(a) The department shall:
(1) develop and implement a statewide program of advocacy and education to ensure continuity of services to persons who are deaf, deaf-blind, or hard of hearing;
(2) provide direct services to persons who are deaf or hard of hearing, including communication access, information and referral services, advocacy services, services to elderly persons who are deaf or hard of hearing, and training in accessing basic life skills;
(3) work to ensure more effective coordination and cooperation among public and nonprofit organizations providing social and educational services to individuals who are deaf or hard of hearing;
(4) maintain a registry of available qualified interpreters for persons who are deaf or hard of hearing by updating the registry at least quarterly and making the registry available to interested persons at cost;
(5) establish a system to approve and provide courses and workshops for the instruction and continuing education of interpreters for persons who are deaf or hard of hearing;
(6) assist institutions of higher education that have or are initiating training programs for interpreters for persons who are deaf or hard of hearing;
(6-a) develop guidelines for the curricula for the programs described by Subdivision (6) to promote uniformity of the skills taught within those programs;
(7) with the assistance of the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board, develop standards for evaluation of the programs described by Subdivision (6); and
(8) develop guidelines to clarify the circumstances under which interpreters certified by the department are qualified to interpret effectively, accurately, and impartially, both receptively and expressively, using any necessary specialized vocabulary.
(b) The department may:
(1) appoint one or more advisory committees to consult with and advise the department under this chapter;
(2) collect training fees and accept gifts, grants, and donations of money, personal property, or real property for use in expanding and improving services to persons of this state who are deaf or hard of hearing;
(3) contract with or provide grants to agencies, organizations, or individuals as necessary to implement this chapter;
(4) collect a reasonable fee from interpreters for training to defray the cost of conducting the training;
(5) develop guidelines for trilingual interpreter services; and
(6) provide training programs for persons who provide trilingual interpreter services.
Terms Used In Texas Human Resources Code 81.006
- Contract: A legal written agreement that becomes binding when signed.
- Person: includes corporation, organization, government or governmental subdivision or agency, business trust, estate, trust, partnership, association, and any other legal entity. See Texas Government Code 311.005
- Personal property: All property that is not real property.
- Real property: Land, and all immovable fixtures erected on, growing on, or affixed to the land.
(c) The executive commissioner shall establish the fees described by Subsections (b)(2) and (4).
(d) The executive commissioner may adopt rules necessary to implement this chapter, including rules adopting standards and guidelines under this section.
(f) The executive commissioner shall establish and the department shall collect reasonable fees for some or all department publications to cover the department’s publication costs. However, the department shall waive the fee if a person who is deaf or hard of hearing is financially unable to pay for the publication, and may waive the fees for publications provided to certain entities. The executive commissioner shall adopt rules to implement this subsection. The rules must specify the standards used for determining ability to pay for a publication and must specify the types of entities for which the fees will be waived.