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The Florida Statutes

The 2023 Florida Statutes (including Special Session C)

Title XXX
Chapter 413
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F.S. 413.407
413.407 Assistive Technology Advisory Council.There is created the Assistive Technology Advisory Council, responsible for ensuring consumer involvement in the creation, application, and distribution of technology-related assistance to and for persons who have disabilities. The council shall fulfill its responsibilities through statewide policy development, state and federal legislative initiatives, advocacy at the state and federal levels, planning of statewide resource allocations, policy-level management, and reviews of consumer responsiveness and the adequacy of program service delivery and by performing the functions listed in this section.
(1)(a) The council shall be composed of:
1. Persons who have disabilities and who are assistive technology consumers or family members or guardians of those persons.
2. A representative of a consumer organization concerned with assistive technology.
3. A representative of business and industry, including the insurance industry, concerned with assistive technology.
4. A representative of the Division of Vocational Rehabilitation.
5. A representative of the Division of Blind Services.
6. A representative of a center for independent living.
7. A representative of CareerSource Florida, Inc.
8. A representative of the Department of Education.
9. A representative of any other state agency that provides or coordinates services for persons with disabilities, if requested by a majority vote of the council members.
(b) Members of the council shall be appointed by the Commissioner of Education from a list of candidates proposed by the division director. However, a member who is a representative of a state agency shall be appointed by the head of that state agency.
(c) A majority of council members must be persons who have disabilities as defined in s. 413.20 and who are consumers of assistive technology or family members or guardians of such persons.
(d) Members of the council must be geographically representative of the state and reflect the diversity of the state’s population with respect to race, ethnicity, gender, age, type of disability, and type of disability-related services and devices received.
(e) The members of the council shall select a chair from among the membership of the council. The chair may not be an elected member or an employee of a state agency or of any political subdivision of the state.
(f)1. Each member of the council shall serve for a term of not more than 3 years, except that a member appointed to fill a vacancy occurring before the expiration of the term for which a predecessor was appointed shall be appointed for the remainder of such term.
2. A member of the council may not serve more than two consecutive terms; however, any appointment under subparagraph 1., if for less than 18 months, is not considered a term for the purposes of this section.
3. A member who has served two consecutive terms and has been retired from the council for at least 3 years may be reappointed to the council on the same basis as a new member.
(g) Any vacancy occurring in the membership of the council shall be filled in the same manner as the original appointment. A vacancy does not affect the power of the remaining members to execute the duties of the council.
(2) In addition to the other functions specified in this section, the council shall:
(a) Act as the board of directors of a not-for-profit corporation created by the division. Through the corporation, the council shall provide direction to the Florida Alliance for Assistive Services and Technology, a project sponsored by the department for the coordination and delivery of appropriate, cost-effective, state-of-the-art assistive technology services and devices.
(b) Appoint committees made up of members of the council to focus on specific issues within the council’s mandate. Committees may request and accept in-kind contributions of personnel from public or private entities to supply such staffing as the committees deem necessary to carry out their individual mandates.
1. Members who are representatives of state agencies serving on the committees shall work towards the development of cooperative agreements among government agencies and perform such other duties as the council deems appropriate.
2. Members who are representatives of state agencies serving on the committees shall assign staff from their respective agencies to the alliance, as an in-kind contribution for a specified period of time, to review federal and state legislation and agency policies and practices and to identify both facilitators of, and barriers to, accessibility and utilization of assistive technology services, devices, and funding sources.
(c) Review and approve all reports, recommendations, and proposed actions of committee staff.
(d) Appoint the executive director of the alliance who is responsible for the overall administration and day-to-day direction of the alliance, including the supervision of all staff.
(e) Annually review and approve the strategic or business plan of the alliance, as submitted by the executive director.
(f) Submit an annual comprehensive report of the activities of the council, the corporation, and the alliance to the division director.
(g) Perform other functions, including fundraising activities, as the council determines to be appropriate which are comparable to functions performed by the council.
(h) Convene at least four meetings each year in locations that it determines to be necessary to conduct council business and may conduct such forums or hearings as it considers appropriate. The council shall make a report of each meeting which must contain a record of its discussions and recommendations and must be made available to the public.
(3) In accordance with Pub. L. No. 108-364, the council shall:
(a) Investigate financing options that will increase access to and funding for assistive technology devices and assistive technology services.
(b) Develop assistive technology demonstrations, reutilization programs, and loan programs.
(c) Provide training and technical assistance in order to increase knowledge and awareness of the uses and benefits of assistive technology devices and assistive technology services.
(d) Promote public awareness activities designed to provide information relating to the benefits of assistive technology devices and assistive technology services.
(e) Promote coordination and collaboration among public and private entities that are responsible for policies, procedures, or funding for the provision of assistive technology devices and assistive technology services.
History.s. 27, ch. 94-324; s. 1, ch. 2005-204; s. 8, ch. 2010-70; s. 17, ch. 2015-98; s. 1, ch. 2022-18.