The Department shall have the following powers and duties:
1. To develop a program to inform persons who are deaf or hard-of-hearing and the public of opportunities available for persons who are deaf or hard-of-hearing to fulfill their needs and solve certain problems through existing state and local services and to make available such other information as would be of value to families, professionals and other citizens working or involved in the deafness field;
3. To aid in the provision of technical assistance and training within the Commonwealth in order to support efforts to initiate or improve programs and services for persons who are deaf or hard-of-hearing;
4. To evaluate state programs that deliver services to persons who are deaf or hard-of-hearing to determine their effectiveness and to make recommendations to the appropriate government officials concerning the future financial support and continuation of such programs and the establishment of the new ones;
6. To make appropriate recommendations for legislative changes to the Governor and General Assembly and to follow and evaluate federal legislation having a potential impact upon persons who are deaf or hard-of-hearing who live in the Commonwealth;
7. To cooperate with schools for the deaf as provided in Chapter 19 (§ 22.1-346 et seq.) of Title 22.1 insofar as may be practicable;
8. To operate a program of technology assistance and services to encourage independence of persons who are deaf, hard-of-hearing, or speech impaired, including the distribution of devices for the deaf and support of message relay services, through grants, contracts and other means, including a sliding fee scale where appropriate; and
9. To adopt such regulations, consistent with this chapter, as may be necessary to carry out the purpose and intent of this chapter and other laws of the Commonwealth administered by the Director or the Department. Such regulations shall be binding on all officers, agents, and employees engaged in implementing the provisions of this chapter.
1972, c. 543, § 63.1-85.4; 1977, c. 668; 1983, c. 440; 1984, cc. 670, 734; 1988, c. 93; 1996, c. 471; 2002, c. 747.