a young person as part of his or her individualized
  597  family support plan, individual support plan, or an individual
  598  education plan remains with the individual through such
  599  transitions, the following agencies shall enter into interagency
  600  agreements, as appropriate, to ensure the transaction of
  601  assistive technology devices:
  602         (1) The Early Steps Florida Infants and Toddlers Early
  603  Intervention Program in the Division of Children’s Medical
  604  Services of the Department of Health.
  606  Interagency agreements entered into pursuant to this section
  607  shall provide a framework for ensuring that young persons with
  608  disabilities and their families, educators, and employers are
  609  informed about the utilization and coordination of assistive
  610  technology devices and services that may assist in meeting
  611  transition needs, and shall establish a mechanism by which a
  612  young person or his or her parent may request that an assistive
  613  technology device remain with the young person as he or she
  614  moves through the continuum from home to school to postschool.
  615         Section 9. Section 391.303, Florida Statutes, is repealed.
  616         Section 10. Section 391.304, Florida Statutes, is repealed.
  617         Section 11. Section 391.305, Florida Statutes, is repealed.
  618         Section 12. Section 391.306, Florida Statutes, is repealed.
  619         Section 13. Section 391.307, Florida Statutes, is repealed.
  620         Section 14. This act shall take effect July 1, 2016.