senate Bill S3558D

2013-2014 Legislative Session

Provides for the licensing of licensed orientation and mobility specialists and vision rehabilitation therapists

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Archive: Last Bill Status - Passed Senate


  • Introduced
  • In Committee
  • On Floor Calendar
    • Passed Senate
    • Passed Assembly
  • Delivered to Governor
  • Signed/Vetoed by Governor

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Actions

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Assembly Actions - Lowercase
Senate Actions - UPPERCASE
Jun 02, 2014 referred to higher education
delivered to assembly
passed senate
May 28, 2014 advanced to third reading
May 21, 2014 2nd report cal.
amended 3558d
May 20, 2014 1st report cal.839
May 09, 2014 print number 3558c
amend and recommit to finance
Apr 29, 2014 reported and committed to finance
Feb 03, 2014 print number 3558b
amend and recommit to higher education
Jan 09, 2014 print number 3558a
amend and recommit to higher education
Jan 08, 2014 referred to higher education
returned to senate
died in assembly
Jun 05, 2013 referred to higher education
delivered to assembly
passed senate
Jun 03, 2013 advanced to third reading
May 30, 2013 2nd report cal.
May 29, 2013 1st report cal.794
Apr 16, 2013 reported and committed to finance
Feb 05, 2013 referred to higher education

Votes

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Apr 29, 2014 - Higher Education committee Vote

S3558B
18
0
committee
18
Aye
0
Nay
1
Aye with Reservations
0
Absent
0
Excused
0
Abstained
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May 29, 2013 - Finance committee Vote

S3558
35
0
committee
35
Aye
0
Nay
0
Aye with Reservations
0
Absent
1
Excused
0
Abstained
show committee vote details

Apr 16, 2013 - Higher Education committee Vote

S3558
18
0
committee
18
Aye
0
Nay
1
Aye with Reservations
0
Absent
0
Excused
0
Abstained
show committee vote details

Bill Amendments

Original
A
B
C
D (Active)
Original
A
B
C
D (Active)

Co-Sponsors

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S3558 - Bill Details

See Assembly Version of this Bill:
A3597C
Current Committee:
Assembly Higher Education
Law Section:
Education Law
Laws Affected:
Add Art 168 §§8900 - 8908, Ed L
Versions Introduced in Previous Legislative Sessions:
2011-2012: S3880C, A8576B
2009-2010: S1262B

S3558 - Bill Texts

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Provides for the licensing of licensed orientation and mobility specialists and vision rehabilitation therapists.

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BILL NUMBER:S3558

TITLE OF BILL: An act to amend the education law, in relation to the
licensing of orientation and mobility specialists and rehabilitation
therapists

PURPOSE: This bill would ensure the safety of persons who are blind or
partially sighted by licensing the trained vision rehabilitation profes-
sionals who work with them to restore their independent functioning
within the home, the school, the workplace and the wider community.

SUMMARY OF PROVISIONS: Creates a new article 167.

§ 8801 Sets out the definition used in the article.

§ 8802 Outlines the use of the titles "licensed orientation and mobility
specialists" and "vision rehabilitation therapists".

§ 8803 Outlines the State Board for vision rehabilitation services.

§ 8804 Spells out the requirements for a license.

§ 8805 Establishes limited permits.

§ 8806 Explains the exempt persons.

§ 8807 Outlines special provisions.

§ 8808 Separability provisions.

JUSTIFICATION: Vision does does not have to be devastating. Full inde-
pendence can be achieved when there is access to highly qualified vision
rehabilitation professionals (VRPs). A significant number of the more
than one million individuals with vision loss are empowered, self-suffi-
cient and able to navigate through their lives independently due in part
to the specialized services they received when they needed them.

However, too many New Yorkers who acquire a visual impairment due to
aging or an accident do not receive the training and services that would
enable them to make the transition from newly visually impaired or blind
to an active and productive life with a disability. This is due in large
part because vision rehabilitation professionals are not yet licensed by
the state of New York and thus, access to VRPs is severely restricted
and doctors do not refer patients to unlicensed professions.

Vision Rehabilitation Professionals were marginalized in the first half
of the 20 century due in part because the numbers of people with a visu-
al impairment were small, the workers for the blind were largely blind
themselves and there was widespread discrimination of all people with
disabilities. Licensure is the final step to correct the wrongs of the
past by making every effort to ensure that those who become blind have

access to the highest quality of specially trained rehabilitation
professional.

To be a Vision Rehabilitation Professional (VRP), professionals who are
either blind of sighted themselves complete a degree from an accredited
university, undergo a rigorous internship and pass an exam given by a
nationally accredited certifying body.

The number of New Yorkers with vision loss has gown due to many factors.
The aging of the baby boomers and longer life expectancies lead to age-
related vision loss from macular degeneration, diabetic retinopathy,
glaucoma, and other eye diseases. Low birth weight babies are surviving
but often with vision loss and other disabilities. Sports, workplace
incidents, traumatic brain injuries and other accidents cause vision
loss in youth and adult populations. The need for vision rehabilitation
services has burgeoned proportionately.

With pressure on government and private resources for expensive home
health care and other supportive services, money can be saved and quali-
ty of life can be improved by granting these highly qualified profes-
sionals licensure. VRPs work with persons of all ages with vision loss.
The goal is to teach each individual with vision loss to return to being
self-reliant in almost every activity of daily life using adaptive tech-
niques and equipment. This could include teaching the consumer to read
and write Braille, to use a long cane for independent mobility, to use a
talking bill identifier or "talking" speech software to access technolo-
gy.

By licensing vision rehabilitation professionals, the general public and
people of all ages with vision loss will be more likely to learn about
the services available; access the training that leads to independence
and employment; be referred by the general social service and medical
community; receive high quality and comprehensive vision rehabilitation
services and encourage a sufficient number of professionals to enter the
field of vision rehabilitation.

Licensure ensures that professionals who provide these services will
possess the highest level of specialized skills, expertise and experi-
ence. Through establishing standards of practice that licensure brings,
both sighted and blind individuals who become licensed VRPs, can help to
empower consumers to live successful and independent lives.

LEGISLATIVE HISTORY: 2012: S.3880c Passed Senate; A.8576 Higher Educa-
tion Committee.

FISCAL IMPLICATIONS: None.

EFFECTIVE DATE: This act shall take effect July 1, 2015, however, that
the commissioner of education and the board of regents are authorized to
promulgate such rules and regulations and take any other measures as may
be necessary for the timely implementation of this act on or before its
effective date, including but not limited to the appointment of the

state board for vision rehabilitation services, the acceptance and proc-
essing of applications for licensure, and the issuance of licenses.

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                    S T A T E   O F   N E W   Y O R K
________________________________________________________________________

                                  3558

                       2013-2014 Regular Sessions

                            I N  S E N A T E

                            February 5, 2013
                               ___________

Introduced by Sens. GRIFFO, DeFRANCISCO, LARKIN, MARTINS, MAZIARZ, SAVI-
  NO -- read twice and ordered printed, and when printed to be committed
  to the Committee on Higher Education

AN  ACT  to  amend  the  education  law, in relation to the licensing of
  orientation and mobility specialists and rehabilitation therapists

  THE PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF NEW YORK, REPRESENTED IN SENATE AND  ASSEM-
BLY, DO ENACT AS FOLLOWS:

  Section 1. The education law is amended by adding a new article 167 to
read as follows:
                               ARTICLE 167
                     VISION REHABILITATION SERVICES
SECTION 8800. INTRODUCTION.
        8801. DEFINITIONS.
        8802. USE  OF  THE  TITLES  "LICENSED  ORIENTATION  AND MOBILITY
                SPECIALISTS" AND "VISION REHABILITATION THERAPISTS".
        8803. STATE BOARD FOR VISION REHABILITATION SERVICES.
        8804. REQUIREMENTS FOR A LICENSE.
        8805. LIMITED PERMITS.
        8806. EXEMPT PERSONS.
        8807. SPECIAL PROVISIONS.
        8808. SEPARABILITY.
  S 8800. INTRODUCTION. THIS ARTICLE APPLIES TO THE PROFESSION OF VISION
REHABILITATION SERVICES, AND PROVIDES  FOR  THE  LICENSING  OF  LICENSED
ORIENTATION  AND  MOBILITY  SPECIALISTS AND VISION REHABILITATION THERA-
PISTS. THE GENERAL PROVISIONS FOR ALL PROFESSIONS CONTAINED  IN  ARTICLE
ONE HUNDRED THIRTY OF THIS TITLE SHALL APPLY TO THIS ARTICLE.
  S 8801. DEFINITIONS. FOR PURPOSES OF THIS ARTICLE, THE FOLLOWING TERMS
SHALL HAVE THE FOLLOWING MEANINGS:
  1.  THE  PRACTICE  OF  "ORIENTATION AND MOBILITY TRAINING" SHALL MEAN:
(A) THE ASSESSMENT OF INDIVIDUAL  NEEDS  OF  PERSONS  WHO  ARE  VISUALLY
IMPAIRED  FOR SKILLS TRAINING IN METHODS OF SAFE MOVEMENT AND IN STRATE-

 EXPLANATION--Matter in ITALICS (underscored) is new; matter in brackets
                      [ ] is old law to be omitted.
                                                           LBD06474-01-3

S. 3558                             2

GIES TO GATHER REQUIRED ENVIRONMENTAL AND SPATIAL INFORMATION;  (B)  THE
DEVELOPMENT  OF  APPROPRIATE  INTEGRATED  SERVICE PLANS TAILORED TO MEET
SUCH INDIVIDUAL NEEDS AS IDENTIFIED IN SUCH ASSESSMENT PROCESS; (C)  THE
PROVISION  OF TRAINING IN, AND UTILIZATION OF (I) EQUIPMENT AND ADAPTIVE
DEVICES INTENDED AND DESIGNED  FOR  USE  BY  PERSONS  WHO  ARE  VISUALLY
IMPAIRED,  AND  (II)  SPECIALIZED TECHNIQUES ADAPTED FOR PERSONS WHO ARE
VISUALLY IMPAIRED, INCLUDING BUT NOT  LIMITED  TO  ORIENTATION;  SENSORY
DEVELOPMENT;  SYSTEMS  OF SAFE MOVEMENT, INCLUDING LONG CANE TECHNIQUES;
RESOURCE IDENTIFICATION AND,  AS  APPROPRIATE,  PROFESSIONAL  REFERRALS;
AND, IN APPLIED SETTINGS, REINFORCING INSTRUCTION FOR THE USE OF OPTICAL
DEVICES  AS PRESCRIBED BY OPTOMETRISTS AND OPHTHALMOLOGISTS; AND (D) THE
EVALUATION OF CLIENTS RECEIVING SUCH SPECIALIZED TRAINING.
  2. THE PRACTICE OF "VISION REHABILITATION THERAPY" SHALL MEAN: (A) THE
ASSESSMENT OF INDIVIDUAL NEEDS OF PERSONS WHO ARE VISUALLY IMPAIRED  FOR
SKILLS TRAINING IN INDEPENDENT LIVING AND COMMUNICATIONS; (B) THE DEVEL-
OPMENT  OF  APPROPRIATE  INTEGRATED  SERVICE PLANS TAILORED TO MEET SUCH
INDIVIDUAL NEEDS AS IDENTIFIED  IN  SUCH  ASSESSMENT  PROCESS;  (C)  THE
PROVISION  OF TRAINING IN, AND UTILIZATION OF (I) EQUIPMENT AND ADAPTIVE
DEVICES INTENDED AND DESIGNED  FOR  USE  BY  PERSONS  WHO  ARE  VISUALLY
IMPAIRED,  INCLUDING,  IN  APPLIED SETTINGS, REINFORCING INSTRUCTION FOR
THE USE OF OPTICAL DEVICES AS PRESCRIBED BY OPTOMETRISTS OR OPHTHALMOLO-
GISTS, AND (II) SPECIALIZED TECHNIQUES ADAPTED FOR PERSONS WHO ARE VISU-
ALLY IMPAIRED, INCLUDING BUT NOT LIMITED TO BRAILLE AND  OTHER  COMMUNI-
CATION  SKILLS; ADAPTED COMPUTER TECHNOLOGY; PERSONAL MANAGEMENT SKILLS;
HOME MANAGEMENT SKILLS; PROBLEM SOLVING SKILLS; RESOURCE MANAGEMENT AND,
AS APPROPRIATE,  PROFESSIONAL  REFERRALS;  AND  (D)  THE  EVALUATION  OF
PERSONS RECEIVING SUCH SPECIALIZED TRAINING.
  3. THE PRACTICE OF "VISION REHABILITATION SERVICES" SHALL MEAN PROVID-
ING  ASSESSMENT  AND  EVALUATION  OF,  AND TRAINING FOR, PERSONS WHO ARE
VISUALLY IMPAIRED WHEN SUCH ASSESSMENT, EVALUATION AND TRAINING INCORPO-
RATES THE FULL RANGE OF SPECIALIZED SKILLS AND TASKS SUBSUMED IN THE TWO
PROFESSIONS DEFINED IN THIS SECTION AS:  (A)  ORIENTATION  AND  MOBILITY
TRAINING  AND  (B) VISION REHABILITATION THERAPY. SUCH SERVICES SHALL BE
RENDERED ON THE PRESCRIPTION OR REFERRAL WHICH MAY BE  DIRECTIVE  AS  TO
TREATMENT  BY A LICENSED PHYSICIAN OR OPTOMETRIST, PROVIDED HOWEVER THAT
NO SUCH TREATMENT DIRECTIVE AND LOW VISION EXAMINATION SHALL BE REQUIRED
WHEN THE PERSON BEING REFERRED HAS BEEN DIAGNOSED  WITHIN  THE  PREVIOUS
TWELVE  MONTHS  AS  VISUALLY  IMPAIRED,  BLIND OR LEGALLY BLIND AS THOSE
TERMS ARE DEFINED IN SUBDIVISION FIVE OF THIS SECTION AND SUCH  SERVICES
ARE  BEING  RENDERED  CONSISTENT  WITH  THAT  DIAGNOSIS, PRESCRIPTION OR
REFERRAL.  VISION REHABILITATION THERAPISTS AND ORIENTATION AND MOBILITY
SPECIALISTS MAY NOT PRESCRIBE OPTICAL LOW VISION DEVICES.
  4. "APPLIED SETTINGS" MEANS THOSE  LOCATIONS  WHERE  PERSONS  WHO  ARE
VISUALLY  IMPAIRED  ENGAGE  IN DAY-TO-DAY ACTIVITIES UTILIZING THE TOOLS
SUPPLIED AND TECHNIQUES TAUGHT BY THE LICENSED PRACTITIONERS DEFINED  IN
THIS ARTICLE.
  5.  "VISUALLY  IMPAIRED"  MEANS A PERSON WHO IS TOTALLY BLIND, LEGALLY
BLIND OR PARTIALLY SIGHTED. A PERSON WHO IS BLIND  IS  ONE  WHO  HAS  NO
USEABLE  VISION.  A PERSON WHO IS LEGALLY BLIND IS ONE WHO SATISFIES THE
DEFINITION SET FORTH IN SUBDIVISION B OF SECTION THREE OF  CHAPTER  FOUR
HUNDRED  FIFTEEN OF THE LAWS OF NINETEEN HUNDRED THIRTEEN.  A PERSON WHO
IS PARTIALLY SIGHTED IS ONE WHO HAS FUNCTIONAL  VISION  IMPAIRMENT  THAT
CONSTITUTES A SIGNIFICANT LIMITATION OF VISUAL CAPABILITY RESULTING FROM
DISEASE,  TRAUMA,  OR CONGENITAL CONDITION, THAT CANNOT BE FULLY AMELIO-
RATED BY STANDARD REFRACTIVE CORRECTION,  MEDICATION,  OR  SURGERY,  AND
THAT  IS MANIFESTED BY ONE OR MORE OF THE FOLLOWING: INSUFFICIENT VISUAL

S. 3558                             3

RESOLUTION, INADEQUATE FIELD OF VISION OR REDUCED PEAK  CONTRAST  SENSI-
TIVITY.
  S  8802. USE OF THE TITLES "LICENSED ORIENTATION AND MOBILITY SPECIAL-
ISTS" AND "VISION REHABILITATION THERAPISTS".   1.  PRACTICE  OF  ORIEN-
TATION  AND MOBILITY TRAINING AND USE OF THE TITLE "LICENSED ORIENTATION
AND MOBILITY SPECIALISTS". ONLY A PERSON LICENSED OR  OTHERWISE  AUTHOR-
IZED UNDER THIS ARTICLE SHALL PRACTICE ORIENTATION AND MOBILITY TRAINING
OR  USE  THE  TITLE  "LICENSED  ORIENTATION AND MOBILITY SPECIALISTS" IN
CONNECTION WITH HIS OR HER NAME OR WITH ANY TRADE NAME IN THE CONDUCT OF
HIS OR HER PROFESSION.
  2. PRACTICE OF VISION REHABILITATION THERAPY  AND  USE  OF  THE  TITLE
"VISION  REHABILITATION  THERAPIST". ONLY A PERSON LICENSED OR OTHERWISE
AUTHORIZED UNDER THIS ARTICLE SHALL PRACTICE VISION REHABILITATION THER-
APY OR USE THE TITLE "VISION  REHABILITATION  THERAPIST"  IN  CONNECTION
WITH HIS OR HER NAME OR WITH ANY TRADE NAME IN THE CONDUCT OF HIS OR HER
PROFESSION.
  S  8803. STATE BOARD FOR VISION REHABILITATION SERVICES. A STATE BOARD
FOR VISION REHABILITATION SERVICES SHALL BE APPOINTED BY  THE  BOARD  OF
REGENTS  UPON  THE RECOMMENDATION OF THE COMMISSIONER FOR THE PURPOSE OF
ASSISTING THE BOARD OF REGENTS AND THE DEPARTMENT ON MATTERS OF  PROFES-
SIONAL  LICENSING  AND  PROFESSIONAL  CONDUCT IN ACCORDANCE WITH SECTION
SIXTY-FIVE HUNDRED EIGHT OF THIS TITLE. THE BOARD SHALL CONSIST  OF  NOT
LESS  THAN  FOURTEEN  INDIVIDUALS, FOUR OF WHOM SHALL BE LICENSED ORIEN-
TATION AND MOBILITY SPECIALISTS, FOUR OF WHOM SHALL BE  LICENSED  VISION
REHABILITATION  THERAPISTS,  ONE  OPHTHALMOLOGIST  SPECIALIZING  IN  LOW
VISION TREATMENT, ONE OPTOMETRIST SPECIALIZING IN LOW  VISION  TREATMENT
AND  FOUR  OF WHOM SHALL BE BLIND REPRESENTATIVES OF THE PUBLIC AT LARGE
WHOSE NAMES WILL BE PLACED IN NOMINATION FOR THE  BOARD  FROM  ORGANIZA-
TIONS  OF  THE BLIND OR VISUALLY IMPAIRED.  MEMBERS OF THE INITIAL BOARD
NEED NOT BE LICENSED PRIOR TO THEIR APPOINTMENT TO  THE  BOARD.  OF  THE
MEMBERS  FIRST APPOINTED, FOUR SHALL BE APPOINTED FOR A THREE YEAR TERM,
FIVE SHALL BE APPOINTED  FOR  A  FOUR  YEAR  TERM,  AND  FIVE  SHALL  BE
APPOINTED  FOR  A FIVE YEAR TERM. THEREAFTER ALL MEMBERS SHALL SERVE FOR
FIVE YEAR TERMS. IN THE  EVENT  THAT  MORE  THAN  FOURTEEN  MEMBERS  ARE
APPOINTED, A MAJORITY OF THE ADDITIONAL MEMBERS SHALL BE LICENSED ORIEN-
TATION AND MOBILITY SPECIALISTS AND LICENSED VISION REHABILITATION THER-
APISTS. THE MEMBERS OF THE BOARD SHALL SELECT ONE OF THEMSELVES AS CHAIR
TO  SERVE FOR A ONE YEAR TERM. AN EXECUTIVE SECRETARY SHALL BE APPOINTED
BY THE BOARD OF REGENTS UPON THE RECOMMENDATION OF THE COMMISSIONER.
  S 8804. REQUIREMENTS FOR A LICENSE.  1. TO QUALIFY FOR A LICENSE AS AN
ORIENTATION AND MOBILITY SPECIALIST,  AN  APPLICANT  SHALL  FULFILL  THE
FOLLOWING REQUIREMENTS:
  (A) APPLICATION: FILE AN APPLICATION WITH THE DEPARTMENT;
  (B)   EDUCATION/EXPERIENCE:   (I)  HAVE  SATISFACTORILY  COMPLETED  AN
APPROVED ORIENTATION AND  MOBILITY  CURRICULUM  IN  A  BACCALAUREATE  OR
MASTERS PROGRAM, OR A CERTIFICATE PROGRAM SATISFACTORY TO THE DEPARTMENT
WHICH  IS SUBSTANTIALLY EQUIVALENT TO A BACCALAUREATE DEGREE PROGRAM, IN
ACCORDANCE WITH THE COMMISSIONER'S REGULATIONS; AND
  (II) HAVE A MINIMUM OF THREE  MONTHS  OF  SUPERVISED  ORIENTATION  AND
MOBILITY  EXPERIENCE WHICH SUPERVISION AND EXPERIENCE SHALL BE SATISFAC-
TORY TO THE STATE  BOARD  FOR  VISION  REHABILITATION  SERVICES  AND  IN
ACCORDANCE WITH THE COMMISSIONER'S REGULATIONS;
  (C)  EXAMINATION: PASS AN EXAMINATION SATISFACTORY TO THE BOARD AND IN
ACCORDANCE WITH THE COMMISSIONER'S REGULATIONS THAT MAY BE BASED  ON  AN
EXAM  UTILIZED BY ANY NATIONALLY RECOGNIZED ACCREDITING OR CERTIFICATION
BODY SUCH AS THE ACADEMY FOR CERTIFICATION OF VISION REHABILITATION  AND

S. 3558                             4

EDUCATION  PROFESSIONALS  (ACVREP),  NATIONAL  ORIENTATION  AND MOBILITY
CERTIFICATE (NOMC) ADMINISTERED BY THE NATIONAL  BLINDNESS  PROFESSIONAL
CERTIFICATION BOARD (NBPCB) OR AN EQUIVALENT EXAM.
  (D) AGE: BE AT LEAST TWENTY-ONE YEARS OF AGE;
  (E) CHARACTER: BE OF GOOD MORAL CHARACTER AS DETERMINED BY THE DEPART-
MENT;
  (F)  REGISTRATION:  ALL  LICENSED ORIENTATION AND MOBILITY SPECIALISTS
SHALL REGISTER TRIENNIALLY WITH THE DEPARTMENT IN  ACCORDANCE  WITH  THE
COMMISSIONER'S REGULATION;
  (G) MANDATORY CONTINUING COMPETENCY:  (I)(A) EACH LICENSED ORIENTATION
AND MOBILITY SPECIALIST REQUIRED UNDER THIS ARTICLE TO REGISTER TRIENNI-
ALLY  WITH THE DEPARTMENT TO PRACTICE IN THE STATE SHALL COMPLY WITH THE
PROVISIONS  OF  THE   MANDATORY   CONTINUING   COMPETENCY   REQUIREMENTS
PRESCRIBED IN SUBPARAGRAPH (II) OF THIS PARAGRAPH, EXCEPT AS PROVIDED IN
CLAUSES  (B)  AND  (C)  OF  THIS  SUBPARAGRAPH. ORIENTATION AND MOBILITY
SPECIALISTS WHO DO  NOT  SATISFY  THE  MANDATORY  CONTINUING  COMPETENCY
REQUIREMENTS  SHALL  NOT  BE  AUTHORIZED TO PRACTICE UNTIL THEY HAVE MET
SUCH REQUIREMENTS, AND THEY HAVE BEEN ISSUED A REGISTRATION CERTIFICATE,
EXCEPT THAT AN ORIENTATION AND MOBILITY SPECIALIST MAY PRACTICE  WITHOUT
HAVING MET SUCH REQUIREMENTS IF HE OR SHE IS ISSUED A CONDITIONAL REGIS-
TRATION PURSUANT TO SUBPARAGRAPH (III) OF THIS PARAGRAPH.
  (B)  ORIENTATION  AND  MOBILITY  SPECIALISTS  SHALL BE EXEMPT FROM THE
MANDATORY CONTINUING COMPETENCY REQUIREMENT FOR THE TRIENNIAL  REGISTRA-
TION  PERIOD  DURING  WHICH  THEY ARE FIRST LICENSED.  ADJUSTMENT TO THE
MANDATORY CONTINUING COMPETENCY  REQUIREMENTS  MAY  BE  GRANTED  BY  THE
DEPARTMENT  FOR  REASONS OF HEALTH OF THE LICENSEE WHERE CERTIFIED BY AN
APPROPRIATE HEALTH CARE PROFESSIONAL, FOR EXTENDED ACTIVE DUTY WITH  THE
ARMED FORCES OF THE UNITED STATES, OR FOR OTHER GOOD CAUSE ACCEPTABLE TO
THE DEPARTMENT WHICH MAY PREVENT COMPLIANCE.
  (C)  A  LICENSED  ORIENTATION  AND  MOBILITY SPECIALIST NOT ENGAGED IN
PRACTICE, AS DETERMINED BY THE DEPARTMENT,  SHALL  BE  EXEMPT  FROM  THE
MANDATORY  CONTINUING COMPETENCY REQUIREMENT UPON THE FILING OF A STATE-
MENT WITH THE DEPARTMENT DECLARING SUCH STATUS. ANY LICENSEE WHO RETURNS
TO PRACTICE OF THE PROFESSION OF  ORIENTATION  AND  MOBILITY  SPECIALIST
DURING  THE  TRIENNIAL  REGISTRATION  PERIOD SHALL NOTIFY THE DEPARTMENT
PRIOR TO REENTERING THE PROFESSION AND SHALL MEET SUCH MANDATORY CONTIN-
UING COMPETENCY REQUIREMENTS AS SHALL BE PRESCRIBED  BY  REGULATIONS  OF
THE COMMISSIONER.
  (II) DURING EACH TRIENNIAL REGISTRATION PERIOD AN APPLICANT FOR REGIS-
TRATION AS AN ORIENTATION AND MOBILITY SPECIALIST SHALL COMPLETE A MINI-
MUM  OF  TWENTY-FOUR  HOURS  OF  ACCEPTABLE  LEARNING  ACTIVITIES  WHICH
CONTRIBUTE TO CONTINUING COMPETENCE, AS SPECIFIED IN  SUBPARAGRAPH  (IV)
OF THIS PARAGRAPH, PROVIDED FURTHER THAT AT LEAST SIXTEEN HOURS SHALL BE
IN  RECOGNIZED  AREAS  OF STUDY PERTINENT TO THE PROFESSIONAL SCOPE OF A
LICENSED ORIENTATION AND MOBILITY SPECIALIST. ANY ORIENTATION AND MOBIL-
ITY SPECIALIST WHOSE FIRST REGISTRATION  DATE  FOLLOWING  THE  EFFECTIVE
DATE  OF  THIS  SECTION OCCURS LESS THAN THREE YEARS FROM SUCH EFFECTIVE
DATE, BUT ON  OR  AFTER  JANUARY  FIRST,  TWO  THOUSAND  FIFTEEN,  SHALL
COMPLETE  CONTINUING COMPETENCY HOURS ON A PRORATED BASIS AT THE RATE OF
ONE-HALF HOUR PER MONTH FOR THE  PERIOD  BEGINNING  JANUARY  FIRST,  TWO
THOUSAND FIFTEEN UP TO THE FIRST REGISTRATION DATE. THEREAFTER, A LICEN-
SEE  WHO  HAS NOT SATISFIED THE MANDATORY CONTINUING COMPETENCY REQUIRE-
MENTS SHALL NOT BE ISSUED A TRIENNIAL REGISTRATION  CERTIFICATE  BY  THE
DEPARTMENT  AND SHALL NOT PRACTICE UNLESS AND UNTIL A CONDITIONAL REGIS-
TRATION CERTIFICATE IS ISSUED AS PROVIDED FOR IN SUBPARAGRAPH  (III)  OF

S. 3558                             5

THIS  PARAGRAPH.  CONTINUING COMPETENCY HOURS TAKEN DURING ONE TRIENNIUM
MAY NOT BE TRANSFERRED TO A SUBSEQUENT TRIENNIUM.
  (III)  THE  DEPARTMENT,  IN  ITS  DISCRETION,  MAY ISSUE A CONDITIONAL
REGISTRATION TO A LICENSEE WHO FAILS TO MEET THE  CONTINUING  COMPETENCY
REQUIREMENTS ESTABLISHED IN SUBPARAGRAPH (II) OF THIS PARAGRAPH, BUT WHO
AGREES  TO MAKE UP ANY DEFICIENCIES AND COMPLETE ANY ADDITIONAL LEARNING
ACTIVITIES WHICH THE DEPARTMENT MAY REQUIRE. THE FEE FOR SUCH  A  CONDI-
TIONAL  REGISTRATION  SHALL  BE THE SAME AS, AND IN ADDITION TO, THE FEE
FOR THE TRIENNIAL REGISTRATION. THE DURATION OF SUCH CONDITIONAL  REGIS-
TRATION  SHALL  BE DETERMINED BY THE DEPARTMENT BUT SHALL NOT EXCEED ONE
YEAR. ANY LICENSEE WHO IS NOTIFIED OF THE  DENIAL  OF  REGISTRATION  FOR
FAILURE  TO SUBMIT EVIDENCE, SATISFACTORY TO THE DEPARTMENT, OF REQUIRED
CONTINUING COMPETENCY LEARNING ACTIVITIES AND WHO PRACTICES WITHOUT SUCH
REGISTRATION, MAY BE SUBJECT TO  DISCIPLINARY  PROCEEDINGS  PURSUANT  TO
SECTION SIXTY-FIVE HUNDRED TEN OF THIS TITLE.
  (IV)  AS  USED  IN  SUBPARAGRAPH  (II)  OF THIS PARAGRAPH, "ACCEPTABLE
LEARNING ACTIVITIES" SHALL  MEAN  ACTIVITIES  WHICH  CONTRIBUTE  TO  THE
PROFESSIONAL  PRACTICE  OF  AN  ORIENTATION  AND MOBILITY SPECIALIST AND
WHICH MEET THE STANDARDS PRESCRIBED IN THE REGULATIONS  OF  THE  COMMIS-
SIONER.  SUCH  LEARNING ACTIVITIES SHALL INCLUDE, BUT NOT BE LIMITED TO,
COLLEGIATE LEVEL CREDIT AND NON-CREDIT COURSES,  SELF-STUDY  ACTIVITIES,
INDEPENDENT  STUDY, FORMAL MENTORING ACTIVITIES, PUBLICATIONS IN PROFES-
SIONAL  JOURNALS,  PROFESSIONAL  DEVELOPMENT  PROGRAMS   AND   TECHNICAL
SESSIONS;  SUCH  LEARNING  ACTIVITIES  MAY  BE  OFFERED AND SPONSORED BY
NATIONAL, STATE AND LOCAL PROFESSIONAL ASSOCIATIONS AND OTHER  ORGANIZA-
TIONS  OR  PARTIES ACCEPTABLE TO THE DEPARTMENT, AND ANY OTHER ORGANIZED
EDUCATIONAL AND TECHNICAL LEARNING ACTIVITIES ACCEPTABLE TO THE  DEPART-
MENT.  RECOGNIZED  AREAS  OF  STUDY SHALL INCLUDE BUT NOT BE LIMITED TO:
KNOWLEDGE AND SKILLS  TRAINING  IN  ORIENTATION,  MOBILITY,  NAVIGATION,
INDEPENDENT  LIVING,  COMMUNICATIONS AND USE OF PRESCRIBED AND, ADAPTIVE
OPTICAL DEVICES; UTILIZATION OF  SPECIALIZED  TECHNIQUES  AND  EQUIPMENT
INTENDED  FOR  USE  BY  PERSONS  WHO  ARE VISUALLY IMPAIRED; THE MEDICAL
ASPECTS OF VISION LOSS AND ITS FUNCTIONAL  IMPACT  ON  PERSONS  WHO  ARE
VISUALLY  IMPAIRED; AND SUCH OTHER TECHNICAL SUBJECT MATTER AREAS APPRO-
PRIATELY RELATED TO THE PRACTICE OF VISION  REHABILITATION  SERVICES  AS
MAY  BE SATISFACTORY TO THE BOARD AND IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE COMMISSION-
ER'S REGULATIONS. THE DEPARTMENT MAY, IN ITS DISCRETION AND AS NEEDED TO
CONTRIBUTE TO  THE  HEALTH  AND  WELFARE  OF  THE  PUBLIC,  REQUIRE  THE
COMPLETION  OF  CONTINUING  COMPETENCY  LEARNING  ACTIVITIES IN SPECIFIC
SUBJECTS TO FULFILL THIS MANDATORY  CONTINUING  COMPETENCY  REQUIREMENT.
LEARNING ACTIVITIES MUST BE TAKEN FROM A SPONSOR APPROVED BY THE DEPART-
MENT, PURSUANT TO THE REGULATIONS OF THE COMMISSIONER.
  (V)  ORIENTATION  AND  MOBILITY  SPECIALISTS  SHALL  MAINTAIN ADEQUATE
DOCUMENTATION OF COMPLETION OF ACCEPTABLE CONTINUING COMPETENCY LEARNING
ACTIVITIES AND SHALL PROVIDE SUCH DOCUMENTATION AT THE  REQUEST  OF  THE
DEPARTMENT.  FAILURE  TO  PROVIDE SUCH DOCUMENTATION UPON THE REQUEST OF
THE DEPARTMENT SHALL BE AN ACT OF  MISCONDUCT  SUBJECT  TO  DISCIPLINARY
PROCEEDINGS PURSUANT TO SECTION SIXTY-FIVE HUNDRED TEN OF THIS TITLE.
  (VI)  THE  MANDATORY CONTINUING COMPETENCY FEE SHALL BE FIFTY DOLLARS,
SHALL BE PAYABLE ON OR BEFORE THE FIRST DAY OF EACH TRIENNIAL  REGISTRA-
TION PERIOD, AND SHALL BE PAID IN ADDITION TO THE TRIENNIAL REGISTRATION
FEE REQUIRED BY PARAGRAPH (H) OF THIS SUBDIVISION.
  (H) FEES: PAY A FEE OF ONE HUNDRED SEVENTY-FIVE DOLLARS FOR AN INITIAL
LICENSE  AND  A FEE OF ONE HUNDRED FIFTY-FIVE DOLLARS FOR EACH TRIENNIAL
REGISTRATION PERIOD.

S. 3558                             6

  2. TO QUALIFY FOR A LICENSE AS A VISION  REHABILITATION  THERAPIST  AN
APPLICANT SHALL FULFILL THE FOLLOWING REQUIREMENTS:
  (A) APPLICATION: FILE AN APPLICATION WITH THE DEPARTMENT;
  (B)   EDUCATION/EXPERIENCE:   (I)  HAVE  SATISFACTORILY  COMPLETED  AN
APPROVED VISION REHABILITATION THERAPIST CURRICULUM IN  A  BACCALAUREATE
OR MASTERS PROGRAM, OR A CERTIFICATE PROGRAM SATISFACTORY TO THE DEPART-
MENT  WHICH  IS  SUBSTANTIALLY  EQUIVALENT  TO  A  BACCALAUREATE  DEGREE
PROGRAM, IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE COMMISSIONER'S REGULATIONS; AND
  (II) HAVE A MINIMUM OF THREE MONTHS  OF  SUPERVISED  VISION  REHABILI-
TATION  THERAPIST  EXPERIENCE  WHICH SUPERVISION AND EXPERIENCE SHALL BE
SATISFACTORY TO THE STATE BOARD FOR VISION REHABILITATION  SERVICES  AND
IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE COMMISSIONER'S REGULATIONS;
  (C)  EXAMINATION: PASS AN EXAMINATION SATISFACTORY TO THE BOARD AND IN
ACCORDANCE WITH THE COMMISSIONER'S REGULATIONS THAT MAY BE BASED  ON  AN
EXAM  UTILIZED BY ANY NATIONALLY RECOGNIZED ACCREDITING OR CERTIFICATION
BODY SUCH AS THE ACADEMY FOR CERTIFICATION OF VISION REHABILITATION  AND
EDUCATION  PROFESSIONALS  (ACVREP),  NATIONAL  ORIENTATION  AND MOBILITY
CERTIFICATE (NOMC) ADMINISTERED BY THE NATIONAL  BLINDNESS  PROFESSIONAL
CERTIFICATION BOARD (NBPCB) OR AN EQUIVALENT EXAM.
  (D) AGE: BE AT LEAST TWENTY-ONE YEARS OF AGE;
  (E) CHARACTER: BE OF GOOD MORAL CHARACTER AS DETERMINED BY THE DEPART-
MENT;
  (F)  REGISTRATION: ALL LICENSED VISION REHABILITATION THERAPISTS SHALL
REGISTER TRIENNIALLY WITH THE DEPARTMENT IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE  COMMIS-
SIONER'S REGULATIONS;
  (G)  MANDATORY  CONTINUING  COMPETENCY:   (I) (A) EACH LICENSED VISION
REHABILITATION THERAPIST REQUIRED UNDER THIS ARTICLE TO REGISTER  TRIEN-
NIALLY  WITH  THE  DEPARTMENT TO PRACTICE IN THE STATE SHALL COMPLY WITH
THE PROVISIONS  OF  THE  MANDATORY  CONTINUING  COMPETENCY  REQUIREMENTS
PRESCRIBED IN SUBPARAGRAPH (II) OF THIS PARAGRAPH, EXCEPT AS PROVIDED IN
CLAUSES (B) AND (C) OF THIS PARAGRAPH.  VISION REHABILITATION THERAPISTS
WHO  DO  NOT  SATISFY  THE  MANDATORY CONTINUING COMPETENCY REQUIREMENTS
SHALL NOT BE AUTHORIZED TO PRACTICE UNTIL THEY HAVE  MET  SUCH  REQUIRE-
MENTS, AND THEY HAVE BEEN ISSUED A REGISTRATION CERTIFICATE, EXCEPT THAT
A  VISION  REHABILITATION THERAPIST MAY PRACTICE WITHOUT HAVING MET SUCH
REQUIREMENTS IF HE OR SHE IS ISSUED A CONDITIONAL REGISTRATION  PURSUANT
TO SUBPARAGRAPH (III) OF THIS PARAGRAPH.
  (B) VISION REHABILITATION THERAPISTS SHALL BE EXEMPT FROM THE MANDATO-
RY  CONTINUING  COMPETENCY  REQUIREMENT  FOR  THE TRIENNIAL REGISTRATION
PERIOD DURING WHICH THEY ARE FIRST LICENSED.  ADJUSTMENT TO THE MANDATO-
RY CONTINUING COMPETENCY REQUIREMENTS MAY BE GRANTED BY  THE  DEPARTMENT
FOR  REASONS OF HEALTH OF THE LICENSEE WHERE CERTIFIED BY AN APPROPRIATE
HEALTH CARE PROFESSIONAL, FOR EXTENDED ACTIVE DUTY WITH THE ARMED FORCES
OF THE UNITED STATES, OR FOR OTHER GOOD CAUSE ACCEPTABLE TO THE  DEPART-
MENT WHICH MAY PREVENT COMPLIANCE.
  (C)  A  LICENSED  VISION REHABILITATION THERAPIST NOT ENGAGED IN PRAC-
TICE, AS DETERMINED BY THE DEPARTMENT, SHALL BE EXEMPT FROM THE MANDATO-
RY CONTINUING COMPETENCY REQUIREMENT UPON THE FILING OF A STATEMENT WITH
THE DEPARTMENT DECLARING SUCH STATUS. ANY LICENSEE WHO RETURNS TO  PRAC-
TICE  OF VISION REHABILITATION THERAPY DURING THE TRIENNIAL REGISTRATION
PERIOD SHALL NOTIFY THE DEPARTMENT PRIOR TO  REENTERING  THE  PROFESSION
AND  SHALL  MEET  SUCH  MANDATORY  CONTINUING COMPETENCY REQUIREMENTS AS
SHALL BE PRESCRIBED BY REGULATIONS OF THE COMMISSIONER.
  (II) DURING EACH TRIENNIAL REGISTRATION PERIOD AN APPLICANT FOR REGIS-
TRATION AS A VISION REHABILITATION THERAPIST SHALL COMPLETE A MINIMUM OF
TWENTY-FOUR HOURS OF ACCEPTABLE LEARNING ACTIVITIES WHICH CONTRIBUTE  TO

S. 3558                             7

CONTINUING  COMPETENCE,  AS SPECIFIED IN SUBPARAGRAPH (IV) OF THIS PARA-
GRAPH, PROVIDED FURTHER THAT AT LEAST SIXTEEN HOURS SHALL BE  IN  RECOG-
NIZED  AREAS  OF STUDY PERTINENT TO THE PROFESSIONAL SCOPE OF A LICENSED
VISION  REHABILITATION  THERAPIST.  ANY  VISION REHABILITATION THERAPIST
WHOSE FIRST REGISTRATION DATE  FOLLOWING  THE  EFFECTIVE  DATE  OF  THIS
SECTION OCCURS LESS THAN THREE YEARS FROM SUCH EFFECTIVE DATE, BUT ON OR
AFTER  JANUARY  FIRST,  TWO  THOUSAND FIFTEEN, SHALL COMPLETE CONTINUING
COMPETENCY HOURS ON A PRORATED BASIS AT THE RATE OF  ONE-HALF  HOUR  PER
MONTH FOR THE PERIOD BEGINNING JANUARY FIRST, TWO THOUSAND FIFTEEN UP TO
THE  FIRST  REGISTRATION DATE. THEREAFTER, A LICENSEE WHO HAS NOT SATIS-
FIED THE MANDATORY  CONTINUING  COMPETENCY  REQUIREMENTS  SHALL  NOT  BE
ISSUED  A TRIENNIAL REGISTRATION CERTIFICATE BY THE DEPARTMENT AND SHALL
NOT PRACTICE UNLESS AND UNTIL A CONDITIONAL REGISTRATION CERTIFICATE  IS
ISSUED AS PROVIDED FOR IN SUBPARAGRAPH (III) OF THIS PARAGRAPH.  CONTIN-
UING  COMPETENCY HOURS TAKEN DURING ONE TRIENNIUM MAY NOT BE TRANSFERRED
TO A SUBSEQUENT TRIENNIUM.
  (III) THE DEPARTMENT, IN  ITS  DISCRETION,  MAY  ISSUE  A  CONDITIONAL
REGISTRATION  TO  A LICENSEE WHO FAILS TO MEET THE CONTINUING COMPETENCY
REQUIREMENTS ESTABLISHED IN SUBPARAGRAPH (II) OF THIS PARAGRAPH, BUT WHO
AGREES TO MAKE UP ANY DEFICIENCIES AND COMPLETE ANY ADDITIONAL  LEARNING
ACTIVITIES  WHICH  THE DEPARTMENT MAY REQUIRE. THE FEE FOR SUCH A CONDI-
TIONAL REGISTRATION SHALL BE THE SAME AS, AND IN ADDITION  TO,  THE  FEE
FOR  THE TRIENNIAL REGISTRATION. THE DURATION OF SUCH CONDITIONAL REGIS-
TRATION SHALL BE DETERMINED BY THE DEPARTMENT BUT SHALL NOT  EXCEED  ONE
YEAR.  ANY  LICENSEE  WHO  IS NOTIFIED OF THE DENIAL OF REGISTRATION FOR
FAILURE TO SUBMIT EVIDENCE, SATISFACTORY TO THE DEPARTMENT, OF  REQUIRED
CONTINUING COMPETENCY LEARNING ACTIVITIES AND WHO PRACTICES WITHOUT SUCH
REGISTRATION,  MAY  BE  SUBJECT  TO DISCIPLINARY PROCEEDINGS PURSUANT TO
SECTION SIXTY-FIVE HUNDRED TEN OF THIS TITLE.
  (IV) AS USED IN  SUBPARAGRAPH  (II)  OF  THIS  PARAGRAPH,  "ACCEPTABLE
LEARNING  ACTIVITIES"  SHALL  MEAN  ACTIVITIES  WHICH  CONTRIBUTE TO THE
PROFESSIONAL PRACTICE OF A VISION  REHABILITATION  THERAPIST  AND  WHICH
MEET  THE  STANDARDS  PRESCRIBED IN THE REGULATIONS OF THE COMMISSIONER.
SUCH LEARNING ACTIVITIES SHALL INCLUDE, BUT NOT BE LIMITED TO,  COLLEGI-
ATE  LEVEL  CREDIT  AND NON-CREDIT COURSES, SELF-STUDY ACTIVITIES, INDE-
PENDENT STUDY, FORMAL MENTORING ACTIVITIES, PUBLICATIONS IN PROFESSIONAL
JOURNALS, PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT PROGRAMS AND TECHNICAL SESSIONS; SUCH
LEARNING ACTIVITIES MAY BE OFFERED AND SPONSORED BY NATIONAL, STATE  AND
LOCAL  PROFESSIONAL  ASSOCIATIONS  AND  OTHER  ORGANIZATIONS  OR PARTIES
ACCEPTABLE TO THE DEPARTMENT, AND ANY OTHER  ORGANIZED  EDUCATIONAL  AND
TECHNICAL  LEARNING ACTIVITIES ACCEPTABLE TO THE DEPARTMENT.  RECOGNIZED
AREAS OF STUDY SHALL INCLUDE BUT NOT BE LIMITED TO: KNOWLEDGE AND SKILLS
TRAINING IN MOBILITY, NAVIGATION, INDEPENDENT LIVING, COMMUNICATIONS AND
ORIENTATION, USE OF PRESCRIBED AND, ADAPTIVE OPTICAL  DEVICES;  UTILIZA-
TION OF SPECIALIZED TECHNIQUES AND EQUIPMENT INTENDED FOR USE BY PERSONS
WHO  ARE  VISUALLY  IMPAIRED; THE MEDICAL ASPECTS OF VISION LOSS AND ITS
FUNCTIONAL IMPACT ON PERSONS WHO ARE VISUALLY IMPAIRED; AND  SUCH  OTHER
TECHNICAL  SUBJECT MATTER AREAS APPROPRIATELY RELATED TO THE PRACTICE OF
VISION REHABILITATION SERVICES AS MAY BE SATISFACTORY TO THE  BOARD  AND
IN  ACCORDANCE  WITH THE COMMISSIONER'S REGULATIONS. THE DEPARTMENT MAY,
IN ITS DISCRETION AND AS NEEDED TO CONTRIBUTE TO THE HEALTH AND  WELFARE
OF  THE PUBLIC, REQUIRE THE COMPLETION OF CONTINUING COMPETENCY LEARNING
ACTIVITIES IN SPECIFIC SUBJECTS TO  FULFILL  THIS  MANDATORY  CONTINUING
COMPETENCY  REQUIREMENT.  LEARNING ACTIVITIES MUST BE TAKEN FROM A SPON-
SOR APPROVED BY THE DEPARTMENT,  PURSUANT  TO  THE  REGULATIONS  OF  THE
COMMISSIONER.

S. 3558                             8

  (V)  VISION REHABILITATION THERAPISTS SHALL MAINTAIN ADEQUATE DOCUMEN-
TATION OF COMPLETION OF ACCEPTABLE CONTINUING COMPETENCY LEARNING ACTIV-
ITIES AND SHALL PROVIDE SUCH DOCUMENTATION AT THE REQUEST OF THE DEPART-
MENT. FAILURE TO PROVIDE SUCH DOCUMENTATION  UPON  THE  REQUEST  OF  THE
DEPARTMENT  SHALL  BE  AN  ACT  OF  MISCONDUCT  SUBJECT  TO DISCIPLINARY
PROCEEDINGS PURSUANT TO SECTION SIXTY-FIVE HUNDRED TEN OF THIS TITLE.
  (VI) THE MANDATORY CONTINUING COMPETENCY FEE SHALL BE  FIFTY  DOLLARS,
SHALL  BE PAYABLE ON OR BEFORE THE FIRST DAY OF EACH TRIENNIAL REGISTRA-
TION PERIOD, AND SHALL BE PAID IN ADDITION TO THE TRIENNIAL REGISTRATION
FEE REQUIRED BY PARAGRAPH (H) OF THIS SUBDIVISION.
  (H) FEES: PAY A FEE OF ONE HUNDRED SEVENTY-FIVE DOLLARS FOR AN INITIAL
LICENSE AND A FEE OF ONE HUNDRED FIFTY-FIVE DOLLARS FOR  EACH  TRIENNIAL
REGISTRATION PERIOD.
  S  8805.  LIMITED PERMITS. PERMITS LIMITED AS TO ELIGIBILITY, PRACTICE
AND DURATION SHALL BE ISSUED BY THE DEPARTMENT TO ELIGIBLE APPLICANTS AS
FOLLOWS:
  1. ELIGIBILITY. A PERSON WHO FULFILLS ALL REQUIREMENTS FOR  AN  ORIEN-
TATION  AND  MOBILITY  SPECIALIST  OR  VISION  REHABILITATION THERAPIST,
EXCEPT THAT RELATING TO THE EXAMINATION, SHALL BE ELIGIBLE FOR A LIMITED
PERMIT.
  2. LIMIT OF PRACTICE. ALL PRACTICE UNDER A  LIMITED  PERMIT  SHALL  BE
UNDER  THE  DIRECT  SUPERVISION  OF  A LICENSED ORIENTATION AND MOBILITY
SPECIALIST OR A VISION REHABILITATION THERAPIST.
  3. DURATION. A LIMITED PERMIT SHALL EXPIRE ONE YEAR FROM THE  DATE  OF
ISSUANCE  OR  UPON  NOTICE  TO  THE PERMITTEE BY THE DEPARTMENT THAT THE
APPLICATION FOR LICENSURE HAS BEEN DENIED, OR UPON NOTICE TO THE PERMIT-
TEE OF FAILURE ON  THE  PROFESSIONAL  LICENSING  EXAMINATION,  WHICHEVER
FIRST OCCURS.
  4. FEES. THE FEE FOR EACH LIMITED PERMIT SHALL BE SEVENTY DOLLARS.
  S  8806. EXEMPT PERSONS. THIS ARTICLE SHALL NOT BE CONSTRUED TO AFFECT
OR PREVENT THE FOLLOWING, PROVIDED THAT NO TITLE, SIGN, CARD  OR  DEVICE
SHALL  BE  USED  IN SUCH MANNER AS TO TEND TO CONVEY THE IMPRESSION THAT
THE PERSON RENDERING SUCH SERVICE IS A LICENSED ORIENTATION AND MOBILITY
SPECIALIST OR VISION REHABILITATION THERAPIST:
  1. THE PRACTICE OF ORIENTATION AND MOBILITY TRAINING OR  VISION  REHA-
BILITATION THERAPY AS AN INTEGRAL PART OF A PROGRAM OF STUDY BY STUDENTS
ENROLLED IN APPROVED EDUCATIONAL OR TRAINING PROGRAMS IN (A) ORIENTATION
AND MOBILITY TRAINING OR (B) VISION REHABILITATION THERAPY.
  2.  THE  PERFORMANCE  OF ANY OF THE DUTIES, TASKS AND RESPONSIBILITIES
INCLUDED IN THE DEFINITION OF ORIENTATION AND MOBILITY TRAINING  BY  ANY
OTHER  DULY  LICENSED,  CERTIFIED  OR  REGISTERED  HEALTH CARE PROVIDER,
PROVIDED THAT SUCH DUTIES, TASKS AND  RESPONSIBILITIES  ARE  WITHIN  THE
SCOPE OF HIS OR HER PRACTICE AS DEFINED IN THE ARTICLE PURSUANT TO WHICH
SUCH  PERSON  IS  LICENSED,  CERTIFIED OR REGISTERED; PROVIDED, HOWEVER,
THAT SUCH PRACTITIONERS MAY NOT HOLD  THEMSELVES  OUT  UNDER  THE  TITLE
"LICENSED ORIENTATION AND MOBILITY SPECIALIST" OR AS PERFORMING LICENSED
ORIENTATION AND MOBILITY TRAINING.
  3.  THE  PERFORMANCE  OF ANY OF THE DUTIES, TASKS AND RESPONSIBILITIES
INCLUDED IN THE DEFINITION OF VISION REHABILITATION THERAPY BY ANY OTHER
DULY LICENSED, CERTIFIED OR REGISTERED HEALTH  CARE  PROVIDER,  PROVIDED
THAT SUCH DUTIES, TASKS AND RESPONSIBILITIES ARE WITHIN THE SCOPE OF HIS
OR  HER  PRACTICE AS DEFINED IN THE ARTICLE OR COMMISSIONER'S REGULATION
PURSUANT TO WHICH SUCH PERSON  IS  LICENSED,  CERTIFIED  OR  REGISTERED;
PROVIDED,  HOWEVER,  THAT SUCH PRACTITIONERS MAY NOT HOLD THEMSELVES OUT
UNDER  THE  TITLE  "LICENSED  VISION  REHABILITATION  THERAPIST"  OR  AS
PERFORMING  LICENSED  VISION REHABILITATION THERAPY.  WITH THE EXCEPTION

S. 3558                             9

THAT OCCUPATIONAL THERAPY MAY HOLD THEMSELVES OUT  AS  PROVIDING  VISION
REHABILITATION THERAPY OR VISION REHABILITATION SERVICES.
  4.  THE PRACTICE, CONDUCT, ACTIVITIES, SERVICES OR USE OF ANY TITLE BY
ANY PERSON LICENSED OR OTHERWISE AUTHORIZED TO PRACTICE MEDICINE  WITHIN
THE STATE PURSUANT TO ARTICLE ONE HUNDRED THIRTY-ONE OF THIS TITLE OR BY
ANY  PERSON  REGISTERED  TO  PERFORM  SERVICES  AS A PHYSICIAN ASSISTANT
PURSUANT TO ARTICLE ONE HUNDRED THIRTY-ONE-B OF THIS TITLE.
  5. THE PRACTICE OF ORIENTATION AND MOBILITY TRAINING OR  VISION  REHA-
BILITATION  THERAPY BY ANY LEGALLY QUALIFIED PRACTITIONER OF ORIENTATION
AND MOBILITY TRAINING OR VISION  REHABILITATION  THERAPY  OF  ANY  OTHER
STATE  OR  TERRITORY  WHO  IS  SERVING IN THE ARMED FORCES OR THE PUBLIC
HEALTH SERVICE OF THE UNITED STATES WHILE ENGAGED IN THE PERFORMANCE  OF
HIS OR HER DUTIES.
  6. THE INSTRUCTION IN THE USE OF A DOG GUIDE.
  S  8807.  SPECIAL PROVISIONS. A PERSON SHALL BE LICENSED WITHOUT EXAM-
INATION PROVIDED THAT, WITHIN THREE YEARS OF THE EFFECTIVE DATE OF  THIS
ARTICLE, SUCH PERSON:
  1.  FILES  AN APPLICATION AND PAYS THE APPROPRIATE FEES TO THE DEPART-
MENT;
  2. (A) HOLDS A BACHELOR'S DEGREE OR HIGHER, OR  EQUIVALENT  AS  DETER-
MINED BY THE DEPARTMENT, WITH A SPECIALIZATION IN ORIENTATION AND MOBIL-
ITY  TRAINING; OR (B) HOLDS A BACHELOR'S DEGREE OR HIGHER, OR EQUIVALENT
AS DETERMINED BY THE DEPARTMENT, WITH A SPECIALIZATION IN  VISION  REHA-
BILITATION  THERAPY;  OR  (C)  HOLDS  A  BACHELOR'S DEGREE OR HIGHER, OR
EQUIVALENT AS DETERMINED BY THE DEPARTMENT IN A REHABILITATION FIELD  OR
IN  SPECIAL  EDUCATION  AND  (I) HAS COMPLETED ALL ADDITIONALLY REQUIRED
ELEMENTS OF THE ORIENTATION AND MOBILITY TRAINING  OR  VISION  REHABILI-
TATION  THERAPY  CURRICULUM  SATISFACTORY TO THE BOARD AND IN ACCORDANCE
WITH THE COMMISSIONER'S REGULATIONS;  OR  (II)  HAS  BEEN  CERTIFIED  IN
ORIENTATION  AND MOBILITY TRAINING OR VISION REHABILITATION THERAPY BY A
NATIONALLY RECOGNIZED ACCREDITING BODY ACCEPTABLE TO THE DEPARTMENT; AND
  3. SUBMITS EVIDENCE OF A MINIMUM OF THREE YEARS EXPERIENCE OR  EMPLOY-
MENT  IN  THE  PRACTICE  OF  ORIENTATION AND MOBILITY TRAINING OR VISION
REHABILITATION THERAPY SATISFACTORY TO THE BOARD AND IN ACCORDANCE  WITH
THE  COMMISSIONER'S  REGULATIONS,  WHETHER SUCH EXPERIENCE OR EMPLOYMENT
OCCURS WITHIN OR WITHOUT THIS STATE.
  S 8808. SEPARABILITY. IF ANY SECTION OF THIS ARTICLE, OR PART THEREOF,
SHALL BE ADJUDGED BY ANY COURT OF COMPETENT JURISDICTION TO BE  INVALID,
SUCH  JUDGMENT  SHALL  NOT AFFECT, IMPAIR OR INVALIDATE THE REMAINDER OF
ANY OTHER SECTION OR PART THEREOF.
  S 2. This act shall take effect July 1, 2015.    The  commissioner  of
education  and  the  board  of regents are authorized to promulgate such
rules and regulations and take any other measures as  may  be  necessary
for  the  timely  implementation  of this act on or before its effective
date, including but not limited to the appointment of  the  state  board
for  vision  rehabilitation  services,  the acceptance and processing of
applications for licensure, and the issuance of licenses.

Co-Sponsors

view additional co-sponsors

S3558A - Bill Details

See Assembly Version of this Bill:
A3597C
Current Committee:
Assembly Higher Education
Law Section:
Education Law
Laws Affected:
Add Art 168 §§8900 - 8908, Ed L
Versions Introduced in Previous Legislative Sessions:
2011-2012: S3880C, A8576B
2009-2010: S1262B

S3558A - Bill Texts

view summary

Provides for the licensing of licensed orientation and mobility specialists and vision rehabilitation therapists.

view sponsor memo
BILL NUMBER:S3558A

TITLE OF BILL: An act to amend the education law, in relation to the
licensing of orientation and mobility specialists and rehabilitation
therapists

PURPOSE: This bill would ensure the safety of persons who are blind
or partially sighted by licensing the trained vision rehabilitation
professionals who work with them to restore their independent
functioning within the home, the school, the workplace and the wider
community.

SUMMARY OF PROVISIONS: Creates a new article 167.

§ 8801 Sets out the definition used in the article.

§ 8802 Outlines the use of the titles "licensed orientation and
mobility specialists" and "vision rehabilitation therapists".

§ 8803 Outlines the State Board for vision rehabilitation services.

§ 8804 Spells out the requirements for a license.

§ 8805 Establishes limited permits.

§ 8806 Explains the exempt persons.

§ 8807 Outlines special provisions.

§ 8808 Separability provisions.

JUSTIFICATION: Vision does not have to be devastating. Full
independence can be achieved when there is access to highly qualified
vision rehabilitation professionals (VRPs). A significant number of
the more than one million individuals with vision loss are empowered,
self-sufficient and able to navigate through their lives independently
due in part to the specialized services they received when they needed
them.

However, too many New Yorkers who acquire a visual impairment due to
aging or an accident do not receive the training and services that
would enable them to make the transition from newly visually impaired
or blind to an active and productive life with a disability. This is
due in large part because vision rehabilitation professionals are not
yet licensed by the state of New York and thus, access to VRPs is
severely restricted and doctors do not refer patients to unlicensed
professions.

Vision Rehabilitation Professionals were marginalized in the first
half of the 20 century due in part because the numbers of people with
a visual impairment were small, the workers for the blind were largely
blind themselves and there was widespread discrimination of all people
with disabilities. Licensure is the final step to correct the wrongs
of the past by making every effort to ensure that those who become
blind have access to the highest quality of specially trained
rehabilitation professional.


To be a Vision Rehabilitation Professional (VRP), professionals who
are either blind of sighted themselves complete a degree from an
accredited university, undergo a rigorous internship and pass an exam
given by a nationally accredited certifying body.

The number of New Yorkers with vision loss has gown due to many
factors. The aging of the baby boomers and longer life expectancies
lead to age-related vision loss from macular degeneration, diabetic
retinopathy, glaucoma, and other eye diseases. Low birth weight babies
are surviving but often with vision loss and other disabilities.
Sports, workplace incidents, traumatic brain injuries and other
accidents cause vision loss in youth and adult populations. The need
for vision rehabilitation services has burgeoned proportionately.

With pressure on government and private resources for expensive home
health care and other supportive services, money can be saved and
quality of life can be improved by granting these highly qualified
professionals licensure. VRPs work with persons of all ages with
vision loss. The goal is to teach each individual with vision loss to
return to being self-reliant in almost every activity of daily life
using adaptive techniques and equipment. This could include teaching
the consumer to read and write Braille, to use a long cane for
independent mobility, to use a talking bill identifier or "talking"
speech software to access technology.

By licensing vision rehabilitation professionals, the general public
and people of all ages with vision loss will be more likely to learn
about the services available; access the training that leads to
independence and employment; be referred by the general social service
and medical community; receive high quality and comprehensive vision
rehabilitation services and encourage a sufficient number of
professionals to enter the field of vision rehabilitation.

Licensure ensures that professionals who provide these services will
possess the highest level of specialized skills, expertise and
experience. Through establishing standards of practice that licensure
brings, both sighted and blind individuals who become licensed VRPs,
can help to empower consumers to live successful and independent
lives.

LEGISLATIVE HISTORY: 2013 - S. 3558 passed Senate/A. 3597 - Higher
Education Committee.

FISCAL IMPLICATIONS: None.

EFFECTIVE DATE: This act shall take effect July 1, 2015, however,
that the commissioner of education and the board of regents are
authorized to promulgate such rules and regulations and take any other
measures as may be necessary for the timely implementation of this act
on or before its effective date, including but not limited to the
appointment of the state board for vision rehabilitation services, the
acceptance and processing of applications for licensure, and the
issuance of licenses.

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                    S T A T E   O F   N E W   Y O R K
________________________________________________________________________

                                 3558--A

                       2013-2014 Regular Sessions

                            I N  S E N A T E

                            February 5, 2013
                               ___________

Introduced  by  Sens.  GRIFFO,  BRESLIN,  DeFRANCISCO,  HOYLMAN, LARKIN,
  MARTINS, MAZIARZ, PARKER, RANZENHOFER, SAVINO, VALESKY --  read  twice
  and ordered printed, and when printed to be committed to the Committee
  on  Higher  Education -- recommitted to the Committee on Higher Educa-
  tion in accordance with Senate Rule 6, sec. 8 -- committee discharged,
  bill amended, ordered reprinted as amended  and  recommitted  to  said
  committee

AN  ACT  to  amend  the  education  law, in relation to the licensing of
  orientation and mobility specialists and rehabilitation therapists

  THE PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF NEW YORK, REPRESENTED IN SENATE AND  ASSEM-
BLY, DO ENACT AS FOLLOWS:

  Section 1. The education law is amended by adding a new article 167 to
read as follows:
                               ARTICLE 167
                     VISION REHABILITATION SERVICES
SECTION 8800. INTRODUCTION.
        8801. DEFINITIONS.
        8802. USE  OF  THE  TITLES  "LICENSED  ORIENTATION  AND MOBILITY
                SPECIALISTS" AND "VISION REHABILITATION THERAPISTS".
        8803. STATE BOARD FOR VISION REHABILITATION SERVICES.
        8804. REQUIREMENTS FOR A LICENSE.
        8805. LIMITED PERMITS.
        8806. EXEMPT PERSONS.
        8807. SPECIAL PROVISIONS.
        8808. SEPARABILITY.
  S 8800. INTRODUCTION. THIS ARTICLE APPLIES TO THE PROFESSION OF VISION
REHABILITATION SERVICES, AND PROVIDES  FOR  THE  LICENSING  OF  LICENSED
ORIENTATION  AND  MOBILITY  SPECIALISTS AND VISION REHABILITATION THERA-
PISTS. THE GENERAL PROVISIONS FOR ALL PROFESSIONS CONTAINED  IN  ARTICLE
ONE HUNDRED THIRTY OF THIS TITLE SHALL APPLY TO THIS ARTICLE.

 EXPLANATION--Matter in ITALICS (underscored) is new; matter in brackets
                      [ ] is old law to be omitted.
                                                           LBD06474-02-4

S. 3558--A                          2

  S 8801. DEFINITIONS. FOR PURPOSES OF THIS ARTICLE, THE FOLLOWING TERMS
SHALL HAVE THE FOLLOWING MEANINGS:
  1.  THE  PRACTICE  OF  "ORIENTATION AND MOBILITY TRAINING" SHALL MEAN:
(A) THE ASSESSMENT OF INDIVIDUAL  NEEDS  OF  PERSONS  WHO  ARE  VISUALLY
IMPAIRED  FOR SKILLS TRAINING IN METHODS OF SAFE MOVEMENT AND IN STRATE-
GIES TO GATHER REQUIRED ENVIRONMENTAL AND SPATIAL INFORMATION;  (B)  THE
DEVELOPMENT  OF  APPROPRIATE  INTEGRATED  SERVICE PLANS TAILORED TO MEET
SUCH INDIVIDUAL NEEDS AS IDENTIFIED IN SUCH ASSESSMENT PROCESS; (C)  THE
PROVISION  OF TRAINING IN, AND UTILIZATION OF (I) EQUIPMENT AND ADAPTIVE
DEVICES INTENDED AND DESIGNED  FOR  USE  BY  PERSONS  WHO  ARE  VISUALLY
IMPAIRED,  AND  (II)  SPECIALIZED TECHNIQUES ADAPTED FOR PERSONS WHO ARE
VISUALLY IMPAIRED, INCLUDING BUT NOT  LIMITED  TO  ORIENTATION;  SENSORY
DEVELOPMENT;  SYSTEMS  OF SAFE MOVEMENT, INCLUDING LONG CANE TECHNIQUES;
RESOURCE IDENTIFICATION AND,  AS  APPROPRIATE,  PROFESSIONAL  REFERRALS;
AND, IN APPLIED SETTINGS, REINFORCING INSTRUCTION FOR THE USE OF OPTICAL
DEVICES  AS PRESCRIBED BY OPTOMETRISTS AND OPHTHALMOLOGISTS; AND (D) THE
EVALUATION OF CLIENTS RECEIVING SUCH SPECIALIZED TRAINING.
  2. THE PRACTICE OF "VISION REHABILITATION THERAPY" SHALL MEAN: (A) THE
ASSESSMENT OF INDIVIDUAL NEEDS OF PERSONS WHO ARE VISUALLY IMPAIRED  FOR
SKILLS TRAINING IN INDEPENDENT LIVING AND COMMUNICATIONS; (B) THE DEVEL-
OPMENT  OF  APPROPRIATE  INTEGRATED  SERVICE PLANS TAILORED TO MEET SUCH
INDIVIDUAL NEEDS AS IDENTIFIED  IN  SUCH  ASSESSMENT  PROCESS;  (C)  THE
PROVISION  OF TRAINING IN, AND UTILIZATION OF (I) EQUIPMENT AND ADAPTIVE
DEVICES INTENDED AND DESIGNED  FOR  USE  BY  PERSONS  WHO  ARE  VISUALLY
IMPAIRED,  INCLUDING,  IN  APPLIED SETTINGS, REINFORCING INSTRUCTION FOR
THE USE OF OPTICAL DEVICES AS PRESCRIBED BY OPTOMETRISTS OR OPHTHALMOLO-
GISTS, AND (II) SPECIALIZED TECHNIQUES ADAPTED FOR PERSONS WHO ARE VISU-
ALLY IMPAIRED, INCLUDING BUT NOT LIMITED TO BRAILLE AND  OTHER  COMMUNI-
CATION  SKILLS; ADAPTED COMPUTER TECHNOLOGY; PERSONAL MANAGEMENT SKILLS;
HOME MANAGEMENT SKILLS; PROBLEM SOLVING SKILLS; RESOURCE MANAGEMENT AND,
AS APPROPRIATE,  PROFESSIONAL  REFERRALS;  AND  (D)  THE  EVALUATION  OF
PERSONS RECEIVING SUCH SPECIALIZED TRAINING.
  3. THE PRACTICE OF "VISION REHABILITATION SERVICES" SHALL MEAN PROVID-
ING  ASSESSMENT  AND  EVALUATION  OF,  AND TRAINING FOR, PERSONS WHO ARE
VISUALLY IMPAIRED WHEN SUCH ASSESSMENT, EVALUATION AND TRAINING INCORPO-
RATES THE FULL RANGE OF SPECIALIZED SKILLS AND TASKS SUBSUMED IN THE TWO
PROFESSIONS DEFINED IN THIS SECTION AS:  (A)  ORIENTATION  AND  MOBILITY
TRAINING  AND  (B) VISION REHABILITATION THERAPY. SUCH SERVICES SHALL BE
RENDERED ON THE PRESCRIPTION OR REFERRAL WHICH MAY BE  DIRECTIVE  AS  TO
TREATMENT  BY A LICENSED PHYSICIAN OR OPTOMETRIST, PROVIDED HOWEVER THAT
NO SUCH TREATMENT DIRECTIVE AND LOW VISION EXAMINATION SHALL BE REQUIRED
WHEN THE PERSON BEING REFERRED HAS BEEN DIAGNOSED  WITHIN  THE  PREVIOUS
TWELVE  MONTHS  AS  VISUALLY  IMPAIRED,  BLIND OR LEGALLY BLIND AS THOSE
TERMS ARE DEFINED IN SUBDIVISION FIVE OF THIS SECTION AND SUCH  SERVICES
ARE  BEING  RENDERED  CONSISTENT  WITH  THAT  DIAGNOSIS, PRESCRIPTION OR
REFERRAL.  VISION REHABILITATION THERAPISTS AND ORIENTATION AND MOBILITY
SPECIALISTS MAY NOT PRESCRIBE OPTICAL LOW VISION DEVICES.
  4. "APPLIED SETTINGS" MEANS THOSE  LOCATIONS  WHERE  PERSONS  WHO  ARE
VISUALLY  IMPAIRED  ENGAGE  IN DAY-TO-DAY ACTIVITIES UTILIZING THE TOOLS
SUPPLIED AND TECHNIQUES TAUGHT BY THE LICENSED PRACTITIONERS DEFINED  IN
THIS ARTICLE.
  5.  "VISUALLY  IMPAIRED"  MEANS A PERSON WHO IS TOTALLY BLIND, LEGALLY
BLIND OR PARTIALLY SIGHTED. A PERSON WHO IS BLIND  IS  ONE  WHO  HAS  NO
USEABLE  VISION.  A PERSON WHO IS LEGALLY BLIND IS ONE WHO SATISFIES THE
DEFINITION SET FORTH IN SUBDIVISION B OF SECTION THREE OF  CHAPTER  FOUR
HUNDRED  FIFTEEN OF THE LAWS OF NINETEEN HUNDRED THIRTEEN.  A PERSON WHO

S. 3558--A                          3

IS PARTIALLY SIGHTED IS ONE WHO HAS FUNCTIONAL  VISION  IMPAIRMENT  THAT
CONSTITUTES A SIGNIFICANT LIMITATION OF VISUAL CAPABILITY RESULTING FROM
DISEASE,  TRAUMA,  OR CONGENITAL CONDITION, THAT CANNOT BE FULLY AMELIO-
RATED  BY  STANDARD  REFRACTIVE  CORRECTION, MEDICATION, OR SURGERY, AND
THAT IS MANIFESTED BY ONE OR MORE OF THE FOLLOWING: INSUFFICIENT  VISUAL
RESOLUTION,  INADEQUATE  FIELD OF VISION OR REDUCED PEAK CONTRAST SENSI-
TIVITY.
  S 8802. USE OF THE TITLES "LICENSED ORIENTATION AND MOBILITY  SPECIAL-
ISTS"  AND  "VISION  REHABILITATION THERAPISTS".   1. PRACTICE OF ORIEN-
TATION AND MOBILITY TRAINING AND USE OF THE TITLE "LICENSED  ORIENTATION
AND  MOBILITY  SPECIALISTS". ONLY A PERSON LICENSED OR OTHERWISE AUTHOR-
IZED UNDER THIS ARTICLE SHALL PRACTICE ORIENTATION AND MOBILITY TRAINING
OR USE THE TITLE "LICENSED  ORIENTATION  AND  MOBILITY  SPECIALISTS"  IN
CONNECTION WITH HIS OR HER NAME OR WITH ANY TRADE NAME IN THE CONDUCT OF
HIS OR HER PROFESSION.
  2.  PRACTICE  OF  VISION  REHABILITATION  THERAPY AND USE OF THE TITLE
"VISION REHABILITATION THERAPIST". ONLY A PERSON LICENSED  OR  OTHERWISE
AUTHORIZED UNDER THIS ARTICLE SHALL PRACTICE VISION REHABILITATION THER-
APY  OR  USE  THE  TITLE "VISION REHABILITATION THERAPIST" IN CONNECTION
WITH HIS OR HER NAME OR WITH ANY TRADE NAME IN THE CONDUCT OF HIS OR HER
PROFESSION.
  S 8803. STATE BOARD FOR VISION REHABILITATION SERVICES. A STATE  BOARD
FOR  VISION  REHABILITATION  SERVICES SHALL BE APPOINTED BY THE BOARD OF
REGENTS UPON THE RECOMMENDATION OF THE COMMISSIONER FOR THE  PURPOSE  OF
ASSISTING  THE BOARD OF REGENTS AND THE DEPARTMENT ON MATTERS OF PROFES-
SIONAL LICENSING AND PROFESSIONAL CONDUCT  IN  ACCORDANCE  WITH  SECTION
SIXTY-FIVE  HUNDRED  EIGHT OF THIS TITLE. THE BOARD SHALL CONSIST OF NOT
LESS THAN FOURTEEN INDIVIDUALS, FOUR OF WHOM SHALL  BE  LICENSED  ORIEN-
TATION  AND  MOBILITY SPECIALISTS, FOUR OF WHOM SHALL BE LICENSED VISION
REHABILITATION  THERAPISTS,  ONE  OPHTHALMOLOGIST  SPECIALIZING  IN  LOW
VISION  TREATMENT,  ONE OPTOMETRIST SPECIALIZING IN LOW VISION TREATMENT
AND FOUR OF WHOM SHALL BE BLIND REPRESENTATIVES OF THE PUBLIC  AT  LARGE
WHOSE  NAMES  WILL  BE PLACED IN NOMINATION FOR THE BOARD FROM ORGANIZA-
TIONS OF THE BLIND OR VISUALLY IMPAIRED.  MEMBERS OF THE  INITIAL  BOARD
NEED  NOT  BE  LICENSED  PRIOR TO THEIR APPOINTMENT TO THE BOARD. OF THE
MEMBERS FIRST APPOINTED, FOUR SHALL BE APPOINTED FOR A THREE YEAR  TERM,
FIVE  SHALL  BE  APPOINTED  FOR  A  FOUR  YEAR  TERM,  AND FIVE SHALL BE
APPOINTED FOR A FIVE YEAR TERM. THEREAFTER ALL MEMBERS SHALL  SERVE  FOR
FIVE  YEAR  TERMS.  IN  THE  EVENT  THAT  MORE THAN FOURTEEN MEMBERS ARE
APPOINTED, A MAJORITY OF THE ADDITIONAL MEMBERS SHALL BE LICENSED ORIEN-
TATION AND MOBILITY SPECIALISTS AND LICENSED VISION REHABILITATION THER-
APISTS. THE MEMBERS OF THE BOARD SHALL SELECT ONE OF THEMSELVES AS CHAIR
TO SERVE FOR A ONE YEAR TERM. AN EXECUTIVE SECRETARY SHALL BE  APPOINTED
BY THE BOARD OF REGENTS UPON THE RECOMMENDATION OF THE COMMISSIONER.
  S 8804. REQUIREMENTS FOR A LICENSE.  1. TO QUALIFY FOR A LICENSE AS AN
ORIENTATION  AND  MOBILITY  SPECIALIST,  AN  APPLICANT SHALL FULFILL THE
FOLLOWING REQUIREMENTS:
  (A) APPLICATION: FILE AN APPLICATION WITH THE DEPARTMENT;
  (B)  EDUCATION/EXPERIENCE:  (I)  HAVE  SATISFACTORILY   COMPLETED   AN
APPROVED  ORIENTATION  AND  MOBILITY  CURRICULUM  IN  A BACCALAUREATE OR
MASTERS PROGRAM, OR A CERTIFICATE PROGRAM SATISFACTORY TO THE DEPARTMENT
WHICH IS SUBSTANTIALLY EQUIVALENT TO A BACCALAUREATE DEGREE PROGRAM,  IN
ACCORDANCE WITH THE COMMISSIONER'S REGULATIONS; AND
  (II)  HAVE  A  MINIMUM  OF  THREE MONTHS OF SUPERVISED ORIENTATION AND
MOBILITY EXPERIENCE WHICH SUPERVISION AND EXPERIENCE SHALL BE  SATISFAC-

S. 3558--A                          4

TORY  TO  THE  STATE  BOARD  FOR  VISION  REHABILITATION SERVICES AND IN
ACCORDANCE WITH THE COMMISSIONER'S REGULATIONS;
  (C)  PASS  AN  EXAMINATION  SATISFACTORY TO THE STATE BOARD FOR VISION
REHABILITATION SERVICES IN  ACCORDANCE  WITH  THE  COMMISSIONER'S  REGU-
LATIONS.
  (D) AGE: BE AT LEAST TWENTY-ONE YEARS OF AGE;
  (E) CHARACTER: BE OF GOOD MORAL CHARACTER AS DETERMINED BY THE DEPART-
MENT;
  (F)  REGISTRATION:  ALL  LICENSED ORIENTATION AND MOBILITY SPECIALISTS
SHALL REGISTER TRIENNIALLY WITH THE DEPARTMENT IN  ACCORDANCE  WITH  THE
COMMISSIONER'S REGULATION;
  (G) MANDATORY CONTINUING COMPETENCY:  (I)(A) EACH LICENSED ORIENTATION
AND MOBILITY SPECIALIST REQUIRED UNDER THIS ARTICLE TO REGISTER TRIENNI-
ALLY  WITH THE DEPARTMENT TO PRACTICE IN THE STATE SHALL COMPLY WITH THE
PROVISIONS  OF  THE   MANDATORY   CONTINUING   COMPETENCY   REQUIREMENTS
PRESCRIBED IN SUBPARAGRAPH (II) OF THIS PARAGRAPH, EXCEPT AS PROVIDED IN
CLAUSES  (B)  AND  (C)  OF  THIS  SUBPARAGRAPH. ORIENTATION AND MOBILITY
SPECIALISTS WHO DO  NOT  SATISFY  THE  MANDATORY  CONTINUING  COMPETENCY
REQUIREMENTS  SHALL  NOT  BE  AUTHORIZED TO PRACTICE UNTIL THEY HAVE MET
SUCH REQUIREMENTS, AND THEY HAVE BEEN ISSUED A REGISTRATION CERTIFICATE,
EXCEPT THAT AN ORIENTATION AND MOBILITY SPECIALIST MAY PRACTICE  WITHOUT
HAVING MET SUCH REQUIREMENTS IF HE OR SHE IS ISSUED A CONDITIONAL REGIS-
TRATION PURSUANT TO SUBPARAGRAPH (III) OF THIS PARAGRAPH.
  (B)  ORIENTATION  AND  MOBILITY  SPECIALISTS  SHALL BE EXEMPT FROM THE
MANDATORY CONTINUING COMPETENCY REQUIREMENT FOR THE TRIENNIAL  REGISTRA-
TION  PERIOD  DURING  WHICH  THEY ARE FIRST LICENSED.  ADJUSTMENT TO THE
MANDATORY CONTINUING COMPETENCY  REQUIREMENTS  MAY  BE  GRANTED  BY  THE
DEPARTMENT  FOR  REASONS OF HEALTH OF THE LICENSEE WHERE CERTIFIED BY AN
APPROPRIATE HEALTH CARE PROFESSIONAL, FOR EXTENDED ACTIVE DUTY WITH  THE
ARMED FORCES OF THE UNITED STATES, OR FOR OTHER GOOD CAUSE ACCEPTABLE TO
THE DEPARTMENT WHICH MAY PREVENT COMPLIANCE.
  (C)  A  LICENSED  ORIENTATION  AND  MOBILITY SPECIALIST NOT ENGAGED IN
PRACTICE, AS DETERMINED BY THE DEPARTMENT,  SHALL  BE  EXEMPT  FROM  THE
MANDATORY  CONTINUING COMPETENCY REQUIREMENT UPON THE FILING OF A STATE-
MENT WITH THE DEPARTMENT DECLARING SUCH STATUS. ANY LICENSEE WHO RETURNS
TO PRACTICE OF THE PROFESSION OF  ORIENTATION  AND  MOBILITY  SPECIALIST
DURING  THE  TRIENNIAL  REGISTRATION  PERIOD SHALL NOTIFY THE DEPARTMENT
PRIOR TO REENTERING THE PROFESSION AND SHALL MEET SUCH MANDATORY CONTIN-
UING COMPETENCY REQUIREMENTS AS SHALL BE PRESCRIBED  BY  REGULATIONS  OF
THE COMMISSIONER.
  (II) DURING EACH TRIENNIAL REGISTRATION PERIOD AN APPLICANT FOR REGIS-
TRATION AS AN ORIENTATION AND MOBILITY SPECIALIST SHALL COMPLETE A MINI-
MUM  OF  TWENTY-FOUR  HOURS  OF  ACCEPTABLE  LEARNING  ACTIVITIES  WHICH
CONTRIBUTE TO CONTINUING COMPETENCE, AS SPECIFIED IN  SUBPARAGRAPH  (IV)
OF THIS PARAGRAPH, PROVIDED FURTHER THAT AT LEAST SIXTEEN HOURS SHALL BE
IN  RECOGNIZED  AREAS  OF STUDY PERTINENT TO THE PROFESSIONAL SCOPE OF A
LICENSED ORIENTATION AND MOBILITY SPECIALIST. ANY ORIENTATION AND MOBIL-
ITY SPECIALIST WHOSE FIRST REGISTRATION  DATE  FOLLOWING  THE  EFFECTIVE
DATE  OF  THIS  SECTION OCCURS LESS THAN THREE YEARS FROM SUCH EFFECTIVE
DATE, BUT ON  OR  AFTER  JANUARY  FIRST,  TWO  THOUSAND  FIFTEEN,  SHALL
COMPLETE  CONTINUING COMPETENCY HOURS ON A PRORATED BASIS AT THE RATE OF
ONE-HALF HOUR PER MONTH FOR THE  PERIOD  BEGINNING  JANUARY  FIRST,  TWO
THOUSAND FIFTEEN UP TO THE FIRST REGISTRATION DATE. THEREAFTER, A LICEN-
SEE  WHO  HAS NOT SATISFIED THE MANDATORY CONTINUING COMPETENCY REQUIRE-
MENTS SHALL NOT BE ISSUED A TRIENNIAL REGISTRATION  CERTIFICATE  BY  THE
DEPARTMENT  AND SHALL NOT PRACTICE UNLESS AND UNTIL A CONDITIONAL REGIS-

S. 3558--A                          5

TRATION CERTIFICATE IS ISSUED AS PROVIDED FOR IN SUBPARAGRAPH  (III)  OF
THIS  PARAGRAPH.  CONTINUING COMPETENCY HOURS TAKEN DURING ONE TRIENNIUM
MAY NOT BE TRANSFERRED TO A SUBSEQUENT TRIENNIUM.
  (III)  THE  DEPARTMENT,  IN  ITS  DISCRETION,  MAY ISSUE A CONDITIONAL
REGISTRATION TO A LICENSEE WHO FAILS TO MEET THE  CONTINUING  COMPETENCY
REQUIREMENTS ESTABLISHED IN SUBPARAGRAPH (II) OF THIS PARAGRAPH, BUT WHO
AGREES  TO MAKE UP ANY DEFICIENCIES AND COMPLETE ANY ADDITIONAL LEARNING
ACTIVITIES WHICH THE DEPARTMENT MAY REQUIRE. THE FEE FOR SUCH  A  CONDI-
TIONAL  REGISTRATION  SHALL  BE THE SAME AS, AND IN ADDITION TO, THE FEE
FOR THE TRIENNIAL REGISTRATION. THE DURATION OF SUCH CONDITIONAL  REGIS-
TRATION  SHALL  BE DETERMINED BY THE DEPARTMENT BUT SHALL NOT EXCEED ONE
YEAR. ANY LICENSEE WHO IS NOTIFIED OF THE  DENIAL  OF  REGISTRATION  FOR
FAILURE  TO SUBMIT EVIDENCE, SATISFACTORY TO THE DEPARTMENT, OF REQUIRED
CONTINUING COMPETENCY LEARNING ACTIVITIES AND WHO PRACTICES WITHOUT SUCH
REGISTRATION, MAY BE SUBJECT TO  DISCIPLINARY  PROCEEDINGS  PURSUANT  TO
SECTION SIXTY-FIVE HUNDRED TEN OF THIS TITLE.
  (IV)  AS  USED  IN  SUBPARAGRAPH  (II)  OF THIS PARAGRAPH, "ACCEPTABLE
LEARNING ACTIVITIES" SHALL  MEAN  ACTIVITIES  WHICH  CONTRIBUTE  TO  THE
PROFESSIONAL  PRACTICE  OF  AN  ORIENTATION  AND MOBILITY SPECIALIST AND
WHICH MEET THE STANDARDS PRESCRIBED IN THE REGULATIONS  OF  THE  COMMIS-
SIONER.  SUCH  LEARNING ACTIVITIES SHALL INCLUDE, BUT NOT BE LIMITED TO,
COLLEGIATE LEVEL CREDIT AND NON-CREDIT COURSES,  SELF-STUDY  ACTIVITIES,
INDEPENDENT  STUDY, FORMAL MENTORING ACTIVITIES, PUBLICATIONS IN PROFES-
SIONAL  JOURNALS,  PROFESSIONAL  DEVELOPMENT  PROGRAMS   AND   TECHNICAL
SESSIONS;  SUCH  LEARNING  ACTIVITIES  MAY  BE  OFFERED AND SPONSORED BY
NATIONAL, STATE AND LOCAL PROFESSIONAL ASSOCIATIONS AND OTHER  ORGANIZA-
TIONS  OR  PARTIES ACCEPTABLE TO THE DEPARTMENT, AND ANY OTHER ORGANIZED
EDUCATIONAL AND TECHNICAL LEARNING ACTIVITIES ACCEPTABLE TO THE  DEPART-
MENT.  RECOGNIZED  AREAS  OF  STUDY SHALL INCLUDE BUT NOT BE LIMITED TO:
KNOWLEDGE AND SKILLS  TRAINING  IN  ORIENTATION,  MOBILITY,  NAVIGATION,
INDEPENDENT  LIVING,  COMMUNICATIONS AND USE OF PRESCRIBED AND, ADAPTIVE
OPTICAL DEVICES; UTILIZATION OF  SPECIALIZED  TECHNIQUES  AND  EQUIPMENT
INTENDED  FOR  USE  BY  PERSONS  WHO  ARE VISUALLY IMPAIRED; THE MEDICAL
ASPECTS OF VISION LOSS AND ITS FUNCTIONAL  IMPACT  ON  PERSONS  WHO  ARE
VISUALLY  IMPAIRED; AND SUCH OTHER TECHNICAL SUBJECT MATTER AREAS APPRO-
PRIATELY RELATED TO THE PRACTICE OF VISION  REHABILITATION  SERVICES  AS
MAY  BE SATISFACTORY TO THE BOARD AND IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE COMMISSION-
ER'S REGULATIONS. THE DEPARTMENT MAY, IN ITS DISCRETION AND AS NEEDED TO
CONTRIBUTE TO  THE  HEALTH  AND  WELFARE  OF  THE  PUBLIC,  REQUIRE  THE
COMPLETION  OF  CONTINUING  COMPETENCY  LEARNING  ACTIVITIES IN SPECIFIC
SUBJECTS TO FULFILL THIS MANDATORY  CONTINUING  COMPETENCY  REQUIREMENT.
LEARNING ACTIVITIES MUST BE TAKEN FROM A SPONSOR APPROVED BY THE DEPART-
MENT, PURSUANT TO THE REGULATIONS OF THE COMMISSIONER.
  (V)  ORIENTATION  AND  MOBILITY  SPECIALISTS  SHALL  MAINTAIN ADEQUATE
DOCUMENTATION OF COMPLETION OF ACCEPTABLE CONTINUING COMPETENCY LEARNING
ACTIVITIES AND SHALL PROVIDE SUCH DOCUMENTATION AT THE  REQUEST  OF  THE
DEPARTMENT.  FAILURE  TO  PROVIDE SUCH DOCUMENTATION UPON THE REQUEST OF
THE DEPARTMENT SHALL BE AN ACT OF  MISCONDUCT  SUBJECT  TO  DISCIPLINARY
PROCEEDINGS PURSUANT TO SECTION SIXTY-FIVE HUNDRED TEN OF THIS TITLE.
  (VI)  THE  MANDATORY CONTINUING COMPETENCY FEE SHALL BE FIFTY DOLLARS,
SHALL BE PAYABLE ON OR BEFORE THE FIRST DAY OF EACH TRIENNIAL  REGISTRA-
TION PERIOD, AND SHALL BE PAID IN ADDITION TO THE TRIENNIAL REGISTRATION
FEE REQUIRED BY PARAGRAPH (H) OF THIS SUBDIVISION.
  (H) FEES: PAY A FEE OF ONE HUNDRED SEVENTY-FIVE DOLLARS FOR AN INITIAL
LICENSE  AND  A FEE OF ONE HUNDRED FIFTY-FIVE DOLLARS FOR EACH TRIENNIAL
REGISTRATION PERIOD.

S. 3558--A                          6

  2. TO QUALIFY FOR A LICENSE AS A VISION  REHABILITATION  THERAPIST  AN
APPLICANT SHALL FULFILL THE FOLLOWING REQUIREMENTS:
  (A) APPLICATION: FILE AN APPLICATION WITH THE DEPARTMENT;
  (B)   EDUCATION/EXPERIENCE:   (I)  HAVE  SATISFACTORILY  COMPLETED  AN
APPROVED VISION REHABILITATION THERAPIST CURRICULUM IN  A  BACCALAUREATE
OR MASTERS PROGRAM, OR A CERTIFICATE PROGRAM SATISFACTORY TO THE DEPART-
MENT  WHICH  IS  SUBSTANTIALLY  EQUIVALENT  TO  A  BACCALAUREATE  DEGREE
PROGRAM, IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE COMMISSIONER'S REGULATIONS; AND
  (II) HAVE A MINIMUM OF THREE MONTHS  OF  SUPERVISED  VISION  REHABILI-
TATION  THERAPIST  EXPERIENCE  WHICH SUPERVISION AND EXPERIENCE SHALL BE
SATISFACTORY TO THE STATE BOARD FOR VISION REHABILITATION  SERVICES  AND
IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE COMMISSIONER'S REGULATIONS;
  (C)  EXAMINATION: PASS AN EXAMINATION SATISFACTORY TO THE BOARD AND IN
ACCORDANCE WITH THE COMMISSIONER'S REGULATIONS THAT MAY BE BASED  ON  AN
EXAM  UTILIZED BY ANY NATIONALLY RECOGNIZED ACCREDITING OR CERTIFICATION
BODY SUCH AS THE ACADEMY FOR CERTIFICATION OF VISION REHABILITATION  AND
EDUCATION  PROFESSIONALS  (ACVREP),  NATIONAL  ORIENTATION  AND MOBILITY
CERTIFICATE (NOMC) ADMINISTERED BY THE NATIONAL  BLINDNESS  PROFESSIONAL
CERTIFICATION BOARD (NBPCB) OR AN EQUIVALENT EXAM.
  (D) AGE: BE AT LEAST TWENTY-ONE YEARS OF AGE;
  (E) CHARACTER: BE OF GOOD MORAL CHARACTER AS DETERMINED BY THE DEPART-
MENT;
  (F)  REGISTRATION: ALL LICENSED VISION REHABILITATION THERAPISTS SHALL
REGISTER TRIENNIALLY WITH THE DEPARTMENT IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE  COMMIS-
SIONER'S REGULATIONS;
  (G)  MANDATORY  CONTINUING  COMPETENCY:   (I) (A) EACH LICENSED VISION
REHABILITATION THERAPIST REQUIRED UNDER THIS ARTICLE TO REGISTER  TRIEN-
NIALLY  WITH  THE  DEPARTMENT TO PRACTICE IN THE STATE SHALL COMPLY WITH
THE PROVISIONS  OF  THE  MANDATORY  CONTINUING  COMPETENCY  REQUIREMENTS
PRESCRIBED IN SUBPARAGRAPH (II) OF THIS PARAGRAPH, EXCEPT AS PROVIDED IN
CLAUSES (B) AND (C) OF THIS PARAGRAPH.  VISION REHABILITATION THERAPISTS
WHO  DO  NOT  SATISFY  THE  MANDATORY CONTINUING COMPETENCY REQUIREMENTS
SHALL NOT BE AUTHORIZED TO PRACTICE UNTIL THEY HAVE  MET  SUCH  REQUIRE-
MENTS, AND THEY HAVE BEEN ISSUED A REGISTRATION CERTIFICATE, EXCEPT THAT
A  VISION  REHABILITATION THERAPIST MAY PRACTICE WITHOUT HAVING MET SUCH
REQUIREMENTS IF HE OR SHE IS ISSUED A CONDITIONAL REGISTRATION  PURSUANT
TO SUBPARAGRAPH (III) OF THIS PARAGRAPH.
  (B) VISION REHABILITATION THERAPISTS SHALL BE EXEMPT FROM THE MANDATO-
RY  CONTINUING  COMPETENCY  REQUIREMENT  FOR  THE TRIENNIAL REGISTRATION
PERIOD DURING WHICH THEY ARE FIRST LICENSED.  ADJUSTMENT TO THE MANDATO-
RY CONTINUING COMPETENCY REQUIREMENTS MAY BE GRANTED BY  THE  DEPARTMENT
FOR  REASONS OF HEALTH OF THE LICENSEE WHERE CERTIFIED BY AN APPROPRIATE
HEALTH CARE PROFESSIONAL, FOR EXTENDED ACTIVE DUTY WITH THE ARMED FORCES
OF THE UNITED STATES, OR FOR OTHER GOOD CAUSE ACCEPTABLE TO THE  DEPART-
MENT WHICH MAY PREVENT COMPLIANCE.
  (C)  A  LICENSED  VISION REHABILITATION THERAPIST NOT ENGAGED IN PRAC-
TICE, AS DETERMINED BY THE DEPARTMENT, SHALL BE EXEMPT FROM THE MANDATO-
RY CONTINUING COMPETENCY REQUIREMENT UPON THE FILING OF A STATEMENT WITH
THE DEPARTMENT DECLARING SUCH STATUS. ANY LICENSEE WHO RETURNS TO  PRAC-
TICE  OF VISION REHABILITATION THERAPY DURING THE TRIENNIAL REGISTRATION
PERIOD SHALL NOTIFY THE DEPARTMENT PRIOR TO  REENTERING  THE  PROFESSION
AND  SHALL  MEET  SUCH  MANDATORY  CONTINUING COMPETENCY REQUIREMENTS AS
SHALL BE PRESCRIBED BY REGULATIONS OF THE COMMISSIONER.
  (II) DURING EACH TRIENNIAL REGISTRATION PERIOD AN APPLICANT FOR REGIS-
TRATION AS A VISION REHABILITATION THERAPIST SHALL COMPLETE A MINIMUM OF
TWENTY-FOUR HOURS OF ACCEPTABLE LEARNING ACTIVITIES WHICH CONTRIBUTE  TO

S. 3558--A                          7

CONTINUING  COMPETENCE,  AS SPECIFIED IN SUBPARAGRAPH (IV) OF THIS PARA-
GRAPH, PROVIDED FURTHER THAT AT LEAST SIXTEEN HOURS SHALL BE  IN  RECOG-
NIZED  AREAS  OF STUDY PERTINENT TO THE PROFESSIONAL SCOPE OF A LICENSED
VISION  REHABILITATION  THERAPIST.  ANY  VISION REHABILITATION THERAPIST
WHOSE FIRST REGISTRATION DATE  FOLLOWING  THE  EFFECTIVE  DATE  OF  THIS
SECTION OCCURS LESS THAN THREE YEARS FROM SUCH EFFECTIVE DATE, BUT ON OR
AFTER  JANUARY  FIRST,  TWO  THOUSAND FIFTEEN, SHALL COMPLETE CONTINUING
COMPETENCY HOURS ON A PRORATED BASIS AT THE RATE OF  ONE-HALF  HOUR  PER
MONTH FOR THE PERIOD BEGINNING JANUARY FIRST, TWO THOUSAND FIFTEEN UP TO
THE  FIRST  REGISTRATION DATE. THEREAFTER, A LICENSEE WHO HAS NOT SATIS-
FIED THE MANDATORY  CONTINUING  COMPETENCY  REQUIREMENTS  SHALL  NOT  BE
ISSUED  A TRIENNIAL REGISTRATION CERTIFICATE BY THE DEPARTMENT AND SHALL
NOT PRACTICE UNLESS AND UNTIL A CONDITIONAL REGISTRATION CERTIFICATE  IS
ISSUED AS PROVIDED FOR IN SUBPARAGRAPH (III) OF THIS PARAGRAPH.  CONTIN-
UING  COMPETENCY HOURS TAKEN DURING ONE TRIENNIUM MAY NOT BE TRANSFERRED
TO A SUBSEQUENT TRIENNIUM.
  (III) THE DEPARTMENT, IN  ITS  DISCRETION,  MAY  ISSUE  A  CONDITIONAL
REGISTRATION  TO  A LICENSEE WHO FAILS TO MEET THE CONTINUING COMPETENCY
REQUIREMENTS ESTABLISHED IN SUBPARAGRAPH (II) OF THIS PARAGRAPH, BUT WHO
AGREES TO MAKE UP ANY DEFICIENCIES AND COMPLETE ANY ADDITIONAL  LEARNING
ACTIVITIES  WHICH  THE DEPARTMENT MAY REQUIRE. THE FEE FOR SUCH A CONDI-
TIONAL REGISTRATION SHALL BE THE SAME AS, AND IN ADDITION  TO,  THE  FEE
FOR  THE TRIENNIAL REGISTRATION. THE DURATION OF SUCH CONDITIONAL REGIS-
TRATION SHALL BE DETERMINED BY THE DEPARTMENT BUT SHALL NOT  EXCEED  ONE
YEAR.  ANY  LICENSEE  WHO  IS NOTIFIED OF THE DENIAL OF REGISTRATION FOR
FAILURE TO SUBMIT EVIDENCE, SATISFACTORY TO THE DEPARTMENT, OF  REQUIRED
CONTINUING COMPETENCY LEARNING ACTIVITIES AND WHO PRACTICES WITHOUT SUCH
REGISTRATION,  MAY  BE  SUBJECT  TO DISCIPLINARY PROCEEDINGS PURSUANT TO
SECTION SIXTY-FIVE HUNDRED TEN OF THIS TITLE.
  (IV) AS USED IN  SUBPARAGRAPH  (II)  OF  THIS  PARAGRAPH,  "ACCEPTABLE
LEARNING  ACTIVITIES"  SHALL  MEAN  ACTIVITIES  WHICH  CONTRIBUTE TO THE
PROFESSIONAL PRACTICE OF A VISION  REHABILITATION  THERAPIST  AND  WHICH
MEET  THE  STANDARDS  PRESCRIBED IN THE REGULATIONS OF THE COMMISSIONER.
SUCH LEARNING ACTIVITIES SHALL INCLUDE, BUT NOT BE LIMITED TO,  COLLEGI-
ATE  LEVEL  CREDIT  AND NON-CREDIT COURSES, SELF-STUDY ACTIVITIES, INDE-
PENDENT STUDY, FORMAL MENTORING ACTIVITIES, PUBLICATIONS IN PROFESSIONAL
JOURNALS, PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT PROGRAMS AND TECHNICAL SESSIONS; SUCH
LEARNING ACTIVITIES MAY BE OFFERED AND SPONSORED BY NATIONAL, STATE  AND
LOCAL  PROFESSIONAL  ASSOCIATIONS  AND  OTHER  ORGANIZATIONS  OR PARTIES
ACCEPTABLE TO THE DEPARTMENT, AND ANY OTHER  ORGANIZED  EDUCATIONAL  AND
TECHNICAL  LEARNING ACTIVITIES ACCEPTABLE TO THE DEPARTMENT.  RECOGNIZED
AREAS OF STUDY SHALL INCLUDE BUT NOT BE LIMITED TO: KNOWLEDGE AND SKILLS
TRAINING IN MOBILITY, NAVIGATION, INDEPENDENT LIVING, COMMUNICATIONS AND
ORIENTATION, USE OF PRESCRIBED AND, ADAPTIVE OPTICAL  DEVICES;  UTILIZA-
TION OF SPECIALIZED TECHNIQUES AND EQUIPMENT INTENDED FOR USE BY PERSONS
WHO  ARE  VISUALLY  IMPAIRED; THE MEDICAL ASPECTS OF VISION LOSS AND ITS
FUNCTIONAL IMPACT ON PERSONS WHO ARE VISUALLY IMPAIRED; AND  SUCH  OTHER
TECHNICAL  SUBJECT MATTER AREAS APPROPRIATELY RELATED TO THE PRACTICE OF
VISION REHABILITATION SERVICES AS MAY BE SATISFACTORY TO THE  BOARD  AND
IN  ACCORDANCE  WITH THE COMMISSIONER'S REGULATIONS. THE DEPARTMENT MAY,
IN ITS DISCRETION AND AS NEEDED TO CONTRIBUTE TO THE HEALTH AND  WELFARE
OF  THE PUBLIC, REQUIRE THE COMPLETION OF CONTINUING COMPETENCY LEARNING
ACTIVITIES IN SPECIFIC SUBJECTS TO  FULFILL  THIS  MANDATORY  CONTINUING
COMPETENCY  REQUIREMENT.  LEARNING ACTIVITIES MUST BE TAKEN FROM A SPON-
SOR APPROVED BY THE DEPARTMENT,  PURSUANT  TO  THE  REGULATIONS  OF  THE
COMMISSIONER.

S. 3558--A                          8

  (V)  VISION REHABILITATION THERAPISTS SHALL MAINTAIN ADEQUATE DOCUMEN-
TATION OF COMPLETION OF ACCEPTABLE CONTINUING COMPETENCY LEARNING ACTIV-
ITIES AND SHALL PROVIDE SUCH DOCUMENTATION AT THE REQUEST OF THE DEPART-
MENT. FAILURE TO PROVIDE SUCH DOCUMENTATION  UPON  THE  REQUEST  OF  THE
DEPARTMENT  SHALL  BE  AN  ACT  OF  MISCONDUCT  SUBJECT  TO DISCIPLINARY
PROCEEDINGS PURSUANT TO SECTION SIXTY-FIVE HUNDRED TEN OF THIS TITLE.
  (VI) THE MANDATORY CONTINUING COMPETENCY FEE SHALL BE  FIFTY  DOLLARS,
SHALL  BE PAYABLE ON OR BEFORE THE FIRST DAY OF EACH TRIENNIAL REGISTRA-
TION PERIOD, AND SHALL BE PAID IN ADDITION TO THE TRIENNIAL REGISTRATION
FEE REQUIRED BY PARAGRAPH (H) OF THIS SUBDIVISION.
  (H) FEES: PAY A FEE OF ONE HUNDRED SEVENTY-FIVE DOLLARS FOR AN INITIAL
LICENSE AND A FEE OF ONE HUNDRED FIFTY-FIVE DOLLARS FOR  EACH  TRIENNIAL
REGISTRATION PERIOD.
  S  8805.  LIMITED PERMITS. PERMITS LIMITED AS TO ELIGIBILITY, PRACTICE
AND DURATION SHALL BE ISSUED BY THE DEPARTMENT TO ELIGIBLE APPLICANTS AS
FOLLOWS:
  1. ELIGIBILITY. A PERSON WHO FULFILLS ALL REQUIREMENTS FOR  AN  ORIEN-
TATION  AND  MOBILITY  SPECIALIST  OR  VISION  REHABILITATION THERAPIST,
EXCEPT THAT RELATING TO THE EXAMINATION, SHALL BE ELIGIBLE FOR A LIMITED
PERMIT.
  2. LIMIT OF PRACTICE. ALL PRACTICE UNDER A  LIMITED  PERMIT  SHALL  BE
UNDER  THE  DIRECT  SUPERVISION  OF  A LICENSED ORIENTATION AND MOBILITY
SPECIALIST OR A VISION REHABILITATION THERAPIST.
  3. DURATION. A LIMITED PERMIT SHALL EXPIRE ONE YEAR FROM THE  DATE  OF
ISSUANCE  OR  UPON  NOTICE  TO  THE PERMITTEE BY THE DEPARTMENT THAT THE
APPLICATION FOR LICENSURE HAS BEEN DENIED, OR UPON NOTICE TO THE PERMIT-
TEE OF FAILURE ON  THE  PROFESSIONAL  LICENSING  EXAMINATION,  WHICHEVER
FIRST OCCURS.
  4. FEES. THE FEE FOR EACH LIMITED PERMIT SHALL BE SEVENTY DOLLARS.
  S  8806. EXEMPT PERSONS. THIS ARTICLE SHALL NOT BE CONSTRUED TO AFFECT
OR PREVENT THE FOLLOWING, PROVIDED THAT NO TITLE, SIGN, CARD  OR  DEVICE
SHALL  BE  USED  IN SUCH MANNER AS TO TEND TO CONVEY THE IMPRESSION THAT
THE PERSON RENDERING SUCH SERVICE IS A LICENSED ORIENTATION AND MOBILITY
SPECIALIST OR VISION REHABILITATION THERAPIST:
  1. THE PRACTICE OF ORIENTATION AND MOBILITY TRAINING OR  VISION  REHA-
BILITATION THERAPY AS AN INTEGRAL PART OF A PROGRAM OF STUDY BY STUDENTS
ENROLLED IN APPROVED EDUCATIONAL OR TRAINING PROGRAMS IN (A) ORIENTATION
AND MOBILITY TRAINING OR (B) VISION REHABILITATION THERAPY.
  2.  THE  PERFORMANCE  OF ANY OF THE DUTIES, TASKS AND RESPONSIBILITIES
INCLUDED IN THE DEFINITION OF ORIENTATION AND MOBILITY TRAINING  BY  ANY
OTHER  DULY  LICENSED,  CERTIFIED  OR  REGISTERED  HEALTH CARE PROVIDER,
PROVIDED THAT SUCH DUTIES, TASKS AND  RESPONSIBILITIES  ARE  WITHIN  THE
SCOPE OF HIS OR HER PRACTICE AS DEFINED IN THE ARTICLE PURSUANT TO WHICH
SUCH  PERSON  IS  LICENSED,  CERTIFIED OR REGISTERED; PROVIDED, HOWEVER,
THAT SUCH PRACTITIONERS MAY NOT HOLD  THEMSELVES  OUT  UNDER  THE  TITLE
"LICENSED ORIENTATION AND MOBILITY SPECIALIST" OR AS PERFORMING LICENSED
ORIENTATION AND MOBILITY TRAINING.
  3.  THE  PERFORMANCE  OF ANY OF THE DUTIES, TASKS AND RESPONSIBILITIES
INCLUDED IN THE DEFINITION OF VISION REHABILITATION THERAPY BY ANY OTHER
DULY LICENSED, CERTIFIED OR REGISTERED HEALTH  CARE  PROVIDER,  PROVIDED
THAT SUCH DUTIES, TASKS AND RESPONSIBILITIES ARE WITHIN THE SCOPE OF HIS
OR  HER  PRACTICE AS DEFINED IN THE ARTICLE OR COMMISSIONER'S REGULATION
PURSUANT TO WHICH SUCH PERSON  IS  LICENSED,  CERTIFIED  OR  REGISTERED;
PROVIDED,  HOWEVER,  THAT SUCH PRACTITIONERS MAY NOT HOLD THEMSELVES OUT
UNDER  THE  TITLE  "LICENSED  VISION  REHABILITATION  THERAPIST"  OR  AS
PERFORMING LICENSED VISION REHABILITATION THERAPY.

S. 3558--A                          9

  4.  THE PRACTICE, CONDUCT, ACTIVITIES, SERVICES OR USE OF ANY TITLE BY
ANY PERSON LICENSED OR OTHERWISE AUTHORIZED TO PRACTICE MEDICINE  WITHIN
THE STATE PURSUANT TO ARTICLE ONE HUNDRED THIRTY-ONE OF THIS TITLE OR BY
ANY  PERSON  REGISTERED  TO  PERFORM  SERVICES  AS A PHYSICIAN ASSISTANT
PURSUANT TO ARTICLE ONE HUNDRED THIRTY-ONE-B OF THIS TITLE.
  5.  THE  PRACTICE OF ORIENTATION AND MOBILITY TRAINING OR VISION REHA-
BILITATION THERAPY BY ANY LEGALLY QUALIFIED PRACTITIONER OF  ORIENTATION
AND  MOBILITY  TRAINING  OR  VISION  REHABILITATION THERAPY OF ANY OTHER
STATE OR TERRITORY WHO IS SERVING IN THE  ARMED  FORCES  OR  THE  PUBLIC
HEALTH  SERVICE OF THE UNITED STATES WHILE ENGAGED IN THE PERFORMANCE OF
HIS OR HER DUTIES.
  6. THE INSTRUCTION IN THE USE OF A DOG GUIDE.
  S 8807. SPECIAL PROVISIONS. A PERSON SHALL BE LICENSED  WITHOUT  EXAM-
INATION  PROVIDED THAT, WITHIN THREE YEARS OF THE EFFECTIVE DATE OF THIS
ARTICLE, SUCH PERSON:
  1. FILES AN APPLICATION AND PAYS THE APPROPRIATE FEES TO  THE  DEPART-
MENT;
  2.  (A)  HOLDS  A BACHELOR'S DEGREE OR HIGHER, OR EQUIVALENT AS DETER-
MINED BY THE DEPARTMENT, WITH A SPECIALIZATION IN ORIENTATION AND MOBIL-
ITY TRAINING; OR (B) HOLDS A BACHELOR'S DEGREE OR HIGHER, OR  EQUIVALENT
AS  DETERMINED  BY THE DEPARTMENT, WITH A SPECIALIZATION IN VISION REHA-
BILITATION THERAPY; OR (C) HOLDS  A  BACHELOR'S  DEGREE  OR  HIGHER,  OR
EQUIVALENT  AS DETERMINED BY THE DEPARTMENT IN A REHABILITATION FIELD OR
IN SPECIAL EDUCATION AND (I) HAS  COMPLETED  ALL  ADDITIONALLY  REQUIRED
ELEMENTS  OF  THE  ORIENTATION AND MOBILITY TRAINING OR VISION REHABILI-
TATION THERAPY CURRICULUM SATISFACTORY TO THE BOARD  AND  IN  ACCORDANCE
WITH  THE  COMMISSIONER'S  REGULATIONS;  OR  (II)  HAS BEEN CERTIFIED IN
ORIENTATION AND MOBILITY TRAINING OR VISION REHABILITATION THERAPY BY  A
NATIONALLY RECOGNIZED ACCREDITING BODY ACCEPTABLE TO THE DEPARTMENT; AND
  3.  SUBMITS EVIDENCE OF A MINIMUM OF THREE YEARS EXPERIENCE OR EMPLOY-
MENT IN THE PRACTICE OF ORIENTATION  AND  MOBILITY  TRAINING  OR  VISION
REHABILITATION  THERAPY SATISFACTORY TO THE BOARD AND IN ACCORDANCE WITH
THE COMMISSIONER'S REGULATIONS, WHETHER SUCH  EXPERIENCE  OR  EMPLOYMENT
OCCURS WITHIN OR WITHOUT THIS STATE.
  S 8808. SEPARABILITY. IF ANY SECTION OF THIS ARTICLE, OR PART THEREOF,
SHALL  BE ADJUDGED BY ANY COURT OF COMPETENT JURISDICTION TO BE INVALID,
SUCH JUDGMENT SHALL NOT AFFECT, IMPAIR OR INVALIDATE  THE  REMAINDER  OF
ANY OTHER SECTION OR PART THEREOF.
  S  2.  This  act  shall take effect July 1, 2015.  The commissioner of
education and the board of regents are  authorized  to  promulgate  such
rules  and  regulations  and take any other measures as may be necessary
for the timely implementation of this act on  or  before  its  effective
date,  including  but  not limited to the appointment of the state board
for vision rehabilitation services, the  acceptance  and  processing  of
applications for licensure, and the issuance of licenses.

Co-Sponsors

view additional co-sponsors

S3558B - Bill Details

See Assembly Version of this Bill:
A3597C
Current Committee:
Assembly Higher Education
Law Section:
Education Law
Laws Affected:
Add Art 168 §§8900 - 8908, Ed L
Versions Introduced in Previous Legislative Sessions:
2011-2012: S3880C, A8576B
2009-2010: S1262B

S3558B - Bill Texts

view summary

Provides for the licensing of licensed orientation and mobility specialists and vision rehabilitation therapists.

view sponsor memo
BILL NUMBER:S3558B

TITLE OF BILL: An act to amend the education law, in relation to the
licensing of orientation and mobility specialists and rehabilitation
therapists

PURPOSE: This bill would ensure the safety of persons who are blind
or partially sighted by licensing the trained vision rehabilitation
professionals who work with them to restore their independent
functioning within the home, the school, the workplace and the wider
community.

SUMMARY OF PROVISIONS: Creates a new article 168.

§ 8901 Sets out the definition used in the article.

§ 8902 Outlines the use of the titles "licensed orientation and
mobility specialists" and "vision rehabilitation therapists".

§ 8903 Outlines the State Board for vision rehabilitation services.

§ 8904 Spells out the requirements for a license.

§ 8905 Establishes limited permits.

§ 8906 Explains the exempt persons.

§ 8907 Outlines special provisions.

§ 8908 Separability provisions.

JUSTIFICATION: Vision does not have to be devastating. Full
independence can be achieved when there is access to highly qualified
vision rehabilitation professionals (VRPs). A significant number of
the more than one million individuals with vision loss are empowered,
self-sufficient and able to navigate through their lives independently
due in part to the specialized services they received when they needed
them.

However, too many New Yorkers who acquire a visual impairment due to
aging or an accident do not receive the training and services that
would enable them to make the transition from newly visually impaired
or blind to an active and productive life with a disability. This is
due in large part because vision rehabilitation professionals are not
yet licensed by the state of New York and thus, access to VRPs is
severely restricted and doctors do not refer patients to unlicensed
professions.

Vision Rehabilitation Professionals were marginalized in the first
half of the 20 century due in part because the numbers of people with
a visual impairment were small, the workers for the blind were largely
blind themselves and there was widespread discrimination of all people
with disabilities. Licensure is the final step to correct the wrongs
of the past by making every effort to ensure that those who become
blind have access to the highest quality of specially trained
rehabilitation professional.


To be a Vision Rehabilitation Professional (VRP), professionals who
are either blind of sighted themselves complete a degree from an
accredited university, undergo a rigorous internship and pass an exam
given by a nationally accredited certifying body.

The number of New Yorkers with vision loss has gown due to many
factors. The aging of the baby boomers and longer life expectancies
lead to age-related vision loss from macular degeneration, diabetic
retinopathy, glaucoma, and other eye diseases. Low birth weight babies
are surviving but often with vision loss and other disabilities.
Sports, workplace incidents, traumatic brain injuries and other
accidents cause vision loss in youth and adult populations. The need
for vision rehabilitation services has burgeoned proportionately.

With pressure on government and private resources for expensive home
health care and other supportive services, money can be saved and
quality of life can be improved by granting these highly qualified
professionals licensure. VRPs work with persons of all ages with
vision loss. The goal is to teach each individual with vision loss to
return to being self-reliant in almost every activity of daily life
using adaptive techniques and equipment. This could include teaching
the consumer to read and write Braille, to use a long cane for
independent mobility, to use a talking bill identifier or "talking"
speech software to access technology.

By licensing vision rehabilitation professionals, the general public
and people of all ages with vision loss will be more likely to learn
about the services available; access the training that leads to
independence and employment; be referred by the general social service
and medical community; receive high quality and comprehensive vision
rehabilitation services and encourage a sufficient number of
professionals to enter the field of vision rehabilitation.

Licensure ensures that professionals who provide these services will
possess the highest level of specialized skills, expertise and
experience. Through establishing standards of practice that licensure
brings, both sighted and blind individuals who become licensed VRPs,
can help to empower consumers to live successful and independent
lives.

LEGISLATIVE HISTORY: 2013 - S. 3558 passed Senate/A. 3597 - Higher
Education Committee.

FISCAL IMPLICATIONS: None.

EFFECTIVE DATE: This act shall take effect July 1, 2015, however,
that the commissioner of education and the board of regents are
authorized to promulgate such rules and regulations and take any other
measures as may be necessary for the timely implementation of this act
on or before its effective date, including but not limited to the
appointment of the state board for vision rehabilitation services, the
acceptance and processing of applications for licensure, and the
issuance of licenses.

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                    S T A T E   O F   N E W   Y O R K
________________________________________________________________________

                                 3558--B

                       2013-2014 Regular Sessions

                            I N  S E N A T E

                            February 5, 2013
                               ___________

Introduced  by  Sens.  GRIFFO,  BRESLIN,  DeFRANCISCO,  HOYLMAN, LARKIN,
  MARTINS, MAZIARZ, PARKER, RANZENHOFER, SAVINO, VALESKY --  read  twice
  and ordered printed, and when printed to be committed to the Committee
  on  Higher  Education -- recommitted to the Committee on Higher Educa-
  tion in accordance with Senate Rule 6, sec. 8 -- committee discharged,
  bill amended, ordered reprinted as amended  and  recommitted  to  said
  committee  -- committee discharged, bill amended, ordered reprinted as
  amended and recommitted to said committee

AN ACT to amend the education law,  in  relation  to  the  licensing  of
  orientation and mobility specialists and rehabilitation therapists

  THE  PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF NEW YORK, REPRESENTED IN SENATE AND ASSEM-
BLY, DO ENACT AS FOLLOWS:

  Section 1. The education law is amended by adding a new article 168 to
read as follows:
                               ARTICLE 168
                     VISION REHABILITATION SERVICES
SECTION 8900. INTRODUCTION.
        8901. DEFINITIONS.
        8902. USE OF  THE  TITLES  "LICENSED  ORIENTATION  AND  MOBILITY
                SPECIALISTS" AND "VISION REHABILITATION THERAPISTS".
        8903. STATE BOARD FOR VISION REHABILITATION SERVICES.
        8904. REQUIREMENTS FOR A LICENSE.
        8905. LIMITED PERMITS.
        8906. EXEMPT PERSONS.
        8907. SPECIAL PROVISIONS.
        8908. SEPARABILITY.
  S 8900. INTRODUCTION. THIS ARTICLE APPLIES TO THE PROFESSION OF VISION
REHABILITATION  SERVICES,  AND  PROVIDES  FOR  THE LICENSING OF LICENSED
ORIENTATION AND MOBILITY SPECIALISTS AND  VISION  REHABILITATION  THERA-
PISTS.  THE  GENERAL PROVISIONS FOR ALL PROFESSIONS CONTAINED IN ARTICLE
ONE HUNDRED THIRTY OF THIS TITLE SHALL APPLY TO THIS ARTICLE.

 EXPLANATION--Matter in ITALICS (underscored) is new; matter in brackets
                      [ ] is old law to be omitted.
                                                           LBD06474-05-4

S. 3558--B                          2

  S 8901. DEFINITIONS. FOR PURPOSES OF THIS ARTICLE, THE FOLLOWING TERMS
SHALL HAVE THE FOLLOWING MEANINGS:
  1.  THE  PRACTICE  OF  "ORIENTATION AND MOBILITY TRAINING" SHALL MEAN:
(A) THE ASSESSMENT OF INDIVIDUAL  NEEDS  OF  PERSONS  WHO  ARE  VISUALLY
IMPAIRED  FOR SKILLS TRAINING IN METHODS OF SAFE MOVEMENT AND IN STRATE-
GIES TO GATHER REQUIRED ENVIRONMENTAL AND SPATIAL INFORMATION;  (B)  THE
DEVELOPMENT  OF  APPROPRIATE  INTEGRATED  SERVICE PLANS TAILORED TO MEET
SUCH INDIVIDUAL NEEDS AS IDENTIFIED IN SUCH ASSESSMENT PROCESS; (C)  THE
PROVISION  OF TRAINING IN, AND UTILIZATION OF (I) EQUIPMENT AND ADAPTIVE
DEVICES INTENDED AND DESIGNED  FOR  USE  BY  PERSONS  WHO  ARE  VISUALLY
IMPAIRED,  AND  (II)  SPECIALIZED TECHNIQUES ADAPTED FOR PERSONS WHO ARE
VISUALLY IMPAIRED, INCLUDING BUT NOT  LIMITED  TO  ORIENTATION;  SENSORY
DEVELOPMENT;  SYSTEMS  OF SAFE MOVEMENT, INCLUDING LONG CANE TECHNIQUES;
RESOURCE IDENTIFICATION AND,  AS  APPROPRIATE,  PROFESSIONAL  REFERRALS;
AND, IN APPLIED SETTINGS, REINFORCING INSTRUCTION FOR THE USE OF OPTICAL
DEVICES  AS PRESCRIBED BY OPTOMETRISTS AND OPHTHALMOLOGISTS; AND (D) THE
EVALUATION OF CLIENTS RECEIVING SUCH SPECIALIZED TRAINING.
  2. THE PRACTICE OF "VISION REHABILITATION THERAPY" SHALL MEAN: (A) THE
ASSESSMENT OF INDIVIDUAL NEEDS OF PERSONS WHO ARE VISUALLY IMPAIRED  FOR
SKILLS TRAINING IN INDEPENDENT LIVING AND COMMUNICATIONS; (B) THE DEVEL-
OPMENT  OF  APPROPRIATE  INTEGRATED  SERVICE PLANS TAILORED TO MEET SUCH
INDIVIDUAL NEEDS AS IDENTIFIED  IN  SUCH  ASSESSMENT  PROCESS;  (C)  THE
PROVISION  OF TRAINING IN, AND UTILIZATION OF (I) EQUIPMENT AND ADAPTIVE
DEVICES INTENDED AND DESIGNED  FOR  USE  BY  PERSONS  WHO  ARE  VISUALLY
IMPAIRED,  INCLUDING,  IN  APPLIED SETTINGS, REINFORCING INSTRUCTION FOR
THE USE OF OPTICAL DEVICES AS PRESCRIBED BY OPTOMETRISTS OR OPHTHALMOLO-
GISTS, AND (II) SPECIALIZED TECHNIQUES ADAPTED FOR PERSONS WHO ARE VISU-
ALLY IMPAIRED, INCLUDING BUT NOT LIMITED TO BRAILLE AND  OTHER  COMMUNI-
CATION  SKILLS; ADAPTED COMPUTER TECHNOLOGY; PERSONAL MANAGEMENT SKILLS;
HOME MANAGEMENT SKILLS; PROBLEM SOLVING SKILLS; RESOURCE MANAGEMENT AND,
AS APPROPRIATE,  PROFESSIONAL  REFERRALS;  AND  (D)  THE  EVALUATION  OF
PERSONS RECEIVING SUCH SPECIALIZED TRAINING.
  3. THE PRACTICE OF "VISION REHABILITATION SERVICES" SHALL MEAN PROVID-
ING  ASSESSMENT  AND  EVALUATION  OF,  AND TRAINING FOR, PERSONS WHO ARE
VISUALLY IMPAIRED WHEN SUCH ASSESSMENT, EVALUATION AND TRAINING INCORPO-
RATES THE FULL RANGE OF SPECIALIZED SKILLS AND TASKS SUBSUMED IN THE TWO
PROFESSIONS DEFINED IN THIS SECTION AS:  (A)  ORIENTATION  AND  MOBILITY
TRAINING  AND  (B) VISION REHABILITATION THERAPY. SUCH SERVICES SHALL BE
RENDERED ON THE PRESCRIPTION OR REFERRAL WHICH MAY BE  DIRECTIVE  AS  TO
TREATMENT  BY A LICENSED PHYSICIAN OR OPTOMETRIST, PROVIDED HOWEVER THAT
NO SUCH TREATMENT DIRECTIVE AND LOW VISION EXAMINATION SHALL BE REQUIRED
WHEN THE PERSON BEING REFERRED HAS BEEN DIAGNOSED  WITHIN  THE  PREVIOUS
TWELVE  MONTHS  AS  VISUALLY  IMPAIRED,  BLIND OR LEGALLY BLIND AS THOSE
TERMS ARE DEFINED IN SUBDIVISION FIVE OF THIS SECTION AND SUCH  SERVICES
ARE  BEING  RENDERED  CONSISTENT  WITH  THAT  DIAGNOSIS, PRESCRIPTION OR
REFERRAL.  VISION REHABILITATION THERAPISTS AND ORIENTATION AND MOBILITY
SPECIALISTS MAY NOT PRESCRIBE OPTICAL LOW VISION DEVICES.
  4. "APPLIED SETTINGS" MEANS THOSE  LOCATIONS  WHERE  PERSONS  WHO  ARE
VISUALLY  IMPAIRED  ENGAGE  IN DAY-TO-DAY ACTIVITIES UTILIZING THE TOOLS
SUPPLIED AND TECHNIQUES TAUGHT BY THE LICENSED PRACTITIONERS DEFINED  IN
THIS ARTICLE.
  5.  "VISUALLY  IMPAIRED"  MEANS A PERSON WHO IS TOTALLY BLIND, LEGALLY
BLIND OR PARTIALLY SIGHTED. A PERSON WHO IS BLIND  IS  ONE  WHO  HAS  NO
USEABLE  VISION.  A PERSON WHO IS LEGALLY BLIND IS ONE WHO SATISFIES THE
DEFINITION SET FORTH IN SUBDIVISION B OF SECTION THREE OF  CHAPTER  FOUR
HUNDRED  FIFTEEN OF THE LAWS OF NINETEEN HUNDRED THIRTEEN.  A PERSON WHO

S. 3558--B                          3

IS PARTIALLY SIGHTED IS ONE WHO HAS FUNCTIONAL  VISION  IMPAIRMENT  THAT
CONSTITUTES A SIGNIFICANT LIMITATION OF VISUAL CAPABILITY RESULTING FROM
DISEASE,  TRAUMA,  OR CONGENITAL CONDITION, THAT CANNOT BE FULLY AMELIO-
RATED  BY  STANDARD  REFRACTIVE  CORRECTION, MEDICATION, OR SURGERY, AND
THAT IS MANIFESTED BY ONE OR MORE OF THE FOLLOWING: INSUFFICIENT  VISUAL
RESOLUTION,  INADEQUATE  FIELD OF VISION OR REDUCED PEAK CONTRAST SENSI-
TIVITY.
  S 8902. USE OF THE TITLES "LICENSED ORIENTATION AND MOBILITY  SPECIAL-
ISTS"  AND  "VISION  REHABILITATION THERAPISTS".   1. PRACTICE OF ORIEN-
TATION AND MOBILITY TRAINING AND USE OF THE TITLE "LICENSED  ORIENTATION
AND  MOBILITY  SPECIALISTS". ONLY A PERSON LICENSED OR OTHERWISE AUTHOR-
IZED UNDER THIS ARTICLE SHALL PRACTICE ORIENTATION AND MOBILITY TRAINING
OR USE THE TITLE "LICENSED  ORIENTATION  AND  MOBILITY  SPECIALISTS"  IN
CONNECTION WITH HIS OR HER NAME OR WITH ANY TRADE NAME IN THE CONDUCT OF
HIS OR HER PROFESSION.
  2.  PRACTICE  OF  VISION  REHABILITATION  THERAPY AND USE OF THE TITLE
"VISION REHABILITATION THERAPIST". ONLY A PERSON LICENSED  OR  OTHERWISE
AUTHORIZED UNDER THIS ARTICLE SHALL PRACTICE VISION REHABILITATION THER-
APY  OR  USE  THE  TITLE "VISION REHABILITATION THERAPIST" IN CONNECTION
WITH HIS OR HER NAME OR WITH ANY TRADE NAME IN THE CONDUCT OF HIS OR HER
PROFESSION.
  S 8903. STATE BOARD FOR VISION REHABILITATION SERVICES. A STATE  BOARD
FOR  VISION  REHABILITATION  SERVICES SHALL BE APPOINTED BY THE BOARD OF
REGENTS UPON THE RECOMMENDATION OF THE COMMISSIONER FOR THE  PURPOSE  OF
ASSISTING  THE BOARD OF REGENTS AND THE DEPARTMENT ON MATTERS OF PROFES-
SIONAL LICENSING AND PROFESSIONAL CONDUCT  IN  ACCORDANCE  WITH  SECTION
SIXTY-FIVE  HUNDRED  EIGHT OF THIS TITLE. THE BOARD SHALL CONSIST OF NOT
LESS THAN FOURTEEN INDIVIDUALS, FOUR OF WHOM SHALL  BE  LICENSED  ORIEN-
TATION  AND  MOBILITY SPECIALISTS, FOUR OF WHOM SHALL BE LICENSED VISION
REHABILITATION  THERAPISTS,  ONE  OPHTHALMOLOGIST  SPECIALIZING  IN  LOW
VISION  TREATMENT,  ONE OPTOMETRIST SPECIALIZING IN LOW VISION TREATMENT
AND FOUR OF WHOM SHALL BE BLIND REPRESENTATIVES OF THE PUBLIC  AT  LARGE
WHOSE  NAMES  WILL  BE PLACED IN NOMINATION FOR THE BOARD FROM ORGANIZA-
TIONS OF THE BLIND OR VISUALLY IMPAIRED.  MEMBERS OF THE  INITIAL  BOARD
NEED  NOT  BE  LICENSED  PRIOR TO THEIR APPOINTMENT TO THE BOARD. OF THE
MEMBERS FIRST APPOINTED, FOUR SHALL BE APPOINTED FOR A THREE YEAR  TERM,
FIVE  SHALL  BE  APPOINTED  FOR  A  FOUR  YEAR  TERM,  AND FIVE SHALL BE
APPOINTED FOR A FIVE YEAR TERM. THEREAFTER ALL MEMBERS SHALL  SERVE  FOR
FIVE  YEAR  TERMS.  IN  THE  EVENT  THAT  MORE THAN FOURTEEN MEMBERS ARE
APPOINTED, A MAJORITY OF THE ADDITIONAL MEMBERS SHALL BE LICENSED ORIEN-
TATION AND MOBILITY SPECIALISTS AND LICENSED VISION REHABILITATION THER-
APISTS. THE MEMBERS OF THE BOARD SHALL SELECT ONE OF THEMSELVES AS CHAIR
TO SERVE FOR A ONE YEAR TERM. AN EXECUTIVE SECRETARY SHALL BE  APPOINTED
BY THE BOARD OF REGENTS UPON THE RECOMMENDATION OF THE COMMISSIONER.
  S 8904. REQUIREMENTS FOR A LICENSE.  1. TO QUALIFY FOR A LICENSE AS AN
ORIENTATION  AND  MOBILITY  SPECIALIST,  AN  APPLICANT SHALL FULFILL THE
FOLLOWING REQUIREMENTS:
  (A) APPLICATION: FILE AN APPLICATION WITH THE DEPARTMENT;
  (B)  EDUCATION/EXPERIENCE:  (I)  HAVE  SATISFACTORILY   COMPLETED   AN
APPROVED  ORIENTATION  AND  MOBILITY  CURRICULUM  IN  A BACCALAUREATE OR
MASTERS PROGRAM, OR A CERTIFICATE PROGRAM SATISFACTORY TO THE DEPARTMENT
WHICH IS SUBSTANTIALLY EQUIVALENT TO A BACCALAUREATE DEGREE PROGRAM,  IN
ACCORDANCE WITH THE COMMISSIONER'S REGULATIONS; AND
  (II)  HAVE  A  MINIMUM  OF  THREE MONTHS OF SUPERVISED ORIENTATION AND
MOBILITY EXPERIENCE WHICH SUPERVISION AND EXPERIENCE SHALL BE  SATISFAC-

S. 3558--B                          4

TORY  TO  THE  STATE  BOARD  FOR  VISION  REHABILITATION SERVICES AND IN
ACCORDANCE WITH THE COMMISSIONER'S REGULATIONS;
  (C)  PASS  AN  EXAMINATION  SATISFACTORY TO THE STATE BOARD FOR VISION
REHABILITATION SERVICES IN  ACCORDANCE  WITH  THE  COMMISSIONER'S  REGU-
LATIONS.
  (D) AGE: BE AT LEAST TWENTY-ONE YEARS OF AGE;
  (E) CHARACTER: BE OF GOOD MORAL CHARACTER AS DETERMINED BY THE DEPART-
MENT;
  (F)  REGISTRATION:  ALL  LICENSED ORIENTATION AND MOBILITY SPECIALISTS
SHALL REGISTER TRIENNIALLY WITH THE DEPARTMENT IN  ACCORDANCE  WITH  THE
COMMISSIONER'S REGULATION;
  (G) MANDATORY CONTINUING COMPETENCY:  (I)(A) EACH LICENSED ORIENTATION
AND MOBILITY SPECIALIST REQUIRED UNDER THIS ARTICLE TO REGISTER TRIENNI-
ALLY  WITH THE DEPARTMENT TO PRACTICE IN THE STATE SHALL COMPLY WITH THE
PROVISIONS  OF  THE   MANDATORY   CONTINUING   COMPETENCY   REQUIREMENTS
PRESCRIBED IN SUBPARAGRAPH (II) OF THIS PARAGRAPH, EXCEPT AS PROVIDED IN
CLAUSES  (B)  AND  (C)  OF  THIS  SUBPARAGRAPH. ORIENTATION AND MOBILITY
SPECIALISTS WHO DO  NOT  SATISFY  THE  MANDATORY  CONTINUING  COMPETENCY
REQUIREMENTS  SHALL  NOT  BE  AUTHORIZED TO PRACTICE UNTIL THEY HAVE MET
SUCH REQUIREMENTS, AND THEY HAVE BEEN ISSUED A REGISTRATION CERTIFICATE,
EXCEPT THAT AN ORIENTATION AND MOBILITY SPECIALIST MAY PRACTICE  WITHOUT
HAVING MET SUCH REQUIREMENTS IF HE OR SHE IS ISSUED A CONDITIONAL REGIS-
TRATION PURSUANT TO SUBPARAGRAPH (III) OF THIS PARAGRAPH.
  (B)  ORIENTATION  AND  MOBILITY  SPECIALISTS  SHALL BE EXEMPT FROM THE
MANDATORY CONTINUING COMPETENCY REQUIREMENT FOR THE TRIENNIAL  REGISTRA-
TION  PERIOD  DURING  WHICH  THEY ARE FIRST LICENSED.  ADJUSTMENT TO THE
MANDATORY CONTINUING COMPETENCY  REQUIREMENTS  MAY  BE  GRANTED  BY  THE
DEPARTMENT  FOR  REASONS OF HEALTH OF THE LICENSEE WHERE CERTIFIED BY AN
APPROPRIATE HEALTH CARE PROFESSIONAL, FOR EXTENDED ACTIVE DUTY WITH  THE
ARMED FORCES OF THE UNITED STATES, OR FOR OTHER GOOD CAUSE ACCEPTABLE TO
THE DEPARTMENT WHICH MAY PREVENT COMPLIANCE.
  (C)  A  LICENSED  ORIENTATION  AND  MOBILITY SPECIALIST NOT ENGAGED IN
PRACTICE, AS DETERMINED BY THE DEPARTMENT,  SHALL  BE  EXEMPT  FROM  THE
MANDATORY  CONTINUING COMPETENCY REQUIREMENT UPON THE FILING OF A STATE-
MENT WITH THE DEPARTMENT DECLARING SUCH STATUS. ANY LICENSEE WHO RETURNS
TO PRACTICE OF THE PROFESSION OF  ORIENTATION  AND  MOBILITY  SPECIALIST
DURING  THE  TRIENNIAL  REGISTRATION  PERIOD SHALL NOTIFY THE DEPARTMENT
PRIOR TO REENTERING THE PROFESSION AND SHALL MEET SUCH MANDATORY CONTIN-
UING COMPETENCY REQUIREMENTS AS SHALL BE PRESCRIBED  BY  REGULATIONS  OF
THE COMMISSIONER.
  (II) DURING EACH TRIENNIAL REGISTRATION PERIOD AN APPLICANT FOR REGIS-
TRATION AS AN ORIENTATION AND MOBILITY SPECIALIST SHALL COMPLETE A MINI-
MUM  OF  TWENTY-FOUR  HOURS  OF  ACCEPTABLE  LEARNING  ACTIVITIES  WHICH
CONTRIBUTE TO CONTINUING COMPETENCE, AS SPECIFIED IN  SUBPARAGRAPH  (IV)
OF THIS PARAGRAPH, PROVIDED FURTHER THAT AT LEAST SIXTEEN HOURS SHALL BE
IN  RECOGNIZED  AREAS  OF STUDY PERTINENT TO THE PROFESSIONAL SCOPE OF A
LICENSED ORIENTATION AND MOBILITY SPECIALIST. ANY ORIENTATION AND MOBIL-
ITY SPECIALIST WHOSE FIRST REGISTRATION  DATE  FOLLOWING  THE  EFFECTIVE
DATE  OF  THIS  SECTION OCCURS LESS THAN THREE YEARS FROM SUCH EFFECTIVE
DATE, BUT ON  OR  AFTER  JANUARY  FIRST,  TWO  THOUSAND  FIFTEEN,  SHALL
COMPLETE  CONTINUING COMPETENCY HOURS ON A PRORATED BASIS AT THE RATE OF
ONE-HALF HOUR PER MONTH FOR THE  PERIOD  BEGINNING  JANUARY  FIRST,  TWO
THOUSAND FIFTEEN UP TO THE FIRST REGISTRATION DATE. THEREAFTER, A LICEN-
SEE  WHO  HAS NOT SATISFIED THE MANDATORY CONTINUING COMPETENCY REQUIRE-
MENTS SHALL NOT BE ISSUED A TRIENNIAL REGISTRATION  CERTIFICATE  BY  THE
DEPARTMENT  AND SHALL NOT PRACTICE UNLESS AND UNTIL A CONDITIONAL REGIS-

S. 3558--B                          5

TRATION CERTIFICATE IS ISSUED AS PROVIDED FOR IN SUBPARAGRAPH  (III)  OF
THIS  PARAGRAPH.  CONTINUING COMPETENCY HOURS TAKEN DURING ONE TRIENNIUM
MAY NOT BE TRANSFERRED TO A SUBSEQUENT TRIENNIUM.
  (III)  THE  DEPARTMENT,  IN  ITS  DISCRETION,  MAY ISSUE A CONDITIONAL
REGISTRATION TO A LICENSEE WHO FAILS TO MEET THE  CONTINUING  COMPETENCY
REQUIREMENTS ESTABLISHED IN SUBPARAGRAPH (II) OF THIS PARAGRAPH, BUT WHO
AGREES  TO MAKE UP ANY DEFICIENCIES AND COMPLETE ANY ADDITIONAL LEARNING
ACTIVITIES WHICH THE DEPARTMENT MAY REQUIRE. THE FEE FOR SUCH  A  CONDI-
TIONAL  REGISTRATION  SHALL  BE THE SAME AS, AND IN ADDITION TO, THE FEE
FOR THE TRIENNIAL REGISTRATION. THE DURATION OF SUCH CONDITIONAL  REGIS-
TRATION  SHALL  BE DETERMINED BY THE DEPARTMENT BUT SHALL NOT EXCEED ONE
YEAR. ANY LICENSEE WHO IS NOTIFIED OF THE  DENIAL  OF  REGISTRATION  FOR
FAILURE  TO SUBMIT EVIDENCE, SATISFACTORY TO THE DEPARTMENT, OF REQUIRED
CONTINUING COMPETENCY LEARNING ACTIVITIES AND WHO PRACTICES WITHOUT SUCH
REGISTRATION, MAY BE SUBJECT TO  DISCIPLINARY  PROCEEDINGS  PURSUANT  TO
SECTION SIXTY-FIVE HUNDRED TEN OF THIS TITLE.
  (IV)  AS  USED  IN  SUBPARAGRAPH  (II)  OF THIS PARAGRAPH, "ACCEPTABLE
LEARNING ACTIVITIES" SHALL  MEAN  ACTIVITIES  WHICH  CONTRIBUTE  TO  THE
PROFESSIONAL  PRACTICE  OF  AN  ORIENTATION  AND MOBILITY SPECIALIST AND
WHICH MEET THE STANDARDS PRESCRIBED IN THE REGULATIONS  OF  THE  COMMIS-
SIONER.  SUCH  LEARNING ACTIVITIES SHALL INCLUDE, BUT NOT BE LIMITED TO,
COLLEGIATE LEVEL CREDIT AND NON-CREDIT COURSES,  SELF-STUDY  ACTIVITIES,
INDEPENDENT  STUDY, FORMAL MENTORING ACTIVITIES, PUBLICATIONS IN PROFES-
SIONAL  JOURNALS,  PROFESSIONAL  DEVELOPMENT  PROGRAMS   AND   TECHNICAL
SESSIONS;  SUCH  LEARNING  ACTIVITIES  MAY  BE  OFFERED AND SPONSORED BY
NATIONAL, STATE AND LOCAL PROFESSIONAL ASSOCIATIONS AND OTHER  ORGANIZA-
TIONS  OR  PARTIES ACCEPTABLE TO THE DEPARTMENT, AND ANY OTHER ORGANIZED
EDUCATIONAL AND TECHNICAL LEARNING ACTIVITIES ACCEPTABLE TO THE  DEPART-
MENT.  RECOGNIZED  AREAS  OF  STUDY SHALL INCLUDE BUT NOT BE LIMITED TO:
KNOWLEDGE AND SKILLS  TRAINING  IN  ORIENTATION,  MOBILITY,  NAVIGATION,
INDEPENDENT  LIVING,  COMMUNICATIONS AND USE OF PRESCRIBED AND, ADAPTIVE
OPTICAL DEVICES; UTILIZATION OF  SPECIALIZED  TECHNIQUES  AND  EQUIPMENT
INTENDED  FOR  USE  BY  PERSONS  WHO  ARE VISUALLY IMPAIRED; THE MEDICAL
ASPECTS OF VISION LOSS AND ITS FUNCTIONAL  IMPACT  ON  PERSONS  WHO  ARE
VISUALLY  IMPAIRED; AND SUCH OTHER TECHNICAL SUBJECT MATTER AREAS APPRO-
PRIATELY RELATED TO THE PRACTICE OF VISION  REHABILITATION  SERVICES  AS
MAY  BE SATISFACTORY TO THE BOARD AND IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE COMMISSION-
ER'S REGULATIONS. THE DEPARTMENT MAY, IN ITS DISCRETION AND AS NEEDED TO
CONTRIBUTE TO  THE  HEALTH  AND  WELFARE  OF  THE  PUBLIC,  REQUIRE  THE
COMPLETION  OF  CONTINUING  COMPETENCY  LEARNING  ACTIVITIES IN SPECIFIC
SUBJECTS TO FULFILL THIS MANDATORY  CONTINUING  COMPETENCY  REQUIREMENT.
LEARNING ACTIVITIES MUST BE TAKEN FROM A SPONSOR APPROVED BY THE DEPART-
MENT, PURSUANT TO THE REGULATIONS OF THE COMMISSIONER.
  (V)  ORIENTATION  AND  MOBILITY  SPECIALISTS  SHALL  MAINTAIN ADEQUATE
DOCUMENTATION OF COMPLETION OF ACCEPTABLE CONTINUING COMPETENCY LEARNING
ACTIVITIES AND SHALL PROVIDE SUCH DOCUMENTATION AT THE  REQUEST  OF  THE
DEPARTMENT.  FAILURE  TO  PROVIDE SUCH DOCUMENTATION UPON THE REQUEST OF
THE DEPARTMENT SHALL BE AN ACT OF  MISCONDUCT  SUBJECT  TO  DISCIPLINARY
PROCEEDINGS PURSUANT TO SECTION SIXTY-FIVE HUNDRED TEN OF THIS TITLE.
  (VI)  THE  MANDATORY CONTINUING COMPETENCY FEE SHALL BE FIFTY DOLLARS,
SHALL BE PAYABLE ON OR BEFORE THE FIRST DAY OF EACH TRIENNIAL  REGISTRA-
TION PERIOD, AND SHALL BE PAID IN ADDITION TO THE TRIENNIAL REGISTRATION
FEE REQUIRED BY PARAGRAPH (H) OF THIS SUBDIVISION.
  (H) FEES: PAY A FEE OF ONE HUNDRED SEVENTY-FIVE DOLLARS FOR AN INITIAL
LICENSE  AND  A FEE OF ONE HUNDRED FIFTY-FIVE DOLLARS FOR EACH TRIENNIAL
REGISTRATION PERIOD.

S. 3558--B                          6

  2. TO QUALIFY FOR A LICENSE AS A VISION  REHABILITATION  THERAPIST  AN
APPLICANT SHALL FULFILL THE FOLLOWING REQUIREMENTS:
  (A) APPLICATION: FILE AN APPLICATION WITH THE DEPARTMENT;
  (B)   EDUCATION/EXPERIENCE:   (I)  HAVE  SATISFACTORILY  COMPLETED  AN
APPROVED VISION REHABILITATION THERAPIST CURRICULUM IN  A  BACCALAUREATE
OR MASTERS PROGRAM, OR A CERTIFICATE PROGRAM SATISFACTORY TO THE DEPART-
MENT  WHICH  IS  SUBSTANTIALLY  EQUIVALENT  TO  A  BACCALAUREATE  DEGREE
PROGRAM, IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE COMMISSIONER'S REGULATIONS; AND
  (II) HAVE A MINIMUM OF THREE MONTHS  OF  SUPERVISED  VISION  REHABILI-
TATION  THERAPIST  EXPERIENCE  WHICH SUPERVISION AND EXPERIENCE SHALL BE
SATISFACTORY TO THE STATE BOARD FOR VISION REHABILITATION  SERVICES  AND
IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE COMMISSIONER'S REGULATIONS;
  (C)  EXAMINATION: PASS AN EXAMINATION SATISFACTORY TO THE BOARD AND IN
ACCORDANCE WITH THE COMMISSIONER'S REGULATIONS THAT MAY BE BASED  ON  AN
EXAM  UTILIZED BY ANY NATIONALLY RECOGNIZED ACCREDITING OR CERTIFICATION
BODY SUCH AS THE ACADEMY FOR CERTIFICATION OF VISION REHABILITATION  AND
EDUCATION  PROFESSIONALS  (ACVREP),  NATIONAL  ORIENTATION  AND MOBILITY
CERTIFICATE (NOMC) ADMINISTERED BY THE NATIONAL  BLINDNESS  PROFESSIONAL
CERTIFICATION BOARD (NBPCB) OR AN EQUIVALENT EXAM.
  (D) AGE: BE AT LEAST TWENTY-ONE YEARS OF AGE;
  (E) CHARACTER: BE OF GOOD MORAL CHARACTER AS DETERMINED BY THE DEPART-
MENT;
  (F)  REGISTRATION: ALL LICENSED VISION REHABILITATION THERAPISTS SHALL
REGISTER TRIENNIALLY WITH THE DEPARTMENT IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE  COMMIS-
SIONER'S REGULATIONS;
  (G)  MANDATORY  CONTINUING  COMPETENCY:   (I) (A) EACH LICENSED VISION
REHABILITATION THERAPIST REQUIRED UNDER THIS ARTICLE TO REGISTER  TRIEN-
NIALLY  WITH  THE  DEPARTMENT TO PRACTICE IN THE STATE SHALL COMPLY WITH
THE PROVISIONS  OF  THE  MANDATORY  CONTINUING  COMPETENCY  REQUIREMENTS
PRESCRIBED IN SUBPARAGRAPH (II) OF THIS PARAGRAPH, EXCEPT AS PROVIDED IN
CLAUSES (B) AND (C) OF THIS PARAGRAPH.  VISION REHABILITATION THERAPISTS
WHO  DO  NOT  SATISFY  THE  MANDATORY CONTINUING COMPETENCY REQUIREMENTS
SHALL NOT BE AUTHORIZED TO PRACTICE UNTIL THEY HAVE  MET  SUCH  REQUIRE-
MENTS, AND THEY HAVE BEEN ISSUED A REGISTRATION CERTIFICATE, EXCEPT THAT
A  VISION  REHABILITATION THERAPIST MAY PRACTICE WITHOUT HAVING MET SUCH
REQUIREMENTS IF HE OR SHE IS ISSUED A CONDITIONAL REGISTRATION  PURSUANT
TO SUBPARAGRAPH (III) OF THIS PARAGRAPH.
  (B) VISION REHABILITATION THERAPISTS SHALL BE EXEMPT FROM THE MANDATO-
RY  CONTINUING  COMPETENCY  REQUIREMENT  FOR  THE TRIENNIAL REGISTRATION
PERIOD DURING WHICH THEY ARE FIRST LICENSED.  ADJUSTMENT TO THE MANDATO-
RY CONTINUING COMPETENCY REQUIREMENTS MAY BE GRANTED BY  THE  DEPARTMENT
FOR  REASONS OF HEALTH OF THE LICENSEE WHERE CERTIFIED BY AN APPROPRIATE
HEALTH CARE PROFESSIONAL, FOR EXTENDED ACTIVE DUTY WITH THE ARMED FORCES
OF THE UNITED STATES, OR FOR OTHER GOOD CAUSE ACCEPTABLE TO THE  DEPART-
MENT WHICH MAY PREVENT COMPLIANCE.
  (C)  A  LICENSED  VISION REHABILITATION THERAPIST NOT ENGAGED IN PRAC-
TICE, AS DETERMINED BY THE DEPARTMENT, SHALL BE EXEMPT FROM THE MANDATO-
RY CONTINUING COMPETENCY REQUIREMENT UPON THE FILING OF A STATEMENT WITH
THE DEPARTMENT DECLARING SUCH STATUS. ANY LICENSEE WHO RETURNS TO  PRAC-
TICE  OF VISION REHABILITATION THERAPY DURING THE TRIENNIAL REGISTRATION
PERIOD SHALL NOTIFY THE DEPARTMENT PRIOR TO  REENTERING  THE  PROFESSION
AND  SHALL  MEET  SUCH  MANDATORY  CONTINUING COMPETENCY REQUIREMENTS AS
SHALL BE PRESCRIBED BY REGULATIONS OF THE COMMISSIONER.
  (II) DURING EACH TRIENNIAL REGISTRATION PERIOD AN APPLICANT FOR REGIS-
TRATION AS A VISION REHABILITATION THERAPIST SHALL COMPLETE A MINIMUM OF
TWENTY-FOUR HOURS OF ACCEPTABLE LEARNING ACTIVITIES WHICH CONTRIBUTE  TO

S. 3558--B                          7

CONTINUING  COMPETENCE,  AS SPECIFIED IN SUBPARAGRAPH (IV) OF THIS PARA-
GRAPH, PROVIDED FURTHER THAT AT LEAST SIXTEEN HOURS SHALL BE  IN  RECOG-
NIZED  AREAS  OF STUDY PERTINENT TO THE PROFESSIONAL SCOPE OF A LICENSED
VISION  REHABILITATION  THERAPIST.  ANY  VISION REHABILITATION THERAPIST
WHOSE FIRST REGISTRATION DATE  FOLLOWING  THE  EFFECTIVE  DATE  OF  THIS
SECTION OCCURS LESS THAN THREE YEARS FROM SUCH EFFECTIVE DATE, BUT ON OR
AFTER  JANUARY  FIRST,  TWO  THOUSAND FIFTEEN, SHALL COMPLETE CONTINUING
COMPETENCY HOURS ON A PRORATED BASIS AT THE RATE OF  ONE-HALF  HOUR  PER
MONTH FOR THE PERIOD BEGINNING JANUARY FIRST, TWO THOUSAND FIFTEEN UP TO
THE  FIRST  REGISTRATION DATE. THEREAFTER, A LICENSEE WHO HAS NOT SATIS-
FIED THE MANDATORY  CONTINUING  COMPETENCY  REQUIREMENTS  SHALL  NOT  BE
ISSUED  A TRIENNIAL REGISTRATION CERTIFICATE BY THE DEPARTMENT AND SHALL
NOT PRACTICE UNLESS AND UNTIL A CONDITIONAL REGISTRATION CERTIFICATE  IS
ISSUED AS PROVIDED FOR IN SUBPARAGRAPH (III) OF THIS PARAGRAPH.  CONTIN-
UING  COMPETENCY HOURS TAKEN DURING ONE TRIENNIUM MAY NOT BE TRANSFERRED
TO A SUBSEQUENT TRIENNIUM.
  (III) THE DEPARTMENT, IN  ITS  DISCRETION,  MAY  ISSUE  A  CONDITIONAL
REGISTRATION  TO  A LICENSEE WHO FAILS TO MEET THE CONTINUING COMPETENCY
REQUIREMENTS ESTABLISHED IN SUBPARAGRAPH (II) OF THIS PARAGRAPH, BUT WHO
AGREES TO MAKE UP ANY DEFICIENCIES AND COMPLETE ANY ADDITIONAL  LEARNING
ACTIVITIES  WHICH  THE DEPARTMENT MAY REQUIRE. THE FEE FOR SUCH A CONDI-
TIONAL REGISTRATION SHALL BE THE SAME AS, AND IN ADDITION  TO,  THE  FEE
FOR  THE TRIENNIAL REGISTRATION. THE DURATION OF SUCH CONDITIONAL REGIS-
TRATION SHALL BE DETERMINED BY THE DEPARTMENT BUT SHALL NOT  EXCEED  ONE
YEAR.  ANY  LICENSEE  WHO  IS NOTIFIED OF THE DENIAL OF REGISTRATION FOR
FAILURE TO SUBMIT EVIDENCE, SATISFACTORY TO THE DEPARTMENT, OF  REQUIRED
CONTINUING COMPETENCY LEARNING ACTIVITIES AND WHO PRACTICES WITHOUT SUCH
REGISTRATION,  MAY  BE  SUBJECT  TO DISCIPLINARY PROCEEDINGS PURSUANT TO
SECTION SIXTY-FIVE HUNDRED TEN OF THIS TITLE.
  (IV) AS USED IN  SUBPARAGRAPH  (II)  OF  THIS  PARAGRAPH,  "ACCEPTABLE
LEARNING  ACTIVITIES"  SHALL  MEAN  ACTIVITIES  WHICH  CONTRIBUTE TO THE
PROFESSIONAL PRACTICE OF A VISION  REHABILITATION  THERAPIST  AND  WHICH
MEET  THE  STANDARDS  PRESCRIBED IN THE REGULATIONS OF THE COMMISSIONER.
SUCH LEARNING ACTIVITIES SHALL INCLUDE, BUT NOT BE LIMITED TO,  COLLEGI-
ATE  LEVEL  CREDIT  AND NON-CREDIT COURSES, SELF-STUDY ACTIVITIES, INDE-
PENDENT STUDY, FORMAL MENTORING ACTIVITIES, PUBLICATIONS IN PROFESSIONAL
JOURNALS, PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT PROGRAMS AND TECHNICAL SESSIONS; SUCH
LEARNING ACTIVITIES MAY BE OFFERED AND SPONSORED BY NATIONAL, STATE  AND
LOCAL  PROFESSIONAL  ASSOCIATIONS  AND  OTHER  ORGANIZATIONS  OR PARTIES
ACCEPTABLE TO THE DEPARTMENT, AND ANY OTHER  ORGANIZED  EDUCATIONAL  AND
TECHNICAL  LEARNING ACTIVITIES ACCEPTABLE TO THE DEPARTMENT.  RECOGNIZED
AREAS OF STUDY SHALL INCLUDE BUT NOT BE LIMITED TO: KNOWLEDGE AND SKILLS
TRAINING IN MOBILITY, NAVIGATION, INDEPENDENT LIVING, COMMUNICATIONS AND
ORIENTATION, USE OF PRESCRIBED AND, ADAPTIVE OPTICAL  DEVICES;  UTILIZA-
TION OF SPECIALIZED TECHNIQUES AND EQUIPMENT INTENDED FOR USE BY PERSONS
WHO  ARE  VISUALLY  IMPAIRED; THE MEDICAL ASPECTS OF VISION LOSS AND ITS
FUNCTIONAL IMPACT ON PERSONS WHO ARE VISUALLY IMPAIRED; AND  SUCH  OTHER
TECHNICAL  SUBJECT MATTER AREAS APPROPRIATELY RELATED TO THE PRACTICE OF
VISION REHABILITATION SERVICES AS MAY BE SATISFACTORY TO THE  BOARD  AND
IN  ACCORDANCE  WITH THE COMMISSIONER'S REGULATIONS. THE DEPARTMENT MAY,
IN ITS DISCRETION AND AS NEEDED TO CONTRIBUTE TO THE HEALTH AND  WELFARE
OF  THE PUBLIC, REQUIRE THE COMPLETION OF CONTINUING COMPETENCY LEARNING
ACTIVITIES IN SPECIFIC SUBJECTS TO  FULFILL  THIS  MANDATORY  CONTINUING
COMPETENCY  REQUIREMENT.  LEARNING ACTIVITIES MUST BE TAKEN FROM A SPON-
SOR APPROVED BY THE DEPARTMENT,  PURSUANT  TO  THE  REGULATIONS  OF  THE
COMMISSIONER.

S. 3558--B                          8

  (V)  VISION REHABILITATION THERAPISTS SHALL MAINTAIN ADEQUATE DOCUMEN-
TATION OF COMPLETION OF ACCEPTABLE CONTINUING COMPETENCY LEARNING ACTIV-
ITIES AND SHALL PROVIDE SUCH DOCUMENTATION AT THE REQUEST OF THE DEPART-
MENT. FAILURE TO PROVIDE SUCH DOCUMENTATION  UPON  THE  REQUEST  OF  THE
DEPARTMENT  SHALL  BE  AN  ACT  OF  MISCONDUCT  SUBJECT  TO DISCIPLINARY
PROCEEDINGS PURSUANT TO SECTION SIXTY-FIVE HUNDRED TEN OF THIS TITLE.
  (VI) THE MANDATORY CONTINUING COMPETENCY FEE SHALL BE  FIFTY  DOLLARS,
SHALL  BE PAYABLE ON OR BEFORE THE FIRST DAY OF EACH TRIENNIAL REGISTRA-
TION PERIOD, AND SHALL BE PAID IN ADDITION TO THE TRIENNIAL REGISTRATION
FEE REQUIRED BY PARAGRAPH (H) OF THIS SUBDIVISION.
  (H) FEES: PAY A FEE OF ONE HUNDRED SEVENTY-FIVE DOLLARS FOR AN INITIAL
LICENSE AND A FEE OF ONE HUNDRED FIFTY-FIVE DOLLARS FOR  EACH  TRIENNIAL
REGISTRATION PERIOD.
  S  8905.  LIMITED PERMITS. PERMITS LIMITED AS TO ELIGIBILITY, PRACTICE
AND DURATION SHALL BE ISSUED BY THE DEPARTMENT TO ELIGIBLE APPLICANTS AS
FOLLOWS:
  1. ELIGIBILITY. A PERSON WHO FULFILLS ALL REQUIREMENTS FOR  AN  ORIEN-
TATION  AND  MOBILITY  SPECIALIST  OR  VISION  REHABILITATION THERAPIST,
EXCEPT THAT RELATING TO THE EXAMINATION, SHALL BE ELIGIBLE FOR A LIMITED
PERMIT.
  2. LIMIT OF PRACTICE. ALL PRACTICE UNDER A  LIMITED  PERMIT  SHALL  BE
UNDER  THE  DIRECT  SUPERVISION  OF  A LICENSED ORIENTATION AND MOBILITY
SPECIALIST OR A VISION REHABILITATION THERAPIST.
  3. DURATION. A LIMITED PERMIT SHALL EXPIRE ONE YEAR FROM THE  DATE  OF
ISSUANCE  OR  UPON  NOTICE  TO  THE PERMITTEE BY THE DEPARTMENT THAT THE
APPLICATION FOR LICENSURE HAS BEEN DENIED, OR UPON NOTICE TO THE PERMIT-
TEE OF FAILURE ON  THE  PROFESSIONAL  LICENSING  EXAMINATION,  WHICHEVER
FIRST OCCURS.
  4. FEES. THE FEE FOR EACH LIMITED PERMIT SHALL BE SEVENTY DOLLARS.
  S  8906. EXEMPT PERSONS. THIS ARTICLE SHALL NOT BE CONSTRUED TO AFFECT
OR PREVENT THE FOLLOWING, PROVIDED THAT NO TITLE, SIGN, CARD  OR  DEVICE
SHALL  BE  USED  IN SUCH MANNER AS TO TEND TO CONVEY THE IMPRESSION THAT
THE PERSON RENDERING SUCH SERVICE IS A LICENSED ORIENTATION AND MOBILITY
SPECIALIST OR VISION REHABILITATION THERAPIST:
  1. THE PRACTICE OF ORIENTATION AND MOBILITY TRAINING OR  VISION  REHA-
BILITATION THERAPY AS AN INTEGRAL PART OF A PROGRAM OF STUDY BY STUDENTS
ENROLLED IN APPROVED EDUCATIONAL OR TRAINING PROGRAMS IN (A) ORIENTATION
AND MOBILITY TRAINING OR (B) VISION REHABILITATION THERAPY.
  2.  THE  PERFORMANCE  OF ANY OF THE DUTIES, TASKS AND RESPONSIBILITIES
INCLUDED IN THE DEFINITION OF ORIENTATION AND MOBILITY TRAINING  BY  ANY
OTHER  DULY  LICENSED,  CERTIFIED  OR  REGISTERED  HEALTH CARE PROVIDER,
PROVIDED THAT SUCH DUTIES, TASKS AND  RESPONSIBILITIES  ARE  WITHIN  THE
SCOPE OF HIS OR HER PRACTICE AS DEFINED IN THE ARTICLE PURSUANT TO WHICH
SUCH  PERSON  IS  LICENSED,  CERTIFIED OR REGISTERED; PROVIDED, HOWEVER,
THAT SUCH PRACTITIONERS MAY NOT HOLD  THEMSELVES  OUT  UNDER  THE  TITLE
"LICENSED ORIENTATION AND MOBILITY SPECIALIST" OR AS PERFORMING LICENSED
ORIENTATION AND MOBILITY TRAINING.
  3.  THE  PERFORMANCE  OF ANY OF THE DUTIES, TASKS AND RESPONSIBILITIES
INCLUDED IN THE DEFINITION OF VISION REHABILITATION THERAPY BY ANY OTHER
DULY LICENSED, CERTIFIED OR REGISTERED HEALTH  CARE  PROVIDER,  PROVIDED
THAT SUCH DUTIES, TASKS AND RESPONSIBILITIES ARE WITHIN THE SCOPE OF HIS
OR  HER  PRACTICE AS DEFINED IN THE ARTICLE OR COMMISSIONER'S REGULATION
PURSUANT TO WHICH SUCH PERSON  IS  LICENSED,  CERTIFIED  OR  REGISTERED;
PROVIDED,  HOWEVER,  THAT SUCH PRACTITIONERS MAY NOT HOLD THEMSELVES OUT
UNDER  THE  TITLE  "LICENSED  VISION  REHABILITATION  THERAPIST"  OR  AS
PERFORMING LICENSED VISION REHABILITATION THERAPY.

S. 3558--B                          9

  4.  THE PRACTICE, CONDUCT, ACTIVITIES, SERVICES OR USE OF ANY TITLE BY
ANY PERSON LICENSED OR OTHERWISE AUTHORIZED TO PRACTICE MEDICINE  WITHIN
THE STATE PURSUANT TO ARTICLE ONE HUNDRED THIRTY-ONE OF THIS TITLE OR BY
ANY  PERSON  REGISTERED  TO  PERFORM  SERVICES  AS A PHYSICIAN ASSISTANT
PURSUANT TO ARTICLE ONE HUNDRED THIRTY-ONE-B OF THIS TITLE.
  5.  THE  PRACTICE OF ORIENTATION AND MOBILITY TRAINING OR VISION REHA-
BILITATION THERAPY BY ANY LEGALLY QUALIFIED PRACTITIONER OF  ORIENTATION
AND  MOBILITY  TRAINING  OR  VISION  REHABILITATION THERAPY OF ANY OTHER
STATE OR TERRITORY WHO IS SERVING IN THE  ARMED  FORCES  OR  THE  PUBLIC
HEALTH  SERVICE OF THE UNITED STATES WHILE ENGAGED IN THE PERFORMANCE OF
HIS OR HER DUTIES.
  6. THE INSTRUCTION IN THE USE OF A DOG GUIDE.
  S 8907. SPECIAL PROVISIONS. A PERSON SHALL BE LICENSED  WITHOUT  EXAM-
INATION  PROVIDED THAT, WITHIN THREE YEARS OF THE EFFECTIVE DATE OF THIS
ARTICLE, SUCH PERSON:
  1. FILES AN APPLICATION AND PAYS THE APPROPRIATE FEES TO  THE  DEPART-
MENT;
  2.  (A)  HOLDS  A BACHELOR'S DEGREE OR HIGHER, OR EQUIVALENT AS DETER-
MINED BY THE DEPARTMENT, WITH A SPECIALIZATION IN ORIENTATION AND MOBIL-
ITY TRAINING; OR (B) HOLDS A BACHELOR'S DEGREE OR HIGHER, OR  EQUIVALENT
AS  DETERMINED  BY THE DEPARTMENT, WITH A SPECIALIZATION IN VISION REHA-
BILITATION THERAPY; OR (C) HOLDS  A  BACHELOR'S  DEGREE  OR  HIGHER,  OR
EQUIVALENT  AS DETERMINED BY THE DEPARTMENT IN A REHABILITATION FIELD OR
IN SPECIAL EDUCATION AND (I) HAS  COMPLETED  ALL  ADDITIONALLY  REQUIRED
ELEMENTS  OF  THE  ORIENTATION AND MOBILITY TRAINING OR VISION REHABILI-
TATION THERAPY CURRICULUM SATISFACTORY TO THE BOARD  AND  IN  ACCORDANCE
WITH  THE  COMMISSIONER'S  REGULATIONS;  OR  (II)  HAS BEEN CERTIFIED IN
ORIENTATION AND MOBILITY TRAINING OR VISION REHABILITATION THERAPY BY  A
NATIONALLY RECOGNIZED ACCREDITING BODY ACCEPTABLE TO THE DEPARTMENT; AND
  3.  SUBMITS EVIDENCE OF A MINIMUM OF THREE YEARS EXPERIENCE OR EMPLOY-
MENT IN THE PRACTICE OF ORIENTATION  AND  MOBILITY  TRAINING  OR  VISION
REHABILITATION  THERAPY SATISFACTORY TO THE BOARD AND IN ACCORDANCE WITH
THE COMMISSIONER'S REGULATIONS, WHETHER SUCH  EXPERIENCE  OR  EMPLOYMENT
OCCURS WITHIN OR WITHOUT THIS STATE.
  S 8908. SEPARABILITY. IF ANY SECTION OF THIS ARTICLE, OR PART THEREOF,
SHALL  BE ADJUDGED BY ANY COURT OF COMPETENT JURISDICTION TO BE INVALID,
SUCH JUDGMENT SHALL NOT AFFECT, IMPAIR OR INVALIDATE  THE  REMAINDER  OF
ANY OTHER SECTION OR PART THEREOF.
  S  2.  This  act  shall take effect July 1, 2015.  The commissioner of
education and the board of regents are  authorized  to  promulgate  such
rules  and  regulations  and take any other measures as may be necessary
for the timely implementation of this act on  or  before  its  effective
date,  including  but  not limited to the appointment of the state board
for vision rehabilitation services, the  acceptance  and  processing  of
applications for licensure, and the issuance of licenses.

Co-Sponsors

view additional co-sponsors

S3558C - Bill Details

See Assembly Version of this Bill:
A3597C
Current Committee:
Assembly Higher Education
Law Section:
Education Law
Laws Affected:
Add Art 168 §§8900 - 8908, Ed L
Versions Introduced in Previous Legislative Sessions:
2011-2012: S3880C, A8576B
2009-2010: S1262B

S3558C - Bill Texts

view summary

Provides for the licensing of licensed orientation and mobility specialists and vision rehabilitation therapists.

view sponsor memo
BILL NUMBER:S3558C

TITLE OF BILL: An act to amend the education law, in relation to the
licensing of orientation and mobility specialists and rehabilitation
therapists

PURPOSE:

This bill would ensure the safety of persons who are blind or
partially sighted by licensing the trained vision rehabilitation
professionals who work with them to restore their independent
functioning within the home, the school, the workplace and the wider
community.

SUMMARY OF PROVISIONS:

Creates a new article 168.

§ 8901 Sets out the definition used in the article.

§ 8902 Outlines the use of the titles "licensed orientation and
mobility specialists" and "vision rehabilitation therapists".

§ 8903 Outlines the State Board for vision rehabilitation services.

§ 8904 Spells out the requirements for a license.

§ 8905 Establishes limited permits.

§ 8906 Explains the exempt persons.

§ 8907 Outlines special provisions.

§ 8908 Separability provisions.

JUSTIFICATION:

Vision does not have to be devastating. Full independence can be
achieved when there is access to highly qualified vision
rehabilitation professionals (VRPs). A significant number of the more
than one million individuals with vision loss are empowered,
self-sufficient and able to navigate through their lives independently
due in part to the specialized services they received when they needed
them.

However, too many New Yorkers who acquire a visual impairment due to
aging or an accident do not receive the training and services that
would enable them to make the transition from newly visually impaired
or blind to an active and productive life with a disability. This is
due in large part because vision rehabilitation professionals are not
yet licensed by the state of New York and thus, access to VRPs is
severely restricted and doctors do not refer patients to unlicensed
professions.

Vision Rehabilitation Professionals were marginalized in the first
half of the 20 century due in part because the numbers of people with
a visual impairment were small, the workers for the blind were largely


blind themselves and there was widespread discrimination of all people
with disabilities. Licensure is the final step to correct the wrongs
of the past by making every effort to ensure that those who become
blind have access to the highest quality of specially trained
rehabilitation professional.

To be a Vision Rehabilitation Professional (VRP), professionals who
are either blind of sighted themselves complete a degree from an
accredited university, undergo a rigorous internship and pass an exam
given by a nationally accredited certifying body.

The number of New Yorkers with vision loss has gown due to many
factors. The aging of the baby boomers and longer life expectancies
lead to age-related vision loss from macular degeneration, diabetic
retinopathy, glaucoma, and other eye diseases. Low birth weight babies
are surviving but often with vision loss and other disabilities.
Sports, workplace incidents, traumatic brain injuries and other
accidents cause vision loss in youth and adult populations. The need
for vision rehabilitation services has burgeoned proportionately.

With pressure on government and private resources for expensive home
health care and other supportive services, money can be saved and
quality of life can be improved by granting these highly qualified
professionals licensure. VRPs work with persons of all ages with
vision loss. The goal is to teach each individual with vision loss to
return to being self-reliant in almost every activity of daily life
using adaptive techniques and equipment. This could include teaching
the consumer to read and write Braille, to use a long cane for
independent mobility, to use a talking bill identifier or "talking"
speech software to access technology.

By licensing vision rehabilitation professionals, the general public
and people of all ages with vision loss will be more likely to learn
about the services available; access the training that leads to
independence and employment; be referred by the general social service
and medical community; receive high quality and comprehensive vision
rehabilitation services and encourage a sufficient number of
professionals to enter the field of vision rehabilitation.

Licensure ensures that professionals who provide these services will
possess the highest level of specialized skills, expertise and
experience. Through establishing standards of practice that licensure
brings, both sighted and blind individuals who become licensed VRPs,
can help to empower consumers to live successful and independent
lives.

LEGISLATIVE HISTORY:

2013 - S. 3558 passed Senate/A. 3597 - Higher Education Committee.

FISCAL IMPLICATIONS:

None.

EFFECTIVE DATE:


This act shall take effect July 1, 2015, however, that the
commissioner of education and the board of regents are authorized to
promulgate such rules and regulations and take any other measures as
may be necessary for the timely implementation of this act on or
before its effective date, including but not limited to the
appointment of the state board for vision rehabilitation services, the
acceptance and processing of applications for licensure, and the
issuance of licenses.

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                    S T A T E   O F   N E W   Y O R K
________________________________________________________________________

                                 3558--C

                       2013-2014 Regular Sessions

                            I N  S E N A T E

                            February 5, 2013
                               ___________

Introduced by Sens. GRIFFO, BALL, BRESLIN, DeFRANCISCO, HOYLMAN, LARKIN,
  MARTINS,  MAZIARZ,  PARKER, RANZENHOFER, SAVINO, VALESKY -- read twice
  and ordered printed, and when printed to be committed to the Committee
  on Higher Education -- recommitted to the Committee on  Higher  Educa-
  tion in accordance with Senate Rule 6, sec. 8 -- committee discharged,
  bill  amended,  ordered  reprinted  as amended and recommitted to said
  committee -- committee discharged, bill amended, ordered reprinted  as
  amended  and  recommitted to said committee -- reported favorably from
  said committee and committed to the Committee on Finance --  committee
  discharged, bill amended, ordered reprinted as amended and recommitted
  to said committee

AN  ACT  to  amend  the  education  law, in relation to the licensing of
  orientation and mobility specialists and rehabilitation therapists

  THE PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF NEW YORK, REPRESENTED IN SENATE AND  ASSEM-
BLY, DO ENACT AS FOLLOWS:

  Section 1. The education law is amended by adding a new article 168 to
read as follows:
                               ARTICLE 168
                     VISION REHABILITATION SERVICES
SECTION 8900. INTRODUCTION.
        8901. DEFINITIONS.
        8902. USE  OF  THE  TITLES  "LICENSED  ORIENTATION  AND MOBILITY
                SPECIALISTS" AND "VISION REHABILITATION THERAPISTS".
        8903. STATE BOARD FOR VISION REHABILITATION SERVICES.
        8904. REQUIREMENTS FOR A LICENSE.
        8905. LIMITED PERMITS.
        8906. EXEMPT PERSONS.
        8907. SPECIAL PROVISIONS.
        8908. SEPARABILITY.
  S 8900. INTRODUCTION. THIS ARTICLE APPLIES TO THE PROFESSION OF VISION
REHABILITATION SERVICES, AND PROVIDES  FOR  THE  LICENSING  OF  LICENSED

 EXPLANATION--Matter in ITALICS (underscored) is new; matter in brackets
                      [ ] is old law to be omitted.
                                                           LBD06474-07-4

S. 3558--C                          2

ORIENTATION  AND  MOBILITY  SPECIALISTS AND VISION REHABILITATION THERA-
PISTS. THE GENERAL PROVISIONS FOR ALL PROFESSIONS CONTAINED  IN  ARTICLE
ONE HUNDRED THIRTY OF THIS TITLE SHALL APPLY TO THIS ARTICLE.
  S 8901. DEFINITIONS. FOR PURPOSES OF THIS ARTICLE, THE FOLLOWING TERMS
SHALL HAVE THE FOLLOWING MEANINGS:
  1.  THE  PRACTICE  OF  "ORIENTATION AND MOBILITY TRAINING" SHALL MEAN:
(A) THE ASSESSMENT OF INDIVIDUAL  NEEDS  OF  PERSONS  WHO  ARE  VISUALLY
IMPAIRED  FOR SKILLS TRAINING IN METHODS OF SAFE MOVEMENT AND IN STRATE-
GIES TO GATHER REQUIRED ENVIRONMENTAL AND SPATIAL INFORMATION;  (B)  THE
DEVELOPMENT  OF  APPROPRIATE  INTEGRATED  SERVICE PLANS TAILORED TO MEET
SUCH INDIVIDUAL NEEDS AS IDENTIFIED IN SUCH ASSESSMENT PROCESS; (C)  THE
PROVISION  OF TRAINING IN, AND UTILIZATION OF (I) EQUIPMENT AND ADAPTIVE
DEVICES INTENDED AND DESIGNED  FOR  USE  BY  PERSONS  WHO  ARE  VISUALLY
IMPAIRED,  AND  (II)  SPECIALIZED TECHNIQUES ADAPTED FOR PERSONS WHO ARE
VISUALLY IMPAIRED, INCLUDING BUT NOT  LIMITED  TO  ORIENTATION;  SENSORY
DEVELOPMENT;  SYSTEMS  OF SAFE MOVEMENT, INCLUDING LONG CANE TECHNIQUES;
RESOURCE IDENTIFICATION AND,  AS  APPROPRIATE,  PROFESSIONAL  REFERRALS;
AND, IN APPLIED SETTINGS, REINFORCING INSTRUCTION FOR THE USE OF OPTICAL
DEVICES  AS PRESCRIBED BY OPTOMETRISTS AND OPHTHALMOLOGISTS; AND (D) THE
EVALUATION OF CLIENTS RECEIVING SUCH SPECIALIZED TRAINING.
  2. THE PRACTICE OF "VISION REHABILITATION THERAPY" SHALL MEAN: (A) THE
ASSESSMENT OF INDIVIDUAL NEEDS OF PERSONS WHO ARE VISUALLY IMPAIRED  FOR
SKILLS TRAINING IN INDEPENDENT LIVING AND COMMUNICATIONS; (B) THE DEVEL-
OPMENT  OF  APPROPRIATE  INTEGRATED  SERVICE PLANS TAILORED TO MEET SUCH
INDIVIDUAL NEEDS AS IDENTIFIED  IN  SUCH  ASSESSMENT  PROCESS;  (C)  THE
PROVISION  OF TRAINING IN, AND UTILIZATION OF (I) EQUIPMENT AND ADAPTIVE
DEVICES INTENDED AND DESIGNED  FOR  USE  BY  PERSONS  WHO  ARE  VISUALLY
IMPAIRED,  INCLUDING,  IN  APPLIED SETTINGS, REINFORCING INSTRUCTION FOR
THE USE OF OPTICAL DEVICES AS PRESCRIBED BY OPTOMETRISTS OR OPHTHALMOLO-
GISTS, AND (II) SPECIALIZED TECHNIQUES ADAPTED FOR PERSONS WHO ARE VISU-
ALLY IMPAIRED, INCLUDING BUT NOT LIMITED TO BRAILLE AND  OTHER  COMMUNI-
CATION  SKILLS; ADAPTED COMPUTER TECHNOLOGY; PERSONAL MANAGEMENT SKILLS;
HOME MANAGEMENT SKILLS; PROBLEM SOLVING SKILLS; RESOURCE MANAGEMENT AND,
AS APPROPRIATE,  PROFESSIONAL  REFERRALS;  AND  (D)  THE  EVALUATION  OF
PERSONS RECEIVING SUCH SPECIALIZED TRAINING.
  3. THE PRACTICE OF "VISION REHABILITATION SERVICES" SHALL MEAN PROVID-
ING  ASSESSMENT  AND  EVALUATION  OF,  AND TRAINING FOR, PERSONS WHO ARE
VISUALLY IMPAIRED WHEN SUCH ASSESSMENT, EVALUATION AND TRAINING INCORPO-
RATES THE FULL RANGE OF SPECIALIZED SKILLS AND TASKS SUBSUMED IN THE TWO
PROFESSIONS DEFINED IN THIS SECTION AS:  (A)  ORIENTATION  AND  MOBILITY
TRAINING  AND  (B) VISION REHABILITATION THERAPY. SUCH SERVICES SHALL BE
RENDERED ON THE PRESCRIPTION OR REFERRAL WHICH MAY BE  DIRECTIVE  AS  TO
TREATMENT  BY A LICENSED PHYSICIAN OR OPTOMETRIST, PROVIDED HOWEVER THAT
NO SUCH TREATMENT DIRECTIVE AND LOW VISION EXAMINATION SHALL BE REQUIRED
WHEN THE PERSON BEING REFERRED HAS BEEN DIAGNOSED  WITHIN  THE  PREVIOUS
TWELVE  MONTHS  AS  VISUALLY  IMPAIRED,  BLIND OR LEGALLY BLIND AS THOSE
TERMS ARE DEFINED IN SUBDIVISION FIVE OF THIS SECTION AND SUCH  SERVICES
ARE  BEING  RENDERED  CONSISTENT  WITH  THAT  DIAGNOSIS, PRESCRIPTION OR
REFERRAL.  VISION REHABILITATION THERAPISTS AND ORIENTATION AND MOBILITY
SPECIALISTS MAY NOT PRESCRIBE OPTICAL LOW VISION DEVICES.
  4. "APPLIED SETTINGS" MEANS THOSE  LOCATIONS  WHERE  PERSONS  WHO  ARE
VISUALLY  IMPAIRED  ENGAGE  IN DAY-TO-DAY ACTIVITIES UTILIZING THE TOOLS
SUPPLIED AND TECHNIQUES TAUGHT BY THE LICENSED PRACTITIONERS DEFINED  IN
THIS ARTICLE.
  5.  "VISUALLY  IMPAIRED"  MEANS A PERSON WHO IS TOTALLY BLIND, LEGALLY
BLIND OR PARTIALLY SIGHTED. A PERSON WHO IS BLIND  IS  ONE  WHO  HAS  NO

S. 3558--C                          3

USEABLE  VISION.  A PERSON WHO IS LEGALLY BLIND IS ONE WHO SATISFIES THE
DEFINITION SET FORTH IN SUBDIVISION B OF SECTION THREE OF  CHAPTER  FOUR
HUNDRED  FIFTEEN OF THE LAWS OF NINETEEN HUNDRED THIRTEEN.  A PERSON WHO
IS  PARTIALLY  SIGHTED  IS ONE WHO HAS FUNCTIONAL VISION IMPAIRMENT THAT
CONSTITUTES A SIGNIFICANT LIMITATION OF VISUAL CAPABILITY RESULTING FROM
DISEASE, TRAUMA, OR CONGENITAL CONDITION, THAT CANNOT BE  FULLY  AMELIO-
RATED  BY  STANDARD  REFRACTIVE  CORRECTION, MEDICATION, OR SURGERY, AND
THAT IS MANIFESTED BY ONE OR MORE OF THE FOLLOWING: INSUFFICIENT  VISUAL
RESOLUTION,  INADEQUATE  FIELD OF VISION OR REDUCED PEAK CONTRAST SENSI-
TIVITY.
  S 8902. USE OF THE TITLES "LICENSED ORIENTATION AND MOBILITY  SPECIAL-
ISTS"  AND  "VISION  REHABILITATION THERAPISTS".   1. PRACTICE OF ORIEN-
TATION AND MOBILITY TRAINING AND USE OF THE TITLE "LICENSED  ORIENTATION
AND  MOBILITY  SPECIALISTS". ONLY A PERSON LICENSED OR OTHERWISE AUTHOR-
IZED UNDER THIS ARTICLE SHALL PRACTICE ORIENTATION AND MOBILITY TRAINING
OR USE THE TITLE "LICENSED  ORIENTATION  AND  MOBILITY  SPECIALISTS"  IN
CONNECTION WITH HIS OR HER NAME OR WITH ANY TRADE NAME IN THE CONDUCT OF
HIS OR HER PROFESSION.
  2.  PRACTICE  OF  VISION  REHABILITATION  THERAPY AND USE OF THE TITLE
"VISION REHABILITATION THERAPIST". ONLY A PERSON LICENSED  OR  OTHERWISE
AUTHORIZED UNDER THIS ARTICLE SHALL PRACTICE VISION REHABILITATION THER-
APY  OR  USE  THE  TITLE "VISION REHABILITATION THERAPIST" IN CONNECTION
WITH HIS OR HER NAME OR WITH ANY TRADE NAME IN THE CONDUCT OF HIS OR HER
PROFESSION.
  S 8903. STATE BOARD FOR VISION REHABILITATION SERVICES. A STATE  BOARD
FOR  VISION  REHABILITATION  SERVICES SHALL BE APPOINTED BY THE BOARD OF
REGENTS UPON THE RECOMMENDATION OF THE COMMISSIONER FOR THE  PURPOSE  OF
ASSISTING  THE BOARD OF REGENTS AND THE DEPARTMENT ON MATTERS OF PROFES-
SIONAL LICENSING AND PROFESSIONAL CONDUCT  IN  ACCORDANCE  WITH  SECTION
SIXTY-FIVE  HUNDRED  EIGHT OF THIS TITLE. THE BOARD SHALL CONSIST OF NOT
LESS THAN FOURTEEN INDIVIDUALS, FOUR OF WHOM SHALL  BE  LICENSED  ORIEN-
TATION  AND  MOBILITY SPECIALISTS, FOUR OF WHOM SHALL BE LICENSED VISION
REHABILITATION  THERAPISTS,  ONE  OPHTHALMOLOGIST  SPECIALIZING  IN  LOW
VISION  TREATMENT,  ONE OPTOMETRIST SPECIALIZING IN LOW VISION TREATMENT
AND FOUR OF WHOM SHALL BE BLIND REPRESENTATIVES OF THE PUBLIC  AT  LARGE
WHOSE  NAMES  WILL  BE PLACED IN NOMINATION FOR THE BOARD FROM ORGANIZA-
TIONS OF THE BLIND OR VISUALLY IMPAIRED.  MEMBERS OF THE  INITIAL  BOARD
NEED  NOT  BE  LICENSED  PRIOR TO THEIR APPOINTMENT TO THE BOARD. OF THE
MEMBERS FIRST APPOINTED, FOUR SHALL BE APPOINTED FOR A THREE YEAR  TERM,
FIVE  SHALL  BE  APPOINTED  FOR  A  FOUR  YEAR  TERM,  AND FIVE SHALL BE
APPOINTED FOR A FIVE YEAR TERM. THEREAFTER ALL MEMBERS SHALL  SERVE  FOR
FIVE  YEAR  TERMS.  IN  THE  EVENT  THAT  MORE THAN FOURTEEN MEMBERS ARE
APPOINTED, A MAJORITY OF THE ADDITIONAL MEMBERS SHALL BE LICENSED ORIEN-
TATION AND MOBILITY SPECIALISTS AND LICENSED VISION REHABILITATION THER-
APISTS. THE MEMBERS OF THE BOARD SHALL SELECT ONE OF THEMSELVES AS CHAIR
TO SERVE FOR A ONE YEAR TERM. AN EXECUTIVE SECRETARY SHALL BE  APPOINTED
BY THE BOARD OF REGENTS UPON THE RECOMMENDATION OF THE COMMISSIONER.
  S 8904. REQUIREMENTS FOR A LICENSE.  1. TO QUALIFY FOR A LICENSE AS AN
ORIENTATION  AND  MOBILITY  SPECIALIST,  AN  APPLICANT SHALL FULFILL THE
FOLLOWING REQUIREMENTS:
  (A) APPLICATION: FILE AN APPLICATION WITH THE DEPARTMENT;
  (B)  EDUCATION/EXPERIENCE:  (I)  HAVE  SATISFACTORILY   COMPLETED   AN
APPROVED  ORIENTATION  AND  MOBILITY  CURRICULUM  IN  A BACCALAUREATE OR
MASTERS PROGRAM, OR A CERTIFICATE PROGRAM SATISFACTORY TO THE DEPARTMENT
WHICH IS SUBSTANTIALLY EQUIVALENT TO A BACCALAUREATE DEGREE PROGRAM,  IN
ACCORDANCE WITH THE COMMISSIONER'S REGULATIONS; AND

S. 3558--C                          4

  (II)  HAVE  A  MINIMUM  OF  THREE MONTHS OF SUPERVISED ORIENTATION AND
MOBILITY EXPERIENCE WHICH SUPERVISION AND EXPERIENCE SHALL BE  SATISFAC-
TORY  TO  THE  STATE  BOARD  FOR  VISION  REHABILITATION SERVICES AND IN
ACCORDANCE WITH THE COMMISSIONER'S REGULATIONS;
  (C)  PASS  AN  EXAMINATION  SATISFACTORY TO THE STATE BOARD FOR VISION
REHABILITATION SERVICES IN  ACCORDANCE  WITH  THE  COMMISSIONER'S  REGU-
LATIONS.
  (D) AGE: BE AT LEAST TWENTY-ONE YEARS OF AGE;
  (E) CHARACTER: BE OF GOOD MORAL CHARACTER AS DETERMINED BY THE DEPART-
MENT;
  (F)  REGISTRATION:  ALL  LICENSED ORIENTATION AND MOBILITY SPECIALISTS
SHALL REGISTER TRIENNIALLY WITH THE DEPARTMENT IN  ACCORDANCE  WITH  THE
COMMISSIONER'S REGULATION;
  (G) MANDATORY CONTINUING COMPETENCY:  (I)(A) EACH LICENSED ORIENTATION
AND MOBILITY SPECIALIST REQUIRED UNDER THIS ARTICLE TO REGISTER TRIENNI-
ALLY  WITH THE DEPARTMENT TO PRACTICE IN THE STATE SHALL COMPLY WITH THE
PROVISIONS  OF  THE   MANDATORY   CONTINUING   COMPETENCY   REQUIREMENTS
PRESCRIBED IN SUBPARAGRAPH (II) OF THIS PARAGRAPH, EXCEPT AS PROVIDED IN
CLAUSES  (B)  AND  (C)  OF  THIS  SUBPARAGRAPH. ORIENTATION AND MOBILITY
SPECIALISTS WHO DO  NOT  SATISFY  THE  MANDATORY  CONTINUING  COMPETENCY
REQUIREMENTS  SHALL  NOT  BE  AUTHORIZED TO PRACTICE UNTIL THEY HAVE MET
SUCH REQUIREMENTS, AND THEY HAVE BEEN ISSUED A REGISTRATION CERTIFICATE,
EXCEPT THAT AN ORIENTATION AND MOBILITY SPECIALIST MAY PRACTICE  WITHOUT
HAVING MET SUCH REQUIREMENTS IF HE OR SHE IS ISSUED A CONDITIONAL REGIS-
TRATION PURSUANT TO SUBPARAGRAPH (III) OF THIS PARAGRAPH.
  (B)  ORIENTATION  AND  MOBILITY  SPECIALISTS  SHALL BE EXEMPT FROM THE
MANDATORY CONTINUING COMPETENCY REQUIREMENT FOR THE TRIENNIAL  REGISTRA-
TION  PERIOD  DURING  WHICH  THEY ARE FIRST LICENSED.  ADJUSTMENT TO THE
MANDATORY CONTINUING COMPETENCY  REQUIREMENTS  MAY  BE  GRANTED  BY  THE
DEPARTMENT  FOR  REASONS OF HEALTH OF THE LICENSEE WHERE CERTIFIED BY AN
APPROPRIATE HEALTH CARE PROFESSIONAL, FOR EXTENDED ACTIVE DUTY WITH  THE
ARMED FORCES OF THE UNITED STATES, OR FOR OTHER GOOD CAUSE ACCEPTABLE TO
THE DEPARTMENT WHICH MAY PREVENT COMPLIANCE.
  (C)  A  LICENSED  ORIENTATION  AND  MOBILITY SPECIALIST NOT ENGAGED IN
PRACTICE, AS DETERMINED BY THE DEPARTMENT,  SHALL  BE  EXEMPT  FROM  THE
MANDATORY  CONTINUING COMPETENCY REQUIREMENT UPON THE FILING OF A STATE-
MENT WITH THE DEPARTMENT DECLARING SUCH STATUS. ANY LICENSEE WHO RETURNS
TO PRACTICE OF THE PROFESSION OF  ORIENTATION  AND  MOBILITY  SPECIALIST
DURING  THE  TRIENNIAL  REGISTRATION  PERIOD SHALL NOTIFY THE DEPARTMENT
PRIOR TO REENTERING THE PROFESSION AND SHALL MEET SUCH MANDATORY CONTIN-
UING COMPETENCY REQUIREMENTS AS SHALL BE PRESCRIBED  BY  REGULATIONS  OF
THE COMMISSIONER.
  (II) DURING EACH TRIENNIAL REGISTRATION PERIOD AN APPLICANT FOR REGIS-
TRATION AS AN ORIENTATION AND MOBILITY SPECIALIST SHALL COMPLETE A MINI-
MUM  OF  TWENTY-FOUR  HOURS  OF  ACCEPTABLE  LEARNING  ACTIVITIES  WHICH
CONTRIBUTE TO CONTINUING COMPETENCE, AS SPECIFIED IN  SUBPARAGRAPH  (IV)
OF THIS PARAGRAPH, PROVIDED FURTHER THAT AT LEAST SIXTEEN HOURS SHALL BE
IN  RECOGNIZED  AREAS  OF STUDY PERTINENT TO THE PROFESSIONAL SCOPE OF A
LICENSED ORIENTATION AND MOBILITY SPECIALIST. ANY ORIENTATION AND MOBIL-
ITY SPECIALIST WHOSE FIRST REGISTRATION  DATE  FOLLOWING  THE  EFFECTIVE
DATE  OF  THIS  SECTION OCCURS LESS THAN THREE YEARS FROM SUCH EFFECTIVE
DATE, BUT ON  OR  AFTER  JANUARY  FIRST,  TWO  THOUSAND  FIFTEEN,  SHALL
COMPLETE  CONTINUING COMPETENCY HOURS ON A PRORATED BASIS AT THE RATE OF
ONE-HALF HOUR PER MONTH FOR THE  PERIOD  BEGINNING  JANUARY  FIRST,  TWO
THOUSAND FIFTEEN UP TO THE FIRST REGISTRATION DATE. THEREAFTER, A LICEN-
SEE  WHO  HAS NOT SATISFIED THE MANDATORY CONTINUING COMPETENCY REQUIRE-

S. 3558--C                          5

MENTS SHALL NOT BE ISSUED A TRIENNIAL REGISTRATION  CERTIFICATE  BY  THE
DEPARTMENT  AND SHALL NOT PRACTICE UNLESS AND UNTIL A CONDITIONAL REGIS-
TRATION CERTIFICATE IS ISSUED AS PROVIDED FOR IN SUBPARAGRAPH  (III)  OF
THIS  PARAGRAPH.  CONTINUING COMPETENCY HOURS TAKEN DURING ONE TRIENNIUM
MAY NOT BE TRANSFERRED TO A SUBSEQUENT TRIENNIUM.
  (III) THE DEPARTMENT, IN  ITS  DISCRETION,  MAY  ISSUE  A  CONDITIONAL
REGISTRATION  TO  A LICENSEE WHO FAILS TO MEET THE CONTINUING COMPETENCY
REQUIREMENTS ESTABLISHED IN SUBPARAGRAPH (II) OF THIS PARAGRAPH, BUT WHO
AGREES TO MAKE UP ANY DEFICIENCIES AND COMPLETE ANY ADDITIONAL  LEARNING
ACTIVITIES  WHICH  THE DEPARTMENT MAY REQUIRE. THE FEE FOR SUCH A CONDI-
TIONAL REGISTRATION SHALL BE THE SAME AS, AND IN ADDITION  TO,  THE  FEE
FOR  THE TRIENNIAL REGISTRATION. THE DURATION OF SUCH CONDITIONAL REGIS-
TRATION SHALL BE DETERMINED BY THE DEPARTMENT BUT SHALL NOT  EXCEED  ONE
YEAR.  ANY  LICENSEE  WHO  IS NOTIFIED OF THE DENIAL OF REGISTRATION FOR
FAILURE TO SUBMIT EVIDENCE, SATISFACTORY TO THE DEPARTMENT, OF  REQUIRED
CONTINUING COMPETENCY LEARNING ACTIVITIES AND WHO PRACTICES WITHOUT SUCH
REGISTRATION,  MAY  BE  SUBJECT  TO DISCIPLINARY PROCEEDINGS PURSUANT TO
SECTION SIXTY-FIVE HUNDRED TEN OF THIS TITLE.
  (IV) AS USED IN  SUBPARAGRAPH  (II)  OF  THIS  PARAGRAPH,  "ACCEPTABLE
LEARNING  ACTIVITIES"  SHALL  MEAN  ACTIVITIES  WHICH  CONTRIBUTE TO THE
PROFESSIONAL PRACTICE OF AN  ORIENTATION  AND  MOBILITY  SPECIALIST  AND
WHICH  MEET  THE  STANDARDS PRESCRIBED IN THE REGULATIONS OF THE COMMIS-
SIONER. SUCH LEARNING ACTIVITIES SHALL INCLUDE, BUT NOT BE  LIMITED  TO,
COLLEGIATE  LEVEL  CREDIT AND NON-CREDIT COURSES, SELF-STUDY ACTIVITIES,
INDEPENDENT STUDY, FORMAL MENTORING ACTIVITIES, PUBLICATIONS IN  PROFES-
SIONAL   JOURNALS,   PROFESSIONAL  DEVELOPMENT  PROGRAMS  AND  TECHNICAL
SESSIONS; SUCH LEARNING ACTIVITIES  MAY  BE  OFFERED  AND  SPONSORED  BY
NATIONAL,  STATE AND LOCAL PROFESSIONAL ASSOCIATIONS AND OTHER ORGANIZA-
TIONS OR PARTIES ACCEPTABLE TO THE DEPARTMENT, AND ANY  OTHER  ORGANIZED
EDUCATIONAL  AND TECHNICAL LEARNING ACTIVITIES ACCEPTABLE TO THE DEPART-
MENT. RECOGNIZED AREAS OF STUDY SHALL INCLUDE BUT  NOT  BE  LIMITED  TO:
KNOWLEDGE  AND  SKILLS  TRAINING  IN  ORIENTATION, MOBILITY, NAVIGATION,
INDEPENDENT LIVING, COMMUNICATIONS AND USE OF PRESCRIBED  AND,  ADAPTIVE
OPTICAL  DEVICES;  UTILIZATION  OF  SPECIALIZED TECHNIQUES AND EQUIPMENT
INTENDED FOR USE BY PERSONS  WHO  ARE  VISUALLY  IMPAIRED;  THE  MEDICAL
ASPECTS  OF  VISION  LOSS  AND  ITS FUNCTIONAL IMPACT ON PERSONS WHO ARE
VISUALLY IMPAIRED; AND SUCH OTHER TECHNICAL SUBJECT MATTER AREAS  APPRO-
PRIATELY  RELATED  TO  THE PRACTICE OF VISION REHABILITATION SERVICES AS
MAY BE SATISFACTORY TO THE BOARD AND IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE  COMMISSION-
ER'S REGULATIONS. THE DEPARTMENT MAY, IN ITS DISCRETION AND AS NEEDED TO
CONTRIBUTE  TO  THE  HEALTH  AND  WELFARE  OF  THE  PUBLIC,  REQUIRE THE
COMPLETION OF CONTINUING  COMPETENCY  LEARNING  ACTIVITIES  IN  SPECIFIC
SUBJECTS  TO  FULFILL  THIS MANDATORY CONTINUING COMPETENCY REQUIREMENT.
LEARNING ACTIVITIES MUST BE TAKEN FROM A SPONSOR APPROVED BY THE DEPART-
MENT, PURSUANT TO THE REGULATIONS OF THE COMMISSIONER.
  (V) ORIENTATION  AND  MOBILITY  SPECIALISTS  SHALL  MAINTAIN  ADEQUATE
DOCUMENTATION OF COMPLETION OF ACCEPTABLE CONTINUING COMPETENCY LEARNING
ACTIVITIES  AND  SHALL  PROVIDE SUCH DOCUMENTATION AT THE REQUEST OF THE
DEPARTMENT. FAILURE TO PROVIDE SUCH DOCUMENTATION UPON  THE  REQUEST  OF
THE  DEPARTMENT  SHALL  BE  AN ACT OF MISCONDUCT SUBJECT TO DISCIPLINARY
PROCEEDINGS PURSUANT TO SECTION SIXTY-FIVE HUNDRED TEN OF THIS TITLE.
  (VI) THE MANDATORY CONTINUING COMPETENCY FEE SHALL BE  FIFTY  DOLLARS,
SHALL  BE PAYABLE ON OR BEFORE THE FIRST DAY OF EACH TRIENNIAL REGISTRA-
TION PERIOD, AND SHALL BE PAID IN ADDITION TO THE TRIENNIAL REGISTRATION
FEE REQUIRED BY PARAGRAPH (H) OF THIS SUBDIVISION.

S. 3558--C                          6

  (H) FEES: PAY A FEE OF ONE HUNDRED SEVENTY-FIVE DOLLARS FOR AN INITIAL
LICENSE AND A FEE OF ONE HUNDRED FIFTY-FIVE DOLLARS FOR  EACH  TRIENNIAL
REGISTRATION PERIOD.
  2.  TO  QUALIFY  FOR A LICENSE AS A VISION REHABILITATION THERAPIST AN
APPLICANT SHALL FULFILL THE FOLLOWING REQUIREMENTS:
  (A) APPLICATION: FILE AN APPLICATION WITH THE DEPARTMENT;
  (B)  EDUCATION/EXPERIENCE:  (I)  HAVE  SATISFACTORILY   COMPLETED   AN
APPROVED  VISION  REHABILITATION THERAPIST CURRICULUM IN A BACCALAUREATE
OR MASTERS PROGRAM, OR A CERTIFICATE PROGRAM SATISFACTORY TO THE DEPART-
MENT  WHICH  IS  SUBSTANTIALLY  EQUIVALENT  TO  A  BACCALAUREATE  DEGREE
PROGRAM, IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE COMMISSIONER'S REGULATIONS; AND
  (II)  HAVE  A  MINIMUM  OF THREE MONTHS OF SUPERVISED VISION REHABILI-
TATION THERAPIST EXPERIENCE WHICH SUPERVISION AND  EXPERIENCE  SHALL  BE
SATISFACTORY  TO  THE STATE BOARD FOR VISION REHABILITATION SERVICES AND
IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE COMMISSIONER'S REGULATIONS;
  (C) PASS AN EXAMINATION SATISFACTORY TO THE  STATE  BOARD  FOR  VISION
REHABILITATION  SERVICES  IN  ACCORDANCE  WITH  THE COMMISSIONER'S REGU-
LATIONS.
  (D) AGE: BE AT LEAST TWENTY-ONE YEARS OF AGE;
  (E) CHARACTER: BE OF GOOD MORAL CHARACTER AS DETERMINED BY THE DEPART-
MENT;
  (F) REGISTRATION: ALL LICENSED VISION REHABILITATION THERAPISTS  SHALL
REGISTER  TRIENNIALLY WITH THE DEPARTMENT IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE COMMIS-
SIONER'S REGULATIONS;
  (G) MANDATORY CONTINUING COMPETENCY:   (I) (A)  EACH  LICENSED  VISION
REHABILITATION  THERAPIST REQUIRED UNDER THIS ARTICLE TO REGISTER TRIEN-
NIALLY WITH THE DEPARTMENT TO PRACTICE IN THE STATE  SHALL  COMPLY  WITH
THE  PROVISIONS  OF  THE  MANDATORY  CONTINUING  COMPETENCY REQUIREMENTS
PRESCRIBED IN SUBPARAGRAPH (II) OF THIS PARAGRAPH, EXCEPT AS PROVIDED IN
CLAUSES (B) AND (C) OF THIS PARAGRAPH.  VISION REHABILITATION THERAPISTS
WHO DO NOT SATISFY  THE  MANDATORY  CONTINUING  COMPETENCY  REQUIREMENTS
SHALL  NOT  BE  AUTHORIZED TO PRACTICE UNTIL THEY HAVE MET SUCH REQUIRE-
MENTS, AND THEY HAVE BEEN ISSUED A REGISTRATION CERTIFICATE, EXCEPT THAT
A VISION REHABILITATION THERAPIST MAY PRACTICE WITHOUT HAVING  MET  SUCH
REQUIREMENTS  IF HE OR SHE IS ISSUED A CONDITIONAL REGISTRATION PURSUANT
TO SUBPARAGRAPH (III) OF THIS PARAGRAPH.
  (B) VISION REHABILITATION THERAPISTS SHALL BE EXEMPT FROM THE MANDATO-
RY CONTINUING COMPETENCY  REQUIREMENT  FOR  THE  TRIENNIAL  REGISTRATION
PERIOD DURING WHICH THEY ARE FIRST LICENSED.  ADJUSTMENT TO THE MANDATO-
RY  CONTINUING  COMPETENCY REQUIREMENTS MAY BE GRANTED BY THE DEPARTMENT
FOR REASONS OF HEALTH OF THE LICENSEE WHERE CERTIFIED BY AN  APPROPRIATE
HEALTH CARE PROFESSIONAL, FOR EXTENDED ACTIVE DUTY WITH THE ARMED FORCES
OF  THE UNITED STATES, OR FOR OTHER GOOD CAUSE ACCEPTABLE TO THE DEPART-
MENT WHICH MAY PREVENT COMPLIANCE.
  (C) A LICENSED VISION REHABILITATION THERAPIST NOT  ENGAGED  IN  PRAC-
TICE, AS DETERMINED BY THE DEPARTMENT, SHALL BE EXEMPT FROM THE MANDATO-
RY CONTINUING COMPETENCY REQUIREMENT UPON THE FILING OF A STATEMENT WITH
THE  DEPARTMENT DECLARING SUCH STATUS. ANY LICENSEE WHO RETURNS TO PRAC-
TICE OF VISION REHABILITATION THERAPY DURING THE TRIENNIAL  REGISTRATION
PERIOD  SHALL  NOTIFY  THE DEPARTMENT PRIOR TO REENTERING THE PROFESSION
AND SHALL MEET SUCH  MANDATORY  CONTINUING  COMPETENCY  REQUIREMENTS  AS
SHALL BE PRESCRIBED BY REGULATIONS OF THE COMMISSIONER.
  (II) DURING EACH TRIENNIAL REGISTRATION PERIOD AN APPLICANT FOR REGIS-
TRATION AS A VISION REHABILITATION THERAPIST SHALL COMPLETE A MINIMUM OF
TWENTY-FOUR  HOURS OF ACCEPTABLE LEARNING ACTIVITIES WHICH CONTRIBUTE TO
CONTINUING COMPETENCE, AS SPECIFIED IN SUBPARAGRAPH (IV) OF  THIS  PARA-

S. 3558--C                          7

GRAPH,  PROVIDED  FURTHER THAT AT LEAST SIXTEEN HOURS SHALL BE IN RECOG-
NIZED AREAS OF STUDY PERTINENT TO THE PROFESSIONAL SCOPE OF  A  LICENSED
VISION  REHABILITATION  THERAPIST.  ANY  VISION REHABILITATION THERAPIST
WHOSE  FIRST  REGISTRATION  DATE  FOLLOWING  THE  EFFECTIVE DATE OF THIS
SECTION OCCURS LESS THAN THREE YEARS FROM SUCH EFFECTIVE DATE, BUT ON OR
AFTER JANUARY FIRST, TWO THOUSAND  FIFTEEN,  SHALL  COMPLETE  CONTINUING
COMPETENCY  HOURS  ON  A PRORATED BASIS AT THE RATE OF ONE-HALF HOUR PER
MONTH FOR THE PERIOD BEGINNING JANUARY FIRST, TWO THOUSAND FIFTEEN UP TO
THE FIRST REGISTRATION DATE. THEREAFTER, A LICENSEE WHO HAS  NOT  SATIS-
FIED  THE  MANDATORY  CONTINUING  COMPETENCY  REQUIREMENTS  SHALL NOT BE
ISSUED A TRIENNIAL REGISTRATION CERTIFICATE BY THE DEPARTMENT AND  SHALL
NOT  PRACTICE UNLESS AND UNTIL A CONDITIONAL REGISTRATION CERTIFICATE IS
ISSUED AS PROVIDED FOR IN SUBPARAGRAPH (III) OF THIS PARAGRAPH.  CONTIN-
UING COMPETENCY HOURS TAKEN DURING ONE TRIENNIUM MAY NOT BE  TRANSFERRED
TO A SUBSEQUENT TRIENNIUM.
  (III)  THE  DEPARTMENT,  IN  ITS  DISCRETION,  MAY ISSUE A CONDITIONAL
REGISTRATION TO A LICENSEE WHO FAILS TO MEET THE  CONTINUING  COMPETENCY
REQUIREMENTS ESTABLISHED IN SUBPARAGRAPH (II) OF THIS PARAGRAPH, BUT WHO
AGREES  TO MAKE UP ANY DEFICIENCIES AND COMPLETE ANY ADDITIONAL LEARNING
ACTIVITIES WHICH THE DEPARTMENT MAY REQUIRE. THE FEE FOR SUCH  A  CONDI-
TIONAL  REGISTRATION  SHALL  BE THE SAME AS, AND IN ADDITION TO, THE FEE
FOR THE TRIENNIAL REGISTRATION. THE DURATION OF SUCH CONDITIONAL  REGIS-
TRATION  SHALL  BE DETERMINED BY THE DEPARTMENT BUT SHALL NOT EXCEED ONE
YEAR. ANY LICENSEE WHO IS NOTIFIED OF THE  DENIAL  OF  REGISTRATION  FOR
FAILURE  TO SUBMIT EVIDENCE, SATISFACTORY TO THE DEPARTMENT, OF REQUIRED
CONTINUING COMPETENCY LEARNING ACTIVITIES AND WHO PRACTICES WITHOUT SUCH
REGISTRATION, MAY BE SUBJECT TO  DISCIPLINARY  PROCEEDINGS  PURSUANT  TO
SECTION SIXTY-FIVE HUNDRED TEN OF THIS TITLE.
  (IV)  AS  USED  IN  SUBPARAGRAPH  (II)  OF THIS PARAGRAPH, "ACCEPTABLE
LEARNING ACTIVITIES" SHALL  MEAN  ACTIVITIES  WHICH  CONTRIBUTE  TO  THE
PROFESSIONAL  PRACTICE  OF  A  VISION REHABILITATION THERAPIST AND WHICH
MEET THE STANDARDS PRESCRIBED IN THE REGULATIONS  OF  THE  COMMISSIONER.
SUCH  LEARNING ACTIVITIES SHALL INCLUDE, BUT NOT BE LIMITED TO, COLLEGI-
ATE LEVEL CREDIT AND NON-CREDIT COURSES,  SELF-STUDY  ACTIVITIES,  INDE-
PENDENT STUDY, FORMAL MENTORING ACTIVITIES, PUBLICATIONS IN PROFESSIONAL
JOURNALS, PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT PROGRAMS AND TECHNICAL SESSIONS; SUCH
LEARNING  ACTIVITIES MAY BE OFFERED AND SPONSORED BY NATIONAL, STATE AND
LOCAL PROFESSIONAL  ASSOCIATIONS  AND  OTHER  ORGANIZATIONS  OR  PARTIES
ACCEPTABLE  TO  THE  DEPARTMENT, AND ANY OTHER ORGANIZED EDUCATIONAL AND
TECHNICAL LEARNING ACTIVITIES ACCEPTABLE TO THE DEPARTMENT.   RECOGNIZED
AREAS OF STUDY SHALL INCLUDE BUT NOT BE LIMITED TO: KNOWLEDGE AND SKILLS
TRAINING IN MOBILITY, NAVIGATION, INDEPENDENT LIVING, COMMUNICATIONS AND
ORIENTATION,  USE  OF PRESCRIBED AND, ADAPTIVE OPTICAL DEVICES; UTILIZA-
TION OF SPECIALIZED TECHNIQUES AND EQUIPMENT INTENDED FOR USE BY PERSONS
WHO ARE VISUALLY IMPAIRED; THE MEDICAL ASPECTS OF VISION  LOSS  AND  ITS
FUNCTIONAL  IMPACT  ON PERSONS WHO ARE VISUALLY IMPAIRED; AND SUCH OTHER
TECHNICAL SUBJECT MATTER AREAS APPROPRIATELY RELATED TO THE PRACTICE  OF
VISION  REHABILITATION  SERVICES AS MAY BE SATISFACTORY TO THE BOARD AND
IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE COMMISSIONER'S REGULATIONS. THE  DEPARTMENT  MAY,
IN  ITS DISCRETION AND AS NEEDED TO CONTRIBUTE TO THE HEALTH AND WELFARE
OF THE PUBLIC, REQUIRE THE COMPLETION OF CONTINUING COMPETENCY  LEARNING
ACTIVITIES  IN  SPECIFIC  SUBJECTS  TO FULFILL THIS MANDATORY CONTINUING
COMPETENCY REQUIREMENT.  LEARNING ACTIVITIES MUST BE TAKEN FROM A  SPON-
SOR  APPROVED  BY  THE  DEPARTMENT,  PURSUANT  TO THE REGULATIONS OF THE
COMMISSIONER.

S. 3558--C                          8

  (V) VISION REHABILITATION THERAPISTS SHALL MAINTAIN ADEQUATE  DOCUMEN-
TATION OF COMPLETION OF ACCEPTABLE CONTINUING COMPETENCY LEARNING ACTIV-
ITIES AND SHALL PROVIDE SUCH DOCUMENTATION AT THE REQUEST OF THE DEPART-
MENT.  FAILURE  TO  PROVIDE  SUCH  DOCUMENTATION UPON THE REQUEST OF THE
DEPARTMENT  SHALL  BE  AN  ACT  OF  MISCONDUCT  SUBJECT  TO DISCIPLINARY
PROCEEDINGS PURSUANT TO SECTION SIXTY-FIVE HUNDRED TEN OF THIS TITLE.
  (VI) THE MANDATORY CONTINUING COMPETENCY FEE SHALL BE  FIFTY  DOLLARS,
SHALL  BE PAYABLE ON OR BEFORE THE FIRST DAY OF EACH TRIENNIAL REGISTRA-
TION PERIOD, AND SHALL BE PAID IN ADDITION TO THE TRIENNIAL REGISTRATION
FEE REQUIRED BY PARAGRAPH (H) OF THIS SUBDIVISION.
  (H) FEES: PAY A FEE OF ONE HUNDRED SEVENTY-FIVE DOLLARS FOR AN INITIAL
LICENSE AND A FEE OF ONE HUNDRED FIFTY-FIVE DOLLARS FOR  EACH  TRIENNIAL
REGISTRATION PERIOD.
  S  8905.  LIMITED PERMITS. PERMITS LIMITED AS TO ELIGIBILITY, PRACTICE
AND DURATION SHALL BE ISSUED BY THE DEPARTMENT TO ELIGIBLE APPLICANTS AS
FOLLOWS:
  1. ELIGIBILITY. A PERSON WHO FULFILLS ALL REQUIREMENTS FOR  AN  ORIEN-
TATION  AND  MOBILITY  SPECIALIST  OR  VISION  REHABILITATION THERAPIST,
EXCEPT THAT RELATING TO THE EXAMINATION, SHALL BE ELIGIBLE FOR A LIMITED
PERMIT.
  2. LIMIT OF PRACTICE. ALL PRACTICE UNDER A  LIMITED  PERMIT  SHALL  BE
UNDER  THE  DIRECT  SUPERVISION  OF  A LICENSED ORIENTATION AND MOBILITY
SPECIALIST OR A VISION REHABILITATION THERAPIST.
  3. DURATION. A LIMITED PERMIT SHALL EXPIRE ONE YEAR FROM THE  DATE  OF
ISSUANCE  OR  UPON  NOTICE  TO  THE PERMITTEE BY THE DEPARTMENT THAT THE
APPLICATION FOR LICENSURE HAS BEEN DENIED, OR UPON NOTICE TO THE PERMIT-
TEE OF FAILURE ON  THE  PROFESSIONAL  LICENSING  EXAMINATION,  WHICHEVER
FIRST OCCURS.
  4. FEES. THE FEE FOR EACH LIMITED PERMIT SHALL BE SEVENTY DOLLARS.
  S  8906. EXEMPT PERSONS. THIS ARTICLE SHALL NOT BE CONSTRUED TO AFFECT
OR PREVENT THE FOLLOWING, PROVIDED THAT NO TITLE, SIGN, CARD  OR  DEVICE
SHALL  BE  USED  IN SUCH MANNER AS TO TEND TO CONVEY THE IMPRESSION THAT
THE PERSON RENDERING SUCH SERVICE IS A LICENSED ORIENTATION AND MOBILITY
SPECIALIST OR VISION REHABILITATION THERAPIST:
  1. THE PRACTICE OF ORIENTATION AND MOBILITY TRAINING OR  VISION  REHA-
BILITATION THERAPY AS AN INTEGRAL PART OF A PROGRAM OF STUDY BY STUDENTS
ENROLLED IN APPROVED EDUCATIONAL OR TRAINING PROGRAMS IN (A) ORIENTATION
AND MOBILITY TRAINING OR (B) VISION REHABILITATION THERAPY.
  2.  THE  PERFORMANCE  OF ANY OF THE DUTIES, TASKS AND RESPONSIBILITIES
INCLUDED IN THE DEFINITION OF ORIENTATION AND MOBILITY TRAINING  BY  ANY
OTHER  DULY  LICENSED,  CERTIFIED  OR  REGISTERED  HEALTH CARE PROVIDER,
PROVIDED THAT SUCH DUTIES, TASKS AND  RESPONSIBILITIES  ARE  WITHIN  THE
SCOPE  OF  HIS  OR  HER  PRACTICE AS DEFINED IN THIS ARTICLE PURSUANT TO
WHICH SUCH PERSON IS LICENSED, CERTIFIED OR REGISTERED; PROVIDED, HOWEV-
ER, THAT SUCH PRACTITIONERS MAY NOT HOLD THEMSELVES OUT UNDER THE  TITLE
"LICENSED ORIENTATION AND MOBILITY SPECIALIST" OR AS PERFORMING LICENSED
ORIENTATION AND MOBILITY TRAINING.
  3.  THE  PERFORMANCE  OF ANY OF THE DUTIES, TASKS AND RESPONSIBILITIES
INCLUDED IN THE DEFINITION OF VISION REHABILITATION THERAPY BY ANY OTHER
DULY LICENSED, CERTIFIED OR REGISTERED HEALTH  CARE  PROVIDER,  PROVIDED
THAT SUCH DUTIES, TASKS AND RESPONSIBILITIES ARE WITHIN THE SCOPE OF HIS
OR  HER PRACTICE AS DEFINED IN THIS ARTICLE OR COMMISSIONER'S REGULATION
PURSUANT TO WHICH SUCH PERSON  IS  LICENSED,  CERTIFIED  OR  REGISTERED;
PROVIDED,  HOWEVER,  THAT SUCH PRACTITIONERS MAY NOT HOLD THEMSELVES OUT
UNDER  THE  TITLE  "LICENSED  VISION  REHABILITATION  THERAPIST"  OR  AS
PERFORMING LICENSED VISION REHABILITATION THERAPY.

S. 3558--C                          9

  4.  THE PRACTICE, CONDUCT, ACTIVITIES, SERVICES OR USE OF ANY TITLE BY
ANY PERSON LICENSED OR OTHERWISE AUTHORIZED TO PRACTICE MEDICINE  WITHIN
THE STATE PURSUANT TO ARTICLE ONE HUNDRED THIRTY-ONE OF THIS TITLE OR BY
ANY  PERSON  REGISTERED  TO  PERFORM  SERVICES  AS A PHYSICIAN ASSISTANT
PURSUANT TO ARTICLE ONE HUNDRED THIRTY-ONE-B OF THIS TITLE.
  5.  THE  PRACTICE OF ORIENTATION AND MOBILITY TRAINING OR VISION REHA-
BILITATION THERAPY BY ANY LEGALLY QUALIFIED PRACTITIONER OF  ORIENTATION
AND  MOBILITY  TRAINING  OR  VISION  REHABILITATION THERAPY OF ANY OTHER
STATE OR TERRITORY WHO IS SERVING IN THE  ARMED  FORCES  OR  THE  PUBLIC
HEALTH  SERVICE OF THE UNITED STATES WHILE ENGAGED IN THE PERFORMANCE OF
HIS OR HER DUTIES.
  6. THE INSTRUCTION IN THE USE OF A DOG GUIDE.
  S 8907. SPECIAL PROVISIONS. A PERSON SHALL BE LICENSED  WITHOUT  EXAM-
INATION  PROVIDED THAT, WITHIN THREE YEARS OF THE EFFECTIVE DATE OF THIS
ARTICLE, SUCH PERSON:
  1. FILES AN APPLICATION AND PAYS THE APPROPRIATE FEES TO  THE  DEPART-
MENT;
  2.  (A)  HOLDS  A BACHELOR'S DEGREE OR HIGHER, OR EQUIVALENT AS DETER-
MINED BY THE DEPARTMENT, WITH A SPECIALIZATION IN ORIENTATION AND MOBIL-
ITY TRAINING; OR (B) HOLDS A BACHELOR'S DEGREE OR HIGHER, OR  EQUIVALENT
AS  DETERMINED  BY THE DEPARTMENT, WITH A SPECIALIZATION IN VISION REHA-
BILITATION THERAPY; OR (C) HOLDS  A  BACHELOR'S  DEGREE  OR  HIGHER,  OR
EQUIVALENT  AS DETERMINED BY THE DEPARTMENT IN A REHABILITATION FIELD OR
IN SPECIAL EDUCATION AND (I) HAS  COMPLETED  ALL  ADDITIONALLY  REQUIRED
ELEMENTS  OF  THE  ORIENTATION AND MOBILITY TRAINING OR VISION REHABILI-
TATION THERAPY CURRICULUM SATISFACTORY TO THE BOARD  AND  IN  ACCORDANCE
WITH  THE  COMMISSIONER'S  REGULATIONS;  OR  (II)  HAS BEEN CERTIFIED IN
ORIENTATION AND MOBILITY TRAINING OR VISION REHABILITATION THERAPY BY  A
NATIONALLY RECOGNIZED ACCREDITING BODY ACCEPTABLE TO THE DEPARTMENT; AND
  3.  SUBMITS EVIDENCE OF A MINIMUM OF THREE YEARS EXPERIENCE OR EMPLOY-
MENT IN THE PRACTICE OF ORIENTATION  AND  MOBILITY  TRAINING  OR  VISION
REHABILITATION  THERAPY SATISFACTORY TO THE BOARD AND IN ACCORDANCE WITH
THE COMMISSIONER'S REGULATIONS, WHETHER SUCH  EXPERIENCE  OR  EMPLOYMENT
OCCURS WITHIN OR WITHOUT THIS STATE.
  S 8908. SEPARABILITY. IF ANY SECTION OF THIS ARTICLE, OR PART THEREOF,
SHALL  BE ADJUDGED BY ANY COURT OF COMPETENT JURISDICTION TO BE INVALID,
SUCH JUDGMENT SHALL NOT AFFECT, IMPAIR OR INVALIDATE  THE  REMAINDER  OF
ANY OTHER SECTION OR PART THEREOF.
  S  2.  This  act  shall take effect July 1, 2015.  The commissioner of
education and the board of regents are  authorized  to  promulgate  such
rules  and  regulations  and take any other measures as may be necessary
for the timely implementation of this act on  or  before  its  effective
date,  including  but  not limited to the appointment of the state board
for vision rehabilitation services, the  acceptance  and  processing  of
applications for licensure, and the issuance of licenses.

Co-Sponsors

view additional co-sponsors

S3558D (ACTIVE) - Bill Details

See Assembly Version of this Bill:
A3597C
Current Committee:
Assembly Higher Education
Law Section:
Education Law
Laws Affected:
Add Art 168 §§8900 - 8908, Ed L
Versions Introduced in Previous Legislative Sessions:
2011-2012: S3880C, A8576B
2009-2010: S1262B

S3558D (ACTIVE) - Bill Texts

view summary

Provides for the licensing of licensed orientation and mobility specialists and vision rehabilitation therapists.

view sponsor memo
BILL NUMBER:S3558D

TITLE OF BILL: An act to amend the education law, in relation to the
licensing of orientation and mobility specialists and rehabilitation
therapists

PURPOSE:

This bill would ensure the safety of persons who are blind or
partially sighted by licensing the trained vision rehabilitation
professionals who work with them to restore their independent
functioning within the home, the school, the workplace and the wider
community.

SUMMARY OF PROVISIONS:

Creates a new article 168.

§ 8901 Sets out the definition used in the article.

§ 8902 Outlines the use of the titles "licensed orientation and
mobility specialists" and "vision rehabilitation therapists".

§ 8903 Outlines the State Board for vision rehabilitation services.

§ 8904 Spells out the requirements for a license.

§ 8905 Establishes limited permits.

§ 8906 Explains the exempt persons.

§ 8907 Outlines special provisions.

§ 8908 Separability provisions.

JUSTIFICATION:

Vision does not have to be devastating. Full independence can be
achieved when there is access to highly qualified vision
rehabilitation professionals (VRPs). A significant number of the more
than one million individuals with vision loss are empowered,
self-sufficient and able to navigate through their lives independently
due in part to the specialized services they received when they needed
them.

However, too many New Yorkers who acquire a visual impairment due to
aging or an accident do not receive the training and services that
would enable them to make the transition from newly visually impaired
or blind to an active and productive life with a disability. This is
due in large part because vision rehabilitation professionals are not
yet licensed by the state of New York and thus, access to VRPs is
severely restricted and doctors do not refer patients to unlicensed
professions.

Vision Rehabilitation Professionals were marginalized in the first
half of the 20 century due in part because the numbers of people with
a visual impairment were small, the workers for the blind were largely


blind themselves and there was widespread discrimination of all people
with disabilities. Licensure is the final step to correct the wrongs
of the past by making every effort to ensure that those who become
blind have access to the highest quality of specially trained
rehabilitation professional.

To be a Vision Rehabilitation Professional (VRP), professionals who
are either blind of sighted themselves complete a degree from an
accredited university, undergo a rigorous internship and pass an exam
given by a nationally accredited certifying body.

The number of New Yorkers with vision loss has gown due to many
factors. The aging of the baby boomers and longer life expectancies
lead to age-related vision loss from macular degeneration, diabetic
retinopathy, glaucoma, and other eye diseases. Low birth weight babies
are surviving but often with vision loss and other disabilities.
Sports, workplace incidents, traumatic brain injuries and other
accidents cause vision loss in youth and adult populations. The need
for vision rehabilitation services has burgeoned proportionately.

With pressure on government and private resources for expensive home
health care and other supportive services, money can be saved and
quality of life can be improved by granting these highly qualified
professionals licensure. VRPs work with persons of all ages with
vision loss. The goal is to teach each individual with vision loss to
return to being self-reliant in almost every activity of daily life
using adaptive techniques and equipment. This could include teaching
the consumer to read and write Braille, to use a long cane for
independent mobility, to use a talking bill identifier or "talking"
speech software to access technology.

By licensing vision rehabilitation professionals, the general public
and people of all ages with vision loss will be more likely to learn
about the services available; access the training that leads to
independence and employment; be referred by the general social service
and medical community; receive high quality and comprehensive vision
rehabilitation services and encourage a sufficient number of
professionals to enter the field of vision rehabilitation.

Licensure ensures that professionals who provide these services will
possess the highest level of specialized skills, expertise and
experience. Through establishing standards of practice that licensure
brings, both sighted and blind individuals who become licensed VRPs,
can help to empower consumers to live successful and independent
lives.

LEGISLATIVE HISTORY:

2013 - S. 3558 passed Senate/A. 3597 - Higher Education Committee.

FISCAL IMPLICATIONS:

None.

EFFECTIVE DATE:


This act shall take effect July 1, 2015, however, that the
commissioner of education and the board of regents are authorized to
promulgate such rules and regulations and take any other measures as
may be necessary for the timely implementation of this act on or
before its effective date, including but not limited to the
appointment of the state board for vision rehabilitation services, the
acceptance and processing of applications for licensure, and the
issuance of licenses.

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                    S T A T E   O F   N E W   Y O R K
________________________________________________________________________

                                 3558--D
    Cal. No. 839

                       2013-2014 Regular Sessions

                            I N  S E N A T E

                            February 5, 2013
                               ___________

Introduced by Sens. GRIFFO, BALL, BRESLIN, DeFRANCISCO, HOYLMAN, LARKIN,
  MARTINS,  MAZIARZ,  PARKER, RANZENHOFER, SAVINO, VALESKY -- read twice
  and ordered printed, and when printed to be committed to the Committee
  on Higher Education -- recommitted to the Committee on  Higher  Educa-
  tion in accordance with Senate Rule 6, sec. 8 -- committee discharged,
  bill  amended,  ordered  reprinted  as amended and recommitted to said
  committee -- committee discharged, bill amended, ordered reprinted  as
  amended  and  recommitted to said committee -- reported favorably from
  said committee and committed to the Committee on Finance --  committee
  discharged, bill amended, ordered reprinted as amended and recommitted
  to  said  committee -- reported favorably from said committee, ordered
  to first report, amended on first report, ordered to a  second  report
  and  ordered  reprinted,  retaining  its  place in the order of second
  report

AN ACT to amend the education law,  in  relation  to  the  licensing  of
  orientation and mobility specialists and rehabilitation therapists

  THE  PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF NEW YORK, REPRESENTED IN SENATE AND ASSEM-
BLY, DO ENACT AS FOLLOWS:

  Section 1. The education law is amended by adding a new article 168 to
read as follows:
                               ARTICLE 168
                     VISION REHABILITATION SERVICES
SECTION 8900. INTRODUCTION.
        8901. DEFINITIONS.
        8902. USE OF  THE  TITLES  "LICENSED  ORIENTATION  AND  MOBILITY
                SPECIALISTS" AND "VISION REHABILITATION THERAPISTS".
        8903. STATE BOARD FOR VISION REHABILITATION SERVICES.
        8904. REQUIREMENTS FOR A LICENSE.
        8905. LIMITED PERMITS.
        8906. EXEMPT PERSONS.
        8907. SPECIAL PROVISIONS.

 EXPLANATION--Matter in ITALICS (underscored) is new; matter in brackets
                      [ ] is old law to be omitted.
                                                           LBD06474-09-4

S. 3558--D                          2

        8908. SEPARABILITY.
  S 8900. INTRODUCTION. THIS ARTICLE APPLIES TO THE PROFESSION OF VISION
REHABILITATION  SERVICES,  AND  PROVIDES  FOR  THE LICENSING OF LICENSED
ORIENTATION AND MOBILITY SPECIALISTS AND  VISION  REHABILITATION  THERA-
PISTS.  THE  GENERAL PROVISIONS FOR ALL PROFESSIONS CONTAINED IN ARTICLE
ONE HUNDRED THIRTY OF THIS TITLE SHALL APPLY TO THIS ARTICLE.
  S 8901. DEFINITIONS. FOR PURPOSES OF THIS ARTICLE, THE FOLLOWING TERMS
SHALL HAVE THE FOLLOWING MEANINGS:
  1. THE PRACTICE OF "ORIENTATION AND  MOBILITY  TRAINING"  SHALL  MEAN:
(A)  THE  ASSESSMENT  OF  INDIVIDUAL  NEEDS  OF PERSONS WHO ARE VISUALLY
IMPAIRED FOR SKILLS TRAINING IN METHODS OF SAFE MOVEMENT AND IN  STRATE-
GIES  TO  GATHER REQUIRED ENVIRONMENTAL AND SPATIAL INFORMATION; (B) THE
DEVELOPMENT OF APPROPRIATE INTEGRATED SERVICE  PLANS  TAILORED  TO  MEET
SUCH  INDIVIDUAL NEEDS AS IDENTIFIED IN SUCH ASSESSMENT PROCESS; (C) THE
PROVISION OF TRAINING IN, AND UTILIZATION OF (I) EQUIPMENT AND  ADAPTIVE
DEVICES  INTENDED  AND  DESIGNED  FOR  USE  BY  PERSONS WHO ARE VISUALLY
IMPAIRED, AND (II) SPECIALIZED TECHNIQUES ADAPTED FOR  PERSONS  WHO  ARE
VISUALLY  IMPAIRED,  INCLUDING  BUT  NOT LIMITED TO ORIENTATION; SENSORY
DEVELOPMENT; SYSTEMS OF SAFE MOVEMENT, INCLUDING LONG  CANE  TECHNIQUES;
RESOURCE  IDENTIFICATION  AND,  AS  APPROPRIATE, PROFESSIONAL REFERRALS;
AND, IN APPLIED SETTINGS, REINFORCING INSTRUCTION FOR THE USE OF OPTICAL
DEVICES AS PRESCRIBED BY OPTOMETRISTS AND OPHTHALMOLOGISTS; AND (D)  THE
EVALUATION OF CLIENTS RECEIVING SUCH SPECIALIZED TRAINING.
  2. THE PRACTICE OF "VISION REHABILITATION THERAPY" SHALL MEAN: (A) THE
ASSESSMENT  OF INDIVIDUAL NEEDS OF PERSONS WHO ARE VISUALLY IMPAIRED FOR
SKILLS TRAINING IN INDEPENDENT LIVING AND COMMUNICATIONS; (B) THE DEVEL-
OPMENT OF APPROPRIATE INTEGRATED SERVICE PLANS  TAILORED  TO  MEET  SUCH
INDIVIDUAL  NEEDS  AS  IDENTIFIED  IN  SUCH  ASSESSMENT PROCESS; (C) THE
PROVISION OF TRAINING IN, AND UTILIZATION OF (I) EQUIPMENT AND  ADAPTIVE
DEVICES  INTENDED  AND  DESIGNED  FOR  USE  BY  PERSONS WHO ARE VISUALLY
IMPAIRED, INCLUDING, IN APPLIED SETTINGS,  REINFORCING  INSTRUCTION  FOR
THE USE OF OPTICAL DEVICES AS PRESCRIBED BY OPTOMETRISTS OR OPHTHALMOLO-
GISTS, AND (II) SPECIALIZED TECHNIQUES ADAPTED FOR PERSONS WHO ARE VISU-
ALLY  IMPAIRED,  INCLUDING BUT NOT LIMITED TO BRAILLE AND OTHER COMMUNI-
CATION SKILLS; ADAPTED COMPUTER TECHNOLOGY; PERSONAL MANAGEMENT  SKILLS;
HOME MANAGEMENT SKILLS; PROBLEM SOLVING SKILLS; RESOURCE MANAGEMENT AND,
AS  APPROPRIATE,  PROFESSIONAL  REFERRALS;  AND  (D)  THE  EVALUATION OF
PERSONS RECEIVING SUCH SPECIALIZED TRAINING.
  3. THE PRACTICE OF "VISION REHABILITATION SERVICES" SHALL MEAN PROVID-
ING ASSESSMENT AND EVALUATION OF, AND  TRAINING  FOR,  PERSONS  WHO  ARE
VISUALLY IMPAIRED WHEN SUCH ASSESSMENT, EVALUATION AND TRAINING INCORPO-
RATES THE FULL RANGE OF SPECIALIZED SKILLS AND TASKS SUBSUMED IN THE TWO
PROFESSIONS  DEFINED  IN  THIS  SECTION AS: (A) ORIENTATION AND MOBILITY
TRAINING AND (B) VISION REHABILITATION THERAPY. SUCH SERVICES  SHALL  BE
RENDERED  ON  THE  PRESCRIPTION OR REFERRAL WHICH MAY BE DIRECTIVE AS TO
TREATMENT BY A LICENSED PHYSICIAN OR OPTOMETRIST, PROVIDED HOWEVER  THAT
NO SUCH TREATMENT DIRECTIVE AND LOW VISION EXAMINATION SHALL BE REQUIRED
WHEN  THE  PERSON  BEING REFERRED HAS BEEN DIAGNOSED WITHIN THE PREVIOUS
TWELVE MONTHS AS VISUALLY IMPAIRED, BLIND  OR  LEGALLY  BLIND  AS  THOSE
TERMS  ARE DEFINED IN SUBDIVISION FIVE OF THIS SECTION AND SUCH SERVICES
ARE BEING RENDERED  CONSISTENT  WITH  THAT  DIAGNOSIS,  PRESCRIPTION  OR
REFERRAL.  VISION REHABILITATION THERAPISTS AND ORIENTATION AND MOBILITY
SPECIALISTS MAY NOT PRESCRIBE OPTICAL LOW VISION DEVICES.
  4.  "APPLIED  SETTINGS"  MEANS  THOSE  LOCATIONS WHERE PERSONS WHO ARE
VISUALLY IMPAIRED ENGAGE IN DAY-TO-DAY ACTIVITIES  UTILIZING  THE  TOOLS

S. 3558--D                          3

SUPPLIED  AND TECHNIQUES TAUGHT BY THE LICENSED PRACTITIONERS DEFINED IN
THIS ARTICLE.
  5.  "VISUALLY  IMPAIRED"  MEANS A PERSON WHO IS TOTALLY BLIND, LEGALLY
BLIND OR PARTIALLY SIGHTED. A PERSON WHO IS BLIND  IS  ONE  WHO  HAS  NO
USEABLE  VISION.  A PERSON WHO IS LEGALLY BLIND IS ONE WHO SATISFIES THE
DEFINITION SET FORTH IN SUBDIVISION B OF SECTION THREE OF  CHAPTER  FOUR
HUNDRED  FIFTEEN OF THE LAWS OF NINETEEN HUNDRED THIRTEEN.  A PERSON WHO
IS PARTIALLY SIGHTED IS ONE WHO HAS FUNCTIONAL  VISION  IMPAIRMENT  THAT
CONSTITUTES A SIGNIFICANT LIMITATION OF VISUAL CAPABILITY RESULTING FROM
DISEASE,  TRAUMA,  OR CONGENITAL CONDITION, THAT CANNOT BE FULLY AMELIO-
RATED BY STANDARD REFRACTIVE CORRECTION,  MEDICATION,  OR  SURGERY,  AND
THAT  IS MANIFESTED BY ONE OR MORE OF THE FOLLOWING: INSUFFICIENT VISUAL
RESOLUTION, INADEQUATE FIELD OF VISION OR REDUCED PEAK  CONTRAST  SENSI-
TIVITY.
  S  8902. USE OF THE TITLES "LICENSED ORIENTATION AND MOBILITY SPECIAL-
ISTS" AND "VISION REHABILITATION THERAPISTS".   1.  PRACTICE  OF  ORIEN-
TATION  AND MOBILITY TRAINING AND USE OF THE TITLE "LICENSED ORIENTATION
AND MOBILITY SPECIALISTS". ONLY A PERSON LICENSED OR  OTHERWISE  AUTHOR-
IZED UNDER THIS ARTICLE SHALL PRACTICE ORIENTATION AND MOBILITY TRAINING
OR  USE  THE  TITLE  "LICENSED  ORIENTATION AND MOBILITY SPECIALISTS" IN
CONNECTION WITH HIS OR HER NAME OR WITH ANY TRADE NAME IN THE CONDUCT OF
HIS OR HER PROFESSION.
  2. PRACTICE OF VISION REHABILITATION THERAPY  AND  USE  OF  THE  TITLE
"VISION  REHABILITATION  THERAPIST". ONLY A PERSON LICENSED OR OTHERWISE
AUTHORIZED UNDER THIS ARTICLE SHALL PRACTICE VISION REHABILITATION THER-
APY OR USE THE TITLE "VISION  REHABILITATION  THERAPIST"  IN  CONNECTION
WITH HIS OR HER NAME OR WITH ANY TRADE NAME IN THE CONDUCT OF HIS OR HER
PROFESSION.
  S  8903. STATE BOARD FOR VISION REHABILITATION SERVICES. A STATE BOARD
FOR VISION REHABILITATION SERVICES SHALL BE APPOINTED BY  THE  BOARD  OF
REGENTS  UPON  THE RECOMMENDATION OF THE COMMISSIONER FOR THE PURPOSE OF
ASSISTING THE BOARD OF REGENTS AND THE DEPARTMENT ON MATTERS OF  PROFES-
SIONAL  LICENSING  AND  PROFESSIONAL  CONDUCT IN ACCORDANCE WITH SECTION
SIXTY-FIVE HUNDRED EIGHT OF THIS TITLE. THE BOARD SHALL CONSIST  OF  NOT
LESS  THAN  FOURTEEN  INDIVIDUALS, FOUR OF WHOM SHALL BE LICENSED ORIEN-
TATION AND MOBILITY SPECIALISTS, FOUR OF WHOM SHALL BE  LICENSED  VISION
REHABILITATION  THERAPISTS,  ONE  OPHTHALMOLOGIST  SPECIALIZING  IN  LOW
VISION TREATMENT, ONE OPTOMETRIST SPECIALIZING IN LOW  VISION  TREATMENT
AND  FOUR  OF WHOM SHALL BE BLIND REPRESENTATIVES OF THE PUBLIC AT LARGE
WHOSE NAMES WILL BE PLACED IN NOMINATION FOR THE  BOARD  FROM  ORGANIZA-
TIONS  OF  THE BLIND OR VISUALLY IMPAIRED.  MEMBERS OF THE INITIAL BOARD
NEED NOT BE LICENSED PRIOR TO THEIR APPOINTMENT TO  THE  BOARD.  OF  THE
MEMBERS  FIRST APPOINTED, FOUR SHALL BE APPOINTED FOR A THREE YEAR TERM,
FIVE SHALL BE APPOINTED  FOR  A  FOUR  YEAR  TERM,  AND  FIVE  SHALL  BE
APPOINTED  FOR  A FIVE YEAR TERM. THEREAFTER ALL MEMBERS SHALL SERVE FOR
FIVE YEAR TERMS. IN THE  EVENT  THAT  MORE  THAN  FOURTEEN  MEMBERS  ARE
APPOINTED, A MAJORITY OF THE ADDITIONAL MEMBERS SHALL BE LICENSED ORIEN-
TATION AND MOBILITY SPECIALISTS AND LICENSED VISION REHABILITATION THER-
APISTS. THE MEMBERS OF THE BOARD SHALL SELECT ONE OF THEMSELVES AS CHAIR
TO  SERVE FOR A ONE YEAR TERM. AN EXECUTIVE SECRETARY SHALL BE APPOINTED
BY THE BOARD OF REGENTS UPON THE RECOMMENDATION OF THE COMMISSIONER.
  S 8904. REQUIREMENTS FOR A LICENSE.  1. TO QUALIFY FOR A LICENSE AS AN
ORIENTATION AND MOBILITY SPECIALIST,  AN  APPLICANT  SHALL  FULFILL  THE
FOLLOWING REQUIREMENTS:
  (A) APPLICATION: FILE AN APPLICATION WITH THE DEPARTMENT;

S. 3558--D                          4

  (B)   EDUCATION/EXPERIENCE:   (I)  HAVE  SATISFACTORILY  COMPLETED  AN
APPROVED ORIENTATION AND  MOBILITY  CURRICULUM  IN  A  BACCALAUREATE  OR
MASTERS PROGRAM, OR A CERTIFICATE PROGRAM SATISFACTORY TO THE DEPARTMENT
WHICH  IS SUBSTANTIALLY EQUIVALENT TO A BACCALAUREATE DEGREE PROGRAM, IN
ACCORDANCE WITH THE COMMISSIONER'S REGULATIONS; AND
  (II)  HAVE  A  MINIMUM  OF  THREE MONTHS OF SUPERVISED ORIENTATION AND
MOBILITY EXPERIENCE WHICH SUPERVISION AND EXPERIENCE SHALL BE  SATISFAC-
TORY  TO  THE  STATE  BOARD  FOR  VISION  REHABILITATION SERVICES AND IN
ACCORDANCE WITH THE COMMISSIONER'S REGULATIONS;
  (C) PASS AN EXAMINATION SATISFACTORY TO THE  STATE  BOARD  FOR  VISION
REHABILITATION  SERVICES  IN  ACCORDANCE  WITH  THE COMMISSIONER'S REGU-
LATIONS.
  (D) AGE: BE AT LEAST TWENTY-ONE YEARS OF AGE;
  (E) CHARACTER: BE OF GOOD MORAL CHARACTER AS DETERMINED BY THE DEPART-
MENT;
  (F) REGISTRATION: ALL LICENSED ORIENTATION  AND  MOBILITY  SPECIALISTS
SHALL  REGISTER  TRIENNIALLY  WITH THE DEPARTMENT IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE
COMMISSIONER'S REGULATION;
  (G) MANDATORY CONTINUING COMPETENCY:  (I)(A) EACH LICENSED ORIENTATION
AND MOBILITY SPECIALIST REQUIRED UNDER THIS ARTICLE TO REGISTER TRIENNI-
ALLY WITH THE DEPARTMENT TO PRACTICE IN THE STATE SHALL COMPLY WITH  THE
PROVISIONS   OF   THE   MANDATORY   CONTINUING  COMPETENCY  REQUIREMENTS
PRESCRIBED IN SUBPARAGRAPH (II) OF THIS PARAGRAPH, EXCEPT AS PROVIDED IN
CLAUSES (B) AND (C)  OF  THIS  SUBPARAGRAPH.  ORIENTATION  AND  MOBILITY
SPECIALISTS  WHO  DO  NOT  SATISFY  THE  MANDATORY CONTINUING COMPETENCY
REQUIREMENTS SHALL NOT BE AUTHORIZED TO PRACTICE  UNTIL  THEY  HAVE  MET
SUCH REQUIREMENTS, AND THEY HAVE BEEN ISSUED A REGISTRATION CERTIFICATE,
EXCEPT  THAT AN ORIENTATION AND MOBILITY SPECIALIST MAY PRACTICE WITHOUT
HAVING MET SUCH REQUIREMENTS IF HE OR SHE IS ISSUED A CONDITIONAL REGIS-
TRATION PURSUANT TO SUBPARAGRAPH (III) OF THIS PARAGRAPH.
  (B) ORIENTATION AND MOBILITY SPECIALISTS  SHALL  BE  EXEMPT  FROM  THE
MANDATORY  CONTINUING COMPETENCY REQUIREMENT FOR THE TRIENNIAL REGISTRA-
TION PERIOD DURING WHICH THEY ARE FIRST LICENSED.    ADJUSTMENT  TO  THE
MANDATORY  CONTINUING  COMPETENCY  REQUIREMENTS  MAY  BE  GRANTED BY THE
DEPARTMENT FOR REASONS OF HEALTH OF THE LICENSEE WHERE CERTIFIED  BY  AN
APPROPRIATE  HEALTH CARE PROFESSIONAL, FOR EXTENDED ACTIVE DUTY WITH THE
ARMED FORCES OF THE UNITED STATES, OR FOR OTHER GOOD CAUSE ACCEPTABLE TO
THE DEPARTMENT WHICH MAY PREVENT COMPLIANCE.
  (C) A LICENSED ORIENTATION AND  MOBILITY  SPECIALIST  NOT  ENGAGED  IN
PRACTICE,  AS  DETERMINED  BY  THE  DEPARTMENT, SHALL BE EXEMPT FROM THE
MANDATORY CONTINUING COMPETENCY REQUIREMENT UPON THE FILING OF A  STATE-
MENT WITH THE DEPARTMENT DECLARING SUCH STATUS. ANY LICENSEE WHO RETURNS
TO  PRACTICE  OF  THE  PROFESSION OF ORIENTATION AND MOBILITY SPECIALIST
DURING THE TRIENNIAL REGISTRATION PERIOD  SHALL  NOTIFY  THE  DEPARTMENT
PRIOR TO REENTERING THE PROFESSION AND SHALL MEET SUCH MANDATORY CONTIN-
UING  COMPETENCY  REQUIREMENTS  AS SHALL BE PRESCRIBED BY REGULATIONS OF
THE COMMISSIONER.
  (II) DURING EACH TRIENNIAL REGISTRATION PERIOD AN APPLICANT FOR REGIS-
TRATION AS AN ORIENTATION AND MOBILITY SPECIALIST SHALL COMPLETE A MINI-
MUM  OF  TWENTY-FOUR  HOURS  OF  ACCEPTABLE  LEARNING  ACTIVITIES  WHICH
CONTRIBUTE  TO  CONTINUING COMPETENCE, AS SPECIFIED IN SUBPARAGRAPH (IV)
OF THIS PARAGRAPH, PROVIDED FURTHER THAT AT LEAST SIXTEEN HOURS SHALL BE
IN RECOGNIZED AREAS OF STUDY PERTINENT TO THE PROFESSIONAL  SCOPE  OF  A
LICENSED ORIENTATION AND MOBILITY SPECIALIST. ANY ORIENTATION AND MOBIL-
ITY  SPECIALIST  WHOSE  FIRST  REGISTRATION DATE FOLLOWING THE EFFECTIVE
DATE OF THIS SECTION OCCURS LESS THAN THREE YEARS  FROM  SUCH  EFFECTIVE

S. 3558--D                          5

DATE,  BUT  ON  OR  AFTER  JANUARY  FIRST,  TWO  THOUSAND FIFTEEN, SHALL
COMPLETE CONTINUING COMPETENCY HOURS ON A PRORATED BASIS AT THE RATE  OF
ONE-HALF  HOUR  PER  MONTH  FOR  THE PERIOD BEGINNING JANUARY FIRST, TWO
THOUSAND FIFTEEN UP TO THE FIRST REGISTRATION DATE. THEREAFTER, A LICEN-
SEE  WHO  HAS NOT SATISFIED THE MANDATORY CONTINUING COMPETENCY REQUIRE-
MENTS SHALL NOT BE ISSUED A TRIENNIAL REGISTRATION  CERTIFICATE  BY  THE
DEPARTMENT  AND SHALL NOT PRACTICE UNLESS AND UNTIL A CONDITIONAL REGIS-
TRATION CERTIFICATE IS ISSUED AS PROVIDED FOR IN SUBPARAGRAPH  (III)  OF
THIS  PARAGRAPH.  CONTINUING COMPETENCY HOURS TAKEN DURING ONE TRIENNIUM
MAY NOT BE TRANSFERRED TO A SUBSEQUENT TRIENNIUM.
  (III) THE DEPARTMENT, IN  ITS  DISCRETION,  MAY  ISSUE  A  CONDITIONAL
REGISTRATION  TO  A LICENSEE WHO FAILS TO MEET THE CONTINUING COMPETENCY
REQUIREMENTS ESTABLISHED IN SUBPARAGRAPH (II) OF THIS PARAGRAPH, BUT WHO
AGREES TO MAKE UP ANY DEFICIENCIES AND COMPLETE ANY ADDITIONAL  LEARNING
ACTIVITIES  WHICH  THE DEPARTMENT MAY REQUIRE. THE FEE FOR SUCH A CONDI-
TIONAL REGISTRATION SHALL BE THE SAME AS, AND IN ADDITION  TO,  THE  FEE
FOR  THE TRIENNIAL REGISTRATION. THE DURATION OF SUCH CONDITIONAL REGIS-
TRATION SHALL BE DETERMINED BY THE DEPARTMENT BUT SHALL NOT  EXCEED  ONE
YEAR.  ANY  LICENSEE  WHO  IS NOTIFIED OF THE DENIAL OF REGISTRATION FOR
FAILURE TO SUBMIT EVIDENCE, SATISFACTORY TO THE DEPARTMENT, OF  REQUIRED
CONTINUING COMPETENCY LEARNING ACTIVITIES AND WHO PRACTICES WITHOUT SUCH
REGISTRATION,  MAY  BE  SUBJECT  TO DISCIPLINARY PROCEEDINGS PURSUANT TO
SECTION SIXTY-FIVE HUNDRED TEN OF THIS TITLE.
  (IV) AS USED IN  SUBPARAGRAPH  (II)  OF  THIS  PARAGRAPH,  "ACCEPTABLE
LEARNING  ACTIVITIES"  SHALL  MEAN  ACTIVITIES  WHICH  CONTRIBUTE TO THE
PROFESSIONAL PRACTICE OF AN  ORIENTATION  AND  MOBILITY  SPECIALIST  AND
WHICH  MEET  THE  STANDARDS PRESCRIBED IN THE REGULATIONS OF THE COMMIS-
SIONER. SUCH LEARNING ACTIVITIES SHALL INCLUDE, BUT NOT BE  LIMITED  TO,
COLLEGIATE  LEVEL  CREDIT AND NON-CREDIT COURSES, SELF-STUDY ACTIVITIES,
INDEPENDENT STUDY, FORMAL MENTORING ACTIVITIES, PUBLICATIONS IN  PROFES-
SIONAL   JOURNALS,   PROFESSIONAL  DEVELOPMENT  PROGRAMS  AND  TECHNICAL
SESSIONS; SUCH LEARNING ACTIVITIES  MAY  BE  OFFERED  AND  SPONSORED  BY
NATIONAL,  STATE AND LOCAL PROFESSIONAL ASSOCIATIONS AND OTHER ORGANIZA-
TIONS OR PARTIES ACCEPTABLE TO THE DEPARTMENT, AND ANY  OTHER  ORGANIZED
EDUCATIONAL  AND TECHNICAL LEARNING ACTIVITIES ACCEPTABLE TO THE DEPART-
MENT. RECOGNIZED AREAS OF STUDY SHALL INCLUDE BUT  NOT  BE  LIMITED  TO:
KNOWLEDGE  AND  SKILLS  TRAINING  IN  ORIENTATION, MOBILITY, NAVIGATION,
INDEPENDENT LIVING, COMMUNICATIONS AND USE OF PRESCRIBED  AND,  ADAPTIVE
OPTICAL  DEVICES;  UTILIZATION  OF  SPECIALIZED TECHNIQUES AND EQUIPMENT
INTENDED FOR USE BY PERSONS  WHO  ARE  VISUALLY  IMPAIRED;  THE  MEDICAL
ASPECTS  OF  VISION  LOSS  AND  ITS FUNCTIONAL IMPACT ON PERSONS WHO ARE
VISUALLY IMPAIRED; AND SUCH OTHER TECHNICAL SUBJECT MATTER AREAS  APPRO-
PRIATELY  RELATED  TO  THE PRACTICE OF VISION REHABILITATION SERVICES AS
MAY BE SATISFACTORY TO THE BOARD AND IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE  COMMISSION-
ER'S REGULATIONS. THE DEPARTMENT MAY, IN ITS DISCRETION AND AS NEEDED TO
CONTRIBUTE  TO  THE  HEALTH  AND  WELFARE  OF  THE  PUBLIC,  REQUIRE THE
COMPLETION OF CONTINUING  COMPETENCY  LEARNING  ACTIVITIES  IN  SPECIFIC
SUBJECTS  TO  FULFILL  THIS MANDATORY CONTINUING COMPETENCY REQUIREMENT.
LEARNING ACTIVITIES MUST BE TAKEN FROM A SPONSOR APPROVED BY THE DEPART-
MENT, PURSUANT TO THE REGULATIONS OF THE COMMISSIONER.
  (V) ORIENTATION  AND  MOBILITY  SPECIALISTS  SHALL  MAINTAIN  ADEQUATE
DOCUMENTATION OF COMPLETION OF ACCEPTABLE CONTINUING COMPETENCY LEARNING
ACTIVITIES  AND  SHALL  PROVIDE SUCH DOCUMENTATION AT THE REQUEST OF THE
DEPARTMENT. FAILURE TO PROVIDE SUCH DOCUMENTATION UPON  THE  REQUEST  OF
THE  DEPARTMENT  SHALL  BE  AN ACT OF MISCONDUCT SUBJECT TO DISCIPLINARY
PROCEEDINGS PURSUANT TO SECTION SIXTY-FIVE HUNDRED TEN OF THIS TITLE.

S. 3558--D                          6

  (VI) THE MANDATORY CONTINUING COMPETENCY FEE SHALL BE  FIFTY  DOLLARS,
SHALL  BE PAYABLE ON OR BEFORE THE FIRST DAY OF EACH TRIENNIAL REGISTRA-
TION PERIOD, AND SHALL BE PAID IN ADDITION TO THE TRIENNIAL REGISTRATION
FEE REQUIRED BY PARAGRAPH (H) OF THIS SUBDIVISION.
  (H) FEES: PAY A FEE OF ONE HUNDRED SEVENTY-FIVE DOLLARS FOR AN INITIAL
LICENSE  AND  A FEE OF ONE HUNDRED FIFTY-FIVE DOLLARS FOR EACH TRIENNIAL
REGISTRATION PERIOD.
  2. TO QUALIFY FOR A LICENSE AS A VISION  REHABILITATION  THERAPIST  AN
APPLICANT SHALL FULFILL THE FOLLOWING REQUIREMENTS:
  (A) APPLICATION: FILE AN APPLICATION WITH THE DEPARTMENT;
  (B)   EDUCATION/EXPERIENCE:   (I)  HAVE  SATISFACTORILY  COMPLETED  AN
APPROVED VISION REHABILITATION THERAPIST CURRICULUM IN  A  BACCALAUREATE
OR MASTERS PROGRAM, OR A CERTIFICATE PROGRAM SATISFACTORY TO THE DEPART-
MENT  WHICH  IS  SUBSTANTIALLY  EQUIVALENT  TO  A  BACCALAUREATE  DEGREE
PROGRAM, IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE COMMISSIONER'S REGULATIONS; AND
  (II) HAVE A MINIMUM OF THREE MONTHS  OF  SUPERVISED  VISION  REHABILI-
TATION  THERAPIST  EXPERIENCE  WHICH SUPERVISION AND EXPERIENCE SHALL BE
SATISFACTORY TO THE STATE BOARD FOR VISION REHABILITATION  SERVICES  AND
IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE COMMISSIONER'S REGULATIONS;
  (C)  PASS  AN  EXAMINATION  SATISFACTORY TO THE STATE BOARD FOR VISION
REHABILITATION SERVICES IN  ACCORDANCE  WITH  THE  COMMISSIONER'S  REGU-
LATIONS.
  (D) AGE: BE AT LEAST TWENTY-ONE YEARS OF AGE;
  (E) CHARACTER: BE OF GOOD MORAL CHARACTER AS DETERMINED BY THE DEPART-
MENT;
  (F)  REGISTRATION: ALL LICENSED VISION REHABILITATION THERAPISTS SHALL
REGISTER TRIENNIALLY WITH THE DEPARTMENT IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE  COMMIS-
SIONER'S REGULATIONS;
  (G)  MANDATORY  CONTINUING  COMPETENCY:   (I) (A) EACH LICENSED VISION
REHABILITATION THERAPIST REQUIRED UNDER THIS ARTICLE TO REGISTER  TRIEN-
NIALLY  WITH  THE  DEPARTMENT TO PRACTICE IN THE STATE SHALL COMPLY WITH
THE PROVISIONS  OF  THE  MANDATORY  CONTINUING  COMPETENCY  REQUIREMENTS
PRESCRIBED IN SUBPARAGRAPH (II) OF THIS PARAGRAPH, EXCEPT AS PROVIDED IN
CLAUSES (B) AND (C) OF THIS PARAGRAPH.  VISION REHABILITATION THERAPISTS
WHO  DO  NOT  SATISFY  THE  MANDATORY CONTINUING COMPETENCY REQUIREMENTS
SHALL NOT BE AUTHORIZED TO PRACTICE UNTIL THEY HAVE  MET  SUCH  REQUIRE-
MENTS, AND THEY HAVE BEEN ISSUED A REGISTRATION CERTIFICATE, EXCEPT THAT
A  VISION  REHABILITATION THERAPIST MAY PRACTICE WITHOUT HAVING MET SUCH
REQUIREMENTS IF HE OR SHE IS ISSUED A CONDITIONAL REGISTRATION  PURSUANT
TO SUBPARAGRAPH (III) OF THIS PARAGRAPH.
  (B) VISION REHABILITATION THERAPISTS SHALL BE EXEMPT FROM THE MANDATO-
RY  CONTINUING  COMPETENCY  REQUIREMENT  FOR  THE TRIENNIAL REGISTRATION
PERIOD DURING WHICH THEY ARE FIRST LICENSED.  ADJUSTMENT TO THE MANDATO-
RY CONTINUING COMPETENCY REQUIREMENTS MAY BE GRANTED BY  THE  DEPARTMENT
FOR  REASONS OF HEALTH OF THE LICENSEE WHERE CERTIFIED BY AN APPROPRIATE
HEALTH CARE PROFESSIONAL, FOR EXTENDED ACTIVE DUTY WITH THE ARMED FORCES
OF THE UNITED STATES, OR FOR OTHER GOOD CAUSE ACCEPTABLE TO THE  DEPART-
MENT WHICH MAY PREVENT COMPLIANCE.
  (C)  A  LICENSED  VISION REHABILITATION THERAPIST NOT ENGAGED IN PRAC-
TICE, AS DETERMINED BY THE DEPARTMENT, SHALL BE EXEMPT FROM THE MANDATO-
RY CONTINUING COMPETENCY REQUIREMENT UPON THE FILING OF A STATEMENT WITH
THE DEPARTMENT DECLARING SUCH STATUS. ANY LICENSEE WHO RETURNS TO  PRAC-
TICE  OF VISION REHABILITATION THERAPY DURING THE TRIENNIAL REGISTRATION
PERIOD SHALL NOTIFY THE DEPARTMENT PRIOR TO  REENTERING  THE  PROFESSION
AND  SHALL  MEET  SUCH  MANDATORY  CONTINUING COMPETENCY REQUIREMENTS AS
SHALL BE PRESCRIBED BY REGULATIONS OF THE COMMISSIONER.

S. 3558--D                          7

  (II) DURING EACH TRIENNIAL REGISTRATION PERIOD AN APPLICANT FOR REGIS-
TRATION AS A VISION REHABILITATION THERAPIST SHALL COMPLETE A MINIMUM OF
TWENTY-FOUR HOURS OF ACCEPTABLE LEARNING ACTIVITIES WHICH CONTRIBUTE  TO
CONTINUING  COMPETENCE,  AS SPECIFIED IN SUBPARAGRAPH (IV) OF THIS PARA-
GRAPH,  PROVIDED  FURTHER THAT AT LEAST SIXTEEN HOURS SHALL BE IN RECOG-
NIZED AREAS OF STUDY PERTINENT TO THE PROFESSIONAL SCOPE OF  A  LICENSED
VISION  REHABILITATION  THERAPIST.  ANY  VISION REHABILITATION THERAPIST
WHOSE FIRST REGISTRATION DATE  FOLLOWING  THE  EFFECTIVE  DATE  OF  THIS
SECTION OCCURS LESS THAN THREE YEARS FROM SUCH EFFECTIVE DATE, BUT ON OR
AFTER  JANUARY  FIRST,  TWO  THOUSAND FIFTEEN, SHALL COMPLETE CONTINUING
COMPETENCY HOURS ON A PRORATED BASIS AT THE RATE OF  ONE-HALF  HOUR  PER
MONTH FOR THE PERIOD BEGINNING JANUARY FIRST, TWO THOUSAND FIFTEEN UP TO
THE  FIRST  REGISTRATION DATE. THEREAFTER, A LICENSEE WHO HAS NOT SATIS-
FIED THE MANDATORY  CONTINUING  COMPETENCY  REQUIREMENTS  SHALL  NOT  BE
ISSUED  A TRIENNIAL REGISTRATION CERTIFICATE BY THE DEPARTMENT AND SHALL
NOT PRACTICE UNLESS AND UNTIL A CONDITIONAL REGISTRATION CERTIFICATE  IS
ISSUED AS PROVIDED FOR IN SUBPARAGRAPH (III) OF THIS PARAGRAPH.  CONTIN-
UING  COMPETENCY HOURS TAKEN DURING ONE TRIENNIUM MAY NOT BE TRANSFERRED
TO A SUBSEQUENT TRIENNIUM.
  (III) THE DEPARTMENT, IN  ITS  DISCRETION,  MAY  ISSUE  A  CONDITIONAL
REGISTRATION  TO  A LICENSEE WHO FAILS TO MEET THE CONTINUING COMPETENCY
REQUIREMENTS ESTABLISHED IN SUBPARAGRAPH (II) OF THIS PARAGRAPH, BUT WHO
AGREES TO MAKE UP ANY DEFICIENCIES AND COMPLETE ANY ADDITIONAL  LEARNING
ACTIVITIES  WHICH  THE DEPARTMENT MAY REQUIRE. THE FEE FOR SUCH A CONDI-
TIONAL REGISTRATION SHALL BE THE SAME AS, AND IN ADDITION  TO,  THE  FEE
FOR  THE TRIENNIAL REGISTRATION. THE DURATION OF SUCH CONDITIONAL REGIS-
TRATION SHALL BE DETERMINED BY THE DEPARTMENT BUT SHALL NOT  EXCEED  ONE
YEAR.  ANY  LICENSEE  WHO  IS NOTIFIED OF THE DENIAL OF REGISTRATION FOR
FAILURE TO SUBMIT EVIDENCE, SATISFACTORY TO THE DEPARTMENT, OF  REQUIRED
CONTINUING COMPETENCY LEARNING ACTIVITIES AND WHO PRACTICES WITHOUT SUCH
REGISTRATION,  MAY  BE  SUBJECT  TO DISCIPLINARY PROCEEDINGS PURSUANT TO
SECTION SIXTY-FIVE HUNDRED TEN OF THIS TITLE.
  (IV) AS USED IN  SUBPARAGRAPH  (II)  OF  THIS  PARAGRAPH,  "ACCEPTABLE
LEARNING  ACTIVITIES"  SHALL  MEAN  ACTIVITIES  WHICH  CONTRIBUTE TO THE
PROFESSIONAL PRACTICE OF A VISION  REHABILITATION  THERAPIST  AND  WHICH
MEET  THE  STANDARDS  PRESCRIBED IN THE REGULATIONS OF THE COMMISSIONER.
SUCH LEARNING ACTIVITIES SHALL INCLUDE, BUT NOT BE LIMITED TO,  COLLEGI-
ATE  LEVEL  CREDIT  AND NON-CREDIT COURSES, SELF-STUDY ACTIVITIES, INDE-
PENDENT STUDY, FORMAL MENTORING ACTIVITIES, PUBLICATIONS IN PROFESSIONAL
JOURNALS, PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT PROGRAMS AND TECHNICAL SESSIONS; SUCH
LEARNING ACTIVITIES MAY BE OFFERED AND SPONSORED BY NATIONAL, STATE  AND
LOCAL  PROFESSIONAL  ASSOCIATIONS  AND  OTHER  ORGANIZATIONS  OR PARTIES
ACCEPTABLE TO THE DEPARTMENT, AND ANY OTHER  ORGANIZED  EDUCATIONAL  AND
TECHNICAL  LEARNING ACTIVITIES ACCEPTABLE TO THE DEPARTMENT.  RECOGNIZED
AREAS OF STUDY SHALL INCLUDE BUT NOT BE LIMITED TO: KNOWLEDGE AND SKILLS
TRAINING IN MOBILITY, NAVIGATION, INDEPENDENT LIVING, COMMUNICATIONS AND
ORIENTATION, USE OF PRESCRIBED AND, ADAPTIVE OPTICAL  DEVICES;  UTILIZA-
TION OF SPECIALIZED TECHNIQUES AND EQUIPMENT INTENDED FOR USE BY PERSONS
WHO  ARE  VISUALLY  IMPAIRED; THE MEDICAL ASPECTS OF VISION LOSS AND ITS
FUNCTIONAL IMPACT ON PERSONS WHO ARE VISUALLY IMPAIRED; AND  SUCH  OTHER
TECHNICAL  SUBJECT MATTER AREAS APPROPRIATELY RELATED TO THE PRACTICE OF
VISION REHABILITATION SERVICES AS MAY BE SATISFACTORY TO THE  BOARD  AND
IN  ACCORDANCE  WITH THE COMMISSIONER'S REGULATIONS. THE DEPARTMENT MAY,
IN ITS DISCRETION AND AS NEEDED TO CONTRIBUTE TO THE HEALTH AND  WELFARE
OF  THE PUBLIC, REQUIRE THE COMPLETION OF CONTINUING COMPETENCY LEARNING
ACTIVITIES IN SPECIFIC SUBJECTS TO  FULFILL  THIS  MANDATORY  CONTINUING

S. 3558--D                          8

COMPETENCY  REQUIREMENT.  LEARNING ACTIVITIES MUST BE TAKEN FROM A SPON-
SOR APPROVED BY THE DEPARTMENT,  PURSUANT  TO  THE  REGULATIONS  OF  THE
COMMISSIONER.
  (V)  VISION REHABILITATION THERAPISTS SHALL MAINTAIN ADEQUATE DOCUMEN-
TATION OF COMPLETION OF ACCEPTABLE CONTINUING COMPETENCY LEARNING ACTIV-
ITIES AND SHALL PROVIDE SUCH DOCUMENTATION AT THE REQUEST OF THE DEPART-
MENT. FAILURE TO PROVIDE SUCH DOCUMENTATION  UPON  THE  REQUEST  OF  THE
DEPARTMENT  SHALL  BE  AN  ACT  OF  MISCONDUCT  SUBJECT  TO DISCIPLINARY
PROCEEDINGS PURSUANT TO SECTION SIXTY-FIVE HUNDRED TEN OF THIS TITLE.
  (VI) THE MANDATORY CONTINUING COMPETENCY FEE SHALL BE  FIFTY  DOLLARS,
SHALL  BE PAYABLE ON OR BEFORE THE FIRST DAY OF EACH TRIENNIAL REGISTRA-
TION PERIOD, AND SHALL BE PAID IN ADDITION TO THE TRIENNIAL REGISTRATION
FEE REQUIRED BY PARAGRAPH (H) OF THIS SUBDIVISION.
  (H) FEES: PAY A FEE OF ONE HUNDRED SEVENTY-FIVE DOLLARS FOR AN INITIAL
LICENSE AND A FEE OF ONE HUNDRED FIFTY-FIVE DOLLARS FOR  EACH  TRIENNIAL
REGISTRATION PERIOD.
  S  8905.  LIMITED PERMITS. PERMITS LIMITED AS TO ELIGIBILITY, PRACTICE
AND DURATION SHALL BE ISSUED BY THE DEPARTMENT TO ELIGIBLE APPLICANTS AS
FOLLOWS:
  1. ELIGIBILITY. A PERSON WHO FULFILLS ALL REQUIREMENTS FOR  AN  ORIEN-
TATION  AND  MOBILITY  SPECIALIST  OR  VISION  REHABILITATION THERAPIST,
EXCEPT THAT RELATING TO THE EXAMINATION, SHALL BE ELIGIBLE FOR A LIMITED
PERMIT.
  2. LIMIT OF PRACTICE. ALL PRACTICE UNDER A  LIMITED  PERMIT  SHALL  BE
UNDER  THE  DIRECT  SUPERVISION  OF  A LICENSED ORIENTATION AND MOBILITY
SPECIALIST OR A VISION REHABILITATION THERAPIST.
  3. DURATION. A LIMITED PERMIT SHALL EXPIRE ONE YEAR FROM THE  DATE  OF
ISSUANCE  OR  UPON  NOTICE  TO  THE PERMITTEE BY THE DEPARTMENT THAT THE
APPLICATION FOR LICENSURE HAS BEEN DENIED, OR UPON NOTICE TO THE PERMIT-
TEE OF FAILURE ON  THE  PROFESSIONAL  LICENSING  EXAMINATION,  WHICHEVER
FIRST OCCURS.
  4. FEES. THE FEE FOR EACH LIMITED PERMIT SHALL BE SEVENTY DOLLARS.
  S  8906. EXEMPT PERSONS. THIS ARTICLE SHALL NOT BE CONSTRUED TO AFFECT
OR PREVENT THE FOLLOWING, PROVIDED THAT NO TITLE, SIGN, CARD  OR  DEVICE
SHALL  BE  USED  IN SUCH MANNER AS TO TEND TO CONVEY THE IMPRESSION THAT
THE PERSON RENDERING SUCH SERVICE IS A LICENSED ORIENTATION AND MOBILITY
SPECIALIST OR VISION REHABILITATION THERAPIST:
  1. THE PRACTICE OF ORIENTATION AND MOBILITY TRAINING OR  VISION  REHA-
BILITATION THERAPY AS AN INTEGRAL PART OF A PROGRAM OF STUDY BY STUDENTS
ENROLLED IN APPROVED EDUCATIONAL OR TRAINING PROGRAMS IN (A) ORIENTATION
AND MOBILITY TRAINING OR (B) VISION REHABILITATION THERAPY.
  2.  THE  PERFORMANCE  OF ANY OF THE DUTIES, TASKS AND RESPONSIBILITIES
INCLUDED IN THE DEFINITION OF ORIENTATION AND MOBILITY TRAINING  BY  ANY
OTHER  DULY  LICENSED,  CERTIFIED  OR  REGISTERED  HEALTH CARE PROVIDER,
PROVIDED THAT SUCH DUTIES, TASKS AND  RESPONSIBILITIES  ARE  WITHIN  THE
SCOPE  OF  HIS  OR  HER  PRACTICE AS DEFINED IN THIS ARTICLE PURSUANT TO
WHICH SUCH PERSON IS LICENSED, CERTIFIED OR REGISTERED; PROVIDED, HOWEV-
ER, THAT SUCH PRACTITIONERS MAY NOT HOLD THEMSELVES OUT UNDER THE  TITLE
"LICENSED ORIENTATION AND MOBILITY SPECIALIST" OR AS PERFORMING LICENSED
ORIENTATION AND MOBILITY TRAINING.
  3.  THE  PERFORMANCE  OF ANY OF THE DUTIES, TASKS AND RESPONSIBILITIES
INCLUDED IN THE DEFINITION OF VISION REHABILITATION THERAPY BY ANY OTHER
DULY LICENSED, CERTIFIED OR REGISTERED HEALTH  CARE  PROVIDER,  PROVIDED
THAT SUCH DUTIES, TASKS AND RESPONSIBILITIES ARE WITHIN THE SCOPE OF HIS
OR  HER PRACTICE AS DEFINED IN THIS ARTICLE OR COMMISSIONER'S REGULATION
PURSUANT TO WHICH SUCH PERSON  IS  LICENSED,  CERTIFIED  OR  REGISTERED;

S. 3558--D                          9

PROVIDED,  HOWEVER,  THAT SUCH PRACTITIONERS MAY NOT HOLD THEMSELVES OUT
UNDER THE TITLE "LICENSED VISION REHABILITATION THERAPIST".
  4.  THE PRACTICE, CONDUCT, ACTIVITIES, SERVICES OR USE OF ANY TITLE BY
ANY PERSON LICENSED OR OTHERWISE AUTHORIZED TO PRACTICE MEDICINE  WITHIN
THE STATE PURSUANT TO ARTICLE ONE HUNDRED THIRTY-ONE OF THIS TITLE OR BY
ANY  PERSON  REGISTERED  TO  PERFORM  SERVICES  AS A PHYSICIAN ASSISTANT
PURSUANT TO ARTICLE ONE HUNDRED THIRTY-ONE-B OF THIS TITLE.
  5. THE PRACTICE OF ORIENTATION AND MOBILITY TRAINING OR  VISION  REHA-
BILITATION  THERAPY BY ANY LEGALLY QUALIFIED PRACTITIONER OF ORIENTATION
AND MOBILITY TRAINING OR VISION  REHABILITATION  THERAPY  OF  ANY  OTHER
STATE  OR  TERRITORY  WHO  IS  SERVING IN THE ARMED FORCES OR THE PUBLIC
HEALTH SERVICE OF THE UNITED STATES WHILE ENGAGED IN THE PERFORMANCE  OF
HIS OR HER DUTIES.
  6. THE INSTRUCTION IN THE USE OF A DOG GUIDE.
  S  8907.  SPECIAL PROVISIONS. A PERSON SHALL BE LICENSED WITHOUT EXAM-
INATION PROVIDED THAT, WITHIN THREE YEARS OF THE EFFECTIVE DATE OF  THIS
ARTICLE, SUCH PERSON:
  1.  FILES  AN APPLICATION AND PAYS THE APPROPRIATE FEES TO THE DEPART-
MENT;
  2. (A) HOLDS A BACHELOR'S DEGREE OR HIGHER, OR  EQUIVALENT  AS  DETER-
MINED BY THE DEPARTMENT, WITH A SPECIALIZATION IN ORIENTATION AND MOBIL-
ITY  TRAINING; OR (B) HOLDS A BACHELOR'S DEGREE OR HIGHER, OR EQUIVALENT
AS DETERMINED BY THE DEPARTMENT, WITH A SPECIALIZATION IN  VISION  REHA-
BILITATION  THERAPY;  OR  (C)  HOLDS  A  BACHELOR'S DEGREE OR HIGHER, OR
EQUIVALENT AS DETERMINED BY THE DEPARTMENT IN A REHABILITATION FIELD  OR
IN  SPECIAL  EDUCATION  AND  (I) HAS COMPLETED ALL ADDITIONALLY REQUIRED
ELEMENTS OF THE ORIENTATION AND MOBILITY TRAINING  OR  VISION  REHABILI-
TATION  THERAPY  CURRICULUM  SATISFACTORY TO THE BOARD AND IN ACCORDANCE
WITH THE COMMISSIONER'S REGULATIONS;  OR  (II)  HAS  BEEN  CERTIFIED  IN
ORIENTATION  AND MOBILITY TRAINING OR VISION REHABILITATION THERAPY BY A
NATIONALLY RECOGNIZED ACCREDITING BODY ACCEPTABLE TO THE DEPARTMENT; AND
  3. SUBMITS EVIDENCE OF A MINIMUM OF THREE YEARS EXPERIENCE OR  EMPLOY-
MENT  IN  THE  PRACTICE  OF  ORIENTATION AND MOBILITY TRAINING OR VISION
REHABILITATION THERAPY SATISFACTORY TO THE BOARD AND IN ACCORDANCE  WITH
THE  COMMISSIONER'S  REGULATIONS,  WHETHER SUCH EXPERIENCE OR EMPLOYMENT
OCCURS WITHIN OR WITHOUT THIS STATE.
  S 8908. SEPARABILITY. IF ANY SECTION OF THIS ARTICLE, OR PART THEREOF,
SHALL BE ADJUDGED BY ANY COURT OF COMPETENT JURISDICTION TO BE  INVALID,
SUCH  JUDGMENT  SHALL  NOT AFFECT, IMPAIR OR INVALIDATE THE REMAINDER OF
ANY OTHER SECTION OR PART THEREOF.
  S 2. This act shall take effect July 1, 2015.    The  commissioner  of
education  and  the  board  of regents are authorized to promulgate such
rules and regulations and take any other measures as  may  be  necessary
for  the  timely  implementation  of this act on or before its effective
date, including but not limited to the appointment of  the  state  board
for  vision  rehabilitation  services,  the acceptance and processing of
applications for licensure, and the issuance of licenses.

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