SOCIAL AND HEALTH SERVICES
(Health and Rehabilitative Services Administration)
Date of Adoption: February 14, 2003.
Purpose: Adoption of new rules in chapter 388-818 WAC, Deaf and hard of hearing services. The purpose of the chapter is to provide regulations about social and telecommunications access services for people with hearing loss and speech impairments. Technology advancements and expanded eligibility for participation in the distribution program prompted a change in the law. SHB 1884 was signed into law on May 7, 2001, as chapter 210, Laws of 2001. The sections in this chapter have been reorganized and revised to make the language clearer and easier to understand.
Citation of Existing Rules Affected by this Order: New sections WAC 388-818-0010 What is the purpose of this chapter?, 388-818-0020 What does the Office of the Deaf and Hard of Hearing do?, 388-818-0030 What does the telecommunications access service do?, 388-818-0040 What definitions apply to this chapter?, 388-818-0050 What social services relating to hearing loss are available to the public?, 388-818-0060 Who are qualified service providers?, 388-818-0070 Is telecommunications equipment available for clients?, 388-818-0080 What items are not included with telecommunications equipment?, 388-818-0090 Who is eligible to apply for telecommunications equipment from TAS?, 388-818-0100 Who must certify an applicant's eligibility for telecommunications equipment from TAS?, 388-818-0110 How do applicants request specialized telecommunications equipment?, 388-818-0120 What types of income are included when requesting equipment from TAS?, 388-818-0130 How are applicants notified about decisions for telecommunications equipment?, 388-818-0140 What are reasons for denying telecommunications equipment?, 388-818-0150 When may clients renew their applications for telecommunications equipment?, 388-818-0160 How do clients renew their application for telecommunications equipment?, 388-818-0170 Are nonprofit organizations eligible for telecommunications equipment?, 388-818-0180 What process do nonprofit organizations follow to receive telecommunications equipment from TAS?, 388-818-0190 How much does an applicant have to pay for telecommunications equipment?, 388-818-0200 How does an applicant request a waiver (exception) of equipment cost?, 388-818-0210 What conditions must be met for a client to receive purchased telecommunications equipment?, 388-818-0220 When is telecommunications equipment owned by the client?, 388-818-0230 May clients return purchased telecommunications equipment?, 388-818-0240 When may telecommunications equipment be loaned to an applicant?, 388-818-0250 What are the conditions for loaning telecommunications equipment?, 388-818-0260 When does state-loaned equipment have to be returned to TAS?, 388-818-0270 May a person take loaned telecommunications equipment outside the state?, 388-818-0280 Will training be provided on the use and care of telecommunications equipment?, 388-818-0290 What services do trainers provide to clients?, 388-818-0300 When may telecommunications equipment be replaced?, 388-818-0310 When may requests for replacement telecommunications equipment be denied?, 388-818-0320 Who may receive reconditioned telecommunications equipment?, 388-818-0330 May an applicant disagree with a DSHS decision about telecommunications equipment?, 388-818-0340 What is a relay complaint?, 388-818-0350 What may a client do when dissatisfied with relay services?, 388-818-0360 May a client file a formal complaint about the relay service?, 388-818-0370 When is customer service available for clients?, 388-818-0380 May clients file their complaint about relay services with the FCC?, 388-818-0390 May the FCC file a complaint? and 388-818-0400 What documents must ODHH keep for complaints?; and repealing WAC 388-818-001 Scope, 388-818-002 Regional centers, 388-818-003 Services, 388-818-005 Definitions, 388-818-010 Eligibility requirements, 388-818-020 Approval of application for initial device or request for replacement device, 388-818-030 Denial of initial application or request for replacement device, 388-818-040 Application renewal process, 388-818-050 Notice of approval or denial, 388-818-060 Review by department, 388-818-070 Distribution, 388-818-080 Training, 388-818-090 Ownership and liability, 388-818-110 Telecommunications relay service, and 388-818-130 Uses for returned equipment.
Statutory Authority for Adoption: RCW 43.20A.725.
Other Authority: RCW 43.20A.720, chapter 210, Laws of 2001.
Adopted under notice filed as WSR 02-23-083 on November 19, 2002.
Changes Other than Editing from Proposed to Adopted Version: None - minor editing changes only.
Number of Sections Adopted in Order to Comply with Federal Statute: New 0, Amended 0, Repealed 0; Federal Rules or Standards: New 0, Amended 0, Repealed 0; or Recently Enacted State Statutes: New 9, Amended 0, Repealed 0.
Number of Sections Adopted at Request of a Nongovernmental Entity: New 0, Amended 0, Repealed 0.
Number of Sections Adopted on the Agency's Own Initiative: New 0, Amended 0, Repealed 0.
Number of Sections Adopted in Order to Clarify, Streamline, or Reform Agency Procedures: New 31, Amended 0, Repealed 15.
Number of Sections Adopted Using Negotiated Rule Making:
Pilot Rule Making:
or Other Alternative Rule Making:
Effective Date of Rule: Thirty-one days after filing.
February 14, 2003
Bonita H. Jacques
for Brian H. Lindgren, Manager
Rules and Policies Assistance Unit3186.4PURPOSE
(2) These services are provided:
(a) Under contract with qualified service providers; or
(b) Directly through the office of the deaf and hard of hearing (ODHH) at the department of social and health services (DSHS).
(a) Provides information about hearing loss;
(b) Offers technical assistance and workshops about deafness; and
(c) Identifies ways for DSHS staff to get sign language interpreter services for their clients who have hearing loss.
(2) ODHH administers and monitors contracts with qualified service providers. These service providers offer community-based social services for clients who have hearing loss.
(3) ODHH manages the telecommunications access service program.
(4) ODHH contracts to provide telecommunications relay services (TRS).
(5) ODHH facilitates the DSHS-telecommunications relay services (TRS) advisory committee on deafness.
(1) Provides eligible clients with initial or replacement equipment, based on the availability of equipment and/or funds;
(2) Maintains and oversees the statewide program for distributing telecommunications equipment;
(3) Maintains and oversees the contract for TRS; and
(4) May contract with qualified service providers for other telecommunications options as technology advances.
"Applicant" means a client who applies for specialized telecommunications equipment.
"Audiologist" means a person who has a certificate of clinical competence in audiology from the American Speech, Hearing, and Language Association and is licensed to practice in the state of Washington.
"Client" means a person who is deaf, hard of hearing, speech impaired, or deaf-blind and may receive services from ODHH.
"Deaf" means a condition where a person's hearing ability is absent or mostly absent.
"Deaf-blind" means a person with both hearing loss and visual impairments.
"DSHS or department" means the department of social and health services.
"Federal poverty guidelines" means the poverty level established by the "Poverty Income Guideline" updated annually in the Federal Register.
"Hearing loss" means any form of hearing impairment, from mild to profound.
"Mobility impairment" for the purpose of this chapter means restricted upper body movement, which limits the ability to hold or dial a standard telephone to communicate. Individuals must also have a hearing loss or speech impairment.
"ODHH" means the office of the deaf and hard of hearing in the department of social and health services.
"Qualified service provider" means an agency or a business that provides social services to individuals with hearing loss or speech impairments. A qualified service provider may also be a "qualified trainer."
"Qualified trainer" means a person under contract with TAS who is knowledgeable in the use of telecommunications equipment.
"Relay service" is defined under "telecommunications relay service (TRS)."
"School-age" means between four and seventeen years of age.
"Sliding fee scale" means a range used to determine an applicant's participation in the cost of equipment.
"Speech impairment" means inability to speak or a speech disability.
"TAS" means the telecommunications access service program administered by the office of the deaf and hard of hearing. The program provides equipment and services to help people with hearing loss and speech impairments have equal access to telecommunications.
"Telecommunications equipment" means any specialized device determined by TAS in ODHH to help a person with a hearing loss or speech impairment to communicate effectively. Examples include: amplified telephone, TTY, signaling devices, software, digital equipment, and accessories. (See WAC 388-818-0070.)
"Telecommunications relay service (TRS)" means wire or radio service that enables a person with hearing loss or speech impairment to communicate with a person who uses a voice telephone. This service has communication assistants who transfer telephone conversations from one format to another (such as spoken words to text) to facilitate communication between two or more people.
"TTY" means teletypewriter or text telephone.
"TTY with Braille" means a teletypewriter with Braille keyboard and display.
SOCIAL SERVICES FOR CLIENTS WITH HEARING LOSS
(a) Information and referral about issues related to hearing loss;
(b) Advocacy on behalf of people with hearing loss;
(c) Training on deaf awareness and daily living issues experienced by people with hearing loss;
(d) Social gathering opportunities for groups, organizations, and clubs related to people with hearing loss; and
(e) Services related to telecommunications equipment, distribution of equipment, and training on the use and care of equipment.
(2) Qualified service providers offer these services to:
(a) Washington residents with hearing loss;
(b) The general public for information about hearing loss; and
(c) Telephone users who need their conversations relayed, or transferred from one format to another (such as spoken words to text).
(2) For clients to receive equipment, TAS staff must approve equipment requests.
(3) To be approved, telecommunications equipment must help people with hearing loss or speech impairments to:
(a) Have independent use of telecommunications equipment; and
(b) Gain equal access to telecommunications services that people with normal hearing and speech have.
(4) Specialized equipment may include: text, amplification, video, and hands-free equipment as well as ring signaling devices.
(1) Replacement batteries for any telecommunications equipment, except for deaf-blind equipment;
(2) Replacement paper for TTYs;
(3) Replacement light bulbs for signal equipment; or
(4) Payment of the client's telephone bill.
TELECOMMUNICATIONS EQUIPMENT -- APPLICATION PROCESS
(a) Are at least school aged; and
(b) Are certified as having hearing loss or speech impairments.
(2) Nonprofit organizations may apply to receive telecommunications equipment, as specified under WAC 388-818-0180.
(2) These professionals include:
(a) A person who is licensed or certified by the department of health to provide health care in the state of Washington;
(b) An audiologist or hearing aid fitter/dispenser in Washington;
(c) A vocational rehabilitation counselor;
(d) A deaf specialist or coordinator at one of the community service centers for the deaf and hard of hearing in the state;
(e) A deaf-blind specialist or coordinator at an organization that serves deaf-blind people;
(f) A certified speech pathologist practicing in the state of Washington;
(g) A licensed occupational therapist;
(h) Staff from a qualified state agency as determined and specified by the TRS advisory committee on deafness; or
(i) Any in-state nonprofit organization serving the hearing or speech impaired.
(2) The application form must be signed by an approved professional who certifies applicant's eligibility. (See WAC 388-818-0100.)
(3) If the applicant is seventeen or under, his or her parent/legal guardian must sign the application form.
(1) Earned income, such as wages and tips;
(2) Social Security benefits;
(3) Unearned income, such as interest, dividends, and pensions;
(4) Family's share of income from corporations, partnerships, estates, and trusts; and
(5) Gains from the sale or exchange (including barter) of real estate, securities, coins, gold, silver, gems, or other property.
(a) The receipt of the applicant's completed application form;
(b) Any cost that applicants will incur for equipment; and
(c) The timeframe when the applicant may expect a qualified trainer to set up the equipment and provide training.
(2) When denying an application for telecommunications equipment, TAS must inform the applicant in writing about:
(a) The receipt of the applicant's completed application form;
(b) The reasons for the denial; and
(c) Any applicable procedures for appeal, as well as the circumstances under which the applicant may reapply. (See WAC 388-818-0150.)
(a) Does not meet the eligibility requirements of WAC 388-818-0090; or
(b) Has received similar equipment from TAS within the last three years.
(2) For an application requesting replacement of telecommunications equipment, TAS must deny the request if the client has done any of the following:
(a) Abused, misused, or repaired without approval any previously issued equipment;
(b) Failed to file with the police a report of stolen equipment within fifteen working days of discovering a theft;
(c) Failed to file with the police or the fire department a report of fire having damaged the equipment within fifteen working days of the incident of the fire;
(d) Lost, pawned, or sold the equipment; or
(e) Failed to obtain approval from DSHS before moving or traveling out of state with state-loaned equipment.
TELECOMMUNICATIONS EQUIPMENT -- APPLICATION RENEWAL
(1) Additional telecommunication equipment is necessary to meet the client's needs; or
(2) Equipment no longer works and it's been more than three years since he or she first received equipment.
Note: If less than three years have passed since a client first received equipment, refer to WAC 388-818-0300 for replacement criteria.
(1) Complete a new application, including recent information on total annual family income and family size; and
(2) Go through the same procedures as first-time applicants (outlined in WAC 388-818-0090 through 388-818-0130).
TELECOMMUNICATIONS EQUIPMENT -- NONPROFIT ORGANIZATIONS
(a) Only nonprofit organizations under section 501 (c)(3) of the internal revenue code, are eligible for any equipment from TAS; and
(b) Nonprofit organizations must serve people with hearing loss, deaf-blindness, and/or speech impairments.
(2) A qualified nonprofit organization is eligible to receive:
(a) Reconditioned telecommunications equipment from ODHH; or
(b) New equipment when it is in the best interest of both ODHH and the individuals served by the nonprofit organization.
(a) A completed application form, "Nonprofit Organization Application for Reconditioned Equipment" (DSHS 14-440), which can be obtained by calling ODHH at 1-800-422-7930;
(b) A letter explaining the services provided by the organization to people with hearing loss and speech impairments in their communities;
(c) A copy of a certificate of incorporation as a nonprofit organization under section 501 (c)(3) of the internal revenue code; and
(d) A copy of the organization's bylaws.
(2) TAS staff notifies the nonprofit organization of acceptance or denial.
(3) TAS staff sends the equipment to an approved nonprofit organization.
(4) The nonprofit organizations are responsible for care and maintenance of this equipment.
TELECOMMUNICATIONS EQUIPMENT -- PURCHASE AND LOAN
(2) Exception: If the normal cost that TAS assesses for equipment is still beyond the applicant's ability to pay, the cost may be partly or totally waived (excused) if:
(a) The eligible person requires TTY with Braille equipment or any other equipment of comparable cost; or
(b) The cost of the equipment would create an undue hardship on the eligible person.
(2) ODHH notifies the applicant in writing of the final decision for the waiver request.
(1) TAS must receive full payment before an eligible client receives telecommunications equipment; and
(2) The applicant or the applicant's parent/legal guardian must provide a signed "Statement of Rights and Responsibilities" form to TAS upon receiving the equipment.
(1) Pay any portion of the equipment's cost; and
(2) Sign a "Statement of Rights and Responsibilities" form upon receiving the equipment.
(2) A client must receive a financial refund for the equipment if it was returned:
(a) In clean and good condition;
(b) In its original packaging; and
(c) Within the required timeframe.
(1) TAS determines that a client may get equipment at no cost;
(2) A "Conditions of Acceptance" form is signed by the client or the parent/legal guardian upon receiving the equipment.
(3) The applicant has not violated the requirements in WAC 388-818-0140(2).
(2) A client, or the client's parent/legal guardian is liable for any damage to or loss of telecommunications equipment issued by TAS.
(1) Moves from a permanent Washington state residence to a location outside of Washington;
(2) No longer needs the equipment;
(3) Has been notified by TAS to return the equipment; or
(4) Has received new state-loaned equipment.
(2) TAS may grant the client permission to move telecommunications equipment from the state if it is in the best interest of the client and DSHS.
TELECOMMUNICATIONS EQUIPMENT -- TRAINING
(2) ODHH must ensure reasonable accessibility to training for people with hearing loss or speech impairment.
(3) ODHH staff determine who receives training on proper equipment use and care from qualified trainers. Individuals receiving training may include:
(b) Parents/legal guardians; and
(c) Staff or volunteers of profit and nonprofit organizations.
(4) When applicants are age seventeen or younger, their parents/legal guardians must attend all training sessions on appropriate equipment use and care.
(2) A qualified trainer must:
(a) Conduct individual and group training sessions for the applicants in the use and care of the equipment;
(b) Provide training and presentations to individuals, agencies and organizations, as requested by ODHH staff; and
(c) Distribute and set up telecommunications equipment for applicants.
(3) When delivering telecommunications equipment, a qualified trainer may decide that the purchased equipment does not meet the client's needs. In this case, the trainer may recommend other equipment to the client. If accepting other equipment, the client must take financial responsibility for any cost difference by signing an "Acceptance of Financial Responsibility" form.
TELECOMMUNICATION EQUIPMENT -- REPLACEMENT
(a) The equipment is no longer working; and
(b) Less than three years have passed since the client's initial application date for equipment.
(2) Clients may renew their application with TAS to replace telecommunications equipment if:
(a) The equipment is no longer working; and
(b) Three years have passed from the last time they applied and received their equipment. (See WAC 388-818-0160 for the renewal process.)
(1) Was neglected, misused, or abused;
(2) Was not reported as stolen or burned to either police or fire department within fifteen working days; or
(3) Was lost, sold, traded, or pawned.
TELECOMMUNICATION EQUIPMENT -- RECONDITIONED
(1) State agencies;
(2) Tribal community centers;
(3) Nonprofit organizations that are registered under section 501 (c)(3) of the internal revenue code and serve people who have hearing loss, deaf-blindness or speech impairment (see WAC 388-818-0180 for application details); and
(4) Nonpaying clients.
(2) For a review of a TAS decision, the applicant or client must:
(a) Submit a request in writing to ODHH, specifying the reason for the request; and
(b) Ensure that ODHH receives this request within forty days of the date of the denial notice.
(3) Within thirty days after receiving the request for review, ODHH staff must inform the applicant or client in writing of the decision of the request. The decision of ODHH is final.
GRIEVANCE -- RELAY SERVICES
(a) Communications assistant (CA) or video interpreter (VI) performance, such as typing speed, accuracy of relaying a message's intent, clarity of signs, and spelling accuracy;
(b) Service quality, such as timeliness of response and connection; and/or
(c) Technical issues during a call made through the relay service, such as disconnection of call, video picture quality, or text garbling.
(2) The main purpose of a relay complaint is to:
(a) Improve the quality of relay service; and
(b) Monitor relay agent or interpreter performance and the accuracy of relaying information between calling parties.
(a) Any problems with the relay service; and/or
(b) Dissatisfaction with explanations given for any relay service problems.
(2) To assist dissatisfied clients, the ODHH compliance officer must provide names and telephone numbers for customer support.
(a) To obtain a complaint form about the relay service, a client may contact ODHH (at 1-800-422-7930) to request that a form be mailed.
(b) The client may also contact the ODHH compliance officer or relay provider customer service representative for assistance in completing the form.
(c) Completed complaint forms may be mailed, faxed, or e-mailed to ODHH.
(2) ODHH must investigate and resolve the complaint within one hundred eighty days, as required by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC).
(a) Complaints related to service issues are resolved by the relay service provider and the compliance officer.
(b) Technical complaints are referred to relay service provider technical personnel for resolution.
(c) Any corrective action must be taken as soon as possible.
(d) The ODHH compliance officer must notify the client about the result of the investigation, including any actions taken.
(3) If the client is satisfied with the results of the investigation, the ODHH compliance officer must document and close the case.
(4) If the client is dissatisfied with the results of the investigation, the compliance officer and relay service provider may discuss further options to resolve the complaint and corrective actions.
(1) Address client complaints or inquiries; and
(2) Respond to FCC staff members when requested.
(2) The ODHH compliance officer must give the client the toll-free telephone number and address of the FCC for further review of the complaint.
(2) Within one hundred eighty days of receiving the complaint, ODHH must:
(a) Report the results of the complaint investigation to the FCC; or
(b) Keep the FCC informed about ongoing progress of actions toward resolution.
(2) The complaint document must show at least:
(a) The name, phone number and address of the complainant;
(b) The nature and date of the complaint;
(c) Actions taken; and
(d) The final disposition of the complaint.
(3) These records must be maintained in a suitable place, readily available for FCC review.
(4) ODHH and the relay service provider must retain correspondence and records of complaints for a minimum of two years.
The following sections of the Washington Administrative Code are repealed:
|WAC 388-818-002||Regional centers.|
|WAC 388-818-010||Eligibility requirements.|
|WAC 388-818-020||Approval of application for initial device or request for replacement device.|
|WAC 388-818-030||Denial of initial application or request for replacement device.|
|WAC 388-818-040||Application renewal process.|
|WAC 388-818-050||Notice of approval or denial.|
|WAC 388-818-060||Review by department.|
|WAC 388-818-090||Ownership and liability.|
|WAC 388-818-110||Telecommunications relay service.|
|WAC 388-818-130||Uses for returned equipment.|