§ 9601 Declaration of purpose.
The purpose of this chapter is to further the policy of the State to encourage and assist blind and other severely handicapped individuals to achieve maximum personal independence through useful and productive gainful employment by assuring an expanded and constant market for their products and services, thereby enhancing the dignity and capacity for self-support of blind and other severely handicapped persons, and minimizing their dependence on welfare as well as the need for the State to provide costly institutionalization.
§ 9602 Definitions.
The following words, terms and phrases, when used in this chapter, shall have the meaning ascribed to them except where the context clearly indicates a different meaning:
(1) "Agency of this State" shall include all counties, towns, school districts or any other entity which is supported in whole or in part by funds appropriated by the General Assembly.
(2) "Blind" shall include all persons whose central visual acuity does not exceed 20/200 in the better eye with correcting lenses or whose visual acuity, if better than 20/200, is accompanied by a limit to the better field of vision in the better eye to such a degree that its widest diameter subtends an angle of no greater than 20 degrees.
(3) "Delaware Association of Rehabilitation Facilities (DELARF)" means the Association whose membership includes organizations, both public and private, whose primary purpose is to provide rehabilitation services, and individuals who have a recognized interest in rehabilitation. The State Association's purpose is to stimulate interest and help to insure suitable programming of vocational, medical, social, psychological rehabilitation.
(4) "Food service" means restaurant, cafeteria, snack bar, vending machines for food and beverages and goods and services customarily offered in connection with any of the foregoing.
(5) "Public office building" means any building owned or leased by the State, used for governmental purposes. It does not include public schools, or buildings at residential institutions operated by the State. No building or property, used as a public recreational facility, owned or leased by the State and operated or occupied by the Department of National Resources and Environmental Control or the State Forestry Department, shall be included within this definition. Food service located in or on any public building on the Delaware Turnpike shall not be included in this definition.
(6) "Qualified rehabilitation facility" shall mean a rehabilitation facility:
a. Which is owned and operated by a corporation or association organized under the laws of the United States or of this State, operated in the interest of severely handicapped individuals, no part of the net earnings of which inures, or any lawfully inure, to the benefit of any private shareholder or individual and the income of which is exempt from taxation under § 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code of 1954, as amended; and
b. Which is certified as a sheltered workshop and/or work activities center by the Wage and Hour Division of the United States Department of Labor; and
c. Which meets the national standards for accepted rehabilitation facilities, as certified by a national rehabilitation accreditation association such as the Commission of Accreditation of Rehabilitation Facilities (CARF); and
d. Which complies with any applicable health and safety standards prescribed by the Secretary of Labor of the United States.
(7) "Severely handicapped" and "severely handicapped individuals" mean:
a. An individual or class of individuals who is under a physical or mental disability other than blindness which constitutes a substantial handicap to employment and is of such a nature as to prevent the individual under such disability from engaging in normal competitive employment. The handicap substantially limits 1 or more of the person's major life activities.
b. An individual who has met the admission requirements of a qualified rehabilitation facility.
(8) "Workshop" or "sheltered workshop" shall mean the Delaware Industries for the Blind.
§ 9603 Commission for the Purchase of Products and Services of the Blind and Other Severely Handicapped Individuals — Appointed; composition; terms; vacancies; compensation.
(a) A Commission for the Purchase of Products and Services of the Blind and Other Severely Handicapped Individuals shall be appointed by the Governor to advise the Director of the Division for the Visually Impaired in the management of the Delaware Industries for the Blind operated by the Division. The Commission shall be composed of 9 members as follows: From the private sector, a person with business experience in production, a person skilled in marketing, a person experienced in industrial purchasing, a person experienced in industrial engineering, a person experienced in sales, a person experienced in accounting, a person experienced in the field of advertising; and from state government, the Director of Government Support Services and the Secretary of Finance or their designated representatives, and, ex officio, the Director of the Division for the Visually Impaired and a representative from the Delaware Association of Rehabilitation Facilities. The members of the Commission shall be appointed for terms of 4 years and shall serve until new appointments are made at the end of their terms. Four of the members appointed in 1982 shall serve terms of 2 years in order to stagger the expiration dates of the terms of the members from the private sector. No more than 5 of the members from the private sector shall be members of the same political party.
(b) Any private citizen member appointed under subsection (a) of this section to fill a vacancy occurring prior to the expiration of the term for which the member's predecessor was appointed shall be appointed only for the remainder of such term.
(c) Members of the Commission shall serve without compensation other than reimbursement for expenses actually incurred in connection with the work of the Commission, and for travel expenses when away from their homes or regular places of business.
(d) The Commission may secure, directly from any agency of this State, information necessary to enable it to carry out this chapter. Upon request of the Chairperson of the Commission, the head or administrator of such state agency shall furnish the requested information to the Commission.
(e) The Commission shall, not later than 90 days following the close of each fiscal year, transmit to the Governor and to the General Assembly a report which shall include the names of the Commission members serving in the preceding fiscal year, the dates of the Commission meetings in that year, a description of its activities during that year, and any recommendations for changes in the law which the Commission might suggest.
(f) Notwithstanding any other provision of the Delaware Code, members of the Commission may participate in a meeting of the Commission by means of conference telephone or other communications equipment by which all persons participating in the meeting can hear each other. Participating in a meeting pursuant to this subsection shall constitute presence in person at the meeting.
59 Del. Laws, c. 566, § 1; 63 Del. Laws, c. 259, § 1; 64 Del. Laws, c. 85, §§ 3, 4; 69 Del. Laws, c. 291, § 173; 70 Del. Laws, c. 186, § 1; 73 Del. Laws, c. 143, § 4; 75 Del. Laws, c. 88, § 22(3); 76 Del. Laws, c. 56, § 1.;
§ 9604 Commission for the Purchase of Products and Services for the Blind and Other Severely Handicapped Individuals — Powers and duties; sheltered workshop; qualified rehabilitation facility.
(a) The Commission for the Purchase of Products and Services of the Blind and Other Severely Handicapped Individuals shall provide a market for products and services of visually handicapped and severely handicapped individuals. The Director of the Division for the Visually Impaired and the representative from the Delaware Association of Rehabilitation Facilities shall determine, with the advice of the Commission, the price of all products manufactured and services provided by the Delaware Industries for the Blind or qualified rehabilitation facility which are offered for sale to the various agencies of the State. The price shall recover for the Delaware Industries for the Blind and qualified rehabilitation facility the cost of raw materials, labor, overhead and delivery costs, but shall not include a profit to the Commission or to the Delaware Industries for the Blind or qualified rehabilitation facility. The Director of the Division for the Visually Impaired and the representative from the Delaware Association of Rehabilitation Facilities, with the advice of the Commission, may revise such prices from time to time in accordance with changing cost factors, and may make such rules and regulations concerning specifications, time of delivery and other matters of operation as shall be necessary to carry out the purposes of the Delaware Industries for the Blind and qualified rehabilitation facility and this chapter.
(b) The Commission shall create subcommittees to facilitate its work. It shall act as an advisory committee to the Director of the Division for the Visually Impaired and the appointee from the Delaware Association of Rehabilitation Facilities in the operation of the Delaware Industries for the Blind and qualified rehabilitation facility and shall provide technical assistance to the Delaware Industries for the Blind in the areas of sales promotion, public relations, market development, market analysis and budget preparation.
(c) The Commission shall create a subcommittee comprised of the Director of Government Support Services or the Director's designated representative, 2 appointed members of the Commission and the representative from the Delaware Association of Rehabilitation Facilities. This subcommittee shall function as advisors for qualified rehabilitation facilities and shall adopt policies and procedures for the awarding of contracts or subcontracts to qualified rehabilitation facilities. This subcommittee will select a provider for a product or service when more than 1 qualified rehabilitation facility submits quotations. Selection of the provider will be based on criteria set by this subcommittee to facilitate the equitable allocation of orders among qualified rehabilitation facilities. The subcommittee shall encourage diversity in products and services provided by qualified rehabilitation facilities and shall discourage unnecessary duplication or competition between qualified rehabilitation facilities.
(d) The Director of the Division for the Visually Impaired and the appointee from the Delaware Association of Rehabilitation Facilities shall publish periodically a list of products and services provided by the Delaware Industries for the Blind and qualified rehabilitation facilities which the Commission recommends as suitable for procurement by agencies of this State pursuant to this chapter. The list shall be distributed to every person who procures materials for each agency of the State.
§ 9605 Procurement requirements for the State.
(a) If any agency of this State intends to procure a product or service on the procurement list, that agency shall, in accordance with the rules and regulations of the Commission, procure such product or service, at the price established by the Commission, from the Delaware Industries for the Blind and from qualified rehabilitation facilities. If the product or service is available within the period required by that agency, such procurement shall be mandatory. This chapter, however, shall not apply in any case where products or services are available for procurement from any agency of this State and procurement therefrom is required under any statute, rule or regulation.
(b) In the procurement of any product or service under this chapter preference shall be given by an agency of this State to a product or service of the Delaware Industries for the Blind. Waiver of such preference shall be provided in writing by the Director of the Division for the Visually Impaired to the Chairperson of the Commission for the Purchase of Products or Services of the Blind and Other Severely Handicapped Individuals.
(c) In furthering the purposes of this chapter, as set forth in § 9601 of this title, and in contributing to economy of government, it is the intent of the General Assembly that there be close cooperation between the Commission and any agency of the State from which procurement of products or services is required under any state law. The Commission and any such agency are authorized to enter into such contractual agreements, cooperative working relationships or other arrangements as may be determined to be necessary for effective coordination and efficient realization of the objectives of this chapter and any other law requiring procurement of products or services from any agency of this State.
§ 9606 Food service in public office buildings.
(a) If any governmental agency of this State intends to operate or continue food service in a public office building, that agency shall procure such food service from the Delaware Division for the Visually Impaired under the vending facility program authorized by 20 U.S.C. § 107 et seq. No governmental agency shall charge the Division for the Visually Impaired or its food service vendors rent for food service operations operated under this section. In the event the Delaware Division for the Visually Impaired certifies in writing that it is unable to provide food service to a governmental agency who requests such service, the governmental agency may seek food service from another provider.
(b) This section shall not impair any valid existing contracts by governmental agencies; however, at the expiration of such existing contracts, the mandates contained in this section shall be binding on the governmental agency.
(c) This section shall not apply to any office building owned or leased by any county or municipal corporation. This section shall also not apply to any building leased, used or owned by any institution of higher education.
(d) Notwithstanding any provision of subsection (a) of this section to the contrary:
(1) Any provision of 20 U.S.C. § 107 et seq. that limits accrual of vending machine income to the Division for the Visually Impaired on the basis of the annual income from such vending machines is not incorporated into the laws of this State by this section; and
(2) Any provision of 20 U.S.C. § 107 et seq. that governs the use of vending machine income which accrues to the Division for the Visually Impaired is not incorporated into the laws of this State by this section.
(e) The Secretary of the Department of Health and Social Services shall have the power to promulgate all rules and regulations necessary to accomplish the purposes of this section.