Usa Alaska

USA Statutes : alaska
Title : Welfare, Social Services and Institutions
Chapter : Chapter 80. Persons With Disabilities

Members of the council receive no salary but are entitled to per diem and reimbursement for travel and other expenses as authorized by law for boards.

Repealed or Renumbered


There is established the Statewide Independent Living Council. For budgetary purposes, the council is located in the Department of Labor and Workforce Development. The Department of Labor and Workforce Development shall provide reasonable and necessary professional and technical assistance when requested by the council.

(a) Council members serve staggered terms of three years.

(b) A vacancy occurring in the membership of the council shall be filled by appointment of the governor for the unexpired portion of the vacated term.

(c) Council members serve at the pleasure of the governor, notwithstanding their terms of office.

(d) It is the legislative intent that the governor replace any member who, by poor attendance or lack of contribution to the council's work, demonstrates ineffectiveness as a council member.

The council, on approval of a majority of its membership, shall adopt and amend bylaws governing its composition, proceedings and other activities consistent with AS 47.80.030 - 47.80.090 and including, but not limited to, provisions concerning a quorum to transact council business and other aspects of procedure, frequency and location of meetings, and establishment, functions and membership of council committees.

The department shall establish a system to protect and advocate rights of persons with handicaps. The system

(1) has the authority to pursue legal, administrative, and other appropriate remedies to assure the protection of the rights of persons with handicaps; and

(2) shall be independent of any state agency that provides treatment, services, or habilitation of persons with handicaps.


The department shall make arrangements which are necessary to ensure that

(1) no patient is discharged or placed on convalescent status from a designated facility without suitable clothing; and

(2) an indigent patient discharged or placed on convalescent status is furnished suitable transportation to the patient's permanent residence in this state or other suitable place at the discretion of the department, and a reasonable amount of money to meet immediate needs.

(a) The council, by a majority of its membership, shall elect a chairman and other officers it considers necessary from among its membership, to serve on a yearly basis.

(b) The council shall have a paid staff provided by the department, including an executive director selected by the council. The executive director is in the partially exempt service and may hire additional employees in the classified service of the state. The department shall provide for the assignment of personnel to the council to ensure that the council has the capacity to fulfill its responsibilities. The personnel shall be directly responsible to the council for performance of their duties.

Notwithstanding AS 47.80.900 , in AS 47.80.300 - 47.80.320, 'council' means the Statewide Independent Living Council established under AS 47.80.300.


(a) The council consists of no fewer than 18 nor more than 26 members appointed by the governor in a manner that satisfies the requirements for a state interagency coordinating council under 20 U.S.C. 1482 and a state planning council under 42 U.S.C. 6024.

(b) [Repealed, Sec. 5 ch 13 SLA 1992].

(c) [Repealed, Sec. 5 ch 13 SLA 1992].

(d) [Repealed, Sec. 5 ch 13 SLA 1992].

(e) [Repealed, Sec. 5 ch 13 SLA 1992].

(f) In the appointment of all members other than state agency members, due regard shall be given to geographically balanced representation of areas of the state and to representation of persons with a variety of different mental and physical handicaps.

A state agency, contractor, or grantee who is directly responsible for providing services to persons with handicaps shall develop an individual habilitation plan for each person whose program of services utilizes state funds. The plan shall be completed in writing and furnished to the department within 30 days of admission of a client to the program of services. The plan, its renewals, and any changes of it, shall have the written concurrence of the client, or the client's parent or guardian when appropriate, and the agency or contractor responsible for providing services. The development and content of a plan shall conform to requirements established by the department by regulation. Insofar as practicable, the requirements shall conform to those established for individual habilitation plans under P.L. 91-517 or P.L. 94-103, as amended. Each plan shall be time-limited, evaluated, and renewed at least annually.

Persons with handicaps have the same legal rights and responsibilities guaranteed all other persons by the Constitution of the United States and federal laws and by the constitution and laws of the state. An otherwise qualified person may not be excluded, by reason of having a handicap, from participation in, be denied the benefits of, or be subjected to discrimination under, any program or activity that receives public funds. Some persons with handicaps may be unable, due to the severity of their handicap, to exercise for themselves all of their rights in a meaningful way; for others modification of some or all of their rights is appropriate. The procedure used for modification of rights must contain proper legal safeguards against every form of abuse, must be based on an evaluation of the social capability of the person by qualified experts, and must be subject to periodic reviews and to the right of appeal to higher authorities.

There is established the Governor's Council on Disabilities and Special Education. For budgetary purposes, the council is located within the Department of Health and Social Services but is the interdepartmental planning and coordinating agency of the Department of Health and Social Services, the Department of Education and Early Development, and other departments that deliver services to persons who are gifted or experiencing a disability. In addition, except as provided in AS 47.80.300 - 47.80.330, the council is the state planning council and interagency coordinating council for purposes of federal laws relating to persons who are gifted or experiencing a disability.

When an individual is to be treated under this chapter, the department shall arrange, upon the request of a person having a proper interest in the individual's treatment, and may pay for the individual's transportation to the designated facility, with appropriate medical or nursing attendants and by the available means that are appropriate and suitable. The department may pay return transportation of an individual and appropriate medical and nursing attendants. When practicable, one or more relatives or friends of the individual to be treated shall be permitted to accompany the individual. The department may pay necessary travel, housing and meal expenses incurred by one relative or friend in accompanying the individual to the facility if the department determines

(1) that the best interests of the individual's health require that the individual be accompanied by the relative or friend;

(2) the relative or friend accompanying the individual is indigent.

(a) A person who is employed to teach the use of orientation and mobility aids or assistive technology devices to students who are 16 years of age or older and who are blind or visually impaired may not receive payment from the state or a political subdivision of the state unless the person meets the training and experience requirements established by the department under this section.

(b) The department shall, by regulation, establish minimum requirements for training and experience of persons who teach the use of orientation and mobility aids or assistive technology devices to students who are 16 years of age or older and who are blind or visually impaired. The department shall consider the standards adopted by national organizations that provide services to the blind and visually impaired when setting requirements under this section.


(a) The council shall perform the duties set out in 29 U.S.C. 796d in a manner that will maximize the state's receipt of federal financial assistance for independent living services and centers of independent living for residents with severe disabilities, including the following duties:

(1) joint development of the state plan required under 29 U.S.C. 796c and evaluation of the implementation of the plan;

(2) development of a plan for the provision of resources, including staff and personnel, that may be necessary to carry out the council's functions with funds from the federal government and other public and private sources; and

(3) coordination of the council's activities with other state agencies that address the needs of specific disability populations and issues under federal law.

(b) The council may

(1) hold hearings and forums as determined by the council to be necessary to carry out its duties;

(2) solicit and accept money or other resources on behalf of the state from any public or private source.

(a) The Department of Health and Social Services, the Department of Education and Early Development, and other departments of the state as appropriate, shall, in coordination, plan, develop, and implement a comprehensive system of services and facilities for persons with handicaps, that is consistent with the state plan adopted under AS 47.80.090(5) and is dispersed geographically within the state.

(b) The services required in (a) of this section are specialized services or special adaptations of services available to the general population and shall be directed toward the social, personal, physical, or economic habilitation or rehabilitation of persons with handicaps.

(c) Within the limits of appropriations and other available funds, the appropriate department may itself provide the services and establish, operate, and maintain the facilities required under (a) and (b) of this section, or it may provide the services or facilities entirely or in part through contractual arrangements with public or private agencies.

The system of services and facilities required under AS 47.80.100 shall accord with the principles that service providers shall

(1) make services available at times and locations that enable residents of the provider's service area to obtain services readily;

(2) ensure each client's right to confidentiality and treatment with dignity;

(3) establish staffing patterns that reflect the cultural, linguistic, and other social characteristics of the community and that incorporate multidisciplinary professional staff to meet client functional levels and diagnostic and treatment needs;

(4) promote client and family participation in formulating, delivering, and evaluating treatment and rehabilitation;

(5) design treatment and habilitation to maximize individual potential and minimize institutionalization; and

(6) provide services in the least restrictive setting, enabling a person to live as normally as possible within the limitations of the handicap.

(a) The governor shall appoint members to the council who meet the applicable requirements of 29 U.S.C. 796d after soliciting personal applications and after soliciting recommendations from the public, from organizations representing a broad range of individuals experiencing disabilities, and from organizations interested in individuals experiencing disabilities. The council shall select a chairperson from among its voting members.

(b) The members shall be appointed to staggered terms of three years, except that a person appointed to fill a vacancy shall be appointed for the remaining years of the prior member's term. A member may not serve more than two consecutive full terms. Notwithstanding their terms of office, the members serve at the pleasure of the governor.

(c) Members of the council who are not state employees are entitled to per diem and travel expenses as authorized for members of boards and commissions under AS 39.20.180 . In addition, if required by federal law, a member is entitled to

(1) reimbursement of the necessary expenses of attending council meetings and performing council duties, including expenses for child care and personal assistance services;

(2) compensation of up to $150 for each day of performing council duties and each day spent traveling to attend a council meeting if the member is not employed or must forfeit wages from other employment in order to perform council duties or travel to a council meeting.

(a) A person may not establish or operate a residential facility without first obtaining a license to do so. The department by regulation shall provide for licensing of residential facilities that are not within the licensing provisions of AS 18.20.010 - 18.20.130, AS 47.33, AS 47.35.010 - 47.35.080 or other law requiring state licensing of such facilities. Regulations of the department must include but need not be limited to (1) standards of operation promoting and protecting public health, safety, and welfare, and (2) procedures governing applications for and issuance of licenses and duration, renewal, and revocation of licenses for cause. The department may at reasonable times inspect and examine residential facilities licensed under this subsection for conformity with licensing requirements.

(b) A certificate of need is required as a prerequisite for licensing a residential facility established after July 1, 1978, and not otherwise provided for in AS 18.07.031 - 18.07.111. A certificate shall be issued and regulated in the same manner as provided in AS 18.07.031 - 18.07.111 for certificates of need for health care facilities. This subsection does not apply to an assisted living home licensed under AS 47.33.

In this chapter

(1) 'council' means the Governor's Council on Disabilities and Special Education created by AS 47.80.030 ;

(2) 'department' means the Department of Health and Social Services;

(3) 'facilities for persons with handicaps' means publicly or privately operated facilities, or specified portions of facilities, designed primarily for the delivery of services to those persons; the term includes but is not limited to residential facilities;

(4) 'habilitation' means education or training for the handicapped to enable them to function better in society;

(5) 'least restrictive setting' means a residential or other setting for meeting the needs of a handicapped person which requires the least amount of restriction of personal liberty by enabling the person to function in as normal an environment as possible and to live as normally as possible, within the limitations of the handicap;

(6) 'person with a handicap' means a person with a developmental disability as defined in (7) of this section or a person who is hard of hearing, deaf, speech impaired, visually handicapped, seriously emotionally disturbed, orthopedically or otherwise health impaired, or who has a specific learning disability; the term includes a child with a disability as defined in AS 14.30.350 ;

(7) 'person with a developmental disability' means a person who is experiencing a severe, chronic disability that

(A) is attributable to a mental or physical impairment or combination of mental and physical impairments;

(B) is manifested before the person attains age 22;

(C) is likely to continue indefinitely;

(D) results in substantial functional limitations in three or more of the following areas of major life activity: self-care, receptive and expressive language, learning, mobility, self-direction, capacity for independent living, and economic self-sufficiency; and

(E) reflects the person's need for a combination and sequence of special, interdisciplinary, or generic care, treatment, or other services that are of lifelong or extended duration and are individually planned and coordinated;

(8) 'residential facility' means a publicly or privately operated facility that provides 24-hour care for four or more persons with handicaps, excluding family, foster family, or adoptive homes;

(9) 'substantial handicap' means a disability that prevents or substantially impedes the person's participating in and benefiting from the social, economic, educational, recreational, or other opportunities generally available to peers in the community who are not similarly handicapped.

(a) A person with a handicap or the person's legal representative acting in a representative capacity, the person's spouse, or the person's parents if the person is a minor, shall pay or contribute to the payment of the charges for the care or treatment in accordance with the fee schedule adopted under AS 44.29.022 . The order of the department relating to the payment of charges shall be prospective in effect and may relate only to charges to be incurred, except that if a person intentionally conceals ability to pay, the person shall be ordered to pay to the extent of the person's ability to pay the charges accruing during the period of the concealment. The order of the department relating to the payment of charges by the person with a handicap or the person's legal representative, or the person's spouse or parents, shall be issued within six months of the date on which the charge was incurred. The department may make necessary investigations to determine the ability to pay. The order shall remain in full force and effect unless modified by subsequent court or department orders.

(b) As used in (a) of this section, the term 'actual cost of the care and treatment' means the lesser of (1) the rate provided for by a contract entered into under this chapter, (2) the fee established under AS 44.29.022 for services provided under this chapter or, (3) if the person is under the age of 18, the cost of care of a person of the same age who is not a person with a handicap and who resides with a parent or guardian, and includes expenses of transportation incidental to treatment and carrying out the intent of this chapter. In establishing fees for services under this chapter, the commissioner shall consider the income and family size of the responsible party, age of the person receiving the services, and other factors that relate to the ability to pay. Fees may not exceed the actual cost of the care or treatment.

(c) [Repealed, Sec. 101 ch 138 SLA 1986].

(d) The department may charge, or accept money or property from a person, for the care or treatment of an inpatient or outpatient or for other purposes, even if the payment is not required by an order of the department. The total payments received may not exceed the actual cost of care or treatment.

(e) All money paid to the department by the person with a handicap or on the person's behalf, under this section, shall be deposited in the general fund.

(f) If an order of payment is entered by the department under this section and delinquency in the payment of any amount due the state under the order continues for a period of more than 30 days after the notification by the department to the person, the legal representative, parent, or spouse of the person with a handicap, the state may proceed to collect the amounts due by appropriate proceedings. Actions to enforce the collection of payments may only be brought within three years after the date of notification of a delinquent payment.

(g) [Repealed, Sec. 28 ch 90 SLA 1991].

The council shall

(1) serve as a forum by which issues and benefits regarding current and potential services to disabled and gifted persons may be discussed by consumer, public, private, professional, and lay interests;

(2) advocate the needs of disabled and gifted persons before the executive and legislative branches of the state government and before the public;

(3) advise the executive and legislative branches of the state government and the private sector on programs and policies pertaining to current and potential services to disabled or gifted persons and their families;

(4) submit periodic reports to the commissioner of health and social services, the commissioner of education and early development, and to other appropriate departments, on the effects of current federal and state programs regarding services to disabled or gifted persons; these reports must include program performance reports to the governor, the federal government, and to state agencies as required under 20 U.S.C. 1482 and 42 U.S.C. 6024;

(5) in conjunction with the Departments of Health and Social Services and Education, develop, prepare, adopt, periodically review, and revise as necessary an annual state plan prescribing programs that meet the needs of persons with developmental disabilities as required under 42 U.S.C. 6022;

(6) review and comment to commissioners of state departments on all state plans and proposed regulations relating to programs for persons who are experiencing disabilities before the adoption of a plan or regulation; for this purpose, the appropriate departments shall submit the plans and proposed regulations to the council;

(7) recommend the priorities and specifications for the use of funds received by the state under 20 U.S.C. 1471 - 1485 and 42 U.S.C. 6000 - 6083;

(8) submit annually to the commissioner of health and social services, the commissioner of education and early development, and the commissioner of commerce, community, and economic development a proposed interdepartmental program budget for services to disabled or gifted persons that includes, insofar as possible, projected revenues and expenditures for programs implemented by state agencies, local governmental agencies, and private organizations; the interdepartmental program budget is an informational supplement to the regular annual budgetary submissions of the departments to the Office of the Governor;

(9) provide information and guidance for the development of appropriate special educational programs and services for a child with a disability as defined in AS 14.30.350 ;

(10) monitor and evaluate budgets or other implementation plans and programs for disabled and gifted persons to assure nonduplication of services and encourage efficient and coordinated use of federal, state, and private resources in the provision of services; members of the council, with the approval of the council, have access to information in the possession of state agencies subject to disclosure restrictions imposed by state or federal confidentiality or privacy laws;

(11) perform other duties required under applicable federal laws or AS 14.30.231 and as the governor may assign;

(12) govern the special education service agency and may hire personnel necessary to operate the agency; and

(13) provide to the Alaska Mental Health Trust Authority for its review and consideration recommendations concerning the integrated comprehensive mental health program for the people of the state who are described in AS 47.30.056 (b)(2) and the use of the money in the mental health trust settlement income account in a manner consistent with regulations adopted under AS 47.30.031 .


(a) The department shall

(1) develop budgets and receive and distribute appropriations and funds under this section;

(2) adopt regulations regarding standards of services and facilities for persons with handicaps and the quality of services and the process by which services are to be delivered;

(3) adopt any other regulations necessary to implement this chapter;

(4) provide technical assistance to public and private agencies in planning, developing, and implementing programs to serve handicapped persons;

(5) operate programs and facilities, and enter into agreements, contracts, or grants necessary to provide services required under this chapter;

(6) take the actions and undertake the obligations that are necessary to participate in federal grant-in-aid programs and accept federal or other financial aid for the study, examination, care and treatment of the handicapped.

(b) For purposes of P.L. 91-517 and P.L. 94-103, as amended, the department is designated the sole administering agency; it shall make applications for, receive, and expend grants under P.L. 91-517 or P.L. 94-103, as amended, and otherwise exercise the powers and perform the duties and functions necessary to comply with P.L. 91-517 and P.L. 94-103, as amended.

(c) The Department of Education and Early Development may make applications for, receive, and expend grants under P.L. 91-230 (The Education for the Handicapped Act), as amended, and otherwise exercise the powers and perform the functions necessary to comply with that Act.

(d) When state funding is not adequate to meet service needs, the department shall establish a waiting list for persons with developmental disabilities who would be eligible to receive state-funded services under AS 47.80.100 - 47.80.170 if adequate state funding were available. The department shall, on an annual basis, review the waiting list and submit a report to the governor containing the information required under this subsection. The department shall send a copy of the report to the persons chairing the house and senate finance committees and the persons chairing the house and senate health, education and social services committees and shall notify the full legislature that the report is available to all legislators. The report must

(1) describe the purpose for the waiting list and the strategies used to notify persons about the waiting list, and must include a copy of the information used by the department to inform individuals and families about their rights and responsibilities under AS 47.80.100 - 47.80.170;

(2) explain how an individual is placed on the waiting list, what criteria determine rank on the list, and how the waiting list is used to select individuals equitably and fairly across the state;

(3) give the basic demographic information across all regions about the age, sex, and racial and ethnic background of the individuals on the waiting list;

(4) identify the level of need and preferences of the individuals and families on the waiting list for the services and the supports that may be necessary to meet their needs and project an annual cost to meet this need;

(5) identify how many individuals were removed from the waiting list during the 12 months covered by the report, why they were removed from the list, and how long the individuals had been waiting for services or supports before they were removed from the list;

(6) list the number of individuals who have been on the waiting list for 90 days or more with an account of the department's steps to regularly review each individual's status while waiting for services or supports;

(7) report annual data from the Department of Education and Early Development about the number of students in special education with developmental disabilities graduating from high school, dropping out of high school before reaching age 22, or reaching age 22 without graduating from high school; and

(8) indicate that written or electronic copies of policies, manuals, and procedures used by the department to implement AS 47.80.100 - 47.80.170 are available.