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State of New Jersey
Executive Order #103

Governor James J. Florio

See EO #110 Florio and EO #108 Whitman

WHEREAS, pursuant to the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, as amended by the Rehabilitation Amendments of 1992 (hereinafter referred to as the "Amendments of 1992"), enacted on October 29, 1992, and known as P.L. 102-569, the State of New Jersey is mandated to establish a State Rehabilitation Advisory Council (hereinafter referred to as "the Council") composed of concerned citizens with disabilities; and

WHEREAS, pursuant to the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 as amended by the Amendments of 1992, the Council is to be consumer-controlled so as to provide individuals with disabilities a stronger and more substantive role in shaping the programs and services established to support their employment goals and aspirations; and

WHEREAS, pursuant to the Rehabilitation Act as amended by the Amendments of 1992, the Council must be in place in order for the State of New Jersey to receive federal funds under Title I, Section 105(a), Parts B and C of P.L. 102-569, for the Vocational Rehabilitation, Client Assistance, and Expansion Programs; and

WHEREAS, pursuant to the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 as amended by the Amendments of 1992, the State of New Jersey shall establish the New Jersey Commission for the Blind and Visually Impaired Rehabilitation Advisory Council to carry out the duties set forth in Title I, Part A, Section 101(a)(36) and 105 of P.L. 102-569;

NOW, THEREFORE, I, JAMES J. FLORIO, Governor of the State of New Jersey, by virtue of the authority vested in me by the Constitution and by the statutes of this State, do hereby ORDER and DIRECT:

1. The New Jersey Statewide Consumer Advisory Board of the Commission for the Blind and Visually Impaired is hereby reconstituted and redenominated the New Jersey Commission for the Blind and Visually Impaired Rehabilitation Advisory Council (hereinafter referred to as "the Advisory Council").

2. Pursuant to Title I, Part A, sections 101(a)(36) and 105 of P.L. 102-569, the reconstituted and redenominated Advisory Council shall be established as a separate entity apart from any State agency. The Advisory Council shall be established as a separate entity in, but not of, the New Jersey Department of Human Services.

3. The New Jersey Commission for the Blind and Visually Impaired shall be the designated State unit in New Jersey providing services to persons who are blind and visually impaired.

4. The Council shall consist of no more than 15 voting members appointed by the Governor. The composition of the Council shall reflect a majority of qualified persons with disabilities representing the interests of New Jersey's cross-disability population. All members, including those from the business, disability and advocacy communities, shall have knowledge of vocational rehabilitation concepts, programs, policies, and services.

5. The Director of the Commission for the Blind and Visually Impaired (hereinafter referred to as "CBVI") and two vocational rehabilitation counselors shall serve as ex-officio, nonvoting members on the Advisory Council.

6. The Advisory Council shall consist of:

a. at least one representative from the Statewide Independent Living Council;

b. at least one representative from a parent training and information center established under the Individuals with Disabilities Act, Title I, Section 631 of P.L. 101-476;

c. a representative from the Client Assistance Program;

d. at least one representative of a community rehabilitation program service provider;

e. four representatives of the business, industry, and labor sectors;

f. at least one representative of a disability advocacy group representing individuals who are blind or visually impaired;

g. at least one parent(s), relative(s), guardian(s), or authorized representatives of individuals with disabilities who have difficulty in representing themselves or are unable to do so due to their disabilities; and

h. at least one current or former applicant for, or recipient of CBVI vocational rehabilitation services.

7. The Advisory Council members shall serve for terms of three (3) years, except for those first appointed, five shall serve for a term of one (1) year, five shall serve for a term of two (2) years, and the remainder shall serve for a term of three (3) years. Council vacancies from among the members shall be filled by appointment by the Governor for the remainder of the unexpired term. No member of the Advisory Council can serve more than two (2) consecutive full terms. Any vacancy occurring in the membership of the Council is to be filled in the same manner as an original appointment and the vacancy is not to affect the power of the remaining members to execute the duties of the Advisory Council. The Advisory Council shall designate a member of the Council to serve as chairperson.

8. The Advisory Council shall:

a. review, analyze, and advise the CBVI regarding the performance of its responsibilities under Title I, Part A, Section 105(c) of P.L. 102-569;

b. advise the CBVI on the development and implementation of the State plan for vocational rehabilitation services, the strategic plan and amendments to the plans, reports, needs assessments, and evaluations required by Title I, Part A, Section 101 of P.L. 102-569 and Part C, Section 121 of P.L. 102-569;

c. conduct a review and analysis of the CBVI's overall effectiveness;

d. conduct a review of consumer satisfaction with:

(1) performance of functions by the CBVI and other public and private entities responsible for providing services to individuals with disabilities; and

(2) vocational rehabilitation services provided to individuals with disabilities by the CBVI and other public and private entities pursuant to the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 or through public or private sources.

e. prepare and submit an annual report to the Governor, the Commissioner of the Department of Human Services, the Executive Director of the CBVI, and the Commissioner of the Rehabilitation Services Administration on the status of vocational rehabilitation programs operated within the State, and make such report available to the public;

f. coordinate planning and training with other councils within the State, including the New Jersey Independent Living Council, the State Developmental Disabilities Planning Council, and the State Mental Health Planning Council;

g. provide for the coordination and the establishment of working relationships between the CBVI and the New Jersey Independent Living Council and Centers for Independent Living within the State;

h. supervise and evaluate staff and other personnel as may be necessary to carry out the functions of the Council; and

i. carry out all other duties set forth in Title I, Section 105 of P.L. 102-569.

9. The Advisory Council shall further organize itself and set its own schedule for meetings as it deems necessary to complete its work.

10. The Advisory Council shall convene at least four (4) meetings a year. The Advisory Council is authorized to hold such hearings and forums as the Advisory Council may determine to be necessary to carry out the duties of the Advisory Council. Pursuant to Title I, Section 105(f) of P.L. 102-569, public meetings are to be announced and open and accessible to the general public.

11. In performing its duties, the Advisory Council may consult with existing bodies in the State designed to plan, coordinate and deliver vocational rehabilitation services to persons with disabilities and their families at the State, county, and local levels. The Advisory Council may draw upon the assistance of any department, organization or agency of the State which may be available to it for these purposes.

12. Pursuant to Title I, Section 105(e) of P.L. 102-569, no member of the Advisory Council may vote on any matter that would provide direct financial benefit to the member thereby creating a conflict of interest or otherwise give the appearance of a conflict of interest.

13. This Order shall take effect immediately.

GIVEN, under my hand and seal this
28th day of September in the Year of Our
Lord, One Thousand Nine Hundred and
Ninety Three, and of the Independence
of the United States, the Two Hundred
and Eighteenth.

/s/ James Florio
Governor

Attest:

/s/ Scott A. Weiner
Chief Counsel to the Governor

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