REGULATIONS
Vol. 37 Iss. 13 - February 15, 2021

TITLE 22. SOCIAL SERVICES
DEPARTMENT FOR THE BLIND AND VISION IMPAIRED
Chapter 110
Fast-Track

Title of Regulation: 22VAC45-110. Regulations Governing Low Vision (amending 22VAC45-110-10, 22VAC45-110-30, 22VAC45-110-40, 22VAC45-110-50).

Statutory Authority: § 51.5-60 of the Code of Virginia.

Public Hearing Information: No public hearings are currently scheduled.

Public Comment Deadline: March 17, 2021.

Effective Date: April 1, 2021.

Agency Contact: Susan K. Davis, MS, CRC, Regulatory Coordinator, Department for the Blind and Vision Impaired, 401 Azalea Avenue, Richmond, VA 23227, telephone (804) 371-3184, FAX (804) 371-3157, TDD (804) 371-3140, or email susan.davis@dbvi.virginia.gov.

Basis: The Department for the Blind and Vision Impaired (DBVI) statutory authority comes from § 51.5-65 of the Code of Virginia, which identifies the functions, duties, and powers of the commissioner to adopt regulations to carry out the applicable provisions of the chapter.

Purpose: The goal of this regulatory action is to change the agency name from the outdated Department for the Visually Handicapped to the current Department for the Blind and Vision Impaired; it is critical that citizens know and can identify the name of the agency in order to access low vision services.

Rationale for Using Fast-Track Rulemaking Process: The proposed changes to 22VAC45-110 are noncontroversial. There are no additional costs incurred by DBVI, and existing low vision services remain unchanged. Individuals who are blind, vision impaired, or deafblind will be unharmed. The fast-track process is therefore appropriate.

Substance: The current regulation contains obsolete language and definitions. The revisions modernize definitions to incorporate people first language and remove definitions that use outdated terminology. Additional edits revise wording of the regulation for clarity and readability.

Issues: The advantage to the public is clearer explanation of low vision services delivered by the department to individuals with low vision. There are no disadvantages to revising this regulation.

The Department of Planning and Budget's Economic Impact Analysis:

Summary of the Proposed Amendments to Regulation. The Department for the Blind and Vision Impaired (DBVI) proposes to amend 22VAC45-110, Regulations Governing Low Vision, to update the agency name and clarify definitions, eligibility criteria, and financial participation in cost of services. These clarifications serve to replace outdated language and do not change the substance of the regulation.

Background. Based on a recent review of the regulation, DBVI elects to update language to reflect current usage. The proposed amendments include adding definitions for "DBVI" and "Department," removing the definition of "consumer," and clarifying that "Low vision services" means "assistance and supports provided to an individual who has low vision, including preexamination evaluations, low vision examinations, provision of prescribed low vision aids, and follow up training and counseling in the use of low vision aids." Although the nature of assistance provided by DBVI has not changed, replacing the term "consumer" throughout the text with "individual who has low vision" or "individual seeking low vision services" would reflect current norms that encourage the use of people-first language.

DBVI also proposes to rename 22VAC45-110-50 Financial participation as Financial participation in cost of services and to add the stipulation that individuals not receiving services through other DBVI programs shall be responsible for the full cost of low vision services. DBVI states that this change reflects current practice and would not impose any new costs on individuals seeking low vision services.

Estimated Benefits and Costs. The proposed amendments benefit readers of the regulation, especially individuals with low vision, their families, caregivers and advocates, by removing outdated terminology and improving the clarity of the language. It does not introduce any additional costs.

Businesses and Other Entities Affected. Readers of the regulation, especially individuals with low vision, their families, caregivers and advocates would be affected. The proposed amendments do not introduce any new costs for businesses or other entities.

Small Businesses1 Affected. The proposed amendments do not directly affect any small businesses, nor would they face any new costs as a result of the proposed amendments.

Localities2 Affected.3 The proposed amendments do not disproportionately affect any specific localities or introduce new costs for local governments.

Projected Impact on Employment. The proposed amendments are unlikely to cause any changes to total employment.

Effects on the Use and Value of Private Property. The proposed amendments are unlikely to affect the use or value of private property. Real estate development costs are unlikely to be affected.

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1Pursuant to § 2.2-4007.04 of the Code of Virginia, small business is defined as "a business entity, including its affiliates, that (i) is independently owned and operated and (ii) employs fewer than 500 full-time employees or has gross annual sales of less than $6 million."

2"Locality" can refer to either local governments or the locations in the Commonwealth where the activities relevant to the regulatory change are most likely to occur.

3§ 2.2-4007.04 defines "particularly affected" as bearing disproportionate material impact.

Agency's Response to the Economic Impact Analysis: The Department for the Blind and Visually Impaired concurs with the economic impact analysis performed by the Department of Planning and Budget.

Summary:

The amendments update the agency name and clarify definitions, eligibility criteria, and financial participation in cost of services.

22VAC45-110-10. Definitions.

The following words and terms when used in this chapter shall have the following meaning unless the context clearly indicates otherwise:

"Consumer" means any person receiving a service provided by the Low Vision Program of the Department for the Blind and Vision Impaired (DBVI).

"DBVI" means the Department for the Blind and Vision Impaired.

"Department" means the Department for the Blind and Vision Impaired.

"Low vision" means reduced visual functioning. It is the condition that exists when no further medical or surgical procedures or regular prescription lenses are beneficial but residual vision exists.

"Low vision aids" means optical and nonoptical devices that are prescribed for the purpose of enhancing low vision.

"Low vision services" means all aspects that are necessary to the comprehensive provision of services, i.e., assistance and supports provided to an individual who has low vision, including preexamination, evaluations, low vision examination, provision of prescribed low vision aids, and follow-up training and counseling in the use of low vision aids.

22VAC45-110-30. Eligibility.

An individual may be eligible for low vision services if the individual's corrected visual acuity vision is 20/70 or worse in the better eye and the consumer has met individual meets the eligibility requirements of at least one of the following department programs: education services, vocational rehabilitation, or rehabilitation teaching and independent living.

22VAC45-110-40. Preexamination.

An ophthalmological or optometrical eye report shall be required before a low vision examination is scheduled. The eye examination report shall have been made be dated within one year from the date of the scheduled low vision examination; except where the eye condition is stable, the eye examination may have been made within two years from the date of the scheduled low vision examination.

22VAC45-110-50. Financial participation in cost of services.

A. Low vision examination. An authorization form may be issued by the agency a DBVI case manager may be prepared to pay for the examination through an appropriate payment source in the agency as long as department if funds are available. There is shall be no charge cost to the consumer individual seeking low vision services for a low vision examination as long as funds are available for this activity as determined by the agency department.

B. Low vision aids. Consumer An individual's financial participation in the cost of low vision aids will shall be determined according to regulations promulgated by the sponsoring DBVI program in accordance with the applicable DBVI policies.

C. Individuals who are not receiving services through other DBVI programs shall be responsible for the full cost of low vision services.

VA.R. Doc. No. R21-6238; Filed January 19, 2021