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Definitions for purposes of this subchapter:

(1) "Advisory council" means the Montana Vocational Rehabilitation Council.

(2) "Community awareness" means conducting activities to help improve public understanding and knowledge of the aspects of blindness and low vision and the problems facing older blind persons.

(3) "Consumer" means a person who the program has determined is eligible for and may receive older blind services.

(4) "Department" means the Department of Public Health and Human Services.

(5) "Functional areas" mean types of performance and assistance necessary for a person to successfully function independently in daily life and includes mobility, access to print information, self-care, independent living skills, access to technology, recreation, and social activities.

(6) "Impediment" means, for a person, an obstacle or inability to perform a task or achieve a goal that is caused by a disabling condition.

(7) "Independent Living Plan" means the plan prepared by the department in conjunction with the consumer. This plan specifies the independent living goals of the consumer, and the older blind services the department may provide to the consumer in order to assist the consumer to attain an improved quality of life.

(8) "Independent living skills training" means training in compensatory skills, including use of adaptive equipment that allows a consumer with visual impairments to cope with vision loss, perform daily living activities, and participate more independently in the community.

(9) "Individual advocacy training" means helping a consumer to identify their independent living needs, to develop a plan of action to meet those needs, to obtain and use resource information, and to develop problem-solving skills necessary for ensuring an independent and self-determined lifestyle.

(10) "Information and referral" means providing a consumer with basic information on equipment, financial assistance, recreation, housing, and attendant care, support groups, legal rights, and other disability and community topics and resources.

(11) "Legally blind" means:

(a) a person's central visual acuity does not exceed 20/200 in the better eye with correcting lenses; or

(b) a person's visual field at the widest diameter subtends an angle no greater than 20 degrees.

(12) "Low vision" means a person has significant visual impairment that even with correction makes performance of daily tasks difficult.

(13) "Maintenance" means payments made to fund food, shelter, or clothing for a consumer.

(14) "Mobility training" means sequential instruction to a consumer in the use of remaining senses to determine position within the environment and techniques for safe movement from one place to another.

(15) "Orientation and mobility specialist" means a qualified professional in orientation and mobility either employed or contracted by the department who provides training to consumers so they can navigate safely in their home and community environments and access public transportation.

(16) "Peer counseling" means counseling and support provided to a consumer who is experiencing personal issues related to vision loss by another person or group who has had similar experiences. The peer helper functions as a role model, advocate, and resource person for the consumer.

(17) "Program" means the Blind and Low Vision Services Program administered by the department.

(18) "Qualified blind and low vision staff" or "qualified staff" means a rehabilitation teacher, vision rehabilitation therapist, orientation and mobility specialist, or the rehabilitation counselor employed by the program.

(19) "Rehabilitation counselor" means a vocational rehabilitation counselor who meets the standards of qualified professional as identified by the Montana Vocational Rehabilitation program and is employed by the program.

(20) "Rehabilitation teacher" or "vision rehabilitation therapist" means a qualified professional in rehabilitation teaching for blind and low vision persons either employed or contracted by the program who instructs consumers in functional areas of independent living.

(21) "Rehabilitation teaching services" or "vision rehabilitation therapy services" mean the assessment of a consumer's need for and training in compensatory skills for functional areas to assist the consumer in coping with vision loss.

(22) "Significant visual impairment" means a person has vision loss of acuity or field that even with correction limits a person's activities or ability to function in a normal manner.

(23) "Supportive services" mean services provided by family members or other persons, organizations, or institutions to assist the consumer in functional areas.

(24) "Totally blind" means a person has only light perception remaining or has no light perception.

(25) "Visual disability" means a person has been determined diagnostically to be totally blind, to be legally blind, to have low vision, or to have significant visual impairment.

History: 53-2-201, 53-7-102, 53-7-302, 53-7-315, MCA; IMP, 53-7-301, 53-7-302, 53-7-303, 53-7-306, MCA; NEW, 2007 MAR p. 475, Eff. 1/12/07.

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