Florida Senate - 2022                                     SB 418
       By Senator Pizzo
       38-00542-22                                            2022418__
    1                        A bill to be entitled                      
    2         An act relating to the Assistive Technology Advisory
    3         Council; amending s. 413.407, F.S.; revising
    4         provisions relating to the membership of and
    5         appointments and reappointments to the Assistive
    6         Technology Advisory Council; requiring council members
    7         to select a chair from among the council membership;
    8         revising provisions relating to committees appointed
    9         to perform the council’s functions; expanding the
   10         council’s functions to include fundraising activities;
   11         providing an effective date.
   13  Be It Enacted by the Legislature of the State of Florida:
   15         Section 1. Section 413.407, Florida Statutes, is amended to
   16  read:
   17         413.407 Assistive Technology Advisory Council.—There is
   18  created the Assistive Technology Advisory Council, responsible
   19  for ensuring consumer involvement in the creation, application,
   20  and distribution of technology-related assistance to and for
   21  persons who have disabilities. The council shall fulfill its
   22  responsibilities through statewide policy development, both
   23  state and federal legislative initiatives, advocacy at both the
   24  state and federal levels level, planning of statewide resource
   25  allocations, policy-level management, and reviews of both
   26  consumer responsiveness and the adequacy of program service
   27  delivery, and by performing the functions listed in this
   28  section.
   29         (1)(a) The council shall be composed of:
   30         1. Persons Individuals who have disabilities and who are
   31  assistive technology consumers or family members or guardians of
   32  those persons individuals.
   33         2. A representative Representatives of a consumer
   34  organization organizations concerned with assistive technology.
   35         3. A representative Representatives of business and
   36  industry, including the insurance industry, concerned with
   37  assistive technology.
   38         4. A representative of the Division of Vocational
   39  Rehabilitation.
   40         5. A representative of the Division of Blind Services.
   41         6. A representative of a center for independent living the
   42  Florida Independent Living Council.
   43         7. A representative of CareerSource Florida, Inc.
   44         8. A representative of the Department of Education.
   45         9. A representative Representatives of any other state
   46  agency agencies that provides or coordinates provide or
   47  coordinate services for persons with disabilities, if requested
   48  by a majority vote of the council members.
   50  Total membership on the council may not exceed 27 at any one
   51  time. A majority of the members shall be appointed in accordance
   52  with subparagraph 1.
   53         (b) Members of the council shall be appointed by the
   54  Commissioner of Education from a list of candidates proposed by
   55  the division director. However, a member who is a representative
   56  of a state agency shall be appointed by the head of that state
   57  agency.
   58         (c) A majority of council members must shall be persons who
   59  have disabilities as defined in s. 413.20 and s. 413.20(7) who
   60  are also consumers of assistive technology or family members or
   61  guardians of such persons.
   62         (d)Members of the council must be geographically
   63  representative of the state and reflect the diversity of the
   64  state’s population with respect to race, ethnicity, gender, age,
   65  type of disability, and type of disability-related services and
   66  devices received.
   67         (e)(d) The members of the council shall select a chair two
   68  co-chairs from among the membership of the council.
   69         1.One co-chair may be selected from the group described in
   70  paragraph (c) and one co-chair shall be selected from the other
   71  council members.
   72         2.The chair No co-chair may not be an elected member or an
   73  employee of a state agency or of any political subdivision of
   74  the state.
   75         (f)1.(e)1. Each member of the council shall serve for a
   76  term of not more than 3 years, except that a member appointed to
   77  fill a vacancy occurring before prior to the expiration of the
   78  term for which a predecessor was appointed shall be appointed
   79  for the remainder of such term.
   80         2. A No member of the council may not serve more than two
   81  consecutive terms; however, any appointment under subparagraph
   82  1., if for less than 18 months, is shall not be considered a
   83  term for the purposes of this section.
   84         3. A member who has served two consecutive terms and has
   85  been retired from the council for at least 3 years 1 year may be
   86  reappointed to the council on the same basis as a new member.
   87         (g)(f) Any vacancy occurring in the membership of the
   88  council shall be filled in the same manner as the original
   89  appointment. A vacancy does not affect the power of the
   90  remaining members to execute the duties of the council.
   91         (2) In addition to the other functions specified in this
   92  section, the council shall:
   93         (a) Act as the board of directors of a not-for-profit
   94  corporation created by the division. Through the corporation,
   95  the council shall provide direction to the Florida Florida’s
   96  Alliance for Assistive Services and Technology, a project
   97  sponsored by the department for the coordination and delivery of
   98  appropriate, cost-effective, state-of-the-art assistive
   99  technology services and devices.
  100         (b) Appoint committees made up of members of the council to
  101  focus on specific issues within the council’s mandate.
  102  Committees may request and accept in-kind contributions of
  103  personnel from public or private entities to supply such
  104  staffing as the committees deem necessary to carry out their
  105  individual mandates. These committees shall include, but are not
  106  limited to:
  107         1. Members who are representatives of state agencies
  108  serving on the committees An interagency committee composed of
  109  those members representing state agencies. The interagency
  110  committee shall work towards the development of cooperative
  111  agreements among government agencies and perform such other
  112  duties as the council deems appropriate.
  113         2.Members who are representatives of state agencies
  114  serving on the committees The interagency committee’s members
  115  shall assign staff from their respective agencies to the
  116  alliance, as an in-kind contribution for a specified period of
  117  time, to review federal and state legislation and agency
  118  policies and practices and to identify both facilitators of, and
  119  barriers to, accessibility and utilization of assistive
  120  technology services, devices, and funding sources.
  121         2.A technology-awareness committee to guide the council’s
  122  public awareness, coordination, and collaboration activities.
  123         3.A public policy and advocacy committee to review federal
  124  and state legislation and agency policies and practices and to
  125  identify facilitators of and barriers to access and utilization
  126  of assistive technology services, devices, and funding sources.
  127         (c) Review and approve all reports, recommendations, and
  128  proposed actions of committee staff.
  129         (d) Appoint the executive director of the alliance who is.
  130  The executive director shall be responsible for the overall
  131  administration and day-to-day direction of the alliance,
  132  including the as well as supervision of all staff.
  133         (e) Annually review and approve the strategic or business
  134  plan of the alliance, as submitted by the executive director.
  135         (f) Submit an annual comprehensive report of the activities
  136  of the council, the corporation, and the alliance to the
  137  division director.
  138         (g) Perform such other functions, including fundraising
  139  activities, as the council determines to be appropriate which
  140  are comparable to functions performed by the council.
  141         (h) Convene at least four meetings each year in locations
  142  that such places as it determines to be necessary to conduct
  143  council business and may conduct such forums or hearings as it
  144  the council considers appropriate. The council shall make a
  145  report of each meeting which must contain shall include a record
  146  of its discussions and recommendations and must, all of which
  147  reports shall be made available to the public.
  148         (3) In accordance with Pub. L. No. 108-364, the council
  149  shall:
  150         (a) Investigate financing options that will increase access
  151  to and funding for assistive technology devices and assistive
  152  technology services.
  153         (b) Develop assistive technology demonstrations,
  154  reutilization programs, and loan programs.
  155         (c) Provide training and technical assistance in order to
  156  increase knowledge and awareness of the uses and benefits of
  157  assistive technology devices and assistive technology services.
  158         (d) Promote public awareness activities designed to provide
  159  information relating to the benefits of assistive technology
  160  devices and assistive technology services.
  161         (e) Promote coordination and collaboration among public and
  162  private entities that are responsible for policies, procedures,
  163  or funding for the provision of assistive technology devices and
  164  assistive technology services.
  165         Section 2. This act shall take effect July 1, 2022.