TITLE 31

Welfare

Welfare Agencies

CHAPTER 21. DELAWARE COMMISSION FOR THE BLIND


As used in this chapter:

(1) "Commission" or "Delaware Commission for the Blind" or "Department" means the Department of Health and Social Services.

(2) "Person who is blind" means one who is totally blind or has visual acuity of not more than 20/200 in the better eye with correction or whose vision is limited in field so that the widest diameter subtends an angle no greater than 20 degrees.

Code 1935, § 3050A; 46 Del. Laws, c. 88; 31 Del. C. 1953, § 2101; 57 Del. Laws, c. 591, § 37; 78 Del. Laws, c. 179, § 326.;

The Department shall have supervision and control of the education, training and welfare of persons who are blind residing in the State.

31 Del. C. 1953, § 2102; 57 Del. Laws, c. 591, § 38; 78 Del. Laws, c. 179, §§ 327, 328.;

The Commission shall have general supervision and control of the education, training and welfare of persons who are blind residing in the State, and for that purpose shall from time to time select and appoint suitable persons to be instructors of persons who are blind. The instructors shall at all times be under the sole control of the Commission and shall be employed upon such terms and shall do and perform such duties for such periods and in such manner as is determined by the Commission.

25 Del. Laws, c. 73, § 3; Code 1915, § 2576; Code 1935, § 3049; 31 Del. C. 1953, § 2104; 78 Del. Laws, c. 179, §§ 329-331.;

The Commission may solicit, purchase or otherwise acquire, hold, own, mortgage, sell or assign real and personal property, may, solicit, accept and receive any private funds, bequests, legacies or gifts of property real and personal to be used for the education and training of persons who are blind and may hold, manage and invest the same and collect and disburse the income thereof, and disburse the principal thereof, in accordance with the directions of the parties devising or donating the same. In default of any such direction, the Commission shall accept, hold, manage and dispose of the property and disburse the income thereof in any manner which it deems best adapted to promote the education, training and welfare of persons who are blind residing in the State. The Commission may hold, own, sell and dispose of any such property, real, personal or mixed so purchased or received and may reinvest the proceeds from the sale of any of the property and collect and disburse the income therefrom and the principal thereof in the manner above outlined. The property of the Commission shall be exempt from taxation.

25 Del. Laws, c. 73, § 8; 27 Del. Laws, c. 101; Code 1915, § 2580; Code 1935, § 3053; 31 Del. C. 1953, § 2105; 75 Del. Laws, c. 385, § 2; 78 Del. Laws, c. 179, § 332.;

The Commission may expend such sums of money as it deems proper and necessary for effectuating the objects of this chapter. Such sums of money shall not in the aggregate in any 1 year exceed the sum of money appropriated to the Commission for such purposes.

25 Del. Laws, c. 73, § 3; Code 1915, § 2576; Code 1935, § 3049; 31 Del. C. 1953, § 2106.;

All expenses of the Commission for salaries and wages, office expenses, operation, working capital, materials, repairs and replacements, travel and other expenses in connection with carrying out the duties of the Commission shall be paid by the State Treasurer out of funds appropriated by the General Assembly for such purpose, on vouchers issued by the proper officer or officers of the Commission.

32 Del. Laws, c. 26, § 16; 37 Del. Laws, c. 81; Code 1935, §§ 3050, 3054; 31 Del. C. 1953, § 2107.;

Any adult person who is blind who is a resident of the State may make application to the Commission to receive instruction and training from the instructors. The application shall be in writing and shall be endorsed by at least 2 substantial citizens residing in the community in which the applicant resides. The Commission may pass upon the application and may grant or refuse the same at its discretion. It shall indicate at what time the instruction shall commence, for how long it shall continue, and when it shall determine, and may discontinue the instruction whenever to it it shall seem wise or proper so to do.

25 Del. Laws, c. 73, § 4; Code 1915, § 2577; Code 1935, § 3050; 45 Del. Laws, c. 217, § 1; 31 Del. C. 1953, § 2108; 78 Del. Laws, c. 179, § 333.;

Every health and social agency, attending or consulting physician or nurse shall report to the Delaware Commission for the Blind, in writing, the name, age and residence of persons who are blind within the definition of blindness as set forth in this chapter and in such cases shall furnish such additional information as the Commission requests for registration or prevention of blindness.

Code 1935, § 3050A; 46 Del. Laws, c. 88; 31 Del. C. 1953, § 2109; 78 Del. Laws, c. 179, § 334.;

(a) Every parent, guardian or other person having custody or control of a child who is blind between the ages of 7 and 18 years residing in this State shall cause the child who is blind to receive instruction and training adapted for persons who are blind for at least 6 months in each year until the child has attained the age of 18 years.

(b) Any child who is blind may be excused by the Commission from receiving instruction and training upon the presentation to the Commission of satisfactory evidence that the child is not in proper physical or mental condition to receive instruction and training.

(c) A parent, guardian or other person having custody or control of any child who is blind shall make application to the Commission for instruction and training for the child upon receipt of a notice from the Commission to that effect. The Commission shall grant or refuse such application at its discretion.

(d) The amount paid by the Commission to any school or institution outside Delaware for the education of each Delaware child who is blind enrolled therein shall not be greater than the amount paid by the state in which the institution is located for each of its children who are blind enrolled therein.

Code 1915, § 2578; Code 1935, § 3051; 45 Del. Laws, c. 217, § 1; 31 Del. C. 1953, § 2110; 49 Del. Laws, c. 189, §§ 1, 2; 78 Del. Laws, c. 179, §§ 335-338.;

The Commission shall appoint a representative to visit the institutions outside this State wherein children who are blind of this State are maintained and instructed in order to ascertain whether or not they are receiving proper treatment and instruction and are making such improvement or advancement as will justify the State in incurring the necessary expenses attached to their remaining in such institutions.

26 Del. Laws, c. 144; Code 1915, § 2583; Code 1935, § 3056; 45 Del. Laws, c. 217, § 1; 31 Del. C. 1953, § 2111; 49 Del. Laws, c. 189, § 3; 50 Del. Laws, c. 142, § 1; 78 Del. Laws, c. 179, § 339.;

(a) The Commission is the authorized agency for vocational rehabilitation of Delawareans who are blind and may pay for the training, maintenance and physical restoration of the persons of this State who are blind who are found to be eligible for vocational rehabilitation.

(b) All payments authorized by this section shall be made by the State Treasurer upon proper voucher.

27 Del. Laws, c. 102, §§ 1-3; Code 1915, § 2584; Code 1935, § 3057; 45 Del. Laws, c. 217, § 1; 31 Del. C. 1953, § 2112; 49 Del. Laws, c. 189, § 4; 78 Del. Laws, c. 179, §§ 340, 341.;

(a) Whoever, being a parent, guardian or other person having control of a child who is blind, violates this chapter shall be fined not less than $2.00 nor more than $10, and, in default of payment of fine, shall be imprisoned not more than 10 days.

(b) Justices of the peace shall have jurisdiction of offenses under this section.

(c) Any person convicted under this section shall have the right of an appeal to the Court of Common Pleas of the county in which the conviction was had, upon giving bond in the sum of $100 to the State with surety satisfactory to the justice of the peace by whom the person was convicted. Such an appeal shall be taken and bond given within 3 days from the time of conviction.

25 Del. Laws, c. 73, § 6; Code 1915, § 2579; Code 1935, § 3052; 31 Del. C. 1953, § 2113; 69 Del. Laws, c. 423, § 25; 78 Del. Laws, c. 179, § 342.;

This chapter shall not apply to any child who is blind who is being otherwise instructed and educated in a manner satisfactory to the Commission.

25 Del. Laws, c. 73, § 7; Code 1915, § 2582; Code 1935, § 3055; 31 Del. C. 1953, § 2114; 78 Del. Laws, c. 179, § 343.;

(a) State institutions and agencies shall, where possible, purchase brooms, mops, rugs, rubber mats and other supplies, other than the product of prison labor, from the Commission; provided, that such goods and supplies are of standard quality and price.

(b) State institutions and agencies requiring piano tuning or chair seating shall employ persons recommended by the Commission; provided, that such persons are qualified and the service rendered is of standard quality and price.

(c) When convenience or emergency requires it the executive secretary of the Commission may upon request of the purchasing officer of any institution or agency relieve the purchasing officer from the obligation of this section.

(d) Any purchasing officer who violates this section shall be guilty of a misdemeanor and punished accordingly.

31 Del. C. 1953, § 2115; 49 Del. Laws, c. 146, § 1; 70 Del. Laws, c. 186, § 1; 78 Del. Laws, c. 179, § 344.;

Repealed by 59 Del. Laws, c. 566, § 2, effective July 29, 1974.;

The Commission may contract with any public library for that library to render library service to persons who are blind throughout the State and the Commission may reasonably compensate such public library for the cost of the service it renders under such contract.

31 Del. C. 1953, § 2117; 53 Del. Laws, c. 367; 78 Del. Laws, c. 179, § 345.;

(a) Any person who by reason of loss or impairment of eyesight or hearing is accompanied by a dog described as a "seeing eye dog," or any dog educated by a recognized training agency or school, which is used as a leader or guide, is entitled to the full and equal accommodations, advantages, facilities and privileges of all public conveyances, hotels, lodging places, all places of public accommodation, amusement or resort and other places to which the general public is invited and shall be entitled to take the dog into such conveyances and places, subject only to the conditions and limitations applicable to all persons not so accompanied; provided, that the dog shall not occupy a seat in any public conveyance.

(b) Any person, firm or corporation who deprives any person suffering from such loss or impairment of eyesight or hearing of any right conferred by subsection (a) of this section shall be fined not more than $100, or be imprisoned for a period not exceeding 3 months, or both and for every such offense such person shall forfeit and pay a sum of not more than $100 to any person aggrieved thereby, to be recovered in any court of competent jurisdiction in the county where such offense was committed.

31 Del. C. 1953, § 2118; 57 Del. Laws, c. 162; 64 Del. Laws, c. 389, §§ 4, 5; 78 Del. Laws, c. 179, § 346.;